Okay, so (almost) everybody’s talking about the TV adaptation of Terry Brook’s Shannara series. And since nothing is ever perfect in this world, or in fictional worlds, there will always be reasons why the Shannara Chronicles or the books disappoint some of us.
Races and Characters
Gnomes, dwarves, trolls, elves, humans, wizards or druids, and changelings – these are all huge characters in previous fantasy books, particularly those of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
It had Sauron-like character called Brona, the bodiless evil enemy in the Shannara series. It had Aragorn-like character, a nomad fighter who was also heir to the throne. There’s a Gandalf-like character, a human-cum-druid who helps the protagonists at all costs. Humans, elves and dwarves have this on and off relationship, much like in the Lord of the Rings. There’s a Lord Denethor-like character who goes mad and fails to protect his kingdom.
Worlds and Plots
Shannara depicts the Earth thousands of years after the fallout of technology, and so magic emerged along with other races. Still one can’t help but notice that Shannara’s world(s) portray similarities to that of the fictional worlds in other books and stories such as LOTR and Star Wars.
The team (or fellowship) set out on a quest underneath a dark mountain like that of the mines of Moria. The races have issues against each other but must help each other fight a bigger and common enemy. The elves go on a sabbatical leave only to reveal they’ve been hiding because the greater enemy is out there so irresistibly dark and dangerous.
Tolkien has successfully become king author of fantasy novels, and succeeding authors can’t help but rip-off some of his ideas into their own, which is forgivable really. And although Brooks’ stories may actually be so similar with LOTR, the combination of science fiction and fantasy makes it a mishmash of LOTR and Star Wars, which makes it still strangely unoriginal, but a good read or watch on its own.