In 2021, the world of television was filled with an abundance of fantasy shows that captured the hearts and minds of viewers. From epic battles to magical creatures, these shows took us on unforgettable journeys. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 fantasy TV show reviews of 2021 that are sure to leave you spellbound.
- 1. Top Fantasy TV Shows in 2021
- 1.1. 1. Game of Thrones
- 1.2. 2. The Witcher
- 1.3. 3. Shadow and Bone
- 1.4. 4. The Mandalorian
- 1.5. 5. His Dark Materials
- 2. Game of Thrones
- 2.1. 1. Plot overview
- 2.2. 2. Character analysis
- 2.3. 3. Production quality
- 2.4. 4. Reception and awards
- 2.5. 5. Future prospects
- 3. The Witcher
- 3.1. 1. Comparison with the book series
- 3.2. 2. Character development
- 3.3. 3. Special effects and action scenes
- 3.4. 4. Soundtrack and music
- 3.5. 5. Fanbase and popularity
- 4. Shadow and Bone
- 4.1. 1. Adaptation of the Grishaverse novels
- 4.2. 2. Cast and performances
- 4.3. 3. Visual effects and world-building
- 4.4. 4. Pacing and storytelling
- 4.5. 5. Diversity and representation
- 5. The Mandalorian
- 5.1. 1. Star Wars universe and lore
- 5.2. 2. Baby Yoda and other characters
- 5.3. 3. Cinematography and design
- 5.4. 4. Easter eggs and references
- 5.5. 5. Critical and audience response
- 6. His Dark Materials
1. Top Fantasy TV Shows in 2021
Fantasy TV shows have always been popular among viewers, and 2021 is no different. Here are the top fantasy TV shows that you should not miss:
1. Game of Thrones – This epic fantasy series is a must-watch for everyone. With a gripping storyline, amazing special effects, and incredible acting, this show is a masterpiece.
2. The Witcher – Based on the book series of the same name, The Witcher is a dark and gritty fantasy show that has captured the attention of viewers worldwide.
3. Shadow and Bone – This Netflix original series is based on the Grishaverse novels by Leigh Bardugo. It has a unique world-building and a captivating storyline that will keep you hooked.
4. The Mandalorian – While not strictly a fantasy show, The Mandalorian has enough elements of sci-fi and fantasy to make it a must-watch for fans of the genre.
5. His Dark Materials – This BBC/HBO adaptation of Philip Pullman’s beloved trilogy is a visually stunning and emotionally resonant show that will leave you wanting more.
1.1. 1. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is a high-fantasy TV series that has captured the hearts of viewers worldwide. Based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, the show takes place in the fictional world of Westeros and follows several noble houses as they battle for control of the Iron Throne. With its intricate plotlines, complex characters, and stunning visuals, Game of Thrones has become a cultural phenomenon and is often cited as one of the greatest TV shows of all time.
1.2. 2. The Witcher
The Witcher is a top-rated fantasy TV show that premiered on Netflix in 2019. It is based on a series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski and follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter in a medieval-inspired world. The show features a complex storyline, well-developed characters, and stunning visual effects that make it a must-watch for any fantasy fan. With its second season set to release later this year, The Witcher is definitely a TV show to keep an eye on in 2021.
1.3. 3. Shadow and Bone
Shadow and Bone is a thrilling fantasy TV show that has taken the world by storm in 2021. The show is based on the bestselling Grishaverse novels by Leigh Bardugo and follows the story of Alina Starkov, a young soldier who discovers that she possesses magical powers that could save her war-torn world from destruction. The show is a perfect blend of action, romance, and adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With stunning visuals, a talented cast, and a gripping storyline, Shadow and Bone is a must-watch for any fantasy fan in 2021.
1.4. 4. The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian is a fan-favorite TV show set in the Star Wars universe. The show follows the adventures of a lone bounty hunter, known as the Mandalorian, as he travels through the galaxy in search of his next target. With stunning visuals, captivating storytelling, and memorable characters, The Mandalorian has quickly become one of the top fantasy TV shows of 2021. Fans of the Star Wars franchise will appreciate the show’s attention to detail and world-building, while newcomers will be drawn in by the show’s action-packed scenes and intriguing plot twists.
1.5. 5. His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials is a British fantasy television series based on the novel series of the same name by Philip Pullman. The show premiered in 2019 and has gained a following for its stunning visuals, intricate plot, and strong performances from its cast. The series takes place in a parallel universe where people’s souls manifest as animal companions called daemons. The story follows young orphan Lyra Belacqua as she embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth behind a mysterious substance called Dust. With its blend of fantasy, adventure, and thought-provoking themes, His Dark Materials is a must-watch for any fan of the genre.
2. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is an epic fantasy television series that captured audiences around the world. Based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the show follows the struggles of several noble families for control of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. With a cast of complex characters, political intrigue, and breathtaking action sequences, Game of Thrones quickly became one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows on television. Despite controversy over its final season, the impact of Game of Thrones on popular culture cannot be denied.
2.1. 1. Plot overview
Game of Thrones is an epic fantasy TV series that aired from 2011 to 2019. It is based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Set in the fictional world of Westeros, the show follows the struggles of various noble families as they fight for power and control of the Iron Throne. The series is known for its complex characters, intricate plotlines, and shocking twists and turns. It has won numerous awards and has become a cultural phenomenon. Despite its controversial final season, Game of Thrones remains one of the most popular fantasy shows of all time.
2.2. 2. Character analysis
Game of Thrones is known for its complex and intriguing characters. From the honorable Ned Stark to the cunning Cersei Lannister, each character brings a unique perspective to the story. One of the most beloved characters is Tyrion Lannister, the witty and intelligent dwarf who constantly outsmarts his enemies. Another fan favorite is Daenerys Targaryen, the fierce and determined dragon queen who rises to power through sheer force of will. Other notable characters include Jon Snow, Arya Stark, and the enigmatic Bran Stark. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses, and their interactions with each other drive the plot forward. Overall, Game of Thrones is a masterclass in character development and storytelling.
2.3. 3. Production quality
Game of Thrones is widely regarded as one of the most visually stunning TV shows ever made. The production quality is top-notch, with incredible attention to detail in every aspect of the show. From the elaborate costumes and sets to the breathtaking special effects, Game of Thrones truly transports viewers to the fantasy world of Westeros. The cinematography is also exceptional, capturing the grandeur and beauty of the show’s many stunning locations. Overall, Game of Thrones sets a high bar for production quality in the fantasy TV genre.
2.4. 4. Reception and awards
Game of Thrones has been widely acclaimed by both critics and audiences alike. The show has won numerous awards, including 59 Primetime Emmy Awards, which is the most won by any drama series. It has also won several Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Writers Guild of America Awards. The show has been praised for its high production value, complex characters, and intricate plotlines. Game of Thrones has also been a commercial success, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch each episode. The show’s final season was particularly controversial among fans, but it still managed to garner high ratings and a significant amount of attention. Overall, Game of Thrones has left a lasting impact on the television industry and continues to be a beloved and influential show.
2.5. 5. Future prospects
Despite the fact that the Game of Thrones TV series ended in 2019, its future prospects are still promising. The franchise is set to expand with various spin-off shows in the works, including House of the Dragon, which will focus on the history of House Targaryen, and an untitled prequel series that will explore the origins of the White Walkers. Additionally, George R.R. Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series which inspired the show, has several other books in the works that are set in the same world. With the massive fanbase that Game of Thrones has garnered over the years, it’s safe to say that the franchise will continue to thrive for years to come.
3. The Witcher
The Witcher is a popular fantasy TV show that is based on a series of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The show stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter who navigates a world filled with magic, politics, and danger. The Witcher has gained a huge following due to its complex characters, stunning visuals, and epic battles. The show’s first season premiered on Netflix in 2019 and a second season is set to be released in 2021. Fans of the books and video games will not be disappointed with this adaptation, as it stays true to the source material while also bringing its own unique twists and turns to the story. Overall, The Witcher is a must-watch for fans of the fantasy genre and those who enjoy a good adventure.
3.1. 1. Comparison with the book series
The Witcher, a TV show based on the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski, has been a hit with fantasy fans since its release on Netflix. While the show has received critical acclaim for its stunning visuals, action-packed fight scenes, and compelling characters, some fans of the book series have criticized certain aspects of the adaptation. One major difference is the timeline of events, which is not always linear in the TV show. Additionally, some characters and storylines have been changed or omitted altogether, which has caused frustration for some die-hard fans. However, many viewers who have not read the books have still found the show to be enjoyable and engaging on its own merits.
3.2. 2. Character development
The Witcher is a fantasy TV show that has quickly gained popularity among viewers. One of the reasons for its success is the well-developed characters. The main character, Geralt of Rivia, is a complex and multi-dimensional character. He is a monster hunter who is often misunderstood and judged by society. Throughout the show, we see his character evolve and grow as he faces various challenges and learns more about himself. Another character who has undergone significant development is Yennefer of Vengerberg. She starts off as a vulnerable and insecure character but through her experiences, she becomes a powerful and confident sorceress. The character development in The Witcher is one of the reasons why it is a must-watch for any fantasy fan.
3.3. 3. Special effects and action scenes
The Witcher is renowned for its stunning special effects and action scenes. From the opening scene of the first episode, viewers are treated to an epic battle sequence that sets the tone for the rest of the series. The show’s creators spared no expense in bringing the world of The Witcher to life, with intricate costumes, impressive set designs, and top-notch visual effects.
What really sets The Witcher apart, however, is its action scenes. The show’s fight choreography is some of the best on TV, with each battle feeling like a cinematic masterpiece. Whether it’s Geralt taking on a horde of monsters or Yennefer unleashing her magical powers, every action sequence is a thrill to watch.
Overall, The Witcher’s special effects and action scenes are a major part of what makes the show so great. Fans of fantasy and action will not be disappointed.
3.4. 4. Soundtrack and music
The Witcher has a mesmerizing soundtrack that immerses you in the world of the show. Composed by Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli, the music combines traditional instruments with modern sounds to create a unique and hauntingly beautiful score. One of the standout tracks is ‘Toss A Coin To Your Witcher’, which has become a viral hit and a fan favorite. The song perfectly captures the spirit of the show and showcases the incredible vocal talents of actor Joey Batey. Apart from the original score, The Witcher also features a diverse range of songs from various genres and eras. From the medieval-sounding ‘Her Sweet Kiss’ to the modern rock track ‘The Last Rose Of Cintra’, the music adds another layer of depth and richness to the show’s already impressive world-building.
3.5. 5. Fanbase and popularity
The Witcher has quickly become one of the most popular fantasy TV shows of recent years, with a dedicated fanbase that has only continued to grow with each new season. The show’s mix of action, drama, and dark fantasy elements has struck a chord with viewers, as has its complex characters and intricate world-building. The series has also benefited from the popularity of the original Witcher novels and video games, which have helped to introduce the characters and setting to a wider audience. Overall, The Witcher’s strong fanbase and widespread popularity make it a standout entry in the top 10 fantasy TV show reviews of 2021.
4. Shadow and Bone
Shadow and Bone is a thrilling TV show that takes viewers on an epic journey through a fantastical world of magic and power. Based on the bestselling Grishaverse novels by Leigh Bardugo, the show follows the story of Alina Starkov, a young soldier who discovers she has the ability to summon light and save her country from darkness. The show is a visual feast, with stunning costumes, sets, and special effects that bring the world of Ravka to life in vivid detail. The characters are complex and compelling, each with their own motivations and secrets that keep viewers hooked. Shadow and Bone is a must-watch for any fantasy fan, and is easily one of the best TV shows of 2021.
4.1. 1. Adaptation of the Grishaverse novels
The Grishaverse novels by Leigh Bardugo have gained a huge following among young adult readers in recent years. The novels are set in a richly imagined fantasy world, and are known for their complex characters, intricate plotting, and vivid descriptions. In 2021, the Grishaverse was brought to life on the screen in the form of the Netflix show Shadow and Bone. The adaptation has been highly anticipated by fans of the books, and early reviews suggest that it does justice to Bardugo’s work. The show has been praised for its stunning visuals, its strong performances, and its faithful adaptation of the source material. Overall, Shadow and Bone is shaping up to be one of the most exciting fantasy TV shows of 2021, and a must-watch for fans of the books and newcomers alike.
4.2. 2. Cast and performances
One of the standout aspects of Shadow and Bone is the talented cast and their performances. Jessie Mei Li shines as Alina Starkov, the Sun Summoner who is at the center of the story. Ben Barnes delivers a captivating performance as General Kirigan, also known as the Darkling. The supporting cast, including Amita Suman as Inej Ghafa and Archie Renaux as Malyen Oretsev, also bring depth and nuance to their characters. Overall, the cast of Shadow and Bone is one of the show’s greatest strengths.
4.3. 3. Visual effects and world-building
One of the most impressive aspects of Shadow and Bone is its stunning visual effects and intricate world-building. From the magical powers of the Grisha to the dark and foreboding Fold, the show immerses viewers in a vivid and unforgettable world. The visual effects used to bring the Grisha’s powers to life are particularly noteworthy, creating stunning displays of fire, ice, and other elements. Meanwhile, the world-building is equally impressive, with complex politics and cultural traditions that add depth and richness to the story. Overall, Shadow and Bone is a feast for the senses, with breathtaking visuals and a fully realized world that will leave viewers eager for more.
4.4. 4. Pacing and storytelling
Shadow and Bone is a fantasy TV show that has been receiving a lot of attention this year. One of the reasons for its success is its excellent pacing and storytelling. The show manages to balance action, romance, and politics in a way that keeps the audience engaged without overwhelming them. The pacing is also well done, with each episode building on the previous one and leading up to an exciting climax.
The show’s storytelling is also top-notch. It manages to stay true to the original book series while also adding its own twists and turns. The characters are well-developed, and the world-building is immersive. The show also tackles important themes such as discrimination and the abuse of power in a nuanced and thought-provoking way. Overall, Shadow and Bone is a must-watch for anyone who loves fantasy and great storytelling.
4.5. 5. Diversity and representation
One of the standout features of Shadow and Bone is its commitment to diversity and representation. The show features a cast of characters from various ethnicities and backgrounds, including the Inej, a Suli girl who is an accomplished thief, and Jesper, a sharpshooter from the southern colonies. The show also tackles issues of prejudice and discrimination, with the Grisha – a group of people with magical abilities – facing persecution from those who fear their power. Overall, Shadow and Bone offers a refreshing take on the fantasy genre, showcasing a diverse range of characters and exploring important themes of identity and acceptance.
5. The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian is a fantastic fantasy TV show that has captured the hearts of viewers all over the world. Set in the Star Wars universe, the show follows the adventures of a lone bounty hunter who is tasked with protecting a mysterious child. The show is full of action, adventure, and heartwarming moments that will leave you feeling satisfied after every episode. The characters are well-developed, and the acting is top-notch. The special effects are also impressive, making the show a visual feast for the eyes. Overall, The Mandalorian is a must-watch for any fantasy fan in 2021.
5.1. 1. Star Wars universe and lore
The Star Wars universe is one of the most expansive and beloved fictional universes in popular culture. It encompasses a vast array of planets, species, technologies, and political factions. At the heart of the Star Wars universe is the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith, two orders of powerful Force-sensitive individuals who wield incredible abilities to manipulate the universe around them. The lore of Star Wars has been explored in countless books, comics, video games, and of course, films and TV shows.
One of the most recent additions to the Star Wars universe is The Mandalorian, a TV show that takes place in the aftermath of the fall of the Empire. The Mandalorian follows the adventures of a lone bounty hunter, known only as the Mandalorian, as he travels the galaxy in search of bounties to collect. Along the way, he encounters a host of interesting characters, including a mysterious and powerful infant known as the Child, who becomes the Mandalorian’s primary focus and the catalyst for many of the show’s plot developments.
The Mandalorian is a great example of how the Star Wars universe can be expanded and explored in new and exciting ways. By focusing on a single character and their journey, the show is able to dive deep into the lore of the Star Wars universe while still telling a compelling story. It’s a must-watch for any Star Wars fan, and one of the best fantasy TV shows of 2021.
5.2. 2. Baby Yoda and other characters
One of the most beloved and talked-about characters from The Mandalorian is Baby Yoda, also known as The Child. This adorable creature has captured the hearts of fans around the world with its big eyes and cute antics. Another fan-favorite character is the titular character himself, the Mandalorian. Played by Pedro Pascal, this mysterious bounty hunter has quickly become a beloved and iconic figure in the Star Wars universe. Other memorable characters include Cara Dune, a former Rebel shock trooper, and Greef Karga, a leader of a bounty hunter guild.
5.3. 3. Cinematography and design
One of the most visually stunning shows on television, The Mandalorian has set a new standard for cinematography and design in the world of fantasy television. The show’s use of practical effects and a mix of both physical and digital sets creates a truly immersive world that feels both familiar and otherworldly. The attention to detail in every aspect of the show’s design, from the costumes to the weapons to the landscapes, is simply stunning. The Mandalorian also makes use of cutting-edge technology, like the Stagecraft LED volume, to create a seamless integration between live-action and computer-generated elements. The result is a show that looks and feels like nothing else on television, and one that is sure to inspire future fantasy series to up their game in terms of visuals.
5.4. 4. Easter eggs and references
The Mandalorian is known for its Easter eggs and references to the Star Wars universe. One of the most notable Easter eggs is the appearance of Boba Fett in the season 2 episode ‘The Marshal’. This was a huge surprise for fans who had been waiting to see Boba Fett in action again. Another Easter egg is the appearance of Ahsoka Tano in season 2, who was previously only seen in the animated series. The show also references other Star Wars characters and events, such as the destruction of the Death Star and the Jedi Order. These Easter eggs and references make The Mandalorian a must-watch for any Star Wars fan.
5.5. 5. Critical and audience response
The Mandalorian has been a critical and commercial success since its debut in 2019. The show has been praised for its storytelling, character development, cinematography, and special effects. It has also been lauded for its adherence to the Star Wars canon and for introducing new and interesting characters to the Star Wars universe.
Audiences have also responded positively to The Mandalorian. The show has a strong fan following, with viewers raving about its action, humor, and emotional depth. Fans have also expressed excitement about the show’s future, with many eagerly anticipating the upcoming third season.
Overall, The Mandalorian has proven to be a standout addition to the Star Wars franchise and a must-watch for fans of fantasy and science fiction.
6. His Dark Materials
His Dark Materials is a fantasy TV show based on the novel series of the same name by Philip Pullman. It follows the journey of a young girl named Lyra Belacqua as she discovers a sinister plot involving parallel universes, magical creatures, and a mysterious substance called Dust. The show features an all-star cast including Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The production design and visual effects are top-notch, creating a rich and immersive world for viewers to get lost in. His Dark Materials is a must-watch for any fantasy fan.
6.1. 1. Faithfulness to the source material
One of the most impressive fantasy TV shows of 2021 is undoubtedly His Dark Materials. Based on the beloved book series by Philip Pullman, the show manages to stay faithful to the source material while also adding its own unique touches. Fans of the books will appreciate the attention to detail and the care that has been taken to bring Pullman’s world to life on screen. At the same time, newcomers to the story will be drawn in by the richly imagined characters and the thrilling action sequences. Overall, His Dark Materials is a must-watch for fans of fantasy and adventure.
6.2. 2. Exploration of complex themes
His Dark Materials is a fantasy TV show that explores complex themes such as religion, science, and the nature of reality. The show is based on the book series of the same name by Philip Pullman and is set in an alternate universe where humans have animal companions called daemons. The story follows a young girl named Lyra as she embarks on a journey to uncover the secrets of her world.
One of the main themes in His Dark Materials is the conflict between religion and science. The show portrays a world where the dominant religion, the Magisterium, suppresses scientific inquiry and seeks to control the population through fear and intimidation. This theme is particularly relevant in today’s world, where the relationship between science and religion is often contentious.
Another theme explored in His Dark Materials is the nature of reality. The show introduces the concept of multiple universes, each with its own set of rules and laws of physics. This idea challenges our understanding of the world we live in and raises questions about the nature of existence.
Overall, His Dark Materials is a thought-provoking and engaging fantasy TV show that explores complex themes in a way that is both entertaining and informative.
6.3. 3. Acting and direction
One of the standout elements of the fantasy TV show His Dark Materials is the exceptional acting and direction. The series features an incredibly talented cast, including Dafne Keen as the fierce and determined Lyra Belacqua, Ruth Wilson as the enigmatic and dangerous Mrs. Coulter, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as the charismatic aeronaut Lee Scoresby.
But it’s not just the acting that shines in this show. The direction is also top-notch, with stunning visuals and a strong sense of pacing. Each episode feels like a cinematic experience, with sweeping landscapes and epic action sequences that keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
Overall, the acting and direction in His Dark Materials are truly exceptional, adding to the overall immersive and captivating experience of this must-watch fantasy series.
6.4. 4. Production design and visual effects
The production design and visual effects in His Dark Materials are truly stunning. From the intricate details of the daemon characters to the vast and magical landscapes of the different worlds, every aspect of the show’s visuals is breathtaking. The team behind the production design and visual effects have done an incredible job of bringing Philip Pullman’s fantastical universe to life on screen. The attention to detail is impressive, and the use of special effects enhances the storytelling in a way that is both subtle and impactful. Overall, the production design and visual effects in His Dark Materials are a standout aspect of the show and add an extra layer of depth to an already captivating story.
6.5. 5. Renewal and future plans
After the success of the first two seasons, His Dark Materials has been renewed for a third and final season. The showrunners have announced that this season will adapt the final book in Philip Pullman’s trilogy, The Amber Spyglass. Fans can expect to see the epic conclusion to Lyra’s journey as she faces off against the Magisterium and discovers the truth about the nature of the universe.
In addition to the third season, there are also plans for a spin-off series based on the character of Lee Scoresby, played by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The series will be titled Lee Scoresby: His Dark Materials and will explore the character’s backstory and adventures before meeting Lyra.
Fans of the books and the show can look forward to more exciting content from the His Dark Materials universe in the future.
In conclusion, the top 10 fantasy TV shows of 2021 offer a diverse range of captivating stories, compelling characters, and stunning visual effects. Whether you’re a fan of epic sagas or supernatural thrillers, there’s something for everyone in this year’s lineup. From the enchanting world of The Witcher to the dark and twisted realm of Shadow and Bone, these shows will transport you to new and exciting places. So grab your popcorn and settle in for an unforgettable journey into the realm of fantasy.