The Western Shores Beyond Westeros
With Game Of Thrones ending on one of the more questionable and lacklustre finales in recent memory, you may be itching for another show to plaster over the wounds left behind.
Well, we’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle of having to try and find something with our top 10 picks for similar shows.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Game Of Thrones.
Similarities – Violence, Action & Expansive Story
Following the journey of Ragnar Lothbrok, Vikings is a fascinating and often violent look into the lives of the first Norsemen in history. Full of dramatic tension and leaning (mostly) toward historical accuracy, Vikings does a great job blending fact and fiction. In doing so, it produces a methodically paced, interesting journey through the lives of the infamous warriors of the North.
While the later seasons do take some liberties with that realism and the plot runs out of steam before its final season, there’s enough here to enjoy nonetheless.
Similarities – Fantasy & Action
The Witcher is not without its flaws but it’s hard to discredit what a satisfying and well written slice of high-fantasy this is. There’s certainly enough magic, monsters and sword-fighting to keep things rooted in danger and tension throughout.
For those unaware, the story revolves around a monster hunter named Geralt. Vilified by human-kind, these white-haired, emotionless Witchers spend their time hunting creatures and getting paid to do so. He’s joined by Ciri, a princess in a neighbouring city, and a mage-in-training named Yennefer. Across this first season, the show balances investigative work with monster slaying really well which should please fans of high fantasy.
The Last Kingdom
Similarities – Violence & Politics
Set during the time of the Viking Invasions of Britain, The Last Kingdom is a well written, brutally realistic series relying on the charisma of its many characters to drive the story of Uhtred Ragnarson forward. The time period is perfectly captured in both atmosphere and set design too. If that wasn’t enough, the story draws from the rich history of Britain across 4 epic seasons of entertainment.
With a fifth season already green-lit, this is one of the better choices to fill that Game Of Thrones void.
Similarities – Story & Characters
If you swap out the fantasy setting of Game Of Thrones for pirates and high sea shenanigans, it wouldn’t be far removed from what Black Sails achieves. Split across four seasons, this sea-faring venture captures the essence of piracy beautifully and does so with some impressive visuals and an expansive story.
Instead of the over-the-top swashbuckling Jack Sparrows of the world, Black Sails examines the true nature of piracy through an eclectic group of characters. The action is gritty and violent too and it’s definitely worth persevering through the slower first season. From there on out, this show really comes into its own.
Gangs of London
Similarities – Violence & Characters
What could a modern day crime thriller set in the UK possibly have to do with Game Of Thrones? Yes, there’s not much similarity on the surface but the violence and action sequences in this show are easily some of the best captured on the small screen. Much like Game Of Thrones, Gangs Of London catches you off-guard and delivers some gritty action alongside its intriguing story.
That narrative revolves around warring gangs fighting for dominance of London following the death of Sean Wallace’s Father. Out for blood, powerful forces move in the shadows to try and usurp Sean’s position and take control of the city for themselves.
While Gangs Of London does falter a little in the third act, if you’re looking for a modern-day alternative to Game Of Thrones, this may just whet the appetite.
Similarities – Politics & World-Building
The Expanse is another choice on this list that’s bound to raise some eyebrows. However, much like Game Of Thrones this sci-fi epic thrives on its complexity and abundance of characters.
When it comes to world-building, The Expanse is one that easily goes toe to toe with the best Westeros has to offer. This sci-fi epic offers up a glimpse of a possible future where mankind has extended its reach beyond Earth to inhabit Mars and the surrounding asteroid belt.
With the story jumping between Earth, Mars and the Belt, some clever editing and a good attention to detail keeps the tension ticking away between the different characters until late in the game. When that tension spills over, it brings with one heck of a seismic shift in this show.
With four seasons to get through, Amazon’s recent acquisition of The Expanse has also green-lit a fifth season, meaning there’s plenty of gas left in the tank for this series.
Similarities – Politics & Characters
The Tudors is essentially a dramatic story revolving around the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII. Serving up a glorious dose of period drama, The Tudors is not always historically accurate but it is consistently entertaining. That’s before even mentioning the costume and production design which are both fantastic.
Split across four seasons, there’s a lot of The Tudors to get through and if you’re taken by the tone of the first couple of episodes, this is one show worth sticking around for the long haul.
Similarities – Story, Characters & Fantasy
Dubbed as the Korean Game Of Thrones, Arthdal Chronicles leans much heavier into its high fantasy concepts. The story is admittedly pretty convoluted and this show will punish you if you’re not paying attention during every minute of its 70+ minute episodes.
Set in the fictional land of Arthdal during Ancient times, the story sees a military force led by Tagon rise up and seize control of the land. Prophesied to bring balance back to the world, Eunseom and Tanya front the Wahan Tribe, a peaceful colony that find themselves on the brink of extinction.
As the episodes progress, the series does become more political and with a second season already green-lit, this isn’t the last we’ll see of this Korean drama.
Similarities – Drama & Complex Story
Clocking in at a whopping 95 episodes, Three Kingdoms is nothing short of epic. This ambitious project adapts Luo Guanzhong’s classical Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms and includes all the rivalries, intrigues and wars of the late Eastern Han Dynasty.
If you’re in the mood for something that’ll take up a good chunk of your time, this one is definitely worth considering. The show is beautifully written and features a great balance of action, character-driven sub-plots and plenty of twists and turns along the way.
Similarities – Story & Cinematography
There’s a reason Rome is regarded as one of the best historical TV shows HBO has ever produced. Alongside Band Of Brothers, Rome is an incredible feat on the small screen. The series was actually originally intended to be a mini-series too, but was later expanded and turned into a visual and storytelling treat to behold.
Set during the 1st century B.C., the story follows the lives of two men serving in the Roman army, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pollo. There’s no shying away from the brutal harsh realities of their profession and Rome captures this in all its bloody glory.
And this glory is backed up by stunning visuals and some of the best production work one could ask for from a historical epic like this. Rome is essential viewing and despite its disappointing ending after a second season, remains a quintessential choice for any historical drama fan.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show picks to check out when you’re done watching Game Of Thrones.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!