Mareth is a character in The Shannara Chronicles, based on the character of the same name in First King of Shannara. She is a volatile, brash, and unpredictable young woman with innate magical abilities. She is the daughter of the Druid Allanon and the Elven princess Pyria Elessedil.
Mareth didn't know she was Allanon's child until her magical powers manifested and her mother Pyria told her. However, the more she pressed Pyria for information, the more her mother would get angry. Their distance grew and she finally decided to leave home; when Pyria was killed by a Fury, Mareth hadn't spoken to her mother in years.
Quest to Find Allanon
A year after Pyria's death, Mareth arrives at Storlock's hospital, ostensibly seeking treatment for a burned hand. She is examined by Wil Ohmsford and she asks him about his name and his background, but he declines to give her his name, indicating some caution on his part. Once Wil leaves, Mareth heals the burn herself using magic.
Later, Mareth comes up to Wil in a bar in Storlock and tells him that there's a bounty out for Wil's life. Wil threatens Mareth with a knife, saying he'd been fooled by dangerous women before and would not be fooled again. However, Mareth insists that she's not a bounty hunter, and that she in fact killed one of the three bounty hunters who were already at the bar trying to get to Wil. She ends up savng him from the hunters, but Wil sustains a nasty cut on his torso.
Mareth tries to hail the Stors so they can see to Wil's wound, but he stops her, pointing out that being in a drunken bar fight could jeopardize his chance to stay with the Stors. Instead, he uses the Elfstones to heal his wound and then collapses on the bed.
Back in Wil's quarters, Bandon's lead Mord Wraith appears and blasts Wil with magic, catapulting him out the window of his quarters. Wil is shocked when a realistic image of his own self appears and lures the Mord Wraith away. Mareth approaches him, clearly having been the one to have conjured the illusion. She tells Wil to flee, but Wil stops her, demanding to know what she wants from him. The woman reveals that she wants Wil's help in finding Allanon, who she says her father.
Wil and Mareth head to Shady Vale with the Mord Wraiths in hot pursuit. They manage to lose the monsters by jumping from a waterfall and swimming into a hidden grotto where Wil used to hide as a child.
Wil wants to find his uncle Flick and head south to seek asylum with the Federation in Arishaig, but Mareth points out that Mord Wraiths will have no regard for the Federation's laws and that they should stand and fight. She urges Wil to help her find Allanon, and although Wil initially refuses, he relents when Mareth points out that she had already saved his life twice.
As they head to the Vale, Mareth reveals that her magic is innate, causing Wil to question how she could be Allanon's daughter since all of the Druid's magic was learned. Mareth in turn challenges Wil, asking him why he hasn't thrown out the Elfstones if he wants an ordinary life, and why he abuses his magic.
Mareth and Wil find Flick in the remains of the village, injured and weak. Like Mareth, Flick disagrees with Wil's plan to go to Arishaig, saying that they should stay and fight the Crimson and the Mord Wraiths. Later, Flick and Mareth wake a napping Wil when they hear the Wraiths approaching in the form of plumes of smoke. The trio flees, with Flick saying that the monsters cannot be defeated while in their incorporeal form.
However, Mareth takes this as a challenge and decides to stand her ground, telling Wil and Flick that she will buy them more time. The men flee into a barn as the Wraiths approach and Mareth uses her illusions to trick the Wraiths. However, one manages to find Wil and materializes in the barn.
Bandon enters the barn and confronts Wil, demanding to know the location of the Warlock Lord's skull. After taking the information from Flick's mind, he captures Flick and orders Wil to bring Allanon to Bandon if he wants Flick to live.
Together with Eretria, Wil and Mareth seek out Allanon. Allanon tasks the three with stopping Bandon and defeating the Crimson before it's too late.
Changes made for the TV Adaptation
- The events of First King of Shannara, the novel in which Mareth appears, take place over five hundred years before the events of The Elfstones of Shannara, on which the first season of the TV series is based.
- In the TV series Mareth is Allanon's daughter; in First King of Shannara, she suspects that she is the daughter of Bremen, Allanon's adoptive father. However, Bremen tells her that her hunch is incorrect and that her father is likely a Skull Bearer.
- Mareth is half-Elf in the TV series; in First King, she has no Elven blood.
- Mareth is skilled at making realistic illusions. In The Wishsong of Shannara this is the signature trick of Jair Ohmsford, but he uses the wishsong to create his illusions.
Mareth is a character in First King of Shannara. She is one of the few Druids to heed Bremen's warnings and survive the massacre of the second Druid Order by the Warlock Lord. She suspects that Bremen might be her father.
Mareth had an unusual history: Her mother had died giving birth to her and her father had always been absent. The people of her town said that he had been an evil sorcerer who had seduced her mother and then wandered on. Their descriptions convinced Mareth that Bremen was her father.
Whoever her father was, her parentage meant that Mareth was born with a dangerous ability: she had innate magic, a rare trait not seen since the Age of Faerie. Her magic was extremely powerful, and at times it would explode out of control to destroy anything in its path. However, it also served to make Mareth an empath, allowing her to take the pain of others into herself and heal them.
Seeking to control her powers, Mareth asked to be accepted into the order of Gnome Healers at Storlock. However, she was refused, since only Gnomes were allowed to study there. With the help of former Druid Cogline, she was accepted into Paranor as a Druid apprentice. However, she was not allowed to study magic.
Second War of the Races
When Bremen appears at Paranor to warn the Druid Order of the threat of the Warlock Lord, Mareth is one of the few Druids who join with Bremen in leaving the Druids' Keep to prepare to fight the evil; by leaving Paranor, they avoided becoming part of the Warlock Lord's massacre of the Druid Order.
Unlike the other Druids who trusted Bremen, Mareth had additional reasons for listening to Bremen and following him on his journey. Along the way, Mareth told Bremen of her background and her suspicions. Much to her dismay, Bremen not only told her that he was not her father, but that he believed that her magic indicated she was probably the child of one of the Warlock Lord's servants.
However, Bremen did end up treating Mareth as though she were his daughter, even giving her a staff through which she could channel and better control her magic. Mareth also became close with Bremen's friend Kinson Ravenlock, particularly when the two traveled together to the Eastland in search of the Dwarves. Along the way, a Skull Bearer tried to convince Mareth that it was her father in order to break her resolve, but she ended up destroying it instead.
Mareth used her powers to fight in the final battle against the Warlock Lord, but after Jerle Shannara banished the evil creatures, she renounced her life as a Druid.
Mareth ended up marrying Kinson and the two made their home on an island in the Mermidon River that would eventually become the city of Kern. Centuries later, their descendant Shirl Ravenlock would become a key player in the final battle against the Warlock Lord, known as the Third War of the Races. Shirl would go on to marry Menion Leah, leading some to believe that the ability of heroes from the House of Leah to wield the magic of the Sword of Leah can be traced back to Mareth and her command of innate magic.