Admit it: TV hasn't been the same since Game of Thrones went off the air in May 2019. HBO's epic fantasy series was the watercooler show of the 2010s, keeping its huge audience talking about the show's twists and turns with every new episode. Now, that audience has scattered to a larger variety of TV shows. Some viewers seek more fantasy realms full of magic and monsters. Others are looking for familial power struggles and betrayals, while still more are trying to create the dramatic thrill of knowing your favorite character could be eliminated at any moment.
Plenty of great TV shows aired new episodes in 2021 that got viewers excited. But which shows did the best job at re-creating that feeling we got from watching Game of Thrones in its heyday? Vote up the shows you saw this year that, even for a brief moment, recaptured the glories of prestige series past.
- 129 VOTES
Show Description: "Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, journeys toward his destiny in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts."
Why It's Like Game of Thrones: The Witcher takes place in a world full of monsters and magic; as another fantasy series based on popular novels, its parallels to Game of Thrones are obvious. The world Geralt journeys through is immense and rich in detail, with a unique lore that reminds us of stories like The Lord of the Rings while still appearing undeniably unique.
- 237 VOTES
Show Description: "Moiraine, a member of a magical organization, takes five young people on a journey, believing that one of them might be the reincarnation of the Dragon, a powerful individual prophesied to save the world or destroy it."
Why It's Like Game of Thrones: Another fantasy series hoping to seize the throne that Game of Thrones abdicated, The Wheel of Time is staffed with GoT veterans like writer Dave Hill. This show is centered on one journey, making it a more focused, Lord of the Rings-type story than the freewheeling Game of Thrones, but the wide range of characters, all of whom could ultimately prove to be either good or evil, leaves plenty of room for suspense and intrigue as the story unfolds.
- 327 VOTES
Show Description: "Hundreds of cash-strapped contestants accept an invitation to compete in children's games for a tempting prize, but the stakes are deadly."
Why It's Like Game of Thrones: Squid Game was the surprise smash hit of 2021, grabbing the attention of millions with its intriguing premise, appealing characters, and of course, its deadly games. The only question for you is, does this show's success, combined with its willingness to kill off beloved characters and its love of violence, make it this year's Game of Thrones? Or should it be in its own category?
- 421 VOTES
Show Description: "This continuation of Narcos explores the origins of the modern drug war by going back to its roots, starting at a time when the Mexican trafficking world was a loose, disorganized confederation of independent growers and dealers."
Why It's Like Game of Thrones: Mexico's fragmented drug industry was at one point a lot like the Six Kingdoms of Westeros: quarreling factions searching for a single leader to unite them. This series follows a growing (and sometimes shrinking) cast of heroes and villains as competing narcos and cops vie for control of a multibillion-dollar criminal industry.
- Photo: Succession519 VOTES
Show Description: "Although he has no plans to step aside as the head of Waystar Royco, the international media conglomerate controlled by his family, aging patriarch Logan Roy is contemplating what the future holds. He has lingered in the limelight longer than even he thought he would, and now family members want to run the company as they see fit. Despite a best-laid succession plan, tempers flare over Logan's intentions. Kendall Roy, Logan's eldest son from his second marriage and a division president at the firm, is the heir apparent. As Kendall attempts to solidify his eventual takeover, he and the three other Roy children face a difficult choice as company control and family loyalties collide."
Why It's Like Game of Thrones: The stakes might not be as high as they are in GoT (it's rare that anyone's murdered in this show), but there's just as much backstabbing, betrayal, and political manuevering. The characters on Succession are always plotting one another's downfalls, creating and destroying alliances in an effort to put themselves at the top of the heap. Much like in Game of Thrones, the person who looked invincible in one episode may be brought down in the next.
- 612 VOTES
Show Description: "Sinister forces plot against a young soldier after she reveals a magical power that may unite her world."
Why It's Like Game of Thrones: Much like HBO's series, Shadow and Bone does an excellent job of showing rather than telling the sometimes complicated aspects of its fantasy universe. Viewers are left to put together the show's fantasy jargon for themselves, which makes it more rewarding for viewers who commit. Its structure is also similar to that of Game of Thrones, with one heroic throughline anchoring many smaller stories of political intrigue and deceit.