The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep4 – Changeling

The trio of heroes is finally assembled in this episode of The Shannara Chronicles, as Eretria makes her way to Arborlon and gets a lot more than she bargained for.

The episode begins with Amberle undergoing her test within the Ellcrys. She is surrounded by terrible visions of the world overrun by demons and all the hardships she will have to endure during her quest. A vision resembling a more assertive version of Wil appears before her and taunts her, testing her strength. Her main test is to kill this Wil, which she eventually does. But all this comes with a warning that pretty much boils down to, “don’t fall in love because the quest comes first.” And with the way a love triangle is being set up in this show, this might prove to be a real challenge.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep4 - ChangelingShe emerges victorious from the test and is granted the seed of the Ellcrys. Her grandfather is immensely proud of her and even gives her her father’s sword to help her on her journey.

While all this is going on, Eretria infiltrates Arborlon to try and steal back the Elfstones. She enters Wil’s chambers and though for a moment he doesn’t fall for her tricks, he eventually gives in (REALLY, WIL, REALLY?) and sleeps with her. Honestly, were it not for his Shannara blood and thus his genetic ability to wield the Elfstones, Wil is proving to be the most inept member of this heroic trio.

Eretria leaves with the Elfstones but gets recognized by Amberle in the hallway. But the changeling sees her and morphs into her before attempting to kill Amberle and her friend. Fortunately, Bandon steps in since he had a vision of Eretria doing this, and prevents changeling!Eretria from murdering anyone.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep4 - ChangelingRealizing how useful Bandon’s visions are, Allanon asks him to touch one of the murdered Chosen in order to help find out who among the demons has infiltrated Arborlon. He figures out that a changeling has been shapeshifting into different people in order to wreak havoc on everything. Much to Amberle’s dismay, Eretria’s help is enlisted to try and find the changeling.

They eventually lure it out as it tries to attack Amberle in Wil’s form, making this the second time in the episode a fake Wil has made an attempt on Amberle’s life. Is this some kind of foreshadowing or is that just me?

They kill the changeling and have its body burned. But as the end of the episode shows, it survived to cause even more trouble for our heroes.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep4 - ChangelingMind-reading Allanon gets Amberle to admit that in her vision of the quest, she also saw Eretria with them. He chooses to stay behind to protect the rest of the kingdom against any attacking demons. And so, despite everyone’s objections to this plan, Eretria is roped into joining the quest to bring the seed of the Ellcrys to Safehold. Wil anticipates even more tension along the way since the two girls are already hostile towards each other, though Amberle is a bit more willing to defer to the wishes of the Ellcrys.

If there really is a love triangle brewing among these three, I really hope it is handled well because both Amberle and Eretria are fascinating characters who should not have to butt heads over some guy. Especially not Wil, Elfstones or no Elfstones.

But The Shannara Chronicles has picked up the pace and the epic journey is underway, with some interesting character dynamics to look forward to as well as powerful and dangerous foes along the way.