Now that "Winter is here" and Game of Thrones is winding down (there are only about 15 hours of show time remaining) there will be a major-show watching void for millions of viewers. What will replace this ground-breaking series?
Let me start by qualifying that question with the statement that nothing will replace it. But there will be many shows that try, and some that may be hits. There are current shows like Black Sails and Outlander that deliver a lot of the same elements of the show, but nothing has, or likely will, reach the heights of frenzied fandom that Game of Thrones has created. The show has made epic fantasy mainstream and introduced millions to the genre.
So which existing epic fantasy series with already established fanbases could attempt to capture our imaginations? Here are five fantasies (and one reboot) that fans would love to see get a shot at it.
5. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever By Stephen R. Donaldson
This fantasy resonates well with the fans of both Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. It follows the life of Thomas Covenant, a leper who is summoned to a magical land full of elves, dwarves, and giants. It also has a dark side as Thomas Covenant was one of the first antiheroes fans were introduced to. One of the opening scenes is very dark and controversial, and the consequences of that scene hangs over the "hero" throughout the series. This is a series that would deliver a giant, in Foamfollower, that is as powerful as George R.R. Martin's Wun-Wun, but as intellectual as J.R.R. Tolkien's Treebeard.
4. The Runelords By David Farland
The Runelords fascinates with a unique magic system in which a person's traits such as strength, wit, endurance, and beauty can be taken from one and transferred to another. Imagine, instead of blowing Margaery into a fiery ball of green Ghostbusters goo, Cersei stole her beauty, and left Margaery a withered hag? Those in power horde these traits by the thousands, creating a world where kings are as powerful as gods. Missing are the familiar elves and dragons that many fantasy followers are accustomed to, but in their place are new breeds of creature such as the Frowth giants and Reavers, waiting to be introduced to millions.
3. Elfquest By Wendy And Richard Pini
Granted, this would likely have to be a computer animated series, as opposed to live action, but it would be amazing. Elfquest is a comic series where a race of aliens, looking an awful lot like elves, settle on an Earth-like planet with two moons and have to fight the medieval-like humans for survival. One of the alien tribes are known for their mental connection to the wolves that they ride. Direwolf fans would eat this up.
2. The Wheel Of Time By Robert Jordan And Brandon Sanderson
The Wheel of Time is one of the most successful epic fantasies currently in publication. The most recent additions to the series can almost always be seen on the New York Times Best Sellers list or ready for a reader to grab from the airport magazine stand. Game of Thrones fans that love following the different houses battle for power, and those that love the magic of Valyrian steel, will find themselves captivated by the continuing saga that could replace GoT with WoT.
1. Xanth By Piers Anthony
One of the downfalls of replacing any popular series is the failed attempt to be too much like its predecessor. Xanth would break free of this by immersing us in a fantastical world where everything from plants to books is infused with magic. and every person has a different magical power. While the pun-tastic magic might seem to lend itself toward children, this world of awe seems to captivate the inner child in us with dragons, centaurs and demons galore. How fun would it be if Tyrion could grow to 10 feet tall whenever he drank wine or Sansa could grow steel spikes whenever Joffrey or Ramsay tried to have their way with her?
Honorable Mention — Inheritance By Christopher Paolini
Yes, this has already been made into a movie, but I think the millions of fans that love this series would welcome a mulligan. This fantasy series, which focuses on a young dragon rider and his intelligent dragon, seriously needs a reboot after that travesty that was Eragon. I got goosebumps when the fully-grown Drogon circled Slaver's Bay and landed behind Khaleesi. It would have been even more epic for Drogon to turn to her and say: "I'll most likely kill you in the morning, but in the meantime want me to turn their ships into ashes?"
Is there an epic fantasy series not listed here that you think should be a cable series? List the series in the comments below.