The Shannara Chronicles Recap: Travelling To Paranor, And Then Back In Time
“Pananor” may be the most eventful Season 2 instalment so far. That’s saying a lot, considering that we’ve already seen characters kill, die, and use magic in ways we didn’t know were possible. But it’s hard to top travelling through time, which Wil and Mareth end up doing after they agree to retrieve the Warlock Lord’s skull. Confused? Let’s back up a little bit.
Wil, Mareth, and Allanon finally reach Paranor, but Allanon wants Mareth to stay behind while he and Wil confront Bandon. Which might be for the best—as soon as Bandon sees Wil and Allanon, he remarks that Allanon looks “tired” (which, as we all know, is the ultimate backhanded insult). Bandon infects Flick with a contagion, explaining that he’ll only cure Flick if Wil and Allanon give in and present him with the skull. Allanon seemingly agrees to Bandon’s terms and unveils a skull from under a thick slab of stone. But it turns out that Mareth, who’s secretly been watching all of this go down, used her magic to create the illusion of a skull. She and Allanon apparently concocted a plan to lure Bandon with the skull and lock him inside a magic-blocking cell (in which Allanon also ends up). And Wil’s not pleased—at this point, we’ve lost count of how many plans Allanon has failed to disclose to him.
But Wil’s top priority is still saving Flick. He tries to heal Flick with the Elfstones, which just ends up making Flick’s pain even more intense. So there’s only one other option: find the real skull and bring it back to Bandon. As you might recall from earlier in the season, Bandon needs Druid blood and Shannara blood to uncover the skull. And with Allanon locked up with Bandon, Mareth has no choice but to step in.
Wil and Mareth pass out but both wake up alive, which not only means that Mareth is a Druid but also (presumably) confirms that she really is Allanon’s daughter. But they don’t wake up just anywhere—they’ve been transported to the Shady Vale of the past, back when Shea Ohmsford was still a scrappy teen who knew nothing about magic, Shannara, or Warlock Lords. Wil and Mareth find themselves in a very Back to the Future-esque situation in that they have to lead Shea (George McFly) to his “destiny” without revealing too much about what that destiny is (and without revealing that Wil is actually Shea’s son).
Wil also has to make sure that Shea and Heady, Wil’s mother, reconcile after an angry Shea overhears Heady express concerns that he’s hiding something from her. The episode ends with Wil telling Shea that he’s a Shannara, and we’re excited to see how much more Wil decides to spill next week.
Eretria has a major existential crisis to deal with in this episode, too. Cogline (whose eyeliner is still on point) somehow finds Eretria in the woods, easing Eretria’s fear that Cogline forgot about her. They return to Leah and talk to Queen Tamlin, who (after some coaxing from Cogline) reveals the details of the deal she made with the Warlock Lord. Tamlin allowed the Warlock Lord to kill her husband, effectively making her Leah’s ruler. In exchange, Tamlin agreed to let the Warlock Lord restore his dwindling magic by drinking from Heaven’s Well, which contains the magical water of the Silver River. The Warlock Lord was destroyed before he made it to the Well, but if he returns he’ll definitely want Tamlin to hold up her end of the bargain.
But Cogline and Eretria have more pressing matters to worry about. Cogline tells Eretria that she and her mother are both half human, half demon, meaning that Eretria has an especially high chance of being controlled by someone (or something) who uses dark magic. Eretria is upset, and we don’t blame her. She was only just starting to believe that, despite her Rover past, she can do anything and be anything she wants, so grappling with the fact that she could completely lose her agency at any moment must surely be frustrating.
Cogline tries to “train” Eretria by making her come face to face with a Wraith. By resisting the control of a Wraith, one of the Warlock Lord’s minions, she can (in theory) work her way up to resisting the control of the Warlock Lord himself. Cogline’s plan is risky, but Eretria takes the assignment in stride and effortlessly orders the Wraith to “bow” to her. Cogline is confident about Eretria’s level of self-discipline until she admits that using her “darkness” to control the Wraith felt really, really good. So now Eretria and Wil are both at risk of abusing their power. Will their common ground bring them closer together, or drive them further apart?
Before we forget, we also learned a little bit more about Jax in this episode. After parting ways with Eretria, he pays a visit to Sheema, the wife of one of his fallen Border Legion buddies, and apologizes for not arriving sooner—apparently he promised his old friend that he’d protect her. Unfortunately some Crimson soldiers follow Jax and callously kill Sheema’s son. She orders Jax to leave and never come back, but on the bright side Jax injures one of the soldiers and brings him back to Leah so that Ander and Lyria can uncover more about Riga’s whereabouts.
What To Look Out For In Next Week’s Episode
1. Mareth’s (Real) Parentage
Are we crazy, or did Allanon imply that Mareth is actually Bandon’s daughter, not his? After Bandon reminds Allanon that even Mareth has lost trust in him, Allanon asserts that Mareth is “nothing like” Bandon—suspicious. Plus, the fact that Wil and Mareth are now completely convinced that Allanon is Mareth’s father makes us think they’ll be proven wrong yet again.
2. Mareth and Wil
Do Wil’s Shannara powers give him the ability to make everybody fall in love with him? Because according to Shea, Mareth’s into Wil now, too. We’re not opposed to something happening between them, but if Wil’s still hung up on Amberle then Mareth should definitely steer clear. She doesn’t need all that drama.
3. Lyria’s Intentions
Lyria seems a little too excited about the prospect of lying to Tamlin and going behind everyone’s backs. And when she talks to Ander about becoming Queen of the Elves, she gets a very intense and—dare we say—power-hungry look in her eye. Is Lyria willing to backstab and kill in order to rise to power? Tamlin is Lyria’s mother, after all.