rave New Worlds: TV Shows with the Best World-Building

Do you ever find yourself getting lost in the intricate details of a fictional world? Do you marvel at the attention to detail in set design, or the complexity of a show’s political system? If so, you’re not alone.

Many TV shows have gained a following not just for their compelling storylines, but for the worlds they’ve built around them.

From the unique languages and cultures of Game of Thrones to the believable rules of physics and magic in Stranger Things, these shows have created immersive experiences for viewers.

But what makes a world truly great? In this article, we’ll explore the key elements of world-building that make these TV shows stand out from the rest.

Whether you’re a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, or drama, there’s something to appreciate in the worlds created by these shows.

Attention to Detail in Set Design

The attention to detail in set design brings the fictional worlds to life, immersing viewers in a fully-realized universe. A great example of this is the show ‘Game of Thrones.’

From the intricate throne room of King’s Landing to the icy wasteland beyond the Wall, every location is designed with meticulous detail, making the audience feel like they are truly experiencing the world of Westeros.

Another show that excels in set design is ‘Stranger Things.’ The show’s creators paid close attention to the aesthetics of the 1980s, from the neon signs to the retro arcade games.

The sets transport viewers back in time, and the attention to detail even extends to the small details, like the posters on the characters’ bedroom walls. It’s this level of detail that makes the world of ‘Stranger Things’ feel so authentic and immersive.

Unique Languages and Cultures

Immersive storytelling is elevated when creators take the time to develop distinct languages and cultures, adding layers of complexity and authenticity to the world they’re building.

One great example of this is the show ‘Game of Thrones.’ It features several unique languages like Dothraki and Valyrian, as well as diverse cultures from different regions like the North and the Iron Islands. The use of these languages and cultures not only adds depth to the story but also allows for a more realistic portrayal of the different characters and their backgrounds.

Another show that excels in creating unique languages and cultures is ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender.’ The show features four distinct nations, each with their own culture and bending style. The creators even went as far as creating a writing system for the show’s fictional language, adding to the authenticity of the world.

The use of these languages and cultures not only adds to the show’s overall world-building but also helps to develop the characters further, as their cultural backgrounds play a significant role in their personalities and motivations.

Overall, the use of unique languages and cultures is a crucial aspect of world-building that can truly elevate a show’s storytelling.

Complex Political Systems

You can enhance the depth and realism of your storytelling by delving into the complexities of political systems within your created world. A well-crafted political system can add an extra layer of intrigue and drama to your story. It can create tension between characters, spark conflict, and drive the plot forward.

When building a political system, it’s important to consider the power structures, laws, and customs that govern the society. Think about how different groups within the society might have conflicting interests and how those conflicts might play out.

You can also explore the role of individuals within the system, such as politicians, bureaucrats, or rebels. By carefully crafting your political system, you can create a world that feels rich and immersive, and keeps your audience engaged.

Believable Rules of Physics and Magic

Imagine yourself transported to a world where magic and physics coexist, where the laws of nature can be manipulated by those with the gift of magic. It’s a fascinating place where wizards and witches use spells to control the elements, heal wounds, and even fly.

But have you ever wondered how these spells work? Are they based on some kind of scientific principle? Or are they just random words that have no real meaning?

To create a believable world where magic and physics coexist, it’s essential to establish clear rules for both. The magic system must have its own set of laws and limitations, just like the laws of physics.

For example, in the Harry Potter universe, spells require wand movements, incantations, and specific ingredients. If a wizard fails to follow these rules, the spell won’t work. By creating these rules, the audience can better understand and appreciate the world the author has created.

It’s essential to strike a balance between the two systems, so the magic doesn’t overshadow the physics and vice versa. When done right, a world with believable rules of physics and magic can be truly immersive and captivating.

Memorable Characters and Storylines

Get ready to meet unforgettable characters and experience captivating storylines that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The best TV shows with world-building not only create a unique setting, but they also fill it with characters that feel real and storylines that are both engaging and unpredictable.

From the complex relationships in Game of Thrones to the witty banter in Firefly, the characters are what make these shows so memorable. One example of a show that excels in both character development and storytelling is Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The show creates a rich world with different nations, each with their own unique culture and bending powers. However, what really sets the show apart is its characters, who are all flawed and relatable in their own ways. The storylines are also masterfully crafted, with each episode building upon the last to create an epic and emotionally satisfying conclusion.

Overall, the best TV shows with world-building are the ones that can transport you to a different world and make you care about the people in it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do TV shows with great world-building impact the overall viewing experience?

When a TV show has great world-building, it can completely immerse you in a new universe. It allows you to fully invest in the story and characters, creating a more fulfilling and memorable viewing experience.

What makes a TV show’s attention to detail in set design stand out?

When a TV show’s set design pays close attention to detail, it immerses you in the world of the story. It creates a sense of realism that enhances the viewing experience and makes the story feel more tangible.

How do unique languages and cultures add to the world-building of a TV show?

Unique languages and cultures add depth and realism to a TV show’s world-building. By creating their own languages, dialects and customs, shows can immerse you in a completely different world and make it feel more tangible and believable.

How important are complex political systems in building a believable fictional world?

Complex political systems are crucial for believable fictional worlds. They provide depth and realism to the world-building by showing the intricacies of power dynamics and how they affect the characters and their actions.

How do believable rules of physics and magic contribute to the immersive experience of a TV show’s world-building?

Believable rules of physics and magic are crucial to immersing you in a TV show’s world. They provide a sense of consistency and logic, making the world feel real and allowing you to suspend your disbelief.


You’ve just taken a journey through some of the best TV shows when it comes to world-building. From Game of Thrones to The Expanse, these shows have captured our imagination and transported us to new and exciting worlds.

One of the key elements that makes these shows stand out is their attention to detail in set design, creating a believable and immersive environment for viewers. Another important aspect is the development of unique languages and cultures, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the world and get a sense of its history and values. Complex political systems also add depth to the world, making it feel more real and relatable. And whether it’s the rules of physics or magic, having a consistent and believable system in place is crucial for creating a convincing world.

But perhaps the most important ingredient in world-building is memorable characters and storylines. Without them, even the most detailed and intricate world can fall flat. These shows have managed to strike a balance between world-building and character development, creating a fully realized world that feels alive and full of possibilities.

So whether you’re a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, or anything in between, these shows are sure to transport you to a whole new world.