Fantasy shows are a delight to watch as it explores an extraordinary world different from the real one. Now, Netflix has presented another truly binge-worthy fantasy show, Shadow and Bone, adapted from the novel series by Leigh Bardugo. It has Russian-inspired aesthetics, complex characters, and complications of wars and political conflicts in this dystopian world.
There are a few fantasy elements that make Netflix’s Shadow and Bone captivating and intriguing. It has the magic of Harry Potter, the YA tropes (like a complicated love story and social divisions) of The Hunger Games, and the monstrous threats of Lord of the Rings. Of course, other TV shows share several elements of their fantasy genre and are just as noteworthy, beautiful, and fascinating to watch and stream.
10 The Witcher (2019)
Living in a world where he receives little respect from others, Geralt of Rivia finds himself on a quest, and somehow a young princess is an answer regarding his destiny in this world. The Witcher is based on the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski.
The Witcher is much gorier and darker than most fantasy shows with violent and bloody fight sequences and has a hint of humor to balance things out. Henry Cavill, known for his work as Superman, challenges himself as the anti-hero Geralt and truly embodies his character’s dark yet charismatic nature. The series became an instant hit on Netflix, and a second season is expected to release in 2021.
9 Xena: Warrior Princess (1995)
A female warrior, Xena, helps the most vulnerable people to redeem herself of her sins. She comes across a bard, and they soon become traveling companions as they go on this epic adventure to fight against evil.
Xena: Warrior Princess set the foundation of strong female characters, showcasing the strength, fighting talents, and courage of Xena, portrayed by Lucy Lawless. The series has since become a cult classic and is well-appreciated by the LGBTQ+ community.
8 Game Of Thrones (2011)
Chaos ensues in Westeros when several noble houses start a war to claim the Iron Throne. However, matters become even more complicated when an exiled princess from an ancient household builds her cavalry and hopes to take back what is rightfully hers.
Game of Thrones is a brilliant and outstanding fantasy show that incorporates little of everything from the fantasy genre, like dragons, winter zombies, political wars, and medieval aesthetics. Furthermore, the story is complex and well-written, the characters are captivating and well-developed, and the direction and visuals are beautiful and mesmerizing. Despite an underwhelming final eighth season, Game of Thrones remains one of the most groundbreaking and most critically acclaimed shows of all time.
7 A Discovery Of Witches (2018)
A Discovery of Witches follows a historian who is also a witch. However, she comes across an enchanted book that holds the mysteries about magic. She befriends a geneticist who helps uncover the secret. However, he happens to be a vampire, which only complicates those matters.
This under-the-radar fantasy show is based on the book series by Deborah Harkness. The fantasy show is captivating, thanks to the love story between the two main characters, and has a magical and complex story. Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode have the perfect chemistry as the two lovers that truly keep viewers captivated.
6 Merlin (2008)
Almost everyone knows the story of King Arthur and has read different renditions of it. However, this British TV show, Merlin, takes a different approach to Arthurian tales. The series follows a young Merlin who becomes a servant to Camelot’s future king, Prince Arthur. Given that magic is forbidden and his life is at risk as a sorcerer, he soon befriends the young prince and hopes it will help influence him to be more tolerant of other beings.
Merlin may not be the highest budgeted TV show, but its retelling of the King Arthur story is entertaining. Each season gets better, given the high stakes, and ended on a high note. Of course, Colin Morgan is the standout performance as he displays a brilliant portrayal of Merlin.
5 The Shannara Chronicles (2016)
With banished demons slowly resurging on the Four Lands, a trio embark on a mission to stop them. The Shannara Chronicles is based on Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara Trilogy.
Although this fantasy show is more mellow of its fantasy element, The Shannara Chronicles is still entertaining, given its eye-catching visuals and depiction of the monsters and creatures within the universe. It also showcases a fun adventure that is enough to grab the viewers’ attention. The show was canceled after two seasons.
4 His Dark Materials (2019)
The focus is on a young girl who seeks to find her missing best friend. However, her destiny calls for something more extraordinary as she is the key to saving the world. His Dark Materials is an adaptation of the novel series by Philip Pullman.
This fantasy show will surely grab viewers’ attention, given its spectacular visuals, shocking moments, outstanding performances from the cast, and complex story. Furthermore, critics found His Dark Material to be superior to the 2007 film, The Golden Compass. Despite this epic journey, the series will soon conclude with its third season.
3 Wynonna Earp (2016)
Based on the comic books by Beau Smith, Syfy’s Wynonna Earp follows the titular character who inherits the legacy of her great-great-grandfather to eliminate a group of demons, revenants. In doing so, she allies with her sister, a deputy, and an immortal being to accomplish her mission.
Wynonna Earp is one of the many fantasy shows that presents a powerful female lead. It is fun and entertaining as it incorporates Western elements to its story and visuals, has great dark humor, and is action-packed.
2 Carnival Row (2019)
These mystical creatures are trying to survive in a new city after having to leave their homeland. Unfortunately, tensions have risen between the immigrants and the ordinary citizens. Despite this division, an inspector and a faerie embark on a secret affair, but they also play a crucial part when a series of deaths causes unease in the city.
Carnival Row stars Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom as the two main characters. Despite an underdeveloped plot, the series was praised for its gothic and mythical elements, political commentary, and striking visuals. Carnival Row was renewed for a second season.
1 Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)
War occurs as the fire nation continues to attack and conquer the water, air bending, and earth nations. However, it takes the work of an Avatar to stop the fire nation’s conquest and bring back peace, but it wouldn’t be until a hundred years later when he again reappears.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the most popular and most acclaimed animated TV shows of all time. The story is well-developed and progresses from the start to end in its three-season, the visuals are beautiful and authentic, and character development is well-written and complex. Furthermore, it balances the tone of the series with effortless humor while also uncovering dark subject matters suited enough for children. There is also a sequel series, The Legend of Korra.
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