Sunday, June 11, 2017
Just Finished Watching... The Shannara Chronicles
First off, like Shadowhunters, this was a show that started out in the seriously-not-great category. The dialogue... ugh. Some of it was cringe worthy and delivered very questionably by the actors. But I pushed through the awkwardness, and while not as addictive as Shadowhunters, Shannara Chronicles still ended up sucking me in well enough.
This kind of high fantasy usually isn't my thing. I'm not a Lord of the Rings fan, and have never seen any of the other movies related to the series (Hobbits or something?). The Shannara Chronicles probably helped keep my interest by the fact that it was kind of post-apocalyptic in that its set thousands of years into the future following the fall of man. That is now ancient history, and living memory has the Elves in control of the land after winning a war against the trolls and gnomes. Humans are still around, but they are now the lesser species.
What really stood out for me in this show? The best love triangle I've ever seen on any TV series or movie. But more on that in a minute.
Next, we have Wil. I thought Wil was a little wishy-washy at first, and not necessarily hero material. But you know, a hero called and created under adversity -- not through their own choice -- often makes the best hero. Wil's character arc is the classic Hero's Journey (read the book by Christopher Vogler), plot point for plot point.
We find out that Wil is the last of the Shannara, even though he didn't know it because his father changed their name and never told him. The Shannara were a long and ancient line of kings that once ruled the land (I think).
The love triangle isn't immediately apparent, though it is subtly established with Eretria seducing Wyl to trick him, and then Wil's obvious attraction to Amberle when he meets her. There were even interesting sparks between Amberle and Eretria in their first meeting, though they were more in the form of clashing personalities.
At first, Eretria is going against her will, simply a prisoner. But as the journey continues on, become more dangerous and complicated, the three grow closer, and soon Eretria has to make a choice -- her chance to escape, or stay and help them complete the journey. Of course, she chooses to stay, and by now the love triangle is well and truly established.
In one particular episode, Eretria makes a move on Amberle -- hard to say why, there could have been a number of reasons to do with Wil, because it's obvious Wil cares for Amerble and Eretria is a little jealous, or just testing Amberle's vulnerabilities. Either way, when Amberle rebuffs her, I think Eretria is more hurt by it than she expected to be. Later in the same episode, Amberle thinks Wil has been killed, and after she discovers he's alive and she escapes the crazy guy trying to kill her, she kisses him, partly because it'd been building up for so long, but a lot of it would have been simple relief.
It's very clear by this stage that Wil has feelings for both girls, though he and Ameberle have shared several kisses. Amberle never really seems jealous of the fact that Wil also clearly cares for Eretria at this point (though at the beginning, after she found out they'd slept together, she did make a few snarky jealous comments). In fact, Amberle seems to care about Eretria just as much at this late stage in the journey.
Funnily enough, this is not the first polyamorous relationship I've shipped, and the other one was very recent as well. In Cable Girls, though I didn't mention it in the post I wrote, one of the girls was in a committed relationship with a man, but then another woman came along, and while at first they were friends, this woman made a move on the girl, throwing her into a clear state of sexual confusion. She did try to resist, but it was obvious she was also curious and attracted to the woman. Her boyfriend eventually caught them kissing, and while he was a little hurt that she'd betrayed him, he was very accepting. Maybe because he was secretly also attracted to this woman. Suffice to say they all ended up in bed together and seemed to commence a polyamorous relationship, and I'm very interested to see whether they maintain this into the second half of season 1, when it releases later in the year.
But back to the Shannara Chronicles.
Now for some serious spoilerage. In the final episode, after completing the task they'd set out to do, the three of them were being chased by trolls. Eretria stayed behind, giving Wil and Amerle a chance to escape, because even though they'd done what they needed, the kingdom wasn't going to be safe until Amberle made it back to the tree. Both Wil and Amberle were clearly upset and torn about leaving her, but in the end, they didn't have a choice.
The season closed on Wil leaving to find Eretria. I was hoping that season 2 would see Wil and Eretria searching for some way to release Amberle from the tree without releasing all the demons again. But a bit of googling told me a different story. Apparently a year has passed when the series starts back, and Wil has moved on by himself. Circumstance force him and Eretria to team up again. and Amberle doesn't get a mention, so I'm sadly assuming she's gone for good.
Either way, I was sucked in enough that I'll at least make a start on season 2 whenever it starts on Netflix. But I won't lie, if Amberle really isn't coming back, then I'm going to be sorely disappointed about the waste of a perfectly awesome love triangle.