Fantasy has always been one of the most popular genres in all of art, be it literature, movies or TV shows. Throughout history, we have seen works of fantasy mesmerizing audiences and creating a strong fan following which can hardly be rivaled by any other genre. Take into account book series like ‘Harry Potter‘ or ‘The Lord Of The Rings‘. Does any other genre of literature come even remotely close to the influence these historic creations have had on us? This is a form of art which allows an escape from monotonous realities, where we can fly away to lands unknown, where our dreams and desires take shape. Naturally, the influence of fantasy has been strong on television shows as well – ‘The Shannara Chronicles‘ being the case in point.
The plot of ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ is set in the future, in a time when human civilization has completely collapsed. Now the earth has been divided into the Four Lands and is mainly ruled by humans and elves together. The story follows the journey of Will, Amberle, and Eretria, as they try and save the Four Lands from a demonic invasion from the realm known as the Forbidding. Despite using the usual tropes one sees in fantasy shows, ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ stands out because of the characters who are explored brilliantly as the narrative progresses. Some critics have even called it a ‘teen-friendly Game of Thrones’. If you loved this show and are looking for more shows that are thematically and stylistically similar, then we’ve got you covered. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
8. Legend Of The Seeker (2008-2010)
‘Legend Of The Seeker’ is based on the novel series ‘The Sword of Truth’, written by Terry Goodkind. In the world where this is set, the land is divided into three different kingdoms — Westland, the Midlands, and D’Hara. The ruler of D’Hara, Darken Rahl, wants to unleash unlimited terror upon the world, and it is upon a woodsman called Richard Cypher and his friends, the wizard Zedd, and Kahlan Amnell, Richard’s sworn protector, to save the entire world from the wrath of Draken Rahl. What is interesting about this series is that it borrows heavily from other works, especially ‘The Matrix‘ and ‘Star Wars‘ in terms of style and presentation. The sets and costumes are quite innovative, but the plot does lack in emotion and originality.
7. Shadowhunters (2016-2019)
The Freeform original series ‘Shadowhunters‘ is based on the Cassandra Clare book series ‘The Modern Instruments’. Unlike ‘Ths Shannara Chronicles’, ‘Shadowhunters’ is based in the real world, but it tells the story of people who have magical powers passed on from their ancestors’. The central character of ‘Shadowhunters’, Clary Fray, discovers her powers after her eighteenth birthday; but the discovery only happens when a group of beings called Shadowhunters kidnaps her mother. Clary soon realizes that she too is a Shadowhunter, and is in possession of angelic blood which gives her superpowers to protect humans from otherworldly creatures. ‘Shadowhunters’ is rich, visually, but when it comes to the plot, it lacks a certain depth, nor does it explore the political undertones which are found during the early stages of the show. Despite lack of critical acclaim, the series managed to find love from the audiences and ended up winning a number of People’s Choice Awards.
6. Emerald City (2017)
Frank L. Baum’s Oz book series has inspired generations of fantasy writers and readers equally. The first film created from this series, ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ (1939) is now considered a milestone in the world of fantasy films. ‘Emerald City’ is an NBC series based on the characters from the Oz universe. The central character of ‘Emerald City’ is a girl called Dorothy Gale. She is suddenly displaced from her world into the land of OZ after she gets caught in a storm. Dorothy herself is not aware that her destiny is to fulfill a prophecy which could have a lasting impact on human civilization. ‘Emerald City’ does well in changing the usually bright and playful mood of the Oz universe by taking it into much darker territories, but the show lacks in providing the audience with a coherent plot. Watch it for its visuals, but don’t expect to get engrossed in the story.
5. Wynonna Earp (2016-)
Anyone acquainted with stories of the American Old West, knows the name of the legendary Wyatt Earp. One of the greatest Old West frontiersmen, Earp was famous for his strong implementation of rules and the use of violence when necessary. The Syft series ‘Wynonna Earp’ narrates a fictional account of his great-great-granddaughter, who is also adept at using the gun like her ancestor. The only difference being that Wynonna fights the undead souls of all the criminals that Wyatt Earp had killed. Her weapon? The famous “Peacemaker” revolver used by her ancestor himself. The gunslinging culture we are used to seeing in western movies and shows is here given an interesting twist by introducing horror elements in the narrative. ‘Wynonna Earp‘ has a dedicated fanbase, some of whom even sponsored billboards in Time Square to urge the makers to renew the show for a fourth season. Watch it for its genre mix-and-match and strong character development. You, for sure, won’t be disappointed!
4. Midnight, Texas (2017-2018)
The plot of ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ is set in a fantasy land where wizards and magic are the order of the day. ‘Midnight, Texas‘ is not so ambitious in approach but gives us more thrills than ‘The Shannara Chronicles’. Midnight is a fictional town somewhere in the middle of Texas where the central character of the show, Manfred Bernardo, finds himself on the advice of his grandmother’s ghost. This town is crowded by supernatural creatures like vampires, werewolves, fallen angels, and witches, but none of them are malicious. They provide shelter to those who have nowhere else to go. But when they allow Manfred within their realm, they hardly know the dangers that might follow. ‘Midnight, Texas’ works in both ways — first as fantasy series involving otherworldly creatures and their lives, and secondly as a social commentary where the town becomes a haven for beings who have been ostracized from society’s mainstream.
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3. Into The Badlands (2015-2019)
Both ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ and ‘Into The Badlands‘ provide us a picture of the human civilization far into the future, but each show has its own unique vision of how the world will turn out eventually. ‘Into The Badlands’ is set in a time when civilization, as we know, has collapsed and people have become rather savage, grouping themselves into tribes ruled by feudal lords. Here, technology is done away with, and martial arts is the main form of combat. The central characters of the series are a warrior called Sunny and his disciple, MK, whom we follow as they travel through this dangerous land. Watch this series for the amazing action sequences as never has action been so beautifully choreographed and presented in any TV series in recent history. The character-driven story also makes for some highly compelling drama.
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2. Merlin (2008-2012)
‘Merlin’ is a show set in the world of the Arthurian legends and centers around the eponymous character, a talented warlock who is at odds with the king of Camelot, Uther Pendragon. The king has banned the use of magic in his land, and anyone seen performing magic is severely punished. In such a scenario, Merlin goes against the king’s wishes and visits a dragon imprisoned under the royal castle. It is this dragon who makes him aware of the fact that Uther’s son Arthur is the one who will revive magic to the land. Where ‘Merlin’ triumphs is the way in which it manages to make us invest ourselves in the characters, emotionally. It’s just impeccable writing. The action sequences, too, are breathtaking to say the least.
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1. Game Of Thrones (2011-2019)
What can we say about this historic series which has not been said already? ‘Game Of Thrones‘ cannot just be called a TV series. It is an event in pop culture history which will be remembered for generations to come. ‘Game Of Thrones’ is the show that ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ aims to be, but falls short by a long distance. The series is set in a land where the human world is separated from a horde of zombie-like creatures known as the whitewalkers. These monsters are kept at bay with the help of a massive Wall, guarded by an army called the Night’s Watch. In the human world, Westeros, we witness a war of power for the rulership of the land. Politics is a huge aspect of ‘Game Of Thrones’, and while being a fantasy, it develops such fascinating character arcs that you cannot help but marvel at the genius of the writer of the original books, George R.R. Martin. Despite fans having poor opinions on the last season, ‘GOT’ will remain as one of the most popular shows in television history.
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