Shannara Chronicles Season 2 episode 2: Wraith Recap and review

The Shannara Chronicles is back with new characters and interesting additions to the world and to characters’s backstories.  Here are my thoughts about the episode named Wraith.

Episode two was definitely an eye opening and broadens the world of Shannara by quite a bit.  There are a lot of shifting alliances, introduction of new characters and a fleshing out of the current characters.  Here are the most memorable point and events in this episode for the characters.

Will and Mareth

Will and Mareth’s bond grows stronger as they are chased throughout most of the episode by the Mord Wraiths.  In Shady Vale, we get to meet Flick Ohmsford again, but it seems it is not only the Crimson who are after him.  I think the most memorable scene for  Mareth is when she stands alone to distract the incoming group of Mord Wraiths while Wil and Flick hide in the barn.  It is an epic scene that leads into the climax of the episode.  I love the shot of Mareth standing alone in a field as she is about to face a vastly stronger adversary on her own.

And she is not the only one to fight a battle in this episode.  Wil’s most important scene is one of the last in the barn with his uncle.  His uncle and Wil find themselves trapped in by the leader of the Mord Wraiths and Bandon.

Bandon goes straight after Wil and asks him (forcibly) where the skull of the Warlock Lord is.  Wil, obviously, has no idea what Bandon is talking about, but Bandon quickly discovers that Wil was not the Shannara the sword was referring to who would know where the skull is.  The sword was referring to Shea Ohmsford, Wil’s father, and the hero that helped defeat the Warlock Lord and hide his skull decades earlier.

Now it turns out there are only a few people alive that know where that skull is: Allanon, Shea and Flick because Flick accompanied Shea on his adventure to stop the Warlock Lord.  Flick makes this known when Bandon is on the verge of killing Wil.  He tells Bandon that the skull is hidden in a magical safe deep within the Druid keep of Paranor where only someone like Allanon can access it.

This makes things tricky as the Mord Wraith and Bandon can see the issue.  So what does Bandon do?  He takes Flick hostage and gives Wil a time limit to find the skull and bring it to him or else he will kill his uncle.  Wil is then left alone with these startling revelations about his father and the stark task of finding the skull in front of him.  At one point, it is also revealed that Wil is dangerous to the Warlock Lord because only a Shannara wielding the sword of Shannara can deal the Warlock lord a deadly blow.

What I really liked about this part was how they brought in the back history of Shea Ohmsford and people watching the show get to see more and more of the book series brought in.  I really hope we get to see some flashback of Shea Ohmsford’s first fight with the Warlock Lord.

Eretria and Lyria

Eretria and Lyria find themselves in quite the situation as they are bound and left hanging by a band of rovers continuing straight off the events of the last episode.

When things look like they are about to get a lot worse for the two young women, a new character by the name of Garet Jax shows up and easily handles all the rovers.  Garet, though, is both a blessing and curse as he does free them from their bonds, but then reveals his true identity and mission: he is a bounty hunter and he has been sent to track down Lyria.

Lyria recognizes Garet, but does not want to go quietly with him.  Eretria is definitely not going to let him take Lyria without a fight, but she is, sadly, knocked out and Garet takes Lyria.  As it turns out, Lyria is actually a princess of the human kingdom of Leah, and her mother, the Queen of Leah, has commissioned Garet to bring her daughter home.

Now here is where we get a little more fleshing out of Lyria’s character.  Lyria ran away from her mother because she did not like the confines and restrictions in her role as Princess as she knew her mother would marry her off to anyone who would secure her mother a powerful alliance.  It seems, though, as we learn later in the episode that Lyria has had several different dalliances with different people before and Eretria is not the first.

Now Eretria wakes up and chases after Lyria and Garet.  She does catch up to Garet in the royal brothel where he reveals to her Lyria’s true identity.  It seems Lyria was not completely honest with Eretria about who she was.  Eretria is then brought before the queen where she is given money and told to leave or face steeper consequences.  When it comes to love, Eretria does not want to take the money, but that is when Mommie dearest tells Eretria of all of Lyria’s earlier attempts to run away and her earlier lovers.  The queen is very clever and knows how to manipulate a situation and people to her advantage.

Eretria is being lead away, but is stopped by Lyria, who is both shocked and dismayed at seeing the plight that Eretria is in.  In a brief conversation, it is brought up that Lyria’s mother wants her to marry the Elven king who is in the castle.  Eretria immediately knows she is talking about Ander and now knows that Ander is in the castle.  Eretria tells Lyria to tell King Ander that she is here.  Just Eretria predicts, King Ander takes her under his diplomatically protective wing which gets Eretria out of being kicked out of the castle or worse.

But her meeting Ander and Allanon again reveals to her the sad truth as to what happened to Amberle.  It also reveals to her that Amberle’s warning is real as Wil is really in danger from the Mord Wraiths.

Now the biggest scene for Eretria is when she knows Wil is in danger and she is now determined to find him.  She and Catania are on their way to do just that when Lyria stops her one last time.  Eretria confronts Lyria on her past and her lies, but then gives Lyria one last chance: she gives her the opportunity to run away with her on her mission to find Wil.  Lyria declines coming with her in the pretense that her mother would stop at nothing to hunt her down. This breaks something between the two of them as we see Eretria is fed up with all of the drama.  Eretria leaves in search of Wil on her own.  What will become of Lyria and was what she felt for Eretria real?  I have a feeling that both Garet Jax and Lyria are not done with this story yet.

Ander and the Kingdom of Leah

Ander has quite a few important, but small moments in this.  King Ander is finding himself in a rock and a hard place.  He needs allies, and finds a potential one in the human kingdom of Leah.  He is given an invitation to meet with the Queen.  Now Ander also meets up with Allanon with only his trusted inner circle which include one guardsman, Slantor, and Catania as the Crimson is after any and all magic users especially Allanon.  Allanon hears of the invite from the Queen of Leah and tells Ander that he needs to accept the invitation as this may be a vital allegiance.  If the Warlock Lord is resurrected, Ander is going to need all the help he can get.

Allanon accompanies King Ander to the Kingdom of Leah which has this beautiful and opulent capital city which sits on the edge of a lake.  In the city, we learn a few new things: 1.) Catania and Ander have a relationship going on which does not seem to be well known 2.) the Queen of Leah gives Ander an offer of an alliance if he marries her daughter Lyria. By this time Lyria is back and now knows that she has been offered up as a bride for Ander.

Now the Queen of Leah is quite savvy in this episode and she really knows how to play the political game well.  She knows that Ander is in a bind and needs allies.  She also knows that if she gets her daughter on the Elven throne that this would widen her sphere of influence and control.  I have to give major props to the Queen, but she may still find that she has some stumbling blocks mainly with her own daughter Lyria.

In Lyria’s conversation with Eretria before Eretria leaves, she brings up a haunting warning about her mother: her mother hates Elves and must have something up her sleeve if she is considering marrying her daughter off to the King of the Elves.  What is the Queen of Leah up to?

And Ander is not too keen on living in a loveless marriage, but he may not have a choice in the matter as his options are limited and his people must come before his own happiness.  It seems Ander finds himself in quite the predicament, but things are about to get even rockier in the Kingdom of Leah after the events at the end of this episode.

Crimson and Allanon

So the Crimson are hard on the heels of any magic user, but they are particularly trying to catch Wil and Allanon.  General Riga is hellbent in catching Allanon.  Things take a turn for the worse in this episode for Allanon.  It seems that the Crimson have a traitor in King Ander’s inner circle which tipped off General Riga to the whereabouts of Allanon.

At the end of the episode, Catania and Eretria are stealing out of the castle to find Wil when they stumble upon a battle between Allanon and General Riga and his men in the courtyard.  General Riga has a weapon of some sort that stymies Allanon’s magical power, which shocks Allanon, and gives General Riga time to knock Allanon out.  The two girls watch in horror as a knocked out Allanon is collared with a magical deterring collar, put on the back of a horse and taken out of the castle.  General Riga mentions that they are heading to Fort Graymark.

Catania and Eretria find themselves at a crossroads.  Eretria knows that she needs to find Wil as she knows he is in danger from what Allanon has told her about Bandon and the Mord Wraiths.  They decide that Eretria will have to continue on alone to find Wil while Catania stays back to warn King Ander about what has happened to Allanon in order to send a search party after him.

Now here is the sad part.  Catania goes back to the room to find the king and finds his guardsman.  She tells the guardsman what has happened to Allanon and how she has to tell the king.  He asks her if anyone else knows about this and she says no.  The guardsman, or shall I now say traitor, kills Catania.  Catania has been with the series from the first episode, and even though she played a small role, it was still sad to see her go.  I do wonder though if a small part of her did not fully trust the guard because she had the savvy to lie about who else knew about what has happened to Allanon.

This episode was definitely action packed and full of some interesting plot and character developments.  Things are really going to hit the fan once the death of Catania is revealed and Allanon going missing comes to light.  What will King Ander do?  And what will the Queen of Leah do?  Did she know about the Crimson and their abduction of Allanon?  Fans will have to wait until episode 3 to find out.

Nods to the book series

-The Kingdom of Leah is a real human kingdom in the series that is not apart of the human federation.  It’s main castle is on Rainbow lake.  It is the kingdom to which a Menion Leah is from who was one of Shea Ohmsford’s companions in the fight against the Warlock Lord.  Will we see Menion Leah in the show?  Only time will tell.

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