The Reaper is a character in The Elfstones of Shannara. It was one of the most powerful Demons from the Age of Faerie, and the only Demon that the Dagda Mor itself was wary of because the Reaper only accepted the Dagda Mor's leadership out of whim and not out of respect or fear.
The Reaper was considered to be ten times more dangerous than the Changeling. It was a monster whose sole function was to kill and to continue killing. It had no fear of others, because its lack of regard for life included its own. Although the Reaper enjoyed killing, it did not do so for the enjoyment but because killing was instinctive and necessary to its nature. The Reaper fought and killed in almost complete silence, and would leave silence in its wake.
The Reaper was dispatched by the Dagda Mor for several missions; the first was to kill off all of the Chosen in Arborlon. When it was discovered that Amberle Elessedil, a member of the Chosen, had escaped the Reaper because she had left Arborlon to go live in Havenstead, the Demon pursued her and Wil Ohmsford all throughout their journey from Arborlon to Safehold and the Bloodfire.
Besides the six male Chosen, the Reaper killed a patrol of Elven Hunters, the entire garrison of Elves that was stationed at the fort in Drey Wood, and Crispin and six of Crispin's men from the Home Guard who were accompanying Amberle and Wil on their quest. It then killed Cephelo and his entire caravan of Rovers except for Eretria, who had ridden after Wil and Amberle.
Finally, while Amberle was immersed in the Bloodfire, the Reaper cornered Wil, Eretria, and the mutant Elf Wisp in the depths of Safehold. Wisp was killed by the Reaper, and Wil and Eretria were nearly overpowered as well. However, when Wil realized he needed to aim the power of his Elfstones at the Reaper's hidden face, the Demon was finally killed.
The Reaper was described as being nearly seven feet tall when it straightened to its full height. It wore a cloak and hood that was "the color of damp ashes." No one alive had ever seen the Reaper's face, as it only revealed its face to its victims just before their death. It had clawed hands, and despite its large appearance moved with the agility and gracefulness of the best Elven hunters.
Changes Made for the TV Adaptation
- In The Shannara Chronicles, the Reaper is portrayed as a huge, roaring, armored fighter. In The Elfstones of Shannara, the Reaper's description is more that of a lithe, silent assassin.
- In the TV series the Reaper's eyes are visible behind a sort of helmet. In Elfstones, the Reaper's face is never revealed.
- In the TV series the Reaper only stalked Wil, Amberle, and Eretria through Drey Wood and the Pykon before apparently dying from a fall from a rope line; in Elfstones the Reaper hunts Wil and Amberle all throughout their quest, culminating in a battle between Wil and the Reaper in Safehold.