We watched the ice melt and discovered we have to wait another four excruciating months before the premiere of season 7 of Game of Thrones. In years past, new seasons of our favorite epic fantasy have premiered sometime in the early weeks of spring, but winter is coming much later than usual in 2017, not until July to be precise. That’s plenty of time to rewatch seasons 1-6 and then some, but it’s hard to find a series that can fill the void left behind once that binge is complete. Although nothing quite compares to fire-breathing dragons and Tyrion’s snappy dialogue, here are seven shows you’ll enjoy during the long spring and summer days before winter arrives again.
As the most-watched first season of any HBO original series, the science fiction thriller really only has to fill its own shoes now that it’s been renewed for a second season. The premise of Westworld seems simple enough from the outside: an amusement park run by artificial intelligence where wealthy customers can explore any fantasy they want. The unpredictable nature of the show along with some of the shocking, big-budget visuals allow the network to rest assured that Game of Thrones fans will find a new home in Westworld once their beloved series wraps up.
The CW’s angsty teen series that follows the early years of Mary, Queen of Scots is like the catty, less sophisticated little sister of Game of Thrones. Although Reign follows historical figures, the storyline is largely fictionalized to create room for all of the deception and drama we have learned to expect and love from the YA-centric network. What this show lacks in rich dialogue, it makes up for in deeper character studies that are able to be explored due to the smaller cast size. If you loved to hate Joffrey and live for Sansa Stark’s storyline, then Reign is the show that will fill the hole in your heart. Reign is currently in the middle of its fourth and final season.
5. The Crown
Heavy lies the crown, and in some cases history provides just as intriguing evidence of this as fiction. The Netflix original series The Crown only has one season available to binge so far, but that handful of episodes is enough to both satiate the thirst for royal drama and leave viewers wanting even more. The most exciting prospect of this chronology of Queen Elizabeth’s reign is that there’s no limit to the shelf life of the series, as her royal highness is still alive and ruling. If you love Game of Thrones for the deceit and treachery that follows royal blood, then The Crown is a match for you.
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4. Peaky Blinders
The gangster drama series starring Cillian Murphy just announced that it’s adding Game of Thrones veteran Aiden Gillan, the manipulative Littlefinger, to its cast. Originally airing on BBC Two and distributed since 2014 exclusively by Netflix, Peaky Blinders airs in seasons that take place sometimes several years apart and feature a variety of characters. Although Peaky Blinders has more in common with shows like Boardwalk Empire due to the similar historical context, the powerful acting and sophisticated cinematography is sure to draw in Game of Thrones fans.
Vikings is the History channel’s epic historical drama inspired by the escapades of Norse legend Ragnar Lothbrok. Since its network platform differs greatly from the likes of HBO and Netflix, Vikings’ focus revolves less around shocking sex and violence and more on the historical context and depth of the character motivations. The show has four seasons currently available to watch, the fourth of which contains 20 episodes, so there’s plenty of content to go around while you’re waiting for the return of Game of Thrones. If you watch Game of Thrones less because it’s saturated with sex and death and more because it’s a period piece, then Vikings is right up your alley.
2. House of Cards
No lack of power struggle exists in our everyday political climate these days, but no one makes sleazy campaigns and politicians as exciting or glamorous as Claire and Frank Underwood do in House of Cards. Shocking violence and unpredictable undermining are signatures of the Netflix original series. Another plus is the the series already has four seasons available to stream, with a fifth arriving in May. If you love Game of Thrones for its unpredictability and political prowess, then House of Cards should be your next marathon viewing. A new season arrives this May, so now is the perfect time to get caught up.
1. The Tudors
Like The Crown, The Tudors focuses on the reign of a monarch in England, but the successful Showtime series reaches further back into history to chronicle the journey of King Henry VIII. Although the two England-focused series are similar in some ways, The Tudors differs from The Crown in its decision to focus on exciting storytelling rather than historical accuracy. Herein lies the parallels between this four-season series and the prowess of similar characters on Game of Thrones. It’s no wonder fan favorite Natalie Dormer made widely praised runs in both shows. If you love the sensuality and erotic escapades in Game of Thrones, Henry the VII’s adventures are ready and waiting.
What shows are you watching to fill the void left behind by the absence of Game of Thrones this spring? Let us know in the comments!
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(Image courtesy of the CW)