Beyond 'Game of Thrones': 5 other fantasy books we’d like to see adapted for TV

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Game of Thrones has returned to HBO for its fifth season. The success of the show, based on the books of George R. R. Martin, has been a boon for the fantasy community. Case in point: Outlander — a fantasy series based on the Diana Gabaldon books — premiered on Starz last year, and a second season is already in the works.

But why stop there? There are hundreds of fantastic — no pun intended — books that deserve to be adapted into television shows. Here are five series that we'd love to see.


1. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

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Summarizing a 14-volume series (plus two other books) into a paragraph is an impossible task, but here we go:

Set in a world where time is a wheel with seven spokes (each spoke represents an era, and these return after the spin of the wheel), Rand Al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn (our main protagonist), must fight the evil forces of Shai'Tan, The Dark One.


And before you say anything, yes, we know that a Wheel of Time "pilot" aired earlier this year, but it doesn't count because it was hastily made by Red Eagle Entertainment for the purpose of extending their TV rights to the series.

2. The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

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The First Law series is like taking all of the war stuff from Game of Thrones and making it ten times grittier.

Like GoT, Abercrombie's series focuses on warring nations. The Union (think of it as Europe) is at war against the Northmen (viking-like people) and the Gurkish Empire (the Middle East).


3. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

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The principal character in this series is Vin, a street urchin who discovers she's a Mistborn (someone who has Allomancy, the ability to consume metals and turn them into special powers). Vin is recruited by Kelsier — another Mistborn — to overthrow Rashek, the immortal Lord Ruler of the Final Empire who created the world in which the series takes place.

In addition to being one of the best fantasy series in decades, Mistborn also deserves props for having a woman as the protagonist.


4- The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence

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Lawrence's series is basically the story of the prodigal son, but with more blood, murder, and black magic. The Broken Empire chronicles the story of anti-hero Jorg Ancrath, who escapes his castle home after watching his mother and brother brutally murdered. After spending his post-escape years leading a group of marauders, Jorg and his gang return to reclaim what's his.

The best part of the The Broken Empire series? The moral ambiguity of its primary characters. Also, the murder.


5. The Gentlemen Bastard by Scott Lynch

via Sir-Heartsalot/Deviant Art

The series focuses on the titular Gentleman Bastards, a lovable group of accomplished thieves and con men who split their time between robbing the royally rich, and avoiding being incarcerated, or worse, killed.

Three books have been published so far, with four more in the works. Universal Pictures has bought the rights to The Lies of Locke Lamora, but nothing has come of that. It's also rumored that there's a TV show in the works for this series, but until those claims have been substantiated, The Gentlemen Bastard will remain on this list.


Fidel Martinez is an editor at He's also a Texas native and a lifelong El Tri fan.

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