SHANNARA CHRONICLES, the MTV murder of a potential new Game of Thrones
I started to read the Shannara books some time over a year ago and when I found out that a TV series is about to be launched I was full of hope that another Game of Thrones/Lord of the rings will emerge. The books are not perfect and here are 3 things that I would call weaknesses:
- The Shannara world looks small to me. Terry Brooks (the author) could have put more effort into creating a bigger map. He talks about a big world, wars and large populations but when you look at the map it feels like 3 days horse ride from north to south
- First book is a shameless copy of Lord of the Rings. Actually the Shannara TV series starts with the second book and when Brooks was asked why, he kind of lied saying that there was no strong female character in the first book. Yeah, sure….
- The author tends to repeat himself at times. Characters go to the same places and do the same things often which can make some action in some of the books a bit predictable
Outside those 3 points from above, the story is good and Mr. Brooks gets better and better in painting a cool adventure. I particularly like the magic idea of wishsong. Basically you sing your wish and it comes true. At first, some of the characters were wishing for simple things like flowers to grow and stuff but later on they figure the power of this magic and their wishes become more destructive and dangerous.
What would you wish for if you had the wishsong power? Six packs, a hot girlfriend, all the money in the world? Or would you simply wish for happiness in general? Oh wait, would you use your wish to punish somebody? “I wish carbs will get to her!”
You know in a way we do wish for things and sing quiet tunes in our heads. Maybe that silent song is what drives us towards our goals and fuels our ambitions to get what we really want. What if we wanted nothing at all, where would we be in life?
So I wished that Shannara books will turn into a movie and it did. But I should have wished more specific….that MTV was not the one to produce it. I guess they used up all their budget on VMA awards and Miley Cyrus productions and that is why they had nothing left for this TV series. I guess those huge Teddy Bears are expensive, right?
Here are a few things that are worlds apart from the books and not in a good way:
The main character, Will Ohmsford is ok but Amberle is far from it. Who in the world decided to cast that non stop weeping actress, I have no clue but should be fired. I haven’t seen in my entire life a woman with a face that looks like crying even when she tries to smile! And so far away from the Amberle from the books who was strong willed and very secretive.
Amberle almost crying:
Amberle trying to hold back tears:
And guess what! Amberle is CRYING again!
Good to see Manu Bennett (from Spartacus) as Allanon but the wizard suppose to be much taller. Again, casting director fired twice!
The great elf city of Arborlon looks majestic from the distance but very small and cheap from close up. The interior design reminds me more of Stargate at the beginnings than year 2016 and today’s technological possibilities.
In the end of this book you have an epic battle, Lord of the Rings type but that battle is almost ignored in the series. What’s up MTV, no budget for extras? Used them all in your MTV awards front stage circle? How can you release and epic fantasy story and skip the epic battle? And no, do not dare call those sparring bad acting fights between the trees a battle!
They show you hints right from the start that the story takes place somewhere in the future. Why rush with that information? This stuff you find out much later in the books and in a much cooler way!
Speaking of rushing….I guess MTV was afraid all their fans will reach puberty and that is why they rushed with the story so much altogether:(
Well, now I hear that a second season was ordered and I keep my fingers crossed that maybe MTV found some money to upgrade this show or Terry Brooks wakes up and stops this slaughter of his story.
Anyhow, looking forward to see how they will handle the almost complete change of characters because, SPOILER ALERT, every Shannara book is about a new generation. Same families and bloodlines but different characters.
Last week I just bought 2 more books that came out and waiting for the third one. I am not sure yet if Terry Brooks will finish with this trilogy called The Defenders of Shannara but I read somewhere that the end it suppose to be surprising…I just hope it will not be the MTV kind of surprise!
Don’t know what to recommend you….to read some of the books first or watch season one. Well, if you have the patience, go ahead and read the first trilogy (The Sword of Shannara trilogy) before you watch Shannara Chronicles.