30 Shows Like Game of Thrones That Will Make You Want to Bend the Knee
For eight seasons, HBO's Game of Thrones dominated the pop culture discussion in a way that few fictional universes ever have. The epic fantasy captured millions of viewers (and a ton of awards) with its blend of high fantasy, thrilling action, feuding noble houses, and more than a touch of scandal. In the end, it also became one of the most polarizing TV shows in recent years, with a final season that took the story of Westeros well beyond where book author George R.R. Martin had written (and towards an ending that left more than a few viewers baffled, frustrated, or just plain mad).
Whatever your feelings on the show, it's hard to deny the impact it's had on pop culture. There are plenty of TV shows and movies that have sought to recapture the GOT phenomenon — including at least one upcoming prequel series set in the GOT universe itself. Whether you were drawn in by the political intrigues, the fantasy, or the action and adventure, we've got some amazing recommendations for shows that you can watch now to recapture what you loved most about GOT.
Whether you're eagerly awaiting House of the Dragon or looking for something far from Westeros, try picking up one of these thrilling shows for your next TV adventure!
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Atlantis
The court intrigue and deadly battles of GOT combine with ancient mythology in this action-packed show. Jason, a modern-day submarine pilot, accidentally gets pulled through time and space into the legendary island of ancient Atlantis. As he tries to stay alive and return to his 21st century home, he crosses paths with figures of myth who, it turns out, are very, very real, and he discovers that his true destiny might just be in Atlantis. It's not as shocking or violent as GOT, but Atlantis is a great TV show option if you're craving that feeling of epic adventure and fantasy.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Black Sails
If Pirates of the Caribbean and Game of Thrones had a baby, that baby would be Black Sails, the high-seas adventure series that promises to tell the backstory of legendary characters from Treasure Island (plus some real-life pirates with larger-than-life histories). Pirate captain Flint brings on a new crew member with a destiny of his own as various groups of pirates battle each other and imperial forces in search of treasure, power, and freedom. Like the world of GOT, it's a tough, often deadly world where only the strong survive, but there's definitely a hint more optimism to this particular tale.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire may not have dragons, sorcery, or White Walkers, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous than the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Set in Prohibition-era Atlantic City, the show centers on a web of corrupt politicians, businessmen, and mobsters who see the new laws as nothing more than fertile ground for profit, at any cost. The ruthlessness of these characters is absolutely on par with the feuding factions of Westeros, and the costs of failure are just as high and just as deadly, with out-and-out criminals blurring the lines between themselves and the people with "official" and institutional power.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: The Borgias
If it's the scheming Lannisters who kept you glued to the TV, then The Borgias should be your next watch. There's no sorcery, dragons, or other mythological creatures in this historical drama — just a super powerful, morally questionable family who rule Renaissance-era Italy through a ruthless combination of betrayal, violence, extortion, and just the right amount of charm. The Borgias were a real family, about whom history has told a lot of stories — some true, some definitely exaggerated, and some so wild you'd think they were legends, but are actually true. The ruthless and cunning political prowess on this show will certainly remind you of GOT.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Camelot
This isn't your childhood version of King Arthur. Camelot's version of the legendary king and his court is much more Game of Thrones than Disney. After the old king's death, his son Arthur, raised as a commoner, takes the throne and tries to build a better kingdom while fighting off threats of dark magic, violent uprisings, and a dangerously ambitious sibling. There's definitely a touch of the Camelot mythos underlying GOT — albeit a much darker, twisted, and cynical version — and this series taps into a similar vein of heroes being pulled into some pretty dark places. Will light or darkness prevail? Only time will tell.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Carnival Row
Dive into even more fantasy mythology with Carnival Row, a quirky drama set amidst growing tensions between magical refugees and the citizens of the land they've fled to. Amidst anti-magical conspiracies and uprisings, a string of murders rocks the city, leaving a mismatched web of people to investigate and uncover the truth about what goes on in the dark. There's plenty of magic, warring factions and politics, and a hint of romance (doomed or not, who can say), all of which should definitely appeal to GOT fans looking for an intriguing fantasy world to lose themselves in.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Cathedral of the Sea
Based on a novel by Ildefonso Falcones, this Spanish-language historical drama traces the journey of a fugitive serf during the Spanish Inquisition. Determined to climb higher in the medieval caste system, he'll do anything to escape the life he was born into. GOT fans will find plenty of twisted betrayals and revenge plots to gasp over here, along with much more about critiquing class systems and arrogant, power-mad aristocrats. We all loved to hate the greedy, grasping Westerosi elites, but this is a show for those who would have loved to see more about the "lower" classes getting their due.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Frontier
Khal Drogo takes on the North American frontier in this drama. Jason Momoa may not have lasted long on GOT in the grand scheme of things, but he certainly makes a major impression here. He stars as outlaw Declan Harp, who sets out to destroy the Hudson's Bay Company's monopoly on the fur trade in 18th-century Canada, making some foreboding enemies along the way. It's the polar opposite of the sun and sand of Essos, but never fear, there's still plenty of intrigue, sex, and power struggles for GOT fans to enjoy!
Shows Like Game of Thrones: A Discovery of Witches
Want more actual magic and less royal feuding and bloody battles? Try A Discovery of Witches, based on Deborah Harkness's book trilogy of the same name, which combines academic nerdiness with epic romance, convoluted mysteries, and time-twisted fantasy. A modern-day professor unwittingly begins to unravel an ancient magical conspiracy when she stumbles across an old text, attracting the attention of a geneticist who also happens to be a vampire. The pair must work together to protect the secrets they discover from forces of evil, all while slowly falling in love with each other despite the centuries-old enmity between witches and vampires.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: His Dark Materials
If you like your high fantasy with a touch of religious philosophy, the eerie alternate universe of His Dark Materials should be on your to-watch list. A seemingly ordinary girl searches for her kidnapped friend, only to discover her own magical abilities and uncover a conspiracy involving missing children, a mystical substance, and the very secrets of the universe — or multiple universes. It's a sprawling world with intersecting character paths, much like GOT, with characters whose morals are mostly in shades of gray and villains who have compelling stories of their own.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: The Last Kingdom
The politics and tensions in the Seven Kingdoms have nothing on the drama of 9th century England, where several different kingdoms entered alliances, fought enemies, and vied for more and more power. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is our protagonist (and a very Jon Snow-esque figure — just look at that picture!), and he's out for revenge after his brother is killed by a Danish invader. Epic battles and plenty of politicking ensue as Uhtred, his allies, and his enemies all struggle with their personal vendettas and their larger ambitions to wield power over the small but mighty lands of medieval England.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Lost
You want a sprawling cast, a ton of mysteries, and a polarizing finale? Welcome to the land of Lost, the groundbreaking sci-fi drama that started with a plane crash and ended with season-long philosophical musings about the nature of life, death, good, and evil. When a plane crashes on a mysterious tropical island, the survivors band together to try to live, only to discover that there are far weirder things at play. From hidden hatches to smoke monsters to polar bears (yes, polar bears!), it's a wild ride that only gets stranger as the castaways discover that their crash landing might not have been an accident at all.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Knightfall
Knightfall is based on true stories from the early 14th century, following the persecution of the Knights Templar, a Catholic military order linked to the Crusades, who have since become the subjects of many historical myths and legends. Downton Abbey's Tom Cullen plays the leader of the Templars in a dramatic tale filled with sword battles and religious conflict. If you're into any sort of conspiracy thrillers, you've probably come across at least a few stories that invoke the Templars; this time, the story is actually about them and how they became these figures of legend.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Marco Polo
Take the sweeping camera shots and political warfare of Game of Thrones and add in some real history, and you've got Marco Polo. The historical series is a fictionalization of the real-life explorer's adventures in the court of Kublai Khan in 13th-century Mongolia, where he finds himself embedded in sophisticated political power plays and dangerous wars. GOT fans will definitely be intrigued by the constantly shifting alliances, doomed romances, and big battles that are loosely (sometimes very loosely) adapted from the memoirs of one of history's most famous explorers of all time. If you're looking for a series that delivers on adventure, this could be the one.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Merlin
For a gentler take on the medieval swords-and-magic epic, go with Merlin, an origin story about the legends of Camelot. In this version, Merlin is a servant to the arrogant Prince Arthur while secretly keeping his magical gifts hidden in a world where magic is banned. As the two men come of age alongside each other, Merlin fights to protect Arthur's destiny as the once and future king. Other figures from Arthurian legend, from Guinevere and Lancelot to the Knights of the Round Table, make appearances throughout the story, although their histories, it seems, aren't always exactly the way we're used to hearing them told.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Outlander
If you'd like a little more romance with your big-budget battles and complicated webs of characters, then Outlander is for you. Claire, a WWII-era nurse, is accidentally sent back in time to 18th-century Scotland, where she is found by a Scottish clan, including the young warrior Jamie. Their love story spans time and space, eventually sending them on decades-long adventures to keep their loved ones safe from the dangers of history. Over the course of many years, they're separated, reunited, build a family among their closest loved ones, and struggle with just how much of their knowledge of the future they can use to keep things the same or try to change things for the better.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Reign
Mary, Queen of Scots is probably most famous for how she died, but in Reign, we're treated to a (heavily dramatized) version of her life as a young woman. The Scottish princess is sent to France to marry the heir to the throne, where she finds unexpected love, a circle of loyal friends, and a dangerous court full of ambitious nobles willing to do anything or betray anyone to gain more power. As Mary grows into her role as queen and carves out her own power base, her inheritance in Scotland awaits as well, leading her closer and closer to the destiny that history has waiting for her.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Rome
Perhaps the only empire as sprawling, dangerous, and messy as Westeros is Rome. HBO's drama follows the evolution of Rome from a republic to an empire, seen through the eyes of soldiers, politicians, and major historical figures (including a pre-Grey's Anatomy Kevin McKidd and pre-Outlander Tobias Menzies). True stories from history blend with fiction as the Roman Empire builds towards the peak of its incredible, though very dangerous, power. If you're missing the feeling of getting involved in the twists and turns of an empire with shifting loyalties and a large cast, this ever-changing, rarely predictable show is for you.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Shadow and Bone
A divided continent, warring factions, and forces of death and darkness that threaten everyone regardless of allegiance — all familiar from GOT, and all key components of Shadow and Bone, adapted from Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse books. An ordinary woman discovers that she is the legendary Sun Summoner, the one being who might be able to finally destroy the deadly Shadow Fold that divides their country, but she must first navigate a dangerous court filled with magic and lies. All the while, a crew of con artists look for a way to make a profit off of whatever they can, legendary beings included.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: The Shannara Chronicles
For more of the fantasy angle, The Shannara Chronicles is a trope-tastic series set in a mysterious, magical land. A team including an Elvin princess, a human-elf hybrid, and a human rover works together to protect the Four Lands from banished demons that threaten to escape. Think the White Walkers vs. the armies in the North, but even creepier! It's not quite as epic in scope as GOT, nor as outright political; it's a little bit closer to more traditional versions of fantasy TV. Still, it's a great option for anyone looking for a new magical world to get acquainted with!
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Spartacus
Game of Thrones saw enslaved people rise up and kingdoms crumble, and that's at the heart of Spartacus as well. The legendary leader of the Roman slave rebellion fights back against the Roman government in this drama filled to the brim with all the violence, betrayal, sex, and scheming that GOT viewers will recognize. Different seasons depict different parts of the rebellion, including the backstories of many characters as they slowly come together to form an alliance that could go up against one of the greatest empires the world has ever seen. You might know how this one turns out, but trust us, you're gonna want to see how it happens.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Versailles
The battles of Versailles take place more in gilded halls than grimy battlefields, but the stunning baroque backgrounds make them no less dangerous. This opulent historical drama presents a sexy, dramatic, and even shocking version of the reign of Louis XIV, the "Sun King" who built Versailles. Power plays abound (as do some eye-popping costumes) as the nobility struggles to retain power and the king tries to figure out who he can truly trust. Amidst affairs, family dramas, and international intrigues, there's also the simmering tensions as the people of France grow weary with the nobility — and it's bound to erupt sometime.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Vikings
In real life, the conquests and exploits of the Viking warriors were every bit as dangerous and dramatic as the battles on GOT. This series starts out with the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok, a legendary Norse hero who rises from peasant farmer to king. Over the course of many years, his enemies and allies rise and fall, and a new generation comes forward to fight new battles. Of particular interest for GOT fans may also be the tradition of Viking "shieldmaidens" — warrior women who are just as dangerous as their male comrades and who would definitely make Arya Stark and Brienne of Tarth proud!
Shows Like Game of Thrones: Westworld
For another haunting epic with an ensemble cast, look no further than fellow HBO show Westworld, a sci-fi drama set at a Wild West "theme park" filled with sentient robotic "hosts." As the elite guests demand more and more — from bloody gunfights to erotic fantasies — with no consequences, the android hosts slowly begin to fight back, leading to a full-fledged revolution. Think of this one as GOT's futuristic cousin: still filled with moral dilemmas, complicated characters, and behind-the-scenes conspiracies, but with a very modern twist that's more about the ethics of scientific progress than the politics of empire.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: The Wheel of Time
Amazon's new fantasy epic, based on a 14-book series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, has been touted over and over as the new Game of Thrones, and it's easy to see why. Set in a complicated fantasy world with a massive, interwoven cast, the show traces the journey of a small group of people, one of whom might be the reincarnation of an ancient and powerful being who is fated to save the world — or possibly destroy it. We've got a cast full of intriguing characters, a magical prophecy, and a lengthy story perfect for anyone looking to settle in for a long journey once more.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: The White Queen
The warring houses of Game of Thrones are very loosely inspired by the Wars of the Roses, the medieval wars over the English throne between the Houses of Lancaster and York. There are also some historical nods in The White Queen, which tells the story of how a king on a precarious, newly-won throne marries a commoner with mysterious gifts. As they fight to keep their tenuous grip on the throne, the king's brothers and former allies have ambitions of their own. You'll definitely see the parallels between this history and GOT, from the three brothers who fight for a crown to a powerful and mistrusted queen and much more.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: The White Princess
The follow-up to The White Queen is The White Princess. This time, it's Elizabeth of York who takes center stage. The heiress of a dead king and disgraced queen, she marries the man who won the throne in battle — and who she suspects of murdering her own brothers. Once again, we're at a court where no one really trusts each other, where the ghosts of past murders linger around every corner, and where pretty much everyone has plotted against everyone else at some point in the not-so-distant past. It's just the kind of betrayal and plotting we love so much in GOT.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: The Spanish Princess
Catherine of Aragon would fit right in alongside the smart, courageous women of Game of Thrones. After witnessing her powerful parents' conquests throughout Europe, Catherine heads to England to marry Prince Arthur, the Tudor heir. When tragedy strikes, she's left adrift in a foreign country and makes a fateful decision that changes her life and England itself forever. If your favorite part of GOT was its complicated, courageous, and sometimes ruthless women, then this show, which surrounds Catherine with as many powerful women as men, is definitely one to watch. This show will definitely make you want to learn more about the kick-ass women of this time period.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: The Tudors
Whether you're drawn to the decadent courts of the Martells and Tyrells, the vicious politicking of the Lannisters, or the action-packed battles, The Tudors has something for every GOT fan. We first meet the legendary King Henry VIII as a young man at an unstable, glamorous court, then follow him through the decades as he slowly becomes more paranoid and prone to vengeance — especially on his series of wives. Henry starts out married to Catherine of Aragon, the former Spanish princess unafraid of anything. When his head is turned by ambitious Anne Boleyn at the same time as England's power is waning, Henry becomes determined to have his way and establish his power no matter the cost.
Shows Like Game of Thrones: The Witcher
Sword fighting? Check. Scheming royals? Check. Handsome men looking grimy and scruffy? Check. Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher has everything a Game of Thrones fan could want in a new fantasy series. The story centers on Geralt of Rivia, a powerful monster hunter who finds himself the fated guardian and mentor of Ciri, a young princess who possesses a few magical powers of her own. Along with a sorceress, a bard, and an assortment of other characters with their own personal agendas, they work their way towards their destinies while their land and all they know is threatened by an army of invaders.