Dear Readers,

I was so exhausted after yesterday I couldn’t stay awake to write the daily blog even though it was the last one I would be writing while still in NZ. So now I am writing this in an airplane on my way elsewhere, my thoughts still rather discombobulated by everything that’s happened. Which is to say, I am still trying to make this all seem real.

It just won’t quite sink in, even after seeing it. I find myself watching it fade with every passing minute, as if it were all just an odd dream that momentarily seemed real but now isn’t.

But maybe writing this final day’s report will help make it real all over again.

Started the day a little earlier with faithful driver Roz, who is real life is a Producer’s Asst., coming to pick us up at 9:30 am for our daily drive to the shooting site (she was our driver the entire time and also our minder and helper, because she was seriously on top of everything). There, on site, we would watch a Troll bite the dust and see Wil and Eretria meet for the first time. They shoot dialogue scenes and action scenes at the same place and sometimes peripheral scenes in another site. But these two were to be the main ones for this day. Since we had already watched scenes with Allanon, Wil and Amberle, we were kind of eager to see how it would be with our Eretria.

The day was incredibly beautiful but very hot, too. So we spent much of our time huddled in an open-sided tent with a monitor and earphones while they filmed the action. Watching from any closer presents problems. They don’t really want a bunch of people not working on the shot crowding up close where they might disturb things, unwittingly or not. So under the tent was the safest, coolest place to be.

They shot the scene and spoke the dialogue an endless number of times. Each time, it was done just a little bit differently. It gave me some insight into how a director will get as many shots as needed to allow for editing it all later so that it comes out looking and sounding exactly right. Not so good for the dead Troll who lay out in the sun, but maybe he was tougher than I imagined.

After lunch, we said goodbye to our writers and director, to Wil, Amberle and Eretria, to just about everyone we could find and went off to tour costuming and have some still shots taken for publicity at the indoor sets.

Here is the thing about costuming. It is a factory. Literally. A huge operation that takes up half-a-dozen large rooms on the ground floor alone. Racks of clothing, material, costumes, armor, medallions, you name it, everywhere. Turns out you need multiples of almost everything, all made to fit each actor, stunt doubles, and then more extras for when the ones being worn are damaged. I watched moss being made, breastplates being shaped, jewelry being fashioned, stone being formed and magic being produced at every stop. Even caught a glimpse of Amberle being fitted with an incredible gown.

They also have a nursery filled with live plants that will be used on some of the sets. Unbelievable.

Again, as on other days, everyone was very pleasant and welcoming and eager to demonstrate their skills and wares, explaining how they made things, how their incredible imaginations would bring the Shannara story to life. I almost fell over when I was told they didn’t have nearly as many people working right then as earlier when they first ramped up. As if 20 or so wasn’t nearly enough at the beginning.

Okay, I am back in a believing state, so it is time to sign off. This will be the last blog for now. A much-needed vacation awaits along with an editing assignment on the Shannara book for 2016. But now that I am back in the saddle with blogs, so to speak, I will do my best to keep you in the loop and provide pix of how things are going as they become approved and available to me.

I’ll end with this. You are all going to be just amazed when the series airs. You really will.

No, really. You will.

Best to you all, Terry

31 responses to “SHANNARA On MTV: Last Day”

  1. As long as it airs, which means that it isn’t put on the shelf by some MTV executive who arbitrarily decides that now isn’t the time for another fantasy series, I’m confident it’ll do fine.

  2. I am so excited about this project I have been telling everyone I know. I was in the hospital to have three disc’s fused and the young man who brought my food to my room had never even heard of you and your wonderful books, let a lone the series coming on. Well he does now….one more faithful fan after he reads that first book I am sure. He was well on his way to being excited to know about your books and series by the time I left. Ü

  3. I may grouse about some of the changes/additions required for the adaptation but I’m excited for this series. I’m excited for Terry who gets to experience his creation brought to life, and for the legions of new fans that will get to experience their first taste of the wonder and joy he has given many of us for decades.

    And I can hear the TV fans complaining about the books: OMG, THESE BOOKS ARE SO BAD. WHY ISN’T BANDON IN THEM?!?!

    Finally, Amberle is hot. 🙂

  4. Reading your blogs on the TV series makes me smile for all the joy and amazement that comes through. I’m very happy for you!

  5. I haven’t seen any casting for Stee Jans and it’s beginning to concern me. That stand is the one thing that I thought was made to be shown on film. Please tell me it’s going to be in the series. The Free Companies NEED to be there.

    • Jake, I am having the very same concern. Stee Jans and the Legion Free Corps are a vital part of Elfstones and need to be included in this series. I am also waiting to see who they cast as Crispin, the Captain of the Elven Home Guard and the leader of the group of Elven Hunters that escort Wil and Amberle on their journey to find the Bloodfire. He was one of my favorite characters in the book..loved his epic stand against the Reaper on that bridge in the Pykon!

  6. There are lots of characters who haven’t been cast. The Dagda Mor. Cephalo. The Witch Sisters. Hebel. The Reaper. Be patient. While I personally wouldn’t include Stee Jans in the TV series — I think Ander can fulfill that role and probably should have in the book as well — the Free Corps must be in there. Because if the TV series doesn’t have that epic battle in the last two or so episodes of the show, I’m going to be sorely disappointed.

      • You know, I thought that too the first time Shawn suggested it, but I’m starting to see why it makes sense.

        Don’t get me wrong–I adore Stee Jans in the book, but he has no character arc. He arrives awesome & he ends awesome. Ander, on the other hand, has an arc–and it might well benefit from some battle prowess on screen.

        In the book, he has one battle. The rest of his character comes from the fact he stubbornly hangs in there & refuses to quit. That, and he does all the things no one else will do. And it’s really impressive in the book that he’s willing to go do inventory, but onscreen “Understands the office filing system” is not going to look that great–especially not in a book full of massive battles.

        The end battle? Yeah, that should be there, for sure! But the battle I really want to *see* is Allanon vs. the dragon.

    • So then who commands the Free Corps? Any army, regardless of how large or small it is has a commander. So then Ander just takes over? That also doesn’t seem to make sense because no army commander would stand for that. I completely get that Stee Jans doesn’t have much of a character arc; he still has one, it’s just very short.

      Every character has a story arc. This doesn’t mean Stee Jans doesn’t have a purpose or reason for being in the show. I’m fine if he’s not but there needs to be a logical replacement and I don’t think Ander fits that.

  7. It’s been truly a delight, reading your blogs about the upcoming series. Thank you so much for sharing your days on the set and with the wonderful actors. Looking forward to next batch. Enjoy your well deserved vacation! 🙂

  8. the scene i am looking forward to the most is Wil vs the Reaper. When i first read that scene, I was literally on the edge of my seat.

    • Steve, that will be a great scene to see, but I can’t wait to see Crispin, the Captain of the Elven Home Guard battle the Reaper on that bridge at the old Elven outpost in the Pykon.

  9. I’ve been dreaming of your stories coming to life ever since I picked my first book over 25 years ago, The Sword of Shannara. I used to listen to music by Uriah Heep and re-enact some of the scenes from the book to the words in the music. The song “The Wizard” to me was about Allanon. I’m looking forward to seeing the series. It’s about time!!

  10. I wouldn’t mind blowing a couple hundred dollars to fly down their and see the magic happening. Hell I’d even where a stuffy troll outfit if it meant I would be in the tv show.

  11. Great report! I am really looking forward to this show and to Darkling Child coming out in June too. This will be an awesome year for Terry Brooks’ fans!

  12. I am so excited to see this come to life on the screen. I have read the books since they first came out absolutely love them. So Shawn, is there an actual release date yet?

    • There is currently no air date. When there is one, you bet it will be featured at the top of every page on this website (the small DARKLING CHILD image on the top left next to the menu is the devoted space I’ve created for the air date).

  13. Still wished it was on Pre-shannara I feel like a good zombie story could have started replacing the walking dead and now it has become more complicated if this is successful to loop back to Pre-shannara events sync the chronological order is off now.

  14. I hope you have retained some creative control over the product. I have been waiting for years to see Shannara come to the screen big or small. I want it to be great, I raise this question because I just watched the horrendous adaptation of The Joseph Delaney books, The Seventh Son. It was an abomination of his stories, I am only hoping for a better and truer to the story adaptation.

  15. I was wondering about Shea Ohmsfords mother and father, I thought maybe a back story some day…………..Love your work, I feel my books are my long lost family and I keep finding new members! Thank you for sharing your gifts!