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The Best Fantasy Shows Based On Books 

Ranker TV
Updated July 17, 2020 211 votes 30 voters 23 items

List Rules Vote up the best TV series based on supernatural or fantasy novels or short stories. No comic book adaptations.

The best fantasy and supernatural series based on books need to not only captivate any old audience but should win over the original fans as well. When fantastical lands and creatures have been living in full color in readers' heads for years, it can be hard to compete as a TV show. Even so, the best fantasy series based on books do more than just bring the magic to life, they bring more folks to the fold who may never have even heard of the books before. Such is the power of the best fantasy adaptations.

Some of the most popular fantasy shows adapted from books are based on book series, such as Game of Thrones, Outlander, and Shadowhunters. The range of shows and styles is beautifully broad when it comes to fantasy book adaptations - with supernatural series like the Sookie Stackhouse books (True Blood), literary classics such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow or Dracula, and more traditional high fantasy like The Witcher. The faithfulness of the adaptation to the original text may vary for each series but each one of these shows was born from a book.

Which of these shows based on supernatural and fantasy books is the best? Vote up the best fantasy series below - whether because they nailed the adaptation or because they were top-notch, quality programming in their own right.

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The Witcher is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Shows Based On Books
Photo:  The Witcher/Netflix

Based on the series of short stories and novels by Andrzej Sapkowski.

The Witcher (Netflix, 2019) is a fantasy action-adventure series based on the series of short stories and novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra, Anna Shaffer

Premiered: 2019

Network: Netflix

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Good Omens is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Shows Based On Books
Photo: Amazon Video

Based on the 1990 Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman novel of the same name.

Good Omens (Amazon Video, 2019) is a six-part television serial based on the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. After being accustomed to life on Earth, the demon Crowley (David Tennant) and the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) seek to prevent the coming of the antichrist and with it the final battle between Heaven and Hell. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Anna Maxwell Martin, Jon Hamm, Josie Lawrence, + more

Premiered: 2019

Network: Amazon Video, BBC Two (UK)

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Outlander is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Shows Based On Books
Photo: Starz

Based on Diana Gabaldon's novel series of the same name (eight published since 1991).

Outlander (Starz, 2014) is a historical drama television series developed by Ronald D. Moore, based on the novel series by Diana Gabaldon. A married former WWII nurse (Caitriona Balfe) is suddenly transported back in time to 1740s Scotland where she meets a Highland warrior (Sam Heughan). ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies

Premiered: 2014

Network: Starz

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Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Shows Based On Books
Photo: Game of Thrones/HBO

Based on George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series (five published since 1996).

Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical lands of Westeros, while a forgotten race returns after being dormant for thousands of years. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, + more

Premiered: 2011

Network: HBO

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