Features

10 Fantasy Series That Deserve TV Adaptations

Small Screen Fantasies on Television

We all have a series we read that we wish we could binge on Netflix. Fantasy is a particularly cool genre to see on screen, and seems to get audiences attention. Here are a few I think would make great TV shows. 

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter boxed set - J. K. RowlingEveryone knows and loves the story of this famous boy wizard who became a legend. Whether by page or by the screen, people everywhere were enchanted by this series. That being said, the movies lacked detail, and this series still has so much depth to it. I would love to see a TV adaptation which shows us the things we missed and redeems characters that deserved more. Ginny and Ron need better writing. We definitely need to see S.P.E.W., and the things David Yates didn’t have time to put in the films. And who wouldn’t love more Harry Potter?

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

This famous tale of the Pevensies also already got movies. Of course, we don’t have the whole series. I do actually love the movies for this series, but a TV show could put the world of Narnia together more coherently for people who haven’t read the books. Things like the Professor’s origin story and the really exciting ending of the whole thing. Narnia has a lot of depth and I think it would make for such a compelling show. And, it could go chronologically or out of order like the books. They could even present it in an entirely new order that would make for a more organized story. There are so many creative ways to tell it and this story deserves to be told on screen.

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Zac Brewer (formerly Heather Brewer)

Chronicles of Vladimir Tod - Zac Brewer (as Heather Brewer)This series is such an underrated gem. It follows the story of Vlad, a teenage vampire who was orphaned young and lives with his aunt. He basically just wants to live a normal teenage life with his best friend Henry, and he is surprisingly well-adjusted for being a vampire. But, a mysterious new teacher arrives in the first book, Eighth Grade Bites, to shake up his world and tell him about a prophecy. This series would make such a great teen show, as it takes us from Vlad’s last year in middle school to his high school graduation. The characters are so loveable and would really resonate on screen.

Note: If you are looking for these books, they were published under the name Heather Brewer. Zac has since transitioned.

The Marigold Trilogy by Jean Farris

The Tales of Marigold - Jean FerrisThis series is chronologically, Once Upon A Marigold, Twice Upon a Marigold, and Thrice Upon a Marigold. It tells the story of a young man, Christian, who was raised by a troll, and Princess Marigold, who is trapped by the evil Queen Olympia. It follows their story in a classic yet humorous fairy-tale style. The princess is stuck with an arranged marriage, but is in love with the boy who lives with a troll. I read these books first when I was in middle school and they stuck with me because the story is so sweet and pure. I mean, Christian calls Marigold “precious” and not in a creepy Gollum way. It would definitely be geared more toward children, but it would still be great fun and adventure for anyone to enjoy. I certainly did, even when I read them again in college.

Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

Great A'tuin Supporting the Discworld in Space - Paul KidbyThis series is very long and within a vast universe, the Discworld. There are many characters from varying races. It takes place on a flat disc, which sits upon the backs of four elephants, which stand on the back of a giant turtle. Pratchett pokes fun at traditional fantasy in this series, drawing from the greats like J.R.R. Tolkien and even William Shakespeare. The universe has inspired board games, card games, and video games. I think the vastness is what would make this a successful show. It’s funny and quirky, but it could go on for a long time. Parts of it have been produced into small movies or brief TV bits, but putting it into a comprehensive show would really do this series justice.

The Howl Series by Diana Wynne Jones

World of Howl Collection - Diana Wynne JonesThis series contains the famous book-turned-movie Howl’s Moving Castle. But this series also includes Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways. Studio Ghibli’s movie was fantastic, and told the love story between Howl and Sophie beautifully. But I think that this would make a good TV show because of the new characters we get to meet on top of seeing what Howl and Sophie got up to since the end of the first book. I loved the animation in the film, but doing this live-action would just be brilliant. Seeing the set of Howl’s Castle come even more alive would bring this little world to a whole new level.

 

The Merlin Saga by T.A. Barron

Merlin books - T. A. BarronI read this series when I was a kid, and I loved it. We see the origin story of the wizard, Merlin. It goes on for twelve books, the twelfth being a companion book that acts more as a guide to the series. It is divided into parts of the story, with books one through five being The Lost Years of Merlin. Books six through eight are Merlin’s Dragon trilogy. Books nine through eleven are The Great Tree of Avalon trilogy. I think this would make for a strong show because of the sheer amount of material to draw from. And people clearly can’t get enough of Arthurian legend stories.

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

Maximum Ride the series - James PattersonThis series follows a group of kids who are human-bird hybrids, The Flock. They were born with wings because of being experiments in a lab called The School. This series would be great on TV because it has a really strong female lead, Max. Max is tough as well as nurturing and would be a great example to young girls out there. She’s complex and strong. I love this character. I think it would also be cool because you could classify it as fantasy or science fiction, so it would appeal to a larger audience. The story is long enough, spanning across nine books. With a lot of great characters with all kinds of gifts, and the amount of fighting they do to survive, this would make a super-engaging TV show.

[Ed. note: apparently this also had a movie.]

The Graceling Series by Kristin Cashore

Graceling series - Kristin CashoreGraceling is just the first book to take place in this made-up seven kingdoms, with a sequel, Bitterblue, and a companion book, Fire. In this world, people are born with a Grace, or a special power they can use. The protagonist, Katsa, believes her Grace is killing people, which the people around her use to their own advantage. She meets Prince Po, whose Grace is perception. They begin an adventure throughout the seven kingdoms to right the wrongs of its leaders. This is another one with a great female protagonist to carry a show. It’s also a bit of a coming-of-age story, as Katsa finds herself in her adventure. The great thing about this is it could be a miniseries or a full show, and either could do this story justice.

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Cycle - Maggie StiefvaterThis series is an urban fantasy, which follows Blue Sargent and her friends in a search for the Welsh King Glendower. Blue works in a restaurant with psychic women, including her mother, and her friends are boys that attend a private school, Aglionby. I have not read these books yet, but I know so many people who are obsessed with them. They’re funny and apparently reach a wide audience. I’m just excited about another female lead for this series. I’m dying to get my hands on these books and experience the story for myself. The good news for fans who want to see this on screen: it’s coming! Stiefvater announced last year that a TV adaptation is in the works!

 

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