Fantasy Reviews

Popular Fantasy Novel Series That Could Become the Next Game of Thrones

Popular Fantasy Novel Series That Could Become the Next Game of Thrones
Written by Izak Van Heerden
As hugely popular as Game of Thrones was, there is some sadness about its eventual ending.

Valar Morghulis – even for TV series it seems.

However, for lovers of the fantasy genre, there has been a lot of speculation about a few series that could potentially fill the shoes of Game of Thrones and become the next fantasy novel TV series. Here is a look at some popular candidates that could eventually succeed Game of Thrones.

Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

The Kingkiller Chronicles is based on the story of Kvothe, a musician and adventurer where Kvothe narrates his life from a first person perspective.

The series is made up of two books; The Name of The Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear (released in 2011 it seems the author has more in common with George Martin than just looks). The plot is stretched over two timelines. In the present, Kvothe recounts his history, including a tragic childhood and his university days, to a writer at an Inn. This history makes up most of the story.

The way the story is told, the world created, the sparse but brilliant use of magic (a la Game of Thrones) totally blew me away. The author has managed to weave different threads together to create a magnificent story world.

[Also Read: Best Fantasy Audiobooks Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds]

   

What stood out for me in this series is that the author really understands the plight of the poor – here we have a young man more talented than most, but always disadvantaged in life due to his low standing in relation to the people he encounters.

What also made an impression was the plight of Kvothe’s love interest in the story, a single girl of no means connected to no family and with absolutely no prospects other than to marry a man that could provide for her.

What it Can Bring to TV

If the unique world created by Rothfuss can be accurately translated to the visual, we’ll have a spectacular TV series.

What Might Not Work

If done badly, we’ll have another magical school story but without Ron & Dumbledore.


Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

The Mistborn series is composed of several books. In The Mistborn Universe, magic is seen as a supernatural force that can be harnessed by Allomancy, Hermalurgy, and Feruchemy. All of the systems are based on metals, which are used by the Allomancers to give them special powers when swallowed.

Allomancy allows a person to metabolize (internally burn) metals to enhance their physical capacities. Burn steel for example and you can push metals away from you, allowing you to fly up if you drop a coin on the floor, or have the same coin shoot out from you like a bullet. Burn brass to sooth people’s emotions. Burn pewter to become super strong and fast.

Mistborn primarily takes place in a region called The Final Empire. The ruler of The Final Empire is The Lord Ruler, a dark lord that managed to overcome good and now enslaves a section of the population with the aid of a ruling class of cronies who had assisted his rise to power.


What it Can Bring to TV

A dark world filled with fog and ash raining from the sky and… Allomancy! 16 unique superpowers that takes Marvel or DC comic’s magic a step further.

What Might Not Work

The romance between the leads should only be a side story, otherwise it gets reduced to a medieval soap opera.


The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

The First Law is based around a fantasy world at war and stretches over a trilogy: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and The Last Argument of Kings. The major characters include a philosophical barbarian, a crippled torturer (with a Tyrion-like vibe), and an airhead nobleman that might or might not be destined for greater things.

It is a bloody, gritty fantasy, filled with anti-heroes, written in a modern contemporary style, with great character development. Just like Brandon Sanderson, one can see the genre fanboy shining through as the story is filled with clever plot twists and countless scenes filled with irony and humor. It would make for a great TV series.

What it Can Bring to TV

Tons of intrigue, plot twists, realistic world building, grand battles, characters to identify with.

Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

The Stormlight Archive series is made up of 3 books out of a planned 10 installments: The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and Oathbringer. The Stormlight series takes place on a world where highstorms run amok, where grass and leaves can tortoise until a storm has passed. Magic on the planet is called stormlight and is a byproduct of the storm fronts that bring death and destruction.

Once again the ultimate fantasy fanboy Sanderson has brought us an original work of art. The scope and grandeur of this series is a step up from the already perfect Mistborn series.

What it Can Bring to TV

A totally unique world where the magic, theology, technology and nations have been planned and implemented in great detail.

What Might Not Work

Nothing. David Benioff and D. B. Weiss should have started working on a script already.


Lyonesse Trilogy by Jack Vance

I first happened upon this series after George RR Martin recommended Jack Vance as one of his favorite authors.

The three volumes that make up The Lyonesse Trilogy are Suldrun’s Garden, The Green Pearl, and Madouc. The trilogy is set in a pre-Arthurian epoch on the Elder Isles, a fictional island to the southwest of England. It is a world filled with magic, ancient forests, ogres, goblins, wizards, fairies, demons and the mythical city of Avalon. The story reads like a fairy tale, but similar to George RR Martin’s famous Westeros series created decades later, it is also a cruel, dark fantasy where for example Ogres do very bad things to children, and main characters die at unexpected times.

What it Can Bring to TV

A unique combination of Grimm fairy tale meets Pulp Fiction.


First Empire Series by Michael J. Sullivan

The First Empire Series is set in the distant past on a world where four races: humans, elves, dwarves and goblins fight or survival. The elves (Frey) are in control and have godlike magical powers. To keep the human race from going extinct at the hands of the elves, an accidental God killer, an elf rebel and dead chieftain’s wife will shape the destiny of a world. Michael Sullivan is a master at working out a clever story and pulling together many threads to create a brilliant fantasy series.

What it Can Bring to TV

Great storytelling, clever plots and sorcery that will singe your eyebrows. Perhaps even focused as a teen series.

About the author

Izak Van Heerden

Izak has witnessed a couple of decades worth of changing tech. He hopes to make it a couple more until his conscience can be copied to a cyborg body.

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