Here’s your essential guide to the 3 big fantasy shows of the summer

The forecast for the end of summer is muggy weather, beach trips and kites.

Three epic fantasy juggernauts will premiere in the coming weeks. There’s geek king Neil Gaiman’s long-awaited TV adaptation of The Sandman on Netflix, the Game of Thrones spinoff series House of the Dragon on HBO, and Prime Video’s notoriously big-budget Mr The Rings”. TV show “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”.

Here’s what you need to know about each one.

“The Sandman”

The plot follows Dream, aka Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), who is one of the “Endless Ones” who are basically deities. He controls dreams while other members of the “Endless” include death, desire, etc. Being imprisoned for a century will cause a lot of problems for him to solve.

Tom Sturridge as Dream, aka Morpheus, in "The Sandman" sit on a throne.
Tom Sturridge as Dream, aka Morpheus, in The Sandman.

The world: The show begins in 1916 London before moving on to the present day. It also includes scenes set in a fantastical dream world with an ornate palace, lush greenery and a dragon. So the vibe is urban fantasy, much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, or Gaiman’s other show Good Omens – magical characters mix with the mundane in the modern world, with scenes set in more fantastical locations. Costumes range from regular street clothes to billowing black coats.

Adventure: After being imprisoned for centuries, Dream’s realm is in disarray and he must restore order. So he must venture out into the world and retrieve the items that will help him restore his power, including a ruby ​​gem and a bag of sand. Of course, there are many colorful characters he can meet, such as Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie).

Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer in "The Sandman" in a red robe leaning over a table.
Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer in The Sandman.
Tom Sturridge as Dream leaning over Mason Alexander Park as Desire "The Sandman."
Tom Sturridge as Dream, Mason Alexander Park as Desire in The Sandman.
Cassie Clare as Mazikee in "The Sandman."
Cassie Clare as Mazikee in The Sandman.

The sex factor: While this isn’t a particularly hot show and there are numerous non-sex episodes, there is some steam. It’s a series for an adult audience.

The lore: this is based on a cult comic series of the same name by Neil Gaiman that was published between 1989 and 1996. Hollywood has been trying to adapt it for years (a film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in the works at one time), but this show is the first successful film adaptation. The series isn’t too confusing even if you skip the comics. The show explains its story in a way that’s more direct than shows like Westworld and The Witcher. If you can hack it with it, you’ll be fine.

premiere date: August 5 on Netflix.

“House of the Dragon”

Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, this is the story of a civil war in House Targaryen (ancestors of Daenerys and Jon Snow). Expect lots of dragons, silver hair and incest. But while Daenerys’ three dragons were a novelty in “GoT,” as the title suggests, this show has dragons everywhere, as the Targaryens are at the peak of their power while declining in the “GoT” era were. ”

The world: The world is similar to Game of Thrones, so this is a pseudo-medieval setting (but with fictional regions like Westeros) with all the trappings of that era, including a steep divide between the nobility and commoners and the monarchy. Contrary to the real story, there are also many dragons.

Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in "house of the dragon." He stands in a room with his hands on a sword stuck in the ground.
Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in The House of the Dragon. He is the king’s brother and one of the heirs to the throne.
Photo by Ollie Upton/HBO

Adventure: As the trailer reveals, King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) wants his daughter Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) as his successor, which is debatable as many people are unhappy with the idea of ​​a woman on the throne. The King’s brother, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), is also in line for the throne, and Rhaenery’s stepmother, Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), is also in line she sons on it. So, much like GOT, everyone wants to sit in the uncomfortable pointy chair, and there’s a lot of intrigue – but this time, they’re all Targaryens. Don’t forget that madness runs in their blood – as the books and the original show put it, “Every time a new Targaryen is born, the gods toss the coin in the air.”

The sex factor: Showrunner Miguel Sapochnik has said there will be less sex than “GoT,” but the show will also “not ignore” sexual violence. Much like GOT, which was about incest between twins Jaime and Cersei Lannister, you can rest assured that the romances of this show will stay in the family. Rhaenery and Daemon are uncle and niece… and after all, they have a romantic relationship.

Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, left, and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, right, look at each other on a beach.
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, left, and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, right. They are uncle and niece and eventually they have a romance.

The lore: This is based on the book “Fire & Blood” by George RR Martin. Unlike Game of Thrones, this isn’t based on a novel. It is written like a history book about this fictional world. In theory, this could make the show more understandable even if you haven’t read the source material, since the show’s writers have a lot more leeway to fill in the dialogue and the characters’ personalities and motivations.

premiere date: August 21 on HBO and HBO Max.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”

Set thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, this series follows an ensemble cast of humans, elves, and dwarves (not hobbits, but their ancestral species, Harfoot, will make an appearance). While many characters are new, including the dwarf princess Disa (Sophia Nomvete) and the Sylvan elf Arondir (Ismael Cruz Córdova), there will also be some familiar characters, including younger versions of Galadriel (Morfydd Clark on the series; Cate Blanchett on the series movies), Elrond (Robert Aramayo on the show, Hugo Weaving in the movies), and Annatar, aka Sauron (before he was a fiery eyeball in a tower), played by Anson Boon). Aragorn’s ancestor Isildur (Maxim Baldry), briefly mentioned in The Fellowship of the Ring, will also feature in the show (he is the man who cut the Ring from Sauron’s hand before it met a tragic end) .

Robert Aramayo as Elrond crouching in a green meadow.
Robert Aramayo as Elrond.
Credit: Ben Rothstein/Prime Vide
Morfydd Clark as Galadriel in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."
Morfydd Clark as Galadriel.
Credit: Ben Rothstein/Prime Vide
Charlie Vickers as the mysterious new character Halbrand looks thoughtful standing in a room.
Charlie Vickers as the mysterious new character Halbrand.

The world: This is the epic fantasy world of Middle-earth, with sprawling natural landscapes and costumes that match a pseudo-medieval setting, such as armor, tunics, and gowns. There will be parts of it familiar to viewers from the LOTR and The Hobbit movies, as well as new locations such as the island kingdom of Numenor (which sunk under the sea when Frodo was born) and the Khazad-dûm (the subterranean Kingdom of the Dwarves, which later became the Mines of Moria, abandoned and in ruins when Frodo and his companions passed through).

Adventure: Beginning in a time of relative peace, this series follows her ensemble of humans, elves and dwarves as they face Sauron’s rise and the forging of the Rings of Power. It will also show political intrigue in the rise and fall of the island kingdom of Númenor (ruled by Aragorn’s ancestors).

Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Queen Regent Míriel wears a crown and looks serious "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."
Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Queen Regent Miriel in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Morfydd Clark as Galadriel and Lloyd Owen as Elendil huddle in a dark room.
Morfydd Clark as Galadriel and Lloyd Owen as Elendil.
Credit: Matt Grace/Prime Video
Orcs growl and hold torches menacingly.
Orcs in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Credit: Matt Grace/Prime Video

The sex factor: Tolkien’s worlds are notoriously genderless, with Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson) and Arwen (Liv Tyler) only making chaste kisses in the films. The show will reportedly contain no sex scenes and will be suitable for viewers aged 12 and over, just like the films. Romance will still exist – much like Aragorn and Arwen, the elf Arondir has a forbidden love with a human, Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi).

The lore: The show will draw largely from the appendices Tolkein added at the end of The Return of the King, and will also draw from The Silmarillion, his collection of mythical tales published posthumously by his son. You probably don’t need to read these or watch The Hobbit movies, but a passing acquaintance with the Lord of the Rings movies would help.

premiere date: September 2 on Prime Video.

https://nypost.com/2022/08/05/heres-your-essential-guide-to-summers-3-big-fantasy-shows/ Here’s your essential guide to the 3 big fantasy shows of the summer

Emma Bowman

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