Game of Thrones has finally come to an end. Sure, it ended in disappointment for roughly ninety-nine percent of the audience (at least according to my social media feeds). But it cannot be denied that it was a cultural milestone. One that has left a hole in the landscape of television as a whole. A hole that, many would argue, could never be filled.
I’m here to argue the opposite. There is one fantasy author whose work could satiate the appetites of those who have lost GOT. Better yet: his is one that could quite easily avoid the same issues of the show that came before it.
Mainly because the writer is actually… you know. Writing it.
Now, I want to make this clear. As far as I know, there is no information regarding a possible adaptation for this series, or any of his others for that matter. I am simply pointing out what I believe could be a great series, should it come into existence.
With that in mind, let me continue. I have a simple question for you guys. Have you ever heard of an author named Brandon Sanderson?
Chances are that you have. His ‘Mistborn‘ series was highly popular a few years back, and his other series, such as ‘Steelheart‘, ‘Alcatraz VS The Evil Librarians‘ and ‘Warbreaker‘ have had similar success. But there is one series of his that I feel fits the bill far better than any of them. Though ‘Mistborn‘ does come close.
I am, of course, referring to ‘The Stormlight Archive‘ series.
These particular books have all the qualities I feel a successor to GOT needs. For one, each book is long as hell! In terms of an adaptation, episodic television is really the only one that would work. Trying to adapt any of the books in a format that can’t explore every moment of it wouldn’t even come close to doing them justice.
The world of ‘The Stormlight Archive‘ is hugely dense, and just as densely populated. Every different setting has it’s own culture and history that makes the world come to life. Even better, the cast of characters is enormous, and each one is deep and interesting enough to carry their own stories.
The fantasy aspects of this series are also incredibly unique and interesting. There aren’t typical creatures you’d expect in a fantasy story, such as dragons, or traditional magic. Instead, Sanderson crafted his own cast of fantastical creatures in the Spren, and the magic revolves more around Shards, which turn into super anime-powered swords and armor. They alone could make watching a TV show version a grand spectacle.
Then there’s the action. Now, good action isn’t the main focus of the series, just as it wasn’t in GOT. But it can’t be denied that the action scenes in ‘The Stormlight Archive‘ are simply begging for a live-action adaptation! At their best, they are incredibly gruesome and dramatic. At their worst, they’re incredibly entertaining displays of reality-flipping shenanigans, such as manipulating weight, gravity, and just becoming a fucking super-hero! Either way, they could be incredibly entertaining if executed correctly.
Now, there are a few issues. For one, GOT became popular due to it being extremely grim, gruesome, and a perfect subversion of fantasy tropes. Meanwhile, ‘The Stormlight Archive‘, while plenty grim and gruesome at times, focuses less on subverting those cliches and more on refining them. It isn’t predictable, especially by the standards of the genre. But I doubt it could reach the same level of genre-subversion and surprise that GOT did back in it’s peak.
Still, I feel that a TV show based on these books could be something amazing! I can see it now! It could air on HBO to fill the empty time-slot, or it could just be a Netflix original series (be honest, you’d take it over ‘The Witcher‘ series that they’re doing). It would be called ‘Way of Kings’, and everyone would initially call it a GOT rip-off. But when they swallowed their pointless pride and put their microscopic testicles away to give the show a chance, they’d find a great show that would fill the Westeros sized holes in their hearts.
Unless the team behind the show screwed it up. Which, let’s be honest, is very likely to happen for any TV show, especially one adapting a long book series. Frankly, it’s a miracle that GOT’s initial seasons were as good as they were.
Again, I feel I need to say it: none of this is actually happening. No studio has come forward and said “We’re gonna make a thing with these books.” I’m simply pointing out a series that could, if it ever came to be, prove itself as a worthy successor to GOT’s legacy. I don’t know if it would ever reach the insane heights that GOT did. But I think that it has the best chance out of anything else out there.
Unless that Amazon Prime version of ‘Lord of the Rings‘ proves to be insanely good. But something makes me seriously doubt that.