Dark Fantasy Thriller Series Has Lord Of The Rings Star Chasing A Murderer

By Douglas Helm | Published

carnival row

Orlando Bloom starred in one of the greatest fantasy franchises of all time as Legloas in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and the Hobbit films but we don’t have to talk about that). If you’ve missed seeing Bloom in a fantasy project, then the Amazon series Carnival Row might be just what you need. Now, it’s nowhere near as good as Lord of the Rings, but it’s a solid fantasy show and you can stream both seasons now on Amazon Prime Video.

Carnival Row

carnival row

Carnival Row takes place in a world where mythical creatures had to flee their homeland and take shelter in the cities of humans. Tensions between the city dwellers and the growing immigrant population are a constant theme throughout the series. Meanwhile, Bloom plays a half-fae who passes as human who works as an inspector and begins investigating a string of murders and a dark conspiracy.

The Cast

carnival row cara delevingne

Carnival Row is created by Rene Echevarria and Travis Beacham and stars Orlando Bloom, Cara Delevingne, Simon McBurney, Tamzin Merchant, David Gyasi, Andrew Gower, Karla Crome, Arty Froushan, Indira Varma, and Jared Harris. The series first came out on Amazon Prime Video in 2019 and the third and final season of the series aired just last year. So, if you’ve been looking for something in the fantasy genre that you can binge all the way through, this series has you covered.

Guillermo Del Toro

carnival row

Interestingly, when Amazon first signed a deal for Carnival Row in 2015, Guillermo del Toro was attached as a co-writer, executive producer, and director for the project. However, del Toro’s film schedule pulled him away from the project and he had dropped out by 2017 when the show was given a series order. It seems like Orlando Bloom has a little bit of bad luck with this, as this would be the second time that Guillermo del Toro had to drop out of a fantasy project he was involved in after del Toro left the Hobbit franchise years earlier.

The Critical Reception Is Mixed

As far as the actual quality of Carnival Row goes, your personal results may vary. Critics aren’t the biggest fans of the series, but audiences like it well enough. The critic score for the series on Rotten Tomatoes is a not-great 49 percent while the audience score is a more promising 79 percent. The general consensus is that the world building and the production value of the show is great, but the story can be a little confusing and disjointed at times.

Carnival Row Goes Beyond The Show

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So, if you just like spending time in a well-built fantasy world, especially one that takes a more grounded and darker view of fantasy, then Carnival Row might be for you. The show was at least well-liked enough to get two full seasons, so it might be worth your time. The acting is also solid in the series, which helps make up for the messy storytelling.

Also, if you get invested in the series, there are a few comics and a graphic novel from the franchise. There’s even an audiobook available. But first, you can check out Carnival Row now on Amazon Prime Video.