What Is 'Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves' Based On?

Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves joins the growing ranks of blockbuster fantasy adaptations, but it's not simple to pin down what the movie is "based on." Unlike other hits in the genre like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, this movie does not need to follow a pre-existing story to the letter. However, fans might be surprised to hear how many elements of Honor Among Thieves come from books – especially if they're interested in diving deeper into D&D lore.

Fair warning, there are spoilers ahead! Dungeon and Dragons has seen a surge in interest in recent years, so by now many viewers are likely familiar with the improvisational nature of the game. That makes it inevitable that a movie like Honor Among Thieves will tell an original story, and important to convey the true spirit of the source material. Still, there are some things that were bound to be recognizable, including the setting – a land called Northwest Faerûn – not to mention the history, culture, biology and general rules that govern magic in this world.

It doesn't end there, either. While Honor Among Thieves tells its own story, it is in conversation with the mounds of other published material in the D&D universe. Fans with a lot of background knowledge have already gotten to work picking out references to campaigns, novels and stories, and even finding places where the movie could intersect with other published works, marking the first hints of a "shared universe." For starters, fans on the Forgotten Realms Fandom forum are narrowing down the movie's placement on the timeline, estimating that it takes place in the year 1497 or 1498 DR (Dalereckoning).

From there, the connections to other materials are wide open depending on what each fan is interested in exploring. Those captivated by the plot of the Red Wizards of Thay and their leader Szass Tam could organize a game of Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition and play the campaigns "Throne of Deceit" and "The Runes of Chaos" found in the book Spellbound, or they could read one of the 14 novels that Szass appears in – not to mention the 20 he is referenced in. Those enthralled by the mysterious Harpers spy network have an even larger selection to choose from, including the comic book Tyranny of Dragons and the Baldur's Gate video game series.

For newcomers and existing fans alike, Honor Among Thieves is an invitation to dive deeper into any part of the dense universe that already exists in many formats for D&D, but it doesn't just leave fans floundering either. There are a few easy entry points to recommend to new fans. For those that want to play, Dungeons and Dragons: Keys From the Golden Vault is probably the best place to start. It offers 13 adventures, including one that brings players to Revel's End, a location created specifically for Honor Among Thieves. Alternatively, fans can order the new Secret Lair drop and play as the main characters from the movie rather than creating their own character sheets.

For those that want to read, there are already three novels associated with Honor Among Thieves, and they will enrich the movie's story quite a bit. First is The Druid's Call, a young adult-oriented novel by E.K. Johnson that gives some backstory on Doric – the Tiefling Druid played by Sophia Lillis in the movie. There is also The Road to Neverwinter, a novel that expands on the story of Edgin, Holga, Simon and Forge becoming allies in the first place. Both of those novels are available in audiobook format as well. Finally, The Feast of the Moon is a graphic novel about one of the crew's adventures together before the movie began.

Dungeons and Dragons has some of the most sprawling and densely populated fictional settings in all of fantasy, and Honor Among Thieves has brought them bursting into the mainstream. It's a great time for fantasy fans of all persuasions to dive into something new in their medium of choice. The movie itself is playing now in theaters everywhere.