Nnedi Okorafor’s ‘Who Fears Death’ Series Finds Home at HBO

By Sameer Rao Jul 11, 2017

Author and literary scholar Nnedi Okorafor explored magic and Afrofuturist themes through the lens of African civil conflict in her World Fantasy Award-winning first novel, "Who Fears Death." Okorafor confirmed yesterday (July 10) that the novel will get the full HBO treatment, with "Game of Thrones" writer George R.R. Martin executive producing. 

The Nigerian-American writer briefly explained the project in a comment to the above Facebook post: 

I am very involved. I also know George well (we met in 2014 and stayed in touch); he’s been a sort of mentor to me through all this. And all those involved know what this story is; Onyesonwu is in good good hands.

"Onyesonwu" is the novel’s protagonist, born into post-apocalyptic Sudan after her mother is raped by a warlord from the ruling Nuru tribe, which destroys her village. Onyesonwu, or "Onye" for short, inherits her birth father’s mystical powers and uses them on a journey to avenge her people. The novel’s title comes from the English translation of Onye’s name, which is rooted in the West African Igbo language. 

HBO has not yet announced a prospective production or premiere date, and Martin said on his Livejournal page that he will be one of several executive producers if the project receives a full season order.

"Who Fears Death" was Okorafor’s first adult novel, following several young adult and children’s books. Her latest work, "Binti: Home," hit shelves in January.