By Nick Romano
October 11, 2015 at 08:00 PM EDT
  • TV Show

MTV is getting in on the fantasy epic game with The Shannara Chronicles. To help bring this world to life, the actors underwent three weeks of preparation, complete with sword fighting and horseback riding with a particularly “skittish” horse. But it was this horse that helped them ease into the fantastical setting.

Austin Butler, Poppy Drayton, and Manu Bennett sat down in the EW and Sirius XM booth at New York Comic-Con and discussed their tumultuous training with Cricket. “One time I fell off the horse,” Drayton said. “I have the scars to prove it.”

Butler said bonding with the animal helped him center himself in the world of Shannara. “I took that month to learn how to saddle him and really bond with him, and I spent so much time with him… By the end of that little prep time, I could come up to him and stick my face against his face and give him big hugs, and that really centered me so much.”

According to Bennett, nobody expected a show of this scale to come from MTV. “Those guys are really, sort of, throwing their cards on the table — big chips, they’re going in there. It’s phenomenal because 10 years ago Peter Jackson said he couldn’t make Lord of the Rings until technology caught up. So the fact that they’re making Shannara Chronicles for television is a big jump into the realm of bringing technology to the forefront.”

Drayton described working on the series as this “beautiful bubble that you get completely all encompassed by.” She said, “Then to have the chance to present this bubble to the world — and hopefully they like it as much as you love it — is just really special I think.

The Shannara Chronicles debuts on MTV on Jan. 5.

  • TV Show
  • 2
  • 01/05/16
  • In Season
Complete Coverage

Episode Recaps