9 Shows To Watch While You Wait For 'Game Of Thrones' Season 8

Politics, violence and nudity

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Game of Thrones might not be back until 2019, which is really bad news for fans.

But don't worry! There's loads of other stuff you can watch in the meantime, partly because some of the following shows influenced Game of Thrones, some of them ripped it off, and some of them are easily as good.

So, break out the popcorn, forget about the dragons, and get ready to binge your way to Game of Thrones season eight.

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1. Political machinations - House of Cards

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Seems almost too obvious to mention, but just in case you've not got on the Netflix wagon yet – Littlefinger and Cersei would fit right into House of Cards. Meanwhile, the show's lead Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) would probably have been sitting on the Iron Throne by the end of Thrones' first episode, and would still be there today.

Real-life events have subsequently tarnished the show, in retrospect, but the upcoming season six will not feature Spacey.

2. Gross stuff - American Gods

Incest, castration, people being put into pies, there's all sorts of sick stuff going on in Game of Thrones. If you're missing that kind of thing during the two-year hiatus we have a couple of pieces of advice for you.

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One: get help. Two, watch Amazon Prime's American Gods.

This is a show where a couple have sex, only for one of the participants to get gradually swallowed whole by the other person's vagina.

3. Epic casts - Boardwalk Empire

Thrones is perhaps best known for its sprawling casts of colourful characters (okay, it's known for something else but we'll get to that in a minute).

Thrones aside, casts – and characters – don't get bigger than Boardwalk Empire. The 1920s-set prohibition crime drama features Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, Michael Pitt, Kelly Macdonald, Michael K Williams, Jack Huston, Jeffrey Wright, and Daredevil himself, Charlie Cox.

You don't get a cast like that without an excellent script and – oh boy – does Boardwalk Empire have amazing scripts. And violence. And sex.

4. People getting naked ages ago - The Tudors

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OK, so the other thing Thrones is known for is nudity – a ludicrous amount of nudity.

The Tudors, which takes place in 1500s England, takes a similar approach to the art of the costume drama, in that its characters seem to be out of costume more often than they're in it.

It also features Natalie Dormer as a scheming queen who's determined to grab as much power as possible, which sounds familiar, doesn't it?

5. Big budgets being spent on medieval nonsense featuring Ed Sheeran - The Bastard Executioner

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At a cost of $10 million for the pilot and $2m per episode after that, The Bastard Executioner certainly had the ambition of Game of Thrones – though sadly not the staying power.

Cancelled after just one season, there's still plenty for fans to enjoy here. The story of a Welsh knight's revenge mission (one that sees him disguising himself as an executioner, hence the title) is packed with violence, gore and more swords than you can shake a stick at (why are you shaking a stick at a sword? That's just silly), making it a worthy stop-gap while you wait for Jon and his mates to come back.

Especially as, ridiculously, it also featured 'acting' from Ed Sheeran – what is it with this man and medieval shows?

6. Blokes in hairy outfits with swords - The Vikings

Inspired by the sagas of actual early medieval Vikings – but don't let the history lesson element put you off (even if it is showing on the History Channel), Vikings features loads of blokes in hairy outfits, with hairy faces, tooling about on green hills and chucking swords at each other.

But, like Thrones, it also features powerful women. We'll let creator Michael Hirst explain:

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"I wasn't really conscious of making Lagertha almost unique as a leading female character in a TV show. But I think she is unique. I mean, she's a mother, a wife, and she kicks ass. And she's a wonderful role model, absolutely. Unfortunately, as a writer, I have to punish her again and again. So she's always losing everything. And I think that, for women, that's often the price.

"Certainly for a powerful woman, that's the price they pay for achieving anything. So every time you think she's actually achieved something, risen to the top, you think, 'Oh, things are going to be easy!' – no, they're not. They never are.

"For women, I think then and now, the Dark Ages and now, there were just more problems. More issues, more things to solve, more complications to life. So I don't write the women differently, but I write them in the same way, so the women are as interesting as the men, and they don't just decorate the show."

7. Complex female characters in a literary setting - The Handmaid's Tale

Stylishly shot, powerfully acted and deeply disturbing, The Handmaid's Tale, based on the iconic Margaret Atwood book, is far darker than Game of Thrones and more disturbingly likely to actually happen (put it this way, there's more chance of women being apocalyptically oppressed than there is of a dragon appearing above your local Oddbins).

If your favourite character in GoT is Cersei, Arya, Brienne, or even the "Shame, shame, shame" nun Septs Unella, there's plenty of characters for you to follow here.

8. Builds to a satisfying conclusion - Breaking Bad

Everyone loves Breaking Bad – everybody that made it to the end of the series that is (some folk dropped off because it's a bit too dark and features unlikable characters, something Game of Thrones geeks shouldn't have too much of a problem with).

Like Thrones, each season is as impressive as the last and like Thrones hopefully will, it builds to the best ending ever.

If you haven't caught it, now's the time to catch up.

9. Is essentially about Starks Vs Lannisters - The White Queen

Okay, so it's Yorks Vs Lancasters in The White Queen, but seeing as George RR Martin was directly inspired by The White Queen's real-life subject matter (the War of the Roses) when writing A Song of Ice and Fire, we'd say the similarity between the names isn't a coincidence.

There really is no better show to replace Game of Thrones than this one, mainly because if the inspiration behind it didn't exist, neither would Thrones.

From: Digital Spy