Geek Out With the Best Fantasy Shows on Netflix Right Now
When you want to feel good and have a laugh, you turn to the comedy section. When you want your brain to be challenged or your heartstrings tugged, you find a truly great drama series. But if you're looking for an entire world to lose yourself in, it might be time to unleash your inner geek and browse through Netflix's fantasy offerings.
One of the best things about fantasy as a genre is that it can encompass a huge variety of tones, styles, and themes. Whether you're looking for a gleefully goofy parody, a sci-fi-tinged tale, or a serious high fantasy, Netflix has something for you. The one thing all these shows have in common is their ability to create a complex alternate reality that sucks you in. Take a look at 25 of the best fantasy shows on Netflix to find your next binge-worthy obsession.
Imagine Harry Potter meets The Chronicles of Narnia, but Hogwarts is a college (sex, drugs, snark, and all) and Narnia is filled with dark secrets instead of happy fauns, and you've got the setting for this series. Based on Lev Grossman's book trilogy, the series follows a group of young magicians, led by anxious, nerdy Quentin, as they navigate Brakebills Academy and discover that the fictional world in Quentin's favorite fantasy books is actually real.
Fantasy doesn't have to be all murder and curses — it can be pretty funny, too! Galavant follows the titular hero, a washed-up knight whose true love left him to marry the evil king, as he sets out on a quest to reclaim some of his former glory (and maybe the girl, too). Plus, it's a musical, with songs by Disney maestro Alan Menken that giddily parody all your favorite pop and Disney songs at every turn.
Once Upon a Time
What if the fairy-tale world came to our world? In this series, all your favorite fairy-tale characters have been transported to the real world, via the Evil Queen's curse, and left with no memories of their past lives, until a young boy brings Emma Swan, the disbelieving chosen one, to town. It's fun to keep track of all the classic character mashups, but the show is at its best when it focuses on its unabashed hopefulness.
We've all heard the tale of King Arthur and the court of Camelot, but this British series takes a new twist on the old legend. Focusing on the young warlock Merlin and the spoiled prince Arthur, the series incorporates the swashbuckling adventure and sweeping romance you expect, plus some unexpected turns and a modern sensibility.
The Shannara Chronicles
Fantasy often focuses on young people in extraordinary circumstances, and The Shannara Chronicles is no exception. In a postapocalyptic, magical world, three young people find themselves tasked with ensuring that long-trapped demons are not released to wreak havoc on the universe.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
A hybrid of period drama and fantasy, this Gothic-tinged show imagines a rivalry in 19th-century England between an ambitious magician who leads the fight to make magic publicly respectable and a younger conjurer who believes he is destined for greatness. It's a tale of rivalry and romance, topped off with sumptuous production values.
Mismatched roommates living together is nothing new, but these three roommates just might be. Vampire Aidan, werewolf Josh, and ghost Sally live, love, and fight (each other and the forces of darkness) like any others — just with those pesky supernatural identities on top of it all.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
The DC TV universe has pretty much every genre covered, from Arrow's gritty urban crime drama to the lighter, more heartfelt antics over on The Flash or Supergirl's galactic stakes. Somewhere along the line, the odd show out, Legends of Tomorrow, turned into a rollicking, fantastical romp. Where else can you find a badass bisexual ex-assassin leading a diverse team of misfits through time and space to save historical figures and fight an ancient demon?
This show is to Gothic horror what Once Upon a Time is to fairy tales: a weirdly wonderful mashup of characters from several tales whose paths cross on a single, intertwined adventure. Dorian Gray, Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, and some witches all play a part in this horror fantasy set in Victorian England.
If you crossed Nancy Drew with zombies and added a dollop of comedy, iZombie would be the result. It's a clever comedy about Liv, a medical resident, who decides to use her newfound zombie-dom to help solve murders. There's just enough zombie mythology to keep the sci-fi/fantasy viewers involved, while leaning into the dark comedy and a creative murder-of-the-week format.
El Ministerio del Tiempo
The Ministry of Time deals with incidents involving time travel in this Spanish import. A trio of characters — a modern-day paramedic, a student from the 1800s, and a soldier from the 16th century — take on missions throughout history while dealing with personal baggage in the grand tradition of ensemble dramas.
Lightly sprinkled with fantasy elements, this show is a sweet dramedy about a widowed mother living in a small town with her young daughter and running a shop. The series hints at Cassie's magical powers but only in a gentle, winking way, focusing more on the small-town family drama.
Supernatural is the long-runner to end all long-runners. Premiering in 2005 and still airing new episodes, it's a fantasy/horror show about two demon-hunting brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, plus assorted angels and demons that regularly threaten life as we know it and existence itself.
The story of three witch sisters working together to protect the world from evil is an absolute classic. Come for the magical hijinks, stay for the awesome girl power!
The Vampire Diaries
Sexy and mythology-rich, The Vampire Diaries starts out as the relatively simple story of two vampire brothers and the human girl they both fall for in a small Virginia town. Within a few seasons, though, the scope expands to a broad supernatural world with layers of history and unexpected, heart-wrenching twists.
In modern-day Toronto, werewolf Elena just tries to have a normal life, but her obligations to her "pack" keep drawing her back into the paranormal world. The show plays with classic fantasy tropes and gives them a modern, feminist twist.
Beauty and the Beast
The Beauty and the Beast mythos has been mined plenty of times, most famously by Disney. This show — a remake of a 1980s cult hit — reimagines its characters as an NYPD detective and the mysterious, marked man who protects her. There's conspiracy, crime, fantasy, and, of course, romance.
The Tomorrow People
Leaning into the intersection of sci-fi and fantasy, this show thrusts viewers into a world where gifted individuals from the future try to use their psychic powers to save the present day. It's best when it features its strong ensemble of characters.
How to Train Your Dragon: Legends
As you might have guessed from the title, Legends spins off the popular Dreamworks franchise into an animated series of shorts. All your favorite characters are back, as Vikings and dragons learn to coexist.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars has always blended the technology of sci-fi with the classic epic quests of fantasy, and this animated series is not different. Set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, it follows Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and their allies as the legendary Clone Wars reach their peak.
The Almighty Johnsons
While you're waiting for the next Avengers movie to come out, satisfy your yearning for handsome Norse gods with this Netflix series. The gods reappear on Earth in the personas of ordinary brothers, struggling to learn about their powers and their destinies.
Drop Dead Diva
Wearing its fantasy side lightly, Drop Dead Diva is an empowering, female-centric story of a vain model reincarnated into the body of a curvy attorney. The show proves that fantasy can blend beautifully with other genres to create totally unique stories.
Ash vs. Evil Dead
With a dark comedy/horror vibe, this show is perfect if you want a fantasy show without the highbrow trappings. A mismatched group of unlikely heroes join forces to save humanity from demons, encountering plenty of mystical, magical forces along the way.
Netflix's original programming is at it again, this time with a fantastical horror series that will give you the best kind of creeps. What starts out as a typical creepy-small-town murder mystery becomes a full-blown modern fantasy, with werewolves, killers, psychics, and supernatural horrors everywhere.
Marvel's extended universe has typically, with the exception of a certain Norse god, stuck to scientific rationales for its superheroics. Iron Fist marks the Marvel-verse's first television foray into full-on magic: Danny Rand, the son of a wealthy family, becomes a master martial artist and can channel the magical power of the Iron Fist.