An Italian live-action series of the 1990s, of romantic fantasy, loosely based on the Italian folktale Fanta-Ghiro the Beautiful.Princess Fantaghirò is the third daughter of a king, who bemoans never having had a son. But Fantaghirò (Alessandra Martines) is as if she were his son, actually: she loves fencing and fighting. In the first film, her kingdom is at war against the nearby country. It's resolved when Fantaghirò and Romualdo, the heir of the other kingdom, fall in love. Then in the next movies, Fantaghirò will fight a black queen, a dark sorcerer and his mother, and the emperor of evil. And sometimes, she has to save/find Romualdo.Broadcast in several countries (Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Poland etc.), especially near Christmas. The fans think that it was ruined by the fifth film (the ending, in fact) in 1996, even the director Lamberto Bava has said he wishes could shoot another sequel to correct it. Too many years have passed, unfortunately, unless they decide to recast.Lamberto Bava shoot others TV movies which were also Romantic Fantasy: Desideria, The Princess and the Pauper and Princess Alisea.
Tropes in Fantaghirò:
Absentee Actor: Kim Rossi Stuart (Romualdo) in the last three films (and he's not at all in the fifth film). It was explained by his transformation into a statue, then in an ugly dwarf.
Dark Is Not Evil: Even when being called the Evil Sorcerer / Evil Overlord of EVIL, Tarabas has a track record of: protesting against his mother killing prisoners and Mooks, trying to earn the trust of children he kidnapped (though conjuring up candy might not have been the best of ideas), saving his adversary several times and falling in love with her in the process, releasing Fantaghirò of her And Now You Must Marry Me promise... ...
Denied Food as Punishment: One of Fantaghirò's punishments as a child, toghether with being put into a well. The King, however, looks very heartwarmed when he discovers Carolina and Caterina giving food to their little sister and doesn't say anything.
The Girl Who Fits This Slipper: Romualdo asks ladies of the kingdom to come, so he can compare their eyes to the eyes of the girl in the forest (the only part of Fantaghirò he has seen).
Good Hurts Evil: After being forced to commit one act of goodness (via blackmail), the Dark Witch has her Black Magic powers greatly weakened - for instance, instead of turning her minions into worms, she conjures up vases of flowers. Xellesia tries to convince Tarabas that this trope will apply to him as well.
Heel-Face Turn: Tarabas, Lightning and Bolt the moment they realized they actually have a choice.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: The Black Queen. Her power is weaker in films 3 and 4 so she is compelled to follow heroes but she doesn't want to help them, sometimes betrays them, and regrets her power and villainy. Then in film 5 she sentences Fantaghirò to death.
Also the King, the Dark Witch and the White Witch.
Orcus on His Throne: Subverted in the fact that Tarabas has no interest in decimating the good guys and couldn't care less about them before he hears one of them has sworn vengeance against him for reasons unknown to him. Then he goes off to defy the trope.
Pair the Spares: Done rather well, actually - Angelica's childish love for Tarabas develops into a genuine desire for him to be happy, even if not with her, while Tarabas learns to distinguish between positive emotions and lets go of his unrequired love for Fantaghirò. We don't see if They Do... but they're on their way.
Shapeshifting : The white witch (turns into goose, knight, old guy, hot chick, old lady...). And the black witch as well (eagle, roses, cristal, Fantaghirò look alike...). Tarabas turns into an eagle.
She's Got Legs: The Dark Witch wears outfits specifically designed to show this off.
Spell My Name with an S: It's pronounced 'Fantagaro' in french. And the title was Cavern of the golden rose, referring to the begining of film 1.
Spikes of Villainy: Romualdo's father's ancestral armor looks like the lovechild of a porcupine and a needle cushion. This trope is defied, though - in his very first appearance, Romualdo points out how horribly useless and uncomfortable the armor is.
Squishy Wizard: Tarabas has some trouble fighting after renouncing Black Magic. Fantaghirò exaggerates it a bit, though, as he somehow managed to learn a bit of swordfighting in-between movies.
Stalker with a Crush: Played with. Tarabas tries to find out who Fantaghirò is and accidentally ends up accompanying her and Smeralda for a while. In about a day, it's Love at First Sight for him - but in an inversion, he doesn't want to know her name or see her ever again, partly due to What Is This Thing You Call Love? and knowing that the sentiment won't be returned.