(Credit: John P. Fleenor / Netflix)

From The Originals to Lucifer: The 10 best fantasy Netflix series

Netflix has a wide variety of shows and films that appeal to audience groups of all ages. From captivating action flicks to sappy rom-coms, the streaming platform never runs out of choices for the viewers. The fantasy genre is one of the most coveted Netflix genres as the platform has various shows, including Originals that help teleport the viewers to a different land, making them embark on epic quest-like adventures that stay with them even after they stop viewing the last episode of the series. 

While there are certain oldies like Teen Wolf, The Vampire Diaries and more streaming on Netflix, shows like The Originals, Outlander and more have amassed a massive fan following. These shows abound in supernatural beings, beasts, monsters and more, often humanising them yet never losing the fantasy element. From urban-fantasy series to ones based in mythical lands, they are individually wonderful experiences. 

Here are the 10 best fantasy series on Netflix streaming now: 

The 10 best fantasy series on Netflix right now:

10. Cursed (Frank Miller, 2020)

The series is often deemed as a “re-imagining of an Arthurian legend” and follows the journey of a spirited girl named Nimue who is tragically fated to become the Lady of the Lake. As she embarks on a soulful journey to look for an ancient, powerful sword following her mother’s demise, she finds an unlikely ally and companion in the mercenary Arthur who agrees to help her. 

Amidst epic hostility and violence, Nimue exists as the symbol of rebellion, courage and protests against the unjust norms of the society. Her story gives us a perspective of a woman having the courage to venture into the nearly impossible realm plagued by mindless violence, religious intolerance, bloodlust and worlds ravaged by wars and disruptions that has the capacity to wipe out the mere existence of humanity. Nimue prevails as a strong feminist figure who dares to raise her voice against unjust societal oppression, harbouring the hopes of emerging victorious. 

9. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, 2018-2020)

The series is based in the fictional Greendale which follows the journey of Sabrina Spellman, who, on her 16th birthday, discovers her powers and her origins of being a half-witch, she must come to terms with the duality of her existence as a half-mortal half-witch and keep a balance between the two while battling dark forces that threaten to disrupt the peace that prevails in her world involving her family, her friends as well as the unsuspecting humans living in the world. 

The series was supposedly inspired by “slow burn horror films” including Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist. While the series began on a wonderful note, it started slacking. The cast delivered incredible performances at the beginning with thrilling dark aesthetics. However, the later seasons were not well-received as the show started losing its engrossing charm. 

8. Shadowhunters (Ed Decter, 2016-2019)

Clary Fray discovers her true identity on her 18th birthday. She has been drawing runes despite not knowing what their significance is, before bumping into the Shadowhunter trio Isabella, Jace and Alec. Following her mother’s disappearance, Clary stumbles into the world of Shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, warlocks and more such supernatural beings. As she struggles with her attraction towards Jace while being pursued by the uber-dangerous Valentine Morgenstern, she has to deal with the various changes her best friend Simon Lewis undergoes following his kidnapping predicament (spoiler alert: he has fangs and drinks blood).

Demons, warlocks, shadowhunters, werewolves and vampires are caught in the gripping narratives spun throughout the series. If you are someone who enjoys shows like Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries and more, you will undoubtedly fall in love with this series. Love triangles, tension and angst galore, this series is quite underrated despite being a lot better than the film that was based on the eponymous and highly-renowned book series. The show makes one wonder if they are indeed surrounded by such supernatural beings in the real world. 

7. Castlevania (Warren Ellis, 2017-2021)

Count Vlad Dracula is a quintessential loner who is enraged and disgusted by humanity after his wife, falsely accused of being a witch, is burned at stake. He vows revenge against the people of Wallachia and embarks on a bloodlust by conjuring an army of demons that ruins the country and compels people to live in constant fear and despair. A pariah monster hunter named Trevor Belmont decides to battle Dracula’s bloodlust and save humanity with the help of Sypha Belnades, a magician and Dracula’s son Alucard, who is a dhampir as he is born from the union of a vampire and a human. 

The show is one of Netflix’s best fantasy series out there with incredible voice actors and compelling visuals. Heavily influenced by the phenomenal work of Ayami Kojima, this animated series sees a blend of humour amidst the serious premise. Contrary to the villainous portrayal of Dracula, the series paints him in the light of a doomed, romantic, tragic anti-hero who wants nothing but vengeance against the murderers of his beloved wife. There is an innate humanness to Dracula. Steeped in wit and humour, this fantasy series is one of the best video game adaptations. 

6. The Witcher (Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, 2019-)

A solitary and rugged monster hunter Geralt of Rivia lives as an outcast in a world where monsters and beasts are not half as deadly as people. Geralt is a witcher and has special powers and immense strength to fend himself against such beasts. His destiny takes him down the path where he encounters a gifted young princess named Ciri as well as a powerful sorceress named Yennefer. The trio must live their individual character arcs before finding themselves at loggerheads with the Nilfgaardian forces.

Based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s eponymous book series which has a highly-acclaimed video game series as well, the Netflix show gives an insight into the backstories of the characters. “It’s the story of a broken family”, said Hissrich, “It’s a story of three people who are on their own in the world, really orphans all living in the margins of society who are determined to not need anyone, and yet of course they do.”  Henry Cavill as the buff Geralt is charismatic yet somehow lacks the enigma with his simple humming peppering the series. The second season has a lot to live up to, considering how well-made the video game is. 

5. The Originals (Julie Plec, 2013-2018)

A spin-off to the popular show The Vampire Diaries, The Originals chronicles the lives of the Mikaelson siblings, namely Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah. Kalus returns to New Orleans and must defeat his protege Marcel to take over the city as he had originally built it. Klaus had left after his father Mikael drove him off and Marcel took over. Klaus accepts his unborn child with the werewolf Hayley who is half vampire half werewolf as he thinks that every ruler must have a suitable heir. 

A controversial opinion surrounding this series is that it is way better than The Vampire Diaries itself. The convoluted plotlines, the myopic focus on the development of familial relationships as well as intriguing character arcs and layered portrayals make it a meatier and distinct watch. It is highly engrossing and has been well-received by fans. 

4. Outlander (Ronald D. Moore, 2014-)

Set in 1945, Claire Randall is a nurse who formerly served during the Second World War and is visiting the beautiful Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank when she is mysteriously transported to 1743, an unknown era, where she is hurtled into a Highlander clan named MacKenzie who are being actively pursued by British redcoats. The leader of these redcoats turns out to be Claire’s husband Frank’s ancestor. Claire has to marry a Highlander named Jamie Fraser, and soon falls in love with him. She is soon caught between the two inherently different men in her life while constantly combatting the obstacles that lie in her path. 

Based on Diana Gabaldon’s ongoing book series, this series finds itself rooted in a fictionalised history involving the Jacobite rising. Moore confirmed that given the book’s “complicated structure”, adaptation “was not as easy” as one would think but having her as a consultant to the TV production was a major help. With a strong cast, the series is impressively deep and engrossing. The show has an epic Game of Thrones vibe minus the somewhat slacking seasons. The show has a strong feminist voice and has garnered a massive cult following.

3. The Good Place (Michael Schur, 2016-2020)

Eleanor Shellstrop is notorious for being a mercenary saleswoman who indulges in selling fake medicines unscrupulously to the elderly. After her death, she is accidentally sent to the Good Place instead of the Bad, the latter being the hub of the obnoxious and amoral people while the former is a place assigned to the honest and hardworking ones who have a strong set of morals and ethics. Eleanor, aware of the mistake, however, does not want to leave the life of luxury and must avoid being discovered by the angel who looks over them. 

Light-hearted and lucid storytelling complements the much more serious premise of dealing with death, sins and existence. It drives in the theme of introspection and gratitude while emphasising love, friendship and union even in the afterlife. Kristen Bell is splendid as the outrageous Eleanor and brings extra charms to the already quirky character.  Schur’s unique creative genius helps add a mix of unique characters to this funny and philosophical series of the urban-fantasy genre. 

2. Lucifer (Tom Kapinso, Ildy Mordrovich, 2016-2021)

While Milton needed 12 books of Paradise Lost to talk about the Fall of Satan, his Netflix Original needed just six seasons to pave its way into the hearts of the audience, with a charming protagonist by the name of Lucifer Morningstar who has been banished from hell and is tired of his duties of punishing sinners. As Lucifer, the owner of the raunchy LUX club in Los Angeles, he is clad in crisp suits and has numerous flings when he meets the serious and business-minded detective Chloe Decker with whom he partners up to solve various cases, while falling in love with her. 

Lucifer is interesting not only because of the intriguing and hilariously sexy Biblical characters but also due to its urbanised portrayal of the highly coveted premise. With murders, mysteries, sibling rivalries, mommy and daddy issues as well as heavenly wars, this series from the urban-fantasy genre has garnered a massive cult following, making it one of the most popular shows on Netflix.

1. Shadow and Bone (Eric Heisserer, 2021-)

Based on Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, the series is set in a world ravaged by bloody battles. The Grisha, who possess the knowledge of Small Science and can control various elements of nature, find themselves safe in Ravka. General Kirigan is in search of a Grisha who can control light. It is discovered that an orphan named Alina Starkov is one such Grisha who has the potential of saving her people and bringing freedom to her country. She is made to train with an elite army of the Grisha where she learns the skills of survival and learns that there is more to life than mere magic and that none can be trusted. 

Following Bardugo’s incredible creativity unleashing havoc in the Grishaverse, this series, shot in Budapest, stars a promising cast, including Ben Barnes and Jessie Mei Li. With elaborate costumes and stunning visuals, this well-crafted show is engrossing, to say the least. Nuanced character development and intriguing narratives make it one of the best fantasy series available on the streaming platform.   

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