The Shannara Chronicles star Poppy Drayton visited MCM London Comic Con to talk to fans about the character she portrays in the series.
The Saturday of MCM London Comic Con saw actress, Poppy Drayton, discuss the recently concluded first series of The Shannara Chronicles, an MTV series based on a fantasy book series by Terry Brooks.
In the series, Drayton plays the main character, a young woman named Amberle, driven by destiny to protect the world from demons.
The opening episode of the series sees Amberle taking part in a challenge called the Gauntlet, and despite the fact that no woman has ever run the Gauntlet before, Amberle successfully completes the challenge to become one of the Chosen.
Showing young women and girls these stories about brave women who challenge prejudices seems important to Drayton, and she hopes Amberle’s story can help to inspire them.
“She’s running this race with all the boys, and that was a chance for the character to prove herself as a woman, and prove that she can stand up alongside these men, and give them a run for their money… I hope that we can get that message across to young girls and young women watching it… if they are inspired, if they can see in Amberle’s journey, her fight, her determination to prove herself, that they too have that fight and desire and strength within them, because we all have that strength, even if you don’t feel like you do.”
While Amberle can come across as headstrong and sometimes brusque (though never without reason), Drayton comes across as polite and charming throughout the panel. Despite these differences between Drayton and her character, Amberle, it is clear they share similarities too. Both seem to hold the same resilience and level-headedness: even when a fan criticises the series finale, instead of being thrown by the question, Drayton is unflinching and maintains both her smile and her cool composure.
During the panel, Drayton told fans that she felt an instant connection with the character when she read the script.
“I started to read the script and I automatically just fell in love with the characters. I really saw so much of myself in Amberle, so it was a joy to read, because I kept going ‘that’s exactly what I would do’… I already saw so much of myself in her, which was really lovely, and I was so inspired. I remember ringing my agent and saying ‘I have to have this part’,” she said.
Throughout the series, Amberle’s character developed, as the stakes were raised and she went from being a young woman driven to becoming the first female member of the Chosen, to their last surviving member, destined to protect the Ellcrys and save her people from the demons trapped within it.
“[Amberle] has this huge journey to go on. She starts off as this really sheltered, really quite precious princess, in this palace… but she’s always had a little spark in her that desired something more, wanted to prove herself, and fight against all the prejudices.”
It’s clear that Drayton feels a deep connection with her character, and undoubtedly the series wouldn’t have been the same without Amberle as a driven and inspirational female lead.
Whilst Amberle’s arc seems to have come to an end, other character’s stories were left unresolved, and a second season has already been confirmed. Drayton was sadly not at liberty to say whether she will be returning for the next season, but fans will undoubtedly be hoping this won’t be the last we see of Amberle Elessedil.
Season one of The Shannara Chronicles will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on June 6th .