Written by Lília

When I was 15 or 16-years-old, I got obsessed with The Lord of the Rings and its first film adaptation. It opened a world of fantasy books and films to me. Back then, having a fantasy book filmed was not as popular as it is nowadays.

Fast-forward several years – let’s not say how many – and fortunately, we now have many more books – or series of books – translated from the page to the screen.

The most popular might be Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher, which has a very convoluted evolution.

Originally published in Polish, it became a wider success when its stories were transformed into a computer game. The game became even more popular, and the books were translated into English, making it a great read for a larger audience of fantasy fans. When Netflix adapted the books, they were such an enormous success that it’s still a challenge for us to carry enough of them in our stores.

Great books, and a great series to boot, The Witcher is an example of a great adaptation.

One series I watched first and read later is Legend of the Seeker, based on Terry Goodkind’s books. It ran for only two seasons, both loosely based on Wizard’s First Rule and Stone of Tears, the first and second books in The Sword of Truth series.

Even though the TV series was fun to watch, the world-building in the books is a lot bigger and encompasses much more than the series could achieve. This is a great book series, worth reading.

Shadow and Bone, based on Leigh Bardugo’s books, is an amalgamation of two series of books set in the Grishaverse: the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology, which makes the series more dynamic for the silver screen.

Beautifully made, the series is a good rendition of the books. Of course, I consider the books to be better, but I am a little bit biased.

Based on Robert Jordan’s world-famous series of books, The Wheel of Time is a great example of a well-done screen adaptation.

The first season is based on The Eye of the World, and the second season, released last year, is based on The Great Hunt.

One of my favorite adaptations may be Good Omens,  co-authored by the late Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The book – Good Omens – is wonderful, and the filmmakers managed to transform the clever and witty writing into a great show. It was even renewed for a second season, written by Neil Gaiman, which keeps the values and ideas of the original work intact.

I have to mention Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. While the main series was based on previously published books, the last three seasons were derived from outlines of works in progress by the author and also original content, which might have contributed to the outraged reaction of many fans at the end of season 8

Last but not least, we go back to the beginning: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and it’s latest adaptation: The Rings of Power. The latter is a new series based on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and its appendices, where the Second Age of Middle-Earth is portrayed.

With great production values and clever writing, both the films and the series are great to watch, while the books are a bit of an acquired taste due to J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing style. Even then, he’s still the master of modern fantasy, so always worth the read in my opinion.