Commander Diana Tilton is an original character created for The Shannara Chronicles. She was the captain of the Black Watch, the elite unit of the Elven military whose sworn duty is to protect the Ellcrys.
Nothing is known about Diana's early life.
Prior to the events of the Shannara Chronicles, Diana was in a relationship with Ander Elessedil, the youngest of the three Elven princes. Ander witnessed the death of his eldest brother Aine at the hands of the Gnome assassin Slanter, during a murder attempt on their father King Eventine. Wracked by guilt, he turned to alcohol to cope. His relationship with Diana suffered due to his behavior, and she eventually left him to move on to a relationship with Ander's other brother Arion.
The War of the Forbidding
Diana is first seen observing Elves run the annual Gauntlet in the hopes of becoming one of the Chosen. She smiles quietly when she notices a lone woman, Amberle Elessedil, running the Gauntlet alongside the men.
Later, when the Rover girl Eretria is trying to escape from the royal palace at Arborlon, Diana comes across her moments after Eretria had knocked out Ander. She incapacitates the Rover in a matter of seconds.
After the threat posed by the Demons has been established, Ander wants to free Slanter, without Eventine's knowledge, from the prison he'd been languishing in since Aine's murder. The Prince wants Slanter to assist him in traveling to the Breakline to assess the scope of the Demon onslaught, and he has Diana's help in convincing Arion to agree to the plan. While Arion is initially furious with Ander for even suggesting the idea, he allows Ander to carry out his plans.
Diana accompanies Ander and Slanter to the Breakline. While Slanter initially double crosses Ander and flees, he ends up returning after seeing the Demon horde for himself and vows to speak to the Gnomes about the situation and of Ander's honorable nature. It is during this journey that Diana declares, despite still being in a relationship with Arion, that she wants the old Ander back, the one before Aine's death.
After Eventine and Arion are killed, Ander is the only surviving member of his immediate family. Diana is present when he is crowned King of the Elves.
At Ander's urging, Diana travels to Gnome territory to meet with Slanter and convince the Gnomes to join the Elves in the battle against the Demons. While the Commander is away Kael Pindanon, a member of the High Council, stages a bloodless coup with the Black Watch under her lead and throws Ander in prison.
Diana returns to Arborlon with Slanter, who frees Ander from prison. Together with Allanon, the Commander, and a cadre of Gnomes, Ander presents the new alliance to the Elven High Council. The Black Watch, upon seeing the work Ander has done to bring in reinforcements against the Demons, quickly apologizes to the King and falls back in line under his rule and under Diana's command. Ander declares that the only way to win the war is to revive the Ellcrys and restore the Forbidding.
Before the last stand against the Demons to protect the Gardens of Life, Ander confronts Diana and tells her how sorry he is that it took until the end of the world for him to realize what a fool he's been, in reference to their past romance.
Later, during the actual battle against the Demons, the Commander is caught off-guard when a Demon's helmet falls off, and she sees that the Demon is actually Arion. It becomes apparent that Arion, after being stabbed by the Dagda Mor, had his mind taken over by and was forced to fight for the Demons.
Diana's moment of hesitation is enough for the Demon-influenced Arion to have time to kill her with his sword. When Arion is later confronted by Ander, he has a moment of lucidity and begs for his brother to kill him. Ander, though distraught, complies with his brother's wish, freeing him from his mental prison and avenging his lover.
Changes made for the TV Adaptation
- Diana Tilton is the captain of the Black Watch; in The Elfstones of Shannara, a man named Kobold is the captain of the Black Watch.