Amazon Prime’s ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ (LOTR) is the prequel series that takes place thousands of years before the books written by J.R.R. Tolkien and the films directed by Peter Jackson. While the original story is focused on destroying the one ring to rule them all and to bring about the end of Sauron, the TV show goes before the rings were forged. Focusing on the origins of the evil Necromancer, it brings new characters to the fore to give a backstory to the things that were left unexplained or had vague backgrounds in the movie franchise.
The protagonist is Galadriel, a familiar name from the original stories, who is on the quest to find Sauron and crush him before he becomes more powerful. Developed by J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay, the fantasy drama show stays close to its source material in terms of character portrayal as well as tone. Now, if you want more similar recommendations, we have the perfect list for you. You can watch all these shows like ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
13. The Shannara Chronicles (2016-2017)
Based on Terry Brooks’ ‘The Sword of Shannara’ novels, ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ follows three young people in the fictional Four Lands, who are tasked with a vital job, the failure of which would mean the end of the world. There is a place where demons are sent when they are banished; the door to it is closed by a mysterious tree, which is the only thing that keeps the demons from coming back into the world and destroying it. When the tree starts to die, the three protagonists have to find a way to save it while stopping banished demons from crawling their way into the Four Lands and wreaking havoc.
12. Locke and Key (2020-2022)
While ‘Locke and Key’ looks nothing like the expansive scale of ‘LOTR,’ the stories share some commonalities. The latter has a ring that is the cause of all problems, and the former has a set of keys that lead its characters to danger. In ‘LOTR,’ the protagonists are young people who are barely aware of the vile things that the world has in store. We see something similar in the Locke kids, who discover that what they considered playthings have much more sinister origins. The most striking commonality between the ring and the keys is that both seem to hold an alluring power over the person who hopes to wield them.
11. Merlin (2008-2012)
Gandalf is one of the most fascinating and beloved characters in ‘LOTR.’ The story is rife with the tales surrounding wizards and how some of them go over to the dark side and create problems for the world. If that interests you the most, then the British fantasy drama series ‘Merlin’ is the one you should go for next. It focuses on the journey of a young warlock who discovers a “prince that was promised” situation in the form of Arthur. While the fate of magic in the kingdom hangs by a thread, the emergence of an evil witch, Morgana, paves the way for a terrifying future.
10. Dota: Dragon’s Blood (2021- )
If the magical element of ‘LOTR’ interests you, then ‘Dota: Dragon’s Blood’ should be your next watch. The animated fantasy series revolves around Davion, a dragon slayer, the course of whose destiny is changed when his soul merges with that of a dragon. With the help of a princess, he is now on a mission to save dragons rather than kill them. Now, Davion has to stop a terrible demon who aims to kill all dragons and collect their souls for his nefarious purpose. Blood and mayhem follow, with a storyline that keeps you engaged until the end.
9. Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)
Though ‘LOTR’ is set around the rise of evil, it mainly focuses on the hope and perseverance of the people fighting against it. Its tone, despite the dangers faced by its world, is that of making the audience feel optimistic. However, if you are interested in something much darker, as sinister as a story told from the point of view of Sauron or his orcs, then ‘Penny Dreadful’ is the one to watch. Much like the unlikely fellowships and friendships formed in ‘LOTR,’ ‘Penny Dreadful’ also has a bunch of misfits coming together to fight evil; only this one might give you nightmares.
8. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019)
The planet of Thra is under the rule of Skeksis, and the Gelflings don’t question their authority and continue to be oppressed. It isn’t until three young Gelflings from different clans come together that all of their kind are united to fight against the tyranny of their seemingly godly rulers. The show follows the journey of Rian, Brea, and Deet, as they overcome various obstacles to find a way to get all the clans to trust each other. In the meantime, darkness festers in all corners of the planet and threatens to devour it.
7. His Dark Materials (2019- )
Though many things about ‘LOTR’ captivate the audience, what quickly draws us in is the sense of adventure it promises. In both the movies and the show, we have characters sheltered all their lives. They jump on the first chance of an adventure, by the end of which, they become entirely different people. ‘His Dark Materials’ starts similarly- it centers upon a young girl named Lyra, who travels across her world as well as the other worlds that are opened to her during her journey. In between all this, she meets all sorts of people and creatures.
6. Shadow and Bone (2021- )
Based on the Grishaverse book series by Leigh Bardugo, ‘Shadow and Bone’ is another fantasy series that draws on its source material yet creates unique storylines, much like ‘LOTR.’ It chronicles the journey of a young cartographer who discovers that she is not as regular as she believes. She has special powers, and despite trying hard to hide them, she can’t escape her destiny, which pulls her into more danger than she was equipped to handle.
5. The Wheel of Time (2021- )
One of the fascinating things about fantasy shows is that they focus on the stories of influential people destined to save or destroy the world. ‘LOTR,’ too, plays with this tricky situation by placing its seemingly good characters in situations that might turn them towards the wrong path. For those who find this uncertainty more captivating, ‘The Wheel of Time’ is the show to watch. It focuses on five people, one of whom is prophesied to be the Dragon, a person with such power that the scales can tip either way, depending on their inherent nature.
4. House of the Dragon (2022- )
Having premiered around the same time as ‘LOTR,’’ ‘House of the Dragon’ has proved to be a strong show with compelling characters in its own right. While it has the task to subvert expectations, including disappointments, of the fans of its parent show, ‘Game of Thrones,’ the prequel series has already landed on a solid footing that makes for an interesting watch. It has much more politics in play than ‘LOTR’ but shares its spirit of adventure.
3. Foundation (2021- )
If you love to watch fantasy, but would like something a little different from ‘LOTR’ in terms of the genre yet not in terms of its vastness and the elaborate world it creates with a rich culture and history of its own, then ‘Foundation’ should be your next watch. Loosely based on the book of the same name by Isaac Asimov, this is a sci-fi fantasy that offers a lot of action and adventure while keeping you on your toes about what happens next in the Galactic Empire, whose fate hangs in the balance.
2. The Witcher (2019- )
Another show based on a series of books, ‘The Witcher’, follows the eponymous character whose fate is intertwined with that of another girl with unique powers. In a world infested with monsters, Geralt of Rivia faces many challenges when doing his job and tackling his paternal responsibilities. As the story progresses, new threats are introduced, and things become more ominous.
1. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
One of the key themes of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’ is to bring an end to the elements that are working to create havoc in the world. To bring about peace, one person has to take responsibility for it. The animated series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ begins with something similar but soon expands into a story that ripples with numerous themes while also serving a story that will capture your imagination like none other. Like ‘LOTR,’ it creates a sprawling world full of danger and adventure and characters that you root for.