The Shannara Chronicles: Background Information

first posted July 23, 2015
estimated read time: 3 minutes and 31 seconds

I previously wrote about why you should be excited for MTV’s upcoming show The Shannara Chronicles, and now with the recent release of the teaser trailer, now seems as good of a time as any to give a brief history of the Shannara universe and backstory.

But first, watch the new trailer below!

[videoPlayer type=”youtube” video =”crjkQHnDYu0″]

The Shannara Chronicles MTV

MTV is creating a new show called The Shannara Chronicles and I really couldn’t be happier about it if I tried! Set to air early January 2016, it really seems like MTV has gone all out with this production – but what is The Shannara Chronicles all about?

A History of the World

The Shannara Chronicles is set in the Four Lands in the distant future where life has been reset due to a nuclear war. Even though the entire story happens in this time period, it’s important to know what happened in the past to possess a true understanding of the Four Lands.

Distant Past

Shannara Chronicles Distant Past

Long before humans were really around, the world was inhabited by Faerie creatures – creatures of magic. There were many different types, but the two most dominant were the Elves and the Demons. The Elves took joy in nature and things that grow, while the Demons took pleasure in destruction. An inevitable clash between the two begins.

Without getting into too much detail, the Elves and their allies were losing. Unable to destroy their opponents, they opted to banish them to a purgatory-like realm called The Forbidding. The Forbidding is powered by a tree called the Ellcrys.


Shannara Chronicles Past

With the Demons banished from the lands, peace reigned the world for a time. Man started to walk the Earth, but the creatures of Faerie paid them little notice. But Man possessed three extraordinary talents that would solidify them as the most powerful race.

Breeding: In comparison to Faerie creatures, Man was able to multiply their numbers at an extreme rate.
Adaptability: Unlike the Faerie creatures who were generally confined to certain geographical locations, Man was able to adapt the environment to them, allowing them to survive in many areas and extreme conditions.
Technology: Man pioneered and harnessed technology, far the most powerful tool.

With no more wars, the Elves slowly started to forget their more powerful magics, and with Man so powerful and destroying the habits at such an alarming rate, the Elves and any remaining creatures of Faerie opted to remain secluded and hidden.

Near Future

Shannara Chronicles Near Future

Sadly, a nuclear war destroyed most life on the planet and irreversibly altered the geography. Some men escaped the fallout through luck or by living in remote areas, some men fled deep into the mountains, and some Men and their children would be irreversibly genetically altered by the radiation.

These would become the races of Men, Dwarves, and Trolls. It is around this time that the Elves decided to come forth into the world and announce their presence, but it’s important to note that by this point, they possess little to no magic.

Generations later, some people with knowledge of the old world science (either verbally passed down or via possessing surviving books) banded together to become the order of the Druids. Their purposed was to amalgamate and safe guard their knowledge, knowledge to be used to benefit all of the Four Lands. Through their research, they discovered the use of Magic. Fearing the pursuit of technology (it destroyed the old world after all), the Druids decided to champion the use of magic while strictly regulating science.

Far Future.

Shannara Chronicles Far Future

Now here is where the real story begins. The Four Lands (each land belongs to one of the main four races), is recovering from a war with the Warlock Lord – an ex-druid who corrupted the race of Trolls for world domination.

The now ancient Ellcrys (the aforementioned tree powering the Forbidding) was always thought of as everlasting by the Elven people, but now her leaves are fading away.

The last of his kind, the lone and enigmatic druid Allanon must seek one who would have the courage and resolve to provide a means for the Ellcrys to be reborn, and stop the Four Lands from being overrun by darkness.


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