So, Game of Thrones has come and gone, and TV will never be the same again. And every network/service is now on the lookout for the next GOT. HBO’s own bet is on more GOT, though personally I suspect they’ll fail at that. Certainly, the final seasons of the show didn’t leave me excited to see more of this world. The Witcher could be good, though I’m reserving judgement until I see some reviews - the potential for it to be awful is also there.
What Fantasy series would you love to see brought to life on TV that you think could equal or surpass GoT?
I have long wished for a television adaptation of China Mieville’s Bas Lag books, starting with Perdido Street Station. Women with beetles for heads, giant mobile cactus people who live in a greenhouse, half-robot people, a sentient pile of junk, a time-traveling spider god, the Ambassador of Hell, a crime boss who is a grotesque chimera of various body parts, etc etc. It would be glorious, horrifying, exhilarating, and endlessly inventive.
Sci fi was always more my format, so I would love a Foundation show. I’d also go crazy for a show set in the Neuromancer universe.
Now if you want strictly fantasy? The Silmarillion. A season on Turin Turumbar, another on the fall of Gondolin, one exploring the expulsion from Valinor and crossing into middle earth? I could dig hat.
Of course the correct answer to this is The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson and Ian C Esselmont, a sprawling epic of ludicrous proportions whose vast interconnected web of places, people, and events can only be done justice by long form TV. Crazy races, insane magic, empires rising and falling, gods, demons, interdimensional travel, wars, evil puppets, and more!
High fantasy mostly bores me, but for dark urban fantasy, love to see Tim Powers’ Last Call/Expiration Date/Earthquake Weather series done for TV. If American Gods could make the transition, Last Call definitely could. Could be great in the right hands.
I would love to see Zelazny’s Amber series in its full glory. It is allegedly being made by Kirkman but that was reported in 2016 and its been quite awhile since anything new has surfaced on it. I believe it was slated for Amazon but with their all in on the LOTR series, I fear Amber may have been back burnered.
Yeah, I get that. It has to be something pretty special for me to jump in too. I’ve looked over my reading for the last few years and there’s surprisingly little straight fantasy there anymore. I’ve read some Tim Powers, but I’ve never read Last Call or those other novels. I’ll have to put them in my queue.
Lot’s of classic series to pick from, of course, but I’ll pick a fantasy series by (mostly) a SciFi author - The World of Five Gods, by L.M.Bujold. Specifically, I’d love to see a series based around the two original novels she set in that world - The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls.
I wouldn’t have though something like these books could work before seeing GoT; now, I think they’d make for some amazing viewing with the right cast. The world is well-realized (it’s a fantasy version of Medieval Spain), the Theology/Religious system is amazingly well-explored, and it has all the intrigue, complicated politics, tragedy and intrigue that GoT had in it’s best scenes. As well as magic (that religious system again) and swashbuckling action too, of course.
One of my favorite sections is when Caz (the protagonist - an ex-galley slave) negotiates with The Fox, the King of a neighboring Kingdom. They’re negotiating over an expensive chessboard, while the latter is trying to convince Caz to agree to change the terms of a marriage contract.
There’s a twist here, of course, but I won’t spoil it. Just to mention that I’ve often seen Cazaril compared to Tyrion Lannister as one of the best characters in fantasy fiction.
Paladdin of Souls is the near-perfect sequel, with one of the side-characters from the first book as its protagonist and some cameos from the first book. It would also be max 4 seasons, which IMO is the perfect length for a TV series. Very few shows stay good much beyond that point anyway.
I would love to see Malazan – just imagine the siege of Pale as the opening scene for a series, Moon’s Spawn floating over a burning city. But I think it’s far too dense and complicated for TV. A story with three dozen protagonists would be hard to follow in a condensed format.
I’m hoping that the rumored Black Company series finds a home.
I’m not much of a fantasy guy myself but I think a good choice for HBO would be Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. It’s got a mercenary pair of protagonists with not much in the way of morals, lots of shady characters, swords and sorcery, plenty of sex and violence. You know, for kids!
A good series that I don’t think would require a huge budget and would lean heavily on the strength of the actors: Daniel Abraham’s Long Price. It’s probably my favorite fantasy series, but it mostly about the interaction between characters and how the society works and evolves, with a few non-showy displays of magic. Also, too, he has some experience being a producer on The Expanse.