Best TV series to watch after Game of Thrones
Missing Westeros already? Try one of these eight brilliant TV series.
Game of Thrones aired its final ever episode on Monday night bringing an end to one of the most popular and critically-acclaimed TV series of the last ten years. To help fill that Westeros-sized gap in your life, here’s eight other great shows with similar themes and style for you to get stuck into.
Swapping the ruthless pursuit of the Iron Throne for the desire to conquer pretty much anywhere, Vikings is a similarly addictive series that’s full of intense bloody battles (the assault on Paris in season 3 is a particular epic standout), power plays and fantastic characters.
Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) is our fascinating, morally bankrupt hero, slicing off heads one minute and mentally torturing himself by questioning religion the next. Other equally great standouts include his wife and head Shield Maiden Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), jealous brother Rollo (Clive Standen) and tyrannical son Ivar the Boneless (Alex Hogh).
All five seasons of Vikings are available to stream on Amazon Prime
Westworld is an intelligent, beautifully shot series that manages to perfectly balance an exploration of rich themes like what it means to be human with plenty of dark violence. It can be frustrating at times due to its complex, often non-linear narrative however, so those who weren’t fans of Game of Thrones’s dense mythology should give this one a miss.
It’s able to successfully juggle multiple plotlines while the brutal robot rebellion, lead by increasingly unbalanced host Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), feels incredibly karmic and enjoyable unlike Dany’s (Emilia Clarke) assault on King’s Landing.
Both seasons of Westworld are available to stream on NOW TV
Into the Badlands
This dystopian version of the American Midwest known as The Badlands presents another compelling fantasy world for you to get lost in. If the unique addition of martial arts isn’t enough, there’s plenty of drama between the six warring factions vying for control and powerful magic.
Fans of Game of Thrones’s big battles will find a lot to love in these impressive fight scenes which look effortlessly cool and are always exciting. The show’s male lead Sunny (Daniel Wu) is very likeable but it’s the strong female characters, including power-hungry Widow (Emily Beecham) and assassin Tilda (Ally Ioannides), who are the real highlights.
All three seasons of Into the Badlands are available to stream on Amazon Prime
The first season of Black Sails is admittedly not its best, but stick with it. By the time those eight episodes are up, its become something much better than just your standard violence and sex loaded period piece. The writing is surprisingly clever leading to characters who at first seem like stereotypes to become much deeper and more interesting.
Constantly shifting alliances work to build a nicely tense atmosphere where you’re never sure who’s going to do what and the naval battles are wonderfully elaborate and always thrilling. It’s also got a real sense of fun, something which feels refreshing in this era of incredibly dark and gritty prestige TV.
All four seasons of Black Flag are available to stream on Amazon Prime
Take the delightfully twisted scheming, betrayal, backstabbing and lying committed in pursuit of the Iron Throne, put them in a modern setting and you’ve got Succession. A smart, darkly funny dramedy about the dysfunctional Roy family who’re all fighting for control of their Dad’s (Brian Cox) multi-million-dollar media company.
It possesses that same cold, caustic tone as the later series of Game of Thrones where everything is incredibly bleak and everybody’s being hilariously awful to each other. Similarly as the series progresses, the layers are peeled back and everybody starts to become more tragic as we learn their backstories.
The first (and currently only) season of Succession is available to stream on NOW TV
Deadwood has lots in common with the early seasons of Game of Thrones as we see the grimy mining camp slowly become an equally seedy town through intricate political maneuvering, violence, power struggles, sex and the excessive use of profanity that the show is famed for.
Ian McShane, who very briefly appeared in Game of Thrones as Brother Ray a former warrior who saved The Hound (Rory McCann) from certain death, is absolutely superb as the aptly named saloon owner Al Swearengen whose villany is always so entertaining to watch.
All three seasons of Deadwood are available to stream on NOW TV
This hugely ambitious, dazzling adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed 2001 novel is for those who loved Game of Thrones’s fantasy elements with its sprawling narrative that follows ex-convict Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle AKA Calvin from Hollyoaks) as he’s unexpectedly thrust into the clash between the Old Gods and the New.
It’s much weirder than the already unconventional Game of Thrones ever was and completely relishes in it. A hazy, dreamlike atmosphere is punctuated by bouts of pulpy violence and everybody involved, including Ian McShane, Kristen Chenoweth and Crispin Glover, is clearly having an excellent time.
Both seasons of American Gods are available to stream on Amazon Prime
Subtly isn’t a word you’d use to describe Spartacus which takes all of the most entertaining, over-the-top aspects of Game of Thrones and ramps them up to 11. There's buckets of blood, impressively inventive violence, sex, crazy plot twists and of course, fantastic fight scenes.
The original Spartacus actor Andy Whitfield sadly died of cancer after the first season was completed to be replaced by Liam McIntyre, both of whom make for an intense, brooding lead. It's not quite as revolutionary as Game of Thrones, but if you want more action from this kind of genre it’ll more than scratch the itch.
All four seasons of Spartacus are available to stream on Netflix