When Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings hit cinema screens in 2001, it brought a whole new audience to the fantasy genre. The movie was a blockbuster hit and its performance was surpassed by the two sequels: The Two Towers and The Return of the King with the latter grossing well over a billion dollars worldwide.
Even people who had never read a fantasy book, let alone J. R. R. Tolkien, were suddenly aware of the magical stories told within the realm of fantasy fiction. Here are just a few ways you can enjoy fantasy fiction today.
The success of the trilogy paved the way for Game of Thrones. HBO’s fantasy TV series based on A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of books by fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin. The show ran for eight years and became one of the most talked-about TV shows of all time. It also became HBO’s most-watched series, surpassing the Sopranos. It is a must-watch show for any fantasy fan.
More recently, Netflix has released Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a fantasy prequel to the 1982 movie Dark Crystal by Jim Henson of muppet fame. The story is set on the world of Thra which is ruled by the destructive Skeksis and inhabited by Gelflings. With their world in danger, the Gelflings must force a rebellion to save Thra. The series is a fantasy masterpiece but also a great throwback to 80s cinema.
Game of Thrones inspired several video games including the strategy game Game of Thrones Ascent, and further spin-off titles are planned. Fantasy fans have long been spoilt for choice in the video game market, with classic titles such Nintendo’s Zelda series still going strong. If casino gaming is more your style, you can play Dragons Myth slot game and come across fantasy creatures in this and other mythology-based titles at the Aspers casino website.
Along with the aforementioned Zelda series, World of Warcraft has been one of the most successful fantasy video adventures of all time. This massively multiplayer role-playing game broke new ground in the industry when it was launched in 2004 thanks to its vast world, dedicated community and easy-to-learn but difficult-to-conquer gameplay. It is still popular today, more than 15 years after its release.
Fantasy cinema fans were spoilt by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and there have not been many films in the genre to match it since. Director Peter Jackson tried to recreate the magic with the Hobbit trilogy, but despite being entertaining in its own right, it ultimately fell short of the original.
One film that does stand up as a classic is Pan’s Labyrinth, directed by Guillermo del Toro. It intertwines the real world, in post-civil war Spain, with a fantasy world located in an abandoned labyrinth. The movie is beautifully made and received widespread critical acclaim. It remains one of the best fantasy picture made in the post-LOTR period.
These are our top entertainment recommendations for fantasy, mythology and folklore fans. But remember, As well as the TV shows, movies and video games mentioned, there are hundreds of amazing fantasy books out there worth reading.