Shows Like Merlin – How Many Fantasy Shows Do You Know?

The series is also known as The Adventures of Merlin. It is a British fantasy-adventure drama television series based on Arthurian legend. The show follows the characters of Merlin and King Arthur and their journey. Many fans in the US might not have watched the show, but it is quite good. It lasted for a couple of seasons. Of course, there are other fantasy shows like Merlin.

How many of them do you know? How many have you watched? Let’s talk about Merlin first, and then we will take a look at other TV shows. In this show, we see a reimagining of the traditional legend. In this show, the young warlock Merlin is sent to Camelot by his mother and becomes a personal servant to Prince Arthur.

But unlike the traditional legend where Merlin can practice magic, in this show, Merlin learns that he has to hide his magical powers to protect Arthur. Why? Because his father, King Uther Pendragon has banned magic and orders anyone who practices it to be executed.

Over the years, Merlin and Arthur become close friends and companions. The show improved its ratings as the story progressed. At one point, it became the most popular program on BBC’s digital catch-up service, iPlayer.

Colin Morgan portrays Merlin, while Bradley James plays the role of King Arthur Pendragon. With that in mind, here are other shows like Merlin you can watch.

Cursed

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Similar to Merlin, the events in this TV show are set before the events of the classic myths. It revolves around an overlooked character in the legend of King Arthur, the Lady of the Lake. Katherine Langford portrays the magic-using hero Nimue who faces persecution for her background.

The American fantasy drama premiered on the streaming platform Netflix in July 2020. It follows the young Fey woman on a quest to get the fabled Sword of Power to Merlin after her people are murdered.

In the legend, Nimue is the one who gives Excalibur to King Arthur. The show is a reimagining of the Arthurian legend, this time told through the eyes of Nimue.

Camelot

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As you can see, most of the best shows like Merlin focus on Camelot for more British history and legend. This fantasy historical drama premiered in the US in February 2011. It earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.

The show is set in the late 5th century as Britain has been free of Roman Rule for several decades. Following the sudden death of King Uther, the sorcerer Merlin has visions of a dark future. He installs the young and impetuous Arthur, who is Uther’s unknown son on the throne.

They install in Castle Camelot with their allies, including Arthur’s biological mother Igraine, his foster brother, and loyal warriors like Leontes, Gawain, Brastias, Ulfius, and more.

At the same time, his cold and ambitious half-sister Morgan plots to take the crown from him.

The Mists of Avalon

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The 2001 miniseries were based on the 1983 novel of the same title by Marion Zimmer Bradley. TNT produced the TV show which is a retelling of the Arthurian legend.

This time, the emphasis is on the perspective of Morgan le Fay and other women of the tale. Through several parts, the show tells the story of how Morgan wants to take the throne using her son Mordred.

Reign

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If you love historical drama TV series, you will love Reign. The series is set in the late sixteenth century, revolving around the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, and her rise to power in the French court.

Adelaide Kane stars as Mary alongside an ensemble cast. The show has received mixed reviews from critics, but most of them praised the acting and costume design. The negative reviews are about historical inaccuracy.

There are four seasons in total, with the final season having Queen Mary returning to Scotland and trying to regain power in her homeland.

Merlin’s Apprentice

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If you are looking for shows like Merlin, then why not check Merlin’s Apprentice? The show’s full name is Merlin’s Apprentice: The Search for the Holy Grail.

The 2006 miniseries is a sequel to the 1998 television miniseries Merlin with Sam Neil and Miranda Richardson reprising their roles as Merlin and Lady of the Lake.

The plot of the show is set after the death of King Arthur and has a completely different take on the traditional legend.

The show takes a look at how Merlin is trying to get the Holy Grail. He suspects something is afoul in Camelot and that caused the Grail to depart.

Once Upon a Time

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If you love fantasy and adventure, then this show will satisfy your needs. It aired for seven seasons on ABC. The characters are taken directly from legends like Arthurian legend, and Greek mythology, but also fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen.

And yes, there is a lot of magic involved as well. The show is set in two different timelines, one is the real world, and the other is a fantasy world where fairy tale characters live.

Legend of the Seeker

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Created by Sam Raimi, the show is based on the fantasy novel series The Sword of Truth. It follows the journey of the long-awaited Seeker of Truth named Richard Cypher.

The story takes place in the world Terry Goodkind created in his fantasy novel series.

The Witcher

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Fans of the video game and book series by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski waited for this particular TV show for years. It is set in the fictional and medieval area known as The Continent.

Henry Cavill stars in the leading role of Geralt of Rivia. The story explores his legend and Princess Ciri. They are linked to each other by destiny.

The streaming platform Netflix ordered the show, and the first season consisted of only eight episodes. The platform renewed the series for a third season in September 2021.

Atlantis

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Here is another British fantasy television series. This one is inspired by Greek mythology and the legend of Atlantis.

It was the biggest new Saturday night drama series launch across all BBC channels since 2006. It managed to draw 1 million viewers away from the popular TV show The X Factor which aired at the same time.

The show follows Jason, the main protagonist, who in the modern day, pilots a one-man submarine and investigates deep sea disturbances. He then wakes up on the shores of the kingdom of Atlantis, which is ruled by King Minos and his power-hungry and manipulative wife, Queen Pasiphae.

Sleepy Hollow

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The series followed the legendary character Ichabod Crane who wakes up from death in modern times. But the Headless Horseman, the villain, is also resurrected with him.

Crane teams up with modern detectives to solve the centuries-old mystery.

Sleepy Hollow has action, supernatural beings, magic, and everything else we love in Merlin.

Penny Dreadful

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The show brings supernatural iconic literary characters to life in the same way Merlin does. The show brings to life characters like Dorian Gray and Dr. Frankenstein.

It has enough magic and lore to satisfy Merlin fans.

Game of Thrones

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If you love the magic and dragons in Merlin, you will love Game of Thrones. Especially the latter seasons when the dragons are fully mature and they take the central stage.

The show is set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos. The several story arcs follow the large ensemble cast as they battle for the throne of Westeros.

To this day, the HBO show is considered one of the best in television history. It holds the record for most Primetime Emmy Award wins.

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