17. THE LAST KINGDOM, BY BERNARD CORNWELL (2004)

Status: Not in development

If you think Game of Thrones is tough-as-nails, then you should check out Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories series, starting with The Last Kingdom. Here, the world of the Vikings is detailed in bloody fashion with large-scale battles and authentic historical information backing everything up. The main narrative is about Uhtred, the orphaned son of an Earl, who becomes adopted by Ragnar the Dane, a Viking warrior, after his homeworld is wiped out.

The Last Kingdom details the battles between the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons, and this first installment of the series is the perfect place for any movie series to begin. Being steeped in historical fact would make The Last Kingdom stand out from the more fantasy-driven sword-and-shield fare of recent years, but there is more than enough bloodshed and family drama to keep most any viewer glued to the screen.