Weta Workshop and Legion M Option Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades For Television

Ever since HBO’s Game of Thrones entered its endgame with its final seasons, various networks and streaming services have been working to figure out how to capitalize on that success. Amazon Prime obtained the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, Netflix is soon releasing Witcher, and now, Legion M is jumping into the fray with another possible successor: it’s optioned Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades.

According to Deadline, Legion M and Weta Workshop (which worked on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, among other things), are teaming up to develop the series, which it’ll begin pitching to outlets in the coming year. Legion M will also support the series by adapting the story as a comic book.

“They’ve got a really top-notch team working on it,” Staveley told Tor.com, “and I’ve been super impressed with their insight into the books and story, and I’m excited to see where it goes.”

Staveley launched his Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne trilogy with The Emperor’s Blades in 2014, which follows three siblings after their father (Emperor of the Anurian Empire) is assassinated by unknown assailants. Kaden, a monk, is training to succeed his father, while his brother Valyn trains with the Kettral, the empire’s elite military force. Their sister, Adare, is deeply involved with the empire’s administration. The three work to figure out how to move past their father’s death, and figure out how to stop a plot that threatens to topple the empire.

Staveley followed up the novel with two installments, The Providence of Fire, and The Last Mortal Bonds. In 2017, he published a standalone novel called Skullsworn, set in the same world. He’s currently at work on another handful of novels set in the same world as well.

The current gold rush for original content going on as more providers launch their own streaming services has proved to be a good thing for genre authors: Hollywood has realized that there are plenty of novels that would be well-suited for adaptation, and I’ve long thought that Staveley’s novels would make for a great series. The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne comes with a massive fantasy world with a deep history, one that feels comparable to the likes of somewhere like Westeros.

The series also features a number of interesting viewpoint characters — monks living high in the mountains, special forces soldiers riding atop giant birds, fantastic armies, and long-forgotten threats that should provide plenty of fodder for an ongoing series. Hopefully, we’ll see it streaming before too long.


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