The kids seem pretty alright in Netflix’s new fantasy saga.
The kids seem pretty alright in Netflix’s new fantasy saga.
Image: Netflix
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In the age of Game of Thrones and The Witcher, traditional medieval fantasy TV has leaned more toward the adult focused aspects of the genre—blood, guts, boobs, and then occasionally some dragons (perhaps even multiple of the above at once). So it’s nice to see a fantasy saga that takes the production values of those epic shows, and aims them more squarely at a family audience.

An adaptation of Dutch author Tonke Dragt’s 1960s fantasy novel De brief voor de Koning, Netflix’s The Letter for the King sees a young knight-to-be named Tiuri (Amir Wilson) tasked with delivering the titular, vital missive to the kingdom’s ruler. The new trailer gives us that moment, of course—after all it’s literally in the title—but also gives us a glimpse of the continent-spanning quest to deliver it. The journey drags not just Tiuri, but his ragtag group of friends, across the lands, avoiding the tides of war and the manipulations of their elders in order to save the day.

It does a much better job of actually painting a picture of what the show’s all about in comparison to the cryptic worldbuilding of the first teaser. But it also highlights that Letter for the King is a show that might sacrifice some of the dangerous tone and aesthetic of modern “gritty” fantasy in favor of amplifying the sense of adventure and a little bit of the fun that comes with its cast of younger heroes.

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Even after the success of The Witcher proved that Netflix audiences are very hungry for some bloody, sweary, and occasionally fucky fantasy, it’s nice to see the platform offering up some medieval fantasy material that a wider audience of families can enjoy, too.

The Letter for the King begins streaming on March 20.


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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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