MTV has released five new character clips showcasing the main characters. In addition to serving as an introduction to the characters for all viewers, both those who know the book and those who do not, the clips give some indication of the story’s flow and the ways it has been changed to adapt The Elfstones of Shannara to a miniseries format.
Allanon continues to emerge as the powerful warrior as much as the historian. The character clip emphasizes his fighting prowess both with magic and with the sword. The description also picks up on his isolation, something that forms a crucial part of the character: He’s guiding the Four Lands as best he can, but he is the only one who knows the longer story.
The second clip below is more Allanon as historian: Whether the miniseries has him alive during the slow fall into war and the change to magic is not clear. In either case, he knows more about the past than any other human. They were all born well after our civilization fell.
Flashback to Old Seattle
We get to see Wil’s mother. I cannot tell you how much this delights me. Though Terry Brooks writes an increasing number and variety of women into his books as the series goes on, The Elfstones of Shannara is still curiously masculine in its background; Wil has lived with his grandfather and great uncle. No one’s wife or mother is named or mentioned more than briefly. So, even if she’s in the miniseries only long enough to die; it’s good to know she’ll show up!
On other notes, the Wil as healer is mentioned briefly and hopefully will show more in the miniseries. He’s never really planned to be a fighter, so getting thrust into demon-slaying and legend-hunting is well out of his league. He, more than any other character, has to make things up as he goes along, and the clip captures that nicely.
It’s also clear now that he, Amberle, and Eretria will be meeting almost simultaneously, giving everyone’s character a chance to develop.
What’s interesting here is that this clip emphasizes her vulnerability more than anything. It’s not so much physical vulnerability as the emotional ties and fears she has. This would be disappointing if other clips had not shown her stronger side. As it is, showing her among family and friends gives a look at what she will be fighting for, and what she has to lose.
Eretria is given a bit more of a background here, though not a whole lot. The Rovers are shown to be a tough, only the strongest survive sort. Right now, they still look vaguely gypsy-ish. She’s tough and seductive which, at the moment, is rather a cliche. However, the character in the book is one of its highlights, so I’m trusting the miniseries will manage to flesh her out better than that description makes it sound.
King Eventine, Ander, and Arion
Life in the palace is tense! The king is getting old and has seen too much combat. He’s not happy with either of his potential heirs and is not sure how to manage them. The glimpses of the prince are too brief to tell much about them; the shot of Ander greeting Amberle in the “Amberle” clip is a more powerful character shot than any here.
Having Eventine deliberately hide the news about demons from anyone is quite a twist. Now, he not only has to fight them, he has to admit to everyone that he knew all along that they existed.