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Characters / The Sword of Shannara Trilogy

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    The Sword of Shannara 

Shea Ohmsford

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.
  • The Chosen One: Not because of anything inherently special about Shea himself, but because he is the only person who can use the blasted Sword.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Part Man, part Elf.
  • In the Blood: As an heir of Shannara, only he can use the Sword.
  • Last-Name Basis: In a sense. Per the Paladins trilogy, his birth name is actually "Aren Shea." After he was adopted, he was renamed Shea Ohmsford.
  • Last of His Kind: At this point, Shea is the last surviving member of The House Of Shannara.
  • 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.

Flick Ohmsford

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 they visit the Black Oaks, in case they get lost again.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Allanon forces him to disguise himself as a Gnome and infiltrate Brona's army.
  • Fantastic Racism: Loathes Gnomes in Elfstones, though not without reason. Too many of them tried to kill him over the course of Sword.
  • Grumpy Bear: The most unabashedly cynical and pessimistic member of the cast.
  • The Mole: Sent by Allanon to infiltrate the Warlock Lord's army.
  • Refusal of the Call: Not for himself, but tries to convince first Shea and then Wil to refuse to heed Allanon's call.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Grumpy, practical, and heavily built, in contrast to the more positive, romantic, and slender Shea.
  • The Smart Guy: Flick's ability to plan ahead, and improvise on the fly (despite really hating to do so) come in handy several times.


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.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Allanon's described as having black hair and brown skin, leaving his racial identity decidedly ambiguous. Brooks once said in an interview that in a perfect world, either Liam Neeson or Idris Elba would be cast as Allanon, indicating that the author himself is undecided on the issue.
  • 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.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: The master of this. Allanon frequently holds back vital information if he believes it will make the protagonists doubt themselves.
  • Full-Contact Magic: It ain't Kung Fu (or any other recognisable martial art) but Allanon can both burn you alive and beat you to a pulp, completely independently of one another.
  • Guile Hero: Allanon manipulates everyone around him for the good of all. It doesn't make him very popular, but it does save the world time and again.
  • In the Hood: Usually keeps his face concealed within his hood.
  • Made of Iron: Started the trend of Druids in this series being able to take unbelievable beatings and just keep right on ticking.
  • 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.
  • Playing with Fire: His preferred attack involves blue, Druidic flames.
  • 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 inevitably Tear Jerkery, and serve to remind the audience that yes, he is one of the good guys.

Menion Leah

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.
  • Ancestral Weapon: Carries the Sword of Leah, his family's ancestral broadsword.
  • 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.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Flick are this on a good day. On a bad day they just hate each other.


A Dwarf Tracker and woodsman who serves as the group's guide through the Eastland. Perhaps the most experienced member of the group, he is hated by the Eastland Gnomes, who have a price on his head.
  • The Quiet One: And not a screwed up example. He just doesn't talk that much, unless the situation calls for it. The word most used to describe him is "taciturn."
  • You Shall Not Pass!: He and Menion pull this when Stenmin attempts to lead the enemy into the city through the basement.

Balinor Buckhannah

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.
  • 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, serving 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.
  • 24-Hour Armor: He is always described as wearing a full body suit of chain-mail.

Durin and Dayel

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.

Brona, The Warlock Lord

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 King and High Druid.
  • Dark Is Evil: A menacing figure robed head to foot in concealing black robes. He's as bad as to be expected.
  • 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 Character Evil 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 Name 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 Faceless: He has no face, just a swirling green mist, and two red eyes.
  • Faking the Dead: After the First War Of The Races. He isn't faking after the Second though: it legitimately took him that long to recover from the damage Bremen and Jerle Shannara inflicted on him.
  • Fisher King: His presence alone is implied to have made the Skull Kingdom the barren wasteland it is today.
  • In the Hood: Brona no longer has a face. Just greenish mist swirling within his hood.
  • Literal Genie: His ghost goes out of its way to be this in High Druid, being as unhelpful—and as aggravating—as possible whenever Grianne asks a question.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Both Skull Mountain, and the entire Knife Edge collapse after he dies. All of the Skull Bearers go too.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Actually justified. Brona's less a character, and more a channel for eldritch forces. He can't do anything.

The Skull Bearers

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.
  • Dead All Along: The only thing maintaining their existence is Brona's will. When he, and his belief that they are alive goes, so do they.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: Rotten, leathery wings, on monsters that fly like a vulture.
  • 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.
  • Playing with Fire: Emit red flames from their eyes.
  • The Undead: They died a long time ago. The only thing animating their corpses is Brona's will.
  • Vader Breath: They all have wheezing, ragged breath.

Palance Buckhannah

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.
  • 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.
  • The Evil Prince: Subverted. Palance looks like one at first, but it's his Evil Chancellor who is the real problem.
  • 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.
  • The Resenter: Horribly resents Balinor for being the firstborn.
  • Weak-Willed: The drugs that Stenmin feeds him only make it worse, causing him to vacilitate back and forth, usually making a decision based on the advice of the last person he talked to.


One of the Warlock Lord's spies, and a treacherous advisor to Balinor's brother, Palance. He plots to open the gates of Tyrsis to Brona's army.
  • Dirty Coward: Spineless, sleazy, and pathetic, with a strong attachment to his own skin. Even Palance, who thinks that Stenmin is the smartest person in the world, describes him as a coward.
  • 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.
  • The Mole: He works for the Warlock Lord while nominally serving Palance.
  • Smug Snake: Stupid, full of himself, and insufferably arrogant.
  • Stupid Evil: Does he really expect Brona to reward him after the war is over? Than again, it's exactly these qualities of his that the Sorcerous Overlord is playing on.

Panamon Creel

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.
  • Badass Normal: Panamon has no mystic powers, just a meanstreak and all the experience of a life spent on the run from the law.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Has a pike for an arm.
  • Disney Death: Panamon vanishes during the collapse of Skull Mountain, only to reappear some weeks later on Shea's doorstep, apparently unhurt, and looking to return the Elfstones.
  • Dual Wielding: In a way. He has the pike on one arm, and carries his broadsword in the other.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Panamon's a thief and a murderer, but he balks at what the Northland has become under Brona. He's also revolted by the deserter Orl Fane, who left all his friends to die.
  • Gentleman Thief: Fakes it really well, but underneath he's a common highwayman, and he knows it.
  • I Gave My Word: Panamon's a slippery, lying SOB but if he actually promises to do something, he will damn well do it.
  • Pride: Perhaps his defining characteristic. Even his decision to help Shea is based at least in part because being outfoxed by Orl Fane and nearly killed by a Skull Bearer hurts his vanity.


An immense Troll, Keltset is Panamon's closest friend, and partner in crime. Strangely gentle, he doesn't quite fit with Shea's view of Trolls.
  • The Quiet One: He's an actual mute, yes. He also however, rarely involves himself in the decision making process unless he has to, allowing him to still fit this trope.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: With Panamon. He's quiet and thoughtful, Panamon flashy and quick to anger.
  • The Speechless: Had his vocal cords burned out by Skull Bearers.

Orl Fane

A Gnome deserter, captured by Panamon Creel who claims to know the location of the Sword of Shannara.
  • 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.

    The Elfstones of Shannara 

Wil Ohmsford

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.
  • Lamarck Was Right: His use of the Elfstones physically damaged him, causing him to pass along magically altered genetics to his children. Cue the Wishsong.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: No one tells him what will happen to Amberle if the quest is successful, as they fear he will try and screw it up.
  • 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.

Amberle Elessedil

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 Chosen One: Amberle was chosen by the Ellcrys to help repair the gap in the Forbidding. Surprisingly, she isn't the main character. She initially thought it was a cruel joke.


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.
  • Arranged Marriage: Is fleeing the one that her Parental Substitute, Cephelo, is trying to force her into.
  • Femme Fatale: Beautiful, enigmatic, and willing to offer Wil just about anything if he'll take her away from Cephelo. While she's far less skanky than most, the trope still applies.
  • Happily Married: If everything Brin says in Wishsong is true, she and Wil genuinely love each other as adults, however rocky things may have started out.
  • Love at First Sight: Falls for Wil right off the bat.
  • 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.

Eventine Elessedil

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 badass.
  • Cool Old Guy: 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 Favoritism: He favors 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.

Arion Elessedil

Eventine's oldest son, and Crown Prince of the Elves. Slain while leading the Elven army at Worl Run.
  • 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.

Ander Elessedil

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.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Ander is equal parts [1] 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 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.
  • Supporting Leader: He's the one who leads the army while Amberle and Wil try to save the Ellcrys.
  • The Unfavorite: A non-malicious example. It's not that Eventine doesn't love Ander, it's just that he sees training his heir, Arion, to be much more pressing.


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.

Stee Jans

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.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Implied. He leads what's essentially the Callahorn version of the French Foreign Legion. All his men, and Stee himself, are running away from something.

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.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Uses a gigantic one as his mode of transport.
  • Big Bad: As the leash-holder of the Demon army, he's the main antagonist of Elfstones, though he's off-page for most of the novel's second half after his minions get released en masse.
  • Boom Stick: Channels red, Demonic flames through his staff.
  • 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.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Dagda Mor is a half-mad Demon Lord whose goal is to conquer the Four Lands and wipe out every mortal in them... but even he thinks of the Reaper as a monster (albeit a monster he's perfectly willing to channel to serve his own goals) and is somewhat wary of it.
  • 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: He's explicitly described as a powerful sorcerer on top of being a Demon; he's nearly neck-and-neck with Allanon in terms of power and skill.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: He and his Co-Dragons fall into this ensemble; he's the Mage.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Fear, and the shared goal of eradicating all life.
  • Kill All Humans: And Elves, and Dwarves, and Trolls, and Gnomes. If it isn't a Demon, The Dagda Mor wants it destroyed.
  • Magic Staff: His Staff of Power, though it's unclear if it possesses any magic of its own or is just a tool for channeling the Demon Lord's inherent magic. Allanon destroys it after killing the Dagda Mor, just to be on the safe side.
  • 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 favorite pet.
  • Primal Stance: Walks slouched and hunched, with his hands near the ground courtesy of a huge humpback.
  • The Quiet One: He can talk, but has a grand total of two lines of dialogue in the entire novel, both early on.
  • Red Right Hand: His massive hunchback is the first hint that he's neither human nor good.
  • 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 descendants, but all of humanity, thanks all the same.

The Changeling

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.

The Reaper

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.
  • Ax-Crazy: And it may not be entirely by choice; apparently, a psychological "need" to kill is inherent in Reapers (though this one is said to enjoy killing on top of that).
  • Dark Is Evil: A massive black robed monster named "The Reaper". It's as evil as it sounds.
  • 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.
  • The Faceless: It only shows its face to those it's about to kill.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: With the Dagda Mor and the Changeling. It's Fighter.
  • Hero Killer: Cuts quite a swath across the Westlands over the course of Elfstones, most clearly shown in the Pykon sequence when it picks off the Elven Hunters one by one before finally taking down Crispin himself.
  • The Juggernaut: The Reaper is Implacable Man Turned Up to Eleven and with shades of Super-Persistent Predator. Nothing hurts it: not fire, not weapons, not falling from a bridge; nothing deters it, and it can plow through literally anything that gets in its way.
  • 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.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Nothing can stop The Reaper. One of the Elven Hunters hits it in the throat with his sword. The sword breaks, The Reaper doesn't.
  • No Biological Sex: Implied; the Dagda Mor and even the Changeling are gendered, but the Reaper is only ever "it", even from the perspective of its fellow Demons.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The reader never gets to see the Reaper's face or learn anything about the creature under the cloak; this mystery only adds to its frightening nature.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Dagda Mor suspects that, if given free reign, it would eventually kill every living thing in the Four Lands.
  • Psycho for Hire: Designed to be one. The only reason it works for The Dagda Mor is the promise of an entire world of lesser beings that it can kill.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: The Reaper follows Wil and Amberle all the way across the Westland and into the depths of the Wilderun, never losing track of them for more than a few days.
  • Silent Antagonist: Whether or not the Reaper even can talk is unclear; it certainly never does on page.
  • The Unreveal: We're told that only The Reaper's victims see its face. Said face is never once shown, not even when Wil burns it into ash.
  • The Voiceless: It doesn't talk.

Morag & Mallenroh, The Witch Sisters

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
  • Living Doll Collector: Mallenroh captures people she finds "pretty" and either turns them into wooden figurines, or keeps them alive in her dungeons. Morag is implied to do the same.
  • Love Triangle: A human got caught between them. They killed him and blame one another.
  • Never My Fault: Neither will accept any blame for the death of the human they killed.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Both are very beautiful (albeit in a cold kind of way) and are taller than Allanon, a seven-footer.

    The Wishsong of Shannara 

Brin Ohmsford

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 The Ildatch. She is mentioned in Indomitable and appears briefly in Dark Wraith.
  • Happily Married: By Indomitable she is cheerfully married to Rone Leah.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: After Wishsong Brin wants to be a wife and a mother. She abandons her magic, and tries to get Jair to do the same.
  • Lamarck Was Right: Her abilities stem from her father's use of the Elfstones.
  • Mutant: Pretty much. Wil's use of the Elfstones contaminated his bloodline, resulting in she and Jair being born with innate magic of their own.
  • Protectorate: How Rone Leah and Whisper see her.
  • Reality Warper: Can bend nature and life around her Wishsong.
  • 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.
  • Squishy Wizard: Brin has tremendous raw power, but it's in the body of an average teenage girl. If you can reach her, you can kill her.
  • 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.

Jair Ohmsford

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.
  • The Chosen One: Courtesy of the King of the Silver River. If he doesn't save Brin, that's it for the world. Allanon later recruits him in Indomitable and Dark Wraith.
  • 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.
  • Master of Illusion: The first of the Ohmsfords to have the power of illusion at his disposal, Jair pioneered the trickery that would later be used by Par Ohmsford, Walker Boh, and Bek Rowe.
  • Protectorate: For Garet Jax, Slanter, and the rest of the company from Cullhaven.
  • Shapeshifter: In Indomitable Jair discovers he has the power to draw his illusions around himself, changing into whatever image he creates. He typically uses it to transform into Garet Jax.
  • Squishy Wizard: A Master of Illusion, but if you can reach him he's in trouble. At least until Indomitable.
  • 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.

Rone Leah

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.
  • 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.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Becomes Brin's defender solely to be close to her.
  • Cool Sword: The first person to wield the magically empowered Sword Of Leah.
  • 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.
  • G-Rated Drug: Becomes addicted to the magic of The Sword Of Leah. This is less than healthy to say the least.
  • Happily Married: To Brin by the time of Indomitable.
  • The Lancer: Plays this role to Brin in the company from Darklin Reach, acting as her Number Two.
  • 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.
  • Defector from Decadence: Slanter hates the Mord Wraiths, and finds his fellow Gnomes primitive, savage, and more than a little stupid. It ultimately leads to his defection to Jair and the Dwarves.
  • 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.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Gnomes are hardly tiny, but still very short compared to other races, and Slanter is no exception. He'll still slice you to ribbons if you screw with him or Jair.
  • The Smart Guy: Takes up this role from Cullhaven. Garet Jax is in charge, and Elb Foraker's his Number Two, but Slanter is the man with the plan.
  • 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.

Garet Jax

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 badass 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Jax is bitter, sarcastic, and unfriendly even under the best of circumstances.
  • Hired Guns: A mercenary, Jax largely fights for the Southland city-states, and later the Dwarves.
  • 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.
  • The Big Guy: Provides the muscle for the company from Cullhaven, acting as the raw power to Garret Jax's finesse.
  • Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: Helt is the first to die, holding the gatehouse against the Gnomes.
  • Blade on a Stick: Favors an enormous pike.
  • The Corruption: The reason for his Heroic Sacrifice, after he is poisoned by the Skull Bearer-like creature in the cellars of Graymark.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Slanter stuffs him into a black robe and makes him pretend to be a Mord Wraith so that the two of them can sneak through enemy lines.
  • Driven to Suicide: Sacrifices himself to hold off an army of Gnomes after realizing he has already been poisoned.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Sacrifices himself to let Jair and the others escape. For just a moment, he manages to hold off an entire army of Gnomes.
  • Gentle Giant: Quiet and friendly (if rather withdrawn) when not in combat.
  • The Giant: Helt's size is frequently referenced, and is a large part of what makes him so fearsome in battle.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Poisoned by a magically created monster, Helt sacrifices himself to let Jair escape, destroying the drawbridge stopping the pursuing Gnomes dead in their tracks.
  • Innate Night Vision: So long as there is even a glimmer of light, Helt can see nearly perfectly in the dark.

Elb Foraker

A Dwarven fighter and a long-time associate of Garet Jax, Elb joins Jax, Jair, and Slanter on their journey to Heaven's Well, acting as the unofficial second-in-command of the group.
  • Bash Brothers: Depending on the fight, he can be this with Helt, Edain, or even Slanter, but in terms of longest history together, this describes him and Garet Jax to a tee.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He and Edain Elessedil hold the stairs to Heaven's Well, while Garet Jax, Slanter, and Jair Ohmsford go onward.
  • 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.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: He and Edain Elessedil, both injured, do this to the pursuing Gnomes.

Edain Elessedil

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.
  • 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 quartet, and First King.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Try over a thousand. He was already old when Bremen was alive, and is one of the few characters who can remember what Brona was like before he was the Warlock Lord.
  • Recurring Character: Appears in Wishsong, First King, and all of the Heritage books, despite not being a main character.

Kimber Boh

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.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Rendered this way in Dark Wraith.
  • The Beastmaster: Plays this role with Whisper, since she is the only one who can influence or control him to any degree, although the control seems to lie more in empathy and friendship than anything else. Whether this ability is the one inherited by her ultimate descendant Walker Boh isn't clear (she's never shown or said to have this power with any other animals), but it's the other reason Brin needs her along. Until Brin's Wishsong does the same thing, at least enough to override Kimber's influence in one respect.
  • The Chick: Plays this role in the company from Darklin Reach. Her role seems to be being Brin's friend.
  • Distressed Damsel: In Dark Wraith. Though by the time Jair arrives to save her, she's already managed to free herself.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: Her relationship with Jair was this until Indomitable and Dark Wraith, which explores their developing friendship and eventual romance.


An enormous moor cat who accompanies Cogline wherever he goes, Whisper forms an attachment to Brin Ohmsford, and follows her into the Maelmord.
  • Animal Companion: To Cogline, Kimber Boh, and Brin. 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.
  • Meaningful Name: Whisper's mute, and totally silent. Interestingly, despite this there is one POV scene from him, and Brooks does a great job of approximating an animal's thoughts despite him not being able to speak, although he does seem quite intelligent.
  • Panthera Awesome: So awesome he can fight dark magic creatures with just claws and teeth.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Cogline, Kimber, and Brin. Brin actually has to run away to stop Whisper from following her further into the Maelmord.

The Jachyra(s)

A monster from the Faerie world that even the Demons thought too dangerous to loose. Two of them are released by the Mord Wraiths, and sent to face Allanon and Garret Jax.
  • 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.
  • Mutual Kill: The two Jachyras achieve this with Allanon and Garret Jax respectively. At least, we think that's what happened with Garret Jax. We can't know for certain because the Jachyra's body, dead or alive, was banished when the Ildatch was destroyed, but Jair and Slanter refuse to believe it could have gone any other way.
  • Our Demons Are Different: An ancient fairy creature that both the real Demons and the good Fae decided needed locking up.
  • Poisonous Person: Their claws and fangs deliver a poison that attacks both the physical body and the spirit.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Even the Demons thought they needed locking up, and the Mord Wraiths are only willing to summon two of them.

The Mord Wraiths (Black Walkers)

Mortal followers of Brona, subverted by the magic of The Ildatch. They now resemble tall, skeletal figures, wrapped in black robes, and prone to worshipping the book.
  • Elite Mooks: At least if you're Allanon, Rone Leah, or Brin. For anyone without magic, they tend more towards the Nigh-Invulnerable end of the scale.
  • Evil Sorceror: Once minor magic users and human followers of the Warlock Lord, they've been gifted with both magic and madness by the Ildatch.
  • Implacable Man: To anyone without magical abilities. There's a scene where three of them take a few dozen arrows and get right back up, as though nothing had happened.
  • 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.
  • Playing with Fire: Red, soot streaked flames, usually from their hands are their preferred form of attack.
  • The Voiceless: The only sound heard from them is the occasional scream.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once their true goal of seeking a new wielder of the Ildatch's power is achieved, the book uses its new host, Brin, to incinerate all of them still standing.

The Ildatch

Dark child...

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.

  • Artifact of Doom: The Ildatch should never, ever be used. Anyone who does use it inevitably falls into evil.
  • The Corrupter: Using it tends to drive the user more than a little insane, leaving them Drunk on the Dark Side.
  • 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.
  • More Than Mind Control: The Ildatch influences your choices at the subconscious level, playing on your desires.
  • Non-Action 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. 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.
  • Walking Spoiler: Well, it doesn't walk, but the fact that it's a character at all is a pretty big reveal that casts the whole trilogy in a new light.


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