Game of Thrones is almost over, and it’s never coming back.
But don’t panic! Plenty of great television series—and some enticing options still to come—can help fill the Westeros-sized hole in your heart. Since Thrones had so many influences, there are a number of shows that may even remind you of the HBO fantasy series.
Did you watch Game of Thrones for the political backstabbing? We’ve got a show for that. For the big, bloody, expensive-looking battle scenes? There’s a show for that, too. Or maybe you watched just to see a shirtless Jason Momoa…there’s apparently going to be a show for that as well.
If you want another deeply immersive TV experience with its own vast mythology—and a divisive ending: Lost, Battlestar Galactica
- Lost is great, and its ending is not nearly as bad as you’ve heard. In fact, I think we all owe it an apology. You can watch all of Lost on Hulu, and Battlestar Galactica on Amazon Prime Video.
If you want another intricate character saga with many interweaving plot lines and a hint of political intrigue: The Wire
- Surely I am not the first person to tell you to watch The Wire, the king of all “you need to watch this, dude” shows, but Game of Thrones ending gives you the perfect opportunity to check it off your list if you haven’t already. Watch it on HBO or Amazon Video.
If you want another show that started off fascinating, enjoyed an excellent middle season, and then went sharply downhill: Dexter
- Dexter was an entertaining, original character study in its first few seasons as it probed the mind of a serial killer whose moral compass only allowed him to kill other killers. Its fourth season, featuring John Lithgow as “the Trinity Killer,” was scintillating television—a high-point for the Showtime drama. But then the show lost the thread. There are good moments in its final four seasons, but on the whole the writing trended downward until the much-maligned finale. Sound familiar? Watch Dexter on Netflix.
- The HBO series about a powerful American media family begins its second season in August. While not explicitly about Fox News and the Murdochs, there are some clear references to the modern-day dynasties and conglomerates that are running the world. There’s more high-stakes family drama in one episode of Succession than an entire season of Game of Thrones, and, best of all, there’s no incest (yet). Watch it on HBO.
If you want a sweeping historical drama with high production values that helped pave the way for Game of Thrones: Rome, The Tudors
- Rome and The Tudors are basically Game of Thrones lite, but based (loosely) on real history. They aren’t quite as gory or intense or sex-filled as Thrones, but there’s enough there to whet your appetite. Watch Rome on HBO or Amazon and The Tudors on Netflix.
If you want another show about tortured souls in which half the main characters are unceremoniously killed off: Angel
- The Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off was not sentimental about some of its protagonists. In fact, most Joss Whedon shows aren’t. You can watch on Hulu.
If you want another show that takes place in another land or time in which people stab each other with sharp things a lot: Vikings, Black Sails, Outlander, Spartacus, The Last Kingdom
- In tone, scope, setting, and subject matter, these are probably the shows closest to the Game of Thrones experience. Watch Vikings on Hulu or Amazon; Black Sails on Hulu; Outlander on Starz; Spartacus on Netflix; and The Last Kingdom on Netflix.
If you want a show that has virtually nothing in common with Game of Thrones but is really great and should be watched before cancelling your HBO subscription: The Leftovers
- It’s just a really special TV show, okay?
If you want another show that will appeal to your inner nerd and use an alternate universe to ask important questions about modern society: Watchmen (HBO)
- The series, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, debuts this fall on HBO.
- The show based on Philip Pullman’s trilogy will premiere sometime this year on HBO.
If you want another fantasy show based on a popular series of novels that’s not on HBO: The Lord of the Rings (Amazon), The Wheel of Time (Amazon)
- Amazon is reportedly spending $1 billion on this LOTR show, so you better watch it, or else.
- The Apple series takes place in a future world “when the human race has lost the sense of sight.” No premiere date has been announced.
If you want another show that’s basically Game of Thrones, but with Henry Cavill: The Witcher (Netflix)
- Based on the fantasy book series of the same name (which also spawned a popular video game franchise), The Witcher stars Henry Cavill as a monster hunter who looks either like an old Legolas or a young Gandalf. It premieres later this year.