Tamora Pierce’s Tortall series is heading to TV! Deadline has reported that all 22 books set in the Tortall universe have been optioned for the small-screen by Lionsgate and Playground Entertainment, the production company behind Starz’ The White Princess and PBS Masterpiece’s Little Women.
There’s no plot details yet, but the producers have a wealth of material to draw from, more than enough to fuel the producers’ hopes of a “tentpole series that crosses over between fans of Game of Thrones and YA novels”:
There’s the Song of the Lioness quartet, which follows the journey of a young noblewoman named Alanna, who disguises herself as a boy to become a knight, and the Protector of the Small series, about a girl named Keladry who follows in Alanna’s footsteps. There’s The Immortals series, about Daine Sarrasri, a girl with wild magic in her blood who can speak to animals and shapeshift, and the Tricksters duology, about Alanna’s daughter Aly, who ultimately becomes a spymaster and crow-speaker after being sold into slavery by pirates. That’s not even getting into the Provost’s Dog, a series set 200 years before the Alanna stories, and The Numair Chronicles, a prequel about the magician who appears in The Immortals, or any of the short stories and the Tortall guide.
There’s no word yet on which of the Tortall books will be making it into the series, and whether the different storylines will be combined into one massive plot, or if each season will follow a different character. Since all of the series (minus Provost’s Dog) build off one another, fill in their gaps, and share characters, we’re going to assume the former. If so, we hope they give the individual storylines the space and thought they deserve, as each of the different series are very much rooted in their main characters.
The series has a long-running reputation for feminist portrayals of female characters and viewpoints, and it remains to be seen how producers Colin Callender (PBS’s Little Women, Wolf Hall), Scott Huff (Wolf Hall), and David A. Stern (Howard’s End, Departure) will work to translate that to the screen, and who may be hired as showrunner. In a statement to Deadline, Tamora Pierce commented, “Not only am I over the moon that the Tortall books will be adapted by Playground, but I know my fans will be ecstatic.”
— Tamora Pierce (@TamoraPierce) November 1, 2019
It’s too early for a release date, cast, production schedule, or network, but we’ll have an update when we hear more details. In the meantime, check out our primer to the world of Tortall.