What to watch while you wait for House of the Dragon

Emilia Clarke as Daenarys Targaryen in Game of Thrones.
(Image credit: Sky)

Loved Game of Thrones and now you're wondering what to watch before House of the Dragon arrives on your screens?

It’s now more than ten years since Game of Thrones first hit our screens and thrilled us with political intrigue, epic battles, dysfunctional families — and some rather explicit romances.

While the first spin-off, House of the Dragon, is almost here, it might feel like it's just not coming quickly enough.

So, let’s take a deep dive into some other shows that might fill the gap while we wait. We’ve tracked down shows featuring magical world-building, brutal wars and a few political rivalries, to find the shows to watch after Game of Thrones.

So, prepare yourself for battle and check out our list…

Our guide to what to watch while you wait for House of the Dragon


Vikings star Travis Fimmel

(Image credit: MGM Television)

Okay, there aren't any dragons in this one, but there are sweeping vistas of faraway lands (well, as far as Greenland), epic battles, and a driving thirst for power, all of which might just scratch your Game Of Thrones itch. 

Based on the real-life Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel, Raised By Wolves) and his crew, Vikings takes us through the raid on England, his rise to Scandinavian King and follows his sons to Iceland, the Mediterranean, and North America. It's one of the best TV shows with Vikings around.

Spanning several years, and splashing out on a couple of good battle scenes every season, it has that Game Of Thrones epic feeling. If you were squeamish at some of the bloodier scenes in HBO's fantasy saga though, make sure you have a cushion ready to hide behind; these Vikings take no prisoners when it comes to revenge.

Number of seasons: 6
Average episode length:
45 minutes
Where to watch:
Prime Video


Britannia star David Morrissey

(Image credit: Sky)

It’s A.D. 43 and the Roman Imperial Army headed by Aulus Plautius (David Morrisey, The Walking Dead) has returned to Britain for a second go at conquering the country. This time, they find themselves up against wild warrior women and mysterious druids who can channel sinister supernatural forces. 

Two Celtic warriors — Kerra (Kelly Reilly) and Antedia (Zoe Wanamaker) — once arch-rivals, are forced to band together to save their country from the Roman invaders. Britannia was created by award-winning playwright Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem) alongside his brother Tom and has a more heightened tone, with plots that are more sorcery-heavy than some of the other, grittier dramas on this list.

This one falls under the "ludicrous but fun" category, although it doesn't shy away from the blood and gore of its rivals! Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Number of seasons:
Episodes: 27
Average episode length: 45 minutes
Where to watch: US, Prime Video | UK, Sky TV


Rome star Kevin McKidd

(Image credit: Sky)

While many big, bold shows have tried to emulate Game of Throne’s success, this series, which kicked off in 2005, had us gripped with political intrigue, bloody battles, and explicit sex scenes long before we’d ever heard of Westeros. Rome, unsurprisingly, follows Rome’s transition from republic to empire. 

In the show, we meet the rulers and see many of the historical events, much of it through the eyes of two ordinary soldiers, Lucius Vorenus (Kevin McKidd) and Titus Pullo (Ray Stevenson). 

Rome was one of the most expensive TV shows ever produced, with a large-scale recreation of ancient Rome and a starry cast that featured some future Game of Thrones stars including Ciarán Hinds, Tobias Menzies, and Indira Varma. Sadly, its cost meant the drama was brought to an end after just two seasons, but it nevertheless proved there was a public appetite for this kind of epic drama.

Number of seasons: 2
Episodes: 22
Average episode length: 60 minutes
Where to watch: US, HBO Max | UK, Sky


Outlander's Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan)

(Image credit: Starz)

If you enjoyed Game of Thrones's tortured couples, then Outlander might float your boat. This series follows World War II nurse Claire Randall (Catriona Balfe) as she is transported back to 1793 via some mystical stones, where she falls for Highland warrior, Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). 

At first, Claire finds herself embroiled in the Jacobite rebellion, but the show skips between time periods including wartime England and the American Revolution. Claire and Jamie are separated and reunited over the years, while wars, betrayals, sexual indiscretions, and pregnancies keep the drama bubbling along. 

Overall, Outlander offers a more romantic take on things compared to Game of Thrones' brutal approach. A seventh season is on the way.

Number of seasons: 6
Episodes: 67
Average episode length: 45 minutes
Where to watch: US: Starz | UK: StarzPlay (via Prime Video Channels)

Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone star Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov

(Image credit: Netflix)

Like Game of Thrones, this one is based on a series of hit fantasy novels by Leigh Bardugo. Bardugo's young-adult "Grishaverse" introduces the viewer to a new (and slightly complicated) world. 

Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) is a young, orphaned soldier who discovers she is a Grisha, a group with supernatural powers. However, her gift is unique and could help reunite her split world ­­but she’s thrown into a world of political and magical intrigue, unsure who to trust. 

While reviews were mixed, the series has plenty of the elements we’re looking for: a large ensemble cast, various locations across an epic world, as well as some great action sequences. With only eight episodes to binge, it’s definitely worth a punt.

Number of seasons: 1
Episodes: 8
Average episode length: 45 minutes
Where to watch: Netflix

The Tudors

The Tudors

(Image credit: BBC)

This show stars Natalie Dormer — better known as Margaery Tyrell by Game of Thrones fans — but there's much more than just one actress to keep you entertained. 

Dormer plays Anne Boleyn, one of Henry VIII’s infamous six wives. Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Vikings) plays King Henry himself.  The Tudors follows his political and spousal troubles. If the royal family intrigue was your thing in Game of Thrones, this is well worth a look. 

While critics claimed it took a soap opera approach to history, over telling historical accuracies and highlighting broader societal issues, The Tudors is still a bold, provocative watch.

Number of seasons: 4
Episodes: 28
Average episode length: 47 minutes
Where to watch: US: Showtime | UK: All 4 (Channel 4's streaming platform)



(Image credit: BBC)

If you want something to fill your Game of Thrones gap, but that's also something you can watch with the rest of the family, try taking a trip to Camelot. 

This BBC series is a prequel to the Arthurian legend we all know and follows a young Merlin (Colin Morgan) and Prince Arthur (Bradley James) in their early years. Great news: there’s a dragon under the castle. Not such good news: as Merlin was designed for a family audience, it features fewer swords and more sorcery. Game Of Thrones-style gory deaths and battles are out. 

However, it’s full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, and manages to tell an epic story featuring a great range of characters across five seasons.

Number of seasons: 5
Episodes: 65
Average episode length: 45 minutes
Where to watch: US: Netflix | UK: BBC iPlayer

The Wheel of Time

The Wheel Of Time.

(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

The Wheel of Time is, like Game of Thrones, based on a huge series of novels by a beloved fantasy author. This time, it's Robert Jordan's smash-hit Wheel of Time. Want to get ahead of the series? Find out how to read The Wheel of Time books in order.

In this Amazon Original series, powerful magic-wielding member of the all-female group the Aes Sedai, Moiraine Damodred (Rosamund Pike) and her Warder, Lan (Daniel Henney) set out in search of The Dragon Reborn — the reincarnation of a legendary hero who is prophesied to stand against an evil entity known as the Dark One.

The pair set out for Two Rivers, recruiting a group of four youngsters from the village who could all fit the bill in order to bring them to safety in the White Tower. As you might expect, this does not go at all smoothly, as the Dark One's forces already plague the land. 

The series is full of shock twists, hideous monsters, loads of lore and plenty of compelling characters. If you're a fantasy TV fan, The Wheel of Time might just be perfect for filling the Game of Thrones void.

Number of seasons: 1
Episodes: 10
Average episode length: 55 minutes
Where to watch: Prime Video

Game of Thrones

Sean Bean as Ned Stark in Game of Thrones

(Image credit: Sky)

We're cheating slightly here, but why not do it all again? 

There are eight seasons and 73 episodes, so unless you’re an uber-dedicated fan and have already watched every season multiple times, you can’t possibly remember every single thing that happened in Game of Thrones. So, why not go back to the start? 

You won’t get the thrill of the shock deaths and the many dramatic twists, but there’s a different pleasure to be taken from watching the drama unfold knowing exactly what will happen next. It's a perfect opportunity to brush up before House of the Dragon, plus the ending didn’t universally unite fans...maybe it’s time to reassess the whole thing and give it a second chance?

Number of seasons: 8
Episodes: 73
Average episode length: 50 minutes
Where to watch: US, HBO Max | UK, Sky and NOW TV

Steven Murphy

Steven is a writer, editor, and commentator with a passion for popular TV and soap operas. He spent 20 years as the editor of Inside Soap magazine, documenting every punch-up and pucker-up in the Street, the Square and the village. As a feature writer, he’s covered TV crime dramas, period dramas and even some real-life star dramas. He’s been seen as a talking head on more TV clip shows than he cares to remember, has a life-long passion for TV sci-fi – the older and creakier the better – and is a slight obsessive about any reality show featuring hotels.