March 6-8, 2020
It’s over. After eight years, a horde of white walkers and an enormous pile of bodies, there’s no more Game of Thrones left to gossip about at the office when you probably should be working. And we can finally all say goodbye to the office pool on who would actually live long enough to sit on the Iron Throne.
So, if like millions of other GoT fans, you suddenly feel as though there’s now something missing in your life, you’re probably also desperate to find something to fill that giant hole in your heart. Well, despair no longer! Whilst Jon Snow may no longer be gracing our screens, there’s an absolute gold mine of epic fantasy making its way onto our TVs in the very near future.
Long before we had white walkers to give us the heeby-jeebies, Jim Henson and Frank Oz brought us the Skeksis in the 1982 classic fantasy film The Dark Crystal. Featuring some of Henson’s finest work, the darker themes and pure other-worldliness of The Dark Crystal divided audiences when it was first released, but has stood firm since as a cult classic beloved by many.
In 2017, Netflix announced out of nowhere that they were bringing the world of the Dark Crystal back in a prequel series using original Henson puppetry techniques. And now, we don’t have much longer to wait as the entire season will drop on Netflix on August 30 – can you say fantasy binge fest?
Starring Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill as the solitary monster hunter, Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher is based on a series of fantasy books by Polish novelist Andre Sapkowski, which has also been adapted into a hugely popular series of video games. Netflix has been playing their cards fairly close to their chest about this one, and thus far have only released test footage of Cavill in costume as Geralt.
Whilst not much else is known about the upcoming eight-episode first season, we know that it is scheduled to drop in the final months of this year, so we’ll probably begin to see more about it very soon.
Get your first look at Henry Cavill in The Witcher! pic.twitter.com/1O2eWS1MkP
— Netflix US (@netflix) October 31, 2018
A close friend and contemporary of The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien, author C.S. Lewis introduced us to the magical realm of Narnia in his own fantasy series, so it would only make sense that at the same time Amazon is working on a Lord of the Rings series, Netflix is going to bring us a The Chronicles of Narnia series based on all seven books.
The deal with C.S. Lewis’ estate was only finalised late last year, so details are scant at this stage, but it would seem they’ve now got several years worth of material at their fingertips.
One show to rule them all, and in the prime-time bind them. GoT fans better take a deep breath, because if they thought HBO pulled out all the stops for Game of Thrones, just wait until they see what Amazon has planned for their upcoming Lord of the Rings television series. Having already splashed US$250 million just to buy the rights from the Tolkien estate to make it, the Lord of the Rings has already hit the record books as the most expensive TV show ever made and a single episode hasn’t even been filmed yet!
Pre-production is busily underway, and the release of a map of Middle-earth by Amazon, which shows the island nation of Numenor, reveals that this series will be set during the Second Age – a time when Sauron first rose to power and the last alliance of Men and Elves was formed to bring him down.
An exact release date for this one hasn’t been announced yet, but the terms outlined in the original contract they signed with the Tolkien estate means the first season will have to be released by 2022 at the very latest.
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) March 7, 2019
Lord of the Rings isn’t the only fantasy card Amazon has up their sleeve, and the late Robert Jordan’s sprawling epic The Wheel of Time is also in the process of gearing up for a TV adaptation. Fans of the original novels will know that sadly Jordan himself did not live long enough to see his series completed, but before passing he placed all of his notes and the task of completing the final books into the hands of fellow author Brandon Sanderson.
A truly mammoth collection of phonebook-sized novels large enough to jack a car up with, the sheer wealth of material in Jordan’s works will see Amazon with enough stories to keep episodes being pumped out for years to come.
Filming on the first season is expected to begin later this year.
Supanova fans know of 2018 Supa-Star author Raymond E. Feist, and his groundbreaking fantasy novels Magician, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon, which first introduced readers to the magical world of Midkemia. Well, now it looks as though we might see those books adapted for our viewing pleasure, as it was announced that Feist signed a deal with BCDF Pictures at the end of last year. Not much is known about which network or service will pick up the series, but we do know that Atomic Blonde screenwriter Kurt Johnstad has been tasked with adapting the first novel in the trilogy.
You didn’t think HBO would let Game of Thrones end without something else to replace it with, did you? Even before Daenerys began her final march to King’s Landing, work on a prequel series was already well underway, with several actors cast in key roles.
According to HBO’s official synopsis, the story will be set several thousand years before the events of GoT, and will chronicle “the world’s descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour”.
As yet, the show is officially untitled, though author George R.R. Martin has previously referred to it as The Long Night. We’ll most likely see the first episode on our screens sometime in 2021.
Lead image: Henry Cavill in ‘The Witcher’.