There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

Killer New Fantasy Series? August 14, 2013

Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle is to be a television series. Or at least last month Deadline reported it has been optioned by New Regency Productions and 20th Century Fox television as a drama series.

As a huge fan of Patrick Rothfuss, I was initially ecstatic. The Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear are right up there with my all time favourite epic fantasy novels. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. NPR books 2011 poll of Top 100 Science Fiction, Fantasy Books had Rothfuss at number 18, a considerable feat for a relatively new author in a list full of classics and established Sci/Fi and Fantasy writers.

With visions of a Game of Thrones type adaptation, I couldn’t wait to see who they cast as Kvothe, the stunningly gifted and brilliantly drawn protagonist. I was also looking forward to seeing the world brought to life – a world Rothfuss portrayed with such depth and detail in the books.

But that was when it all started to unravel somewhat, at least in my mind. Because the books are big, full of nuance and attention to detail, and the story, told by Kvothe in the book is essentially his life story. Would it translate well to screen and still retain the intimacy and magic of the books?

Not withstanding budgets, timeslots and ratings requirements, could it ever live up to reader (my)  expectations?

I have no idea. At this stage it looks like Eric Heisserer (Hours, The Thing) is set to adapt the series and will be the executive producer – so here’s hoping he has a vision. Because with two huge books and the final instalment, The Doors of Stone, due out in 2014, he has a lot of material to work with.

And it’s true I still can’t quite forget what happened to Firefly on Fox’s watch. (Screened out of order and cancelled after one season!) Could my fan-girl heart trust them again?

Or what happened when Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series became The Legend of the Seeker for the small screen – and the story was changed so much there was no hope it would ever follow the books.

At least the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones has shown how it can be done, and with a slew of big budget fantasy movies doing well, perhaps we’ll see more high-quality fantasy television series being made?

– by Raewyn Hewitt


12 Responses to “Killer New Fantasy Series?”

  1. For me, I pretty much always like a book better than it’s film adaptation (even when I actually do like the film, book is still #1 for me). I’ve never read this series, but you’ve got my curiosity piqued so I’ll need to check it out… Hopefully the producers will do The Kingkiller Chronicles justice!

  2. I don’t know how to feel about this news. The Kingkiller Chronicles are undoubtedly my favourite fantasy series, perhaps even favourite books. I just can’t see how they could adapt it for screen of any kind and still maintain the nuances and mystery of the books.

    • I feel the same way about these books (and have the same concerns). I almost turned myself inside out when I read the Name of the Wind. I’m trying to be hopeful… And I have heard Patrick Rothfuss has said he’ll be writing more in this story world after the third installment!

      • Really? Oh my goodness, trying to repress my urge to jump up and down in excitement. Don’t think its working… If he did write more that would be brilliant because there are so many things mentioned in the little blurb on the back that haven’t happened yet. 😀

      • Really? Oh my goodness, trying to repress my urge to jump up and down in excitement. Don’t think its working… If he did write more that would be brilliant because there are so many things mentioned in the little blurb on the back that haven’t happened yet. 😀

      • LOL jumping up and down with you!

  3. I feel this way about the Vampire Academy movie. Granted, YA typically translates better to screen than epic fantasy, but I remember *really* enjoying that series, so I’m worried I will be let down.

    Reading the books first (or during) usually doesn’t work out for me. I didn’t like the Mortal Instruments book, so I won’t go see the movie. And watching Legend of the Seeker before reading the books was great. But reading the books in between seasons one and two? Bad plan. (Though Bridget Regan will always be the perfect Kahlan in my eyes).

    So I typically watch screen adaptations before I read the books. I learned to do this with the Harry Potter series. I spent so much time lamenting over what was left out that I didn’t enjoy the movies. Not until some time had passed from reading the books. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures, but I’ve never read the book (though now I want to). Same with Percy Jackson. To me, the film adaptations can be like teasers.

    • I like the idea of the movie being a sort of teaser. I much prefer to watch a great movie and then find all sorts of detail in the books that makes the story even more enjoyable. (Unless it was Legend of the Seeker – even though I read the books first – the story was SO different). I know you didn’t like the Mortal Instruments book – but I do think the movie looks amazing (and has had great reviews)… I’m really looking forward to seeing it this week.

  4. Proseia Says:

    My sis has been hassling me to pick up Name of the Wind. I guess I should do it sooner rather than later–haven’t heard word one against it yet. Plus, the fact that the NotW playing cards Kickstarter project was so massively successful suggests good things…seems like the general public of entertainment is starting to demand more sci-fi and fantasy, and higher quality adaptations, to boot. One hopes they wouldn’t start a project so large without some really promising leads and ideas to keep the story intact…but one hopes many things…Legend of the Seeker was pretty disappointing, and meanwhile the call made against Firefly was heinous. Le sigh. But it doesn’t hurt to keep your fingers crossed, I guess. 🙂

    • I am excited for you knowing you still have the joy of that story unfolding before you. (I’m not a fangirl at all…). But I agree, here’s hoping for quality in the TV production!

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