The Perfect Game Of Thrones & Harry Potter Replacement Has Been In Development Hell For 10 Years


  • The Kingkiller Chronicle combines elements of both Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, making it an ideal replacement for fans of both fantasy franchises.
  • The adaptation of The Kingkiller Chronicle has faced multiple setbacks and struggles since being optioned in 2013. There are currently no firm updates on its progress.
  • One potential problem with adapting The Kingkiller Chronicle is that the story remains unfinished, with the third and final book yet to be released.

There’s one fantasy book that would be an ideal movie or TV show replacement for both Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, but it’s been stuck in development since 2013. The popularity of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter has led to a slew of movies and shows aiming to capitalize on that success, though few have quite managed to reach the same heights they did. Both have even launched their own prequels – House of the Dragon and Fantastic Beasts – similarly looking to try and build on their large fanbases (though the latter, at least, didn’t go to plan).

Although there are more upcoming Game of Thrones spinoffs, as well as Max developing a Harry Potter remake TV show, there remains a keen interest in networks and studios finding their own slice of fantasy action (whether that’s Netflix with The Witcher and Shadow and Bone, Disney with Percy Jackson, or Amazon with The Wheel of Time and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power). One story that in theory should work to combine some of the best of both worlds is Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle, which tells the story of Kvothe and how he became the notorious “kingkiller”. However, an adaptation has never come to fruition.

How The Kingkiller Chronicle Brilliantly Combines Game Of Thrones & Harry Potter

The Kingkiller Chronicle

The two Kingkiller Chronicle books so far serve as an ideal mix of Game of Thrones (or at least, A Song of Ice and Fire) and Harry Potter. Of course, the books have their own unique elements and are by no means carbon copies or ripoffs, but there are clear similarities between the different fantasy stories that make it perfect as a replacement that sits somewhere between the two (it’s more high fantasy than Harry Potter, but not quite as dark as Game of Thrones). It has core elements of both, and does them extremely well in a way that should not only lend itself to an adaptation, but appeal to fans of both, without being too same-y.

The Kingkiller Chronicle‘s location, the fictional Temerant, has some parallels to Westeros, especially in how rich and detailed it is: this is a sprawling world with many incredibly fleshed-out cultures, languages, rules, and a sense of wonder, with plenty of variation and invention, and a clear sense of this being lived-in. It’s a setting full of magic and music, not to mention a little bit of murder, and Rothfuss’ prose and style is influenced by George R.R. Martin. The Kingkiller Chronicle is a little more singular in its character focus, but the way a movie or TV show could bring Temerant to life and explore it would be similar to what Game of Thrones did with Westeros.

The Kingkiller Chronicle‘s similarities to Harry Potter are even clearer. This is a story about a young boy (Kvothe/Harry Potter) whose parents are killed by a powerful villain, who then goes on to learn magic at school (or University), and will have a great many adventures and battles outside that setting, gaining great renown, while also struggling with the day-to-day life of it. It’s about the friendships he makes, and the rivalries too, be that with a privileged bully (Ambrose/Draco Malfoy) or the extremely mean teacher who takes an immense dislike to the hero (Hemme/Snape).

What’s Going On With The Kingkiller Chronicle Movie & TV Show?

Kingkiller Chronicle The Lightning Tree

The Kingkiller Chronicle was first optioned for a TV adaptation by 20th Century Fox back in 2013, two years after the second book in the series, The Wise Man’s Fear, had been released. Unfortunately, there was no movement on the show, and the rights expired in 2015. Rothfuss then made a deal with Lionsgate [via], with ambitious plans to adapt the main books into a movie, but also creating a TV show and video game set in the world alongside it. Lin-Manuel Miranda was brought onboard to compose music for the show, but again production didn’t really get going.

In late 2017, Showtime was developing the series, but that also didn’t progress and Lionsgate started shopping it around again by 2019. Meanwhile, Sam Raimi was hired to direct the Kingkiller Chronicle movie in 2018, but that never came to fruition either. Miranda told Variety in 2022 that he was no longer involved and that they “never cracked it,” and the struggles seemingly lie in the books’ structure. Since they’re told in a Russian Doll style format, with a story-within-a-story, then it’s clearly proving tricky in order to get right. There have been no firm updates since then, and it doesn’t seem like there’ll be movement anytime soon.

The Kingkiller Chronicle Adaptation Has 1 Problem (Which Hurt Game Of Thrones)

Cover art for Patrick Rothfuss's novels The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear.

Perhaps another part of the problem with adapting The Kingkiller Chronicle is that the story remains unfinished, and there’s been a long wait for the third and final book in the trilogy. The Name of the Wind was released in 2007, and The Wise Man’s Fear came out four years later. 12 years on, and Rothfuss’ planned third book, The Doors of Stone, has yet to materialize. Similar to The Winds of Winter, there have been several delays and struggles with writing the novel, and again there doesn’t seem to be a release date on the horizon.

Related: Why The Doors Of Stone Is Taking So Long – 3rd Kingkiller Chronicle Book Delay Explained

A Song of Ice and Fire being unfinished caused problems for Game of Thrones‘ ending. While the show was acclaimed while adapting Martin’s books, it started to struggle more when it no longer had that blueprint to work from, and many of the problems with Game of Thrones season 8 can be attributed to a lack of source material. It’s possible that is impacting a Kingkiller Chronicle adaptation, not only in terms of making it harder to develop the story for a movie or show, but also out of concern from suffering a similar backlash. The Kingkiller Chronicle absolutely deserves a movie or TV adaptation, but its fans are going to have to wait a while yet.

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