Game of Thrones is lone of the most beloved prestige shows in recent television history. It has amazing characters, wild plot twists, and astounding production values. But what if there was another show that did everything GoT does, but better? Well, it exists, and it’s called Spartacus. The Starz take on the story of the Thracian gladiator had several permutations - Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Spartacus: Vengeance, and Spartacus: War of the Damned. In every version, it dialed the things you love about Game of Thrones up to 11.
Relish action? Spartacus has it in such abundance it’ll make your head spin. Love adult pleasure? Spartacus has more than almost any show on TV. Obsessed with diverse casts of characters of various backgrounds and sexual orientations? Spartacus has that, too. When you combine all that with sharp writing and true attitude, you have yourself a binge-worthy show.
Game of Thrones may have some great fights, but there are plenty of episodes that are just concentrated on talking. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you're looking for a show that's more about scantily clothed men brawling with spears, Spartacus is the series for you. Even the slower episodes featured some kind of brawl, and delivering action like that every episode is no easy feat.
Spartacus's creator, Steven S. DeKnight, described Gannicus as "Han Solo meets Achilles." The ultimate cocky hero, Gannicus may be the best fighter on the show without even trying. He’s always quick with a one-liner, a swig of wine, or a smirk that’ll bring any woman into his bed. The guy is a rock star, and he doesn’t let anyone forget it.
The prevalence of hooking up on Game of Thrones even spawned a new term: "sexposition." It almost became a crutch the writers relied on to make the scenes more interesting. Spartacus doesn't use unclothed people as info-delivery devices. It does use adult pleasure as part of the plot. Ilithyia, for example, was a noblewoman who hated Spartacus and frequently deployed hooking up for the purposes of blackmail.
Game of Thrones has its share of unstable characters. Lucretia was unstable, but she also had Littlefinger-style cunning. By the end of her arc on Spartacus, Lucretia might have been taken down by her own madness, but it was something she deliberately planned. She went out on her own terms instead of being outmaneuvered.