Our adventure in Westeros may end with the Game of Thrones series finale this weekend, but it was magical while it lasted. While we will forever hold George R.R. Martin’s fantastical world near and dear to our hearts, there are other equally exciting universes out there to explore.
If you’re feeling some post-Westeros emptiness, start a new adventure with these 15 shows like Game of Thrones. Each of these unforgettable series contain many of the same elements and themes that made us fall in love with HBO's landmark fantasy series. No matter the time period or setting, these shows are sure to please Game of Thrones fans—and give them something else to binge while they wait for the Game of Thrones prequel series.
Episode Count: 69
Vikings, the historical drama filled with legendary Norse heroes and exciting battle scenes, has become a smash hit on the History Channel. The series follows Ragnar Lothbrok and his crew of Viking soldier as they conquer parts of ancient Europe. Vikings is definitely worth a watch for those who liked Game of Thrones' brutal atmosphere and setting, as well as its complex, uncompromising female characters.
Black Sails (2014-2017)
Episode Count: 38
You know what the Narrow Sea was missing in Game of Thrones? Pirates. Black Sails takes place about 20 years before the events of the classic British novel, Treasure Island. Set during the height of pirate raids and treasure hunting, this show’s exciting adventure and tense plotlines will soothe your Game of Thrones withdrawal.
Episode Count: 22
This HBO classic focuses on two soldiers named Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo as they navigate the changing political atmosphere in ancient Rome. With plenty of sex, violence, and exciting twists, it’s going to be an easy transition from Game of Thrones to Rome.
House of Cards (2013-2018)
Episode Count: 73
While this thrilling political drama may take place in entirely modern-day world, House of Cards still has a lot of Game of Thrones-like plot elements. While there isn’t necessarily an Iron Throne to be won in Washington D.C., there is a metaphorical one that everyone in government is out to gain. For those who liked the deceit, betrayal, and power plays in Game of Thrones, this show is an easy pick to binge.
The Tudors (2007-2010)
Episode Count: 38
The Tudors is a historical fiction series taking place in 16th century England during the reign of King Henry VIII. Known for his violent and bloody legacy, King Henry’s court had plenty of political drama boiling in all corners. This series is definitely up the alley of Game of Thrones enthusiasts who enjoyed the power struggle for the Iron Throne, and even features Natalie Dormer, who played Margaery Tyrell, as Anne Boleyn.
Episode Count: 39
This series follows the extraordinary feats of the Thracian gladiator, Spartacus. The series spends four seasons following Spartacus’ rise to glory as a skilled fighter, which he eventually uses to his advantage when he leads a slave rebellion against the Roman masters. Much like Game of Thrones, the show is known for its graphic violence and explicit sex scenes.
Episode Count: 20
While the futuristic Wild-West-themed amusement park setting of Westworld is very different from the world of Westeros, the character development in each show is equally gripping. At Westworld theme park, humans are able to act out their most heinous and violent fantasies on androids. But what happens when these robotic hosts gain sentience? As they begin to understand their purpose, the androids hatch a plan to start an uprising against their creators.
Episode Count: 55
Based off Diana Gabaldon’s historical-fiction time travel series of the same name, Outlander is a Starz television series that has garnered plenty of attention. When Claire Randall, a former World War II wet nurse, stumbles back in time to 18th century Scotland, she ends up in the middle of a bitter conflict between rebel Scottish Highlanders and English soldiers. Filled with romance, violence, and fantasy elements, Game of Thrones fans will fall in love with this show.
The Last Kingdom (2015-present)
Episode Count: 26
The Last Kingdom is probably as close to a realistic Game of Thrones universe as you’re going to get. Based off Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Series, this show centers around a war-torn England as Danish invaders attack the divided British kingdoms. With plenty of bloody battle scenes and intricate power dynamics, The Last Kingdom is sure to satiate post-Westeros cravings.
The Borgias (2011-2013)
Episode Count: 29
Surprisingly, this historical fiction series has even more incest than Game of Thrones. Set in Renaissance Italy, The Borgias centers around an esteemed family that rises to greatness during the time period. The characters in the show are complex, and the story is incredibly intriguing. If you can look past the very awkward and weird incestuous parts—which should be an easy task for GoT fans—the show is incredibly enjoyable.
Once Upon A Time (2011-2018)
Episode Count: 155
If you’re really into the fantasy and magical elements of GoT, this popular drama series is sure to delight. Fairy tale characters come to life in Once Upon a Time, and the various adventures and troubles they get themselves into in our mortal world will entertain and move you. If you’re looking for a long-running series to fill the GoT finale emptiness, let Once Upon a Time bewitch you.
Episode Count: 65
Merlin may be tamer than Game of Thrones in terms of nudity and violence, but it’s still just as exciting. The series is a retelling of the Arthurian legends of the powerful wizard Merlin, and follows him during his younger days. Taking great influence from the source material, this show has plenty of magic, quests, and other fantasy elements.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
Episode Count: 61
This animated classic is definitely a departure from the graphic world of Westeros, but it still retains a high level of fantasy. The world of Avatar the Last Airbender is filled with people known as “benders” who can manipulate water, fire, earth, and air. The characters in the series are incredibly well-written, and their arcs provide a satisfying ending that rivals the protagonists in GoT. For fantasy fans, this show is timeless.
The Shannara Chronicles (2016-2017)
Episode Count: 20
This exciting series is based off The Sword of Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks. The show is set in the Four Lands, a fictional world invaded by demons from another realm called the Forbidding. The show’s protagonists, Wil, Amberle, Eteria, and Allanon go on a quest to banish the demons and save the Four Lands. Filled with magic, action, and interesting lore, this show will fulfill your fantasy cravings.
The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-present)
Episode Count: 23
While definitely different from the war-torn medieval setting of Westeros, the dystopian world of The Handmaid’s Tale is sure to leave an impact. The plot of the series focuses on a group of women who are forced to procreate after environmental and health factors prevent a majority of the population from doing so. For those who enjoyed a lot of the female characters in Game of Thrones and their rise against societal norms, The Handmaid's Tale will definitely resonate with you.
Featured still from "Game of Thrones" via HBO