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5 Television Shows like Game of Thrones

By Edited Nov 15, 2013 9 10

You have read all the books, you have watched the past seasons eight hundred times and yet you still can't get enough of the Game of Thrones series. Over the long days between episodes or the even longer months between seasons of HBO's hit television show us ravenous fans need something to fill the time in between our adventures in Westeros. One can only watch the past season of Game of Thrones so many times before you can start reciting lines before they are said.

 

game of thrones

We certainly can't rely on George R.R. Martin to release his new book into the series anytime soon, so thus we must turn to television. The shows below capture the best aspects of Game of Thrones. The shows have power hungry scheming by naughty nobles, raunchy sexual and often graphic encounters, and gratuitous violence. Of course, that is not all we like Game of Thrones for. We also like the depth of the plot and the engaging nature of the characters, the shows below have those too.

While no show below captures the vast and beautiful fantasy world that is created in the Game of Thrones story, they do encompass a lot of the things we love about the show any way.

spartacus

Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Spartacus: Blood and Sand - The Complete First Season
Amazon Price: $59.98 $19.72 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 6, 2013)
Spartacus: Blood and Sand is everything Game of Thrones is. While it is not set in a vast and interesting fantasy world, it is set in Ancient Rome. Ancient Rome is just as filled with intrigue, sex, and betrayal as Game of Thrones is if not more. Especially with the sex. If prudes click their tongues at Game of Thrones for its graphic sex scenes, I think the barely-above-pornography nature of Spartacus: Blood and Sand may very well give them a heart attack. However, what can you expect from Ancient Rome, a time known for their hedonism and debauchery.
Spartacus: Blood and Sand brings to life the story of the Thracian gladiator Spartacus who led slaves in rebellion to ravage the southern bits of Italy. This particular incarnation on the classic story is heavy on the blood and styled in a way that makes it very similar to the movie 300. If you like Game of Thrones for the intrigue and plots within plots, there is plenty of that found among the Romans when they are not busy having orgies or watching their slaves brutally murder each other for sport. They are constantly in a struggle for gaining social status and seeking to ruin those that would stand in their way.
tudors

The Tudors

The Tudors: The Complete Series
Amazon Price: $99.98 $63.59 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 6, 2013)
The Tudors, in a way, is almost exactly like Game of Thrones. In fact there are even a few videos of The Tudors opening set to Game of Thrones music. When The Tudors ended in 2010, a lot of their diehard fans found solstice in Game of Thrones. Perhaps you are one of those fans already.
If not, this historical drama follows the tumultuous reign of King Henry VIII of England. If you are unfamiliar with history, King Henry VIII was desperate to produce a son so that he could have an heir. His first wife had only managed to produce a daughter and he wanted to remarry to someone who could produce a son. The problem being that the church of Rome forbid divorces. Henry VIII defied the church of Rome and divorced his wives not once, but four times in order to produce an heir. As you can imagine, the church did not ignore this slight to their authority. The Tudors is filled with religious rebellion, both from King and country, cheating wives, and devious plots.
rome

Rome

Rome: The Complete Series
Amazon Price: $79.96 $54.96 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 6, 2013)
Like in The Borgias and Spartacus: Blood and Sand we return to the city of this HBO series' namesake--Rome. There is no better place for devious plots than in ancient Rome. This series follows the transition of Rome from Republic to Empire under the thumb of Julius Ceasar. Interestingly enough, this series historically happened just after the Spartacus rebellion of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. However, this time instead of focusing primarily on the lower slave class of Rome, this historical drama follows the cunning lives of the upper class.
We all know how naughty the upper class of Rome is. They are just as naughty as the upper class of Westeros in Game of Thrones. Murder, sex, intrigue, everything you would expect from and HBO series is again present in Rome just like it is in Game of Thrones.
The Borgias

The Borgias

The Borgias: The First Season
Amazon Price: $39.98 $19.82 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 6, 2013)
The Borgias was Showtime's answer to Game of Thrones. Both series started in April 2011, so they were in stiff competition. Of course, Game of Thrones won out, but The Borgias is definitely not a bad watch. In fact, the plots of the shows are rather similar. The Borgias follow the House of Borgia from Spain who reside in Rome. After the Pope dies, the head of the Borgia family Cardinal Borgia fancies to be the new one.
However, he is not the only cardinal who means to take that spot. In this kind of historical drama, The Vatican turns into King's Landing a little too quick with all the assassinations and power hungry plots.
the walking dead

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season
Amazon Price: $39.98 $10.59 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 6, 2013)
Undoubtly if you watch Game of Thrones you probably already watch AMC's The Walking Dead. However, if not it is an excellent choice to occupy your Game of Thrones free time. While the story is fairly straight forward and does not have massive in-depth schemes for power that can be found in Game of Thrones, it is a powerful story of family and loyalty.
The Walking Dead takes place in the modern day world after the zombie apocalypse. It focuses on previously small town sheriff Rick Grimes in his struggle to keep his family and small group of survivors alive through a time when the remaining living are just as dangerous as the flesh hungry undead. The Walking Dead may have different settings, but it does share a common theme--Everyone dies. Your favorite characters may be shot dead by survivors or ambushed by undead and eaten. George R.R. Martin and Robert Kirkman (the author of The Walking Dead comic book) just love to kill off your favorite characters for sport.
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Comments

Mar 2, 2013 4:38am
mikerobbers
Pretty cool list. The Borgias and the Walking Dead are quite good!
Mar 2, 2013 10:17am
Amerowolf
Thanks for the comment and agreed!

Too bad The Borgias kind of got overshadowed by Game of Thrones in it's day though.
Mar 2, 2013 4:00pm
MrMojo
Great article. I've watched all of these shows except Walking Dead. I really liked Rome. Spartacus is fun but it's hard to take it seriously.
Apr 29, 2013 5:36am
Pbatten_33
Very interesting list. I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones. It's probably my all-time fav show. I've watched 2 seasons of Walking Dead and I have heard pretty good things about Spartacus. I will have to check out these other shows to see how they compare.
Apr 29, 2013 6:40am
EliasZanetti
The waiting time for each new Game of Thrones season is hard to bear for most fans :) The Walking Dead is good and I also like HBO's Boardwalk Empire too.Thank you for the list.
Apr 29, 2013 9:18am
jengojengo
Have you been watching Defiance (the new Sci Fi series?) It's great- kinda like Firefly meets Battlestar Galactica meets Star Trek DS9.
Apr 29, 2013 1:52pm
AdaptiveWalrus
The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are my favorite two shows right now. Borgias isn't too bad either.
Apr 30, 2013 3:36am
GeorgiMarkov
In a way The Borgias are even better than Game of Thrones - the script is more powerful for example. Still GoT is more epic and has more action than all the rest and this is what makes it so successful. Totally agree with MrMojo about Spartacus.
May 4, 2013 11:48am
silverstreak
will start watching!
May 20, 2013 12:36pm
vicdillinger
I have been very well pleased with much of the historically based programming of late (I enjoyed--and looked forward to--all three "Spartacus" series offerings). Leonardo DaVinci (on Starz, "DaVinci's Demons")) has come in for the pre-steampunk treatment, too. It's nice to see some producers taking chances on these reality-based, better-than-reality shows. Good overview (except for "Walking Dead", I think that's a pointless waste of air-time, but of course that's only my opinion). Das thumb!
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