Game of Thrones is coming to an end. The now universally beloved fantasy series has been a staple of fantasy television since it first came out, but now the adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is almost complete. It leaves behind a vacuum which no show seems ready to fill.
There are plenty of fantasy novels, however, that can be adapted. Several have. Lev Grossman's The Magicians, Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters, and Neil Gaiman's American Gods have been adapted already, with shows like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens coming soon, as well as The Witcher and a new Middle-Earth series. But what else there? What other fantasy novels could make a fantastic television series?
10 Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab
V. E. Schwab has a pretty firmly established fanbase in the fantasy scene. Her novel City of Ghosts is set to be adapted for television, but her Shades of Magic series is equally worthy of the adaptation treatment, especially given how incredibly fascinating her world is.
The Shades of Magic deals with magic and multiple realms of reality, with a set number of people able to travel from one world to the next, each one designated a color, and each one closer to the sources of magic. The series boasts a cast of lovable characters, sweeping intrigue, while always maintaining a tight focus on the central conflict. For audiences a little tired of Game of Thrones balancing twenty different viewpoints, this might be a breath of fresh air.
9 Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock
No, not Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. Long before The Witcher and other dark fantasy stories took the world by storm, author Michael Moorcock introduced the world to Elric, the last prince of the dark kingdom of Melnibone. Elric is a sickly prince with only a vast knowledge of dark magic at his side, until he discovers the blade Stormbringer -- an evil sword that feasts on souls.
The novel featured eldritch horrors, dragon riding, interdimensional travel, and some rather grotesque violence. Fans of Game of Thrones, however, might also pick up on the fact Martin used the name Stormbringer in the series as another legendary weapon.
8 The Legend of Drizzt by R. A. Salvatore
R.A. Salvatore's The Legend of Drizzt series is not a masterclass of writing. It isn't a particularly amazing series with fundamental statements about humanity. At no point is this Forgotten Realms spin-off ever anything more than pulpy, goofy fun. The world of the Drow, though interesting, is never particularly developed, nor the world of Icewind Dale developed as thoroughly as it is in the Baldur's Gate series.
And...yeah. That's why it's perfect for television. It's nothing but nonstop action and adventure. Silly, goofy, probably slightly problematic from a social standpoint. But it's at its core an action fantasy epic. Perfect for television.
7 The Black Company by Glen Cook
Often regarded as the first major work of grimdark fantasy, Glen Cook's Black Company series follows the militaristic missions of a mercenary group wandering a war-torn, cynical landscape. They face horrors that would drive lesser men into madness, all as the world crumbles.
The serialized adventures already flow like a television series. Some adventures are contained in a chapter. Others expand over the entire series. It feels natural for television, which is why plans appear to be underway to adapt it. Little word exists on the project's current situation.
6 The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
Arguably more science fiction than fantasy, N.K. Jemisin's trilogy is a masterful piece of literature. Every book has won the Best Novel Hugo-Award of its respective year of release. These books are masterfully written.
But what are the books about? The Broken Earth trilogy focuses on a future society where the Earth has assembled itself into a single super-continent. But, as is expected, the continent starts to break apart, resulting in catastrophic societal upheaval. The whole book is written in a literary style that would be hard to adapt, but the story of the Broken Earth is so compelling it should transcend the limitations of cinematic storytelling.
5 Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
Word had it that the Kingskiller Chronicle is going to be adapted to film, but, until that project enters production, it seems tailor suited for a television adaptation. The series is an epic, beloved by fans and critics alike.
While the ambitious plans for this property have yet to pan out completely, it seems likely that this will at the very least be one entry on this list that actually does make the jump to live-action entertainment. Hopefully, it will bring Rothfuss's complex world to life.
4 The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
Any one of acclaimed author Robin Hobb's series could be made into a superb fantasy series. Honestly, this place could go to her Tawny Man Trilogy just as well, but her Fareseer Trilogy is by far her most popular work.
The Farseer Trilogy follows assassin Fitz in the middle of a war between two rival kingdoms, one of whom is turning people into zombie-like monsters known as the Forged Ones. Fans of Game of Thrones honestly should read it, as it too follows in the same themes of grim realism and political cynicism. It could easily assume Game of Thrones's niche in fantasy television.
3 Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is something of a big deal in the fantasy community. The Stormlight Archive could just as easily be a fantasy television series as much as Mistborn, but Mistborn is a little more down-to-earth and grounded, which makes it slightly easier to adapt.
The series focuses on a young thief hired to rob an immortal empire...and to say anything more would spoil what ultimately turns out to be an epic, vast universe of political intrigue, philosophical debate, and incredibly complex magic governed by a very strict rule. If only for the metal-based magic system, which requires digesting metal in your stomach, this fantasy novel series deserves an adaptation.
2 The Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey's sprawling Dragon Riders of Pern series is probably more of a science fiction series than fantasy. The dragons are genetically created, it takes place on another planet, and it features alien invasions. However, it also features a society where people ride dragons.
The Dragon Riders of Pern is a beloved fantasy/science fiction series that has been going on for so long that it seems ridiculous no one has successfully adapted it to television yet. With so much material to draw from...what gives?
1 Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
Think A Song of Ice and Fire is a long series? You've never even attempted to pick up Malazan Book of the Fallen. This gargantuan ten book series features hundreds of main characters with a byzantine plot too complicated and elaborate to even begin explaining.
This sprawling dark fantasy series is almost too complicated to successfully adapt. There is just too much going on here, too much insane material. Gods and monsters, political intrigue, human drama...basically, whatever Game of Thrones does? This cranks the bar up to 12. If any fantasy novel series deserves to be a television series, it's this one.