Winter may have been coming for nigh on six seasons now, but by season 7 it should definitely be here. In order to accommodate for next season’s inclement weather conditions, it is highly likely that the premiere of series seven will be . Lucky for you we have compelled this handy guide in order to satiate your burning need for Game Of Thrones.
1. If You Like It In King’s Landing : Rome
If swords-and-sandals turn you on, then maybe you should check out Rome, HBO’s original attempt to dominate the genre. Seen now as the precursor to Game Of Thrones, it featured a large sprawling cast, political intrigue, plenty of sex and was extremely expensive, so expensive in fact it was cancelled after only two seasons. With its gritty, realistic look at how life was actually (no guarantees) lived in Rome, from Julius Caesar to the pauper in the streets, Rome showed quite poetically that historical television can be done differently. I think Game of Thrones got the memo.
2. If You Hail From The Iron Islands: Black Sails
An epic show detailing the lives of pirates leading up to the events of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Black Sails was hailed upon its release for its high attention to maritime detail and the way it combined fictional elements with real-life pirates such as Ned Lowe and Blackbeard. With a complicated, interweaving narrative to rival the best in Westeros, Black Sails manages to raise the stakes with each episode, yet never forgetting to heap on the usual doses of sex, violence and shocking plot-twists we know and love from Game Of Thrones.
3. If You Plan On Being King: House of Cards
What would happen if Littlefinger found his way into the hallowed chambers of American politics? Chances are he would be a little like Frank Underwood, the smirking schemer that slowly manipulates everyone around him to take the most coveted spot. With none other than David Fincher as executive producer, it is a suitable cynical and juicy corrective to the liberal optimism of The West Wing, showing how the path to becoming leader is one paved with bad intentions.
4. If You Find It Hard Being King: Wolf Hall
“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” goes the line from Henry IV Part 2, and rarely has this been better exemplified than in Wolf Hall, the big budget production from the BBC illustrating the travails of Henry VIII and his right-hand man Thomas Cromwell. Lauded for its extreme attention to historical detail, fans of Game Of Thrones will appreciate its intense scrutiny of power, and how in order to remain leader some difficult sacrifices have to be made.
5. If You Like To See The Bigger Picture: The Wire
Game of Thrones is unique in being one of the most narratively ambitious TV series of all time, taking in an immense swathe of characters, flinging them to all seven kingdoms and attempting to coalesce it all into a vast panorama of society. If you want to see such an approach applied to modern society, a great place to start is The Wire, David Simon’s iconic TV series about life in Baltimore which expertly demonstrates institutional failure all the way from the streets to the newspaper rooms to the halls of politics themselves. Part of what is considered to be the Golden Age of television, The Wire’s novelistic approach to narrative is highly engaging, at times touching upon the sublime. Perfect to tide you over until Game Of Thrones kicks off its seventh and penultimate season.
What will you be watching while you wait for Game of Thrones to return?
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