In The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara, and The Wishsong of Shannara, they matter more than in a usual novel. It is not every day that a person gets the chance to save the world, and the protagonists from those first three Shannara books save the Four Lands and Beyond three times over!
Writers ask a lot of their characters. Terry is no different. Return to Shea Ohmsford. He is pulled from his sleepy life in Shady Vale, thrust into a grand adventure, realizes that adventure could get him killed, and almost does get killed! Numerous times. Yet he fights and perseveres, drawing on strength he didn’t know he had, and by the end of The Sword of Shannara, he is a changed person who has defeated the Warlock Lord.
Wil Ohmsford might have had a harder time of it in The Elfstones of Shannara. Harassed every step of the way to the Wilderun and back, he embodies the best of what it means to be a hero. Sacrifice. He breaks a psychological part of himself to use the Elfstones, smashing his man blood aside so he can access the power in his Elven blood. And not only that, but he is stalked by arguably the most fearsome villain in any of Terry’s books—the Reaper.
Then he has his heart broken on top of everything!
By the time The Wishsong of Shannara came around, Wil’s children knew to be leery of Allanon. Their family history dictated that. Brin and Jair knew they were entering danger before they even left Shady Vale. They went anyway. And through their actions—and more importantly their love for one another&mdahs;they overcome one of the roots of evil in the Four Lands. They are an example of how wonderful siblings can be and the ties that bind us together.
These are characters who had a significant point of view in one of the books, point of view characters who must be present at the end of the book for the story to work.
The poll question is:
Who is your favorite original Shannara trilogy protagonist?
And no, I won’t put Allanon down as a choice in the poll. While he is a protagonist, he is not the center of an entire book—and besides, he’d win easily!
So vote. Make your voice heard. And comment below why you voted the way you did!