Power struggles? Tick! Blood and gore? Tick! Sex and nudity? Tick! Vikings is like Game of Thrones’s nordic, slightly less wealthy cousin. The drama follows farmer-turned-king Ragnor Lothbrok as he rules at home – and attempts to pillage and plunder new lands overseas. It’s got a young, attractive cast, including former model Travis Fimmel and martial arts expert Katheryn Winnick, stunning scenery and fantasy themes. Plus there are four seasons to watch. That’ll keep you busy until Thrones season seven, eh?
Game of Thrones might have been dubbed a show about tits and dragons, but any true fan will know it’s really about the politics. You know, the scheming, plotting and manipulating involved in survival, in preserving your family name and reputation at all costs, in clambering your way up to sit on the Iron Throne.
House of Cards might not be fantastical or historical, but while Tyrion, Littlefinger and co take a break, Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood might just fill the void. He’s a ruthless and power-hungry Democratic congressman who was promised Secretary of State only to be passed over for someone else. What follows is a dedicated, violent and drawn out act of revenge.
Outlander might feel like light relief compared to Game of Thrones, but it has its dark moments too. There aren’t any dragons, but there is time travel. And there are a lot of sex scenes. Bodice-ripping but actually character-developing too. Winner.
Starring Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe, Outlander is an epic, historical, romantic adventure series based on the popular novels by American author Diana Gabaldon. There are currently two seasons to catch up on, but, like George RR Martin, Gabaldon is still writing so this show could run and run…
If you love Thrones for those insanely dark, heart-racing moments then Penny Dreadful should keep you happy in the interim. A psychological thriller set in Victorian London, its cast of characters is made up of familiar names. Think Dorian Grey, Victor Frankenstein, Count Dracula, Henry Jekyll and more. You’ll also recognise plenty of the stars, including Josh Hartnett, Eva Green and Timothy Dalton.
It’s strange, gruesome and seriously surreal. So you’ll probably want to start bingeing it right away…
Penny Dreadful is available on NOW TV and Amazon Video
This French-British drama shocked conservative politicians when it first appeared. All that exposed flesh, and on the BBC of all places. For a Thrones fan, though, the sex in this stylish drama about the Sun King and his dreams of building a palace in Versailles is old hat.
Instead the cool cast, sumptuous period setting and violent power struggles will entertain, alongside all those blood-thirsty plots, murders and scandals.
Versailles is available on BBC iPlayer and BBC Store
Set in the 9th century, The Last Kingdom is based on Bernard Cornwell’s historical novel series The Saxon Stories. It follows Uhtred (a man who dresses an awful lot like Jon Snow), the son of a Saxon nobleman who was captured by viking Danes and reared as one of them…
As a grown man, Uhtred battles with the conflict between his ancestry and his upbringing, and his loyalties are constantly tested.