This week’s episode of The Shannara Chronicles continued to flesh out the cast for season 2, after the slaughter that was season 1. There are still plenty of mysteries left to solve after ‘Wraith’, but a lot of the questions from ‘Druid’ were answered – including several about new characters who have joined the show.

The episode begins with Wil (Austin Butler) and Mareth (Malese Jow) on the run, Eretria (Ivana Baquero) and Lyria (Vanessa Morgan) also on the move (and searching for Wil), and Alannon (Manu Bennett) now frighteningly aware of Bandon’s (Marcus Vanco) new evil plan. As always, Wil the Shannara is front and center when it comes to the quest of the season, but this time around it seems that there is going to be a greater focus on the other races of the Four Lands, not just the Elves. And while there are plenty of familiar faces setting out on this season 2 journey, there are almost as many new ones – so we’re breaking down the biggest players in the second season.

Allanon’s Daughter – Mareth

shannara chronicles mareth Shannara: Who Are The New Characters This Season?

Mareth popped up in ‘Druid’ as a magic wielder who wanted Wil’s help, and it wasn’t until the end of the episode that she was revealed to be the daughter of Alannon. This was pretty shocking news, given that neither Alannon nor his lover Pyria (Sarah Peirse) ever mentioned a daughter in season 1. ‘Wraith’ doesn’t make anyone wait long before Mareth reveals her full family history, though, as she and Wil immediately start talking about it once they are hidden from the snake-demon (for the moment).

First up, Mareth is, in fact, Pyria’s daughter. Her elven heritage is what gives her the pointed ears, and her Druid father is what gives her her magic. Pyria wasn’t aware that she was pregnant until Alannon had disappeared and she had gone to live on her own, and she raised Mareth alone, not telling her anything about her father at all. She eventually figured out that her father was Alannon after she started to develop magic of her own, but Pyria refused to talk about it, and Mareth left out of anger. Now, Mareth knows that her mother was killed (presumably she tried to return home at some point), but Alannon himself is still in the dark about his child, as Pyria never mentioned it in their brief meeting. Mareth also talks about her magic, which she seems to have been born with. Given that Druids have to learn their magic, she doesn’t know why she got some along with Alannon’s genetic material, but she’s hoping that he can help her out.

Eretria’s New Love – Lyria

shannara lyria etertria Shannara: Who Are The New Characters This Season?

Lyria also made her debut in episode 1, yet we didn’t know much about her at all until her past was revealed in episode 2. Initially, Lyria was Eretria’s girlfriend in the human settlement where she had been living since the season 1 finale. Then, when Eretria learned that Wil had come looking for her, she set off to find him – and Lyria went with her. It was a short-lived journey, however, as this week saw a bounty hunter take out the girls’ captors, knock out Eretria, and haul Lyria off to Leah to collect his reward.

Here, we discover that Lyria isn’t just a mysterious human who stumbled onto the settlement. She is Princess Lyria of Leah, next in line to the throne, and she’s always running away with feisty brunettes because she hates her royal life. Now, she’s back in the palace, furious, and expected to marry King Ander (Aaron Jakubenko) to seal an alliance between elves and men. Poor Eretria! She thought she’d found someone to love, but it turns out that it’s another princess and one who has been omitting some serious details about her life story at that. After Eretria learns of Lyria’s other companions (from her last few attempts at running away), she decides that she was wrong about her girlfriend, and leaves Lyria behind. Presumably, she’s headed to Wil and Mareth, and straight into another Wil-elf-Eretria love triangle, because the girl just can’t seem to catch a break.

Page 2 Tamlin Garet and Riga

shannara queen tamlin Shannara: Who Are The New Characters This Season?

The Queen of Leah – Tamlin

Lyria’s mother, Tamlin (Caroline Chikezie) makes her first appearance in ‘Wraith’, and it’s clear that she is going to be a major player in season 2. Described (by pretty much everyone) as a scheming woman who is always out to get something for herself, Tamlin manufactures weapons and plays politics to stay in control of the only Human Kingdom in the Four Lands.

There’s not much mystery to be resolved here, as Queen Tamlin seems quite straightforward (so far). She lives up to her ruthless name, hiring bounty hunters to find her wayward daughter, and then offering Eretria a choice: take a bag of diamonds to leave, or be killed. Seems a little harsh, but it’s clear that Tamlin sees her daughter as a commodity, and isn’t about to have a little thing like romance get in the way of that. The King of Leah doesn’t make an appearance, either, so it looks like Queen Tamlin rules alone – and we wouldn’t be surprised to find she had offed the King at some point in the past. She’s also keen on an Elf alliance, although her motivations for this aren’t yet clear, and she offers Lyria up to King Ander, saying that she wants her daughter on the Elf Throne.

The Bounty Hunter – Garet

shannara garet jax Shannara: Who Are The New Characters This Season?

Another newbie in episode 2 is Garet Jax (Gentry White), the bounty hunter who saves Eretria and Lyria from the Rovers, only to deliver Lyria back to the Queen for the money. This could be a two-bit part, but Garet’s got a lot of skill and personality, and Tamlin makes it clear that he is her favorite bounty-hunting freelancer. She even offers him a full-time position and a place at the palace banquet, which Garet turns down in favor of a night at a brothel and the ability to remain his own man. There’s little doubt that we haven’t seen the last of the Weapons Master, and if Lyria heads for the hills again, he’ll be dispatched to bring her home.

The Rest Of Season 2’s New Crop

shannara general riga Shannara: Who Are The New Characters This Season?

There are a few other new characters who didn’t have much to do in ‘Wraith’, but are still going to have an impact on the rest of the series. General Riga (Desmond Chiam) is potentially the most important, as one of the two enemies that Wil and his friends must face. A former Elf General who now believes that magic is the source of all evil, Riga runs the Crimson – a group dedicated to hunting down and slaughtering magic users. Now, Riga is after Wil, as he believes that Wil can help him destroy magic for good. Most of this was established in episode 1, of course, so ‘Wraith’ includes very little Riga-based evil, but there is plenty to come in future.

Cogline (Andrew Grainger) doesn’t re-appear in this episode, and it’s likely that he won’t be a huge part of this season, but his connections to Eretria were never fully explained. As a result, she’ll probably head back to him at some point in the series – at the very least, when her past is finally explained, we’ll get to see a little more Cogline in flashbacks. In addition, there are the snake-slaves of Bandon, also new to this season, although as nameless minions, they are really only important as underlings that Bandon can use in his quest to resurrect the Warlock Lord.

The New Quest

wil shannara chronicles season 2 Shannara: Who Are The New Characters This Season?

So how do all these new characters fit into the latest Shannara quest? Now that everyone has been established, the third episode ‘Greymark’ is likely to start bringing our various groups together – Anders seems resigned to marry Lyria, which is going to cause some more Eretria/Elf conflict in the coming season, and Tamlin certainly has something up her sleeve when it comes to that union. Mareth and Wil’s search for Alannon has just become a lot more complicated, now that the Druid has been captured by General Riga and the Crimson, and his magic has been caged – but Wil now has some serious motivation to help Mareth find her father, now that his uncle is being held by Bandon unless he brings Alannon to him. And Eretria, having left Lyria behind, is also looking for Wil – and is the one who knows that Alannon has been captured.

All of which means that everyone is going to be looking for everyone else next week, and we can only hope that they manage to find each other and start looking for a way to defeat Bandon and the Warlock Lord.

The Shannara Chronicles continues Wed, Oct 25th with ‘Greymark’

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