Is there any chance that winter will return?
Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington
When Game of Thrones was at its peak, it was by far the most popular show on television. HBO’s Game of Thrones became one of the most derided shows on television in its later seasons, and for good reason. I suppose that’s the price of fame! While it may be tempting to do so, HBO will never cancel Game of Thrones because we know how much the show has meant to us over the years. But despite the fact that we’ll never see another show quite like it, we’re still on the lookout for something similar, just as you are.
That being said, TV Guide can point you in the right direction if you’re stuck. We’ve compiled a list of the best shows to watch after Game of Thrones, including everything from gripping historical dramas to escapist fantasies to series starring Game of Thrones alumni.
Interested in seeing what else we recommend you check out? They’re in abundance here! In addition, if you want more recommendations based on your favorite shows, we have those, too.
What if Game of Thrones was set in outer space instead of on Earth? So in a way, the Foundation on Apple TV+ is aiming for that with its bottomless funds and incredibly rich settings. Sci-fi show follows an autocratic regime that decides a mathematical warning that the empire will fall and send mankind into a period of dark ages is scientific nonsense so it is ignored by banishing the mathematical and his believers to the far reaches of the universe. Foundation will bring back memories of your favorite fantasy show with its wide range of biomes, complex politics, and amazing fashion. Streaming video is available via Apple TV+.
For some, Outlander is the hottest show on television, while for others, it’s a historical drama with a dash of fantasy. Or it could be both! With its roots in Diana Gabaldon’s book series, Outlander is about a married World War II nurse who mysteriously time travels to 1743 and falls in love with a young Scottish warrior named Jamie (Sam Heughan). However, you should be aware that it lacks the near-constant thrill that Game of Thrones provided (there are far less expensive battle scenes, to put it another way), but Outlander is the show for those who want to learn about history while also getting sucked into a long-term love story that takes place over the course of centuries. The following video can be seen on Netflix:
3. Black Sails
Black Sails is a story about pirates, but these aren’t the jovial, rum-sipping pirates from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Toby Stephens stars as Captain Flint, the leader of a merry band of swashbucklers in Black Sails, a prequel to Treasure Island. A massive battle for New Providence Island ensues as he recruits Long John Silver (Luke Arnold) into his crew. There have been many comparisons made between Black Sails and Game of Thrones, and while it’s not a fantasy show, there are many elements in this show that fans will recognize and enjoy: the period setting, the excellent characters, the engrossing storytelling, and some well-shot battle scenes. (There’s also some unnecessary nudity.) Also, the conclusion wasn’t nearly as divisive, if that helps. [Starz: see this]
If all you want to see after watching Game of Thrones is people fighting, Spartacus is the movie for you. This historical drama, set in the Roman Empire in 72 B.C., is centered on gladiators, so expect plenty of gore and violence. Brutal fighting, betrayal, sex and nudity are all present in this series, as is gore that’s both exciting to watch and downright disgusting. When the characters on this show aren’t trying to maim each other, they’re having sex. You can catch this episode on Starz.
5. The Borgias
The Borgias are a must-see for fans of Game of Thrones’ twisted family dynamics. It follows the ruthless and scandalous Borgia family, who are prepared to do anything to maintain their position of power in Renaissance-era Italy. Although it happens throughout all three seasons, Rodrigo (Jeremy Irons) has just become Pope Alexander VI by using nefarious methods when the show begins. While there is plenty of gore and violence in this show, what really draws you in are the characters and their relationships. There is no fear of incest in the Borgias household, so fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones will be right at home here. The following video can be seen on Netflix:
It’s difficult to recall life before “Game of Thrones,” but it did exist. In fact, HBO released Rome in 2005, a highly underrated drama set in ancient Rome during the republic-to-emperor transition. With only two seasons, it’s got everything you could want: rival families in a power struggle, well-choreographed fight scenes, intriguing characters, and more. It’s a quick watch. Many shows aspire to be the next Game of Thrones, but Rome was the Game of Thrones before there was a Game of Thrones. [HBO Max] Watch this.
7. The Witcher
With Henry Cavilla as monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, the Witcher is based on the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski. Geralt’s destiny is tied to the sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and the powerful princess Ciri (Freya Allan). This is a fantasy show, just in case it wasn’t obvious; there’s magic, knights, and frightful monsters galore. Whether or not The Witcher is trying to emulate Game of Thrones has been hotly debated, and the similarities are undeniable. However, this show isn’t an exact replica of Netflix’s original. With a tighter cast of characters, it’s more focused on “fulfilling your destiny” than “fulfilling your potential.” The song “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher” will be stuck in your head long after you’ve finished the game. The following video can be seen on Netflix:
8. The Tudors
The star of the show is Natalie Dormer, who played Anne Boleyn on The Tudors before donning Margaery Tyrell’s curly wig. The historical drama airing on Showtime takes place during King Henry VIII’s (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) reign and covers a wide range of topics, including his political struggles and the many wives for whom he is best known. Unless you’re unfamiliar with King Henry’s story, you won’t learn much new about it, but it’s still a compelling drama with a stellar cast that anyone who enjoyed the royal family drama in Game of Thrones will enjoy. You can see this on Showtime.
9. The Last Kingdom
The Last Kingdom takes place in 866 and tells the story of Uhtred of Bebbanburg (Alexander Dreymon), a Saxon warrior who was raised as a Viking since he was a child after the Vikings invaded his home. While the show does have a political undertone, it also has strong family dynamics and is action-packed in all the right ways. When it comes to the dark journey of Brida (Emily Cox), The Last Kingdom more than makes up for Daenerys’ messy transformation into the show’s villain. Brida’s (Emily Cox) dark journey feels more justified as the show develops it over several seasons. The following video can be seen on Netflix:
Have you seen Vikings, the show about the Vikings? Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking farmer (Travis Fimmel) who later became one of the most infamous Vikings in history (based on actual events), is the focus of the first half of the show before shifting to Ivar (Alex Hgh) and Bjorn (Bjorn Ironside), Ragnar’s sons (Alexander Ludwig). Game of Thrones is a long-term epic that enjoys exploring power struggles, how leaders fall, and family politics, much like Vikings does. Look no further. This is the period piece you’ve been waiting for. Especially if you enjoy a season-ending mega-battle with a big budget.