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The best fantasy TV shows on HBO Max

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HBO Max could be the home of The iron Throne, but it has many other fantastic TV shows that deserve stardom. From the impeccable The Leftovers to the horror Lovecraft Country, there is a huge range of interesting viewing.

Here are our top picks for the fantasy shows currently available on HBO Max.

His Dark Matters (2019-2022)

BBC/HBO

Based on the popular book series, His Dark Materials follows rambling orphan Lyra and her demon (animal companion) Pan as she learns to read a mysterious truth-telling instrument called the Alethiometer and embarks on an essential journey. and dangerous. CNET’s Katie Collins writes that as much as the adaptation is a fantasy adventure, “it’s also a nuanced exploration of religion, philosophy, physics, alchemy, politics, and myth”. The first two seasons are now on HBO Max, and a third season is on the way.

Samurai Jack (2001-2017)

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The main character of Samurai Jack has been sent to a dystopian future by a shapeshifting demon named Aku, and must return to his own time to prevent evil from triumphing. The animated show mixes traditional Japanese samurai warfare with robots, monsters, aliens and more. Creator Genndy Tartakovsky was inspired by David Carradine’s Kung Fu show of the 1970s, which sent a Shaolin monk with martial arts training through the American Wild West. HBO Max has all five seasons; the first four, which ran from 2001 to 2004, and the fifth revival season, which took place in 2017 and is considered by many to be a darker, more grown-up version of the series.

Game of Thrones (2011-2019)

HBO

You don’t know anything, Jon Snow, until you watch the massive 73-episode Game of Thrones run. You might not like the controversial ending, but the show itself, with its dragons, white walkers, werewolves and more, is a fantastical masterpiece. Don’t get too attached to any of the characters, as few of them get happy endings. Ah. Very good. You can hang on to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage).

Rick and Morty (2013—)

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Are Rick and Morty fantasy? Sci-fi? Something else? The acclaimed adult animated series centers on mad scientist Rick, his grandchildren Morty and Summer Smith, and their parents, all of whom embark on bizarre adventures across dimensions. In one episode, Rick learns that he may have impregnated a planet – not a resident of the planet, but the actual planet. You have to watch it a bit to understand.

The Powerpuff Girls (2998-2005)

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Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup aren’t your average kindergarten students: they’re superhero sisters with a scientist father, Professor Utonium, and they help their town, Townsville, fight off criminals. They are probably the cutest and toughest female superheroes of all time. The show aired from 1998 to 2005 on Cartoon Network, and all six seasons are now on HBO Max.

The Leftovers (2014-2017)

HBO

The Leftovers, based on Tom Perotta’s 2011 novel, tells the story of a world where 2% of the population simply disappears in an event known as the Sudden Departure. It is not so much the story of those who disappeared as of those they left behind, who must try to come to terms with the inexplicable loss. All three seasons are on HBO Max.

Primal by Genndy Tartakovsky (2019—)

Adult Swim/YouTube/CNET Screenshot

Genndy Tartakovsky, known for Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory, among other animated classics, drew inspiration for Primal from pulp novels and the like. It’s about the bond between a caveman and a tyrannosaur, bound by tragedy, who fight as the most unusual pair of buddies. Although the series is far from silent, there is no dialogue, so be prepared for that. The 10-episode first season is now on HBO Max.

Steven Universe (2013-2020)

Cartoon Network/YouTube/CNET Screenshot

The magic of Steven Universe does not manifest itself in a simple explanation of the plot. In this dazzlingly deep animated spectacle, Steven Universe lives adventures surrounded and supported by his friends, the Crystal Gems, magical humanoids who teach him about love, loss and family. (Steven himself is half-human, half-Gem.) All five seasons, plus the Steven Universe movie and an epilogue series, Steven Universe Future, are on HBO Max.

Lovecraft Country (2020)

Photography by Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

There’s horror, there’s supernatural, and yes, there are fantastical elements in Lovecraft Country, HBO’s acclaimed 2020 series about a black man traveling through the segregated South in the 1950s. Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) is searching for his missing father, and he must fight not only racism and prejudice, but also horrific non-human monsters reminiscent of an HP Lovecraft novel.

Adventure Time (2010-2018)

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Jake the dog and Finn the human live in the post-apocalyptic land of Ooo, where they interact with such colorful creations as the Ice King (voiced by Tom Kenny, voice of SpongeBob SquarePants), Princess Bubblegum, and more Again. Don’t be fooled by the idea that this is a children’s show: Adventure Time is also loved by adults.

Over the Garden Wall (2014)

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Half-brothers Wirt (Collin Dean) and Greg (Elijah Wood of Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Fame) get lost in a supernatural forest called The Unknown while trying to find their way home. A friendly frog, a talking blue bird, and a mysterious lumberjack (voiced by Christopher Lloyd) all accompany them on their quest, while a creepy beast tries to turn them into trees. You’ll get modern Hansel and Gretel vibes. All 10 episodes are 11 minutes each, so this show doesn’t require a huge time commitment.

Infinite Train (2019-2021)

HBO Max

Infinity Train is exactly what its name suggests: a show set on a seemingly endless train, where each car offers a different fantasy world, from one hosting a debutante ball to one just smelling farts. A variety of changing main characters tackle the mysteries of the train each season, and as the episodes progress, it turns out that the train has a complex backstory and not everything stays quite on the right track. way. All four seasons are on HBO Max.

Dexter’s Laboratory (1996-2003)

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Boy genius Dexter, with his Peter Lorre accent, has clueless parents and an older sister who just don’t understand his scientific prowess. He can invent a cloning machine, a Beardatron that grows facial hair instantly, or teach animals to talk, but he can’t seem to get rid of his nemesis, fellow genius Mandark. This is Genndy Tartakovsky’s third anime series to make it onto this list, and like the others, it’s crazy high-quality creativity.