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Winter came, and it went. Luckily, these TV shows are just like Game of Thrones. As much as we rocked with the Starks, the Lannisters, and the Targaryens for eight seasons as they fought to win the Iron Throne, we have to admit that we were super disappointed by the way things panned out in the end. In order to thwart our expectations (especially those of us who had read George R.R. Martin’s books), GoT showrunners/creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss took a sharp left allowing Bran Stark aka Bran the Broken to become King of the Six Kingdoms while having Drogon burn up the Iron Throne in a fit of fury.
It simply was not what we expected to see. However, now that Game of Thrones has ended, we have a major TV void in our lives. Though we adore our primetime dramas and sitcoms, it was something about #demThrones, and all of its magic, gore, and drama that kept us fascinated for nearly a decade. Though HBO has greenlit a pilot for a prequel series of the show, we won’t return to Westeros until at least 2020. Until then, we’re going to need to dive into another series to satisfy our Thrones craving.
These 12 mystically dark shows will hold you down.
If you haven’t gotten into the Shelby family and the Peaky Blinders–honestly what are you waiting for? Set in the 1920s in Britain, Peaky Blinders is brilliantly acted, and intriguing. Cillian Murphy stars as the notorious gang leader, Tommy Shelby, who is as diabolical and cunning as he is easy to look at. We watch Tommy take the Shelby family from the slums of Birmingham to major power players in London. The first four seasons of the series are currently streaming on Netflix. Several more seasons of the hit series are set to drop on BBC One soon. If you can tolerate the violence of GoT, then you can handle some gunfights and blade slashings.
Did we mention that Tom Hardy also has a guest starring role?
The Leftovers ran for three seasons on HBO before it was canceled. The series follows the events after, “The Sudden Departure”–when 140 million people vanished from Earth without a trace. Intense grief and confusion divided loved ones, and people spiraled in despair. It didn’t help when a cult-like group began to recruit the most vulnerable among those left behind.
It’s up to Mapleton police chief, Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) to keep some semblance of peace.
If you want some of the magic of GoT with a bit more romance, then you need to dive into Starz’s television adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander book series. The series follows Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), a English World War II combat nurse who is reunited with her hubby after the war. However, during an evening stroll one day, she is sucked through some magical stones and ends up in 18th century Scotland. As she’s trying to navigate what it means to be a woman two centuries removed from her time, Claire falls for Jamie Frasier, a Scottish Highlander (Sam Heughan). The first two seasons of the series are now streaming on Netflix.
You’ll probably need a fan and a popsicle for this one because its HOT. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
If you need a little light and whimsy with your dark material, then we suggest you dive into Stranger Things. The compelling series is set in 1983 and follows a group of tweens in the town of Hawkins, Indiana. However, unbeknownst to the residents of Hawkins, the United States Department of Energy has inadvertently created a portal to an alternate dimension called, The Upside Down. When 12-year old Will Byers is abducted by one of The Upside Down’s creatures, his friends band together to go in search of him.
Stranger Things is a lot more PG than GoT, but it’s just as compelling.
You just enough time to binge the first two seasons of Stranger Things before Season 3 premieres July 4th.
The Spanish Princess
GRRM has always been open about his influences for Game of Thrones. He was always moved by J.R.R. Tolkien, but he also used the incidents of the War of the Roses to help shape some of GoT‘s narrative. Starz’s The Spanish Princess follows the events leading up to the war. Set in 16th-century London, the series follows teen royal, Catherine of Aragon–the strong-willed Princess of Spain who is betrothed to the English Prince Arthur. However, when the prince suddenly dies, Catherine sets her sights on some else.
For more powerful women, you can also get into Starz’s companion series The White Queen and The White Princess.
If you’ve been following the Courtney A. Kemp series Power for the past several years, then you know how legendary it is. The series follows James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick)– a nightclub owner who seems to have the perfect life. Along with this club, he has a beautiful family, and they live on a plush NYC penthouse. However, things aren’t quite as they appear.
James is also living a double life–as Ghost one of the most notorious drug dealers on the East Coast. He runs his drug empire with his life-long friend Tommy (Joseph Sikora). However, Ghost discovers that keeping two very different worlds separate is almost implausible. Sings, “They say this is a big rich town.”
The sixth and final season of Power is set to drop on Starz in Aug. 2019, so you can dive into the series and do a full binge before then.
From 2004 to 2006–when we were barely getting away with watching HBO, Deadwood was a beloved series on the network. Set in the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota –the show follows the territory’s growth into a town. Using actual historical events as plot points.
Deadwood intersects the historical with the fictional for a truly riveting piece of TV. Also, HBO just released a feature film that caps off the TV show, 13 years after it went off the air
We’ve all heard the story of Henry VIII and his eight wives, but you need to get into Johnath Rhys Myers portrayal of the notorious 16th-century English king. From the intrigue and the costumes to GoT alum, Natalie Dormer’s iconic portrayal of Anne Boleyn–The Tudors is a treat, and you can watch the entire show in full on Netflix. For the first several seasons, you’ll definitely need to take a few cold showers to get you through.
Also, Henry Cavill is looking like everything we love about Superman.
Vampires, werewolves, sex, and violence? Yes, please. True Blood was a sensation on HBO long before Game of Thrones premiered. The TV series follows Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a waitress in small-town Louisiana. Shunned by her loved ones and neighbors because she can hear people’s thoughts, Sookie meets another loner, Bill Compton– a 173-year old vampire.
With a new synthetic blood called True Blood on the market, vampires across the globe have come out of hiding. However, not everyone is too eager to welcome the undead into society. Sadly, like our beloved Thrones, the series finale was exceptionally lacking, but it was delightful for seven seasons while it lasted.
So we’re just going to go ahead and admit that we never really know exactly what’s happening on Westworld, but folks seem to love it–so we thought we’d include. After all, the premise is something out of a nightmarish future. Westworld is an amusement park for super-rich people who indulge in their most sadistic fantasies with human-like dolls.
The show is based on the 1973 movie of the same name. Manipulations and warfare are front and center here–tropes you’ll certainly remember from GoT.
The SyFy series, The Magicians is criminally underrated. The show is based on the fantasy novels by Lev Grossman and follows Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), a grad student at Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy. However, when Quentin and his friends discover that the magical world they’ve all been so enamored with poses significant dangers to humanity –shit hits the fan.
The special effects alone are legendary. The first three seasons of The Magicians are currently streaming on Netflix.
The Last Kingdom
Based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories novels, The Last Kingdom follows, Uhtred, a warrior raised by a Danish warlord. When his surrogate father is killed, Uhtred decides to avenge his death, but he is troubled between choosing between his native homeland and the people that raised him. Essentially, Uhtred is who Theon Greyjoy could have been if he hadn’t been such a coward on GoT.
All three seasons of The Last Kingdom are currently streaming on Netflix and Season 4 is coming soon.