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The House of Shannara is the central family from which most of the protagonists featured in the Shannara series can trace their lineage. Although nearly all of the heroes of the House of Shannara have borne the surname of Ohmsford since the time of Shea Ohmsford, the house is named after the legendary King of the Elves from whom Shea is descended: Jerle Shannara.

Descent from Jerle Shannara means that the House of Shannara is technically a royal family of the Elves, though by the time of Shea and Wil Ohmsford, the Ohmsfords are commoners with mixed Elf/Man blood. Most of the Ohmsford heroes featured in the Shannara series have varying degrees of Elven blood, with some generations of the family having essentially no Elven blood at all, while others were practically full-blooded Elves.

Since the time of the Elf Queen Ellenroh Elessedil, all members of the royal House of Elessedil are also members of the House of Shannara, as Ellenroh's mother was from the Ohmsford/Shannara line.

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