February ASK TERRY Posted

Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks

For many years the only chance a fan had of speaking to Terry was to meet him at tour events or conventions.

With the establishment of this website in 2000, Terry began accepting two questions from each fan per month. On the last day of the month, five questions are randomly drawn. Terry answers these five questions and they are posted monthly for your enjoyment.

Below are the questions selected for January 2015 and Terry’s answers! Enjoy!

Note: This section may contain spoilers!


Top of the Morning, Readers!

Back with another edition of Ask Terry, the endless effort to stump the author, which these days is none too difficult. Nevertheless, we must go through the motions of trying to pretend we know everything that happened with BrooksBooks and related material over the last 40 years.

So here goes.

Jeremy Gauthier writes: Hi Terry, first I want to say I’m a huge fan I’ve read all your Shannara books (more than once). I’m wondering in the TV show why they killed off the king so early and why was there no King of the Silver River?

Terry Brooks replies: My best guess about killing off Eventine is that they felt he had served his purpose otherwise and only wanted to keep him around as a vehicle for the Changeling. They were free to restructure scenes and this is one example. Not the book, but I felt it worked all right. As for the King of the Silver River, I think he is being saved for a more important role in future seasons of the show.

Tom Beck writes: I have been a huge fan of the Landover series as well as Word/Void and Shannara. I have recommended the Landover series to numerous people. I have always said that it (the Landover series) would do well as a motion picture series similar to Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and such. Now that the Shannara series has been made for TV, can we expect to see Landover in the future?

Terry Brooks replies: Magic K. has been over at Warner Brothers for more than three years. The actor Steve Carell signed on early to play Ben Holiday, and I am told he still intends to do so. What’s holding things up is getting a good script, and we have had several attempts that went nowhere. Now we are finishing up with a writer who has done a great job overall and has been given further tweaks to work on between now and the middle of May. But then, I hope to have some good news to pass along.

Matthew Heiser writes: When you write the moments when the wishsong is in use, is there any music you personally attach to them? Perhaps different types of music to match the purpose for which the wishsong is being used? I believe it would be a very powerful scene if we get to see the wishsong on TV!

Terry Brooks replies: This is a matter of ongoing discussion. Yes, music would serve to further the use of the wishsong’s strengths. But using it isn’t always the same, so we have some problems. In the books it can be anything from a scream to a whisper. How we would portray this vocally through actors is a challenge we are working on. More on this down the road, but I think some mixed effects can be expected.

Dayna Abel writes: First of all, I want you to know that seeing Elfstones come to life on TV was truly a blessing for me. A lot of things I love today can be traced back to my first read of that novel. For the first four episodes, I was completely on board with all the changes made during the adaptation to television. However, what absolutely destroyed my faith in the series was Cephelo’s attempted rape of Amberle. There was no reason whatsoever to include sexual assault in the story. Shannara is not Game Of Thrones, and I love it for that.

What justification could you possibly have for allowing such an upsetting element into the adaptation? I have loved your work and respected you for 25 years. I hope you can see why this plot device was wrong to include, and I hope for an apology.

Terry Brooks replies: Asking for an apolgy assumes it is my place to give one. It isn’t. Not every battle I fought did I win in the making of the series. At times i was overruled. This isn’t a one man show,. It is flim by committee. So at times I had to give way to the majority, and this was one. I thought it was pretty harmless stuff myself, and not the only place where an emphasis on sex went away from the books. All I can tell you is that the books are the books and the show is the show, and the two are not the same. We celebrate the differences as well as the similarities. Sorry you were so distressed, but you can continue to enjoy the books without worrying about sex. Mostly.

Eric Phillips writes: I don’t know why there is so much hate out there, I absolutely love the adaptation. We watch it as a family every week. As far as “all the sex”, it was done tastefully. My first question is, how much did you have a hand in how the other races look? I envisioned them differently, and I know the origins of the races, but how close are they to what you wanted?

Terry Brooks replies: I envisioned a lot of things differently than the adaptation, but on the other hand I liked it that they came up with something new. That’s what adaptations are meant to do – recreate in a different medium. We could talk about how the characters look, the Ellcrys, Paranor, Arborlon and on and on. But what would be the point? I will just say that I thought it was all pretty amazing, and I did not let the differences bother me. I embraced it all, and I loved what the film makers did. I didn’t try to tell them to do anything in a particular way in terms of overall look. I let them go however they wanted unless there was something that simply didn’t work. Very few times did that happen.

There you go, one and all, another round completed. Thank you for your ongoing support of both my books and the TV show. I hope to have some fresh news on both pages and film before long.

All good magic,

Ask Terry

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