Trying to pick out a cool tattoo design can be difficult, especially if you're not sure what to get. Do you go the sentimental route and get a design that reminds you of a beloved relative, or a late pet? Or do you maybe go the fun route and flaunt your geeky side with designs influenced by your favorite books or TV shows? There are so many possibilities, it's hard to decide on one specific route! Well, lucky for you, we've been coming up with a whole slew of tattoo inspiration lists!
If you're not sure what kind of tattoo to get and love all things fantasy, then you'll definitely enjoy reading our list of the 15 best fantasy-themed tattoos.
15 Show Off Your Love For Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry
If you’re a fan of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and fondly remember the days of lining up at your local bookstore at midnight in order to pick up your copy of the latest book, you will instantly recognize the castle in this tattoo. We love this design because it is a nice way to show off your love for Harry Potter without succumbing to common clichés such as the badge of House Gryffindor or a pair of glasses with a lightening bolt scar in the middle. The subtle nods to Harry Potter include the Scottish castle of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry rising out of the rocks and being flanked by a crescent moon. However, if you look closely, you can also make out the sign of the Deathly Hallows right underneath Hogwarts. In Rowling’s series, the mark of the Deathly Hallows represents the Resurrection Stone, the Elder Wand, and the Cloak of Invisibility (which is a pretty big effin' deal if you've read the books).
14 One Ring To Rule The All, One Ring To Find Them...
Okay, so not everyone might want to have this mug on their body, but we have to give the artist behind this tattoo major kudos, because if we didn’t know any better, we would believe that we were staring at the real Gollum and One Ring. In fact, every time we look at this lifelike tattoo, we can practically hear Andy Serkis’ raspy Gollum voice muttering, “it’s mine, my own, my love… my precious!” as he tries to grasp the ring of power. The artist also painstakingly recreated the writing on the One Ring, which is no easy feat considering the fact that it was engraved using a made-up language. Every time we glance at the One Ring, we can’t help but expect to hear Sauron to start whispering “Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul” the way he did in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. This breathtakingly realistic tattoo makes us long for the days when Lord of the Rings trilogy ruled the theaters and everyone around us was part of the Tolkien mania.
13 Take Flight With This Gorgeous Tree Fairy
We can’t stop drooling over this gorgeous tattoo. Not only is it drawn in the style of popular fantasy artist Amy Brown, but the colors are absolutely stunning too. We love the fact that the artist chose to draw the slightly blooming tree in muted colors because it helps draw the eye to the dainty fairy on the person’s right shoulder. The artist also did a wonderful job of making the tree fairy’s clothes appear as if it was made of glitter. We could only dream of having a pretty, glittery outfit like that for the summer! Also, if you look closely, you can see that the orange and black butterfly wings match the tree fairy’s striped stockings. Given the fact that the tree only has a few flowers on it and the fairy has orange wings, we can’t help but wonder if the tattoo is supposed to symbolize the coming of autumn.
12 This Mermaid Longs To Be Part Of The Human World
Let’s face it, who didn’t want to be a mermaid after watching The Little Mermaid as a child? Almost every ‘90s kid grew up watching Ariel fall in love with Prince Eric, defeat the sea witch, Ursula, and live happily ever after with the love of her life. While we have fond memories of Disney’s portrayal of mermaids, it is nice to see an artist who deviates from the traditional cartoon style of the company’s older animated movies. Instead, this artist depicts the supernatural creatures in a more realistic style. This tattoo resembles a watercolor painting and the mermaid looks much more unearthly than Ariel. This maiden of the seas has pointed ears like a Tolkien elf and thankfully, she is not wearing that purple seashell bra. We also like the fact that her tail looks much more realistic than any of Disney’s depiction of mermaids. In fact, if you look close enough, you can practically see the individual scales on her tail.
11 Now You Too Can Be The Mother (Or Father) Of Dragons
Thanks to George R.R. Martin’s hit fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s television adaption, Game of Thrones, dragons have regained in popularity. Silver-haired Daenerys Targaryean uses magic to hatch three fire-breathing creatures of her very own. Let’s face it, after watching the Game of Thrones season six finale (SPOILER ALERT!) where Drogon and his brothers Rhaegal and Viserion wreak havoc upon Dany’s enemies, it is no wonder that dragons are so popular. Dragons also appeared in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit. In the book, Tolkien based Smaug who invaded the wealthy dwarf kingdom of Erebor off of the legends about dragons who liked to horde jewels and gold. Whether you grew up reading fantasy novels as a child or simply wish that you could have three fire-breathing dragons of your very own, you’ll adore this tattoo. This snarling dragon is grasping a ruby-encrusted cross, which is a nice nod to the legends that suggested the scaly animals coveted treasure and would horde beautiful gems in dark caves.
10 Take A Walk With Alice Into Wonderland
Most ‘90s kids grew up watching Disney’s animated film Alice In Wonderland and might have seen the 2010 live-action movie of the same name out of sheer nostalgia. Whether you prefer the classic animated film or secretly have a soft spot for Mia Wasikowska’s bold Alice, you’ll instantly recognize the wild eyes of the Cheshire Cat. In both Disney movies, the Cheshire Cat is both a friend to Alice and a prankster who enjoys getting into trouble. He has the power to appear and disappear at will; the last part of the feline to disappear is always his wide grin. The artist did a great job of capturing the Cheshire Cat’s mischievous grin and the character’s slightly sinister eyes that always made us wonder which side he was truly on. We love this design because it’s a nice, subtle homage to a classic Disney character. The fact that the artist only included the eyes and the wide grin is also a nice nod to the Cheshire Cat’s power of invisibility.
9 These Wizards Say: You Shall Not Pass
One of the most iconic moments from Peter Jackson’s film Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was when the wizard Gandalf the Grey faced down a ginormous evil beastie called the Balrog of Morgoth and defiantly screeched “You shall not pass!” There wasn’t a Tolkien fan alive who didn’t squeal with excitement when they saw Gandalf kick some Balgrog butt in the first movie. The fact that the wizard on the left is holding a staff that sort of looks like Gandalf’s and is wielding a ball of fire is a nice homage to Ian McKellan’s character. However, the wizard on the right reminds us of the kindly Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series. We’re pretty sure Dumbledore would love the star hat and would probably want one of his very own. Regardless of whether you’re a bigger fan of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, these two tattoos are a great way to show your love for the two most bada** wizards in literature.
8 Warrior Maiden Faces Off With A Dragon
In many legends, such as the story of Beowulf, it is usually the heroic manly man that marches out to slay the evil dragon that is terrorizing nearby villages. Even in animated films such as How To Train Your Dragon, the protagonist who tames the fierce Night Fury named Toothless is a young man. We can’t help but applaud the tattoo artist for turning the usual legends about dragon-slaying warriors on its head by drawing what appears to be a Viking shieldmaiden striding forward in order to meet the fearsome beast in single combat. Another interesting twist is the fact that the warrior maiden carries a shield and an axe instead of the usual broadsword. She is also dressed simply and does not wear heavy armor either. We don’t blame her—lots of armor would only slow her down and the dragon would probably try to cook her like a hot potato with its fiery breath.
7 Emblazon Your Arm With A Phoenix's Fire
In the Harry Potter series, Albus Dumbledore, who was the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, had a pet phoenix named Fawkes. Not only could this cool bird heal any cuts and scrapes with just a few tears, but he was also smart enough to fight a basilisk too. While we wish we could have a pet phoenix of our very own that was just as awesome as Fawkes, alas they are mythical beasts. However, the next best thing is to get a cool tattoo that honors Professor Dumbledore’s kick-a** pet. Unlike the usually gentle Fawkes, this phoenix is ticked off and not afraid to show it. His wings are outstretched and he’s attempting to capture his prey with long, wicked-looking talons. We’re pretty sure if the basilisk saw this kind of phoenix in the Chamber of Secrets underneath Hogwarts, he’d start whimpering in fear and give up without a fight.
6 Let A Dainty Elf Sit On Your Shoulder
This dainty fairy’s distraught expression and the fact that she’s perched on a crescent moon reminds us a bit of the ancient Greek myth of the goddess Selene and Endymion. In the myth, Selene is the goddess of the Moon and she falls in love with a handsome young shepherd named Endymion. She knew that he would eventually die, so she asked Zeus, the king of the Gods, to grant him both immortality and eternal youth. Zeus agreed, so now Endymion gets to snooze away for the rest of eternity while Selene keeps a watchful eye on her sleeping lover. Aside from the heartbreaking symbolism that is reminiscent of Greek mythology, we also adore this design because it looks like Amy Brown’s gorgeous fairy art, especially her watercolor paintings. The line art is also dreamy and ethereal, which is perfect for a tattoo that features such a lovely supernatural creature.
5 Show Off Your Love For Magical Equines
Many ‘80s and ‘90s kids grew up watching the Rankin/Bass Productions movie The Last Unicorn, which revolves around a young female unicorn named Amalthea that goes on a quest to see if she truly is the last of her kind and winds up getting turned into a human by a wizard in order to protect her from an evil king. Of course, our little hearts were crushed by the bittersweet ending when Amalthea let her mortal love Lir go and decided to stay a unicorn instead of pulling an Arwen and choosing to give up her immortality in order to be with the man she loved. We can’t stop marveling over this gorgeous unicorn design because it’s not simply a horse with a horn in the middle of its forehead. The geometric line art helps to set it apart from the generic unicorn tattoos and the colors the artist used are incredibly striking.
4 Become One With Mother Nature
According to ancient Greek mythology, dryads were tree spirits that liked to accompany Artemis, the goddess of the Moon and the hunt on her woodland excursions. In fact, the nymph’s irritated expression at having been caught unawares and her nude body is reminiscent of the myth that says Artemis killed a young hunter who spied on her when she was trying to take a bath. The furious goddess turned the arrogant young man into a stag and then he was promptly killed by a pack of hunting hounds. Note to self: don’t irritate an all-power virgin goddess, especially if she’s trying to unwind after a long day of hunting by taking a relaxing bath. The artist did a wonderful job of bringing the young nymph to life and her eyes look as if they could pierce through your soul. It’s also nice to see a tattoo that features a lifelike supernatural creature instead of the usual cartoonish designs.
3 Let Your Heart Become One With The Ocean Waves
Any ‘90s kid will instantly be able to recognize that this mermaid was based on Arial from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The red hair, the longing looks at the moon and the cartoonish line are all signs that the artist was heavily inspired by Disney’s famous mermaid. In fact, the only thing that is different from Ariel is that her tail is a light green, not a bright pink. Even though this is more of a nudge nudge, wink wink type of homage to Disney instead of being a straight recreation of Ariel, we still can’t help but adore the tattoo. First off, the colors the tattoo artist used are absolutely gorgeous and contribute to the overall dreamlike feel to the design. From the full moon’s glow to the twinkling stars and the quietly lapping waters, we can’t help but feel that we’ve stepped into a childhood dream where we too are living under the sea with Ariel and King Triton.
2 Take Flight With Pegasus
Let’s face it, as ‘90s kids we all got a huge kick out of Pegasus in the Disney film Hercules. Who wouldn’t want a dumb but lovable flying equine as their BFF? It would also beat driving places, especially if you’re running late to work or got stuck in traffic when trying to have a nice night out with friends. However, this gorgeous Pegasus blows the cartoon version that appeared in Hercules right out of the water. This beautiful equine practically radiates power and majesty as he rears up with his wings outstretched and the wind at his back. We can’t help but feel like if we blinked, then this pretty Pegasus would come to life and fly away. Our inner ‘90s kid who constantly begged our parents for a pony of their very own also enjoys the fact that the tattoo artist chose to render the Pegasus in a more realistic style and the he fact that he looks like he could be a living animal only adds to the tattoo’s majestic feel.
1 Show Off Your Love For Sam And Dean Winchester
Anyone who considers themselves to be die-hard fans of the CW’s hit television show Supernatural should be able to instantly recognize this design. In the show, Sam and Dean decide to get this symbol tattooed on their bodies because, according to legend, it is supposed to give the wearer protection from demons such as the snarky Crowley and the deceitful Meg. The handsome Winchester brothers made the decision to get a tattoo that will protect them from paranormal creatures after their Uncle Bobby gave them protection charms with the same symbol on it and they figured it would be more effective to have it literally inked into their skin. We love this tattoo because the design is simple yet eye-catching. Fellow Supernatural fans will understand the symbolism behind it, and this design is a subtle way to pay homage to your favorite television show too.