The Medieval battlefield must have been a real gory spectacle. But lord knows that didn’t stop European rulers from waging war regularly. In this list, we rank and review the best medieval TV series.
So get ready for the sounds of swords bashing against armor and the rhythm of the horse-hoofs as they hit the ground!
The Top 12+ Best Medieval TV Series Of All Time!
12 / 12. The Name Of The Rose (TV Series)
Umberto Eco’s acclaimed work has previously received a cinematic version starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater.
The TV version in an English-speaking Italian production. The Italian company is the same one that produced the 1986 film.
Starring John Turturro and Michael Emerson, the medieval mini-series is set in the 14th century. A monk and his apprentice arrive at a monastery in northern Italy to solve a mystery of murders.
Why you should watch the series? It’s pretty good and lushly gorgeous, having that Italian cinematic look and being filmed at Cinecitta.
Watch: Amazon Prime
11/ 12. The Spanish Princess
A medieval tv series, or rather a mini-series focusing on a female character with a historical grip.
The series tells the story of the intriguing character of Catherine Maragon.
She was the wife of Henry VIII, whose refusal to divorce the king leads to the establishment of the Anglican Church.
Why you should watch the series? based on a book written by Philippa Gregory ‘The Spanish Princess’ belongs to the ‘Guilty Pleasure’ wing. And does it well, except for a few absurd scenes even on the forgiving scale of the genre. If you do not expect too much sophistication from it, you can enjoy a great binge-watching experience.
10 / 12. Isabel
The Spanish medieval tv series tells the story of the one who later became Queen Isabel (Isabella) of Castile.
The show follows Isabel’s life from childhood as she struggles for the crown of Castile. When the crown is placed on her head, at the age of only 23, she is sucked into a difficult and dangerous confrontation with political intrigues in the royal court.
Why you should watch the series? ‘Isabel’ was a huge success in Spain. It was compared by many critically acclaimed series such as “The Tudor Dynasty” and “The Burgas.”
Watch: Amazon Prime
9 / 12. Knightfall
After successes such as “Vikings” and “Black Sails”, the History Channel decided to produce another medieval TV series. This time the production centered on the Crusaders called “Knightfall”.
The show follows the events and politics that take place in one of the most famous parades in history: the Knights Templar.
Why you should watch the series? This show sadly was a bit disappointing. The narrative wears out as it tries to be customized for progressive agendas which have nothing to do with the medieval period. However, this sword action series has very good actors. It also has breathtaking special effects as well.
Nightfall is far removed from historically accurate, but take it for what it is, entertainment. Knightfall, Vikings, The Last Kingdom, are all based on nonfiction but are “enhanced” to keep people interested. If you’re into Knights, check out the list of 12 best knights movies ever!
8 / 12. The Cathedral of the Sea
Love, conspiracies, violence, and passion in medieval Barcelona.
The Netflix medieval TV series is based on a book of the same name. The plot revolves around the historical upheavals in Barcelona, Spain in the 14th century. It follows the Estaniol family; The upheavals and tragedies in the life of Tzamit’s son until he becomes a rich and influential man.
Why you should watch the series? A powerful and excellent series with quite a few cruel and difficult moments to watch. The plot is complex, and every episode is full of drama that changes the story fundamentally.
7 / 12. Resurrection: Ertugrul (Dirilis: Ertugrul)
The medieval series “Resurrection: Ertugrul (Dirilis: Ertugrul)” takes place in the 13th century. It is based on the father and founder of the Ottoman Empire. The series takes the viewer to the ancient world from which the history of Turkey began
Why you should watch the series? Beyond the historical drama of a tribal society and its struggle for survival. And dealing with dangers and challenges inside and out, the medieval show has a bit of everything: suspense and action and quite a few sword fights, comedy, and also of course romance.
6 / 12 The White Queen
The medieval series is a television adaptation of the book by the popular British author Philippa Gregory. The medieval story follows Elizabeth Woodville during the bloody “Wars of the Roses.”
Woodville secretly married King Edward IV of York, her family’s enemy. Her marriage to the young king was considered scandalous and hidden from view for a long time.
“The White Queen” faces the secrets, lies, and new royal status that causes her to sacrifice everything to maintain her power.
Why you should watch the series? If historical inaccuracy does not bother you, then you’ll find a fun series that features angry princesses with generous cleavages, insecure kings, intrigue, and burning hatred.
5 / 12. Rise of Empires: Ottoman
The experiences of Sultan Mehmed II who went down in history as a successful 21-year-old Conquer of the most fortified city in Europe Constantinople, (Istanbul) in 1453. Thus finally eliminating the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire.
The Netflix series is accompanied by step-by-step explanations by historians about the stages of the conflict. The methods of land and sea warfare, internal conspiracies, espionage, and betrayals, keep track of the personal history of the young sultan.
Why you should watch the series? Let’s put it this way: creating a dramatic TV series, is a possible task. The creation of a dramatic historical television series isn’t very rare as well. We have seen such in the past. But creating a medieval historical TV series that tells the story of a character considered sacred in Turkish history without censoring or hiding even one frown from her biography is another story.
4 / 12. Wolf Hall
An acclaimed period drama from the BBC, based on the novel “Wolf Hall”, written by author Hillary Mantel. The series document the rise of Thomas Cromwell, the son of a violent blacksmith. Over the years he became Henry VIII’s lawyer and chief minister.
Why you should watch the series? Anyone who rejoices shows like the crown, and women mummified in a corset, will find what he/she is looking for in the series. It has politics and passion. In addition ‘Wolf Hall’ has juicy intrigues in the palace courtyard. A fine treat for all lovers of historical medieval TV series.
Watch: Amazon Prime
3 / 12. The Tudors
Yet another series on Henry VIII.
The chronicles of one of the most well-known kings of England from the time he was a young man until his death.
King Henry’s absolute dictatorship disconnected many heads and England from the Pope in Rome. He created for the first time the Anglican Church, headed only by the king.
Why you should watch the series? The Tudors series does an excellent job describing King Henry’s narcissistic and slick personality. Jonathan Reese Myers does an excellent job portraying King Henry’s vibrant, spoiled, arrogant, infuriating, touching, and lustful nature.
Watch: Amazon Prime
2 / 12. Vikings
The History Channel’s long-running series began with a rather small and low-budget production and has grown to be one of the biggest medieval series on screen in terms of budget, photography, acting, and production.
‘Vikings’ focuses on the legend and stories surrounding Ragnar Ludbrook and his family. Including his wife Lagertha, his son Bjorn and his brother Rollo, and their good friend, the boatbuilder Floki.
The series tells the story of a farmer who finds a new way to navigate the open sea. This allows the Vikings to do what they love, fight and plunder.
In the first two seasons of the medieval series, we get to know the world of the Vikings and the main characters. The character gives us a window to learn about the old Viking cultural clash with the Christian world.
Why you should watch the series? ‘Vikings’ does an excellent job of getting the viewers into its world – thanks to experienced and well-known actors.
Watch: Amazon Prime
1 / 12. The Last Kingdom
Well yes, we have The Last Kingdom vs Vikings! One of the best and interesting series that airs on Netflix is without a doubt “The Last Kingdom.”
The series is based on Bernard Cornwell’s book series “The Saxon Stories.” It takes us to a period of time when Britain was divided into countless small kingdoms.
The kingdoms fall one after the other to the Viking invaders. The series follows the young sword-fighting legend Uhtred who was supposed to reign over his ancestral homeland.
During one of the wars between Northumbria and the Danish Vikings, Uhtred’s father falls in battle. His son is taken captive to live with the Danes.
When Uhtred of Bebbanburg grows he is now a Danish Viking, but when he has no choice, he has to deal alone with the politics of the intriguing Alfred the warrior King of England. Uthred is ever torn between his Dane and English identity.
Why you should watch the series? The Last Kingdom, is an excellent replica of Vikings in a positive sense. If you watched the excellent American History Channel series ‘Viking’ you will find a lot of similar things here.
Both series focus on the exact same period and there is even overlap between some characters. The series has an intriguing plot and a dominant main character. And if that is not enough who can pass on medieval war scenes when the Vikings are at the center of things?
Series that include elements of the medieval period mainly swords
The Netflix series deals with the ‘Battle of Teutoburg Forest,’ a confrontation that took place in about 9 AD, in which the Germans fought against the Romans following their attempt to conquer large parts of Germany and make them part of the prosperous Roman Empire.
Why you should watch the series? There are quite a few strong points in the series. The two main strengths are careful editing and acting quality. Even though the episodes are quite long, each frame serves the story well.
The HBO series ‘Rome’ is a strange combination of sex, violence, soap opera, politics, and history. The series describes the rise of Julius Caesar to the head of the Roman Empire about 50 years BC.
To do so, ‘Rome’ focuses on the political intrigue, betrayals, and manipulations that Caesar and his enemies make to stay in power.
Lots of nudity and sex, lots of violence and blood, extra sweat, and pagan customs in all their glory. It is a world of macho, engaged in war, survival, and the pursuit of power.
Why you should watch the series? The series describes the process of the rise of a dictatorship. But what is fascinating about ‘Rome’ is not the history, but the ‘behind the scenes of history. Admittedly the plot unfolds as in soap operas, but the blatant dialogues and irony save it from their stencils.
A ten-episode British drama. The TV series takes place in 43 AD and unfolds the Roman invasion of a territory that would later become the British Isles.
Why you should watch the series? The prestigious production of ‘Britannia’ is impressive in its size. This show flirts with the fictional and fantasy worlds.
The graphic violence and multiplicity of factions fighting for control will surely remind many of ‘Game of Thrones.’ As well as the attempt to turn the oppressed female characters into those who revolt against the old order.
The main weakness of “Britannia” is its heroes and the success of making them interesting in their own right. The series cuts almost randomly from one point to another.
Watch: Amazon Prime
Action, violence, and drama are key elements in ׳Spartacus.׳
The Starz series focuses on the character of Spartacus, a Thracian who led the slave gladiators to war against the Roman Empire in 70 BC.
Why you should watch the series? This Starz production is full of gladiators, spartan warriors, lots of betrayals, lots of frontal nudity, and exaggerated and meticulous aesthetics that make each episode a blood-soaked visual amusement park.
The critically acclaimed anime medieval series Berserk captures the interest of the viewer and holds it tightly throughout two dozen episodes.
Guts, the skilled anime sword-fighting legend is well-known as the “Black Swordsman” and he wields the massive sword known as the Dragon Slayer”. He also wears The Berserker knight-like Armor, so Q.E.D (quite easily demonstrated).
Why you should watch the series? Warning – as great and entertaining as this series is, it is not for the faint of heart! Berserk is the kind of story for those who like dark, violent plots with depressing outcomes, then Berserk is a great anime knight series. Repeat – do not expect happy endings.
Watch now: Crunchyroll
18. Norsemen (2019)
Viking traditions infused with absurdist humor.
Why you should watch the series? An underrated Norwegian comedy series you probably skipped past dozens of times. It takes place in 790 and follows a group of Vikings living in a village called Norheim. The series has a Monty Python-esque humor. The show mainly focuses on the absurdity of setting a group of violent bloodthirsty Vikings and blending them in a 21st-century cultural climate of political correctness and the Me too movement. As the series progresses, disputes with neighboring villages, including a rival tribe led by the ruthless Jarl Varg, and the efforts of a Roman slave, Rufus, to modernize Norheim’s culture result in ongoing conflicts.
Watch now: Netflix
Best Medieval TV Shows To Fall Asleep With
The Bastard Executioner
The medieval series that shows people with yellow teeth is set in the middle ages (1300).
The Welsh filmed mini-series ‘The Bastard Executioner’ tells the story of a warrior knight. He is broken by the ravages of war and vows to lay down his sword.
But when that violence finds him again he is forced to assumes the identity of a traveling executioner/torturer. As a result, he finds himself working in the castle of his enemies.
Why you shouldn’t watch this series? This medieval show has some features that might seem familiar, like internal politics (TLK), and brutal violence and blood (Spartacus.) But It is astonishingly, mesmerizingly bad in so many ways. Though a few saving graces and some kind of humor keep it watchable to fall asleep pretty fast.
Troy: Fall of a City
A story about selfish love, hurt respect, stubbornness, cruelty, deception, and cunning. Granted this is not a medieval show, but if you’re looking for a sleeping pill, look no further.
The mythological story of the city of Troy, which stood under a prolonged siege by the kings of ancient Greece
after Princess Paris shamed the king of Sparta and took from him his wife Helena.
Why you shouldn’t watch this series? The BBC series got 3.8 scores on IMDB, and it’s full of cliches, bad writing, and directing.