Poll: What Character Deserves a Full-Length Novel?


Character drives narrative.

When Terry was at Powell’s Books on August 15th, he was asked about whether or not he had any plans to write a book about the King of the Silver River. Terry gets this question a lot, especially if you can insert a different character name into the question.

He answered the question like this. He has no plans. He has enough on his plate as it is and he doesn’t have the time to write a book about the King of the Silver River, or Allanon, or Garet Jax, or Cogline, etc.

But that doesn’t mean the fans don’t crave it.

So, if there was one character you’d want to have a full-length novel devoted to, who would it be?

There are some excellent choices.

For me, personally, I’d want Cogline. The ex-Druid is mysterious. He has been present at so many of the most important battles in the Four Lands. And yet we know virtually nothing about his past as a Druid. I’d want that story. What prompted him to leave Paranor for the Eastland where he spent centuries in seclusion just waiting for Brin Ohmsford.

So discuss. Who would you like?


117 responses to “Poll: What Character Deserves a Full-Length Novel?”

  1. Am I the only one who wants to read about Uhl Belk, The Stone King? What happened between him and the other Faerie creatures? What was he before he was corrupted by the black elfstone? How did he come to found that awesome department store Belk?

    • It has been a long time since I read Brooks — tho I loved them when I did. That said, time with ‘villans’ / ‘dark forces’ and seeing how they come to the darkside by T.Brooks would be great reading for sure!

    • No, you aren’t, and, too be honest, i haven’t read the books in years, but i always wondered how on earth cogline came to be and if the character was going to lead the books into a more ‘alchemical’ direction. I think Uhl Belk ranks up there with me as well, and is a worthy choice. Cheers!

  2. I also opted for Cogline. He plays such a huge part in the original trilogy, the Heritage series and First King but we don’t know much of his history. This may be a dumb question but who is featured in the artwork above – I assume its from The High Druids Blade?

    • That piece of artwork is Walker Boh. It was done by Teresa Nielsen, who was commissioned by Dragon Magazine to do that painting for their cover. I actually worked with her a bit on it to get it right. It was painted around the time Ilse Witch published in 2000.

    • I’d initially vote for Cogline, too, but for my desire to see a novel of Galaphile and the formation of the First Druid Order. It would run counterpoint to Brona and the First Race War, of course. It would be the icing on the cake, completing the essential history of the transition of the races to the Four Lands after the Great Wars and the “passing of the torch” from the Knights of the Word to the Druid Order…?

      • I think a book about Galaphile and the first druid order could possibly encompass a short work on the early history of Cogline. I suspect he goes back that far or at least new Galaphile. I’m just guessing but I know Cogline was very old. 1000+ from the druid sleep.

    • Cogline not in original trilogy he 1st show in Heritage which is the 2nd and he in the prequal to the original trilogy he dose not show up in original trilogy (sword,stones,song)

  3. Deladion Inch is my #2 favorite character ever, but my #1 isn’t even on the list. I would like to see a full-length novel on Panamon Creel. Also, I keep hoping for a book (or trilogy or quartet) on Brona and the first Druid council and the first war of the races.

  4. The King of the Silver River is one of the last remaining links between our world and Shannara. I often wonder how he fared between The Measure of the Magic until The Sword of Shannara because he is not mentioned I believe in First King of Shannara.

  5. What about Truls Rohk? He’s always been one of my favorite characters. If not a full length novel, maybe a short story? Always wanted to know more about his past and his history with Walker Boh.

    • Stee Jans and Garet Jax are the same person, alledgedly. I would love to hear what happened to Stee Jans after Elfstones.

      • When was it established that Stee Jans and Garet Jax are the same person? I don’t recall anything about that.

        • It was mentioned in “The Guide to Shannara” as a rumor. But considering the short story on Garet Jax I daresay that’s quite impossible

    • I agree! He is a great charismatic character and we never got to really know about him or his back story. Good call on that one

  6. Tough choice. I’m always inclined to get more of the king of the silver river, but I voted Cogline because of the big name druids he’s the only to not take center stage. But I’d like to learn more about Galaphile too!

  7. Garet Jax has the most so far? Really?!?! Not even half as interesting as the Faerie creatures, the Witches, or the Druids. Then again, I always play mages in fantasy games so I’m a bit biased. 😀

  8. I have always wondered about Garet Jax and his training and his beginnings. There are just a couple of snippets that hint at his origins in “Elfstones” but a full-length treatment would be a good read, I think. I used to also envision Terry Brooks bringing him back…like after his battle with the Jachyra and Heaven’s Well collapsed that the King of the Silver River appeared and spirited him away to…the tree? or his gardens? or someplace where he was healed and able to fight another day, another time. Or, another character came upon him and knew something to counteract the poison and revive him. Anyway, I think a back story on Garet Jax would be good.

    Even though he wasn’t mentioned on the list, I’d read a story about Truhls Rohk. He and Walker apparently have history.

    • That’s three for Garret Jax! It could be a different kind of a tale. Garret was a fighter, so the story could have mostly just heroism in it and maybe hardly any magic; maybe later on in the story there is a girl he meets and she has innate magic or something and then Garret falls in love with her and then she dies and then he has to avenge her death, all while finishing his quest… I haven’t really thought about this or anything though… 🙂

  9. It is polls like this that remind me how many awesome characters that Terry has created! I’d also like to hear more about The Mole.

  10. I voted for the King of the Silver River because, despite appearing in the most books, is still mostly a mystery.

    But it was a hard choice because I really want to know more about Morag and Mallenroh!

  11. I know many have said it, but I would like to know the story of the Silver King of the River. He seems to appear, give suggestions, know what will happen but leaves it up to the person to make their own decision. What did he learn in his past that makes him the way he is now in the stories?

  12. I chose Cogline because I want to see his adventures through time. He was the druid who was not a druid and had to have had so many cool adventures.
    I also really want more Truls Rohk. I want to see him grow up as a shapeshifter and see his search for an identity.

  13. I’d go for King of the Silver River, but only as the last book ever. Admittedly I havent read all his books yet, but the king has been a figure in all his books and that would be a fantastic grand finale.

  14. I’m hoping for Terry to somehow link several of these characters in some manner.. I think one book on one character only is a bit too much. Also, a book about the Faerie times would be my first choice for his pre-Shannara stories. He writes so much about this period but we don’t really understand yet exactly how Faerie evolved into modern-day Shannara. If that isn’t enough, then linking Legends with Shannara. Enough said. Sorry Terry if we’re piling the work on you 😉

  15. What about not doing a whole book about a smaller character but instead to a book of short stories that give a background/history of characters and places that people want to know more about. i.e. Creation of Paranor, Panamon Creel, etc.
    Especially a story (even a short one) as to what happened to Hawk after he came out of the barrier.

  16. GALAPHILE AND BRONA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This would be his greatest challenge, writing the story of how the first druid order fell!

      • Actually in The First King of Shannara it only explains the fall of one of the druid orders with the Ard Rhys being Athabasca. If Khyber is Ard Rhys of the Fourth Druid Order and Galaphile Ard Rhys of The True First Order of Druids how do we know how the orders are determined? Let me put it like this Khyber AR of the 4th druid order, Grianne AR of the 3rd order, Walker AR(Basically since he was alone) of the 2nd, and Allanon AR ( just like Walker a lone druid) of the First or was it Galaphile AR of the 1st order, Athabasca AR of the 2nd, no druid orders until Grianne in The High Druid of Shannara. That is how I look at it anyways, not saying I’m right or anything just an opinion.

  17. Garrett Jax. I do not want to know how the fight at the end of Wishsong ended, in my mind he killed it before the poison took effect. But I would LOVE to read a novel all about Garrett Jax. The ultimate weapons master.

  18. There is a short story e-book about Garret Jax called “The Weapon Masters Choice” that gives a little background on him.

    As for me I voted for Cogline he is in so many series from the sword of shannara trilogy to the heritage of shannara and yet we know so little about him.

    I feel like Uhl Belk and the KOTSR those two would be too long to put into a story without some compression and not enough satisfaction, we do have high expectations for those characters stories and maybe they should just remain a mystery.

  19. I would like several of those and they are allanon, ulh belk (weka dart preferably) , king of the silver river , and cogline

  20. i have just started the legends of shannara series so haven’t gotten to know those characters well but i would like to see a story featuring a main troll,gnome or dwarf character,

  21. this is a little off subject. but a book about how paranor was created and what happened in that time would be #1 on my list.

  22. I voted for Walker Boh, but I’d also like some pre-Great War writing like the Word and Void series. Doesn’t necessarily need to contain John Ross.

  23. I would love to hear more about O’olish Amaneh or go back even further to the wars surrounding the creation of the Forbidding. Maybe Terry could explore the alternate history genre and rewrite the Trojan war or Xerxes’ invasions of Greece as a struggle among Faerie creatures ending in the Forbidding.

    • Why can’t John Ross, Nest Freemark, Tom Logan, Angel Perez, Findo Gask or even anything in regards to “The Word & The Void” get any love? There absolutely my favorite series and characters. Without them, there would be no Shannara and Terry Brooks has barely touched the Pre-Shannara World

    • Completely Agree on on having a book written to tell us the history of O’olish Amaneh. I’m sure he’s seen so much change from the time of Nest Freemark and Tom Logan.

  24. This is a tough question because all of these characters have a full story arc with satisfying endings. To make a novel solely about any of these characters would seem to undermine and be undermined by these complete arcs. For example, what story of Garet Jax, the quintessential warrior would be as satisfying as his search for the ultimate challenge and his death to the Jachyra?

  25. Also, the allure of many of these characters is their mysterious histories. So writing a book all about any one of them would shatter that mystery and make the character more boring.

    • Paul, thats exactly why I would not want a character like the King of the Silver River subject of a novel.

  26. I think a story on Deladion Inch would be sweet. No one seems to like that idea however by the 18 votes he has. One of my favorite short lived characters though. I think the Grimpond would be a good option too. Cogline should probably win though from the impact he has in so many of the books. It’s too bad everyone always drools and screams for garret jax.

  27. Kill two popular birds with one stone (figuratively, since we already know Terry couldn’t actually kill them): Garet Jax + Cogline = win!

  28. I vote for Tay Trefenwyd, he has been one of my favorites throughout all the books. After him Garet Jax or Truls

  29. I would love to read a story of Ben and his wife and about the love they knew before he bought the Magic Kingdom. He was so in love with her and she seemed to have a love for him that lasted past her death……

  30. I’m sticking with King of The Silver River. I’d even be ok if there wasn’t a dedicated novel but just a little more background. I like the mystery that surrounds the character, but at the same time I would love to know more about him.

  31. Well i’d always hoped that Cogline was gonna turn out to be a Knight of the Word or one the children from Genesis of Shannara, but it would be amazingly awesome to give him a origin story, or perhaps have his Shade appear

  32. I voted for Garet Jax because id like to know if he and Stee Jans are actually the same person. Another cool idea would to be to have a book centered around the Demons of the forbidding. Learn more about the Dagda Mor and how, his encounters with other creatures, his plan for escape, his selection of The Reaper and The Changeling, etc.

  33. Cogline is an intriguing choice… but I had to go with “other”, and by that I mean Pe Ell/ Horner Dees. That backstory has always fascinated me. Would love a story explaining their first meeting when Dees worked for the Federation and met a young Pe Ell. Maybe there’s not enough there for a “full length” story, but one of the short stories would be great!

  34. Close call between Allanon, Garet Jax, Cogline and The King of the Silver River. But in the end I have to go for Garet Jax. That’s the character I loved since the first time I read The Wishsong and it has always been my top favourite. Go Gareth!! 😀

  35. I would like to see the story of Stee Jans written. Either a prequel for him or a post Elfstones story as he was given the offer to be the Elfish army commander.

    Brooks’ description of his final stand against the demons is perhaps the most compelling pages of writing that I have ever read.

    I think he is a character worth developing and enjoying.

    • Totally agree. And I for one would be very disappointed to find out that he and Garett Jax are one in the same person.

  36. I’d be very interested in the time after “Measure of the Magic” when the descendants of Hawk come out of the valley to explore, and how the races started to rebuild themselves. I mean how did Arborlon get from the valley to where it is in First King? Or is the Westland where the valley was situated in the first place? If so, what happened to all the races that were contained in the valley along with the Elves?

    • I totally agree. It would be wonderful to know what happened to Panterra Qu after he left the valley and how the four lands came to be what they are. Who carried Arborlyn out of the valley? Even one more book in the “Bearers of the Black Staff” to make it a trilogy and understand – are the spiders who eventually become dwarves? How does the lake where all the Druid shades are get formed (can’t think of the name!)?

  37. Why not a story about all the faerie creatures, Uhl Belk, King of the Silver River, Grim pond, the Tanquil and their relation to each other and the Word / Void…..Perhaps tie in the function of the Hadshorn. As a second choice Truls Rohk would be a great story with Walker included.

  38. Side tangent, I know, but is anyone else curious as to how–if at all–the kingdom of Landover was affected by the war between the Word and Void? Is Landover still chugging along like nothing has happened?

  39. A lot of great story ideas above, though I would love to hear the story of Bremin before the events of “First King of Shannara”, he is the first druid the readers get to know, and we learn so little about him!

  40. My vote goes to a troll or dwarf since they have contributed to the grand picture, but neither race has yet “starred” on a Shannara story.

    The trolls have a couple fascinating options – an origin story in the far north set while humans and elves exist in the Gypsy Morphs shield or recovery of honor story set as the trolls learn how to govern themselves in ruins of the Skull kingdom.

    The dwarf story could be set anytime from moving out of the underground to the east lands to a post legacy story about dwarves seeking lost tribes far from the Four Lands.

  41. Wilderun Witches! I was quite sad when Terry killed them off in Elfstones. Argh! I think that story could be so interesting, given what we know about what happened. And I would want to see if the Morgawr was actually related to them or whatever they said about him in the Voyage series. Haha, Morgawr would be a nice book too.
    The Grimpond, Pe Ell and Truls Rohk would also be great choices.

  42. I would love to read about Brona, how he became a druid and his progression toward the void and his eventual persona of the Warlock Lord. Another thought is Galaphile, the first druid, just thinking outside the box here… Love all the Shannara books!!!!

  43. I would like to hear the entire tale of how the first Forbidding was established. While it has been referred to, a book on how it came about would be excellent.

    A book on the beginnings of the Illdatch would be interesting too.

  44. No love for Grianne Ohmsford? It can’t have been easy corrupting an adorable little child into a beautiful monster. Or bringing that monster back to the side of goodness and right.

  45. Why can’t John Ross, Nest Freemark, Tom Logan, Angel Perez, Findo Gask or even anything in regards to “The Word & The Void” get any love? There absolutely my favorite series and characters. Without them, there would be no Shannara and Terry Brooks has barely touched the Pre-Shannara World

  46. As cool as it would be seeing a full novel on Garet Jax and the King of the Silver River, both have risen to the such legendary status in Shannara that an origins story might take away the mystique of such paragons (though I’d still gobble up any stories Terry gave us on these two). I have to agree with Shawn on a Cogline story, as he’s been a crucial figure in the Four Lands, and an alchemist Druid to boot!

  47. I would like to see something on the early life of Cogline. But I have to say based on the responses, that Terry has created some great characters over the years, many that are fun to reread and imagine a beginning and an ending for. Thanks Terry for this fun world to dream and play in!

  48. I vote for Cogline but I must admit I would love to see Terry explain a little bit more about so many of his other characters such as Uhl Belk, Tey Trefenwyd, Pe Ell, Stee Jans, Truls Rohk, Brona, and Galaphile all of whom he is able to expand more on in future novels. The King of The Silver River is also a great character but I personally like him being the one character who can’t truly be explained, with out creating another subseries of novels, in my opinion. Cogline was there to assist Bremen in the creation of The Sword of Shannara, giving the metallurgical mixture used to forge it, he also helped Brin in the Wishsong, and He was called by Allanon’s shade and helped Walker in the Heritage so to learn more of his life would be the greatest novel to be written on an individual character I think.

  49. I like Garet Jax as well but I personally think there are so many other characters in this series who have a much greater depth to them and are far more deserving of a more detailed explanation of themselves and their lives prior to their association with the Ohmsfords or any other Shannara character.

  50. I like the mystery surrounding the King of the Silver RIver and Cogline. I think it adds to their character. Keep them in the mist and shadows! 😉 I would, however, be very interested in the back story of Garet Jax.

  51. I voted other. In the last trilogy Terry wrote, I really got wrapped around the Dwarven Druid Seersha. I am not much on politics and being diplomatic. I love the way her character just says it like it is and acts in the best interest of all the Four Lands. As she states, she is a warrior-Druid and it would be very interesting to me to see her in the next trilogy, indeed, as the Ard Rhys of the 4th Druid Council. I say let Aphen sit in Arborlon for now, only later coming to realize later that her place is indeed with the Druids helping all races. Seersha, the One-Eyed Ard Rhys!!!

  52. Hard to believe Walker Boh got as many votes as he did. Even though he is one of my favorites, he has been in 7 Shannara books so I doubt Terry would re-visit him when there are so many others that are mere sketches. I too like Cogline, but I am torn between him and Garret Jax. It goes without saying that the new eBook shorts are awesome!

  53. Noooo, not the King of the River! I love the mystery and the way he just wanders in and out of stories about other people. But how about a book about The Lady who speaks for the Word? I always wondered, who is she? What is her story? Where did she go? Why does she not appear in the Shannara books?

  54. Went for Cogline, but I think Deladion Inch needs some explaination. He had some advanced technology 500 years after the destruction. That means he had ammo that hadn’t been used, technology that wasn’t destroyed by corrosion or other time related problems, and the knowledge to maintain and use it.

  55. I’ve always been a fan of Durin and Dayel Elessedil, always wondered how things turned out between Dayel and Lynliss. I would also like to know more about Perk the wing rider and the wing hove in general.

  56. I would like a story on the fall of Faerie and how the Forbidding came to be. Either that, a story on O’olish Amaneh.

    There apparently is a long legacy of Black Staffs, I’d like to hear the story of the first Black Staff wielder. Who was it? How did the power come?

  57. I was hoping for a story about the adventures of Stee Jans and the Legion Free Corps. I hope I am not the only one that does not want to believe he and Garett Jax are the same person. But in the end, I will read anything Terry breathes life into.

  58. I voted ‘other’ because I’d like to see Terry Brooks go a bit darker with a book, and make one based on Pe Ell. He was one of my favorite characters and had an AWESOME weapon, yet we probably got less of a background story about him and the sword than any other characters.

    • I agree…Pe Ell was one of my favorite characters as well. How he acquired his weapon and the history of that weapon with a story on Pe Ell would be very cool

  59. Owain Glyndŵr

    And aside from the back story of Paranor I would also enjoy more in-depth on the creation of both Hadeshorn and the Hall of Kings.

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