Refinery 29 UK

15 Shows Like Shadow & Bone To Try Now That You’ve Caught The Fantasy Bug

Once you’ve torn through Shadow and Bone, Netflix’s latest lush fantasy series adapted from a popular series of novels, you’re going to want to keep the magic alive. Here are some curated suggestions of what to watch next when you’re not quite ready to leave the Grishaverse but, sadly, have no choice.What makes Shadow and Bone great is that it’s a classic fantasy story about a chosen one whose already extraordinary world gets turned upside down, but also throws in a bunch of other tropes from the things you love to read and watch. There are cool powers! There are heists! There’s an inseparable trio! There’s an enemies to lovers subplot! There’s a love triangle plucked from the YA shelf and so much yearning! There are also, for those who genuinely love fantasy, new words to learn and maps to study. Finding a show that hits all of those buttons is rare, but these shows manage to hit at least one or two. And since you’ve probably seen Game of Thrones, we’ve gotten a little more creative than that. In fact, while a lot of Shadow and Bone reviews have called it “the next” GoT, the shows share little DNA besides fantasy war and a built-in fan-base of book readers. So let’s look beyond the obvious and pick out some shows that Shadow and Bone fans will love while we eagerly await news about season 2.MerlinWhere to watch: NetflixWatch if: You like the way some of the characters in Shadow & Bone aren’t thrilled about magic, and others aren’t thrilled about having to use that magic to serve the royals. BBC’s Merlin may have goofy low-budget special effects, and Merlin’s efforts to hide his abilities in a world where sorcery is outlawed are more like shenanigans than high stakes manoeuvres, but this show has the biggest heart. The MandalorianWhere to watch: Disney+Watch if: Your favourite part of Shadow & Bone are the Crows’ exploits.Not to push proverbial glasses up our nose and remind you that Star Wars is, well, actually more of a fantasy than a science fiction story, but it kind of is! If Grogu (f.k.a. Baby Yoda) hasn’t gotten you to watch The Mandalorian yet, maybe the fact that it’s about a rogue who gets emotionally involved in his latest assignment will. GalavantWhere to watch: Disney+Watch if: You wish Shadow & Bone had more singing. Galavant is like if Game of Thrones and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend had a belting, tap-dancing baby who was obsessed with The Princess Bride. It is one of television’s best hidden gems.The WitcherWhere to watch: NetflixWatch if: You like it when fantasy shows are not for kids, and don’t mind learning new fictional lore on the spot.Two years ago, The Witcher swooped in to rescue us from our post-Game of Thrones haze. If you weren’t humming that “toss a coin” song then, maybe the post-Shadow and Bone haze is the time.She-Ra and the Princesses of PowerWhere to watch: NetflixWatch if: You love war stories, cool magic abilities, and complex female characters. This queer, feminist adaptation of characters from the He-Men spin-off films is geared towards a younger audience, but not so much that adults can’t enjoy it. If you’re willing to try this throwback to your Saturday morning cartoon days, before you know it, you’ll be addicted to Adora and Catra’s relationship, the fantasy lore, and all of the adventure. The MagiciansWhere to watch: Amazon PrimeWatch if: Your favourite thing about Shadow and Bone is all the OTP potential. Only a chunk of The Magicians takes place in a medieval fantasy realm like Shadow and Bone. However, you’ll want to dive into this world (based on a series of books too) all the same, and the young adults in The Magicians are just as angsty and brooding. And for what it’s worth, The Magicians also shares some writers with Shadow and Bone. Once Upon A Time in WonderlandWhere to watch: Disney+Watch if: You want another fantasy series, but not a huge commitment. Lots of people watched Once Upon A Time, but the spin-off series about Alice and her genie boyfriend never really gained momentum and popularity. It’s a shame, because OUAT in Wonderland is a contained story with incredible costumes and so much flirting. It was canceled after one season, but thankfully ended on a satisfying note. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Where to watch: NetflixWatch if: You love it when the underdogs rise up against an oppressive ruler. It’s okay if you haven’t seen the original 1982 Dark Crystal before diving into this prequel series on Netflix. Don’t be fooled by the muppets — Age of Resistance can get a little spooky and is definitely not just for kids. It also has, like, all of your favourite actors in it, from Taron Egerton to Anya Taylor-Joy, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Awkwafina. The Shannara ChroniclesWhere to watch: NetflixWatch if: Shadow and Bone has you itching to go on a quest. True heads always want to remind us that The Shannara Chronicles exists. They’re right: It’ll give you the war vibes of Shadow and Bone and lots of great fantasy braids. Plus, it has actors you already love, like Austin Butler (Switched At Birth, The Carrie Diaries), Vanessa Morgan (Riverdale), Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries), and Poppy Drayton (Charmed).His Dark MaterialsWhere to watch: BBC iPlayerWatch if: You like how Shadow and Bone set its own pace by adapting multiple books at once.Sure, you watched Game of Thrones and maybe even got into Westworld. But this BBC/HBO adaptation has flown its hot air balloon slightly under the radar. Like Shadow and Bone, it’s about a girl whose world changes when she learns she may be the key to ending an oppressive regime… and one who forms a dangerous bond with the Big Bad early on. Carnival RowWhere to watch: Amazon PrimeWatch if: You love the military fashion of Shadow & Bone’s “Tsarpunk” world.Also known as the show where Cara Delevingne has fairy wings, and also Orlando Bloom is there. There’s a lot of magic in Carnival Row, and a lot of coats as well. Wynonna EarpWhere to watch: Amazon Prime, but at an extra costWhat if: You love a woman-led “chosen one story.This series is more of a zombie Western than a fantasy. However, fans of this Canadian-American series came out of the woodwork when the final season aired in 2021, so your interest in starting the series may have been piqued. Get into it.Midnight, TexasWhere to watch: Amazon Prime, but at an extra costWatch if: You’re all about that unrequited love. This series is based on a book series by Charlaine Harris, who also wrote the books True Blood is based on, so you just know that the romance will be turned up to 11. It’s about a bunch of supernatural misfits who find refuge in a small town, but all the drama that goes with that small-town lifestyle too.The Worst WitchWhere to watch: NetflixWatch if: You like Shadow and Bone but you also like Great British Bake-Off. There isn’t a softer or cosier fantasy than the schoolgirl exploits of Mildred Hubble —played, in the first few seasons, by Bella Ramsay from Game of Thrones. It’s light-hearted without being corny, and so calming. Use this show to decompress after you finish Shadow and Bone and are still processing the ending. The Last KingdomWhere to watch: NetflixWatch if: You’re all about that dirt and sword life. This show is not a fantasy. It’s just medieval historical fiction with a lot of war. If that’s all you want out of your next show after Shadow and Bone, have at it. 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