Well, not everyone thinks so. But the split seems to be that readers of the book hate it, and those who haven’t read it don’t mind it. Just like Legend of the Seeker.
Not like Game of Thrones. With Game of Thrones, not only do readers and non-readers alike love it, but a great many readers like the TV series better. So what’s the difference?
Staying true to the story. Although Game of Thrones has been embellished, at the heart of it, it remains true to GRRM’s plot. It is an excellent adaptation of the books.
The Shannara Chronicles is more… ‘inspired by’ The Elfstones of Shannara than it is an on-screen adaptation.
Oh, how can I list the ways in which this TV show just ‘makes shit up’? (that’s technical jargon by the way—oh, also, spoiler alert if you haven’t read the book and intend to do so, or haven’t watched the series and intend to):
I only made it to the fifth episode before I got over the ‘just making stuff up’ thing, but I persevered out of some weird obligatory feeling.
So what did I like?
Well, they changed Amberle. She was a bit whiny and pathetic in the books, so I’m totally on board with empowering her and making her more interesting. Her motivations didn’t really stack up all that well in the book.
The Dagda Mor. I loved the way they made him look. I am not sure how I would have imagined it, but it will now always be just like this.
Allanon was commercially acceptable, if not exactly as described.
Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
And the thing I absolutely, absolutely hated? This is the one that broke the show for me too.
The Reaper. In the TV show, it’s more like the Horseman of War from Sleepy Hollow, or even bit like the Balrog in Lord of the Rings. That’s kind of cool and impressive and visually exciting, but it’s not right.
You know what the Reaper should have been? More like Predator.
This thing is a natural-born killer. You don’t see it, not ever. People just die. One minute they are there, and then they are gone. You don’t see it, but you know it’s there. You know it is stalking you. You know it is coming for you.
And you know you can’t stop it.
It was the scariest and creepiest thing in the whole book, and they ruined it.
Game of Thrones has shown us how it should be done, so why are people still breaking good fantasy books???
P.S. As a side note, there are scenes where you can see that the weapon props clearly don’t have anything resembling an edge on them! You couldn’t cut a loaf of bread with Eretria’s knife, much less someone’s throat.