George R.R. Martin is producing a show based on Nnedi Okorafor’s post-apocalyptic Nigerian fantasy tale, Who Fears Death. What can you expect?
Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death brings a hero’s familiar story arc to post-apocalypse Africa. The apocalypse in this imagining is a nuclear holocaust, with Onyesonwu as its title hero.
Onyesonwu’s name translates to “who fears death” in Igbo, one of the major languages of Okorafor’s parents’ native Nigeria. We witness her conception at the beginning of the novel, which is graphic and violent, much like the world she is born into.
There is violence inherent in the story’s world. Their world has one group, the Nuru, is literally committing genocide against the Okeke, which includes Onyesonwu and her mother.
At 16, Onyesonwu’s beloved stepfather dies, throwing her world into chaos. At his funeral, her grief triggers the powers of a sorceress within her. This brings her quest, complete with her three best friends, to a very strong beginning.
This book deals with a lot of harsh topics. There’s rape, ethnic cleansing, colonization, brutal fighting, and female genital mutilation, all of which are vital to the plot, and handled sensitively.
You can read the synopsis and other reviews of Who Fears Death on Goodreads.
These are definitely things I want to make sure readers are aware of before they watch the show. Who Fears Death as a book pulls absolutely no punches, and I expect the show to do the same.
With Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin as an executive producer, I suspect that the violence will be treated with the same loving view that it is in his original content. I hope that the stunning, lyrical prose that I loved so much also gets translated to the screen. I also can’t wait to see the love that Okorafor has for her culture on the screen. Those were the things that kept pulling me back into a story that was way more violent than I would normally enjoy in a novel.
I think that Martin will pull in some of the Game of Thrones viewership, and hopefully, it will become as much of a hit.