An enigmatic Druid, and the only character to appear in all three books. He both manipulates, and befriends the various members of the Ohmsford family, protecting them from their enemies, while at the same time using them for his own ends. Despite this, he's an unabashed good guy, and the closest thing the series has to both a Big Good and The Mentor. Appears in Sword, Elfstones, Wishsong, the Heritage foursome, First King, and the Voyage trilogy, as well as the short story Allanon's Quest.
Anti-Hero: Somewhere between Type II and Type III. He has good intentions, but is willing to be manipulative, enigmatic, and downright mean in order to achieve them.
The Atoner: Sees himself as having to make up for the failures of his adoptive father, Bremen.
Bad Ass: So, very, very much. He's wrestled a Skull Bearer, fought two different Dragons, slain a Demon Lord and held entire villainous armies at bay. He even manages to take down the Jachyra before it kills him.
Mysterious Past: What happened to Allanon between First King and Sword is still up in the air.
One-Man Army: Especially in Elfstones. The Elven archers hold two sides of Halys Cut and Baen Draw, the Free Corps has the back...and Allanon covers the third side all by himself. At meetings he's actually accorded the same status as if he was the leader of an army.
Pet the Dog: Generally Allanon will have one or two scenes with the main characters of each book wherein he explains everything, gives a So Proud of You speech, and then leaves. These are inevitablyTear Jerkery, and serve to remind the audience that yes, he is one of the good guys.
The last scion of the Elven House of Shannara, half-human Shea Ohmsford didn't even know about his heritage until Allanon showed up and shafted him into saving the world. Used to living in sleepy Shady Vale, and working in his father's inn, he knows very little about the Sword he's supposed to find, and less about how to use it. A bit of a romantic, Shea has no idea what he's gotten himself into. He'll be the first Ohmsford to aid Allanon and save the Four Lands. He certainly won't be the last.
Pinball Protagonist: Just about everything that happens to him is due to outside influences—Allanon telling him his destiny, the Skull Bearer coming to Shady Vale, the decision of the council in Culhaven, the fight with the proto-Creeper in the Wolfsktaag necessitating the trip to Storlock, his fall from the Dragon's Crease. It's not until he meets up with Panamon and Keltset, and decides to go after Orl Fane and the Sword, that he truly starts making decisions of his own that affect the plot (and not coincidentally, truly accepts his destiny).
Pointy Ears: Which demonstrate his half-elven heritage.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: At least at the start of the book. By the end some of this has been lost.
Shea's foster brother, fully human Flick is suspicious, practical, and well-grounded. He has absolutely no desire to get involved with Allanon, but goes along to help his brother. Also appears in Elfstones.
Crazy-Prepared: Brings the climbing gear when the visit the Black Oaks, in case they get lost again.
Shea's oldest friend, and a Prince of the Highland Kingdom of Leah. Menion is hotheaded, impulsive, and on occasion, downright reckless. He's also loyal, brave, and will go miles for you if he considers you a friend. He's a Tracker, a hunter, the best bowman in the Southland (at least in his considered opinion), and an all around useful fellow.
Bad Ass: Menion starts out as a superb archer and a capable swordsman and only gets better with time. Whether it's making impossible shots, fighting Sirens and giant insects with a sword, or massacring kidnappers, Menion Leah has you covered.
Took a Level in Badass: While Menion is already an excellent fighter at the start, his irreverent personality and lack of direction prevent him from being a true badass until he grows up partway through.
You Shall Not Pass: He and Menion pull this when Stenmin attempts to lead the enemy into the city through the basement.
Prince of Callahorn, Border Legion Commander, and inspiring leader par excellence, currently away from home due to a disagreement with his brother Palance. Serves as the team leader when Allanon is not present.
Four-Star Badass: A general in the Border Legion, in addition to being a physical badass.
BFS: He is said to wield a sword that no ordinary man can wield.
The Big Guy: Toyed with. Balinor's an enormous man, brought along by Allanon for the express purpose of being the muscle. However, in the Big Good's absence, he takes over as The Leader of the party from Cullhaven, is a competent strategist, and does far more then just act as Shea's protector. It might be fairest to say that while he looks like The Big Guy, he's really...
The Lancer: Serves as Allanon's Number Two throughout the journey, leading the party in his absence.
Cain and Abel: With his brother, Palance. It stems largely from the latter's inferiority complex.
Muscles Are Meaningless: Averted. Balinor is repeatedly described as very large, and very strong, and makes full use of it in combat.
A pair of Elven brothers who are along for the ride.
Fatal Family Photo: Averted. We learn about one of the brother's beloved Lynliss back home in the Westland, which seems like a sure sign he's going to die in the final battle at Tyrsis—but he doesn't.
Flat Character: Very little characterization is devoted to them, to the point they often seem like window dressing and rarely speak, acting only as extra fighters when the bad guys show up. Seem to be included only so that there could be Elves in the story.
The Big Bad. The head honcho. The monster whose fault half this series is. Formerly one of the Druids, Brona was among the first to rediscover the books of magic. Growing obsessed with it, he rebelled against the Druids, plunging the world into a repeating cycle of war that can only be ended by his death. Leader of the armies of Man during the First War of the Races, The Man Behind the Man to the Trolls in the Second, he's now out to instigate a Third, and bring all of the Four Lands squarely under his heel. Seemingly Immortal, he can only be slain by the touch of the Sword of Shannara. Appears in Sword, First Kingand High Druid.
A God Am I: He's convinced the Trolls, the Gnomes, and possibly himself, of this.
The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Implied. Brona originally began studying the books of magic for the same reason Druids did anything, to gain the knowledge needed to help lead, guide, and protect the world. But after being corrupted by the Ildatch and losing his soul, he became merely a vessel for its power and only cared about taking over the world. If any of his real self was left, it might pretend he was doing so in order to lead and guide it, but that's just sophistry at this point.
Dead All Along: Brona is revealed to be a walking corpse, sustained only by the magic and his belief in his own immortality. The Sword Of Shannara reveals his lies to him, promptly killing him in truth.
Deadpan Snarker: His characterisation in High Druid is surprisingly close to this. He seems to get a real kick out of mocking Grianne, and telling her she isn't asking the right questions. It's quite stunning (and funny) given his previous characterisation as a Stock CharacterEvil Overlord.
Determinator: In a way. Brona's will, combined with his magic and his belief that he cannot die is the only thing still keeping him, and his Skull Bearers, alive. It takes the power of the Sword to shatter his convictions.
Dragon-in-Chief: To The Ildatch. Brona doesn't necessarily even know it, but his Artifact of Doom has thoroughly manipulated him into becoming what he is, and is largely using him in order to unleash its magics upon the world. That said, the plan is Brona's, and without him, the Ildatch is just a book. There's a reason why it doesn't even put in an appearance in Sword, and is of secondary concern in First King. Without Brona to wield it, the Ildatch can't do much.
Dub Title Change: In the Italian version at least his title of "Warlock Lord" is changed to "Signore degli Inganni" (Lord of Deceptions).
Evil Sounds Deep: He's described as having a deep, roiling voice, that echoes in your mind. It's also written entirely in capitals in Sword and First King. In High Druid his mind-speech is more normal, but still very low.
The Druids who rebelled alongside Brona, they now function as his generals, bodyguards, and top henchmen. No longer human, the magic has warped them into monstrous beings with leathery wings, red eyes, heavy, slouching bodies, and clawed fingers. Nearly unkillable, they exist only to serve the Warlock Lord's will.
In the Hood: Thankfully. When we do see their faces, they're described as looking like pitted coal. The art in World of Shannara makes it even worse.
One-Man Army: Any one of them can match Allanon blow for blow. The one that gets into the Elven palace in First King murders the royal family and half the guard before it is finally put down. If you don't have an Elfstone or Druidic powers of some sort, and you see one of these guys, start running.
Balinor's younger brother, Palance is not the man he once was thanks to his treacherous adviser, Stenmin. With his father ill, and Balinor driven from the city, Palance is the one running Callahorn—or so he thinks.
Cain and Abel: He's the Cain to Balinor's Abel, though the hatred is entirely onesided.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite the utter mess that his mind and personal life are, Palance certainly cares about Shirl. He also refuses to have Balinor executed, despite his paranoid delusions and Stenmin's insistence that it is the only way he can protect himself.
Love Triangle: Of a sort with Menion and Shirl. Made worse by the fact he had befriended and trusted Menion before learning of his feelings for Shirl, though it is this friendship and trust that allows him to resist Stenmin's attempts to turn him against Menion; in the end after Stemin fatally stabs him he even seems to have a moment of sanity so as to give them his blessing.
Informed Ability: He never demonstrates his "mystic" abilities. Of course, he could have been an astrologist, or an alchemist, or something else along those lines, in which case he may not have had any, or at least none that would be of viable use in combat.
A thief, highwayman, and all around rogue whom Shea meets after being separated from the group. Quick-tempered, and prone to mood swings, he's nevertheless a useful (if shady) companion, and goes on to become Shea's protector on the trek to the Skull Kingdom.
Affably Evil: Panamon is polite, courteous, and prefers to avoid killing people if he can. That said, he's no gentleman and can turn very ugly if the situation warrants it.
Dangerous Deserter: A thief, tramp, and all around miserable excuse for a human being, Orl Fane alternates between snivelling sycophancy and violent insanity, making him dangerous to all those around him.
The Mentally Ill: His mind utterly shatters by the time of his final confrontation with the group.
Not-So-Harmless Villain: He really did manage to get his hands on the Sword of Shannara, and is able to avoid Shea and Panamon Creel for a couple hundred pages before being captured by the Warlock Lord.
Shea's grandson, Wil was orphaned when his parents died in a fever. Raised by Shea and Flick, he's studying in Storlock to become a Healer, in the hopes of saving people like his parents. That's the plan anyway, until Allanon comes crashing into his life. A few years back, Shea had passed the Elfstones on to Wil. Now the Druid wants him to use them to protect an Elven Princess on her way to save the world from a Demonic invasion. Does Wil get a choice in this? Not on your life.
Combat Medic: Wil is a healer, trained by the Gnomes of Storlock. He's also carrying the demon-destroying Elfstones around with him. He's a pretty solid example of this.
Deceased Parents Are the Best: His mother and father died of a fever, convincing Wil to become a Healer. He seems to have relatively decent memories of them. That said, his grandfather (Shea) and great-uncle (Flick) haven't given him much to complain about in the Parental Substitute department.
Took a Level in Badass: After spending most of the book frightened of the magic, and on the run from forces too powerful to combat, Wil turns around and burns The Reaper to ash.
The granddaughter of Elven King, Eventine Elessedil, Amberle was the first girl to be Chosen by the Ellcrys in years. It was a great honour. It was one she ran away from. When Allanon finds her, she's hiding out in an orphanage, helping look after the children. Next thing she knows she's on a quest to save the world, with only Wil for protection.
The adopted daughter of Cephelo, leader of a Rover band that Wil and Amberle encounter. She quickly falls for Wil, and tries to help him when her father cheats him. She returns to help them again near the end.
Woman Scorned: Having been spurned by Wil twice in a row, Eretria vows that he will live to regret it, and does nothing when Cephelo steals the Elfstones from him. Once she realises the stakes, she quickly drops her anger and tries to help make amends.
Often regarded as the greatest of the Elven Kings, Eventine was an exceedingly minor character in Sword. When we meet him in Elfstones he's in his eighties, and trying very hard to train his son Arion to take his place. He's not too happy about having to trust Amberle (who he regards as the black sheep of the family), but goes along with it at Allanon's urging. Spends most of the book leading his troops, which results in his receiving several serious injuries.
Ascended Extra: A minor character in the first book, he has to be rescued like a Damsel in Distress by Flick. In Elfstones on the other hand, he is a clearly great, if aging king, a central character, and a total Bad Ass.
Badass Grandpa: A more realistic version than many, given his limited stamina, aching bones, and failing strength. Still, the man's eighty-two, and not only leads his men from the front but managed to kill the freaking Changeling, injured, and by himself.
Mutual Kill: Kills the Changeling, but suffers a mortal wound in the process.
Parental Favouritism: He favours his oldest son, Arion, over his younger son, Ander. This isn't from a lack of love for Ander; it's simply that Arion, as heir to the throne, is the one he needs to be able to depend upon.
Prince Charmless: He can lead an army, but has no patience for politics, which makes including him in diplomatic negotiations a risky process at best.
Sibling Yin-Yang: Hot-tempered, bitter, and undiplomatic (though a capable war-leader) to Ander's reasoned deliberateness.
Eventine's second son, younger brother to Arion, and older brother to the deceased Aine. He takes on more and more responsibility as the book progresses, due to natural, self-effacing leadership skills, and the fact that he's one of the few people Allanon trusts.
Ambadassador/Badass Bureaucrat: Ander is equal parts negotiator and bureaucrat. He's still a more then capable fighter who singlehandedly keeps the battle going when all else is lost.
Beleaguered Bureaucrat: In the beginning. Arion and Eventine may be leaders of men, but it's Ander who handles all the paperwork, tries to track down the location of the Bloodfire, and goes through the army lists.
The Good King: Allanon prophesies he will be a good one, and Wishsong seems to bear him out.
The Heart: Eventine is the figurehead of the army, Stee Jans is its brains, and Allanon its power, but Ander is its soul. His mere presence is enough to rouse the troops to greater action, and he singlehandedly keeps them going in the face of hopeless odds.
The Leader: Takes his father's place as the leader of the Elven army.
The Captain of the Elven Home Guard, Crispin and six of his men are tasked with seeing Wil and Amberle safely to the Wilderun. Competent, brave, and dedicated to his job, Crispin ultimately sacrifices himself so that Wil and Amberle can escape The Reaper.
Bow and Sword in Accord: Fires one shot after another at The Reaper before resorting to a direct confrontation, wherein he acquits himself relatively well.
Dying Moment of Awesome: With his team dead, and The Reaper approaching rapidly, Crispin holds the Pykon Bridge against the unstoppable monster, holding it off long enough that Wil and Amberle are able to destroy the bridge, thus ensuring their escape. He doesn't actually do any damage, but the simple fact that he was able to slow the Demon down cements him as an immense Badass.
The commander of the Border Legion Free Corps, Jans and his men are among the first to answer the Elven call for assistance. A valuable ally, and walking Big Damn Heroes moment, his men will follow him just about anywhere.
The Strategist: Eventine and Ander are the leaders of the army, but Stee Jans is its brains.
The Dagda Mor
The leader of the Demons, The Dagda Mor is a powerful Demon Lord and sorcerer, with abilities that are a match for those of Allanon. He serves as the main antagonist of Elfstones, arranging the collapse of the Forbidding and leading his army's assault on the Elves, with his ultimate objective being the destruction of all sentient life in the Four Lands. In appearance he is roughly humanoid, with a humped back that crooks his spine almost double, a catlike muzzle, scaled arms and legs, and patches of sawgrass-like green hair.
Asskicking Equals Authority: The Dagda Mor is in charge because he has brutally crushed anyone who might have stood against him, using both his own power, and that of The Reaper. Few Demons approach his level of strength, and no one wants to challenge him for his position.
Demon Lords And Arch Devils: Lord of all the Demons, though not by virtue of title. It's by virtue of having killed anyone else who wanted the job.
Evil Genius: It's repeatedly stated that while the Dagda Mor may not be the most powerful Demon (although he's close enough), he is the smartest.
Evil Sorcerer: Channels Druidic magic through his Staff Of Power as an addition to his own, innate abilities. As such, he is the only Demon to keep his magic when the Ellcrys staff renders his army mortal.
The Power of Hate: All the Demons are like this, but the Dagda Mor is unique in that he is aware of it. Hate is all that has kept him going for thousands of years, and he feeds it like a favourite pet.
Primal Stance: Walks slouched and hunched, with his hands near the ground courtesy of a huge humpback.
Revenge: Wants to payback the Elves, and then all of humanity, for his imprisonment.
Sins of Our Fathers: Those who imprisoned the Dagda Mor are long since dead. He'll take it out on not only their descendents, but all of humanity, thanks all the same.
The Dagda Mor's spy, The Changeling is a spiteful Demon who looks down on all those who refuse to toy with lives the way that he does. He serves The Dagda Mor out of fear, and infiltrates Eventine's councils for him, disguised as the King's wolfhound, Manx.
Social Darwinist: Believes the strong should rule, and is contemptuous of anyone who is trapped by what they are. The only thing he respects is power superior to his own.
Created to be the ultimate hunter and tracker, The Reaper represents all the darker impulses of predation combined into one being and given human intelligence to balance animalistic instinct. Driven by instincts that demand it kill everything it comes into contact with, The Reaper is The Dagda Mor's most dangerous servant, and the one he uses to harry Wil and Amberle across the whole of the Westland.
Disney Villain Death: Subverted. The Reaper is dropped off a cliff only to make its return chapters later having been nothing more than mildly inconvenienced.
The Dragon: To The Dagda Mor, though it doesn't actually share his goals. The Reaper's sole objective in life is to kill as many living beings as it can, and The Dagda Mor provides it with the opportunity to indulge those instincts again and again.
Last of His Kind: Implied. Allanon talks about how there was a type of Demon a Reaper in the Old World of Faerie, yet The Dagda Mor's commentary (and indeed the The in The Reaper's title) imply that this one is the only one left.
A pair of psychotic witches, who make the Wilderun, home of the Bloodfire, their home. They hate one another, while viewing everything and everyone else as just something to toy with. Mallenroh captures Wil, Amberle, and Eretria, and takes the stones, hoping to alter the balance of power between her and her sister. Morag arrives and the two of them proceed to kill one another as Wil, Amberle, and Eretria escape with The Reaper right behind them
Wil's daughter, Brin inherited some of the ancient Elven magic in the form of the Wishsong. Allanon recruits her while Wil (who's never quite trusted him after the events of Elfstones) is out, needing her ability to mimic and control all forms of life in order to enter the Maelmord and destroy TheIldatch. She is mentioned in Indomitable and appears briefly in Dark Wraith.
Retired Badass: In the aftermath of Wishsong Brin marries Rone, retires to Leah, and never touches magic again.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Brin is never the same after the events of Wishsong. She swears off magic, loses contact with many of her friends, and only begins to recover after the birth of her son.
Story Breaker Power: Begins accessing this level of power under the Ildatch's control. It believes she would be even more powerful than Brona was, and without the Achilles' Heel. Luckily, Jair gets there in time to head this off.
Take Up My Sword: Courtesy of Allanon. Interestingly, it's one of her descendents, Walker Boh, who actually has to deal with the ramifications of this.
We Are Not Going Through That Again: The Ildatch's near subversion of Brin is enough to persuade her that not only is she never going to use her magic again, but she is never going to leave Leah again. She tries to persuade Jair to do the same.
Brin's younger brother, Jair has a milder version of the Wishsong, which allows him to create extremely detailed and realistic illusions. Attacked by Gnomes soon after Brin and Rone set out, he is rescued by Garet Jax and given a mission by the King of the Silver River. He later appears in the short story Indomitable and the graphic novel, Dark Wraith of Shannara.
Action Survivor: In Wishsong, which he only makes it through with help from others. He's more of an Action Hero during Indomitable and Dark Wraith.
Becoming the Mask: Both Indomitable and Dark Wraith of Shannara have Jair channeling, and almost becoming, Garet Jax, much to his and his sister's concern.
Guile Hero: At his best Jair gets by on trickery where others would use force. He seems to have passed some of this down to his descendents.
Hooked Up Afterwards: With Kimber Boh, who he has barely met by the end of Wishsong. Indomitable and Dark Wraith go into more detail about their relationship and how they became first friends, and then lovers.
Took a Level in Badass: In Indomitable. The discovery of his shapeshifting abilities transforms Jair from a Squishy Wizard into a someone who can transform into a One-Man Army with only a few notes of a song. The fact that he's older and more confident then he was in Wishsong also plays a role; even without morphing into Garet Jax, he's a lot more capable, and far less dependent on others, than he was back then, a trend that continues into Dark Wraith.
Menion's great-grandson, he's an old friend of the family and has a fairly serious crush on Brin. Distrusting Allanon, he accompanies the Druid and the Valegirl so that he can protect her. Prone to challenging Allanon's authority, Rone eventually provokes the Druid to the point where he magically empowers Rone's sword by dipping it in the waters of the Hadeshorn, allowing Rone to fight alongside him as an equal.
Cool Sword: The first person to wield the magically empowered Sword Of Leah.
Amulet of Dependency: The Sword's magic is incredibly addictive, as Rone and his descendents, Morgan and Quentin learn to their dismay. Being without it tends to cause the user to act as though they are going through drug withdrawal.
Ancestral Weapon: The Sword of Leah was the sword of his House long before it was a magical talisman.
Antimagic: The Sword of Leah cuts and parries magic, and destroys most magically created beings with a touch.
Black Swords Are Better: After being dipped in the Hadeshorn, the Sword of Leah takes on a black colouration, with pools of murky green swimming through it.
Empowered Badass Normal: Begins as a capable warrior who is well-equipped to handle ordinary situations. Allanon's alterations to the Sword of Leah send him into this territory.
Took a Level in Badass: Rone was already a skilled fighter, but was hampered by his lack of magic. The new Sword of Leah allows Rone to fight alongside Allanon as an equal, destroying Mord Wraiths and their creations in droves.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Getting the Sword (and its subsequent loss) make him less than pleasant to be around. He gets better though.
A Gnome from the band that captured Jair, he later becomes involved in the boy's quest to save Brin. Suspicious, and a loner by nature he has no desire to be along on this quest, but somehow gets caught up in it anyway. Sometimes called "The Gnome who was not quite a Gnome" due to his dislike for his own people and their superstitions. He reappears in Dark Wraith of Shannara, when Jair contracts him to be his guide through the Eastland.
Anti-Hero: Evolves into a Type II. He's much like Garet Jax actually, in his cynicism and reluctance to get involved with Jair's quest, but comes through in the end.
Hired Guns: Slanter works as a mercenary Tracker, hiring out his services to anyone who pays.
Knife Nut: Slanter's reliant on his long knife in most combats, in no small part due to his size. Unlike with other Brooks' characters, who carry a knife as just a part of their arsenal, it seems to be his main weapon.
The Lancer: To Jair in Wishsong and Dark Wraith alike.
Vitriolic Best Buds: With Jair Ohmsford. Slanter will always insist that Jair is more trouble than he's worth, and will complain the entire time they are together, yet he always comes through for Jair in the end.
The Weapons' Master, Jax is a mysterious mercenary who saves Jair from a band of Gnomes. He accompanies the Valeman as his protector from that point on. Possibly the biggest Bad Ass in the entire franchise. Has gone onto star in The Weapons' Master's Choice, a short story set early in his career.
All There in the Manual: The suggestion that he might actually be Stee Jans, from Elfstones is made in World of Shannara, though the idea seems to have been abandoned in The Weapon Master's Choice.
Anti-Hero: Type II. Cynical and standoffish, but still a hero.
Bad Ass: Along with Allanon, Garet Jax is perhaps the single most badass character in the original series, and one of the biggest ones in the franchise as a whole.
Badass Normal: Batman with a sword. He takes on Mord Wraiths, The Kraken, and a Jachyra using only his own arsenal.
Because Destiny Says So: Or at least the King of the Silver River, who convinces him that he has to serve as Jair's protector.
Blood Knight: He's looking for the one foe who can defeat him.
Death Seeker: Garet Jax follows Jair because he's looking for the chance to face his ultimate opponent, and die. A prophecy tells him that if he goes along with Jair he will find the opportunity to do this. Although it's not so much death itself he's looking for, he really just wants to face something that even has a chance of killing him so he can actually have a challenging fight for once.
Did Not Get the Girl: In The Weapon Master's Choice, Jax develops an attraction to his employer, Lyriana. Unbeknownst to him, she is a leper, which means there can be no relationship. After finding this out, Jax moves on.
Expy: It's not immediately obvious, given that they appear in the same novel, but Garet's role and relationship with Jair in Wishsong closely parallel Allanon's role, and relationship with Brin. Both are enigmatic men of indeterminate age, dressed all in black, with standoffish personalities who do not suffer fools gladly. Both keep to themselves, are masters of their respective disciplines, mentor an inexperienced young Ohmsford, have their own agenda, and give their lives in furtherance of the quest. They even go out fighting the same monster.
The Mentor: There are aspects of this in his relationship with Jair, as he teaches the boy how to survive. His lessons leave a strong impact on Jair, who later uses his powers to impersonate, and even try to become, Garet Jax.
Multi-Melee Master: Garet carries and is proficent with a wide range of close range weapons, including multiple knives, a short sword, a slender dueling sword, and a black quarterstaff. When the Kraken attacks Capaal he even manages to rummage up a harpoon.
Mysterious Past: We know almost nothing about Garet's past. Even The Weapons' Master's Choice doesn't clear everything up.
One-Man Army: Jax is worth a platoon or more of regular soldiers. He defeats an entire patrol of Gnomes in his first appearance, brings down the Kraken that was singlehandedly wrecking Capaal, and faces down a Jachyra. In The Weapon Master's Choice, Jax takes things even further, slaughtering a small army of mercenaries, and their vampire overlord, with only minimal assistance from a healer.
A huge, oddly gentle Borderman and former Tracker, who accompanies Jair, Slanter, and Garret Jax on their journey to the Maelmord. Quiet, self-effacing, and nearly unstoppable in a charge, Helt's strength and night vision make him an invaluable addition to the company.
Badass: Plows through Gnomes like they aren't even there. Only Garet Jax inflicts more damage.
Subverted Suspicion Aesop: From the moment Jair, Garet, and Slanter arrive in Culhaven, Elb is suspicious of the Gnome's motives and loyalty—understandably, considering the war going on between their peoples, and rightfully so, since Slanter had only recently (and mostly against his will) performed a Heel-Face Turn. But despite this constant distrust, Slanter's caustic remarks and vitriolic relationship with the Dwarf, and how close he comes (twice!) to abandoning Jair or the company, in the end Slanter's heart is true and he stands by Jair all the way to Heaven's Well; in fact he might not have made it at all if not for the Gnome.
The son of Ander Elessedil, Edain came to the Eastland with a company of Elven Hunters, intending to repay the Dwarfs for their aid in the War of the Forbidding. Upon uncovering Jair's quest, Edain insists on accompanying him, citing the debt that he and his father owe to Wil Ohmsford. He and Jair become fast friends.
The Chick: As the youngest and least experienced member of the company from Culhaven, Edain's main role seems to be being Jair's friend.
Heroic Sacrifice: He and Elb Foraker stay behind and hold the stairs to Heaven's Well against the oncoming Gnomes.
Honor Before Reason: As soon as he learns who Jair is, he becomes determined to join his company as a means of repaying his father's debt to Jair's father Wil. Considering he is the heir to the Elven throne (and was only supposed to be in Culhaven as a diplomat and advisor to the Dwarfs to repay Ander's debt to them), his bodyguards understandably feel he has taken leave of his senses. And thanks to his ultimate fate, they were right to worry.
Naïve Newcomer: Despite being a good warrior, and presumably chosen for his role by Ander by virtue of his knowledge of diplomacy and politics rather than simply because he was the heir, Edain seems to know little of the world at large, at times coming across as no more wise and informed than Jair. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it gives the Valeman a kindred spirit in the company.
A crazy old man who aids Brin in her search for the Maelmord and the Ildatch. Later revealed to be a lapsed Druid, and the last one left besides Allanon. Appears in Wishsong, the Heritage foursome, and First King.
Cogline's adopted granddaughter, Kimber quickly befriends Brin Ohmsford and insists that she, Cogline, and Whisper aid Brin on her journey to the Maelmord. In the novella Indomitable and the graphic novel Dark Wraith of Shannara, she reappears, and forms first a friendship, and then a romantic relationship, with Brin's brother Jair.
Badass Normal: If you think about it. There's nothing magical about Whisper. He's just a big cat with the same arsenal as a real life cougar or tiger. Yet despite this, he fights creatures like the werebeasts, Mord Wraiths and Mutens on a pretty even footing.
The Big Guy: Plays this role in Brin's group, serving as the force to Cogline's science.
Badass: Let's give these freaks their due: there's a reason the Mord Wraith's chose the Jachyras to do what they could not and face down both the greatest Druid who ever lived, and the Garret Jax, the Weapons Master.
Combat Sadomasochist: Hardwired into them by the dark magic. They actually feed on pain, both their own, and that of others. They'll tear themselves apart in order to kill their victim.
Evil Laugh: A hyena-like cackle that just about freezes the blood.
Law of Chromatic Superiority: The Mord Wraiths and their servants are black in colouration. The Jachyras are bright red and much, much more dangerous.
Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: In terms of their overall power level. Compared to most other magic-using characters, they're not that tough- they have to rely on ambushes or ganging up to really stand a chance against the likes of Allanon. Against normal people, though, they're seriously lethal.
Obviously Evil: But since they rule through fear, this can work for them.
Playing with Fire: Red, soot streaked flames, usually from their hands are their preferred form of attack.
The book of eldritch magic responsible for subverting Brona, the Mord Wraiths, and countless others. Very old, The Ildatch dates back to the war between the Faeries and the Demons and has been corrupting people ever since. Its destruction serves as the main plot of the book. Unbeknownst to all, including Allanon, the book is alive, sentient, and The Big Bad of the entire trilogy. A very nasty, Artifact of Doom indeed.
Big Bad: Of the entire original trilogy no less. Making use of the Warlock Lord and Mord Wraiths, and with an origin linked to the Demons, it is one of the three major threads that ties the otherwise standalone novels of the first trilogy together, the others being Allanon and the Ohmsford bloodline.
Non-Action Big Bad: For all its power, it is a book, and not a person, and is pretty helpless without a wielder. Brin's main struggle is snapping herself free of its thrall, which is extremely hard. Once that is done, the Ildatch itself is destroyed almost effortlessly.
The Man Behind the Man: To Brona and the Mord Wraiths. This generally seems to have been its MO across its entire existence- find someone with magical aptitude, reveal its secrets to them, and slowly turn them into little more than a vessel for using its power.
A descendant of Jair Ohmsford, and The Hero of the trilogy, he has inherited Jair's Master of Illusion powers. Initially a travelling storyteller, he and his brother Coll are summonded, along with Walker Boh and Wren to the Hadeshorn, and given a charge by Allanon. Par's is to retrieve The Sword of Shannara. Desperate to be a hero, he is the first Ohmsford to embrace his charge, involving himself not only in the quest for The Sword, but in the free-born effort to throw off the Federation.
Blessed with Suck: The Wishsong is an incredibly powerful, evolving weapon. It's also addictive, unpredictable, and prone to overriding Par's mind, and meddling with his psyche. Not to mention that it attracts Shadowen in the dozens.
The Hero: He's definitely the main character, though not by much, and the plot revolves around keeping him out of Rimmer Dall's hands.
Heroic Wannabe: Downplayed. Par is easily the most enthusiastic of the three Ohmsford heirs, but the least capable. Unlike Wren, who is a capable Action Girl, and Walker who has been living by himself in the Eastland for years, Par has never been more than a storyteller. His Master of Illusion powers come in useful, but he needs a lot more help than he thinks he does, and frequently rushes into danger without thinking, something that Coll ends up pointing out to him near the end of Scions.
In the Blood: Inherited his use of the Wishsong from Jair, though it eventually takes on a shape more akin to that used by Brin.
Jumped at the Call: He absolutely belives that they need to fullfill Allanon's charges, and leaps at the opportunity.
Master of Illusion: Like his ancestor, Jair, Par can use the Wishsong to create lifelike illusions. Initially this is all he can do with it.
Par's brother, and the only Ohmsford with no magic. He accompanies Par, having been given no charge himself. Or so we are led to believe. In reality, he's the one destined to wield the Sword of Shannara after Par finds it.
The Team Normal: The only Shannara descendent with no magic whatsoever and no charge from Allanon. Subverted in the end by his use of the Sword of Shannara.
Unwitting Pawn: Of Rimmer Dall who uses him as part of his campaign to torment Par.
A distant relative of Par and Coll's, who briefly lived with them in Shady Vale, where he was nicknamed "The Dark Uncle" due to his eerie nature and relationship with Par. Descended from Brin Ohmsford, Walker is tall, pale, and withdrawn, with limited innate magic, including the power to converse with nature and summon a version of the Druid fire. Charged by Allanon with reviving the Druids and Paranor, he is the most reluctant to accept his charge, and initially refuses outright. He returns in Voyage of the Jerle Shannara, where he undertakes the voyage in order to win support for a new Druid council
Badass: One of the biggest ones in the series. Walker has fought faerie beings, Shadowen, and robotic hunter-killer drones. He's been poisoned, lost an arm, dodged laser fire, and fought Rimmer Dall mano-a-mano. It takes Antrax, a being from another time to bring him down, and even then, Walker out lives Antrax by half a book, even with a fatal injury.
Determinator: He made it home after losing his arm, he crawls out of his home after Rimmer Dall's attack despite being near dying, he survives half a book with a fatal injury in the sequel; there's not much you can hit Walker with that he hasn't been hit with.
The Protagonist: In Druid. Morgan Leah and Pe Ell are also viewpoint characters, but this is Walker's quest and storyline that they are a part of. He shares the role of protagonist in Talismans with Wren and Par, acting as Big Good and mentor figure to the rest of the cast.
Par and Coll's cousin, and the bearer of the Elfstones, who lived with them in Shady Vale for a while when she was younger. Raised by the Rovers in the Westland, Wren is charged by Allanon with bringing the Elves back to the Westland. Unbeknownst to her, she is secretly their queen, being the offspring of an Ohmsford and an Elessedil.
Action Girl: A very competent fighter, and a match for any of the men in series (and a fair sight more capable than Par or Coll).
Boom Stick: Averted. Wren could use the power of the Loden Staff to annihilate most of the Shadowen of Morrowindl. Unfortunately, doing so would rob it of the magic needed to restore Arborlon once they reach the Westland so she is forced to refrain.
Horrible Judge of Character: To some extent with Gavilan but especially Tib Arne. The latter was lampshaded and justified somewhat in-story by her being emotionally vulnerable thanks to losing Garth, but still...
Supporting Leader: Takes on this role in Talismans, joining forces with Padishar Creel's free-born and Axhind's Rock Trolls to confront the Federation military in the Westland while her cousins and uncle break into Southwatch to take down Rimmer Dall.
Tomboy Princess: Given that she was a Rover long before she knew she was a Princess this is to be expected.
Par and Coll's oldest friend, Morgan has spent most of his life up until now, harrassing the Federation officials who occupy his homeland. He tries to protect Par and Coll, using contacts in the Dwarf Resistance and the Freeborn, as well as the battered Sword of Leah to aid them. Then, bad things start happening, and he goes on to become a character in his own right, and a major player in the series, all without really wanting to.
Bad Ass: Goes through Shadowen as though they aren't even there, and is probably the most competent fighter in the main cast.
Break the Cutie: The torture Morgan goes through comes very close to this. He goes from comic relief to bitter adult very quickly.
Wrecked Weapon—>Reforged Blade: The Sword of Leah is shattered during Morgan's escape from The Jut at the end of Scions. His arc in Druid is based around trying to have it fixed, which he succeeds in doing by the end.
The Smart Guy: Morgan is the go-to guy when the Free-born need a planner. He gets them in and out of Federation cities and prisons with seeming ease, figured out Teel was The Mole, and is second only to Padishar and Walker when it comes to going unnoticed.
Warrior Prince: His family may not run Leah anymore, but he's close enough for farm use.
The leader of the free-born resistance, and a descendent of Panamon Creel, Padishar saves Par and Coll from Rimmer Dall early on. He is delighted to hear about the Ohmsfords' missions, and does everything in his power to aid both them and Morgan, in the hopes that by destroying the Shadowen, they will cripple the Federation. Probably the most implacable, if odd enemy that The Federation has.
Consummate Liar: A heroic example, Padishar puts his manipulative abilities to work for the Free-born, convincing people from all walks of life to follow him out of the belief that his past mirrors their own.
Expy: In-universe. He deliberately modelled himself on Panamon Creel.
La Résistance: He's not the founder of the free-born, but he is the man responsible for uniting them into a competent fighting force.
The Leader: Of the free-born, having disposed of all the other contenders and gained control over The Movement. He's a Type IV, leading through his charismatic personality, and ruthless will.
Supporting Leader: As the leader of the free-born, Padishar is responsible for battling the Federation military while the Ohmsfords try to deal with the Shadowen. In Scions he and his men hold the Federation at The Jut while Par descends into the Pit; in Talismans he and Wren split the role, taking on the Federation's army in the Westland, while Walker, Coll, Par, Morgan, Damson, and Matty break into Southwatch to free Par and confront Rimmer Dall.
A member of the Freeborn, street magician, and Par's Love Interest. She's also Padishar's daughter.
Achilles' Heel: Could be said to be this to Padishar because she's his daughter, so he will do anything to save her, including staying behind to be captured and executed.
Action Girl: Maybe. It is clear she can fight, though, and there's no questioning her bravery in helping Par, particularly in the last book when she's the only Badass Normal in the group to go into Southwatch (aside from Matty Roh), and without any major weapons with her. Walker gave everyone "a bit of magic" to protect them, something she had no way of knowing how effective it would be or what form it would take, yet she went anyway.
Chekhov's Gun: The Skree. Just a bit of harmless street magic she gives to Par to help them reunite when he goes chasing after the Brainwashed and Crazy Coll...but later it helps her and Matty find and save Coll from slavers, and still leads her and the others to Par at Southwatch for the Final Battle, thanks to his magic having "imprinted" a reflection of it on himself.
Cogline's current moor cat, Rumor has a close relationship with Walker Boh, eventually transferring loyalties to him. Huge, silent, and unstoppable, Rumor faces down Shadowen with a ferocity that few humans can equal.
Head of the Seekers, the Federation Secret Police, Rimmer Dall is also the leader of the Shadowen, The Big Bad of the series, and an all around bastard. He pursues and harasses the Ohmsfords at every turn, playing with their minds, in an attempt to break them all. He seems to be particularly obsessed with Par and the Wishsong.
Animal Motifs: All the Seekers where a silver wolf's head on their necklace of office. In Dall's case the metaphor is more pronounced then with most.
Consummate Liar: Nothing short of the Sword Of Shannara can pierce Rimmer Dall's carefully crafted falsehoods. And since he's aware that Par can't use the Sword, Rimmer Dall's more than willing to hand it over to him, using the Sword's lack of reaction to his stories in order to further Par's confusion.
Dystopia Justifies the Means: He's already transformed The Federation into a brutal Police State. His next objective is reducing the Four Lands to nothing more than a magical buffet for the Shadowen. The land will sicken and die, most species will go extinct, the Races will be left as slaves to his hunger, and he's pretty comfortable with all of that.
Manipulative Bastard: By the time he's done with Par and Coll, they can't tell reality from fiction. More than any other villain in series, Rimmer Dall relies on manipulating his victims' emotions for his plans to work.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Dall, like most of the Shadowen, has become badly detatched from what other people would consider objective reality due to his need to feed, which he sees as paramount over all else.
A member of the Dwarf Resistance. Girlfriend of Steff, Morgan's contact. Tortured by the Federation, she has no face, and speaks very little. Eventually outed as Shadowen, she betrays the group, murders Steff, and is slain by Morgan.
Pet the Dog: The moment when Par is on watch at the camp, and she comes to him asking him to show her how the magic works. Possibly subverted in retrospect, as a clever Foreshadowing of her being a Shadowen, since this was an example of her being drawn to Par's magic as all the others were. But since it isn't clear when exactly she became a Shadowen—she may not have been The Mole to start with but got attacked and possessed sometime after this scene during the journey, it still could count. Even if she was a Shadowen at the time, that doesn't preclude her still having a humanizing side to her. Regardless, the moment certainly acted as a nice deflection from her true loyalties, making her a Red Herring for a while.
Waif-Fu: Far, far stronger than she looks, and every bit as fast.
The daughter of The King of the Silver River, she leads Morgan, Walker, Pe Ell, and Horner Dees on a trek north to defeat the Stone King, and recover the Black Elfstone in Druid of Shannara. She has the power to heal the land, and undo the poisons inflicted upon it.
Thanatos Gambit: Her death unleashes her magic, defeating Uhl Belk and The Maw Grint.
Wide-Eyed Idealist: Appears at first to be one of these, but it turns out she was far more Genre Savvy than she let on, knowing from the very beginning what Pe Ell was and what he wanted but bringing him anyway, because she needed the Stiehl to pierce her body's magical defenses, so she could become one with the land and undo the Stone King's poison. Very much an I Did What I Had to Do decision from one who seemed naive and far too trusting until The Reveal.
An assassin for hire, and a favourite of Rimmer Dall's. He possesses the Stiehl, a knife that can cut through anything, including magical defences. He is sent on the journey with Quickening, with instructions from Rimmer Dall to kill her at the first opportunity, but like Walker, Morgan, and Horner Dees, falls under her spell—a fact which only serves to make him more unstable and dangerous. Calling him a sociopath is putting it mildly.
Absurdly Sharp Blade: The first person to wield The Stiehl which can cut through anything, including armour, magic, and solid stone as though it weren't there.
Alas, Poor Villain: By the time the Koden reaches him, he's aware of how thoroughly he was used, angry with himself and the world, and uncaring about whether he lives or dies. It's possible to feel a degree of empathy for him, terrible person that he may be.
Yandere: Becomes one to Quickening, seeing her as his possession. He's insanely jealous of anyone—Morgan, Walker—who gets too close to her.
A retired Tracker, hunter, and woodsman, Horner Dees is the only man to have survived entering Eldwist, the city of the Stone King, and is recruited by Quickening to guide her company to Uhl Belk's home. A bearish old man who loves the mountains, Dees is eventually revealed to be a former Federation Tracker with a history with Pe Ell.
The Alcoholic: Dees has a serious drinking problem. To his credit, it doesn't interfere with his job.
Animal Motifs: Counting the number of times he is compared to a bear would make a good drinking game.
A creature of fairie, Uhl Belk is brother to the King of the Silver River, and Lord of Eldwist. Fearing change, he seeks to turn all the world to stone. Prior to the events of the series, he stole the Black Elfstone from the Druids; Walker, Quickening, Morgan, Pe Ell, and Horner Dees seek to retrieve it.
Abusive Parents: To the Maw Grint. His repeated demands on it, and fusions of magic, have driven it insane.
Omnicidal Maniac: Though he doesn't necessarily see it that way. He wants to turn the world to stone, in order to keep it from changing. He believes that in doing so, he is fullfilling his pledge to the Word.
Physical God: Would be, were it not for his immobility, and dependence on the Black Elfstone.
Taken for Granite: Resembles an immense, semi-mobile statue, and has the power to turn things to stone with a touch.
The Maw Grint
Uhl Belk's child, it is a formerly humanoid elemental with the appearance of a monstrous, fanged worm.
Story Breaker Power: Forget the Shadowen. The Maw Grint's size alone makes it literally unkillable. It's so vast that it fills all of Eldwist during its rampage at the end, making it immune to anything the heroes might throw at it. And that's without getting into the fact that both its touch, and its magic, are deadly poison. In short there is no actual way to stop it, or even fight it. Quickening's Heroic Sacrifice is the only thing that prevents it from taking over the world; a direct confrontation would have resulted in everybody but it dying.
The strongest and most dangerous of Morrowindl's "demons", it has the appearance of a nightmarish spider/monkey hybrid. It lays claim to the entire swamp of the In Ju, and dogs Wren Ohmsford's steps for much of Elf Queen of Shannara.
Disc One Final Boss: The final opponent confronted by Wren in Elf Queen, the Wisteron tests the limits of her abilities more fully than anyone she faces afterwards. It's not connected to the series' Big Bad, and yet it's still a near perfect match for this trope.
Prince Charming:Subverted. At first he seems like the real thing, but is revealed to be a coward by the end.
One of Padishar Creel's top agents, Matty is a very self-possessed and capable young woman. She runs a bar and safehouse for Padishar, and later accompanies Morgan Leah on his trek south in Talismans of Shannara.
Actually I Am Her: Morgan asked her (while she was disguised as a boy) where he could find Matty Roh. Several rounds of question dodging later, this gets said.
Badass Normal: Has no magic, no special talismans, and no experience with fighting the Shadowen. Not only survives the raid on Southwatch, but more then pulls her own weight, taking out numerous soldiers and Shadowen alike.
Battle Couple: Forms one with Morgan. He handles the Shadowen, she handles the normal people.
Bifauxnen: Matty is repeatedly described as looking like an especially Bishōnen male teenager, instead of the adult woman she is. This is an obvious help with her boy disguise.
I Did What I Had to Do: Convinced a Federation officer to give her some information she wanted, then cut his throat before he could...ahem...try and make a move on her. She's convinced that what she did was justified. Morgan's not so sure.
Survivors Guilt: Her entire family died of a disease that she herself brought into the house. Somehow she got better. They didn't.
Waif-Fu: Very slim, armed with a rapier, and dependent on trying to avoid getting hit. She's quite tall however, and capable of taking a reasonable amount of punishment against normal people. Against the Shadowen, she's absolutely dependent on this style.
The Four Horsemen
Four Shadowen, given the appearance of the legends, and sent to harass Walker Boh.
Dem Bones: Famine is essentially a skeleton, albeit with a little bit of flesh attached.
The Evil Genius: The main reason that Death is the last one standing is because he was bright enough to hang back from the fight, realised what Walker was doing with the illusions, and traced the Druid's attack on War back to its source.
Evil Is Deathly Cold: Death. His touch is freezing and saps his victims' strength while his scythe leaves frosty trails in the wounds it inflicts.
The Worm That Walks: Pestilence's body is made up of thousands of plague flies trapped within an amorphous yellow body.
Tib Arne and Gloon
A very young free-born agent, sent to bring Wren information about Padishar's movements. He later befriends Wren, who he seems to view with a certain amount of reverence. Gloon is his War Shrike and protector. Both are eventually revealed to be Shadowen spies. They kill one of Wren's companions and abduct her, before being slain by the Elf Queen herself.
Cool Pet: Gloon is a War Shrike, a creature that can best be described as an airborne wolverine, complete with the attitude, badassery, and lack of regard for its own personal safety. About as cool a pet as you can get.
The cousin of Quentin Leah, Prince of Leah, Bek was orphaned at a young age and adopted by Quentin. Recruited by Walker for reasons unknown. It's eventually revealed that he's an Ohmsford, has the powers of the Wishsong, and, by the by, is the Ilse Witch's brother.
I thought this would be our great adventure, our right of passage into manhood, a story we would remember all our lives, that we would tell to our friends and family. Now I don't ever want to talk about it again.
The current Prince of Leah, and Bek's best friend, cousin, and surrogate brother. Brought along by Walker so that they can have access to the Sword of Leah. Initially an enthusiastic, cheerful young man, the events of the series transform Quentin into shellshocked Failure Knight, obsessed with protecting those closest to him, no matter the cost.
The Lancer: Naturally falls into this role no matter who is partnered up with. He's been The Lancer to Bek, Tamis, and Panax.
Made of Iron: Quentin survives battles with wronks and Mwellrets, falling off a cliff in an avalanche, and finally, having the Graak land on him during its death throes. That last one nearly does kill him, but the fact that he survived at all, means his stamina is ridiculous.
Warrior Prince: Quentin's father is not a king (though he does rule Leah as part of the city council) but the trappings of the trope are still in full effect.
You Shall Not Pass: Pulls this on the pursuing Mwellrets and caulls, luring them away from Panax, the Rindge, and the remaining Elven Hunters, and then halting them on a mountain pass where they can only approach a few at a time. He fully expects this to get him killed; an avalanche ends up saving his life.
Redden Alt Mer
A Rover mercenary serving on the Prekkadoran Hights, Walker hires him to captain the Jerle Shannara. Also known as Big Red, and "the man with the luck."
The younger son of the Elven King, he is sent on the Voyage by his older brother, Kylen. Goes through more trauma than the rest of the cast combined, especially after attracting the attention of The Morgawr's Dragon, Cree Bega. He puts in another appearance in High Druid as a member of the Druid Order, and a mentor to his neice, Khyber.
Antihero: Type I. Ahren's in way over his head and knows it.
Classical Antihero: Plagued by self-doubts, unaware about what's really going on, and frequently victimised by those who are more powerful than he is, Ahren is really not cut out for this hero gig, but tries anyway.
Archenemy: How he sees the relationship between himself and Cree Bega by the end.
"He hated all of the rets, but their leader most of all. Cree Bega was a weight about his neck that would drag him to his death if it wasn't cut off now."
Break the Cutie: No character goes through quite the level of torture that Ahren does. By the end he's a fundamentally broken person with no self-respect left.
Cain and Abel: His brother wants him dead, or at least out of the way, for fear that when he dies, Ahren will take the throne from his children. Ahren wouldn't dream of it, but that doesn't do anything to allay his brother's paranoia.
Face Your Fears/Tired of Running: With regards to Cree Bega. When the big lizard climbs onto the ship and kills one of the crew, Ahren's first instinct is to run. He has an injured Quentin Leah to defend however, and realises that if he runs now, he'll never retain a single shred of his own self-respect. An awesome Knife Fight ensues.
Forced to Watch: Cree Bega forces Ahren to watch The Morgawr feed on the minds of the entirety of Black Moclips crew.
The protege of the Addershag, Ryer is an empath and a seer recruited by Walker to help them on their journey. She doubles as The Mole for the Ilse Witch, and is eventually captured and tortured by Cree Bega and The Morgawr, resulting in her suicide. Has a very complex relationship with Walker.
The son of a Borderman and a Shapeshifter, Truls Rohk is badly disfigured, and extremely bitter. He's known Walker for years, and is recruited by him to help the crew of The Jerle Shannara. Along the way he strikes up a friendship with Bek. Killed in battle with the Ilse Witch's caull, he is reborn as a true Shapeshifter.
A broken, deadly young woman who can kill with her voice, the Ilse Witch makes her home off the coast, where she plots revenge against Walker for imagined wrongs. Hearing of his quest to obtain the books of what she believes to be old magic, she gathers her own airship crew and sets off in pursuit of him. She is eventually revealed to be Bek's sister, Grianne, and reforms, turning against her mentor, The Morgawr. She reappears in High Druid of Shannara as the High Druid of the new Druid Order and in Dark Legacy of Shannara as a Witch-Wraith.
Archenemies: She thinks she and Walker are. One could make a convincing case for her and Tael Riverine reaching this status in reality.
Villainous BSOD: After being shown the truth about her past and herself by the Sword of Shannara, Grianne pretty much shuts down, and goes into a waking coma. Snapping her out of it becomes a big part of the plot in Morgawr.
"To feed on another's life. You cannot imagine the ecstasy!"
An ancient warlock who hides within the Wilderun, The Morgawr claims to have been the brother of The Witch Sisters,Morag and Mallenroh. A grotesque, disfigured monster who feeds on human lives and souls, The Morgawr is the Ilse Witch's mentor and the true Big Bad of the Voyage trilogy. Appearing in the background throughout the first two books, he emerges in Morgawr to finish the main cast and take the books of magic for himself. He is eventually slain by Bek, Grianne, and the spirit of Mephitic castle. Probably the single evilest character to appear in the entire franchise.
Bad Powers, Bad People: He devours peoples' souls and minds in order to extend his own life and power. Moreoever, all his other magics stem from this leeching of life. Unsurprisingly, he's one of Brooks' most evil villains.
Big Bad: There are several contenders for this title in the series, but The Morgawr is the one who ultimately wins out.
Determinator: Shows some aspects of this in his Wizard Duel against Grianne, when he temporarily holds off an attack by her and the spirit of Mephitic castle through sheer force of will. The Morgawr may be a monster, but he does not go out like a bitch.
"She took ssso long to die, little Elvesss. So long it ssseemed that it would take forever."
The Morgawr's right handMwellret, and the commander of the 'rets among the Ilse Witch's crew. A slimy, obsequious psycho, and one of the few members of the cast who isn't afraid of the Witch. Killed in a Knife Fight against Ahren Elessedil during the climax of Morgawr.
All Trolls Are Different: The Mwellrets are a species of lizardlike Troll who survived the Great Wars by hiding out in swamplands and marshes.
The Resenter: Towards the Ilse Witch, who he believes is less than worthy of The Morgawr's attention.
Smug Snake: He's arrogant, vicious, and contemptuous of all the "Little peoplessss"; even his undeniable bravery (he's one of the few people in series who isn't scared of the Ilse Witch) stems more from arrogance than anything else. Just reading any of his conversations with the Ilse Witch or Ahren should make his inherent Smug Snakeness apparent.
The Starscream: To The Ilse Witch. He makes it very clear that he believes that he, rather than her, should be the one in charge of the Voyage. The only reason he doesn't try and stick a knife in her is because The Morgawr told him not to, unless she tries to betray him.
An Old World supercomputer, Antrax was created to protect the world's knowledge during the Great Wars. Told that it must survive at all costs, Antrax lures magic-users to its home in Castledown where it imprisons them and drains off their magic to fuel itself. The main cast's lack of knowledge about what it is makes it truly dangerous.
Knight Templar: Antrax will kill anyone who tries to access the books without the codes. Moreover, it has expanded its practises to luring in people with magical abilities and enslaving them. Why? So that it can drain their magics in order to fuel its own existence, and thus fullfill its Obstructive Code of Conduct of protecting said books. The best part: it doesn't even know what it's protecting.
Magitek: Antrax has evolved past the point of using solar radiation; it now feeds on raw magic, drained from its victims.
Ahren and Quentin's mentor, ex-Captain of the Home Guard, and the leader of the company of Elven Hunters aboard the Jerle Shannara. He is captured by Antrax, turned into a wronk and sent to hunt his friends down. Quentin and Tamis spend most of Antrax trying to Mercy Kill him.
A huge, saurian predator that inhabits the Crake rainforest, the Graak makes short work of the first patrols to enter its territory. After witnessing it's slaughter of his men, Redden Alt Mer develops a paranoid fear of the monster, which he realises he will have to overcome in order to retain his self-respect, leading a team in to slay it, and take the floatation crystals it is guarding.
Minister of War for The Federation, Sen Dunsidan is a consumate politician who aspires to be his nation's leader. He as long maintained a mutually beneficial alliance with the Ilse Witch; later he begins to aid The Morgawr.
Karma Houdini: Subverted. Sure he makes it out of the series with his possessions and power intact, but after witnessing what The Morgawr did to those sailors, he'll never sleep again. And then The Moric eats him in the sequel.
"Everyone called him turnkey, as though that were more than name enough for a man who did what he did."
The keeper of the Federation prisons' keys, the turnkey serves as warden and torturer as well. He aids Sen Dunsidan when the Minister makes his deal with The Morgawr, and kills himself shortly afterwards.
Allanon's father, and the man responsible for the creation of the Sword of Shannara in the first place, Bremen is an elderly Druid who becomes aware of Brona's threat before the other Druids. When the Druid Council will not listen to him, Bremen leaves Paranor in disgust, deciding to take matters into his own hands.
Bremen's other ally among the Dwarves of Paranor, Tay is an Elven Druid, whose studies focused mostly on the elements. A close friend of Jerle Shananra, Bremen sends him to warn the Elf King about Brona, and obtain the Black Elfstone.
Becoming the Mask: Has to be very careful of this when he infiltrates the Chew Magna. Subsumed in his worst emotions in order to disguise himself, it would only take one false move to turn him into a genuine monster, instead of just looking like one.
A young Druid-in-training, she ends up traveling with Bremen, Risca, and Kinson Ravenlock after the fall of Paranor, aiding in rallying the Dwarves to the cause against Brona, as well as obtaining the aid of Urprox Screl in the forging of the Sword of Shannara and, though it isn't clear at the time, helping him locate his successor in the form of Allanon.
Action Girl: Not as much as other Brooks heroines thanks to her Dark and Troubled Past, emo-ness, and the dangers of truly unleashing her magic, but she qualifies thanks to the battles she engages in—including the final one with Brona's forces, which nearly annihilates the Dwarves, kills Risca of all people, and almost kills Kinson...but of which she's the only survivor other than Jerle and Bremen.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Played with. During the course of the journey she is told by a man claiming to be her father that the innate, nearly out-of-control magic she possesses was inherited from him—a Skull Bearer. She has the appropriate reaction, and almost succumbs to a Heroic BSOD until Kinson Ravenlock snaps her out of it. In the end, however, it is never revealed if this was actually the truth, or part of a trap by the Genre Savvy Warlock Lord to ensnare her powerful magic through her longing for her Disappeared Dad.
The ultimate grandfather to the whole Shannara line, Jerle makes his first real appearance in this book. Promoted to the kingship when the rest of his relatives are slaughtered, he accompanies his friend Tay on the hunt for the Black Elfstone and is later chosen by Bremen to wield the Sword of Shannara against the Warlock Lord.
Cool Sword: The original wielder of the Sword of Shannara.
Hero Secret Service: Was the Captain of the Elven Home Guard before the royal family was wiped out.
Warrior, bodyguard, and Tracker who travels with Bremen, first to the Skull Kingdom, then to Paranor, and finally on a journey to rally the Dwarves and help forge the Sword of Shannara. Falls in love with Mareth and ends up founding the city of Kern. Ancestor of Shirl Ravenlock.
The son of Bek Ohmsford and Rue Meridan, and nephew to Grianne, Pen, like many Ohmsfords before him, finds himself shafted into saving the world. Told by The Kingi of the Silver River that he must free his aunt from The Forbidding, Pen, along with Khyber Elessedil and his Love Interest Cinnaminson, goes on a journey to locate the legendary Tanequil tree, and using its powers, travel to The Forbidding and liberate Grianne.
The Empath: Pen can sense and read others' emotions, enabling him to predict how they will behave.
Friend to All Living Things: Of a sort—his powers also allow him to communicate with animals and plants, whether by literally speaking their language or merely feeling what they feel and influencing their emotions.
Good Parents: His parents are alive, well, very fond of him, and appear in the story, something of a rarity for Ohmsford parents.
The daughter of the Elven King, Khyber Elessedil is closer to her uncle, Ahren, then she is to her father. Joining Ahren and Pen on their quest to save Grianne, Khyber wields the Blue Elfstones on Ahren's behalf. She reappears in Dark Legends of Shannara, well over a century old, and in charge of both the Druids and the search for the rest of the Elfstones.
A high-ranking Straken Lord (Demon Lord) and one of the leaders of Demonic society following the death of The Dagda Mor. He conceived the plot to trap Grianne Ohmsford within The Forbidding in exchange for unleashing The Moric into the world. He later captures Grianne and tries to force her into mating with him. Escaping scott free, he returns as The Big Bad of Dark Legacy of Shannara.
Archenemy: One could make a convincing case for his being Grianne's.
Asskicking Equals Authority: Like The Dagda Mor and the rest of his fellow Straken, Tael holds his position by virtue of having killed anybody else who thought they could take it.
The wraith of the Ilse Witch uses this against him in Dark Legacy. By very publicly outwitting, humiliating, and finally killing him, she breaks any loyalty that his demon forces- who only value rule by strength- had for him.
Big Bad: Directly or indirectly, all the problems that Pen and Grianne go through in this series can be traced back to Tael's manipulations. He plays the same role in Dark Legacy.
Big Bad Duumvirate: Not directly addressed in-series, but with The Dagda Mor gone, Tael is just one of several Straken Lords who have stepped into his place. By Dark Legacy, he appears to have become the ruler of most or all of the Forbidding, however.
The Man Behind the Man: To the traitor Druids, who believe that they are equal partners with him. Also to The Federation, during the brief time period when The Moric was impersonating Sen Dunsidan. In Dark Legacy he's had enough of that so he just invades directly.
Stalker with a Crush: He's obsessed with making Grianne his mate, all the more after she escaped him, something no one else had ever done.
Villainous Breakdown: He goes increasingly berserk across Dark Legacy when he can't find Grianne. It gets even worse when he does find her, and she's an undead wraith who then duels him, kills him, and takes his place.
A relative of The Changeling from Elfstones, The Moric is the right-hand of Tael Riverine. Capable of perfectly impersonating anybody that it devours, The Moric is loosed in the real world so that it might destroy The Ellcrys and bring down The Forbidding.
Bad Powers, Bad People: The Moric eats people in order to gain their appearance and memories. No way it was going to be a good guy under those circumstances.
Demonic Possession: Possesses an even more perfect version of The Changeling's powers, activated by devouring a victim, and then wearing their skin, taking on that person's memory and personality.
A seventeen year old Tracker with an almost preternatural gift for finding the tracks of his prey, Panterra and his friend Prue Liss, are the first people after Sider Ament, to discover that the magic that protects the valley is failing. Tasked by Sider with warning the valley, Panterra makes an enemy of Skeal Elie, is captured by Taureq Siq while trying to warn the Elves, and is eventually chosen by Sider Ament to be his successor. Trapped by the events around him, Panterra is in way over his head, and knows it.
Boom Stick: Inherits the black staff from Sider Ament.
The Chosen One: Though in this case it was Sider Ament, rather than fate, that did the choosing.
Took a Level in Badass: In The Measure of the Magic as he grows into his role as the next Bearer of the Black Staff.
Panterra Qu's closest friend, fifteen year old Prue is an exceptionally capable Tracker, who can all but vanish at will. Like Panterra, she is tasked with warning the valley and preparing it's people for war, a task that sees her plunged into a great deal of hardship. She eventually meets the King of the Silver River, who grants her the power to help Panterra make a difference.
Blessed with Suck: The King of the Silver River's blessing gives her far greater abilities at the cost of her ability to see in colour.
Distressed Damsel: Thrust into this role after she is captured by Taureq Siq and has to be rescued by Deladion Inch. In fairness to her, she pulls her weight after the escape, and doesn't slow down Deladion any.
The leader of the Children of the Hawk, Skeal Elie brooks no challenges to the power of his sect. Upon discovering that the mist is coming down, he goes out of his way first to obscure the facts, and then to manipulate the situation to his advantage.
Big Bad Wannabe: Skeal Elie is set up as a major villain, but quickly comes under the ragpicker's control in Book 2.
"I'm not for hire and I don't get to choose my path."
The last descendent of the Knights of the Word from the Word and the Void, Sider Ament has made protecting the valley his life's work as the Bearer of the Black Staff. Realising that the magic that isolates the valley from the outside world is failing, and that his own time to find an apprentice is running out, Sider makes it his mission to ready the valley for contact with the rest of the world, and mold Panterra Qu into his successor.
Boom Stick: Carries the same black staff once wielded by John Ross.
Take Up My Sword: His mentor did this to him, passing along the black staff and all the responsibility that accompanies it. He does it to Panterra Qu at the end of Bearers of the Black Staff.
A traveller, engineer, and problem solver, Deladion is the first person that Sider Ament meets in the world outside the valley, and informs him of the changes in the world. One of the few people who still knows how to use and maintain firearms, Deladion strikes up a fast friendship with Sider, and assists him in freeing Prue from Tauriq Siq's Trolls.
Daughter of the King of the Elves, Phryne is known for her wild disposition and disdain for her stepmother. Among the first Elves to hear of the failing of the mists, Phryne makes it her personal mission to have Panterra and Prue's information accepted by her father and the rest of the Elves.
Action Girl: Already capable; then she gets the Blue Elfstones.
A baker's daughter and an ambitious social climber, Isoelde is Phryne Amantyre's stepmother. Caring only about her own power and position, Isoelde conducts an affair with First Minster Teonnate behind her husband's back, and under the table negotiations with Skeal Elie, as the two of them plot to take control of the whole valley for themselves.
A Troll warrior in Grosha Siq's hunting party, Arik Sarn is one of the few Trolls to speak the languages of Men and Elves. Claiming descent from Genesis' Panther, Arik aids Panterra release from Taureq Siq's army, and later accompanies the boy back to the valley, where he is introduced to the Men and Elves who live there. He is acutally Taureq Siq's eldest son, Arik Siq, and is preparing the way for his father's army by scouting out the valley's defences.
Poisoned Weapons: Favours a blowgun loaded with poisoned darts, an odd choice for a Troll.
Sibling Yin-Yang: With his younger brother. Grosha's an Axe Crazy psycho who gets off on feeding people to his Skaith Hounds. Arik's a calm, cold-blooded schemer who uses his brain to get what he wants.
Social Darwinist: Informs Panterra that his people's weakness invites their destruction, and that those who cannot defend themselves do not deserve to exist.
Taureq Siq's younger son, Grosha is a vicious brute, obsessed with hunting and killing. He frequently runs down his enemies with his Skaith Hounds, before feeding them to them. Only Arik Sarn and his father seem able to exercise any level of control over him.
The Unfavourite: Grosha's knows he is not the favoured son, and deeply resents it.
One of the small "d" demons first introduced in The Word and the Void, the ragpicker is one of the few of its kind to survive the Great Wars. Tracking the last Bearer of the Black Staff, the ragpicker arrives in the valley, and succeeds in making a bad situation that much worse.
Big Bad: Contends with Taureq Siq for the title; he manages to use almost everyone, hero and villain alike for his own ends.
The Collector: Takes one item of clothing from each person he kills in order to better remember them.
The Chessmaster: The ragpicker believes in fashioning favourable conditions rather than awaiting them, and plans ahead.
A descendent of the House of Leah, Paxon is the current wielder of the Sword of Leah, and a candidate for the position of High Druid's Blade (a protector of Paranor and its Druids). Having been dragooned into the role, he isn't sure how he feels about it.
Cool Sword: The Sword of Leah is back, and this time, both it and its wielder are central to the story.
Amulet of Dependency: Paxon, like all the Leahs before him, runs the risk of becoming hooked on the magic of the Sword.
Ancestral Weapon: The Leahs may not be kings anymore, but the Sword still belongs to them.
Antimagic: Which is why Paxon's a candidate for the job in the first place.
The Nondescript: Is described as having an utterly bland appearance, save for the pale blue eyes. His powers help him out here too: when he's in the room with you, you're always sure you know him from somewhere and his name is just on the tip of your tongue; when he leaves people typically forget he was ever there at all.
Revenge by Proxy: Nest's grandmother, Evelyn spurned him. His response? Wait for years, seduce her emotionally fragile daughter, Catelyn, get her pregnant and then reveal the truth about himself, driving Catelyn to suicide.
Smug Snake: He's quite effective, but his own viciousness, and underestimation of Nest and her grandmother royally screw him over.
Manipulative Bastard: Uses nightmares and frightening dreams to try and force John into murdering an innocent man, an action from which he will not recover, and which would have triggered his fall to The Void.