10 Incoming TV Shows to Fill the ‘Game of Thrones’ Hole in Your Life
It’s been a tough year. Jaime and Cersei got buried in a bunch of rubble, Daenerys went off the deep end, and the Night King turned out to be an anti-climactic ice monster. Yeah, the final season of Game of Thrones wasn’t the greatest with its abandoned character development and fraying plot threads. However, there’s no denying its place in history as one of the greatest television shows ever made. Even the fans who were left dissatisfied will still miss it. Now that it’s over, we’ve been left with a gaping hole and a wistful feeling; we want more intrigue, fantasy, and theories. Fortunately, there is a handful of ambitious TV shows on their way that will hopefully fill the hole left by Game of Thrones. Put these series on your GoT bereavement list.
Cover Photo: Home Box Office (HBO)
What not to watch: RANKED! Our 20 Least Favorite TV Shows of the Last 20 Years
'The Dark Tower'
Stephen King’s eight-book fantasy series following Old West gunslinger Roland Deschain as he attempts to save the multiverse from destruction is one of his defining works. The 2017 movie adaptation starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey was about as satisfying as…well, Game of Thrones’ final season. The good news is that Amazon has ordered a pilot for its prequel series set to explore Roland’s back story. Young British actor Sam Strike has been cast as Roland, Jasper Pääkkönen as the Man in Black, and Jerome Flynn (GoT's Bronn) and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) in undisclosed roles. Season one of The Dark Tower should be out sometime in 2020.
'The Chronicles of Narnia'
Netflix has acquired the rights to C.S. Lewis’ fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia and has hired Coco writer Matthew Aldrich as their mastermind. Various news sources have stated that their creative strategy entails “feature-length and episodic programming.” This means they probably plan on rebooting the film series in some way as well as implementing a television show. They are going to create a whole Narnia universe. Anyone who has read the books knows there is more than enough source material to move forward with this idea. Keep an eye out for Aslan in 2020.
'Shadow and Bone'
Shadow and Bone is the title of the first novel in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. Her fantasy series follows a young orphan who discovers she has magical powers in the fictional land of Ravka (which is basically Russia). It was announced in January that Netflix had ordered an eight-episode season based on Bardugo’s universe. Jesse Mei Li has been cast as the orphan Alina Starkov and Ben Barnes was recently announced as General Kirigan or “the Darkling.”
Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler’s new novel Cursed is a retelling of the Arthurian legend. It follows Nimue, a young heroine who teams up with Arthur to not only find Merlin and that ancient sword but lead the realm against tyranny. This coming-of-age story is being adapted by Netflix and will star Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why) as Nimue and Devon Terrell (Barry) as Arthur. The show is set to premiere in 2020.
Originally a series of fantasy short stories and novels by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher series has gained international recognition due to the video game series. The story follows Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter with supernatural abilities (AKA "witcher"). All iterations of Geralt and his world have been praised for its subtle irony and humorous ties to contemporary culture, much like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. The Witcher has been made into a Netflix television series to premiere soon. Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) will star as Geralt.
'The Wheel of Time'
A series of fantasy novels written by James Oliver Rigney Jr. (under the pen name Robert Jordan), The Wheel of Time novels consist of 17 books -- more than enough material to satisfy a television show. The fantasy web series is set to premiere via Amazon and will follow Moiraine, a magic-user/channeller who thinks she has found the reincarnation of the Dragon, a magic-user who will either destroy the world or save it. The legendary Rosamund Pike is set to star as Moiraine.
'The Lord of the Rings'
Amazon is adapting the best-selling novels by J.R.R. Tolkien into an online series. The series will take place during the Second Age (the opening minutes of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring). The Second Age/Timeline of Arda spans 3,441 years and ends with the downfall of Sauron’s army. Tolkien’s son has been involved in the show's production; the creators of this series seem fully prepped to embrace the mythology of middle-earth. We can only hope the show’s characters and plot embrace the same sort of freshness Game of Thrones’ did without taking anything away from Tolkien’s detail.
'His Dark Materials'
The epic fantasy trilogy by Phillip Pullman was adapted into The Golden Compass in 2007. In 2015, the BBC made the announcement that they were making a television adaptation of His Dark Materials, one more faithful to its source material. The series with be set in the novels’ world where humans have daemons, animal companions that are a manifestation of the human soul. It will follow Lyra played by Logan’s Dafne Keen, a young orphan who discovers a dangerous secret. The show is set to premiere Nov. 4 on HBO.
Terry Pratchett’s fantasy comic series Discworld takes place on the Discworld, a flat planet resting on the back of four elephants. The books could be described as a parody of J.R.R. Tolkien’s middle-earth, as well as a plethora of other classic fairy tales and folklore. In the Discworld is the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, a police force in the city Ankh-Morpork. The Watch is set to be a BBC police procedural following this fictional police force. It will star Game of Thrones alum Richard Dormer and will premiere in 2020.
'Game of Thrones' Prequels
Given the massive success of Game of Thrones and its nature as a fantasy-driven show with a masterfully-built world, it only makes sense that HBO would want to look into spinoffs. Before the show even ended, the network was already looking into five potential spinoff series. George R.R. Martin has been involved with each one and there are at least two still in development.
The prequel series we knew about has been referred to as The Long Night. It was to be set around 5,000 years before the events of the original books and series—it has since been canceled. After HBO announced they would not be moving forward with The Long Night, they released a statement saying that they had ordered 10 episodes of another prequel series entitled House of Dragon. This series will take place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and will depict the rise of house Targaryen (loosely based on George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood).