Riga is an original character created for The Shannara Chronicles. Formerly a revered general in the army of the Elven King Eventine Elessedil, he is now the leader of an extremist group of Elven soldiers known as the Crimson.
The re-emergence of magic has the populace of the Four Lands terrified, and an organization called the Crimson is hunting down magic users, using fear and intimidation to sow discord among the races.
After watching his people slaughtered in the Third War of the Races and then fighting the Dagda Mor and his horde of Demons, Riga became convinced that the source of all problems in the Four Lands was neither good nor evil but magic itself. Thereafter, he became leader of the Crimson.
The Crimson slaughter anybody who practices magic, but General Riga's number one target is the Druid Allanon because Allanon knows the location of Paranor. If the Crimson can destroy Paranor, magic will be abolished forever.
Riga starts his quest by looking for Wil Ohmsford. When informed by a farmer that a Flick Ohmsford lives in Shady Vale, Riga journeys there with the Crimson to find Wil. He and the Crimson end up burning the village as Flick goes into hiding. The residents of the Vale are forced to flee, heading to Storlock for medical help.
Changes made for the TV AdaptationEdit
- The Crimson is likely a proxy or substitute for the Federation, the main governing body of the Race of Man. The Federation is opposed to the use of magic and is also a key antagonist in many of the Shannara novels. The Crimson could also be a nod to the Red Slash, a unit of the Federation military featured in The Darkling Child.
- The TV series takes place around the time of The Elfstones of Shannara, a time when Elves weren't necessarily opposed to the use of magic. However, in later Shannara novels Elves do develop an abhorrence and distrust for magic, to the point that Elves like Khyber and Aphenglow Elessedil who choose to become Druids are viewed as dangerous outcasts.