Some of the best movies or TV series are based on books. While most of the printed versions encompass three or more epic books spanning hundreds or thousands of pages, these live action versions have managed to hold their own even after condensing them into short, viewable formats. Here are some of them.

The Lord of the Rings

Books that have been turned into movies or TV series will always be some of the best that there have ever been, but it cannot be doubted that this started it all. The original book series, set in Middle Earth, started off as a sequel to JRR Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” but it became such a great hit that it developed into a larger body work. While the series was first published in 1937, it was not until 2001 when Peter Jackson would bring us a glorifying adaptation of this movie which starred Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins.

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” – Galadriel, “The Lord of the Rings”

The story follows Frodo, innocent as he is, who runs into Gandalf who picks him for one really big responsibility — to hold the ring and destroy it. This would take him to an adventure of all sorts where he travels across many different planes and meets a lot of interesting characters of different races along the way.

Game of Thrones

TV series was not always taken seriously. That was before HBO brought us its adaptation of George RR Martin’s “Game of Thrones.” Unlike most other fantasy or medieval series, GOT is not like any other. It can be considered as one of the most unpredictable plots that ever. “Game of Thrones” even adopts a neutral standpoint where there is actually no protagonist. Instead, you are left on your own to like or hate characters on the show and watch them live or die.

This series has truly taken TV to what is now called by many as the Golden Age of Television. This is what led TV actors to get insanely high paychecks as more and more people tune into this show. “Game of Thrones” may be airing its final season soon, but it will always go down in history as one of the most successful TV series.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Based on the books of renowned non-fiction and epic author CS Lewis, “The Chronicles of Narnia” follows the adventures of children as they go in an alternate world of Narnia. They are guided closely by Aslan, a powerful lion who although puts himself down for others, who is actually the true king of Narnia. As of this point, three books have been adapted into films so far.

CS Lewis never sold the film rights to his books during his lifetime as he thought that any cinematic adaptation would limit the creativity exhibited in the books. However, when Lewis’ stepson and literary executor Douglas Gresham would see a demo reel of CGI animals, he would approve the books for film adaptations. The series has some biblical elements due to Lewis’ apologetic background, but it does not get in your face a lot. It also has very rich storytelling that kids of all ages are able to enjoy.

Harry Potter

Author JK Rowling’s life was falling apart when she was pursuing this book series, but it was not until producer David Heyman’s secretary would finish reading the book. Really pleased by it, she urged her boss to read the same. Now, anyone could say that this magical film series of witches and wizardry is one of the most successful book adaptations of all time.

This series follows titular character Harry Potter and his best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. The kids are invited to study at Hogwarts, but they get tormented by evil wizard Voldemort along the way. While the original title has concluded, a spin-off called “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is ongoing and new films are expected soon.

American Gods

Neil Gaiman was already an established author with past work in “Sandman” and “Stardust,” but “American Gods” is his first book which has recently been adapted into a film series. This series is built around the concept that as time goes by, some gods are forgotten while people tend to worship new ones such as technology, careers and a lot more. When these gods lose worshippers, they do not survive. So they must do what they can to thrive in this tough world where people are dictated by their lifestyles.

Of course, there are a lot of book fans that are never happy with what film adaptations have to offer, but these successful adaptations are some of the best that there have ever been. What do you think of this list? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.

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