As the dust settles on the latest series of HBO’s Game of Thrones, our thoughts inevitably turn to wondering what the next series will hold as the story creeps slowly towards its end.
The idea of a post-GoT world is beginning to take shape, which leads us to ask – on the success of this epic fantasy TV series, which books should they try to adapt next for the next smash hit TV show?
The Malazan Book Of The Fallen – Steven Erikson
This 10 book series is probably one of the most stunningly realised and compelling feats of world building in the entire fantasy genre, with a story that takes place across different worlds, spans millennia, and features a huge cast of ruthless and funny characters.
It’s impossible to offer any kind of synopsis on a series so dense and long, but the action nominally follows the fortunes of the Malazan Empire, yet is so much richer than that as they contend with uprisings, religious insurrections, race wars, and even battles with the gods themselves.
Okay, so it’s probably unfilmable and would take literally decades to finish but, fuck it, I hope they try!
The Kingkiller Chronicle – Patrick Rothfuss
Patrick Rothfuss’ stunning debut series, The Kingkiller Chronicles, is crying out to be made into a series!
Although it’s probably not as dark or violent as GoT, it’d still fill the fantasy hole in our lives with one of the most compelling main characters the genre has seen in years – Kvothe, who recounts the story of his rise as a magician from his perspective years later, seemingly now nothing more than a quiet barkeep.
This has to be one of the best coming-of-age stories in recent fantasy fiction, and it’d make for a great TV series!
First Law Trilogy – Joe Abercrombie
Few fantasy writers come close to Joe Abercrombie for unlikely yet likeable heroes, black humour, and breathtaking action.
His First Law Trilogy has all this and more in a story tying the fates of a hero who’s afraid to fight, a killer who’s afraid to kill, and a torturer with a soft heart in a country on the brink of war.
It has all the shades of grey that make GoT so compelling, while still maintaining an action adventure pace and Tarantino-esque wit. In short – it’s almost the perfect candidate for your new favourite fantasy viewing!
The Gentleman Bastards – Scott Lynch
This series is probably the most likely of the features on this list to actually be made into a series, as the story – of master con-men in a world mirrored on 16th century Venice – lends itself so readily to recognisable film pacing.
The action follows Locke Lamora and his gang of Gentleman Bastards as they perform risky, far-reaching con-jobs on their city’s nobles, all the while trying to avoid the attention of the city’s criminal overlords.
Written with all the wit and panache of a smart Hollywood heist movie, this would make the perfect salve for those in need of a fantasy TV fix.
The Stormlight Archive – Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is fast becoming one of the most recognisable names in fantasy writing, thanks to the frankly stunning Stormlight Archive series of books.
Striding a kind of middle ground between classic (Tolkien) and modern, gritty fantasy (Martin), the Stormlight Archive combines fast-paced action, well developed characters, and an interesting class system (based on eye colour) into a complex story that takes place across years, rivalling the sort of storytelling we’ve come to expect from Game of Thrones.
Still not finished, The Stormlight Archive is predicted to span 10 books, so it’s probably best we wait a few years before adapting it to TV, lest Brandon Sanderson joins George R. R. Martin as the most incessantly hounded writer in the world!