Game of Thrones may be over, but George R.R. Martin’s source series “A Song of Ice and Fire” has yet to be completed. But while we wait for GRRM to finish the novels, which may happen just in time for a reboot of the series itself, we’re looking to some other fantastic fantasy series that could (and, in our opinion, should) be the next Game of Thrones.
So what are we looking for here? Fantasy novels that have a bit of magic and mystery to them; some have more than others but all of our suggestions have that special something that sets them apart from more realistic dramas. Game of Thrones didn’t go hard into GRRM’s mythology, after all, but all it took was a few dragons, wights, and direwolves to get people’s attention. We’re also looking for political intrigue of some sort here, whether it be between people of varying classes, the common folk against the elites, or some nefarious organization looking to exploit the defenseless. Oh, and it’s got to have life-or-death stakes, otherwise it’s just not going to cut it in this modern media landscape.
HBO is already betting that the fantasy fandom for Game of Thrones will transition over to their new series, His Dark Materials, based on Philip Pullman‘s popular trilogy. Hopefully this TV treatment lends some more weight to the theory that now is the time for in-depth adaptations of complicated mythologies on the small screen, where long-form seasonal storytelling and increased budgets that often rival feature film productions have an advantage over film adaptations themselves. Should His Dark Materials succeed where 2007’s feature The Golden Compass failed, it’ll further show that the medium is just as important as the mythology when it comes to successful storytelling. And HBO isn’t alone in this thinking.
Other sprawling, big-budget but small-screen fantasy story adaptations include Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings, The Dark Tower and The Wheel of Time; if even one of these works out, it’ll be a win for Amazon and that lucky fandom. N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo Award-winning sci-fi fantasy novel “The Fifth Season”, the first in her Broken Earth trilogy, is up for an adaptation at TNT. And, in just the latest Stephen King adaptation, Hulu is developing a pilot for The Eyes of the Dragon with Seth Grahame-Smith writing and serving showrunner duties. We’ll shed a bit more light on some of these below, along with other worthy titles that we’ve yet to see adapted for the small screen.