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The Shannara Chronicles - Wraith - Review: "This is about the survival of the elves"



When season 2 was announced with a complete cast overhaul and a new channel, it was anyone's guess what the outcome of that would be. The season premiere was a slow, introductory episode to the season. There was limited action and not really much happened overall, but it did set the tone for the season with a continuous story carried over from last seasons end.

The Wraith continued to build up the story and started to bring together the core characters once again. One problem I do have with that though is there are a lot of new characters that have just been thrown into the show and somehow, we are expected to take to them as if they had been with us since the series premiere. A good show takes its time to introduce its characters and most shows only bring in one or two new ones per season, something which this show has done a bad job off. By introducing us to nearly 5 new characters so early in the season makes it really hard to actually care about them or to know what they are actually doing.

Take General Riga for example, I get what he's doing but where did this guy come from. Riga just appeared in the premiere and now is taking a role as another villain, which is mind-blowing considering we haven't had any build-up of his character at all. It’s good to have multiple story arcs, but too many at once can backfire and I fear it might in this shows case considering season 1 had one core story arc throughout which worked so well and that we gradually were introduced bit by bit to the Dag-Damor. But, having said all that, the rapid pace of the season and the more darker direction the show is taking is a very bold, but step in the right direction.

There was a lot of revelations this episode, which is something we've come to expect from this show. The perhaps biggest one was over in the Lyria and Eretria relationship. Lyria is a princess. A princess who is due to wed the lovable King Ander, no thanks to her mother who she despises. We don't know Lyria that well but it’s clear already Eretria is head over heels for her. Eretria never gets the easy life. First she' loves somebody who doesn't love her back and now somebody who has lied to her since she first layed eyes upon her. Eretria hopefully will get the full happiness she so truly deserves.

Speaking about King Ander. He may have won the war, but he hasn't one over the people. The people dislike him, and he needs alliances, if he has any chance of remaining on the throne. He has turned to the human Queen Tamlin for help. Though she seems genuine she most certainly has a secret agenda like Allanon mentioned. I'm all but certain her plan is to marry Ander to her daughter then once Lyria is placed on the throne have Ander killed off, so Leigh has control of two kingdoms therefore furthering her position and power. Tamlin would be a fool to do that but she certainly has something up her sleeve and you can bet it won't be good.

Ander's lover Catania who he would prefer to marry if it wasn't for all this politics has just been stabbed and left for dead by one of Ander's most respected and trusted advisors. Is there anyone he can trust. During season 1 the countless traitors that were unmasked was staggering and now this season has its first. Though we don't know quite yet who General Dane is sided with. Is is General Riga, Queen Tamlin or somebody else? Whatever the outcome, Ander is not safe from all sides. You can bet he won't be on that throne long at this rate just like his father.

Allanon had just started to enact a plan to save our friend Wil, when Riga attacked and took him prisoner. There was something about this scene that didn't sit well with me. Allanon, a highly trained druid in not just magic but fighting too was taking down by a human, and so quickly too? Just not a chance. Even without his magic you would expect him to put up a reasonable fight, but one punch and he was down like a ton of bricks. Also, where on earth did Riga get that hand piece and why doesn't magic affect him whilst wearing it. Questions, questions and more questions.

Speaking of questions, will Bandon ever be saved or is he on a path of no return which all signs point toward? Bandon was a queit boy in the first season who didn't really serve much purpose but now he's been exposed and transformed into darkness. He is the enemy now and as much as Wil and Allanon would love to save his soul, I believe it is too late. Bandon was a puppet for the Dag-Damor and now he is furthering his work alone and is creating something far eviller, something that dates back to Wil's father. Bandon is dark and I'm really liking him as a villain character. He has all the makings of a character who we love to hate. We love him for what he used to be, but hate him now for what he's becoming.

Though despite all that you can still see he has a heart somewhere still. He remembers and appreciates Wil for what he had done for him and that was a nice touch, it shows he's not completely lost just yet.

Summary
This was an excellent follow-up to a lacklustre premiere. Though the introduction of multiple characters is very hard to follow and killing of more favourites isn't going to make us like the new ones any more. The shows new dark turn is very intriguing, and I really like the direction the show is taking. It’s getting bolder and taking more risks, something the first season never did. Overall, this season has a ton of potential with its multiple story arcs and I really do look forward to seeing where this season takes us.





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