Amazon Prime’s original fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power had recently made headlines for its extravagant budget of $50 million per episode, and there is nothing left to wonder about it once you watch the show. Based on the epic high-fantasy novels written by legendary author JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is a visual and cinematic phenomenon, to say the least. Its stunning portrayal of Middle-earth and sprawling storyline leaves absolutely no precedent.
As such, fans are bound to have a massive Lord of the Rings hangover once the series comes to an end, and although no fantasy show can measure up to Tolkein’s world-building, there are definitely numerous shows which could serve as the perfect cure. Below is a list of shows similar to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power in no particular order, some of which are directly inspired by Middle-earth or share or have indirectly adopted certain elements from it. However, they have grown to become entertaining powerhouses of their own.
The Wheel Of Time (2021-Present)
An ensemble of six lovable young characters embarks on an epic adventure led by a member of a magical organization, Moiraine, in a quest to possibly find among themselves the reincarnation of the Dragon, a powerful being that is prophesied to either save the world or completely destroy it.
The Wheel of Time involves a cosmic war between the forces of good and evil, both of whom are battling to gain dominance over the world. The show is streaming on Amazon Prime, where it has quickly consolidated its position as one of the best series on the platform.
The Witcher (2019-Present)
Streaming on Netflix, The Witcher is a tad grimmer and more cynical than The Lord of the Rings but is in itself a competent series. The protagonist is the title character known as Geralt of Rivia, who is a mutated monster hunter. He has a strong sense of honor and lives by a moral code.
However, of particular note is the powerful female character Princess Cirilla whom fans of Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings would find especially appealing.
Game Of Thrones (2011-2019)
Set in the mythical land of Westeros based on George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones follows nine noble houses who fight a prolonged and ugly battle to gain control over the ultimate seat to indiscriminate power, The Iron Throne.
Streaming on HBO Max, the epic fantasy series is undoubtedly one of the best series to ever grace television, having won a record-shattering 59 Emmy Awards over the years. The show features extremely loving characters and visceral music, which makes it escape fans can lose themselves.
The Shannara Chronicles (2016-2017)
The Shannara Chronicles is a fantasy series based on the books written by American writer Terry Brooks and follows a human, Eretria, a half-elf, Wil, and an elven princess, Amberle, in their journey to prevent a demonic army from destroying the universe, thousands of years after the collapse of the humankind.
It is currently streaming on Tubi and is known to have the most in common with the original Tolkien series. Throughout its two seasons, it features several reluctant heroes in their battle against various evils, including both demons and a malevolent entity known as the Warlock Lord.
House Of The Dragon (2022-Present)
House of the Dragon is set around two hundred years before the happenings of Game of Thrones. It lays out the story of the Targaryen civil war in “The Dance of the Dragons” as King Viserys I Targaryen’s children battle for control of the Iron Throne.
House of the Dragon is the spinoff prequel to Game of Thrones, so needless to say, expectations were sky-high, and it is safe to say that the series did not disappoint. The fantasy series proved its mettle very early on and demonstrated its capacity to make its own path. The show is currently streaming on HBO Max.
His Dark Materials (2019-Present)
His Dark Materials is a television series based on the magisterial trilogy of the same name penned by Philip Pullman. It revolves around Lyra and Will, two young individuals who are in a bind with a theocratic organization known as the Magisterium, determined to bring all of creation under its vicious sway.
The series streams on HBO Max and is an ideal combination of beautiful, tragic and haunting, with a perfect blend of fantasy elements that Tolkein fans would find pleasant.
Foundation follows the story of a seemingly invincible Galactic Empire on the brink of collapse and the attempts of a group of human scholars, mainly Dr. Hari Seldon and his loyal followers, scattered on different planets across the galaxy under the empire’s rule, to preserve priceless knowledge for the future generations.
Seldon does this by using an intricate system called psychohistory to predict this fall and the interstellar turmoil which was sure to follow, pushing him to create the Foundation, which is an isolated human colony meant to wait out the collapse of civilization and assist in its resurrection.
Based on Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi epic of the same name, which spans hundreds of years, “Foundation” is a fictional history told in dramatic fashion. It is available to stream on Apple TV Plus and is exactly the kind of vast storytelling that could provide a follow-up to fans of The Lord of the Rings.
Shadow And Bone (2021-Present)
Shadow and Bone is a criminally underrated fantasy television series based on the Grishaverse books written by Leigh Bardugo. The series revolves around an extraordinary young orphan, Alina Starkov, who discovers that she is a Grisha possessing a powerful gift that has the ability to turn her world upside down.
In true fantasy fashion, Alina’s journey is not the only focus of the show, but rather Shadow and Bone takes a look at larger-than-life philosophical and ethical questions which she has to confront as she enters a century in the making conflict. Shadow and Bone are available to stream on Netflix.
The Legend Of Vox Machina (2022-Present)
The Legend of Vox Machina is an animated series that focuses on the adventurous quests of a band of eight unlikely mercenaries known by the same name in their efforts to save the realm of Exandria from dark magical forces.
The animated fantasy premiered earlier in 2022 on Amazon Prime Video and has quickly established itself as one of the best-animated series of the year with its irreverent and fiery sense of humor. The Legend of Vox Machina is popular as the successor show to the fantasy television series Critical Role.
The Sandman (2022-Present)
The Sandman is the Netflix adaption of fantasy visionary Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel of the same name. The series is distinctly faithful to the beloved books of Gaiman as well as his vision. The Sandman revolves around the character of the Sandman, i.e., Morpheus, also known as Dream, who is the ruler of the Dreaming.
When this powerful cosmic being who controls all dreams is captured and held prisoner for more than a century, he must journey across different worlds and timelines to fix the mayhem that his absence has resulted in.
This deeply thoughtful fantasy drama boasts glittering CGI and lavish designs and is available to watch on Netflix.
The Expanse (2015-2022)
Similar to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, The Expanse demonstrates meticulously detailed and expansive world-building. The series, which is mainly futuristic science fiction, is set hundreds of years in the future, where things are very different compared to what humans are used to.
Humans have colonized the Solar System, and in fact, Mars is an individual military power of its own. Rising tensions between different factions on Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt, push them to the edge of war. Meanwhile, a rogue ship’s captain and a detective team up to look into the case of a missing young woman, which takes them on a race across the solar system that could reveal the biggest conspiracy in all of human history.
The Expanse is currently streaming on Amazon prime and sits comfortably among the best science-fiction series of all time.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
Popular among fans as one of the best-animated shows of all time, Avatar: The Last Airbender chronicles the four nations into which the world is divided — the Water Tribe, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads — each represented by a natural element after which the nation is named.
Benders have the ability to control and manipulate the element of their particular nation. But only the Avatar can be the master of all four elements. The ruthless Fire Nation wants to conquer the world with the disappearance of the only bender who has enough power, the Avatar until now. His tribe soon discovers that Aang is the long-lost Avatar; as such, Sokka and Katara must watch over Aang as he strives to master all four elements and save the world from the Fire Nation.
Streaming on Netflix and Paramount Plus, the show is a great child-friendly option.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a sequel series on Netflix in which three Gelflings discover the terrifying secret behind the power of Skeksis and so get together as they embark on an epic adventure to ignite the fires of rebellion to fight dark powers that threaten the existence and save their world.
Although the show was canceled after its first season in 2019, it is still available to stream on Netflix.
Castlevania is an epic fantasy animated series based on the popular video game series Konami. It is set in a grisly and grim world of demons, vampires, violence, and revenge, taking inspiration from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and other older gothic tales. Thus, it draws from classical literature.
In Eastern Europe in the mid-1400s, Dracula is on a path of vengeful war on mankind after his human wife is murdered at the hands of the Church. His army of vicious creatures of the night is contested by a triad of heroes: Sypha Belnades, a powerful magic user; Trevor Belmont, the last son of a disgraced demon-hunting family; and Alucard, the half-human son of Dracula himself, who believes that his father’s warpath goes against all that his mother stood for. It is available to stream on Netflix.
The Last Kingdom (2015-2022)
The Last Kingdom is a British historical fiction set in the backdrop of 9th-century Europe and based on the novels by Bernard Cornwell. This medieval saga follows Uhtred, son of Uhtred, a Saxon who had been kidnapped by Vikings as a kid and raised by Danes, in his long quest to reclaim his family home of Bebbanburg.
This adventure takes him through a wide array of disputes with both the Saxons and the Danes, during which Uhtred must make as well as break some fragile alliances to defend his family while keeping his dream alive.
Blood of Zeus (2020)
In this animated splendor from Netflix, we are taken to Olympus, Hades, and the other corners of ancient mythical Greece, telling the tale of the demigod Heron, not a part of Greek lore but a character created specifically for the show, on a quest to save the world.
Heron is surrounded by typical suspects who abound, like Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hera, and of course, Zeus himself. The series kicked off on Netflix in 2020 and instantly garnered high critical acclaim for its gorgeous animation, stellar voice cast, and a new take on Greek folklore.
The story adopts many of the same tropes that mythology fans are familiar with from the old legends, such as deadly quarrels between the gods, past sins returning to haunt Olympus, and human heroes rising up in times of need. The show also boasts a lot of stunning animated action apart from the narratives.
Merlin employs its own take on old legend and lore as the titular character, a young wizard Merlin, a young and powerful warlock, keeps his magical powers hidden, for it is banned in Camelot. He befriends King Arthur, and together they embark on many adventures in their quest to save Albion.
But most importantly, Merlin must help King Arthur earn his destiny as the future king in a kingdom that has purged itself of and outlawed most magic. The action in the show is often balanced by careful diplomacy, as Merlin has to constantly talk himself out of corners. It is available to watch on Netflix.
Record of Lodoss War (1990)
Record of Lodoss War is an adventure animated series in which a mage, a thief, a priest, a dwarf, a fighter, and an elf come together to defend the island of Lodoss from a great evil. The main character of the show is Deedlit, who is Immortal, naive, and more than a little arrogant. Naturally, admirers of Galadriel in Lord of the Rings are sure to take a liking to her.
A classic rise of darkness story, the 1990 series Record of Lodoss War undoubtedly becomes a timeless suggestion for fantasy fans.
Station Eleven (2021)
This 2021 drama series is based on a novel written by Emily St. John Mandel of the same name. This brilliant adaptation by HBO features survivors of the devastating flu who attempt to reimagine and rebuild the world anew, all while holding on to the best of what has been lost.
It is a beautiful story about the inspirational quality of art and has successfully brought the narrative to life, serving as a reminder that the best stories can be adapted into any medium. Station Eleven takes place twenty years after a pandemic sweeps the globe, forcing civilization to fall.
It is worth noting that the story of Station Eleven was written before the COVID-19 pandemic and yet feels awfully strange in the similarities it shares with it. However, that is also why the story is so powerful.
Like the Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Station Eleven is also an ensemble show which emphasizes its female protagonist, the young Kirsten Raymonde, played by Matilda Lawler, who is taken in by the kind-hearted Jeevan Chaudhary, played by Himesh Patel. An adult Kirsten played by Mackenzie Davis, goes on to become an actress with the Traveling Symphony troupe.
Star Wars: Rebels (2014)
Star Wars: Rebels is an animated series that takes place between the events of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” and “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.” The Galactic Empire rules the galaxy with an iron fist, and the Rebel Alliance is yet to come together against it.
Former Jedi padawan Kanan Jarrus played by Freddie Prinze Jr., leads a small band of outlaws on the ship Ghost, where he discovers the young, force-sensitive boy Ezra Bridger played by Taylor Gray and starts training him as an apprentice. Star Wars: Rebels shows how Kanan and Ezra discover the mythological roots of both the Jedi as well as the Sith.
The Underground Railroad (2021)
The Underground Railroad” is an American fantasy historical drama streaming limited television series based on the 2016 novel of the same name, created and directed by the famed director of Moonlight Barry Jenkins.
The Underground Railroad uses magical realism to blur the line between fantasy and history. While the Underground Railroad was an actual organization of abolitionists who helped African American people escape from enslavement, the series reimagines it as a literal railroad system, using fantasy to examine a dark period in American history; the series shows the inherent beauty of African American culture with stunning visuals and gentle direction.
In this science fiction fantasy television series, New York City medical examiner Dr. Henry Morgan has been secretly alive for over two hundred years. Morgan was fatally wounded in the 19th century when he was shot aboard an African slave ship. However, he has the ability to return to anytime life he supposedly dies.
As such, he decided to use his gift for doing good and teams up with his partner Detective Jo Martinez, to solve criminal cases while hoping to uncover the secret of his immortality because, contrary to popular belief, there are certain drawbacks of living forever.
Dungeons & Dragons (1983-1985)
The old Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, which ran from 1983-1985, draws enormously from Middle-earth’s elements. The show is basically a portal fantasy that puts a bunch of kids, six to be specific, which is just the right number for an adventuring party, into the Forgotten Realms.
This makes up for the majority of the tabletop role-playing game, D&D’s default setting. Tiamat sits on her throne as the horrifying dragon queen, and the kids run into tons of familiar monsters. Although Dungeons & Dragons have a lot of old-school D&D charm, it can sometimes be a tad too dark for a children’s show, with a few episodes showing violent battles.
Angels in America (2003)
Angels in America is a drama miniseries that features an interconnected narrative about a band of different characters whose fates somehow become intertwined. Al Pacino plays Roy Cohn, who is an outspoken right-wing lawyer who keeps his homosexuality a secret so as to advance his political career. Cohn suggests the Mormon attorney Joe Pitt played by The Conjuring fame Patrick Wilson that, should take a job at the U.S. Department of Defense, not realizing that Joe is also a closeted homosexual man.
Joe struggles to confide in his wife, Harper, played by Mary-Louise Parker, about his true desires, as well as his mother, Hannah, Meryl Streep, who struggles to come to terms with his sexuality. Their individual storylines merge when they are visited by religious manifestations, including Death, portrayed by Jeffrey Wright, and The Angel, portrayed by Emma Thompson.
Locke and Key (2020-2022)
Although Locke and Key are not much of an expansive production when compared to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the two shows do share numerous similarities. For instance, the protagonists in both of these shows are blissfully ignorant of the vicious darkness which is on the rise, and in both the fantasy shows, the objects in focus hold the person who hopes to wield them under an alluring trance.
In The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, it is a ring that is the source of all troubles, and in Locke and Key, it is a set of keys considered playthings that have sinister origins and endangers the characters.
Streaming on Netflix and adapted from the comics by Gabriel Rodriguez and Joe Hill, Locke and Key follows the life of three siblings who relocate to a house filled with keys that have the power to bend reality following the murder of their father.