Five epic fantasies to check out while we wait for Shadow and Bone season 2

Shadow and Bone
(Image credit: Netflix/David Appleby)

While we know for sure that the second season of Shadow and Bone is on the way, Netflix is being very tight-lipped on when exactly it’ll be with us, and that’s just not on. 

Shadow and Bone was a big hit for Netflix. When the streaming giant confirmed a second season of the show, it revealed that 55 million households had watched the first season just in its first 28 days on the platform, which is an awful lot. 

Those kinds of numbers should make it an easy decision for Netflix to greenlight more, but it’s by no means a guarantee. Netflix had big plans for Cursed, its take on the legend of King Arthur, but a strong start didn’t stop it getting axed after a single season. For every hit like The Witcher, there’s a The Letter For The King, which was canceled before hitting its stride. 

Fortunately, for all of us, Shadow and Bone quickly picked up an audience and strong ratings, so we can look forward to another season. 

The show is an adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling novels. Set in a world known as the Grishaverse, it follows Alina Starkov and Malyen Oretsev, orphans who grew up together and have become inseparable. 

Both Starkov and Oretsev serve in the first army in their native land of Ravka. When Oretsev is assigned to a ship that's to cross the Fold – a dark, barren strip of land inhabited by monsters – Starkov, in fear of being separated from her friend, forces her way onto the ship. 

The pair set out on their voyage, but soon the monsters who inhabit the Fold attack. While saving Oretsev, Starkov displays a Grisha talent she didn’t know she had. The Grisha are people who possess the ability to manipulate the elements and people. It turns out, Starkov can control light, which is an ability so rare it is thought to be the stuff of legends.

As with many rare gifts, it marks her a target, and Starkov’s life quickly becomes a lot, lot more complicated…

You can read our comprehensive guide to Shadow and Bone’s second season here, but, to tide you over until it returns, we’ve put together a list of shows that can act as a stopgap until we see Alina and Mal once again…

The 100

watch the 100 season 7 online

(Image credit: The CW)

Now wrapped after 100 episodes across seven seasons, The 100 was a supremely popular, post-apocalyptic spectacular with a dedicated fanbase. It’s perfect for scratching any Shadow and Bone-related itch. 

Loosely based on Kass Morgan’s novel series of the same name, we find ourselves 97 years after a devastating nuclear apocalypse in a world where thousands of people now live in a space station orbiting Earth, which they call the Ark. 

Three generations have been born in space, but when life-support systems on the Ark begin to fail, the titular 100 juvenile delinquents are sent to Earth to determine whether it is habitable or not. 

When they land, the 100 quickly discover that not only are there survivors on Earth, but they are organized and are ready to fight…

At seven seasons, it’s a meaty watch, but it’s pacy, action-packed and full of drama. Like Shadow and Bone it also boasts a strong ensemble cast.

Where can I stream it?

Netflix (US), Prime Video (UK)


Ragnarok Netflix

(Image credit: Netflix)

The oldest and some of the greatest stories ever told are given a modern twist in this Norwegian drama from Netflix. 

Set in the fictional town of Edda in the west of Norway, the townsfolk struggle with the effects of climate change and pollution caused by the factories owned by the local Jutul family. Things are going just fine for the Jutuls, until they are challenged by Magne, a teenage boy gifted with some Marvel-lous powers, who begins the fight against those who are destroying the planet and to stave off Ragnarok, otherwise known as the end of days…

A smart, stylish and intriguing retelling of the final battle between the Norse gods and giants, this is grittier than Shadow and Bone but has the same intrigue and respect for the classic stories of old. 

Where can I stream it?

Netflix (Worldwide)

The Protector

The Protector

(Image credit: Netflix)

Another foreign language joy from Netflix, this time originating in Turkey. 

The show, which is set in contemporary Istanbul, tracks the life of Hakan, an Istanbul shopkeeper. After the death of his adoptive father, Hakan discovers that he is destined for something else entirely. 

In fact, he is connected to an ancient order charged with protecting Istanbul, and must embrace his family's legacy as The Protector to prevent the destruction of the city – something an entity known as the Immortal has been seeking to do for centuries. 

There are four seasons of this to enjoy and they’re all on Netflix right now. 

Where can I stream it?

Netflix (Worldwide)

The Wheel Of Time

A promotional image for Amazon's The Wheel of Time

(Image credit: Amazon)

As Amazon prepares to launch The Rings of Power, its colossal and hugely expensive new take on Lord of The Rings, it has warmed up the crowd nicely with epic fantasy series, The Wheel Of Time, an adaptation of Robert Jordan’s vast series of books. 

Rosamund Pike is front and center here as Moiraine, who, in a world full of magic, is one of the few who can access it. As the show begins, she is dispatched by her order, the Aes Sedai, to find the “Dragon Reborn,” a prophesied reincarnation of a powerful individual who could either save the world… or destroy it.

Her eyes are set on five young villagers, one of whom she is sure is the one, she just doesn’t know which one. 

A real high-fantasy tale full of magic, mythical beasts and wonder, it shares Shadow and Bone’s power and real sense of scale, and it is already booked for a second run on Prime Video. 

Where can I stream it?

Prime Video (Worldwide)

His Dark Materials

watch his dark material season 2 online

(Image credit: HBO/Warner Media)

Philip Pullman’s groundbreaking young adult series was mangled when it appeared on the big screen back in 2007, despite a star-studded cast that included Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman and Ian McKellen, but a team-up between HBO and the BBC has set that right. 

The story follows Lyra, an orphan who has grown up around the scholars at Jordan College in Oxford. The world she lives in is governed by the Magisterium, a strict religious and political body. After her friend mysteriously disappears, she finds herself entangled in a sinister plot involving stolen children and a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust, something the Magisterium is desperate to suppress. 

With James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda among the cast, this series captures the wonder and splendor of Pullman’s trilogy of books superbly. A third and final series is due later this year.

Where can I stream it?

HBO Max, BBC iPlayer (UK)

Tom Goodwyn
Freelance Entertainment Writer

Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…