The Best Fantasy TV Shows That Have Conquered The Small Screen

Welcome to the world of sword fights, mythical creatures, heroic quests and ancient prophecies. If you're a fan of epic tales set in fantastical worlds or historic times, then you've come to the right place.

Sometimes we're just not in the mood for a fantasy movie, and that's when something from the small screen can step in to fill the void. From the adventures of legendary heroes to the intricate political machinations of ancient empires, these TV shows offer an escape into realms where magic is real, monsters roam, and heroes rise. Whether you're a long-time fantasy enthusiast or a history buff looking for your next binge-watch, there's something for everyone in this roundup of the top 20 fantasy and historical drama TV series that have captivated audiences around the globe. So, sit back, grab your popcorn, and light your fantasy themed scented candle as we dive into these mesmerizing worlds.

The Best Fantasy TV Shows:

  1. Game of Thrones (GoT) (2011-2019): An adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, this high fantasy drama follows the power struggles among noble families as they vie for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. It has a large, dedicated fanbase, with millions tuning in for each episode and engaging in extensive online discussion and analysis. It earned it’s reputation as one of the greatest shows of all time despite criticism of a weak final 2 seasons.

  2. Lord of the Rings (LOTR) (2022-present): This series is set in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, in the Second Age long before the events of the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. While not as well received as the movies, the extensive fanbase of both the books and the Peter Jackson film adaptations give this show a large viewership.

  3. Wheel of Time (2021-present): This series is based on Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series of the same name. It takes place in a world where magic exists, but only certain women are allowed to access it. The series has a dedicated fanbase, many of whom are long-time readers of the original 14-book series.
    This was one of my all time most anticipated shows, and I'll be honest, season 1 didn't thrill me. In my opinion, season 1 was heavily impacted by covid resulting in a noticeably subpar product, and it definitely does not represent the far superior season 2.

  4. The Witcher (2019-present): Based on the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski, this show follows Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter in a world filled with magic and mythical creatures. The series has gained a substantial fanbase, which includes fans of the books and the popular video game adaptation.

  5. House of the Dragon (2022-present): This prequel to "Game of Thrones" is set 200 years before the events of the original series and tells the story of House Targaryen. As it's part of the larger "Game of Thrones" franchise, it already has a built-in fanbase jumping onboard.

  1. Arthdal Chronicles (2019-present): This South Korean fantasy series is set in the mythical land of Arth and follows the power struggles, love, and growth of the ancient city of Arthdal and its inhabitants. The show has gained a loyal fanbase, particularly among fans of K-dramas and fantasy. In our opinion, this is a very underrated show.

  2. Vikings (2013-2020): Vikings is a historical drama television series created and written by Michael Hirst for the History channel. The show transports us to the brutal and mysterious world of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior and farmer who yearns to explore new lands and riches. Notable cast members include Katheryn Winnick, Gustaf Skarsgård, and Alexander Ludwig. Despite concluding in 2020, the series continues to captivate audiences with its compelling storytelling and vivid depiction of Viking culture.

  3. The Last Kingdom (2015-2020): Based on Bernard Cornwell's "The Saxon Stories" novels, this historical drama follows Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a Saxon noble who is captured and raised by Vikings, as he seeks to reclaim his ancestral lands. The series has a devoted fanbase that appreciates its complex characters and historical setting.

  4. Vikings: Valhalla (2022-present): A historical fiction adventure series that debuted on Netflix on Feb. 25, 2022. This spin-off from the original Vikings series is set a hundred years after the events of the original Vikings series, Vikings: Valhalla ushers in the end of the Viking Age. The series follows a new generation of ambitious and power-hungry Norsemen.

  5. His Dark Materials (2019-present): An adaptation of Philip Pullman's acclaimed fantasy trilogy, this series explores parallel universes and features daemons, creatures that are physical manifestations of a human's soul. It has been well-received by fans of the books and has cultivated a strong fanbase.

  6. Shadow and Bone (2021-present): Based on Leigh Bardugo's "Grishaverse" novels, this fantasy series follows Alina Starkov, a young soldier who discovers a power that could unite her war-torn world. The show quickly gained a dedicated following, especially among young adult fiction readers.

  7. The Magicians (2015-2020): This series, based on the novel by Lev Grossman, follows students at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy. It combines elements of fantasy and drama, and has a fanbase that appreciates its character development and narrative twists.

  8. Merlin (2008-2012): This British fantasy-adventure series reimagines the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the young wizard Merlin. The show developed a loyal fanbase during its run, who appreciated its unique take on the classic stories.

  9. Black Sails (2014-2017): This prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island" is a pirate adventure that follows Captain Flint and his crew. While not as widely known as some others on this list, the series has been praised for its complex characters and moral ambiguity, gaining a dedicated fanbase.

  10. Rome (2005-2007): This historical drama chronicles the time of Julius Caesar's rise and fall. It is often cited for its detailed depiction of ancient Rome and has a fanbase that appreciates its commitment to historical accuracy.

  11. Spartacus (2010-2013): Known for its graphic violence and intense action sequences, this series tells the story of the titular Thracian gladiator who led a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic. It has a dedicated fanbase that enjoys its visceral storytelling.

  12. Camelot (2011): A lesser-known series that offers another take on Arthurian legend, focusing on a young King Arthur who is mentored by the magician Merlin. Despite its short run, it attracted a small but passionate fanbase.

  13. Knightfall (2017-2019): This historical drama follows the Templar Knights during the final days of the Templar Order in the 13th century. The show has a niche but enthusiastic fanbase, particularly among those interested in medieval history.

  14. American Gods (2017-present): Based on Neil Gaiman's acclaimed novel, this fantasy drama series explores a war brewing between the Old Gods of mythological roots and the New Gods of modern technology. The show is known for its complex narrative, visually stunning sequences and exploration of American culture and mythology

  15. Roar (1997): This fantasy adventure series, set in post-Roman Britain, centers on a young Celtic prince and his band of outlaws who resist the invading forces. While it only ran for one season, it has gained a cult following over the years.


Honerable metion to these 2 shows, for finding success in a time when fantasy wan’t as cool as it is now.

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-1999): This light-hearted action-adventure series follows the legendary Greek hero Hercules. Known for its campy humor and fun action sequences, the show has a dedicated fanbase that appreciates its tongue-in-cheek approach to mythology.

Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001): A spin-off from "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys", this series features Xena, a redeemed warrior princess seeking to atone for her past. It has a large and passionate fanbase, with many fans appreciating its strong female lead and LGBTQ+ representation. Just like Hercules, this show is pure goofy fun!


We’ll also mention The Shannara Chronicles (2016-2017). Many would agree that this series had potential but was poorly executed. Based on Terry Brooks' "Shannara" series, this fantasy series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where magic has replaced technology. Despite heavily mixed reviews, the show has a loyal fanbase who enjoy its blend of fantasy and post-apocalyptic elements.

As we draw this journey to a close, remember that these are just a few of the countless fantasy and historical drama TV series out there, and the order and favourites will vary. Each show offers a unique world filled with compelling characters, intricate plots, and breathtaking settings that allow us to escape our everyday lives, if only for an hour or two. Whether you're drawn to the mythical lands of Merlin and Camelot, the brutal arenas of Rome and Spartacus, or the swashbuckling adventures on the high seas in Black Sails, there's a show on this list for you. So, don't hesitate - pick a series, get comfortable, and lose yourself in these extraordinary worlds. Happy viewing!


TV Shows not your thing? Check out our list of movies set in fantastical worlds or historic times.

And if you are wanting to take your TV viewing to all new heights, consider a fantasy themed candle. You can learn all about them in our guide here


Source: IMDB