In the ever-evolving landscape of television, the years 2022 and 2023 ushered in a fantastical era, offering viewers an array of captivating fantasy TV shows. From epic tales of mythical realms to gripping narratives woven with magic and intrigue, this period witnessed a surge in groundbreaking storytelling that transported audiences to imaginative worlds beyond the realms of reality. As we explore the Top 10 New Fantasy TV Shows from this era, prepare to embark on journeys filled with wonder, mythical creatures, and extraordinary adventures that have left an indelible mark on the realm of modern television.
10. Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2023)
Young adult adaptations vary in success, with hits like The Hunger Games and Twilight contrasted by disappointments such as Artemis Fowl or City of Ember. Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series started strong under Chris Columbus’ direction in the 2010 film Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. However, the lackluster reception of the sequel, 2013’s Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, abruptly halted the franchise, leaving four books unadapted. However, fans of the teenage demigods’ tale need not despair. Disney Plus has revived the series, aiming to adapt one book per season, offering an optimistic beginning for this new adaptation. In the first season, the 12-year-old, son of Poseidon, the demigod Percy Jackson is accused by the Greek God Zeus of stealing his lightning bolt. Percy sets out on a quest with his friends Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood to recover the lightning bolt from the Underworld and save Percy’s Mom from the Greek God Hades.
9. The Rings of Power (2022)
One of the top 10 new fantasy TV shows, Amazon’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is a fantasy series set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, serving as a prequel to both “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit.” Drawing inspiration from Tolkien’s writings, the show delves into the expansive Second Age of Middle-earth, an era occurring millennia before the events chronicled in “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” Recognized as one of the most expensive TV productions to date, “The Rings of Power” encountered significant challenges in meeting the immense expectations surrounding it. While it fell short of completely meeting these expectations, the series successfully introduced new characters alongside the familiar long-lived elves and wizards from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, marking a noteworthy achievement.
8. The Witcher (2019-2023)
One of the top 10 new fantasy TV shows, The Witcher is a Netflix adaptation of the popular book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. It’s also based on the highly successful video game franchise. The show premiered in 2019 and quickly gained a dedicated fanbase. Set in a fantasy world known as “The Continent,” the series follows Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter known as a Witcher, who possesses supernatural abilities and undergoes rigorous training and mutation to combat deadly creatures. Geralt, portrayed by Henry Cavill in the series, navigates a morally complex world where humans, elves, dwarves, and other mythical creatures coexist, often with tension and conflict. Magic is a prominent element in the series, wielded by various characters, including sorcerers and sorceresses who influence political power struggles and engage in complex magical rituals. Additionally, there are magical creatures such as dragons, trolls, and other monsters that Geralt encounters during his adventures.
7. House of the Dragon (2022)
Based on George R.R. Martin’s book “Fire & Blood,” House of the Dragon on HBO is a prequel to the widely popular series Game of Thrones. The show explores the history of House Targaryen, a prominent family known for its connection to dragons. Set centuries before the events of GOT, “House of the Dragon delves into the Targaryen dynasty, focusing on the civil war known as the “Dance of the Dragons.” This conflict occurred within the Targaryen family over who would claim the Iron Throne, and it prominently features dragons and their significance in the world of Westeros. Dragons are central to the fantasy elements of the series. They are powerful, mythical creatures that the Targaryens use as both symbols of their house and as weapons of war. The fantasy elements, particularly the inclusion of dragons, contribute significantly to the intrigue and allure of “House of the Dragon,” enriching the narrative with mythical creatures, magical elements, and epic conflicts within the expansive and immersive world of Westeros.
6. Willow (2022)
A follow-up to the 1988 film sharing its title, “Willow” is a high-fantasy television series featuring Warwick Davis, the original actor portraying Willow Ufgood in the movie. Set over two decades after the defeat of Queen Bavmorda, the series follows the sorcerer Willow Ufgood as he leads a motley crew on a perilous rescue mission to distant realms. Throughout this hazardous quest, the characters confront their inner struggles, uniting to safeguard their home and world. Despite being discontinued after a single season, the show offers an enjoyable adventure that maintains a lighthearted tone, contributing to its overall entertainment value.
5. Doctor Who Specials (2023)
To clarify, we’re categorizing Doctor Who as a fantasy series. Although the show predominantly falls into the sci-fi genre, it often ventures beyond these boundaries. Doctor Who is renowned for narratives featuring supernatural occurrences or magical elements. For instance, the Tardis’s inexplicable interior size challenges scientific explanation and leans towards a belief in the supernatural. Moving on, Doctor Who made a comeback with a trio of specials in late 2023, followed by “The Church on Ruby Road,” marking the revival of Doctor Who’s Christmas special tradition. These episodes also served as a reintroduction to Doctor Who, now helmed again by showrunner Russell T Davies and benefiting from its broadest international viewership yet, thanks to a streaming agreement with Disney Plus.
4. Wednesday (2022)
The focus of this Netflix series revolves around Wednesday Addams, a prominent figure from the renowned “Addams Family” franchise. It delves into Wednesday Addams’ formative years and her experiences as a student at Nevermore Academy. Wednesday presents itself as a supernatural mystery series, blending a narrative of adolescence with a darker, more fantastical ambiance. Within the series, viewers encounter supernatural events, dark humor, and an exploration of the peculiar and haunting elements of the Addams Family universe. The characters in the show are crafted with believability and intricate design, as one would anticipate from the creative mind of Tim Burton.
3. Arcane (2021)
Arcane is an animated series originating from the immersive universe of the online game “League of Legends.” It unfolds an elaborate origin tale entrenched in a mesmerizing fusion of steampunk aesthetics and mystical elements within the vibrant cities of Piltover and Zaun. Centered on the intertwined lives of Vi and Jinx, iconic champions from League of Legends, the storyline unfurls their poignant journey as sisters amid a world brimming with fantastical hextech energies and otherworldly powers. The show illuminates the formative years of these champions, exploring their divergent paths that eventually culminate in a rift, driving them toward an inevitable clash.
2. The Sandman (2022)
Taking inspiration from Neil Gaiman’s comic book series, The Sandman authentically embraces its dark stylistic roots from the source material. The narrative traces the journey of Morpheus, the embodiment of dreams and one of the seven Endless, who becomes ensnared in an occult ritual in 1916. After enduring captivity for 106 years, Dream eventually breaks free and embarks on a mission to reinstate order within his realm, known as the Dreaming. Regarded as perhaps the most exemplary screen adaptation of grand-scale fantasy literature since Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the series stands out. With the hope that the second season will maintain the same level of excellence as the first, anticipation builds for its continuation.
1. Good Omens (2019-2023)
Another Neil Gaiman creation secures the top spot on our list of the top new fantasy TV shows! Good Omens revolves around an angel named Aziraphale, played by Michael Sheen, and a demon named Crowley, played by David Tennant. These celestial beings have grown accustomed to life on Earth and have developed a friendships over the millennia. However, as the end of the world approaches, they find themselves having grown rather fond of humanity and reluctant to see it all come to an end. The central plot involves a mix-up with the birth of the Antichrist, who is meant to bring about the apocalypse. Due to a mistake, the Antichrist is raised in an ordinary family, and as a result, the angel and demon pair, along with a quirky group of characters, attempt to prevent the impending Armageddon. Good Omens is characterized by its delightful blend of humor and satire, featuring witty writing, compelling performances, and a faithful adaptation of Gaiman and Pratchett’s distinctive narrative.