My ideal TV adaptation: The Raven Cycle

Lucy Lillystone discusses her pick to be turned into a TV adaptation in book series The Raven Cycle.

Lucy Lillystone
25th April 2020
Credit: #lunarnovels, Instagram
When it comes to TV adaptations, I am almost wary of producers taking what I love and ruining it. It has happened in the past (see Shadowhunters and the many YA film adaptations such as Paper Towns and The Hate U Give). The producers almost NEVER get the story right or change something that just ruins it all. However, every book lover dreams of having their favourite book series adapted to the TV just to experience what they love again and to see it come to life within real individuals rather than just your imagination.

My first choice of what book I would love to be adapted to the screen would be Six of Crows. However, Netflix have already beat me to it and have currently just wrapped filming. As always, I am nervous but excited (this time, they got the actors perfect so that's one less thing to worry about). Alternatively, then, I would love to see The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater adapted to the TV screen. Rumours have it that this is already in the works - apparently Maggie has already written a script. But there is still no knowledge of who is producing it and who will play the iconic roles of Blue, Gansey, Adam, Noah and Ronan.

The Raven Cycle is very much a fairy-tale, fantasy utopia world but what makes the series so great is the characters themselves

For anyone who is unaware of the plot of the book series. The Raven Cycle follows the story of Blue Sargent, Richard Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, and Noah as they attempt to find the sleeping Welsh king Glendower. The story is very much a fairy-tale, fantasy utopia world but what makes the series so great is the characters themselves. Each character is developed so brilliantly that you can't help but fall in love with each and every single one. The relationships especially are loving, funny, entertaining but heartbreaking all at once.

Credit: Hulu, IMDb

So, if this series was to be produced, the choice of actors would be extremely important. Especially for me, someone who has fallen so deeply in love with these characters and has the perfect idea of what they already look like - anything less than my ideal would ruin the show for me. With that in mind, I do have my ideal choices - many of which are models and not actors so ideally, this would not work. But if I had to choose, I would pick some of the following: Gregg Sulkin as Gansey, Colin Ford as Adam, Reece King as Ronan, Lily Collins as Blue, Viola Davis as Calla. What's important when it comes to casting is that each actor has the distinct skin colour, weight, characteristics of the character otherwise book lovers just won't be able to visualise it and the TV show will fall flat.

If The Raven Cycle were to become a TV Show, I would also like to have a season per book, making it a 4 season show. And maybe a spin-off for the current Ronan Lynch spin-off book series! This means that the producers and writers can really focus on the details of the books, not rushing it in the way a movie would.

When it comes to adapting books, a lot of the details of books are missed out due to not being said by the characters but by the narrator. For this reason, I would quite like a narrator in the show - his voice only appearing in the background every so often so it doesn't become annoying to say some of the iconic lines describing the character's feelings. For example, when Ronan starts to finally articulate his feelings for Adam in the show, I'd quite like the narrator to describe said feelings. Specifically, can we have the following after Adam smiles: "Ronan would start wars and burn cities for that true smile, elastic and amiable."

Ronan and Adam's relationship would have to be done in a way that is delicate and sensitive to the feelings of Ronan and Adam

Ronan and Adam's relationship is another thing in of itself. It would ideally have to be done so slow-burn as otherwise, it would feel rushed and out of place. It's a delicate, subtle relationship that would need to be span the entire 4 seasons. It would also lack the typical romance that is seen of couples on screen as Ronan and Adam aren't very physical in the book in terms of make-out scenes or sex; it would have to be done in a way that is delicate and sensitive to the feelings of Ronan and Adam. Maybe a focus entirely on the hands? We all know Ronan loves Adam's hands.

Credit: Rich Polk, IMDb

Of course, the boat shoes, the green tea leaves, Blue's iconic fashion, Ronan's tattoo, Adam's tiny church apartment with no furniture and especially the loft itself would have to be PERFECT. Exactly as they are described in the book. Also, understandingly, when it came to the dream sequences of cabeswater in Ronan's dreams, it might be hard to create that on the screen visually - perhaps the producers could adapt it so that cabeswater isn't a dream place.

The Raven Cycle is very close to my heart and to have it adapted onto the TV screen, everything would have to be as detailed and true to the book as possible. While I expect that some things would have to changed due to budget and ability to actually produce the scene, the dialogue, the interactions, the chronology - all of that ideally would stay the same. Please don't make Ronan and Adam into a love triangle or Blue and Gansey into a love triangle. It's not needed - we just need the story and the relationships and that'll make me happy.

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AUTHOR: Lucy Lillystone
English Language and Literature graduate, writer and Film Editor 2019/20. Passionate about film, TV and books. 99.9% of my articles are me crying, emotional over my love for my favourite characters. Twitter: @lucylillystone_

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