Believe it or not, it has already been half a year since Game of Thrones season seven ended. Unfortunately, season eight will not be returning until early 2019. What is even more unfortunate is that it will be the concluding season of the show. Winter has finally arrived after all this time and the fate of the seven kingdoms will indeed be revealed. A year is a very long time to wait for a show as spectacular as this, and so the question of what can you watch or read in the meantime arises. Let’s get right into it.

Ever heard of King Arthur and his knights? If you have not seen the show Merlin before, you have been missing out on something that may very well compete with Game of Thrones as the greatest fantasy television series ever made. Fully packed with magic and that medieval setting we all love, Merlin tells the story of how the warlock grows close to the young prince of Camelot in a time of war, chaos, and destruction. The show adds together a hint of comic relief, action, suspense, betrayal, and romance into a fantastic story of five seasons. Whether you are familiar with the Arthurian legend or not, this show will definitely make you want to put on the armor of a knight and take up arms in defense of the kingdom of Camelot.

If you are a big fan of survival type shows, check out Lost. This show tells the story of those aboard Oceanic Flight 815 that survive a plane crash and find themselves on an island they believe is deserted. They will soon find out they are not alone. Each character has their own unique characteristics that make them so easy to connect with. 121 episodes make up the six seasons, so be sure you have got the time. This one will take a long while to finish, but in the end, you will not regret the decision to watch it. Survival may seem easy, but when others are fighting alongside to survive with you, lines are crossed, risks are taken, and peace is unmade.

Similar in some ways to Lost, The 100 is another amazing show about survival and adaptation to a new life. This show tells the story of how teenage prisoners living in space get sent down to

earth in an attempt to see if it is habitable once more. They will face uprisings, anarchy, and war amongst not only themselves, but those who are already living there. If you like Lost, then give this a go. It is similar in many ways, and examines the limits people choose to go to and the sacrifices that must be made to ensure the future survival of the human race. War for control of a broken world plagues the entirety of the show, and it is not over yet. It is currently four seasons, but the fifth is under production and is set to release sometime in 2018 or 2019.

Next on the list is Vikings. The name speaks for itself. It follows the tale of the famous Viking warrior, Ragnar Lodbrok. Alongside his struggle to be a father and brother, he is intent on exploring new lands for the fame, glory, and riches yet to be claimed. This show shares much of the violence and brutality seen in Game of Thrones, and does not hold back on the romance either. Take a good look at this show if you are craving more Thrones. It has a mix of similar features including family ties and longing for control of the lands. Swords, spears, and bow and arrow are carried by all warriors who walk the land. Some characters are meant for battle, others for strategy and planning. Be ready for the unexpected!

Following the book series by Terry Brooks, The Shannara Chronicles is a mix of wizards, warriors, conquerors, and kings and queens that face bigger threats beyond the one’s they can see. The White Walkers may be threatening, but the ancient magic and villainous warlords of this show certainly are just as menacing. It has a lot of the drama, suspense, action, and romance seen in Thrones. It is definitely worth the watch if you are longing for more magic and teenage adventure.

Outlander, based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon, is a show about time travel, historical fiction, a complicated love story, and violence of both the 20th century and more importantly, the 18th century. It contains a great deal of romance but incorporates historical content and very action packed battles and war scenes. Some say it is only worth the watch if you are female, but that is pure nonsense. This show has such an outstanding storyline for anyone looking to take a little getaway from the present and enjoy the adventures of the World War II nurse, Claire Randall, as she struggles to survive in a foreign time and land. The book series has eight books in total, and the show just finished its third season. You better believe there is more to come. The story is really just getting started!

Black Sails tells a similar story to Treasure Island, and is about pirates of the 18th century. Captain Flint is the central character that fights for position, wealth, and survival in the pirate and colonial world. The Caribbean is occupied by many different notorious men and women captains that are fighting for control. You can expect a lot of graphic scenes, instances of similar violence seen in Thrones, and a similar story of conquest for supreme rule of the lands. If you love Pirates of the Caribbean, you are in for a treat. 38 episodes make up the four seasons. Shiver me timbers!

A year is a long time to wait for one show’s final season to release. Take the time to check out some or all of these recommendations. You will not regret it. Pretty soon, Thrones will be over for good and the next big thing is going to have to take over. The Lord of the Rings television show set to be made by Amazon would have made this list but it is not yet out for the world to watch. Most of these shows were created based off book series. Most of the time, books tend to be better than the show’s adaptation. George R.R. Martin’s series is out there waiting for you. If you’re more of a reader than watcher, you can always read the true story of Game of Thrones while you wait.

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I radiate both internally and externally, an infinitude of passion for creative thought, an unending lifelong code of self and peer-improvement, and an idiosyncratic perspective and outlook on all things good, bad, and in between. I believe that when we are, one day, gone, all that will have mattered is what we did to change this world, for better or worse.