The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep10 – Ellcrys

The Shannara Chronicles concluded with an eventful and emotional finale full of epic battle scenes and moving sacrifices. All the characters’ paths finally intersected as the fate of the Four Lands was decided.

Picking up directly where the penultimate episode left off, Amberle, Wil, and Eretria make their way back to Arborlon after Amberle comes to a crucial decision about her role in the quest. Meanwhile, King Ander musters the allied forces of elves and gnomes to fight the oncoming demon horde led by the Dagda Mor. Bandon also had a few pivotal scenes that radically altered the role he was expected to play in the larger scheme of things.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep10 - EllcrysEretria was absent for most of the episode, having chosen to sacrifice herself to buy Wil and Amberle enough time to escape the trolls of Safehold. Her fate was left ambiguous but there’s a pretty good probability that she survived this ordeal, and it will be interesting to see what she will be up to in the second season.

The finale managed to balance these two story lines and give the main characters enough screen time while also tying the stories together in a believable way. The performances were solid and engaging and the battle scenes were well executed. Every moment of this last episode was maximized and gave the characters time to deal with the consequences of their actions.

One crucial part of the battle is the showdown between Allanon and the Dagda Mor, which has been long overdue. It’s easily the highlight of the battle scenes, since these are two of the most powerful beings in The Shannara Chronicles. But it’s also a bit strange for fans of The Hobbit trilogy, considering the roles have been reversed here and it’s basically a duel between Azog and Nori.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep10 - EllcrysKing Ander proves a worthy leader by leading his men into an epic battle, with impressively-executed action sequences with the three armies clashing together. He acquits himself creditably in the fight, but suffers a painful reunion with his brother Arion who had been turned into a demon. Arion begs his brother to kill him and Ander tearfully complies, although the experience has clearly left him shaken.

This isn’t the darkest part of the episode, with Bandon manipulating Catania to release him from his prison. It’s clear that dark forces still control him, much to the dismay of both Catania and Allanon. At the end of the episode, we see a hooded, dark-eyed Bandon at the Dagda Mor’s lair, clearly setting him up to be the villain for a future series, should there be one.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep10 - EllcrysAmberle was at the heart of everything, not just in this episode, but for the whole show as well. It was clear from the beginning that she was chosen to save the Four Lands and that this destiny would come with a heavy cost. She is saddened by this and manages to steal a few tender moments with Wil, all the while knowing what she must do.

Despite her reluctance to fulfill her destiny because of her deep feelings for Wil, she eventually comes to terms with her responsibility and makes the heartbreaking choice of becoming the seed of the new Ellcrys. Her noble sacrifice revives the tree and re-imprisons all the demons in the Forbidding. Amberle’s selfless act saves the world even if it breaks her heart. In the end, her duty came before her personal desires, making her a true hero in a world full of characters capable of greatness.

Wil is understandably upset by these circumstances, but Allanon tells him that it was Amberle’s choice and that he must learn to accept it. Though still reeling from this loss, Wil decides to go back and save Eretria, unwilling to lose another important person in his life.

The Shannara Chronicles, S1 Ep10 - EllcrysThe series covered the main plot of its source material, The Elfstones of Shannara, and moving forward, there is still so much potential for future adventures with these established characters. Wil is on his way to Eretria and Allanon will surely have to confront Bandon somehow, once the latter assumes a more sinister role. Allanon mentions that the Dagda Mor is only the beginning of the darker forces that will threaten the Four Lands, and a more courageous Wil dares these menaces to come. He and the rest of the characters have grown so much over the course of the series that they are better equipped to face any coming trials.

The final episode of The Shannara Chronicles effectively resolved the season-long story lines while also setting things up intriguingly for a second season, should the show be renewed. The season was able to cover the main threads in the source material while leaving room for more exciting developments. The fate of the Four Lands may be certain for now, but the fate of The Shannara Chronicles is yet to be decided. Hopefully, this will not be the last we see of the rich and fascinating world of Shannara.