No matter what you thought about HBO’s final season of Game of Thrones, there’s a void left that’s consuming the world, leaving viewers wondering what to do now that winter finally came, and went.
I’ve seen all manner of articles suggesting that if you like Game of Thrones, then you’ll love Westworld, Orphan Black, or even Avatar (yes, the cartoon).
No, you will not, because if you’re truly a fan of the series, you didn’t stick around 9 years for the love of sympathetic killers, sex-craving politicians, or reckless children.
You did it because you love fantasy.
And fantasy brought to life by grand settings, believable characters in believable costumes, captivating stories, and sword-slashing action.
Lots and lots of sword-slashing action!
Here are five shows, for real this time, that will fill the Game of Thrones void.
Think History Channel only creates documentaries? Think again.
Vikings follows Ragnar Lodbrok as he proves to the others that it’s possible to navigate the open sea and raid Western Europe, rises to become chief of his village, and fathers several children that shape the faith of their society.
Great characters, amazing settings, and Norse Mythology all chisel this series to perfection.
And Vikings is crammed with so much axe swinging, blood spilling, testosterone building action that you’ll start growing a beard even Khal Drogo himself would be proud of.
The Last Kingdom
During an attack of a Danish army, young Uhtred tries to fight and is taken captive. He is raised by the warlord Earl Ragnar and years later matures into an exceptional warrior.
When his home is set on fire, he ventures forth seeking vengeance, and becomes a pawn of King Alfred of Wessex.
An Original BBC creation based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories, then picked up by Netflix, this is another action packed series with great battles, and just a touch of sorcery. “Destiny is all.”
Blood flows like currents of the Amazon River in this brutal depiction of the Roman Empire from a gladiator’s perspective.
A Thracian warrior dubbed Spartacus fights his way to become the best of the gladiators, leads a slave rebellion against his master, then all of Rome.
The action never seems to stop, and you’ll be rooting for the gladiators to destroy the ancient empire when you see what they endure.
Artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci becomes involved in a power struggle between the Medici and the Pazzi families in his ultimate quest for a treasure known as the Book of Leaves.
His inventions make him infamous, and wars will be fought using their destructive power.
Leonardo must tread carefully through religion, love, cults, magic and even a voyage to the Americas in search for the book.
Netflix’s portrayal of Asia when the Mongols were a superpower has enough twists and betrayals to rival King’s Landing.
When Niccolo Polo becomes indebted to the mighty Kublai Khan, he trades his son Marco as payment.
Khan accepts, and Marco is absorbed into the Mongol’s culture, learns martial arts, seeks forbidden love, and fights in a war against the Chinese walled city of Xiangyang.
Unfortunately, this one was cancelled after the second season. But they were two awesome seasons.
So there you have it, 5 more shows that are sure to keep you satisfied until the next big fantasy release. Great viewing all. Or you can do like me and start rewatching Game of Thrones from season 1.