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.
The Showtime Series Will Be A Prequel To The Books While The Lionsgate Feature Will Be A Book Adaptation
According to Deadline Hollywood, Showtime has partnered with Lionsgate to produce The Kingkiller Chronicle television show and a corresponding feature film. Video games are purportedly in the works as well. It is likely the movie(s) will tell Kvothe's tale - that of the books themselves - because the Showtime serial will be “a subversive origin story of legendary proportions set a generation before the events of the trilogy’s first novel, The Name of the Wind,” as stated in the press release.
Put simply, the events of the books, in effect, do take place in two different generations. The narrator of Kvothe's adventures as a youth, is an old, world-weary Kvothe himself. So the statement should say explicitly that the show will take place a generation before Kvothe's life, just to be clear, as is almost certainly the case.
Music Is Integral To Rothfuss's World
In the books, music tells as much a story as the story itself being told. It is Kvothe's lifeblood in many ways. Not only does his music playing allow the orphan boy to make a living, but it was the only thing that kept him sane after the trauma of his youth.
It is particularly welcome news that Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical genius behind Hamilton, is going to be producing The Kingkiller Chronicle because music plays a fundamental role in the story. While the show is an origin story that predates Kvothe, it will follow a pair of traveling performers, meaning that music will still play an integral role, and indeed Lin-Manuel is penning the music himself.
It Will Explore The Mythology Of The Series From A Different Perspective
The series arc of The Kingkiller Chronicle is Kvothe's tragic loss at the hands of an ancient evil known as the Chandrian, and his unceasing effort to hunt them down despite the wide-held belief that they are nothing more than fairytale villains. They are indeed real, and their true origins are couched in between the fanciful elements of stories passed down generation to generation.
The Chandrian wish to remain undiscovered, and so they kill any who come close to learning their secrets. Often these are bards, or performers of some sort, and this is likely where Showtime's The Kingkiller Chronicle will cross paths with Rothfuss's original story. As the show follows these two wandering performers, it seems likely that they, like Kvothe, will stumble upon the trail of the Chandrian, whether advertently or by accident, and their experiences with these monsters will mirror in some ways that of Kvothe's. But will they survive?
The Mainstream Is Ready For Higher Fantasy
All (or most) fantasy is marked by a complex system of magic dictated by universal laws. This is one of the most brilliant things about the genre, and the lack of this is what gave Game of Thrones a chance, as mainstream consumers unfortunately often view this as "too nerdy."
They are wrong, of course, and there's a strong possibility that Game of Thrones has acted as a primer of sorts - training wheels to indoctrinate those who held these misconceptions about the fantasy genre, and prepare them for more "high fantasy." After all, the stories of comic books have finally become mainstream, no longer seen as "nerdy." Pop culture is evolving.