In Review: The Shannara Chronicles – Chosen Part 1

Princess Amberle Elessedil is selected to be a member of the Chosen that cares for the most sacred Elven tree, the Ellcrys.

Synopsis: Princess Amberle Elessedil is selected to be a member of the Chosen that cares for the most sacred Elven tree, the Ellcrys. However she is given a vision of the Ellcrys dying, which could mean trouble for the Four Lands.

Review: This first episode of the latest fantasy television series shows much promise, but for most part just sets up the premise.

We’re introduced to Princess Elessedil, who has become one of the Chrosen, which is a group of Elven warriors that tend to and look after the Ellcrys tree, which is said to imprison several demons from an ancient war. When the princess starts to have visions from the tree things get decidedly interesting and somewhat difficult for her.

During the episode we also get introduced to Will who is half elf and half human. Filled with remorse at not being able to use his healing gifts to cure his mother. Will sets off on a journey to seek out knowledge and learn from the greatest healers in the land. But he is attacked along his way by a troll only to be saved by Catania a human who lives in the woods and has her own reasons for helping young will, which are yet to be revealed.

This first episode did much to set things up, but I find it somewhat annoying that 5Star the channel, which is broadcasting the series here in the UK chose only to show the first part and did not show the first two episodes back to back like they were shown in the USA.

We get some great performances here from Manu Bennett who plays Allanon the last of the human Druids and John Rhys Davies who plays King Elessedil.

Also impressing are the younger cast members. Poppy Drayton who plays Princess Elessedil shows a great deal of maturity with her performance and easily holds her own among the more experienced actors. Austin Butler who plays Will hasn’t really had to much to do as of yet, but he is playing a somewhat naive character on the beginning of his journey. So I think he’ll likely eventually warm up.

This is a series am likely to follow and although aimed at young adults. It has the same level of maturity that The 100 does in that there is none of the ridiculous striking the pose for the cameras shit that you see in a lot of the teen shows out there.


The Shannara Chronicles - Chosen Part 1
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Visual FX
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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