Good defeated evil in the first season of The Shannara Chronicles, a fantasy series based on Terry Brooks’ novels, but don’t expect to see the heroes taking a victory lap.
A year after Amberle’s (Poppy Drayton) sacrifice to save the Ellcrys, a group of disillusioned war vets called the Crimson has begun hunting down anyone using magic, which they believe caused the conflict. Their primary targets: druid Allanon (Manu Bennett) and keeper of the elfstones Wil (Austin Butler). “They think the root of all their problems is magic, and they want to root it out,” co-creator Al Gough teases. “They’re rallying the people, especially the elves who have lost their homes… This season is really about consequences.”
In fact, while King Ander (Aaron Jakubenko) may appear to be in charge over in Arborlon, it’s chaos that’s truly reigning over the Four Lands, as the other races — save for the gnomes — have no interest in rebuilding a realm torn apart by war. “The elves aren’t on the top of the food chain anymore,” Gough explains. “They’ve been decimated, and other races are looking to potentially take control of it.”
What’s worse, Bandon (Marcus Vanco) has, to put it bluntly, gone all-in on being evil — a fact that Allanon still struggles with, given how he set Bandon on the path to harnessing his power. “Allanon feels incredible guilt for that, and you see that Bandon has formulated a plan to bring an even greater danger back into the Four Lands,” Gough says. “A lot of sins of season 1 are still being felt through season 2.”
On the bright side, these new villains mean new locations, including visits to far-flung sites like the Kingdom of Leah and Skull Mountain, as well as the addition of new characters like Mareth (Malese Jow) and Lyria (Vanessa Morgan). Oh, and don’t forget the menagerie of new creatures that are bound to make an appearance. “We’ve really ramped up the level of visual effects and world-building,” co-creator Miles Millar says. “We’ve really tried to step up and raise everything in terms of the storytelling, the visualization, the effects, and the locations.”
But the Crimson’s campaign isn’t the only consequence of war. Wil and Eretria (Ivana Baquero) still have to come to terms with losing Amberle. For Wil, that means moving on from the princess he thought was the love of his life until her transformation (tree-sformation?), and for Eretria, it means finding her way back to Arborlon after her capture at the end of season 1. After all, the rover remains clueless about what happened in Arborlon; for all she knows, Wil and Amberle are happily living together miles away, without any intention of finding her at all.
“She meant so much to Wil because he was in love with her, but for Eretria, Amberle was her only friend,” Baquero explains. “We’ll see how they deal with Amberle leaving, with how scarred they are, and how they take on those relationships again.” Despite everything that happened, though, Eretria does begin her season 2 journey in a comfortable place, Baquero adds: “We’ll find her at a good spot. She manages to find her way, and she’s doing her thing.” As she always does.
The Shannara Chronicles returns Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 10 p.m. ET on Spike.