One of the things kept is Allanon as a warrior druid. There are a couple of glimpses of him fighting all-out against some very nasty foes. The trailer doesn’t shown us the dragon or the Dagda Mor combats, but I would expect those to be kept for the movie rather than shown in a trailer, even if there weren’t further trailers to come. I still love the traces of the old land the miniseries is keeping. They’re leaving things somewhat more recognizable than they would be after all the time in the book, but that is for our benefit, and it looks great–very haunting.
Change-wise, it’s interesting that Allanon tells Wil he’s “a Shannara” rather than calling him “an Ohmsford.” To be fair, the Ohmsfords are descended from Jerle Shannara, so it isnt a radical alteration, and it’s possible the miniseries is keeping both names. Also, now Amberle had to run a gauntlet rather than be chosen by the tree simply touching her; it is a good setup for giving her a more active role in things. Don’t get me wrong, Amberle in the book is one tough woman, but she’s not visually tough–it’s more a matter of her making tough choices rather than actively fighting hand-to-hand. The miniseries is going to keep the choices–it has to–but it looks like she’ll also have a more action-oriented path. Another change, one I particularly like, is that–unless the trailer lies–Allanon includes Eretria in the quest at or near the beginning: “You three–you can save it” he says as the camera focuses on Wil, Eretria, and Amberle in turn. Giving Eretria a bigger role is all to the good. The twist of having each leaf of the Ellcrys representing a single demon is…odd. On the one hand, it gives a quick, visual indication of just how many demons are out there waiting. On the other, it seems a bit–artificial? Overdone?
Those are, like I said, niggles and notices rather than protests. The trailer looks good, and the miniseries can’t come too soon!