The King of the Silver River is a fictional character from the Shannara series of epic fantasy novels by Terry Brooks. He has appeared in many of the novels in the series as a recurring character.
The King of the Silver River is the oldest surviving living being in the Four Lands, having been in the world even before the Age of Faerie.
He was one of the first creatures created by the Word, the force that all things came from. He was made caretaker of the gardens that he protects, the last remnants of the Old World that survive in the new. He was one of the few beings to survive the Great Wars, and set about seeding the new world with that contained in his gardens. As time went on, the people of the lands gave him the name of the country he claimed, calling him the King of the Silver River.
The King of the Silver River has the ability to change his form, usually appearing either as a boy or an old man. However, he has also appeared in the forms of Grianne Ohmsford and the Morgawr. His only accessory of any sort is a lantern of varying forms, which is actually a symbol of his magic: the Light of the Word.
The King of the Silver River faded from outside eyes for the most part, becoming just a legend or fairy tale to the world during the time between the Age of Faerie and end of the Great Wars.
Genesis of Shannara
The King of the Silver River does not appear in Armageddon's Children
, but in The Elves of Cintra
, he uses his magic to rescue Hawk
when they are thrown from the top of the Safeco Field
compound. He instructs Hawk about leading the inhabitants of earth to safety, before returning Hawk and Tessa to their home.
Also, in these novels, readers can see that the Columbia River
is the Silver River from the series.
First King of Shannara
The King of the Silver River came to the Druid Bremen
when he was passing through the Silver River country and let him rest for a night while he stood watch.
The Original Shananra Trilogy
The Sword of Shannara
In The Sword of Shannara
, the King saved Shea Ohmsford
and his brother Flick Ohmsford
from a Skull Bearer
The Elfstones of Shannara
In The Elfstones of Shannara
the King saved Wil Ohmsford
and Amberle Elessedil
from a pack of Demon Wolves
by whisking them away to his personal home, one that was almost removed from the world of men.
The Wishsong of Shannara
Later, in The Wishsong of Shannara
, the King took the Elfstones
from Jair Ohmsford
to return them to Shady Vale
, and in exchange gave Jair a vision crystal, Silver Dust, the ability to one time only use the wishsong in reality, and the protection of Garet Jax
. He also sent Jair on a quest to Heaven's Well, the source of the Silver River, to purify it of the poison of the Mord Wraiths
, and to save his sister Brin from the Ildatch
Heritage of Shannara
During this time, the King of the Silver River secretly worked diligently to fight against the Shadowen
. During this time, he discovered the presence of his long-lost brother, who drew his power from stone. Uhl Belk
, the Stone King, as he was called, threatened to turn the land to stone. To stop him, the King created the elemental Quickening
as his daughter, and sent her to gather the assistance of Walker Boh
, Morgan Leah
, and Pe Ell
to restore Eldwist, Belk's domain, to its true state. At the end, Quickening died to restore the land, and the King felt close to humanity for perhaps the first time--maybe even experiencing a hint of mortality himself. It did not prevent him from acting to protect the Ohmsford brothers, Par
, from Rimmer Dall
. However, as the King of the Silver River struggled with the Shadowen, Par's wishsong was released, and the King lost his hold on Par.
High Druid of Shannara
130 years later, the King of the Silver River came to Bek Ohmsford
, giving him a magical phoenix stone
and revealing to him hints of the truth about his lost sister Grianne
. 20 years after that, the King of the Silver River saved Pen Ohmsford
and the reliable Tagwen
from treacherous Druids, and set Pen the task of finding the legendary Tanequil tree, to obtain a darkwand talisman and save his aunt Grianne. He later came again to Bek, informing him of Pen's status and also telling him of the need for his help in defeating a demon called the Moric