Fans of Terry Brooks’ Shannara book series were thrown for a loop during the second episode of The Shannara Chronicles, when MTV’s adaptation of The Elfstones of Shannara introduced a character named Bandon (Marcus Vanco) who was never once mentioned in any of the best-selling novels.
“Bandon is not in the books,” executive producer Miles Millar confirms to Nerdist. “He’s someone we created. We liked the idea of having an elf character who could stay at the palace who basically [was] the opposite of Wil [Austin Butler]. He has magical ability, but it’s very different from Wil’s.”
Bandon confided in Wil about his intense magical powers during last week’s action-packed episode. Turns out, Bandon can see when someone is going to die just by touching them. That’s why his family kept him chained up inside their barn—they were frightened of his powers. Millar reveals that Bandon is going to be taken under Allanon’s (Manu Bennett) wing as he learns how to wield his powers to help the greater good. Unless, of course, he decides to use them for evil.
“He almost becomes Allanon’s apprentice,” Millar says. “He knows Bandon can go two ways. He can either be a force for good or a force for the darkness. The show will follow Bandon as he chooses which path to take. That won’t be resolved until the end of the season. His relationship with Allanon is unique and very interesting to watch as it develops.”
Meanwhile, Amberle (Poppy Drayton) was told to harden her heart in order to succeed on her quest to save the Ellcrys. But what does that mean for her blossoming relationship with Wil, especially after she learned that he slept with Eretria (Ivana Baquero)?
“It’s certainly very complicated,” Millar says with a laugh. “We like the idea that just as soon as you think they’re going to get together, they’re torn apart. As a writer, you’re always looking for obstacles for your relationships. You think they’re going to fall in love, but nope! The fate of the world actually depends on them not falling in love. There’s a good reason why they can’t be together. It’s frustrating. But there is certainly enough romantic spark to keep things interesting between the three of them all season.”
Things won’t be any easier back at the palace in Arborlon after the three heroes set off on their quest to save the Ellcrys, since the Changeling is still alive even though everyone thought Allanon killed it. The shapeshifting demon has not killed its last victim.
“The Changeling comes straight from the book, and we loved the idea of exploring that further,” Millar says. “As our three heroes head off on their quest, you see the Changeling wreaking havoc at the royal palace in Arborlon. It’s a nasty demon and it plays a big role in this first season. It causes a lot of damage. Before it is discovered, a lot of blood will be shed.”
Are you glad the showrunners decided to change things up and introduce a whole new character on the show? Or do you wish they stayed true to Brooks’ novels? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
The Shannara Chronicles airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on MTV.