Dance of Praedors of Power!

There are more high-profile fantasy series on TV than ever before. And let’s not kid ourselves – we all watch them, are influenced by them and even draw inspiration from them. Afterwards we go to social media and tear them a new one for whatever reason. The four series that I consider as ”current” are Rings of Power (Amazon’s unorthodox LOTR spin-off), Dance of Dragons (HBO’s GoT spin-off, so far I’ve only watched the first episode but I saw it in a movie theater), The Witcher (Netflix adaptation of Sapkowsky’s Witcher book series) and Wheel of Time (Amazon’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s massive series of fantasy novels).

To get it over with, here are my opinions of the four: Rings of Power is watchable but goofy, Dance of Dragons seems quite impressive, I really liked The Witcher 2nd season but the Internet seems to disagree with me, and I am a reluctant fan of Amazon’s Wheel of Time, since I hate the books with a passion. Seriously, that last one baffles me. Premise is awful and they had all the makings of an absolute disaster on their hands. Yet I found myself riveted to the screen all the way up the final episode of the first season, which was as bad as I had expected the whole thing to be.

So, what about The Praedor television series? I don’t know if the world is ready and Praedor has a poor track record in audiovisual media. Both attempts at Praedor short films failed and I genuinely lament the demise of the Praedor: Broken videogame project by Rat Crew Studios, even if it was heavily inspired by Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Working with video games, I have naturally thought about a Praedor CRPG many times. But let’s look at a hypothetical Praedor TV series instead.

At first, I was surprised by the creative liberties the above-mentioned series were taking with their source material. Then it was pointed out to me that what all of these media companies actually want is to create their own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To that end, the source narrative, existing hardcore fans and recognizable characters almost become a hindrance. Obviously, if Burger Games (or more likely something set up by Petri since he is the movie guy) would start working on a Praedor TV-series, the end goal would be the same: Praedor Cinematic Universe, giving both brand recognition and near-absolute freedom to do all sorts of things.

For this end, Praedor is in a better place than most. There is no single, over-arching storyline. Franchise as a whole is a collection of short stories in one format or another and already coming from multiple writers. While there are recurring characters, Käärmetanssija-Verivartio Arc is only real “epic” (although one could make a case for Kuninkaan lapset – Kuolleen jumalan palvelija graphic novels as well). And even so, I am not the IP owner. My works are spin-offs, just like the works of Erkka, Jaakko or Sakari. TV series would be one more spin-off and we would all treat each other with courtesy from a respectable distance.

TV writers would thus be free to create their own characters, stories and circumstances for as long as the IP cornerstones set by Petri are obeyed. Sure, named characters could make appearances in these stories but there is no pre-set plot to follow (or depart from, to the anguish of fans). This situation is actually similar to what the Witcher novels were before the whole Ciri arc – they were was a compilation of short stories about Geralt of Rivia and there was no continuity between the tales.

This is how I would do the Praedor TV series as well. Jaconia, Borvaria, praedors and monsters are all there (I really like how Witcher S2 is handling monsters) but the series would have its own characters and at least the first season would be a bunch of short stories, 1-3 episodes each. Actually, my Arkesjoki scenarios would make a decent TV script. There is a loose, location-based continuity and some recurring characters (such as Master Sergeant Erwin, the long-suffering supply master of Carduca), but all the adventures are different and independent. And there would be fantasy horror, violence, treasure and the obligatory skinshots from the village tavern/brothel when adventurers spend their last night before the departure doing… well, sword & sorcery adventurer things.