Jumping Between The Folds
Shadow and Bone is the latest high fantasy series on Netflix. With impressive world-building and some nicely fleshed out characters, this could be another hit for the streaming platform.
If you’ve finished watching this one and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Shadow and Bone.
His Dark Materials
Similarities – Prophecy & Magical Items
His Dark Materials is a wonderful fantasy series. Excellent acting and a faithful story adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novels combine beautifully with the world building on offer, making for a wholly absorbing and satisfying watch. The show never outstays its welcome either across its three seasons.
The story follows the journey of Lyra Belacqua, a young girl who inhabits a world where human and daemon share an intricate link together. As kids start going missed, snatched up from the streets by the Gobblers, Lyra finds herself coming in possession of the mysterious alethiometer.
When her best friend Roger goes missing, what begins as a simple search and rescue mission quickly becomes so much more as this expansive, dangerous and wondrous show becomes one of the small screen’s best fantasy offerings.
Similarities – Fantasy & Timeline Distortion
The Witcher is not without its flaws but it’s hard to discredit what a satisfying and well written slice of high-fantasy this is. There’s certainly enough magic, monsters and sword-fighting to keep things rooted in danger, while doing the video game it’s based on justice.
For those unaware, the story here revolves around a monster hunter named Geralt. Vilified by human-kind, these white-haired, emotionless Witchers spend their time hunting creatures and getting paid to do so.
Geralt is joined on this hunt by Ciri, a princess in a neighboring city and a mage-in-training named Yennefer. Across this first season, the show balances investigative work with monster slaying really well, which should satisfy those looking to scratch that high fantasy itch.
Game Of Thrones
Similarities – Fantasy & Different Timelines
Game Of Thrones will forever go down as the show that completely squandered its ending, falling flat on its face before the finish line. Despite its lacklustre final two seasons, the adaptations of books 2 and 3 in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic are must-watch seasons of TV.
For those unaware, Game Of Thrones takes place deep in the fictional realm of Westeros. Nine different noble families fight for control of the Iron Throne. While they do, a new threat in the East begins to stir in the form of the Targaryen princess, Daenerys.
While all this is going on, ancient enemies known as the White Walkers start to march south to The Wall, threatening certain doom unless the families can somehow learn to co-exist.
Featuring epic battles, incredible moments and one incredibly bad ending, Game Of Thrones is a must-watch for period drama and fantasy fans. If you can go in and expect a fan-fic ending, you should find enough to like with this one.
A Discovery Of Witches
Similarities – Drama & Romance
A Discovery Of Witches is a well written drama with some truly beautiful imagery across its run-time. That’s to say nothing of the characters who are interesting and endearing.
The basic premise revolves around a world where witches, vampires and demons live discreetly among humans. Our central protagonist is Diana Bishop, who happens to be the last living witch. What ensues from here is a heady blend of romance, fantasy and drama across 2 seasons – the second of which cutting us back in time for a who’s who of historical figures.
While the first season is far stronger, there’s a lot to like here and fans of romance and fantasy offerings should be in their element.
The Umbrella Academy
Similarities – Dysfunctional Team & Powers
The Umbrella Academy is really the full package. Slick action, a great ensemble of characters and some excellent story beats make this superhero story one of the best Netflix Originals on the platform.
Both seasons build up nicely with a decent amount of time dedicated to fleshing out every character and giving them a compelling arc. While the world-ending cataclysmic event is still here, it’s handled in a pretty smart and original way.
The action sequences are well shot and the simple story surrounding this misfit group of child-heroes teaming up to save the world is as engrossing as it is watchable. It’s also one of the better examples of a show outdoing itself in the second season. A must watch.
Similarities – Fantasy & Romance
Amazon Prime’s big-budget fantasy depicts a tale of forbidden love and supernatural thrills set against a backdrop of racism and simmering tensions. Perfect for fans of A Discovery Of Witches!
At the heart of this one is Rycroft Philostrate who begins looking into a series of grisly murders. Along the way, he becomes entangled in the politics and issues of a working fairy called Vignette Stonemoss. Together, the pair set out to uncover what’s really going on.
The series is brimming with imagination, full of detailed sets and some really impressive world building. The mystery elements are incorporated nicely into the story too, making for a really solid watch.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Similarities – Blended Magic & Science
Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance is a one-season wonder and a real fantasy gem. Although you don’t need to have watched the original film to understand what’s going on here, it’s definitely rewarding to do so.
The story begins with castle guard Rian stumbling upon a dark secret held by the Skeksis and finds himself on the run. Meanwhile, intelligent Princess Brea is given a prophetic message, leading her to uncover secrets of her own in her home, Ha’Rar. The third character, Deet, teams up with the hilarious Podling Hup and sets out on a mission too.
With all three Gelfing embarking on their quests, the Skeksis launch a crusade to harness the crystal’s power, eventually seeing them turn their bird-like eyes toward the Gelfling to sustain their life-force.
Spread across 10 episodes and utilizing an abundance of practical effects, puppets and wondrous storytelling, Age Of Resistance is the perfect accompanying piece to the original film. Dark Crystal is a must-watch fantasy series.
Similarities – Story & Deep World-Building
Based on the popular video game of the same name, Castlevania is one of those rare exceptions to the rule that all video game adaptations are inherently bad.
In fact, Castlevania is not only a well written tale about vampires VS humans, it’s an incredibly endearing anime that just gets better and better as the seasons tick by. Season 3 in particular is excellent.
The basic premise revolves around an enraged Dracula unleashing hordes of demonic, blood thirsty creatures onto the town of Wallachia. When he does, it’s up to anti-hero Belmont to stop them.
This forms the crux of the first season (which spans for a disappointing 4 episodes) before branching out and becoming much more intriguing as the seasons tick by.
If you’re in the mood for something involving deep characters and intriguing world building, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Similarities – Story & Characters
Avatar is a fantastic animation that’s a must-watch for kids and adults alike.
The series itself revolves around a world divided into four elemental nations: The Northern and Southern Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. The Avatar uphold the balance between nations and up until the start of the first episode, everything seems to be peachy. That is, until the balance of power shifts.
When the Fire Nation is invaded and the avatar disappears, we cut forward 100 years to find Katara and Sokka discovering the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang. What ensues from here is an unforgettable romp that brings out the very best in animated storytelling.
The Dragon Prince
Similarities – Deep World-Building
Animated Netflix fantasy The Dragon Prince is a formulaic but hugely fun series. What it lacks in originality though it more than makes up for with bucket-loads of charm and an incredibly well-told and absorbing plot-line.
This world paints a fantastical picture of dragons, magic and sword fighting, all encapsulated in a bitter war between Elves and Humans. The story picks up with the Kingdoms teetering on the edge of all-out war.
At the center of this are three key characters who form the backbone of this story. Callum and his pet Glowtoad are joined by his brother and heir to the throne, Prince Ezran. Outcast elf Rayla rounds out the trio, a character who was actually sent to kill them both originally. Together they set out to complete a dangerous mission.
With multiple seasons to get through, The Dragon Prince is and excellent fantasy series and well worth a watch.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished watching Shadow and Bone on Netflix.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!