I like winter for many reasons: snow (when I don't have to drive in it), time off to spend with family, those pine cones that smell like cinnamon, cozy blankets and sweaters, tea and cookies, beautiful decorations. I could go on and on. But one thing I especially love about winter is that I associate it with fantasy stories, whether epic or simply high or other-world fantasy. I'm not really sure why. I think it's because fantasy is my favorite genre and therefore it feels cozy to me, and winter is the season for coziness.
In that vein, here are some suggestions for epic fantasy movies and TV shows to watch this winter.
The Letter for the King
This TV show is from 2020 and is on Netflix. My friend Meredith recommended it to me ages ago, but I only just got to it and finished it. I'm glad I did! The series follows Tiuri, a teenage squire who's trying to follow in his adoptive father's footsteps. On the night he and his fellow squires are going through the trial to become knights, he breaks the silence by answering a knock at the chapel door. Answering the door leads him to a dying knight, who gives him a letter for the king across the mountains. By accepting the letter, he begins a journey that will have change both his world and himself.
Amir Wilson, who plays Tiuri, is absolutely endearing, and I loved watching his character grow. Thaddea Graham, Islam Bouakkaz, Jonah Lees, Jack Barton, and Nathanael Saleh play his fellow squires. All of them are interesting and have satisfying character arcs (although I disagreed with how one of their stories ended). Ruby Ashbourne Serkis has a standout role as Lavinia, a brash and hotheaded girl who joins Tiuri's quest mostly to run away. Their different personalities play off each other really well.
There's lots to love here! The story feels very Arthurian inspired, and it's set in a world where chivalry matters. In epic fantasy fashion, there are multiple kingdoms, a war going on, and political aspects at play, which is why delivering the letter to the king is so vital. Each episode introduces new things about the world, which ultimately feels familiar in a comforting way.
I will say that I didn't find myself fully invested until the third episode, and it's only six episodes total. Once I was invested, though, I was really invested and finished the show in a couple days. Unfortunately, it's been two years since Netflix released this, and since Netflix likes to cancel things or let them languish instead of investing in them, it seems like this won't get a second season. However! It's based on a book series by Tonke Dragt, and I absolutely plan to check it out.