In just one day, the series finale of Game of Thrones will air and HBO’s epic fantasy saga will come to a close. For fans who’ve invested almost a full decade following the blood-drenched story of the Seven Kingdoms, it marks the end of an era, and will leave a lot of people asking: “What do I watch now?”
In the event of a Game of Thrones comedown, we’ve got you. Here are four shows which will satisfy your craving for the high stakes drama and quality storytelling that Game of Thrones became known for (until that divisive eighth season, at least).
Netflix’s first original series out of South Korea is a fun mash-up of historical drama and horror. Set in the medieval Joseon period, it opens as Crown Prince Yi-Chang begins to suspect his father, the Emperor, has fallen ill from a mysterious plague. What follows is an imaginative take on traditional vampire and zombie lore, as the virus travels across the empire while the prince, accompanied by a resourceful physician and mysterious outlaw, attempts to prevent it spreading and contends with a coup.
If your favorite parts of Game of Thrones were Tywin’s scathing monologues, Varys and Littlefinger’s sparring and various back-stabbing power plays in the capital, then Succession will scratch that itch. When patriarch Logan Roy, a media mogul, begins to suffer from ill health, it sparks a power struggle between his three children. The Roy family give the Lannisters a run for their money in the ruthlessness stakes in this King Lear-inspired saga, created by Jesse Armstrong, who honed his craft writing for Black Mirror, Babylon and Veep.
His Dark Materials
Vivid characters, political intrigue, and sinister forces at play in a fantastical world — sound familiar? Based on Philip Pullman’s beloved trilogy of novels, with an all-star cast including James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda, His Dark Materials promises to be a television event of Westerosi proportions.
Taking place in an alternate, steampunk-tinged version of our reality, the story follows young Lyra as she rebels against her tutors and caretakers at Oxford, and stumbles across a conspiracy which is endangering other children and threatens to put the fate of the entire cosmos at risk. Also, did we mention there’s a talking polar bear?
Adapted from the seminal comic series by Alan Moore, HBO is touting Watchmen as its Game of Thrones replacement, which makes a certain amount of sense. Just like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the source material here takes popular genre tropes (in this case, superheroes), tears them apart, and then weaves them back together into a dark and violent story with some big things to say about war, power, and morality.
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