The Shannara Chronicles – Season 2
The Shannara Chronicles returns to television with its second season this week on Spike. The series originally aired on MTV, but has moved to a new network for its next installment. Based on the novels by Terry Brooks, The Shannara Chronicles Season 2 picks up a year after the events of the first season.
New York Comic-Con featured a Shannara panel on Saturday morning, and it was completely packed. Attendees got to watch the opening scenes of the new season and then enjoyed a discussion with key members of the cast. Read on, but there are some spoilers below.
The first season of Shannara followed the events of the second book in the series, The Elfstones of Shannara. Because the books were written in a generational fashion, resuming the series with the next book would have meant completely recasting the show. The producers decided to stick with the show’s original characters, but to tell some new stories based upon Terry Brooks’ established mythology.
One year after the conclusion of season one, we are going to see how Wil Ohmsford (Austin Butler) and Eretria (Ivana Baquero) have changed. Eretria has come to realize that Wil and Amberle never came looking for her, and she doesn’t even know that Amberle (Poppy Drayton) sacrificed herself to become the new Ellcrys. After the loss of Amberlie, Wil has fallen into despair, abandoning his powers. He is training to become a healer, but we will see him question his purpose through the new season, and eventually learn to find hope again.
The cast hinted that we’re going to get to see all of the characters meet each other at some point in the season. New characters are also going to appear, and fans got a sneak peek of Lyria (Vanessa Morgan) in the clip shown at the panel. Vanessa was in attendance at the panel also and stated that traveling to New Zealand to film the show was a scary prospect, but that everyone was so nice that it made it an awesome experience.
Another new character was glimpsed in the preview: Mareth (Malese Jow). We get to see her interact with Wil, and it is clear that she has magical powers and a secret. She is going to be a catalyst for Wil’s journey, with bad things starting to happen for him as soon as she is in the picture.
The new season also brings new enemies. General Riga leads the Crimson, a group of rebel elves who hate magic-users. In the opening scenes of Season 2, King Ander (Aaron Jakubenko) encounters some of their victims. Viewers will also get to see new places in the Shannara world: the Kingdom of Leah, Skull Mountain, and Graymark.
Manu Bennett, playing Allanon, gave fans some additional information about the upcoming season. He hinted that all the characters are going to have to learn that using magic has a price. He described the dialogue as being more consequential this season, and commented on how hard the physical aspect of the work on the show was. Manu was very excited for fans to see the season, and told the audience how proud he was of the new episodes. He also hinted at a scene in which both Allanon and Wil are strung up together by an enemy. He explained how it made for a great bonding moment between the two of them as they had to decide how to act the scene.
Elaborating further on the new season, Manu applauded the set design and costumes, as well as new lighting technology that brought out even more detail and color. From what was shown, in the preview, his excitement seems to be on point.
Cast members were asked a few fun questions toward the end of the panel. When invited to share their favorite scenery in New Zealand, Ivana chose several places, including the beaches, mountains, sand dunes, and the southern part of the North Island. Vanessa loved Queenstown, and Austin found sunrises on the beach to be the most memorable (because he normally doesn’t get up that early).
Since this was Comic-Con, the cast was asked to name a superhero influence. Vanessa chose either Halle Berry’s Catwoman or Storm. Austin and Ivana both picked Spiderman. Even though he wasn’t exactly a superhero, Manu decided on Indiana Jones, at which point the room erupted into a rendition of Indy’s theme song, ending the panel on an adventurous note.
The Shannara Chronicles Season 2 is on Wednesdays on SpikeTV.