10 Shows you must watch now 'Game of Thrones' has vanished from our screens
At last, we can all breathe out a sigh of relief and relax: Game of Thrones has finally finished (for two years).
For those of us who don't watch GoT - like myself - this was the best bit of news we've had for a while. Now, I can go back to my normal life, devoid of any conversations regarding white walkers and Jon Snow. Now, I can join in with office conversations once more, and can have a pint without feeling left out. But most importantly: now, I can laugh at memes on the internet because I will actually understand them.
In light of GoT finally ending, we are seeing a huge number of lost people appear online questioning what they should watch next. If you're anything like me, the likelihood is that you believe you have watched every possible show there is to watch and now there is nothing left for you.
Well you, my friend, are wrong. Below is a handy list of some of the best programmes to watch in order to fill up your time, but be warned: they're highly addictive.
1. Peaky Blinders
I know you're meant to save the best till last, but rules are there to be broken, right? Right. So, I'm going to start with the best. Peaky Blinders is the best thing that's been on TV in the last few years, hands down. It is absolutely brilliant to watch and it has to be up there with the most stylish programme to have ever existed. The clothing, the music, the cinematography and the cast make this an unmissable watch, and in Tommy Shelby (portrayed by the excellent Cillian Murphy) the show's writers have created one of the greatest anti-heroes to ever grace the screen. For fans of violence, sex, gangsters and scenes of an incredibly tense nature (basically GoT), this show will not disappoint you.
Vikings is essentially Game of Thrones but without the dragons (so it's better). Produced by the History Channel, Vikings follows the rise of Ragnar Lodbrok, a legendary figure in Norse mythology, as he transforms from a small time farmer to an Viking raider and all-round badass. A third series has just been commissioned and is set to be released in Spring, giving you plenty of time to catch-up with what has gone down previously.
I'm not going to lie, when I began watching this programme, I thought it was completely ridiculous. But like a fine wine, the first season of this BBC drama went from strength-to-strength as it progressed. Taboo, which was co-created by and stars Tom Hardy, focuses on the travails of James Delaney, a gritty traveller who returns to London to claim his father's inheritance. However, what follows is a surprising amount of violence, magic and politics, as Hardy finds himself in a game of cat and mouse with the East India Company and the Royal family. The show is packed full of politics and multiple twists which should be enough to satisfy GoT fans.
It may be a bit more futuristic than GoT, but the themes that Westworld explores are very similar. Based on a 1973 film by the same name, Westworld set the world alight when it premiered last year. The show broke records when it became the most watched premiere since True Detective in 2014, and also ranks as the most-watched HBO series of all time. The series centres around an amusement park populated by robotic hosts who visitors can do anything to without retaliation (including murder and rape). While the story-line can be slightly confusing as it switches between different stories, the "big twist" is worth watching the series for.
5. Mr. Robot
Again, while a series focusing on computer hacking might not seem like an obvious replacement for the medieval feel of GoT, Mr. Robot is well worth a watch. Starring the fantastic Rami Malek as Elliot, the series focuses on a hacker with severe mental illness and social anxiety. Elliot is a low-key hacker on the side of his full time work, and is recruited by "Mr Robot", who has a team of hackers waiting to take down the world's financial market in order to cause utter carnage. What follows is two series of twists and turns that will keep you guessing every move that the programme makes.
6. Stranger Things
To be honest, if I'm really having to tell you to watch this show, you must have been living under a rock for the last year-or-so. Stranger Things became everybody's favourite show when it premiered on Netflix in 2016, and the anticipation for the second series set to drop this year is palpable. The Spielberg-inspired show focuses on a group of kids who begin investigating a series of supernatural occurrences after their friend goes missing and is packed full of drama, action and scenes of a frightening nature. For lovers of adrenaline filled television, this is the show for you.
Quite possibly the most violent TV show to have ever existed, Spartacus is the show for people who thought that the battle scenes in GoT were a bit tame. The show's creators seem to work as hard a possible to find new ways to horrifically kill off characters, so if you've ever wondered what it looks like when someone's jaw falls off, just watch this show. However, while the violence and gore form a large part of the show's appeal, it does also have some interesting plot lines. Focusing on the gladiator-slave's rebellion against the Romans, Spartacus explores shifting motivations, politics and loyalties and also features an amount of nudity that put GoT to shame.
If you're really not over GoT, then this is arguably the closest match that you're going to get. Rome features an extensive cast of violent but seemingly psychologically stable characters, that isn't too dissimilar to those featured on GoT. The series explores the power struggles that took place in Rome during the days of Julius Caesar's reign, and constantly blurs the boundaries between good and evil to the point where you don't know which side you're on. Also, and arguably most importantly, Rome has a tendency to kill off main characters out of nowhere: something which we all love.
9. Marco Polo
Marco Polo didn't take off the way Netflix probably wanted/expected it to, but it does have a very loyal fanbase. The historical drama series is inspired but the early years of Marco Polo and focuses on his travels after he was abandoned by his father and finds himself in the court of Kublai Khan. While the show wasn't the most popular thing in the world, it explores themes such as intrigue drama and political relations which aren't too dissimilar from Game of Thrones'.
10. House of Cards
Politics was a major issue in GoT, and House of Cards is arguably the greatest political show of all time. Having collected two Golden Globes, six Emmys, a Peabody and a host of other awards, if you haven't watched this show, you really need to evaluate what you're doing. The programme stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as power couple who are willing do whatever they can in order to climb the political power ladder. If you thought the political game-playing in GoT was interesting, just wait till you see what happens in "House of Cards".
There you have it, 10 shows to satisfy your Game of Thrones cravings for the next couple of years. Now, I just need everyone to watch these programmes so that I can join in with conversations about television, without sounding like a complete outcast.