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YMMV / The Shannara Chronicles

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  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Prince Arion had few fans, what with his Jerkass tendencies and uncanny ability to be wrong about everything, but after he willingly undertakes what he acknowledges to be a suicide mission in the hope of saving his people, you still have to feel sorry for him when he dies in it without even getting to accomplish his objective. And then he's revealed to not have died after all but to have become the helpless slave of the Big Bad, and ends up dying for real at the hands of his brother who he has to beg to kill him while he's still himself.
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  • Complete Monster: The Warlock Lord, from season 2, was a heartless druid who attempted conquest on the Four Lands before being killed by Wil's father, Shea. It's revealed that the Warlock Lord made a bargain with Queen Tamlin to kill her husband and give her the throne, in exchange for getting access to Heaven's Well. Upon his resurrection, the Warlock Lord dispatches numerous soldiers of the Crimson, before ripping off General Riba's head. At Bandon's request, the Warlock Lord resurrects his girlfriend Catania, only to brainwash and seduce her in front of Bandon before having him kill her, and kills Bandon for turning against him. The Warlock Lord's plans for Heaven's Well is to use his blood to taint the Silver River, having his dark magic consume the land. When the key to Heaven's Well is passed down to Lyria, the Warlock Lord uses Eretria's demonic heritage to brainwash her and track Lyria down. Finding them at the Enclave, the Warlock Lord personally slaughters dozens who stand in his way, including a young boy, before killing Allanon. During the final fight, he fatally wounds Wil as the two impale each other.
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  • Critical Dissonance: Critics are split pretty even among those that find the show divisive, with the show having a 50% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Fans are a lot more forgiving though.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Bandon, for some. Just look at some of the tropes he's mentioned in below! It helps that his actor is very pretty.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Eretria/Amberle has the majority of fanfics.
  • Foe Yay: Very present among the main characters.
    • Eretria with Wil from the moment they meet; the two even sleep together in Episode 4.
    • Eretria with Amberle. The two often end up in each other's personal space, usually with a knife to the other's throat. Eretria even reveals she is bisexual while propositioning Amberle, when they are both naked in a bath. The "Foe" part of this starts tapering off during "Breakline", when they begin to form a genuine bond after learning that they have something in common (namely, that both of them are orphans).
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The actress who plays Queen Tamlin (Caroline Chikezie) is no stranger to playing Action Girl characters - she also played Nasuada in Eragon and Freya in Æon Flux.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Bandon is this to some fans as of the second season. As just about everyone tries to explain to him, trying to resurrect the Warlock Lord is a really awful idea that will just cause him even more misery, but given how much crap he's been through both before the series and during it, you can understand why he's so bitter and desperate for any kind of solution, however flawed.
    • Other fans, however, point out that he had creepy yandere tendencies towards Catania in the first season, then his calmly nd gorily murdering the child in season two just to prove a point to Flick pretty much eliminated any good will they had for him.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Bandon takes a flying leap across this in "Dweller", where he brutally murders a young boy in front of his parents and a horrified Flick because the boy's parents had been unknowingly badmouthing him.
  • Narm Charm: The show runs on this. It's a blend of high fantasy and high school soap opera, with the dialogue shifting between epic prophecy-speak and modern teenage slang. It's like Game of Thrones had a baby with Degrassi. But it's because of this that the show is so likeable, and stands out among other cookie-cutter fantasy series. (Unless, of course, you're one of the people who finds it unwatchable for these exact reasons.)
  • Special Effects Failure: Pay close attention to the gnome healer who comes to speak with Wil in "Druid" - after he blinks a few times you can clearly see that his contact lenses have unfortunately slipped out of place (making him appear to be looking in two directions at once). Also, his voice is noticeably muffled by the prosthetics he's wearing, and you can see his mouth and chin beneath them. It's especially jarring because the show usually has Visual Effects of Awesome.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Holy. Shit. The visual effects in this show are incredible and easily on par with contemporary movies. The demons in particular are very detailed and impressive.
  • The Woobie: Even among a cast of characters who all have their own woes, Wil takes the cake. He grew up as the son of a drunken, half-crazed father and was mercilessly bullied by the other children for being a half-Elf. His mother practically died in his arms in spite of him using his every effort and all his medical knowledge to save her. He got conned, drugged and robbed by a Rover woman, then woken up by a cheerless Druid who berated him for being conned, drugged and robbed before dragging him off on a quest that is not just demoralisingly likely to fail, but will likely make him end up like his father even if it succeeds. He developed feelings for a lovely Elf Princess, only to have her start giving him the cold shoulder because she's been told that she may have to kill him to save the world. He got conned and robbed again by the same Rover woman (okay, so he brings some of his Woobie-ness on himself...) who seduced him in the bargain this time. And who then bragged about the seduction to the Elf Princess, so that her shoulder got even colder. All that is in the first four episodes. At a certain point you have no choice but to conclude that the world just really freaking hates Wil Ohmsford.


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