Fantasy Books as Awesome Movies, Part 1 – Mistborn Trilogy

I love movies.

I also love fantasy books.

Sadly, though, apart from Lord of the Rings, few of my favorite fantasy books have made it onto the big screen. That’s partially because most of my favs are more recent.

In any case, I thought it would be neat to talk about why some of these fabulous books would make double as amazing movies.

I have several in mind, so this mini-series will probably stretch on for the next few weeks.

In the spotlight today, we have the Mistborn Trilogy by the one and only Brandon Sanderson.

To avoid confusion, I’m not including The Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, or The Bands of Mourning, which are different stories set in the same world.

Mistborn Trilogy

I read the Mistborn trilogy last year. It blew my mind. Everything I thought I knew about fantasy—tropes, clichés, mandatory elements, characters, magic—changed.

If you haven’t read it, you need to. It’s dark, and at times brutal and bloody, but it’s time well spent. I won’t give anything away, but the first book, The Final Empire, begins in a setting as rare in fantasy as you’ll see.

It’s a world in which the hero failed his quest. A world where the villain stands victorious, a tyrant who claims to be God.

That alone sets Mistborn apart from other fantasy series’. With so many movies nowadays that seem cut from the same pattern, Mistborn would stand out with its distinct starting point.

But why else would the Mistborn Trilogy make great movies?

I could go on all day, but I came up with four main reasons.

1. The Magic Systems

That’s right. Systems. As in more than one. We’re already off on the right foot.

Without giving anything important away, I’ll say that the magic systems would make excellent movie material. Especially Allomancy, which gives its wielders the ability to jump, fly, and a host of other cool skills.

If you like superhero type skills and action, then having Allomancers zipping across the screen would be right up your alley. Add the extra spice of a fantasy setting, and it’s almost too good to be true. The visuals created in the books were powerful and would translate excellently onto the screen.

This isn’t even counting Feruchemy and Hemalurgy. Less impressive visually, they’re still super-cool magic systems that would add a lot to the movies.

2. The Unique Setting

One of my favorite things about reading fantasy is all the amazing worlds I get to visit. By normal geek standards, I haven’t read as much fantasy as I should, but the world of Mistborn—Scadrial—ranks in the top three coolest fantasy settings I’ve seen.

The setting isn’t just the world itself. It includes, races cultures, weather, religions. But in Mistborn, the geography and weather are the main players, creating a world that’s vivid and realistic in its portrayal, but also hauntingly grim.

Think about it. A gray world of ash and mist, where people can’t imagine colored flowers, a blue sky, or green fields. Where ash falls like snow and the mists come every night—perilous to any who venture into them.

As I write this, I’m picturing scenes from the book, and let me tell you, seeing this world realized on a huge theater screen would be UH-MAZ-ING.

3. The Characters

The people who inhabit the Mistborn books feel as real as your next-door neighbor. Far from being wooden, they display a range of familiar traits that make them impossibly realistic.

They bicker. They disagree. They engage in hilarious exchanges. They dream big and take risks.

I could wax eloquent all day about Vin, Kelsier, and their friends—and enemies—but suffice it to say that if compelling characters drive the story, then Mistborn is outfitted with the equivalent of a sports car engine.

4. The Twisting Plots

The storylines in the Mistborn Trilogy are both ordinary and unique. Even when you think you know what you’re going to get, a big old twist crashes into your expectations and hurls them out the window without so much as an apology.

It’s great. Talk about page-turning suspense.

Some parts of the books dragged, but in the grand arc of the series, there’s plenty of diversity and intrigue to keep things interesting.

  • Heist and rebellion (book 1)
  • Civil war (book 2)
  • Love story (parts of all the books)
  • Political intrigue (parts of all the books)
  • Save the city (book 2)
  • Save the world (book 3)
  • Solve endless mysteries (parts of all the books)

On top of that, the climax in book two has a plot twist the size of Texas and in the climax in book three is one of the most shocking I’ve read.

The Mistborn books have all the ingredients to become winning movies. Now I only hope one day it will happen.

If you’ve read the Mistborn Trilogy, would you like to see it turned into movies? I would love to hear your thoughts.


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Fantasy Books as Awesome Movies, Part 1 – Mistborn Trilogy — 4 Comments

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