Game of Thrones is over. It’s never coming back. There will, eventually, be some prequels if you can bring yourself to watch them, but we’ll never again see Cersei, Jaime, Daenerys, Jon Snow, or any of the rest of the gang. Their story has ended. Whether you tearfully applauded it as the credits rolled for the final time, or you were among the over one million signatories demanding the last season gets remade with competent writers, the show is finished. It’s made an indelible mark on pop culture, it’s generated more opinion columns and angry reactions on the internet than any other show we can think of, and it’s left a hole in the lives of those who’ve been watching it for eight long years.
There’s now one burning issue facing the Game of Thrones audience: What are we supposed to watch now? What could possibly even compete with a show as epic as Game of Thrones for our attention? The show that was once deemed as being the preserve of nerds has proven that nerdy subject matter can appeal to anybody if it’s written well enough, so shows that may previously have flown beneath the radar are now on the table, ready to be appreciated anew. Here are a few of our picks for you to watch if you enjoyed Game of Thrones, and now feel like your TV doesn’t have a purpose. We’ve deliberately selected shows that ran for several seasons, so you don’t have to worry about getting addicted and then quickly being left bereft again when it’s all over!
Merlin is an obvious choice for Game of Thrones fans, but surprisingly few people even know the series exists – especially those based outside the UK. For those unfamiliar with the tale, Merlin was a wizard who served King Arthur during medieval times in England. There’s no direct evidence Merlin ever existed – and precious little evidence that there was ever even a King Arthur – but every child in the country is still raised on the stories of Arthur, with his Knights of the Round Table, and the sword he pulled from the stone. The story is brought to life brilliantly well in this show. It has a roughly similar setting to Game of Thrones, it has plenty of people in armor having battles, and there are dragons. Basically, everything is here apart from the sex and the violence. The show ran between 2008 and 2012, and should be available on both Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Who needs a fictional Game of Thrones when you can see a real one? The House of Tudor is one of the many who have sat on the throne of England, with Henry the Eighth and his parade of wives being the best known of the Tudor monarchs. Henry was the man who decided to split away from the Catholic Church because they wouldn’t allow him to get divorced, and so brought Protestantism into his country in the process. He also had two of his wives executed over the course of his reign. Simply put, he’s one of the most colorful of all the characters who’ve worn the British crown. This dramatic retelling may not be all that historically accurate, but it has plenty of political intrigue and sizzling romance to keep you hooked. You might also recognise the occasional Game of Thrones star turning up in the cast. It ran between 2007 and 2010.
The West Wing
Firstly, if you haven’t already watched The West Wing, we have questions about your viewing habits before Game of Thrones ever hit the airwaves. Secondly, if you haven’t already watched the West Wing, then doing so is now your immediate television viewing priority. Substitute the Iron Throne for the Presidency of the United States of America, and replace everybody’s battle armor with a sharp suit, and you’ve got a surprisingly similar show. The West Wing is every bit as clever, dark, sordid, vicious, and occasionally hilarious as Game of Thrones ever was. Rob Lowe and Martin Sheen, in particular, are outstanding among the cast. This is one of the greatest political dramas ever made, and there’s loads of it to watch – it was on the air from 1999 to 2006.
Of all the options out there to replace Game of Thrones with, Vikings might be the most similar. If you haven’t caught it so far, the bad news is that the upcoming sixth season will be the very last one. The good news is that there are five seasons already made for you to find and catch up on, and two of those seasons are twenty episodes long. That’s box-set binge heaven! Vikings is a show which has such a massive fanbase that it has its own dedicated slot game at online casinos or sister site. Not only that, it’s probably singularly responsible for the massive upswing in the number of online casino games which have used Viking imagery and themes that have come out over the past two or three years. There have been dozens of them, and this is the TV show that started the craze. It’s dark. It’s bloody. It’s sometimes incredibly bleak. Vikings is a tale of battle, conquest, power, freedom, and redemption set in a time when men wielding axes fought hand to hand in fields, and kingdoms were taken by force. If you think that sounds familiar, you’re right.
The Last Kingdom
If your favorite character in Game of Thrones was Arya Stark, then we have a treat for you. Arya’s tragedy and redemption story in Game of Thrones is virtually identical to that of Uhtred, who’s the main character in The Last Kingdom. There’s an extra wrinkle in poor Uhtred’s case though; after his family is murdered, he’s adopted by a new family. His new family is then also killed by the remaining members of his previous family. Understandably, that leaves him feeling a little conflicted. In attempting to avenge everybody’s death at once, Uhtred makes life for himself and everybody around him a little messy. Also, he wears a lot of furs and rides around on a horse like Jon Snow. This show honestly feels like it could be taking place somewhere within Westeros, and best of all it’s still on the air, having started broadcasting in 2015 and so far completed three seasons, with a fourth on the way. This could be the show you stick with for the long term.