Amazon Prime is making us fantasy fans with its new series Carnival Row. It’s part fantasy, part romance, part crime serial, which gives us multiple reasons to be obsessed with this binge-worthy show. The series throws you into a world of faeries, fauns, and warring civilisations, fully immersing the viewer in a story that is both imaginative and allegorical.
All of that is before we even get into the cast, who are human and mythical. Carnival Row follows the hidden love story of Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom), a human detective, and Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne), a faerie, often shortened to “fae,” forced to flee her homeland for a better life that’s not proving to be better at all. Vignette, along with all manner of mythical creatures, is forced to live in one neighbourhood of the fictitious, Victorian-era city of Burgue, referred to as Carnival Row. It is gritty, impoverished, and now is the site of a series of gruesome murders by a creature that is “neither man nor fae.” It is as much a period crime drama as it is a love story, but even more importantly, it is a commentary on xenophobia and the refugee crisis.
The term “fae” is used in the show as a general, overarching term for non-human creatures, of which there are quite a few. If you are a fan of fantasy — or at least read the Harry Potter books as a kid — many of them will be familiar to you. (Shoutout to Hagrid for teaching us all we needed to know about mythical creatures.) To make things easier, we put together a creature guide to Carnival Row so we can spend our time keeping track of the crime being solved, the love story being hidden, and the parallels between Burgue’s fictional politics and the politics going on around the real world.
Click through to learn more about the wild and supernatural creatures living in Burgue in Carnival Row.