Best Fantasy TV Shows to Stream This Summer and Fall

House of the Dragon
Ollie Uptown/HBO

Inflation, war and endless political campaign ads got you down? Hollywood wants to take you far away. Here are the best new fantasy TV shows to watch this summer and fall.

House of the Dragon

What Better Call Saul is to Breaking Bad, this is to Game of Thrones…if Better Call Saul was set in the early 1800s. Because George R.R. Martin believes in taking the loooong view, he made a series that kicks off 200 years before the events of G.O.T. The 10-episode first season focuses on the rise and fall of the House Targaryen, into which Emilia Clarke’s Mother of Dragons will later be born. The series continues its practice of casting respected British actors you’ve vaguely heard of. (Nice to see you again, Paddy Considine!) Most importantly, it should answer the question, “How do we feel about Game of Thrones these days?” The cultural phenomenon staggered through a final season that didn’t leave anyone asking for more. Reason for hope: Martin will be more involved this time. Cause for concern: The last series based on Martin’s work was Nightflyers. HBO/HBO Max (Aug. 2)

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The Rings of Power
Prime Video

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

If you like spending obscene amounts of money, have we got a series for you! Amazon shelled out $250 million for The Lord of the Rings TV rights. The amount becomes even more impressive/crazy considering it doesn’t even include The Silmarillion, the nominal source material for this series. (Events of that book are referenced enough in things Amazon does own that it shouldn’t be a problem.) Though few plot details are available, Amazon is believed to have already sunk a billion into the project, meaning if it flops Jeff Bezos might be worth fractionally less, depending on how the market is doing that day. Prime Video (Sept. 2)

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Wendell & Wild

Did you like the movie Coraline? If so, get excited because director Henry Selick is back with a new stop-motion animation. His first film since 2009 tells the tale of two demon brothers who escape from the Underworld. Here’s where it gets interesting: Selick co-wrote the screenplay with Oscar winner Jordan Peele. And here’s where it grows genuinely intriguing: The brothers are played by Peele… and Keegan-Michael Key. Yes, Key and Peele, the guys who gave us A-Aron and the Gremlins 2 brainstorm are back together! Granted, it’s just their voices, but in times as dark as these, it’s nice to know sometimes wishes really do come true. Netflix (October)

 

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