The Heralds of Valdemar: Universal TV is adapting Mercedes Lackey’s fantasy novel series

Last Updated on September 9, 2022

The Heralds of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey, Universal TV

Television is steadily becoming a fantasy fan’s best friend. With shows like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of PowerThe Wheel of TimeHouse of the Dragon, The Witcher, and The Sandman making significant strides 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 for The Heralds of Valdemar!

The first season is adapting Lackey’s Lambda Award-winning “Last Herald-Mage” trilogy, featuring the character Vanyel Ashkevron, who grows into one of the most potent magic-users ever conceived. Beyond being a badass spell slinger, 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 go beyond the limits of reality.

The first book in the Vanyel series, Magic’s Pawn, tells a story about power, identity, and magic. Here’s a synopsis of the story, according to

Vanyel was born with near-legendary abilities to work both Herald and Mage magic, but he wasn’t a part of such things. Nor does he seek a warrior’s path, wishing instead to become a Bard.

Yet such talent as his, if left untrained, may prove a menace not only to Vanyel but to others. So he is sent to be fostered with his aunt, Savil, one of the famous Herald-Mages of Valdemar.

But, strong-willed and self-centered, Vanyel is a challenge that even Savil cannot master alone. Soon, he will become the focus of frightening forces, lending his raw magic to a spell that unleashes terrifying wyr-hunters on the land.

And by the time Savil seeks the assistance of a Shin’a’in Adept, Vanyel’s wild talent may have already grown beyond anyone’s ability to contain, placing Vanyel, Savil, and Valdemar itself in desperate peril.

Kat Williamson, the creator of Netflix’s LGBTQ comedy series Eastenders, is adapting the property with author Brittany Cavallaro. Both creatives have been fans of Lackey’s Valdemar series since their schooling days and will bring a lot of passion to the project.

Per Radar’s press release:

“Vanyel in “The Last Herald Mage” series was one of the first gay characters I encountered, and as a recently out 16-year-old I can’t stress enough the impact that these books had on me. The “Valdemar” series was far ahead of its time in the portrayal of LGBTQ characters, and Lackey’s writing afforded them a level of depth and complexity that is still very rare, especially in genre storytelling,” Williamson said in a statement.

Reflecting on their longtime friendship and love of Lackey’s universe, Cavallaro shared, “It’s an absolute dream to be adapting the Valdemar books alongside Radar Pictures and Kit Williamson. Twenty years ago, Kit and I became friends at boarding school, and bonded over our love for Mercedes Lackey’s work, and we’re so excited to begin the process of bringing it to the screen.”

Lackey also commented on the excitement surrounding the first adaptation of her celebrated work, saying, “I have hoped for decades that “The Last Herald-Mage” would be adapted for television. Now that Radar has optioned the trilogy, I am nearly breathless with excitement! I could not have chosen a better organization to take my work in hand, and Kit and Bri, the producers, absolutely know both their stuff and the material. I love the fact that this is going to be a long-form series: episodic TV gives the story all the room it needs. I hope our fans will be as thrilled 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.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.