May 6, 2021

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These are the best fantasy TV series adaptations to watch now

These are the best fantasy TV series adaptations to watch now

Netflix Shadow and Bone, which was released on April 23, marks yet another blockbuster fantasy book series making it into the television adaptation circuit – or rather, two series in one, as the new show creates a coherent narrative from Leigh Bardugo’s plots. Shadow and Bone trilogy and the first book in her Six of crows duology. The series, starring newcomers Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux and Freddy Carter, flies through eight episodes of magic, espionage, violence and romance – in other words, all the ingredients needed to satisfy a fantasy fan.

The good news for fans is that television adaptations of fantasy series have become essential for television in recent years, with more on the way. (Beware of Amazon’s future Lord of the Rings show.) While we await the second season of Shadow and BoneHowever, here are the best fantasy TV series adaptations you can watch right now.

game of Thrones

It’s been a full 10 years since then game of Thrones premiered on HBO, setting a widely accepted gold standard for what a fantasy television adaptation can be (despite its more controversial elements). With its shocking twists, dark themes and gigantic budget, Thrones it has become a cultural phenomenon and point of contact. And while the scripts stumbled in subsequent seasons, especially after they moved past the release of George RR Martin A song of ice and fire it works: the first few seasons remain worthy of a rewatch, or first watch, for all fans of fantasy books and TV. (And there is, of course, more Thrones in the works: HBO has announced that a spinoff series set 300 years earlier Thrones, The house of the dragon, began production at the end of April and is scheduled for 2022.)

Watch it on HBO

Its dark materials

Philip Pullman’s Its dark materials trilogy (The golden compass, the thin knife is The amber telescope) may be a fantasy for young adults, but its topics of exploration – the concepts of original sin, parallel universes, destiny and free choice, corruption of power – are not light. Nor do they exist on the usual good vs. Evil. First adapted as a 2007 film starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, HBO’s new television version – renewed for an upcoming third and final season – stars Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The show doesn’t open new horizons, but fans of the original story – or anyone curious about worlds where anime in animal form exist outside of the body – will find a story layered with tender performances.

Watch it on HBO

The Witcher

A dark and dense Polish fantasy novel adapted into a hit video game – and then adapted again to an eight-episode Netflix series featuring Henry Cavill in a long platinum wig: sure, why not? Cavill plays the title Witcher, a non-human born to fight monsters in a magical and medieval world that draws heavily on European folklore of all origins. The show jumps between its gruesome exploits and the story of a mighty sorceress and a lost princess, timelines come together as the season progresses. More carefree than game of Thrones—There is a troubadour who sings as a comic assistant in many scenes—The Witcher got mixed reviews, but each episode gets stronger as the season progresses and ultimately satisfies the fantasy itch.

Watch it on Netflix

The wizards

By Lev Grossman The wizards, a popular publication when it came out in 2009, it is often compared to a dark Harry Potter: misfit teenagers attend a mysterious magical school called Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy. But both as a book and as a TV show, The wizards he is less interested in clear tales of good triumphing over evil, and far more interested in the dangers of greed, power, and ambition. The SYFY show, which ran for five seasons before wrapping up in 2020, mixes teen drama, biting humor, and magical exploits, provided you’re okay with a storyline that also includes depictions of traumatic events.

Watch it on Netflix

foreign

foreign It’s a love story first and foremost, Diana Gabaldon’s heavy books intertwine the story of WWII nurse Claire Randall and her love story with 18th century Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser. But time travel and some magical moments place it in the fantasy genre. The accompanying TV show, which has released five seasons and renewed for two more to come, closely follows the books. Claire’s adventures as part of the Jacobite revolution see her travel from Scotland to France to the Americas; the mix of lush historical settings, supernatural elements and that central romance have made it a cult favorite.

Watch it on Netflix

The Chronicles of Shannara

Canceled this year after two seasons, The Chronicles of Shannara adapts the epic of Terry Brooks Sword of Shannara trilogy, a classic for young adults. What you’ll find: elves, druids, humans, and the occasional dwarf have all joined together in one file Lord of the Ringssearch in style to save the world, or their slice of it, as a mighty living tree called Ellcrys begins to die. Shot in New Zealand, the landscapes are half the charm; the comforting research foundations and predictable, teen-friendly narrative make it something of a comfort food for connoisseurs of fantasy shows.

Watch it on Netflix

the Vampire Diaries

the Vampire Diaries ran for eight seasons before wrapping up in 2017, but before it was a hit CW show starring Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder, it was a series of LJ James books that predated dusk– And the resulting obsession with pop culture vampires – for over a decade. (The first book was published in 1991.) It takes place in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, the Vampire Diaries explore the supernatural with a good dose of small-town American.

Watch it on Netflix

A discovery of the witches

Like it Its dark materials, A discovery of the witches makes her home on British soil: she begins with a manuscript discovery at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, casting an unsuspecting witch in her quest to keep balance between various supernatural beings – as is done. Based on Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy, it recently aired its second season, with another in order. And there are vampires here too, most notably Matthew Goode as an erudite professor of biochemistry who has a penchant for blood and a penchant for a witch. The forbidden romance is the strong point, but the mysteries surrounding witches, vampires and demons give it an intellectual edge.

Watch it on Amazon Prime Video

American gods

By Neil Gaiman American gods got the televised treatment in 2017 with this Starz adaptation of the 2001 bestseller. As the title suggests, the book (and show) mixes an American setting with the battle between Old and New Gods: an ex-con named Shadow discovers the more than human identity of his new employer, Mr. Wednesday, as they travel. the country in the balance with mysterious characters. There is also another layer of social criticism embedded in the text; the so-called New Gods are physical manifestations of modern society. (Gillian Anderson, for example, appears as Media, the new goddess of pop culture and television.) The show ran for three seasons, last airing in January 2021, before getting the ax.

Watch it on Hulu

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