This story was first published on The Reading Room.
We’re just a few months away from returning to Westeros in a sixth season of Game of Thrones. But if the show continues to mirror George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, then it only has a couple of seasons left. These are the fantasy epics that we think could fill the impending void. TV producers, take note!
The Belgariad, by David Eddings
Eddings was one of modern fantasy’s greatest talents, and The Belgariad ranks among his finest works. This one has a bit more of a traditional fantasy story arc, but it would look fantastic on-screen. There are plenty of cool supernatural elements and fantastic creatures in Eddings’ world.
The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
The Dark Tower is a fantasy epic, but that’s not all it is. It has sci-fi, horror, and even Western elements in it, too. With a huge budget, it could become one heck of a television series. About that: a film version is already in the works, and the company behind it—Warner Bros.—is a sister company of HBO (both are subsidiaries of Time Warner). Is it just a matter of time before we get our Dark Tower TV series?
The Discworld Series, by Terry Pratchett
Now that the whole world seems to be into the epic fantasy genre, the time is ripe for a great send-up of the concept. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, which combines excitement with parody, would be the perfect fit. And with 41 books in the series, there’s plenty of material here to adapt. Individual books from this series have gotten the miniseries treatment, but a sprawling epic like this deserves a full-fledged series.
The Kingkiller Chronicle, by Patrick Rothfuss
Game of Thrones is about power and politics, and so is this fantasy series. The Kingkiller Chronicle follows a character that comes from very little and rises slowly to power. And just like Game of Thrones, it’s still unfinished, so nobody knows for sure where it’s going next. Good news: of all the series on this list, this one is the closest to getting its own TV show. Lionsgate is planning a film and TV pilot for the series.
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
We loved the film trilogy as much as everyone else, but plenty of J.R.R. Tolkien’s massive epic was left on the cutting-room floor. A TV show would give producers the chance to make a comprehensive version that covers all the ins and outs of Tolkien’s huge fantasy world. Think of the Silmarillion spin-offs!
Malazan Book of the Fallen, by Steven Erikson
Game of Thrones has become a hit in part because of its distinctive and breathtaking world. The Malazan Book of the Fallen series has a similarly memorable world—and we’d love to see it on TV. The Malazan Empire is just as complex and complete as Westeros, and it deserves a show of its own.
The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan
If you wish for Game of Thrones to never end, you might love The Wheel of Time—which almost never does. There are 14 (fourteen!) books in this huge series, which was completed by another author after Jordan passed away. All those books would make for many television seasons. Unfortunately, the company that currently holds the television rights to the series hasn’t been able to get the show off the ground. They aired one pilot this year, but said it was only to keep the rights from expiring.