Well it’s April, and Game of Thrones is still three months away so fans still have to wait as Winter is finally coming. So how do we fill that time? You could watch the entire series again in preparation, but if you have already done that here are ten shows to watch while before we return to Westeros.
Let’s start with shows that are similar to the HBO behemoth and the History channel’s Vikings fulfils just that. Billed as the saga of the legendary Viking Ragnar Lothbrok (the electrifying Travis Fimmel) and his famous sons, Vikings has the period detail, the large scope, and the political machinations sprinkled with bloody violence that GOT’s fans will love. With its fourth season just finished there is plenty for viewers to sink their teeth into with this underrated show.
Speaking of underrated shows, Outlander (based on the popular series of books by Diana Gabldon) may be even more impressive than Vikings. For those that have watched Ronald D Moore’s (creator of the Battlestar Galactica reboot) sci fi period drama and thought it was nothing more than a romance show then they are watching it wrong; Outlander is seriously heavy. The show follows Claire Randall as she is accidentally stranded in 18th century Scotland. From there she must survive with the help of Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser as his people fight the villainous redcoats.
The Last Kingdom
Another show based on a popular series of books is the adaptation of Bernard Cromwell’s historical novels The Saxon series. The Last Kingdom follows Uthred, an orphaned Saxon that is raised by Vikings. Set in the ninth century AD, The Last Kingdom portrays an England that is split into Seven distinct kingdoms, which is a period of history that Game of Thrones is greatly influenced by.
This BBC adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Hilary Mantell is a lush period piece perfect for fans of Game of Thrones detailed and dangerous conversations. Wolf Hall stars Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) as Thomas Cromwell; charting his rise to power in the court of King Henry VIIII. As well as Rylance the show boasts a great cast of English thesps such as Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones High Sparrow), Claire Foy, and Homeland’s Damien Lewis as Henry VIII.
While not a period drama, Starz new series, and adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s famous novel, American Gods shares an important quality with Game of Thrones: a rich mythology. American Gods stars Ian McShane as Mr Wednesday, an old God that, through the help of Rickie Whittle’s Shadow Moon, drives across America looking for old gods like him. With Game of Thrones different religions, and Gods, American Gods, which uses gods from real life religions of the past and present, will have enough to entice any Westeros fan.
Bryan Fuller’s masterful Hannibal Lecter prequel was unfairly cancelled after just three seasons. Starring Mads Mickelson as the eponymous Hannibal, and Hugh Dancy as FBI profiler Will Graham, Hannibal is a postmodern crime show that leans more into character study than normal procedural dramas. Game of Thrones fans will come for the artfully rendered violence, but they will stay for the dangerous relationship between the two mean characters.
Marvel’s Defenders shows
All four of Marvel’s Defender’s shows are now here and, apart from Iron Fist, they all have a lot to offer viewers. With each show having a distinct look, feel, and themes, appropriate to each character, Game of Thrones fans will get a kick out of seeing they ways in which these heroes get closer to their inevitable team-up. Except for Iron Fist, that’s like Dorne for a full season.
If you re a fan of the more explicit parts of Game of Thrones then Banshee is the show for you. With four acclaimed seasons Banshee is a sexy, violent, and thrilling pulp show that boasts some of the best action scenes on TV in a great mixture of pulp, intrigue, and memorable characters.
Westworld may be Game of thrones spiritual successor. With the story of Westeros coming to a close over the next two seasons HBO are betting big on Westworld, and given how great the first season was, it’s a safe bet. Set in the futuristic theme park of Westworld, visitors can play at being cowboy for $40,000 a day. The only thing is, the robots that populate the park, and are daily subjected to horrific acts, are about to achieve consciousness. Westworld is a mystery show of the best kind, giving you all the answers but out of context making the show not only a sensory experience, but an interactive one as well. Sunday nights will be safe once Game of Thrones ends.
Breaking Bad is one of the only shows that can compete with the cultural impact of Game of Thrones, while you’re waiting for the show to return why not take another ride through Walter White’s acent to drug kingpin and his descent into Heisenberg. And if you blast through it, there’s also Better Call Saul.