The Best Shows To Watch Now That ‘Game of Thrones’ Is Over
Game of Thrones is over, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other shows you should try watching.
As much fantasy as there was in Game of Thrones, you can argue it had more history elements than things taken directly out of George R.R. Martin‘s imagination. HBO has clearly realized this because most of the shows taking the place of GoT are all dramas based on real historical eras or events. Think shows like current miniseries Chernobyl and upcoming Catherine the Great.
Some other recent shows existed or still exist in the GoT vein. Keep in mind most of them are about history, proving our above point. However, you can still find some shows blending a historical angle with fantasy. In some cases, these shows blur the history/fantasy lines.
1. ‘The Last Kingdom’
You’ll usually find the best historical dramas from the BBC, which produces this for Netflix. The Last Kingdom has the basic look and feel of GoT based on medieval weaponry, clothing, and settings.
This show is based on real history, particularly on Saxon warriors of the Middle Ages. Its main character (Uhtred of Bebbanburg) is of Saxon heritage, but becomes adopted by the Vikings.
He eventually returns home and has to test his loyalties to his origins.
As you can see, there are similar plot developments about allegiances to certain families and regions. Battle sequences are also a big part of TLK, if not on the epic movie scale Game of Thrones offered us.
No doubt you’ve seen Vikings at least once while watching The History Channel. Yes, that network does still show things related to history, including some compelling dramas.
Vikings is one of the rare historical dramas combining supposed history with some clear liberties. You could look at the show as a mix of history and fantasy, without having to resort to showing things that didn’t exist (e.g. family dragons).
If you’ve ever seen this show, you know it also has the same drab and foreboding feel of GoT, including occasional wintry scenes. Nobility is at the center of the story, namely one Ragnar Lothbrok who goes from being a Viking to becoming a Scandinavian king.
Consider Ragnar a bit like the History Channel edition of Jon Snow.
3. ‘The Bastard Executioner’
We need to include at least one show no longer in production, yet still widely available on streaming services. Many critics thought The Bastard Executioner was almost an equal of GoT in production values. Regardless, it didn’t last any more than a few months (one season) on FX Network.
Based on real history, it depicted more medieval battles, this time in 1300s Wales. Wlikn Brattle was the lead character as a soldier who tires of war and becomes a farmer to escape. He’s eventually dragged in again to become an executioner, or the medieval equivalent of a vigilante.
Battles sequences in this were absolutely intense, on par with what you saw in GoT‘s Battle of Winterfell. Some might have considered it a bit of a knockoff on GoT at the time, hence the lower ratings. FX’s usual generous budget didn’t warrant a second season.
4. ‘The Borgias’
Another gem no longer being produced is The Borgias, a show still available for streaming. Some of you may remember when this show started on Showtime the same year GoT debuted on HBO.
Those of you who want to find a similar show focusing on the seedy sexual side (with family relations) will find a lot to savor here. Or, you may want to cover your eyes.
Incest was horrific on GoT, but that was small compared to what The Borgias showed us. On a further chilling level, this was based on real history. All of it takes place in Italy during the Renaissance, complete with Jeremy Irons playing the Pope.
There’s also plenty of family betrayal and murder here with its own Purple Wedding scenarios. Perhaps The Borgias was just a little too tongue-in-cheek, despite GoT fans still chattering about it on social media six years after its cancellation.