When we say fantasy, the first thang that most people think of is Lord of the Rings. Now while it is true that it was the popular Gandalf led movie series that became the basis of fantasy TV worldwide, fantasy existed way before it. Especially since we as children grow up reading fantastical stories. From Cinderella to Snow White to Rapunzel, all that there is to childhood stories has been fantasy. The yearning to listen to stories that are too good to be true and filled with magical beings in magical worlds never really leaves us. If it did, the LoTR fanbase wouldn’t have been this huge.
But what if you’re more a fan of long-form than movies? We know that watching and waiting for movies is an acquired taste, and most people prefer shows since they run longer and keep you invested in a story for a longer time. And if you’re not a big fan of watching 8 Harry Potter or 3 Hobbit movies, perhaps we can help by suggesting fantasy shows instead!
Game of Thrones
Of course the list begins with Game of Thrones. It is, after all, the world’s most popular fantasy show—but don’t let the fantasy tag fool you. If you’re a fan of happy endings and don’t like seeing your most favorite characters die in the most brutal possible manners, better avoid this show. It’s dark, it’s political, it’s philosophical, and it’s absolutely brilliant. But it definitely isn’t for the weak of heart or for the lover of characters.
For those who might be interested: there are dragons and zombies, ice giants and a very clever wise talking dwarf involved.
Probably one of the longest running shows in the history of longest running shows, Supernatural follows the trials of two young brothers who are also ghost hunters. Who also die several times and yet are reborn. Who team up with angels and demons selectively and go on epic ghosts hunts in their impala, drinking beers and carrying salt. The show is known for is signature comedy episode which is included in every season, and which usually leaves viewers rolling on their stomachs.
Of course Doctor Who gets a mention, being one of most popular and well loved TV shows in history. British to the core, Doctor Who is about time travelers and, lately, about women empowerment. The show combines science fiction and fantasy, and incorporates many space elements into it. Its fan base is huge and does nothing to derail viewers from drooling over people of the British Variety.
Once Upon a Time
The ultimate fairytale show, Once Upon a Time is even named like one should be. Consisting of all the fairytale characters that one could think of, this show brings real life into contact with fairytale characters, evil queens, and battles. All fairytale characters find themselves in an interwoven narrative (Shrek, anyone?) and follow the tale of a little boy who must reunite with his mother. Also, Captain Hook is not a bad man in this show—he’s actually a favorite with the female viewership. That ought to tell you something.
There has to be, of course, one show about King Arthur, his knights, and the legendary wizard called Merlin. Between Camelot (which stars Jamie Campbell Bower) and Merlin, this show stood out better. Starring Colin Morgan and Bradley James, the show follows Arthur as he comes to terms with being King and his interactions with Merlin.
Although most people would identify this as a superhero show (much like Arrow), it’s still fantasy because what happens in this show can hardly happen in real life. The show revolves around Flash—fan favorite superfast hero who can literally make time stop for him. Quicksilver who?
This is the ultimate show for those who love LoTR: it has strange creatures, epic battles for survival, humans, and all other fantasy elements that go into a good show. The show is of course, as the same suggests, engineered after Grimm’s fairytales, and does a good job of coalescing different elements.
The Frankenstein Chronicles
Although the show is about Frankenstein, we don’t really meet Mary Shelley’s titular character until the very end of the first season. The show incorporates a number of fantastical themes, nursery rhymes, and eerie settings. What makes it stand out is its incorporation of the then literature: it explores the fictionalized lives of Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, and more.
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