Shannara Chronicles Image

MTV is moving from the contemporary horror/comedy re-dos of Teen Wolf and Scream to realms of fantasy.

The channel has bankrolled The Shannara Chronicles, based on Terry Brooks‘ long-running series of fantasy novels. The first season is based on the second book, The Elfstones of Shannara, from when Brooks was still borrowing even more heavily from Tolkien than most fantasy writers of the ’70s and ’80s did.

Now we’ve got the first Shannara Chronicles photo, featuring the three actors who play some of the series’ lead characters.

Below you’ll see Ivana Baquero as Eretria, Austin Butler as Wil Ohmsford, and Poppy Drayton as Amberle Elessedil.

So, uh, who are they?

In short, there’s a world where elves created a spell to banish demons, and also created a tree to maintain the spell to keep the demons away. Now the tree is dying, and demons are making their way into the world.

Wil Ohmsford has family heirlooms called Elfstones, which contain magic enough to create a new tree. Amberle Elessedil is from a royal line, but has bailed on her heritage; her family line is also key to restoring the big Elven anti-malware spell that will keep demons at bay, and which can only be created in a specific place. And Eretria is a tough and plucky type who digs Wil and is game to help him out on the quest to get this job done.

That’s just the beginning. There’s also an old Gandalf-like wizard who guides, prods, and occasionally lies to characters, and then a whole B-plot about a mass of demons being held back by Elves as the kids try to complete their quest. If that all sounds complicated, especially for an MTV show, yeah. It is. So we’re curious to see just how it works.

The good news is that Jon Favreau and former Smallville showrunners Miles Millar and Al Gough are working on the series. We’ll likely see more at Comic Con, and hopefully get a sense of how well this has come together.

Here’s a larger version of the image:

shannara-chronicles

This is the book jacket copy for the novel, which helps summarize the plot further.

In the far future, unbeknown to humankind, an apocalyptic war is brewing. Fearsome, vengeful Demons rage at the boundaries of the world, held at bay by a spell called the Forbidding. But now that barrier is dying. Evil is beginning to break through. And only the Chosen can banish the Demons back to their realm.

Wil Ohmsford is a healer, not a fighter; a man of duty, not great deeds. But this epic battle seeks him out, for he holds the Elfstones: mysterious protective talismans passed down by his grandfather. Wil is recruited to act as guardian to the Elf girl Amberle, who must venture far to deliver a seed that will help the Forbidding to grow again. The fate of civilization rests upon her shoulders—and the completion of her mission rests upon Wil’s. Now, as the forces of darkness descend, Wil and Amberle embark on a perilous journey, placing their faith in each other to survive the bloodthirsty terrors that await.

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