The Valdemar Series By Mercedes Lackey Is Getting A TV Adaptation
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The Valdemar Series By Mercedes Lackey Is Getting A TV Adaptation, Featuring A Queer Protagonist

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BY August 9, 2021

The latest fantasy series to hit the adaptation machine is the Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey, that will potentially become a TV show. And when it hits the screen, it will be the first major fantasy series with a queer protagonist. This is a major step forward in representation for the fantasy genre. The rights for the series have been picked up by Radar Pictures. The company is run by Ted Field, who is also an executive producer on the upcoming Wheel of Time television show for Amazon Prime. Kit Williamson of EastSiders will work with author Brittany Cavallaro to write and produce the Valdemar adaptation.

The Valdemar Series by Mercedes Lackey Has A Lot Of Source Material To Work With

Mercedes Lackey Valdemar Adaptation Image via Penguin Random House

The Valdemar adaptation will draw from the first trilogy in the lengthy series by Mercedes Lackey – The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy. The three books in this trilogy include Magic’s Pawn, Magic’s Price and Magic’s Promise. This trilogy originally came out between 1989-1990. And the openly gay protagonist was a big deal in the genre world at the time. Now over 3o years later, Lackey will finally get to see her characters come to life onscreen. This is something she has been looking forward to for a long time, according to her statement.

Lackey says, “I have hoped for decades that The Last Herald-Mage would be adapted for television. Now that Radar has optioned the trilogy, I am nearly breathless with excitement. I could not have chosen a better organization to take my work in hand. Kit and Bri – the producers – absolutely know both their stuff and the material. I love the fact that this is going to be a longform series: episodic TV gives the story all the room it needs. I hope our fans will be as thrilled to see their favorite characters come to life as I am.”

Mercedes Lackey is a prolific author sci-fi and fantasy who has been around for decades. She has written over 30 books in the world of Valdemar that spans nearly 3,000 years. Needless to say, there is a lot of worldbuilding and history for a television series to draw from.

An Epic Fantasy With Magical Creatures And Worlds

Mercedes Lackey Valdemar Adaptation Image via Penguin Random House

The first trilogy that will be featured in the Valdemar adaptation focuses on a young man named Vanyel. A synopsis from DAW Books tells us the following about the first book: Magic’s Pawn.

“Though Vanyel has been born with near-legendary abilities to work both Herald and Mage magic, he wants no part of such things. Nor does he seek a warrior’s path, wishing instead to become a Bard. Yet such talent as his if left untrained may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others as well. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil, one of the famed Herald-Mages of Valdemar.

But, strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a challenge which even Savil can not master alone. For soon he will become the focus of frightening forces, lending his raw magic to a spell that unleashes terrifying wyr-hunters on the land. And by the time Savil seeks the assistance of a Shin’a’in Adept, Vanyel’s wild talent may have already grown beyond anyone’s ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril.”

The Writers For the Valdemar Adaptation Long-Time Friends and Fans of the Books

The Herald Mage Mercedes Lackey Valdemar Adaptation Image via Penguin Random House

The co-writers for the Valdemar adaptation were both fans of the fantasy books in their youth, and spoke highly of the source material and how it impacted their lives.

“Vanyel in The Last Herald Mage series was one of the first gay characters I encountered.” Says Kit Williamson. “And as a recently out 16-year-old I can’t stress enough the impact that these books had on me. The Valdemar series was far ahead of its time in the portrayal of LGBTQ characters. And Lackey’s writing afforded them a level of depth and complexity that is still very rare, especially in genre storytelling.”

Brittney Cavallaro, author of the Charlotte Holmes series added how excited she was to work with her longtime friend in Williamson.

“It’s an absolute dream to be adapting the Valdemar books alongside Radar Pictures and Kit Williamson. Twenty years ago, Kit and I became friends at boarding school, and bonded over our love for Mercedes Lackey’s work, and we’re so excited to begin the process of bringing it to the screen,” Cavallaro said.

No word yet on what channel or streaming service might jump at the chance to pick up this legendary fantasy series turned television show. And of course we are very curious to see who will play Vanyel. We will be following news of the Valdemar adaptation closely of course.  To stay up to date, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today!

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

Adaptation NewsAdaptationsEpic FantasyLGBTQMercedes LackeyQueer Fantasytv seriesValdemar

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