Fans of great storytelling rejoice, for an epic announcement has been made! Lin-Manuel Miranda is adapting Patrick Rothfuss's The Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy as a fantasy series on Showtime. Lionsgate is collaborating with the premier channel to create a whole world dedicated to the author of The Wise Man's Fear and The Name of the Wind, including a feature film, video games, and The Kingkiller Chronicle TV show, which will actually be somewhat of a prequel to the original book series.
Patrick Rothfuss is one of the best fantasy authors in the game, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is a musical phenomenon so the convergence of these two mega-talents should result in an amazing production. Considering the success of shows like Game of Thrones and Outlander, producers are clearly striking while the historical-fantasy iron is hot, so chances are good that The Kingkiller Chronicle will be huge.
Here's everything you need to know about this much anticipated Patrick Rothfuss/Lin-Manuel Miranda collaboration.
There Are Elements Harry Potter Fans Will Recognize
In The Kingkiller Chronicle book series, the character Kvothe recounts his time as a young man who attends a school of magic, called the University, or the Arcanum. For obvious reasons, this is very reminiscent of Harry Potter, but it's far from a pale shade. For one thing, the system of magic in The Kingkiller Chronicles is much more complex than that of Harry Potter, as is generally the case with fantasy fiction versus young adult fiction. This isn't to belittle Harry Potter in any way - the two genres differ by nature. The system of magic Rothfuss created is dictated by universal laws, which are explained in detail throughout the story, and it is this that Kvothe studied at the University.
What's more, given that it is more mature content, there are greater stakes at the University, and in the world in general. While the later Harry Potter books became darker and more readily depicted death, Rothfuss's world is dark and dangerous from the outset that shows real suffering.
There's More Magic (And Physics) Than Game Of Thrones
Game of Thrones was able to reach such a broad audience because despite the fantasy/medieval elements, at its heart it is a relevant political thriller. At least initially. While magic is of course present in A Song of Ice and Fire, it only becomes more prevalent as the story progresses, and still after five books and seven seasons hasn't been completely explored or uncovered. Conversely, in The Kingkiller Chronicle, magic is much more integral to the story, and thus the world has a much more defined system of magic. There are various forms of magic, including alchemy, as well as an original Rothfuss creation called "sympathy" through which an arcanist can affect one object or person via another as long as there is some sort of physical link (as in physics, not literal contact) between the two. Rothfuss's career as a chemistry teacher is quaintly reflected in his book as he often reminds readers that energy is neither created nor destroyed, merely transferred, even within his system of magic.
The Tone Won't Be Nearly As Dark As Game Of Thrones
While The Kingkiller Chronicle is indeed an adult fantasy series like A Song of Ice and Fire (from which Game of Thrones was adapted), the world isn't quite as dark. Rothfuss doesn't hide from depicting pain, suffering, or death, but his tale has much more levity and joy than Martin's work. Because most of the story is of Kvothe as a youth at a school of magic, it is, by nature, less violent and dire.
Of course, the series itself won't be about that - Slash Film reports it "will follow a pair of wandering performers on their adventures." This will ostensibly provide its own levity. These performers will no doubt encounter dark forces and violent characters, but it's most likely that their adventures will be a little less gloomy, in general.
Really, The Best Way To Think Of It Is Harry Potter Meets Game Of Thrones
The Kingkiller Chronicle does a fantastic job of balancing the levity and wonder of Harry Potter with the dark, gritty, and real, tangible danger of Game of Thrones. At times Rothfuss' story is exceedingly joyful and at times it is imminently sorrowful. While it's true that the show will not tell the same story as the books, it is a safe bet that the producers, which include Lin-Manuel Miranda and Patrick Rothfuss himself, will capture the tone of the book series.