Television is becoming the best friend of fantasy fans. With shows like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the wheel of time, house of the dragon, The WizardY The Sandman Taking significant steps in the genre, it’s no wonder that Universal TV and Radar Pictures are adapting Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar literary universe. That’s right, my fellow fans of LGBTQ content, get ready to The Heralds of Valdemar!
The first season adapts Lackey’s Lambda Award-winning “Last Herald-Mage” trilogy, introducing the character Vanyel Ashkevron, who becomes one of the most powerful magic users ever conceived. Beyond being a badass spell caster, Van is famous in the literary community for being “the first openly gay heroic protagonist in the fantasy genre.” Representation matters, especially in the fantasy genre, where people from all walks of life come to push the boundaries of reality.
The first book in the Vanyel series, magic pawn, tells a story about power, identity and magic. Here’s a synopsis of the story, according to Amazon.com:
Vanyel was born with near-legendary abilities to work magic as both a herald and a wizard, but he wasn’t a part of those things. He too does not seek the path of a warrior, desiring instead to become a Bard.
However, a talent like his, if left untrained, can become a threat not only to Vanyel but to others as well. So he is sent to be taken in by his aunt Savil, one of Valdemar’s famous Wizard-Heralds.
But strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a challenge even Savil cannot overcome alone. Soon, he will become the focus of terrifying forces, lending his raw magic to a spell that unleashes terrifying wyrhunters on the land.
And by the time Savil seeks the help of a Shin’a’in adept, Vanyel’s wild talent may already have grown beyond anyone’s ability to contain him, putting Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar in desperate danger. .
Kat Williamson, the creator of Netflix’s LGBTQ comedy series oriental, is adapting the property with author Brittany Cavallaro. Both creatives have been fans of Lackey’s Valdemar series since their school days and will bring a lot of passion to the project.
Press release from Per Radar:
“Vanyel in The Last Herald Mage series was one of the first gay characters I encountered, and as a 16-year-old fresh out of the movies, I can’t stress enough the impact these books had on me. The “Valdemar” series was way ahead of its time in portraying LGBTQ characters, and Lackey’s writing provided them with a level of depth and complexity that is still very rare, especially in genre storytelling.” Williamson said in a statement.
Reflecting on their long friendship and love for the Lackey universe, Cavallaro shared: “It is an absolute dream to adapt Valdemar’s books alongside Radar Pictures and Kit Williamson. Twenty years ago, Kit and I became friends in boarding school and bonded over our love of Mercedes Lackey’s work, and we are so excited to begin the process of bringing it to the screen.”
Lackey also commented on the excitement surrounding the first adaptation of his celebrated work, saying: “I have waited for decades for “The Last Herald-Mage” to be adapted for television. Now that Radar has opted for the trilogy, I’m nearly breathless with excitement! I couldn’t have picked a better organization to carry out my work, and Kit and Bri, the producers, absolutely know both their work and the material. I love the fact that this is going to be a long series – episodic TV gives the story all the space it needs. I hope our fans are as excited to see their favorite characters come to life as I am.”
Are you intrigued by the concepts and characters presented in The Heralds of Valdemar? Let us know in the comments section.