I am wildly curious and cautiously happy about the upcoming Elfstones of Shannara miniseries–as, I imagine, are most fans of the Shannara series. The casting news has been fun to follow; the news the that Artaq was cast made my day, mostly because I hadn’t thought about casting a horse.
Anyway, yesterday’s posting of the December Ask Terry questions really got me thinking. In response to a question about the miniseries, he mentions that new characters are being added:
The visuals will lend an astonishing new perspective to your imagining of the story – hopefully in a good way. Also, the writers are fleshing out and adding new material to the book, so that we have some new characters and some new plot lines for the series. This will be a change – again – from the book, but I think we all have to remember that a change of medium requires an understanding that each new effort is an adaptation of the old, not a paint by the numbers. I am way cool with the changes, and I find it interesting to imagine how I would have incorporated them in the book, had I thought to do so. But I think once you’ve done something, you should leave it alone. This is a different imagining, but one that I have kept watch over while it is being developed and which I very much approve.
After having friends inform me that I really shouldn’t have skimmed the battles, I went back and listened to Elfstones–I find it hard to skim with an MP3 player, especially when my hands are all muddy from gardening (Hm, come to think if it, gardening and Elfstones are a good match). So now I really do want to see those battles onscreen, especially Allanon vs. the dragon. Also, I want to see the Ellcryss and the garden around her—as well as Amberle’s lovely garden in Havenstead, which sounds amazing.
But new characters?! If there is anything Elfstones is not short of, it’s characters! I can think of several I would like to see have larger roles—like Stee Jans, for example. As important as he is, in the book we pretty much only see him in combat; if the TV show is expanding things, they can give him some more scenes. Or Crispin. The poor guy has barely any lines. Or the Dagda Mor. He’s the arch-enemy, yet he has hardly any scenes. That’s fine in the book, but maybe more in the show? And Eretria—she’s awesome and ends up being vital to the success of the quest, yet it’s well into the book before she joins everyone. I think they could use more scenes more than the show could use more characters!
As an added benefit of expanding Stee Jans’ role, they could take the World of Shannara rumor that he and Garet Jax were the same person, which would give them five carry-over characters from Elfstone in Wishsong, two of them major roles, which would increase the chances of the sequel being made. Stee Jans and Allanon could be the bridge characters, while Wil, Eretria, and the King of the Silver River all make an appearance as well.
I’m still looking forward to the show, of course, and the fact that Brooks is happy makes me happy, but like everyone else, I have my wish list!
What do you think? Got any scene you’d like to see? Any character you’d like to see more of in the Elfstones of Shannara miniseries?
Oh, and I have given into temptation and will be starting a Read All the Thing of the Shannara series. I have no idea whether I will get it done in time for the show, but it will be fun, all the same! Anyone care to join me?