Since its launch in 2011, Game of Thrones has made history, from the biggest battle ever filmed for TV, to thousands of baby names inspired from popular characters like Daenerys, Theon and Arya. The eighth season was perhaps the most controversial from HBO ever as it holds the record of most pirated TV show in history. This should tell you enough about how popular the Westeros struggle for the Iron Throne was.
However, now that the epic series has come to a wrap, and its prequel series still in its early stage of production, fans of the fantasy genre will be looking for their next TV fix of drama, action, world-building and science fiction. Below are eight shows we highly recommend you check out after the GoT finale.
1- Vikings (Violence, Language, Nudity – Rated 16+)
Vikings follow the adventures and conquests of Ragnar Lothbrok, his wife Lagertha, his brother Rollo and ship builder best friend Floki. The Danish farmer quickly rises to Earl, and beyond, leading raids on previously far off lands in England and France. The History Channel’s brilliant series is inspired from historical events, and its immense job of character development and constant plot twists will leave audience members binging the beautifully shot and directed episodes late past their bedtimes.
2- Frontier (Violence, Language, Nudity – Rated 16+)
If the Khaleesi was your favorite GoT character, then you’ll love that her ex-husband Khal Drogo stars in Frontier, a 3-season Netflix original. The story unfolds in North America in the 18th Century, where Jason Mamoa’s character is a trapper who decides to stand up against the monopoly and corruption of a fur trading company called Hudson’s Bay Company.
3- The Handmaid’s Tale (Violence, Language, Nudity – Rated 18+)
Despite the lack of fantasy genre elements, this series by Hulu feels more and more relevant by the day. In a world rocked by natural disasters and embroiled in a struggle for civil rights and gender equality, this series follows one of the last fertile women in Gilead, a dystopic society in what was once the United States. The militaristic and “traditional values” zeal means women like Offred are forced into sexual servitude in a desperate attempt to repopulate the Earth. It’s 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is testament to how well the show is liked, but also how much viewers draw parallels between current affairs in the US today, and the fictional plot in Handmaid’s Tale.
4- Marco Polo (Violence, Language, Nudity – Rated 16+)
It’s unfortunate that this Netflix historical fiction drama got canceled after only 2 seasons, but those two seasons are well worth the watch. It imagines events occurring after legendary Venetian trader and explorer Marco Polo is captured by Mongol leader Kublai Khan. That’s when the Khan realizes that Marco Polo can be a valuable tool in his worldwide conquest, and Marco Polo begins to understand the intricacies and differences being part of the Mongolian leader’s court. Even though critics roughed up Marco Polo with just a 34% on Rotten Tomatoes, the audience disagrees, with a 92% favorable score in contrast.
5- Gotham (Violent – Rated 16+)
With all the attention in the past few years being awarded to Marvel Comics (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, etc.) and their cinematic universe, it’s easy to forget the treasure trove of amazing stories from the DC universe (Batman, Superman, Aquaman, etc.)
Currently in its fifth and final season, Gotham tells the previously untold origin stories of many of Gotham’s super heroes and super villains, from detective James Gordon, to the Dark Knight himself.
6- The Last Kingdom (Violence, Language, Nudity – Rated 16+)
If you enjoyed Viking raiding England in “Vikings”, then The Last Kingdom will be an extra sweet treat for you. Uhtred was born a Saxon, but raised by Vikings. As the northern marauders attack the Anglo-Saxons, his loyalties and struggle to come to terms with his identity make the perfect storyline with a backdrop of the struggle and violence between the Viking and Anglo-Saxons. With a 91% average on the Tomatometer, and a 93% audience rating, this is another viking show that deserves a binge watch.
7- Knightfall (Violence, Language, Nudity – Rated 16+)
Few institutions have captured people’s imagination like the Knights Templar. Once one of the most powerful organizations in the 13th and 14th Century, their growing power and influence brought their demise, with them being hunted down, tortured and burned at the stake. Knightfall will resonate with history buffs who like their TV show true to the historical facts, more than the soap-operatic melodramas scene in other historical fiction TV series.
Currently in its second season, this BBC production will be a treat to history buffs who love watching what it was like in the Templars’ courts and how they met a violent end. Oh, and Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself, stars in Knightfall!