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The Khaleesi went mad, Jon Snow is exiled on the other side of the wall and many of our other favorite characters are buried in the television graveyard. Whether you found the ending satisfying or maddening, Game of Thrones is most definitely over.
For super fans, there may be nothing that can quite replace it. The complex characters. The swordplay. The intrigue, drama and those scintillating sex scenes. It was a magic combination that doesn’t come along every day.
Still, we have to try to move on. And if you take a look around, there are plenty of great shows out there with the action, drama and morally ambiguous characters that seem to fascinate us.
So to put an end to your streaming winter, here are 15 shows to put on your watch list if you liked Game of Thrones.
Think of this show as the Dothraki with boats. Based on Norse legends, the show follows the mythical figure of Ragnar Lothbrok as he rises from a farmer to a fearsome Scandanavian King.
Vikings may be a mashup of myth and history, but the savage battles and merciless warriors (including the female shield maidens) feel absolutely real. There’s also plenty of treachery and a little bit of sex to go along with all the violence.
And though I wouldn’t call this a fantasy series, with a creepy soothsayer and ceremonies involving the Norse gods, there is a slight touch of magic.
No, it won’t bring back GOT. But this is epic storytelling with scenery to match. For adventure lovers, Vikings is bloody satisfying.
Watch Vikings on the History
Based on a series of books by Bernard Cornwell, this somewhat undiscovered gem chronicles the tale of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a Saxon warrior. Kidnapped and raised by Vikings as a child, he returns home years later to fight for the English.
You’ll get all the swordplay, power struggles and intrigue that you came to love in GOT. What you won’t get are dragons. Though the show mixes fictional characters along with historical ones, The Last Kingdom has a more realistic feel.
But for GOTs lovers, the stunning scenery, great storyline and the bloody hand to hand combat are sure to keep you captivated.
Don’t let the fact that his Netflix show was canceled after two seasons scare you off. This visually stunning series features an equally beautiful international cast.
The story begins when the Italian explorer Marco Polo is taken prisoner by the power-hungry Kublai Khan, who sees him as a useful tool for his dreams of becoming emperor of the world.
The story offers a fascinating look into the inner workings of the Mongolian court and has plenty of action (kung fu and otherwise) to keep you riveted.
And for those of you that were into Game of Porn’s, I mean Throne’s steamy side, there are some eyebrow-raising sex scenes.
In short, these are two seasons well worth watching.
Watch Marco Polo on Netflix
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Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean it ain’t. True to the character of its anti-heroes, this dark and violent series follows the adventures of 18th-century pirates as they hunt for treasure, pillage seaside towns and struggle for dominance.
A mix of actual historical pirates and fictional characters, the show serves up gory sea battles and intrigue with nary a wisecracking parrot insight.
Spartacus is a Thracian warrior who’s captured by the Romans and sent to train as a Gladiator. As you can imagine, there’s plenty of blood and guts spilled as he battles to win his freedom.
You’ll find yourself cheering for this captivating main character amid all the violence, drama and action. (Though on a sad note the original leading actor Andy Whitfield was replaced when he passed away from cancer.)
Once you’ve entered this arena, it should keep you glued to your seat.
Watch Spartacus on Starz
Fans of Jason Momoa (aka Khal Drogo) will be happy to see him back in action in this drama that centers on the violence and power struggles of the 18th-century fur trade.
In it, he plays an outlaw determined to break the Hudson Bay Company’s stranglehold on the trade. It’s a gripping tale of greed and violence that also serves as a history lesson. And dang if Jason doesn’t look fine in all those pelts.
Watch Frontier on Netflix
This historical drama features another familiar face from Game of Thrones, Richard Madden (aka Rob Stark). The story is set in 15th-century Florence and explores the political and financial dealings of the powerful and controversial Medici family.
Each season focuses on a different era of the family’s long and colorful history. GOT’s fans should enjoy the complex web of intrigue and morally grey characters from the original world of Banksters.
Watch Medici on Netflix
The Knights Templar were a powerful Catholic military order during the time of the crusades.
This series actually focuses on their struggle to hold their organization together and protect the Holy Grail after losing their allies and being threatened with extinction by the King of France.
Rife with conspiracy and plenty of swordplays, Knightfall succeeds in turning historical drama into gripping entertainment.
Watch Knightfall on History
This soapy period drama follows Don Borgia as he schemes his way into becoming Pope Alexander VI.
Surrounded by an equally manipulative and power-hungry family, the show is a scintillating cocktail of intrigue, depravity and murder. Yes, they are a naughty, naughty bunch. And you are probably going to love them.
Watch The Borgias on Netflix
Leaping ahead to an era with no swordplay, Peaky Blinders may still fulfill your need for merciless characters, power struggles and action.
Set in England during the chaotic period after World War I, it follows the rise of a brutal gang and their violent battles against their rivals and the law.
They’re so very bad and so very good at the same time.
If you think Outlander is some mushy historical romance, guess again. Although the main theme does focus on a couple whose love transcends both obstacles and time travel, it will catch you off guard with its complex themes and surprising twists.
Not to mention, it has some pretty steamy sex scenes. And while it may seem somewhat more lighthearted for the first few episodes, give it a chance. You may actually fall in love. Or at least develop a light crush.
Watch Outlander on Starz
The White Queen
The White Queen is a lavish period piece set in England during the War of the Roses. An epic power struggle ensues as three women struggle to claim the throne of England. Less focused on violence than intense political scheming, the show is nonetheless gripping.
As it turns out, the truth can be as entertaining as fiction.
Watch The White Queen on Starz
Many people were disappointed when this historical drama left the airwaves after only two seasons. Still, with great writing and a stellar cast, they are two seasons well worth watching.
The story begins when Julius Caesar conquers Gaul and the Senate starts looking for ways to undermine his power. This is a fascinating political drama with plenty of violence and intrigue. Sound familiar?
If you liked GOT, it seems obvious that all roads lead to Rome.
This story that focuses on a young Henry VIII is most definitely on the soapy side. But if political intrigue and dangerous but sexy liaisons at court are your thing, it’s fun to watch.
If anything else, it may be worth tuning in for a riveting performance by Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the seductive despot. A king that certain women literally lost their head for.
Watch The Tudors on Netflix
Yes, I have just catapulted us into the future with this one. There are no epic battles, no dragons and no graphic violence. But this modern tale of family dysfunction and corporate power struggles is like a distant echo of the Lannister family.
With more of a sense of humor, without the incest and the swords, although there are plenty of cutting words spoken.
And About The Witcher….
If you were paying attention, you noticed that I said 15 shows. Not 16. And The Witcher is number 16.
I will admit that I couldn’t even stomach a full episode of the fantastical tale of a monster slayer set in medieval-ish times. And yet I felt obligated to mention the show considering it does involve swordplay, violence and mythical creatures.
All I can say is everyone is different. So check it out and see if it hooks you. I, frankly, would rather watch GOT all over again.
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