'Shannara Chronicles' Opening Credits Are Amazing

MTV is getting into the fantasy game in a major way this winter. The network is set to premiere The Shannara Chronicles , based on Terry Brooks' best-selling book series, on Tuesday, January 5. The name sounds funny, but fans of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and quest-based fantasy storytelling should be psyched for this show. MTV recently released the opening credits for The Shannara Chronicles, and they are absolutely breathtaking. They show rather than tell the intricate history of the story beginning in modern times, using stunning visuals to show how the Earth changed over the course of 2,000 years to create the fantasy landscape the characters inhabit.

The Shannara Chronicles is set to feature elves, humans, trolls, demons, and all manner of fantasy goodness. With the premiere just around the corner, it's time for this show to be on your radar. MTV is swinging big on this one — just don't go in thinking it's going to be like Game of Thrones . This show is grounded by friendships and three teens (elf-human Wil, elvin princess Amberle, and human rover Eretria), who are racing against time to stop an army of demons. I have a feeling it's going to be amazing stuff, and here's why you need to tune in for the premiere based on the credits alone.

1. It's Future-Set Fantasy

Lots of sci-fi takes place in the distant future, but fantasy stories tend to either create their own universe or mix fantasy and modern elements together. The Shannara Chronicles is already setting itself apart by establishing a timeline that places the fantastical world of the series' future in the context of the "real" world.

2. The Destruction Leads To The Creation Of A New World

There is a mystery element introduced in the credits that I am curious to see explored in the show. The destruction of modern Earth is depicted in such dark detail, I can't help but wonder how the apocalyptic end led to the creation of a new era full of magic. This isn't a question the show has to answer, but it lays the groundwork for plenty of theorizing (and having something to theorize over is the key to any good fantasy show).

3. Elves, Gnomes & Other Races Descended From Humans

I love that the story is going to be full of all kinds of different races co-existing together (albeit not always peacefully). The credits reveal the elves, gnomes, trolls, and more all descend from humans. Seeing the way these descriptors unite and divide the characters could be a highlight of the show.

4. The First Character Introduced Is Amberle

I'm basing this entirely off the silhouette, but it appears the first character introduced is the Princess Amberle. Fantasy stories can be a bit of a boy's club sometimes, but two of the three main protagonists are girls. That gives me hope that the female characters are going to be given their own stories and motives for going on the quest.

5. The Ellcrys Tree Is Stunning

One of the biggest draws is the eye candy. This is going to be a gorgeous show — MTV did not hold back when it came to the cinematography. Just look at the Ellcrys Tree. This tree is what holds the demons at bay, and, when it starts to die, the rift weakens, allowing darkness to enter the world. It's a hugely important story element, but it also creates the kind of visual that is instantly captivating.

Are you curious yet? Check out the opening credits below and just try to resist the lure of The Shannara Chronicles.

Images: MTV; MTV/YouTube (5)