11 epic historical and fantasy shows that will remind you of Game of Thrones
For much of its eight-season run, game of thrones was the biggest show in the world. The HBO sensation changed what was possible on TV. No fantasy series has ever had such high production values or such well-written dialogue. It served as a transition between the deep character drama of the Sopranos the era of television into the big budget IP-driven era we find ourselves in now. It’s still the only show so comparable to dead wood as it is The Lord of the Rings.
But now, three years after the show ended, game of thrones is best known for its disappointing ending, which unfairly overshadows the rest of the series. Fan resentment over the final season is unhealthy, to be frank. The animosity people feel toward showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss is too personal, and they need to let it go. Our list of shows like game of thrones looking can help. They all have things that recall the good sides of game of thrones.
I hope these shows make you feel like game of thrones did it once. From gripping historical dramas to escapist fantasies to this star’s shows Obtained alums, these are all shows that have a bit of that game of thrones Magic. And it’s a good idea to make peace with the way game of thrones finished now, so you can get into the next prequel series Dragon House Open Heart when it premieres on August 21.
Amazon’s epic fantasy series is openly trying to be next game of thrones; showrunner Rafe Judkins even told the New York Post that he visited all of game of thrones for advice and inspiration. The wheel of time is an adaptation of a gigantic series of novels by author Robert Jordan that influenced George RR Martin as he wrote the Song of Ice and Fire series. It’s about a group of four young people who embark on a quest around the world alongside a magical woman named Moraine (Rosamund Pike) and her protector al’Lan Mandragoran (Daniel Henney). Moraine believes one of the four is the reincarnation of the Dragon, a powerful magician who is prophesied to save the world or destroy it. This relatively simple premise makes it accessible to viewers who may not be high fantasy enthusiasts, which was the key to game of thronesa first success. From this premise, it builds a fantasy world of hideous monsters, grand battles, and magical intrigue. And he has a familiar face of game of thrones in the cast: Michael McElhatton, who played Roose Bolton, the Stark bannerman whose betrayal led to the Red Wedding. -Liam Mathews
what if game of thrones… but in space? This is a bit of what Apple TV+ offers Foundation launches, with its bottomless budget and the incredibly rich universes it inhabits. The sci-fi series follows an autocratic regime who decides that a mathematician’s warning that the empire is about to fall and send humanity into a dark age is scientific nonsense. , it is therefore ignored by banishing the mathematician and his believers to the confines of the universe. With a variety of biomes, complex politics, and fantastic fashion, Foundation will remind you a lot of your favorite fantasy show.
Depending on who you ask, Foreign is either the sexiest show on TV or a historical drama with a sci-fi twist. Or maybe it’s both! Based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon, Foreign revolves around Claire (Caitriona Balfe), a married World War II nurse who, after mysteriously traveling to 1743, falls in love with Jamie (Sam Heughan), a young Scottish warrior. You should know from the start that it definitely lacks the near-constant thrill that game of thrones brought (there are much cheaper battle scenes, that’s what I’m saying), but if you’re looking for something that will give you a sometimes-accurate history lesson and invest you in a sweeping romance that spans centuries, Foreign is the show for you.
black sails is about pirates, but not the pleasure of drinking rum Pirates of the Caribbean gender: These are gravelly pirate. A prequel to treasure island, black sails is set in the early 1700s and revolves around the debauched life of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) as the leader of a band of swordsmen. He calls on Long John Silver (Luke Arnold) as a member of his crew, and together they engage in a sprawling battle for the island of New Providence. black sails has often been compared to game of thrones, and while it’s not a fantasy, there are a lot of elements in this series that fans will recognize and appreciate: its period setting, its excellent characters, its gripping storytelling, and its construction of the world, and some beautifully shot battle scenes. (And gratuitous nudity.) Also, if it helps, the end was nowhere near as a divider.
If what you are really looking for in your post-game of thrones watch life is just people fighting, look no further than Spartacus. This show, set in the Roman Empire from the 72 BC era. AD, is about gladiators, which means it has blood and violence to spare. It’s got everything you’re probably looking for: brutal combat, betrayal, sex, and nudity (seriously, when the characters in this show aren’t trying to self-harm, chances are it’s because they’re too busy to make love), and gore that is as thrilling to watch as it is absolutely disgusting.
For anyone whose favorite part of game of thrones was the twisted family dynamic, meeting The Borgias. The show, set in Renaissance Italy, follows the ruthless and outrageous Borgia family who are willing to do just about anything to maintain their power. When the show begins, Rodrigo (Jeremy Irons) has just become Pope Alexander VI using some nefarious tactics, which is probably the least crazy thing to happen in its three seasons. This show has a fair amount of gore and violence, but what makes this show most compelling are the characters and how they interact with each other. The Borgias is not at all afraid to run away from incest, so game of thrones fans should feel at home.
It’s hard to remember a time before game of thrones, but I promise you it once existed. In fact, in 2005, HBO created Rome, a highly underrated drama set in the midst of ancient Rome’s transition from republic to empire. It’s a short watch (only two seasons!) that has basically everything you’re probably looking for: rival families trapped in power struggles with each other, well-choreographed fight scenes, intriguing characters, and more. Many shows wish they were next game of thronesbut Rome has been game of thrones before game of thrones even existed.
the witcher, based on the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski, stars Henry Cavill as monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, a witcher whose fate is intertwined with the witch Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and the powerful princess Ciri ( Freya Allan). In case it wasn’t already clear, this is a fantastic show, dealing with magic, knights and terrifying monsters. There has been much debate about whether or not the witcher try to climb in game of thrones‘, and the comparisons are obvious, but this show is not Netflix’s attempt to carbon copy it. It’s much more of a hard fantasy and focuses on a small cast of characters, leaning more into “fulfilling your destiny” of it all. You’ll definitely walk away with the song “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher” stuck in your head.
The real draw here is Natalie Dormer, who, a few years before donning Margaery Tyrell’s curly wig, played Anne Boleyn on The Tudors. Showtime’s historical drama is set during the tenure of King Henry VIII (played here by Jonathan Rhys Meyers), touching on everything from his political struggles to his many wives, which is arguably what he’s most famous for. If you’re already familiar with the story of King Henry, there’s not much here that will surprise you, but it’s still a great drama with a solid cast that’s a must for anyone who enjoys the stuff of the royal family in game of thrones. another interesting game of thrones connection is that Henry’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard, is played by Tamzin Merchant, who played Daenerys Targaryen in the never-released original. game of thrones pilot, which was filmed during the time she was also on The Tudors.
Located in 866, The Last Kingdom tells the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), a Saxon warrior raised from childhood as a Viking after the Vikings invaded his home. The show is a great mix of politics, family, and war, and it gets your adrenaline pumping in all the right ways. If you were disappointed by Daenerys’ messy descent into game of thrones‘designated villain, The Last Kingdom somehow offsets that with Brida’s (Emily Cox) own dark journey, which feels more justified thanks to the way the show spans multiple seasons.
Speaking of Vikings, have you checked vikings? Originally following the story of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), a Viking farmer who became one of the most infamous Vikings in history, the drama is based on real events and later transitions to focus more about his sons, including Ivar the boneless. (Alex Høgh) and Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig). As game of thrones, vikings is an epic that spans many years and delights in exploring power struggles, the downfall of rulers, and family politics. This is the historical drama you’ve been looking for. Especially if you like a massive, big budget battle once or twice a season.
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