Saturday, January 8, 2022

A Valdemar TV Adaption with a gay protagonist!

Vanyel Ashkevron
Truly HBO's Game of Thrones deserves a vote of deepest thanks, for not only has Amazon created TV adaption for The Wheel of Time and J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth in the Second Age, but now Radar Pictures is bringing Mercedes Lackey's The Last Herald-Mage trilogy to the TV screen! I have little doubt as to the huge potential for success this has, for I have favorably compared Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, for like GRRM she makes a brutal and often graphic point of showing the extremely gritty elements of the world, the key being that she counterbalances them with characters of the highest ideals; characters who ultimately, if not unscarred, prevail. In short, while I have not read The Last Herald-Mage trilogy I absolutely love Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books! From Vows and Honor to The Heralds of Valdemar trilogy to The Mage Winds trilogy, and I intend to read more! However, I am not at all surprised that it was The Last Herald-Mage trilogy that made the cut for its main protagonist is none other than Vanyel Ashkevron, who will grow up to become the greatest Herald-Mage, Herald period, and hero the Kingdom of Valdemar has ever known, a legend in the centuries following his death for the characters in the Valdemar series I have read. But he is also gay. Aye, a Fantasy series with a Queer protagonist is finally coming to television! The Fantastic is typically only written, read, and in this case watched, by the open minded, so this represents another victory in Fantasy's battle for all inclusiveness to honor the essential humanity in all of us. Huzzah!

Mercedes Lackey had this to say about the trilogy finally being adapted for television: “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, and 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.”

And the importance of adapting a fantasy series featuring an openly gay protagonist is not lost on producer Kit Williamson: “Vanyel in The Last Herald Mage series was one of the first gay characters I encountered, 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."

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