Ask not for whom the game thrones; it thrones for thee. This Monday Game of Thrones, the television show that invented death, finally ends. Now you can move on, at least until the prequel starts. What should you watch next to scratch that itch? It depends on what you’ll miss about Thrones.
Breaking Bad, Mr Robot, House of Cards and The Americans create tension around double lives, secrets and violence. Six Feet Under kills someone off every episode. The Walking Dead puts its characters through hell, then resurrects them for evil.
The Crown dramatises the pressures of royalty. Orange Is the New Black follows a huge ensemble cast and makes you empathise with the villains. Jane the Virgin (also about to end) pummels you two-handed with shocking revelations.
You could get a Thrones fix with Lost, Rome, Heroes, The Tudors, The Borgias, Westworld, Wolf Hall, The Last Kingdom, True Blood, American Gods, Outlander, Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire or The Wire.
Here’s what the Lifehacker staff recommends you watch next, and why.
A.A. Newton, Contributor: Deadwood
Do you miss the intricate, profanity-riddled dialogue, overwhelming griminess and semi-historically accurate political manoeuvring of early GoT? Well, then Deadwood is for you.
Based on real-life Deadwood, South Dakota — and the historical figures who lived there — the show follows Deadwood’s transformation from a ramshackle mining camp into an actual town.
It has intrigue, violence, power struggles and sex positions aplenty, as well as the kind of old-timey racism and misogyny that people love to defend for being historically accurate — just like Game of Thrones!
Abu Zafar, Video Producer: Medici: Masters of Florence
You want more political intrigue and dynastic rivalries? Do you miss Rob Stark? Look no further than Netflix’s Medici: Masters of Florence. This historical drama is set in 15th century Florence, and follows the trials and tribulations of one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Renaissance Italy.
The first season stars Richard Madden (Rob Stark) as the ruthless and effective head of the Medici clan, Cosimo de Medici. The second season focuses on the most famous of the Medicis, Lorenzo The Magnificent.
The show does takes plenty of liberties with historical facts. But the true history of the Medicis is rife with murder, betrayal, politics and forbidden love, all of which is present and accounted for in the show.
Virginia K. Smith, Managing Editor: The Sopranos
This is in no way related to Game of Thrones, but it’s never a bad time to re-watch The Sopranos. Especially if you watch it the way I do, which is to make a theme night every time you watch it.
Have some red wine on deck, and plate of meats/olives/gabagool, spaghetti and meatballs, an Italian sandwich, or any other Artie Buco-approved red sauce type meal. Shoving cured meats into your face while you watch Tony do the same is weirdly satisfying in a way I don’t care to examine or explain too closely.
Claire Lower, Food Editor: I Think You Should Leave
Quit watching high-budget soap operas and just binge I Think You Should Leave, which is the most delightfully absurdist collection of sketches I have seen in a long time. I put it on whenever I need pure, silly escapism, neatly packaged in 16-minute episodes. I have watched it four times now. Episode five — the one with the skeleton song — is my favourite.
David Murphy, Tech Editor: Chef’s Table and Nailed It
I’m going to do a complete 180 and extract myself from the fantasy world for a bit. That means it’s time to catch back up on Netflix’s greatest show, Chef’s Table, or the new street food-based spinoff. I hope they show an elegant, slow-motion, 4K shot of someone pulling a hot dog out of a street cart’s basin of hot water — set to some lovely Mozart music, of course.
Who am I kidding, though. I’m going to binge-watch Nailed It season three, because it brings me joy and Nicole Byer’s boundless enthusiasm (for Wes) is exactly what I need now that my entire Game of Thones all-star team is dead. Sigh.
Lisa Rowan, Finance Writer: Killing Eve
I never got into Game of Thrones, because I was too busy watching The Americans, Orphan Black, Mr Robot and just about every other show that required turning up the brightness on my TV.
If you as well just want to leave your screen alone for a while, put on Killing Eve, the surprisingly funny spy-vs.-spy thriller staring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. Maybe the body count on GoT is higher, but I’m confident you’ll acclimate just fine. And with season two about to end, you have plenty of time to catch up.
Nick Douglas, Staff Writer: Borgen and The Thick of It
Instead of watching Thrones I read the books, because I’m an intellectual. And my favourite part was watching everyone jockey for position — my favourite characters were Varys and Littlefinger. I don’t need the sex or violence, I need more of that deft manoeuvring.
Which is exactly what you’ll get from the first few episodes of Borgen, the Danish counterpart to The West Wing. Like West Wing, the series settles into issues-of-the-week and family drama, but it begins with a Thronesian struggle for control of the Danish parliament, which runs on a multi-party system that you’ll want to look up on Wikipedia.
But if you don’t want to read captions, try The Thick of It, the UK predecessor to Veep that’s sharper, meaner and full of people ruthlessly (albeit metaphorically) backstabbing each other to get ahead in government.
Meghan Walbert, Contributing Writer: Peaky Blinders
I’m the one who wrote “How to Survive the Final Season of Game of Thrones If You Aren’t a Fan”, so you probably don’t want my opinion. Instead, I asked a true GoT fan (my husband) and he promptly suggested another show I’ve never seen: Peaky Blinders.
IMDb tells me this is a “gangster family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, England, centred on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps”. My husband describes its appeal this way: “Tons of twists and turns, it has the violence aspect of GoT that some people are really into, rollercoaster relationship stuff, it’s grimy and dirty, terrific accents.”
Heather Hass, Creative Producer: The Song of Ice and Fire audiobooks
My recommendation is for the sentimental folks who aren’t ready to let go just yet. For those of us who are going into the last episode dragging our nails, pop in the audiobooks. The narration is great, and each of the five books is between 30-50 hours. Also, in the books you really get into each of the characters’ heads in a way that you can’t while watching.
In between listening, watch HBO’s behind-the-scenes of each episode. That should keep us busy, and if we can save it for an hour every Monday, we’d potentially stretch this out for years.
After that, you can watch every movie any of the actors have ever been in. Daenerys: Me Before You. Sansa: X-Men: Apocalypse. The Hound: Hot Fuzz. Arya: The Falling. Cersei: 300. Missandei: Furious 7. Jon Snow: Testament of Youth. Jorah: Tomb Raider. Tyrion: X-Men: Days of Future Past. Brienne: The Force Awakens. Gendry: Skins. Ned Stark: The Lord of the Rings. Bran: The Awakening.
When you have nothing GoT-related left to consume and it’s time to move on with your life, lie in your bed, stare at your ceiling and listen to this.
Joel Kahn, Senior Video Producer: Barry
If you need something to watch after GoT, why not the show that HBO itself places directly after it in their US schedule? This is, of course, Barry, which (even though it is a 30-minute comedy set in LA) will satisfy your GoT cravings.
To quote another Bill Hader character, Barry has EVERYTHING: Shocking deaths, blood-thirsty warlords, complex thoughts of good vs bad, and dark dry humour. Plus Henry Winkler!