10 Insanely Addictive TV Shows Like Game of Thrones | Page 2

You don't need to wait for Winter to enjoy these Game of Thrones-like TV epics!

10 Insanely Addictive TV Shows Like Game of Thrones

6. Boardwalk Empire

TV Shows Like Game of Thrones Boardwalk Empire

HBO has a rich repository of shows like Game of Thrones. One of the best is Boardwalk Empire. Created by Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter, this series stars the inimitable Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson – a devilishly corrupt treasurer of Atlantic County in the Prohibition Era of the 1920s and 1930s. As you’d imagine, the series is ripe with political struggles between mob bosses and government agents, all vying for their own selfish agendas. Double-crosses are aplenty in this dramatized world drenched in illegal activities and power-hungry characters, echoing the familiar tropes of Game of Thrones.

Where Boardwalk Empire excels most is its excellent ensemble cast. Michael Pitt, Kelly MacDonald, Michael Shannon, Jack Huston, and Bobby Cannavale are just some of the talented actors whose top-notch performances add to the overall immersion. Such strong showings have even led many to compare the merits of both Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones.

Overall, Boardwalk Empire’s at times plodding pace might not appeal to all. Still, the series is most definitely worth checking out for anyone remotely keen on TV shows like Game of Thrones.

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Read more honest reviews of Boardwalk Empire.

 

7. Black Sails

Read more honest reviews of Black Sails

Comparisons between Black Sails and Game of Thrones are in no short supply (seriously, Google ‘Black Sails vs …..’ and watch that autofill). The show ranks high when it comes to building a captivating world filled with eloquent dialogue, blood-drenched battles, and complex human drama. Created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine, Black Sails is set two decades prior to the events of Robert Louis Stevenson’s seminal novel, Treasure Island. As you’d expect from its title, a lot of what goes on involves pirates as they battle for supremacy and survival on New Providence Island. Heavy narrative focus is placed on the much-feared Captain Flint, played by the talented Toby Stephens.

In fairness, Black Sails takes a little longer than Game of Thrones to hook you in (ha, caught the pirate reference?). Nonetheless, critics have steadily praised the show for its many truly epic battles, all shot with sprawling cinematography. The series is also packed with a surprising number of emotional scenes and cliffhanger moments – all key ingredients to Game of Thrones’ huge success. Cast member Hakeem Kae-Kazim himself promotes the show as a unique “gritty sort of tale of political assassinations and intrigue” while gracefully accepting its popular likening to GoT.

In short, Black Sails keeps afloat with other TV shows like Game of Thrones, even as it develops its own original premise. A must-watch for any fan!

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Read more honest reviews of Black Sails.

 

8. The Wire

TV Shows Like Game of Thrones The Wire

The Wire is bar none one of the greatest cops / criminals drama to ever grace television. In fact, there’s quite a bit of debate as to which show is the greatest HBO series ever made: this, or Game of Thrones. The jury is still out. Regardless, the series does share many things in common with its fantasy counterpart, albeit with a far more realistic setting of Baltimore, Maryland.

Like Game of Thrones, The Wire flourishes on political intrigue, intentionally toying with moral gray areas without clear distinctions of good and evil. There’s also more double-plays and cliffhangers than you can count. Also similar to Game of Thrones is its ever-evolving cast of diverse characters, including try-to-do-gooders, corrupt cops, dangerous drug lords, and power-hungry politicians. Sounds like our kind of party!

Overall, The Wire is a stellar classic among TV shows like Game of Thrones. It’s gripping small screen portrayal of treacherous inner-city life remains unrivalled up to this day.

Note: Of course, if you enjoy both these shows, you absolutely must catch The Sopranos. Duh!

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Read more honest reviews of The Wire.

 

9. I, Claudius

TV Shows Like Game of Thrones I Claudius

George R. R. Martin himself claims to be heavily inspired by historical fiction. Interestingly, one of his characters – Stannis Baratheon – was directly molded after Tiberius Caesar (played by George Baker) in the classic I, Claudius. This is a show that few Game of Throne fans have actually watched, but really ought to.

I, Claudius is based off a series of Robert Graves’ novels, offering a faux-autobiographical telling of the mighty Roman Emperor, Claudius. Similar to Game of Thrones, ferociously scheming rival Roman factions take centerstage with many devious plots at work. I, Claudius also deals with incest, massacres, political blackmail, and other cheery topics that’ll leave you wondering when humanity died.

Being released way back in 1976, I, Claudius does look a little dated by today’s standards. At times the show comes across more like a modest-scale play compared to other epic shows like Game of Thrones. However, this closed environment actually helps to heighten the intensity of many scenes, steering you to pay closer attention to the soaring, well-written dialogues between characters.

I, Claudius will likely appeal to anyone on the lookout for Martin’s lesser-known sources of inspiration. This much-loved albeit aging series bears ample semblances to most newer TV shows like Game of Thrones, and is fully deserving of its inclusion here.

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Read more honest reviews of I, Claudius.

 

10. The Tudors

TV Shows Like Game of Thrones The Tudors

The Tudors weaves a fictional retelling of King Henry VIII’s tumultuous reign over England in the 16th century. Akin to most TV shows like Game of Thrones, the series is filled with political suspense and stealthy scheming from a host of morally questionable characters. There’s also a lot of thematic flair with elaborately furnished scenes, costumes, and linguistic stylings.

Comparisons between The Tudors and Game of Thrones happen all the time. Buzzfeed, for instance, notes the many similarities among characters (for example, both shows have young slap-worthy kings). Sex and violence are also rampant, along with your expected familial dysfunctions and rivalries. In addition, the acting in Tudors’ is consistently stellar with standout performances from Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and other incredible talents.

The Tudor does dip a little in quality towards the end of Season 4. All in all, though, you’ll most definitely want to give the series a try if you’re looking to sink your teeth into more TV shows like Game of Thrones.

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Read more honest reviews of The Tudors.

 

Honorable Mentions

Here are more fantastic TV shows like Game of Thrones. Some of these do not meet our entire selection criteria, but still fully deserve a solid mention!

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Camelot

 

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The Borgias

 

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Merlin

 

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Marco Polo

 

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The White Queen

 

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The Bastard Executioner

 

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Orphan Black

 

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The Last Kingdom

 

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Peaky Blinders

 

Did we miss any gripping TV shows like Game of Thrones? Drop us your suggestions in the comments section below. We’ll add them into the growing list!

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Kevin is a journalism graduate, an annoying Fannibal, and is currently counting the days until Game of Thrones comes back. He writes about TV, movies, music, and anything even tangentially related to Doctor Who. He can usually be found head-first into the new Stephen King novel or irritating his cat.

2 Comments

  1. kobej59@yahoo.com'

    A good list but why th is breaking bad not in this list?! I mean it’s the greatest tv show of all time.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your suggestion! Breaking Bad was one of the best shows, ever. And it definitely fits into our criteria, although it isn’t really set to a political backdrop per se. But that’s cool still. One of the reasons we didn’t include it into this list is because we’re coming up with an exclusive list for Breaking Bad itself. 🙂 We’ll put it in the list nonetheless, thank you! 🙂

      Reply

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