‘Game of Thrones’ Withdrawal Guide Part I

Just in case you haven’t heard, production on Game of Thrones season 6 begins this month, reminding us that our next Westeros fix is on the horizon … but still very, very far away. Thus I have assembled the Game of Thrones Withdrawal Guide, a two-part list of supplementary entertainment to tide us all over until next April.

Part I: Supplementary Viewing 

For the sake of immediate gratification (and simplicity) this list is limited to TV shows featuring Game of Thrones actors that are available to stream on legal sites that I have personally watched and enjoyed. This list is far from comprehensive, of course. If there’s a show you love that’s not on here, tell us about it below.

Residue

Residue

Availability: Netflix

Described by producer, Charlotte Walls, as a 3-part pilot for a potential 10-episode season, Residue is a thriller about a photographer, Jen (Natalia Tena) and a Home Office spokesman, Jonas (Iwan Rheon) who work to uncover a governmental conspiracy surrounding supernatural occurrences plaguing their city after a mysterious chemicals explosion. While at times slow and clunky, Residue has a wonderful neo-noir aesthetic and compelling, albeit flawed, protagonists. The opportunity to watch Osha and Ramsay Bolton play lovers alone is worth giving it a try.

Misfits (S1-3)

misfits

Availability: Hulu, Amazon Instant, Google Play

Another Iwan Rheon show! Though Misfits ran for five seasons, I specify only the first three, not only because the quality drops in season 4 faster than five young offenders hit by lightening (and then granted superpowers .. that’s the premise, by the way) but because Iwan Rheon left after season 3, along with most of the cast. In addition to its darkly humorous tone and imaginative premise, Misfits also deserves recognition for being one of the few shows to include a time travel subplot that’s not only coherent and consistent but affecting and bittersweet. (Also, Michelle Fairley plays a small role as Nathan’s put-upon Mum)

Merlin (S1-3)

Merlin

Availability: Netflix, Hulu

So … this definitely qualifies as a guilty pleasure of mine but it features far too many guest appearances by Game of Thrones actors to ignore:

Joe Dempsie (1×10,), Mackenzie Crook (2×01), James Cosmo (2×04), CHARLES DANCE (2×07), Joseph Mawle (2×11,), Donald Sumpter (3×08), Julian Glover (5×01), Liam Cunningham (5×015×02), John Bradley (5×07

Merlin is a prequel/reimagining of the Arthurian Legend in which magic is outlawed in Camelot and a young Merlin must hide his powers while serving a young, arrogant yet charismatic Prince Arthur. Despite its cheesy tone and low production value, it is remarkable how much this show has in common with Game of Thrones. Woman with a dragon hellbent on seizing the throne? Check. Abusive relationship between a master (Arthur) and his Reek-ish servant (Merlin)? Check. Compelling characters? Check. Moral ambiguity? … eh, sort of. Similar to Misfits, I recommend stopping after season 3. From season 4 onwards the show starts to take itself too seriously and character arcs get sloppy. Merlin is at its best when it accepts that its charms lies, not in its story, but in its light tone, its likable supporting cast and its thoroughly endearing lead.

The Tudors

thetudors

Availability: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Google Play

I have to hand it to this show, they took a part of history that everyone already knew about (spoiler: divorced, beheaded died, divorced, beheaded, survived) and made it compelling. Natalie Dormer plays Anne Boleyn, Margaery Tyrell’s historical counterpart, so I don’t need to tell you that she’s excellent as the ill-fated, ambitious queen. The sets and costumes are gorgeous (though the hair styles can be pretty anachronistic), the best pieces of Trevor Morris’ score could almost rival Djawadi’s and, fun fact, Tamzin Merchant, who plays Catherine Howard, was originally cast to play Daenerys.

Ripper Street

RipperStreet

Availability: Netflix, Amazon Instant, Google Play

Contrary to what the title might suggest, this show is not about Jack the Ripper (yeah, I was disappointed too), but rather two Whitechapel policemen- one of whom is played by Jerome Flynn- and a doctor who solve crimes in Victorian east London in the months following Jack’s infamous spree. It’s a period procedural drama that balances the personal crises of the main characters with genuinely engrossing mysteries that incorporate all manner of Victorian societal ills into the narrative, from child street gangs to 19th century porn. Guest stars include Iain Glen, Joseph Mawle and Anton Lesser.

Supreme Tweeter

SupremeTweeter

Availability: YouTube

This is a hidden gem I stumbled upon while compiling this list. Supreme Tweeter is a web series about a fictionalized Harry Lloyd who’s been out of work since Viserys’ “crowning” in season 1 but enjoys a bizarre change of fortune when Kim Jong Un follows him on Twitter. The 3-part series is only 20 minutes long in total but it’s packed with brilliant, often painfully insightful humor, and includes cameos from Maisie Williams and George RR Martin.

Honorable Mentions

These are shows that I have not watched and thus can only recommend through hearsay.

  • Borgia (availability: Netflix): A historical drama -not to be confused with The Borgias- about the Borgia family in which John Bradley appears as Giovanni De Medici.
  • The Wire (availability: Amazon Instant, Google Play, HBO Go): Another critically acclaimed HBO series about Baltimore’s drug scene in which Aidan Gillen plays politician, Tommy Carcetti.
  • Robin Hood (availability: Hulu Plus), A BBC show with a similar tone and production value as Merlin, in which Harry Lloyd plays a member of Robin’s Merry Men.
  • Skins (availability: Netflix): A British hit drama about teenagers in Bristol, England starring  Hannah Murray and Joe Dempsie.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (availability: Amazon Instant, Google Play): A science fiction series starring Lena Headey as Sarah Connor. Need I say more?

 

116 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Hodor…

      May I suggest adding Peaky Blinders on Netflix to that list. Noah Taylor (Locke) shows up in Season 2.

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    2. I’m whipping through Sherlock on Netflix right now (I swear I saw Oona, but maybe not)… and GoT people also seem to be Downton Abbey fans (at least the dog show people I was talking to last weekend all were).

      Yes to the Tudors and Supreme Tweeter – lots of fun! Along the lines of Supreme tweeter.. try Riftworld Chronicles online with Tahmoh Penikett… seriously Canadian, not GoT related but fantasy and fun!

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    3. The BBC Wolf Hall miniseries features a 100% brilliant Anton Lesser as Thomas More. He’s even a little Qyburny.

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    4. Don’t forget Torchwood! It may be a little campy for some but it’s a damn good time. It has Burn Gorman (Karl Tanner) and Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand). Owen Teale (Alliser Thorne) also shows up in one of the show’s best episodes lol.

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    5. Lady Wolfsbane: GoT people also seem to be Downton Abbey fans

      I was never attracted to the premise of that show at all, but then started watching a few weeks back on Netflix because I was bored. It’s actually quite a good show with top-notch acting. I ended up really liking it, but don’t go in expect anything like GoT, even with the participation of Rose Leslie and Iain Glen.

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    6. May I also recommend Love/Hate – it’s a very gritty Irish drama which follows the criminal underworld in Dublin (by the way it’s very much not for the faint-hearted due to a lot of violence and swearing but GoT fans should be ok with this!).

      Aiden Gillen plays the main kingpin and coincidentally, Robert Sheehan who is the lead in Misfits mentioned above is one of the other lead actors.

      Few tv shows have captured the entire island of Ireland so much where it was the only thing to be discussed at the water-cooler every Monday morning and attracted a huge amount of viewers (although this could be simply because most other Irish tv is absolute pants!)

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    7. I don’t understand the basis for the ‘Withdrawal Guide’. I have to believe most of us watch Game of Thrones because we enjoy the novels, we like the medieval fantasy genre, we prefer large ensemble productions, or we enjoy good television regardless of genre. The actors portraying Game of Thrones characters don’t fit into this scheme. For instance, Charles Dance and Jerome Flynn both appear in the Sky 4/Cinemax series Strike Back, a modern spy/military special forces shoot-em-up that shares little in common with Game of Thrones, though the sex scenes in Strike Back are beyond gratuitous. Actors as a rule don’t choose their assignments on the basis of genre or cast size, though better actors will tend to congregate in superior productions.
      I believe genre, ensemble size, and production quality are far better determinants of a Game of Thrones fan’s potential enjoyment of a television series. Shows currently on television or soon to be on television I feel might be of interest to GoT fans include these:
      Mr. Robot
      Humans
      Better Call Saul
      The Americans
      House of Cards
      Manhattan
      The Man In the High Castle
      The Leftovers
      Downton Abbey

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    8. Hear Marko Roar,

      I just watched that in the last couple of weeks and thoroughly enjoyed a really fun game of ‘Spot the GoT Actor!’ The fact that it is also an excellent drama doesn’t hurt either!

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    9. Petra, you should REALLY watch the Wire. FANTASTIC show.

      For me, I prefer to stick to a theme, the type of shows I like. Right now I am watching “Vikings”…. so far so good!!!!! Next on my list is “Spartacus”. As you can see I like violent gory period piece type shows.

      I will also be doing a rewatch of season 5, followed by a season 1-5 rewatch 🙂

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    10. Fortunately, my main hobby (mountain climbing) kicks in as GoT fades out. That keeps me busy until November, when the snow sets in and I am stuck in the house catching up on books, movies, and games until March, when GoT fever sets in again.

      Round and round it goes….

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    11. Lady Wolfsbane: I’m whipping through Sherlock on Netflix right now (I swear I saw Oona, but maybe not)

      You mean the brief appearance as Watson’s would-be lady friend, who left in a huff because she didn’t want to compete with Sherlock for Watson’s attention? Yes, that was Oona. Great series. Wish they would have made more of those, with Cumberbatch and Freeman.

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    12. Adding Residue and Supreme Tweeter (which sounds delightful) to the To Watch list. Thanks for the recs!

      I have to mention Hannibal. Unless I’m completely blanking, there aren’t any cast members on the show, but Neil Marshall directed an episode this season. Plus, Mads Mikkelsen has been mentioned so many times in conjunction with GOT he’s sort of an honourary cast member at this point! I’d highly recommend Hannibal to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. If you liked True Detective, you’ll love Hannibal.

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    13. Remember that this is ‘Part 1’ guys, some of these other shows may be in Part 2. 🙂

      I cannot stand Downton Abbey, despite Maggie Smith and some good ‘downstairs’ characters.

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    14. Lena Headey as Sarah Connor was absolutely incredible — she took the character to a new level, beyond anything Linda Hamilton did in the original films. I was surprised when the show was cancelled.

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    15. J. S. Targaryen,

      Agreed – and really like your list of shows (other than Downton Abbey which I contend is a glorified soap opera, though I watch it). I would add one more if you can find it (on Sundance Channel in USA), a German production called “Deutschland 83”. LOVE Mr. Robot. This summer is fun watching!

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    16. Thronetender,

      I think there is a fourth season in the works, but it won’t start filming until next year. Let’s not forget that Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft has put in a GoT appearance as well.

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    17. I would add:
      The sopranos (and boardwalk empire of you like the mafia genre)
      Rome
      Vikings
      Lillyhammer (thoros and tormund)
      Why not true detective
      In suits catelyn and varys apears, and its a realy good show xD
      In misfits apears missandei and meera but in the last seasons jaja
      I think im forgoting some other series 🙂

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    18. Merlin also had Alexander Siddig (Doran) – in the same episode as Joe Dempsie.
      And then there is the original (UK) Queer as Folk – starring Aiden Gillen as Stuart, the gay Casanova of Manchester. (Warning: semi-explicit)

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    19. Omg Borgia : Faith and Fear is mentioned?

      My favorite historical drama show ever made.. thought almost no one knew it. God that show is -so- good.

      Some other good shows :

      1.Turn : Washington’s spies featuring Burn Gorman.
      2.Black Sails
      3.Outlander

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    20. If you are interested in watching a show about the Borgia family watch showtime’s The Borgias, it is 100x better than Borgias. This is my opinion of course, but The Borgias had a much better cast and production value and I found the story better in The Borgias.

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    21. J. S. Targaryen,

      I don’t know that audiences need to be told to watch hugely popular Emmy-nominated shows that are still airing like Downton Abbey.

      And yeah, I think you might be taking this a little too seriously. They’re just fun recs. Everyone can make their own, for conversation.

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    22. RandomGoTfan:
      If you are interested in watching a show about the Borgia family watch showtime’s The Borgias, it is 100x better than Borgias. This is my opinion of course, but The Borgias had a much better cast and production value and I found the story better in The Borgias.

      If you want the real story watch Borgia : faith and fear. That show is almost completely correct on what -really- happened (minus some minor stuff to make it work for television). It does not have any real budget.. but they made it up by presenting an extremely good and compelling storyline.

      The Borgias on the other hand was atrocious. It might be a fun show to watch.. but it’s definitely not correct and that’s one of the main reason I like historical drama’s. I want to learn something from it about the time and Borgia is certainly a much better story in that regard. Also because it can actually complete the full story while The Borgias could not.

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    23. My page a day calendar quote for 30-july
      Men have scars, women mysteries.
      Cersei Lannister – a feast for crows

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    24. There are also a couple of movies I’d recommend, not only because they star Peter Dinklage, but because they really are quite good:

      Death at a Funeral (the British version!)

      The Station Agent

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    25. davy,

      Yeah I agree with you. Showtime’s The Borgias was pretty terrible and I didn’t like many of the actors, including the previously great Irons.

      Canal +’s Borgia- you just have to get used to the actors being from different countries. But the story is more accurate, and it’s just better.

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    26. Borgia and Tudors have to be my favorite series/miniseries alongside GoT… I can watch Borgia over and over again… (except for the Pope accent, the rest was simply perfection!)

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    27. Sue the Fury:
      davy,

      Yeah I agree with you. Showtime’s The Borgias was pretty terrible and I didn’t like many of the actors, including the previously great Irons.

      Canal +’s Borgia- you just have to get used to the actors being from different countries. But the story is more accurate, and it’s just better.

      Some of the actors were brilliant though, especially in later seasons. Mark Ryder as Cesare Borgia was very good, I think that actor would certainly fit into Game Of Thrones aswell. I also really liked the actor that played Niccolo Machiavelli (Thibaut Evrard), King Louis (Joseph Beattie) and Art Malik (Fransesc Gazet).

      On top of that they had some great actors to play cardinals especially Dejan Cukic as Della Roverre and Scott William Winters as Riaro-Sansoni.

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    28. Mr Robot is definitely filling the whole that GoT left for me this summer.

      I know it is on USA… I know it is called “Mr. Robot”…. I know it has Christian Slater… I was ready to dismiss it when I heard all of that as well… but damn it is so good.

      Go watch Mr Robot now!!!

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    29. The Tudors is my guilty pleasure jam. It gets slammed–and rightly so–for the many historical inaccuracies, and Henry VIII was horribly miscast, but there’s a lot to love: James Frain’s Thomas Cromwell is excellent, and Natalie Dormer brings her usual intelligence and charisma to Anne Boleyn. Fun fact: Catherine Howard is played by Tamzin Merchant, the actress who was initially cast as Daenerys before being replaced by Emilia Clarke.

      I did enjoy Wolf Hall, but not as much as I thought I would. (Anne Boleyn’s execution scene was much more moving in The Tudors, to my surprise.) Anton Lesser is great as More, though, and Mark Rylance (Cromwell) is a beast in the acting department.

      Agree with the rec for The Station Agent. Lovely little film, and Peter Dinklage is great in it. It’s too bad he doesn’t seem to get roles like that nowadays.

      If you’re only watching GOT for the production values, check out Hannibal. The writing is not great, but it’s one of the most beautifully filmed shows I’ve seen in a while.

      I can’t rec the US House of Cards, although it’s another gorgeous production. Writing is passable in Season 1, quickly goes off the rails thereafter. Check out the UK House of Cards with Ian Richardson instead. It’s much more intelligent.

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    30. Daeryssa: Hate

      Daeryssa: May I also recommend Love/Hate – it’s a very gritty Irish drama which follows the criminal underworld in Dublin (by the way it’s very much not for the faint-hearted due to a lot of violence and swearing but GoT fans should be ok with this!).

      Aiden Gillen plays the main kingpin and coincidentally, Robert Sheehan who is the lead in Misfits mentioned above is one of the other lead actors.

      I second that, just finished “love/hate” this monday. GREAT SHOW with wonderful actors. It’s also available via netflix.
      In the first episode I still had Littlefinger in mind when Aiden Gillen appeared, but from the 2nd episode on he nailed his character so much I’m afraid I’ll think “Ah, John Boy….” when GoT with Littlefinger will return.

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    31. davy:
      Omg Borgia : Faith and Fear is mentioned?

      My favorite historical drama show ever made.. thought almost no one knew it. God that show is -so- good.

      Some other good shows :

      1.Turn : Washington’s spies featuring Burn Gorman.
      2.Black Sails
      3.Outlander

      I second the recommendations for Black Sails & Outlander. Turn is next on my list, after I finish Dexter (starting season 6 tonight – I’ve heard it goes downhill from here, but I cannot leave a task unfinished). Also, I really enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, even without any GoT actors 🙂

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    32. My recommendation : Orphan Black. Has Micheal Huisman (SP? sorry!) (Daario) In seasons 2 and 3…. great show!!

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    33. Salty Dornishman: I second the recommendations for Black Sails & Outlander.Turn is next on my list, after I finish Dexter (starting season 6 tonight – I’ve heard it goes downhill from here, but I cannot leave a task unfinished).Also, I really enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, even without any GoT actors

      I thought Turn wasn’t that good at the start.. Till they started signing “Britannia rule the waves” in ep 4, after that I loved it a lot more.

      It’s also much more historical correct then I first thought on top of that I really like the music they use. Even though most of it is a more modern-sounding (atleast to me) version of songs from that time.

      On top of that, Black Sails is a great show.. I first thought that show was entirely made up and not real at all.. When I looked it up later it used quite a few historical facts. It’s an extremely fun show to watch though very very well made. I like the “piracy that goes further then just gold” theme.

      Outlander is nice, although the first 8 episodes are -much- better then the second 8. But that’s mostly because I hated the last episode a lot, it thought that one was very very bad.

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    34. Lady Wolfsbane: GoT people also seem to be Downton Abbey fan

      Ian Glen was in the second season of Downton Abbey. Gave a really good performance as a tabloid news publisher. And, of course, Rose Leslie was in S1 (see some of Kit’s comments about Abbey if you want a laugh).

      I forget his name, but the actor who played Maester Leuwin in S1-2 also has a role in the first episode of “Black Mirror” (which you should watch all of, anyway).

      Also, my favorite film of last year, FORCE MAJEURE, has a really nice supporting performance by Tormund, still looking very Wildling (Netflix).

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    35. MM: Agree with the rec for The Station Agent. Lovely little film, and Peter Dinklage is great in it. It’s too bad he doesn’t seem to get roles like that nowadays.

      Fun fact about Station Agent: It was directed by Tom McCarthy, who directed the ill fated GoT pilot (he also has a producer credit on S1). I think, like Lena, he was hired on Dinklage’s recommendation.

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    36. The Tudors is a great show! Great story (with twists and turns), great actors, great costumes and sets, and amazing music. This show helped me survive between the season 4 and 5 of Game of thrones :p

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    37. M:

      Lena Headey as Sarah Connor was absolutely incredible — she took the character to a new level, beyond anything Linda Hamilton did in the original films.
      I was surprised when the show was cancelled.

      I thought Season 2 was interesting – that was when the show broke away from the standard Terminator mythology and started charting its own course. I was so looking forward to the new time travel storyline . . . then the series was cancelled! I was so pissed. Figures the FOX network would do that, typical.

      Sean Bean was fun in the Richard Sharpe TV series, and in the Bond movie Goldeneye. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau fans might enjoy him in the 2008 TV show New Amsterdam, but I don’t know if it’s available on Hulu, Netflix, or DVD or anything. And I think Indira Varma and Jessica Henwick both appeared on the TV show Silk.

      For an epic book, check out Frank Herbert’s Dune (the original novel), it’s basically GoT meets Star Wars. Or Laline Paull’s The Bees, set literally in a beehive.

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    38. Flora Linden,

      Dune is amazing – not just the original series of novels either, I would recommend all of them. I love it so much I actually have some Dune related ink, as well as ASOIF ink, Dark Tower ink, LOTR ink….

      For TV – Rome, Deadwood, Breaking Bad, Vikings, Oz, and Brotherhood just to name a few.

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    39. ShadowStalker,

      I’ve been duly warned, but I have to know… it’s just how I am.

      davy,

      I love fiction that weaves in historical facts, so I thought Turn would be right up my alley – good to know it’s a slow start! As for Outlander, I’ve read and re-read those books for almost 20 years now, so I knew what was coming & thought they (showrunner, actors, etc.) handled the difficult material beautifully, but I also acknowledge it’s too much for some. I appreciate the realism of the aftermath though, in that what happened to Jaime affects him (and Claire) for the rest of their lives.

      Maceless Fan,

      How could I’ve forgotten Paul Kaye!?! He was wonderfully strange as Vinculus, and very brave parading around shirtless 🙂

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    40. I think Jon Rhys Meyers was perfectly cast, people need to suspend their need for historical accuracy in favour of entertainment value (as I do every time I watch almost everything set in ancient Rome/Egypt/Greece).

      Jack Taylor is a great Irish detective series starring Iain Glen. Lulu Mom’s crotch indicator arrow would be in put to good use there! 😛

      If you want something a lot lighter hearted, Rory McCann was in a series called ‘The Book Group’ and won a BAFTA. Great little show.

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    41. Just have to throw in The Tunnel, to see Stephen Dillane in a part that´s as far removed from Stannis as can be (also featuring Joseph Mawle).

      Oh, and I´m glad someone just mentioned the Book Group, it´s a wonderful little series.

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    42. Iain Glen is awesome in everything. Such an underrated actor.

      Wolf Hall had no less than eight GOT actors: Qyburn, Jojen, High Sparrow, Yezzan, Viserys, Tycho Nestoris, Shireen, and Syrio.

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    43. The Jack Taylor series of Irish TV movies, starring Iain Glenn as an alcoholic P.I. in Galway, are also an absolute joy. I’m not sure they’re great exactly, though at least a couple of them are, but Glenn is a blast in the role and the setting is magnificent (I now desperately want to visit / move to Galway). Probably my favorite TV experience I had this year, with the possible exception of Better Call Saul.

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    44. Flora Linden,

      *whimpers* It is hard to imagine that Fantasy fans who love Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire wouldn’t have read Dune a long time ago. Dune was the second fantasy book that I read and that was in the 60’s.

      Not to *preen*, but I actually met Frank Herbert at a book signing in San Francisco, got three copies of God Emperor of Dune signed by him. I was SO star struck. *preen* He asked me what I thought of the book or if I had any questions for him about Dune in general. I had nothing to say. What a dork I was!!

      I know it sounds snobbish, but to me any real Fantasy fan who haven’t read Dune is like saying “I haven’t read Lord of the Rings”.

      I also highly recommend Dune and/or Lord of the Rings, if one has not read them yet.

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    45. Not everyone’s a fan of this show, but I have so much fun watching True Blood. Even though it’s set in Louisiana, it feels like you’re in another world. True Blood’s got great humor, an excellent cast, and I must say, the love scenes are filmed much better than they are on GoT. It’s a shame that it received so few Emmy nominations, when there were plenty of deserving people involved (Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten, Deborah Ann Woll, and Sam Trammell, just to name a few).

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    46. JCDavis,

      I love Dune so much, even the later novels written by Brian Herbert. I’ve read them all and just fell in love with the mini-series that was made by Sci-Fi many, many years ago (but I preferred most of the casting of the Lynch movie from the 1980’s). Gotta admit, though, I *tried* to read LotR back when I was a young teen (~12-13), but it was just too verbose for me. Now that I think about it, I should try again – if I can slog through the entire Wheel of Time series, LotR should be a cakewalk now.

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    47. serum,

      I also enjoyed a few of the prequel books written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, especially Dune: House Atreides, The Winds of Dune, Sisterhood of Dune and Mentats of Dune. Those would make good epic TV shows, actually.

      JCDavis,

      Have you ever seen the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune? It’s fascinating. It’s about indie filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s attempt to make Dune in the early 70s. He was ready to start filming – had a cast, creative team, but his vision was too radical for the studios and they refused to finance him. Ironically, several years later Star Wars broke through, and later sci-fi films used visual ideas and concepts that Jodorowsky tried to use for Dune. While I don’t agree with his interpretation (it was too weird and strange for me) I admired his belief in the project and felt bad he never got a chance to make the movie. It would probably end up being regarded like Blade Runner or something.

      I remember reading in an interview Frank Herbert said that Dune was about the dangers of superhero worship and of elevating a man to that of a god. But what did the movie adaptation do? They turned Paul into a god, which wasn’t Herbert’s intention! He thought the irony was funny.

      JCDavis:

      It is hard to imagine that Fantasy fans who love Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire wouldn’t have read Dune a long time ago. Dune was the second fantasy book that I read and that was in the 60’s.

      Confession: I never read Dune until the Game of Thrones TV show, although I knew of it. I was looking to read an ASOIF style series but not Martin’s books (I only read the first one) because I wanted to enjoy the TV show on its own. I’m glad I did.

      And that’s cool you met Frank Herbert. 🙂

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    48. JCDavis:
      Flora Linden,

      *whimpers*It is hard to imagine that Fantasy fans who love Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire wouldn’t have read Dune a long time ago.Dune was the second fantasy book that I read and that was in the 60’s.

      There are some pretty strong Dune influences in ASOIAF.

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    49. Wolf Hall: Anton Lesser, Jonathan Pryce, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Harry Lloyd, Enzo Cilenti and Kerry Ingram.

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    50. I live in hope for a GoT Hot Pie cookery show spin-off.

      BTW I haven’t read Dune – or seen Star Wars 😉

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    51. I have a theory that every (well, 90%) of all English-produced dramas since the mid ’90s will feature a Game of Thrones actor at some point. I now turn it into a game.

      The most memorable spotting so far was in The Musketeers, where one episode, BAM!, Davos showed up with long hair.

      Even the upcoming adaptation of The Last Kingdom has the guy that played Ralf Kenning.

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    52. Arya Havin’ a Larf?:

      BTW I haven’t read Dune – or seen Star Wars

      That’s OK, you’ll be fine. 😉

      MM:

      There are some pretty strong Dune influences in ASOIAF.

      While reading the Dune books, I mentally cast GoT actors as the characters. 🙂

      And Dany wandering the Red Waste in S2 reminds me of Paul and Jessica fleeing into the Arrakis desert.

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    53. Flora Linden,

      I HAVE seen the documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune! It was fantastic. Too bad no one at the vision needed at the time to be able to make the movie. Big budget. I also agree that the 80’s movie is the best. I mean come on…..Patrick Stewart as Gurney Halleck and Sting as Feyd Rautha? I know that many people panned the movie, but I thought overall it was better than the series made for TV, which I did also like. 😀 Seems we are similar in taste. I do hope that you try again with Lord of the Rings, it is SO worth it. And easy to get invested quickly.

      While I think it is cool there are all these ways to watch television these days, it is also pretty easy to pick up a book and just simply read. (or open a Kindle or NOOK) 😉

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    54. Something that is in the “to watch with the kiddiwinks” stable but okay for adults is the 2005 version of Lassie that has Peter Dinklage making a noble effort at an Irish accent as one of the medley of characters Lassie meets on her way home. It’s an unpretentious little film and I don’t know where you would see it online – it’s one of those films that is shown fairly regularly at holiday time in the UK.

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    55. Pigeon,
      Being the pedant I am it’s technically a giant inadvertent crotch arrow, a small one would cause far less merriment! 😀

      what rough beast,
      Did you spot original Daario in it too?

      Concentrating on some of the lesser-known-outside-the-show actors in stuff which has had at least some critical acclaim, The Fall has Roose and Barristan. Film-wise you could try Lysa, Pod and Jeor Mormont in Outcast, Bran in The Awakening and Ygritte in Honeymoon (all supernatural/horror types).

      For funnies there’s the Hound in Hot Fuzz (awesome film, the only thing here I would definitely recommend trying) and Ramsay playing the absolute opposite of Ramsay in Vicious (tv), while King Robert, Dolorous Edd and Thoros of Myr (aka Dennis Pennis) have been in quite a few comedy things on the large and small screen. That’s cinema and television for younger Watchers, not computer and phone screens! 😉

      Sorry, not sure about where they can be viewed outside the UK, but if all else fails give the ever reliable You Tube a go.

      EDIT: Oh yeah, Orell and er thingy….Dagmer Cleftjaw in the original (UK) version of The Office and Dontos is another comedy go-to guy.

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    56. Being a huge Michael Fassbender fan, I recently enjoyed re watching ‘Gunpowder, Treason and Plot’, as well as ‘The Devil’s Whore’, which Harry Lloyd was in. Neither are as good as GoT, but worth watching as standard BBC/Ch4 fare.

      My elder brother was the big fantasy fan when we were kids, he loved Dune and LOTR. He read The Silmarilion as a teen. I never did, but read The Hobbit at 11 and LOTR at 16.

      I asked him recently what he thought of Harry Potter, and he said he wasn’t interested because it sounded too much like ‘A Wizard of Earthsea’, so I’ve no idea if he’s read ASOIAF. I tried to get my parents and younger brother into it.

      I appear to have succeeded with my parents but my brother said it was too like LOTR, which he didn’t like. Yet he enjoyed The Hobbit movie (first one). He never read books and still doesn’t. He did like Lost and 24, both of which I’ve yet to see!

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    57. I agree with all who prefers Borgia Faith and Fear to The Borgias with Jeremy Irons. The show is not only much, MUCH closer to the actual history, IMO it also has a cleverer plot, a better storytelling and a fantastic cast, including 3 actors from GOT.
      Also important: although the French producers of Borgia chose to limit it to overall 3 seasons, instead of previously planned 4 or 5, Tom Fontana was able to bring his series to a satisfying ending. While The Borgias was not only just abruptly cancelled without any real closure, it actually left at least a half of the story untold… meh.

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    58. In the Loop.

      It has Enzo Cilenti (Yezzan zo Qaggaz) in it. Gloriously funny and a Peter Capaldi/James Gandolfini masterpiece.

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    59. Black Mirror. Someone must be in there, even if it’s just a gaffer, and it’s the best tv series of the decade

      Deesensfan:
      J,

      woohoo!

      Tyrant is good also, but still second season running.. so not much of a binge watcher.

      Did anyone see Spartacus? its next on my list.

      It’s ok, specially the first season

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    60. Website keeps timing me out erghh… First time commenter but love site.

      Spartacus – Great show, little like 300 first few ep but really good after. EXTREME violence and sexuality so if that bothers you, you’ve been warned.

      Dune – old Space channel did really good miniseries about 10 years ago (much better than movie)

      Recommend Sens8 by Wachowski’s on Netflix. Takes some processing first few ep. but comes together nicely. Really enjoyed it.

      My guilty pleasure is The 100 (WB) also on Netflix, first few ep were like kiddie space soap opera, but then turned really gritty like Battlestar Galactica (oohh, I forgot to mention that one, GREAT show LOL found on Crave TV in Canada)

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    61. Pigeon,

      The Book Group with Rory is available on hulu. I really liked it.

      Jack Taylor with Iain Glen is available on netflix. I loved the first episode, still working my way through.

      Don’t forget about Mark Addy in “Still Standing”! 😉

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    62. And now for books (Please don’t judge me LOL)
      Besides ASOIAF, LOTR and Dune already mentioned, I have enjoyed

      Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

      Have a soft spot in my heart for David and Leigh Eddings and their Belgarion and Mallorean series

      Loved Clan of the Cavebear by J.M. Auel (by the way, Lifetime ordered a pilot for it, Yay 🙂

      No political backlash please, but I do enjoy Orson Scott Cards Ender’s Game and follow up books.

      Oooohh, speaking of political bias’ of authors, Terry Goodkinds Sword of Truth series is pretty good
      (Note: suggestions are for fantasy and sci-fi fans, whom most of you probably already read these books LOL. And yes, I sludged my way through Malazan and, not for lack of intelligence, did not enjoy it LOL

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    63. M:
      Lena Headey as Sarah Connor was absolutely incredible — she took the character to a new level, beyond anything Linda Hamilton did in the original films.I was surprised when the show was cancelled.

      This.

      Love this recommendations topic. Many series I’ve never heared about to check out. Also, a Dune documentary. And it has told me there is another Borgia series that may not be as disappointing as the one with Jeremy Irons was. Woop woop.

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    64. I can highly recommend rewatching with someone new to the series. Introduced my new partner to it about a month ago. He knew nothing about it (he’s a sport, history and nature type guy) and is now absolutely addicted. He’s already up to the beginning of season 5 and seeing how he reacts to things from a truly unsullied position is delightful. And I’m picking up more second time through as well!

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    65. Excellent choices. But I would recommend to all TV show viewers the best remedy for GoT withdrawal is to read ASOIAF… that’s what I did at the end of season 4 and it was awesome!

      Other shows I would suggest are “Wolf Hall” and “Black Sails” etc.

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    66. Thronetender,

      There will be more Sherlock, just not every year. Maybe if Moffat gave up Doctor Who, but that’s not gonna happen anytime soon. 2016 should be the new season. They are doing a Christmas special this December. It will take place in the Victorian Era. There is a trailer for it around. Rumor is they’re bringing back some familiar characters for the special

      Moriarty and possibly Irene Adler

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    67. Wolf Hall had so many GoTers it made my head spin (but luckily I kept it on!)

      I look forward to Dr Who this year, and not because of Peter Capaldi and Mark Gatiss. Maisie Williams will feature in a two-parter.

      Northern Ireland’s Ciaran Hinds’ Caesar was IMO the best thing about season 1 of Rome. He has some films coming out this year, but he’ll be in the spotlight when he plays King Claudius to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet at the National Theatre. That will additionally be shown in cinemas all over the world.

      And speaking of the North:
      David Bradley (York) is currently on US telly in The Strain, a sci-fi contagion/vampire-fest. Bradley was also in Season 1 of Broadchurch. Not to mention his recurring role in that little series of Harry Potter films.

      Mark Addy (York) is presently playing Hercules of all people (gods?) in Atlantis. IMO he stole A Knights Tale and The Full Monty. In the latter he bared his considerable all.

      Sean Bean (Sheffield) is busy this year. He’s working on the second season of Legends, and has The Frankenstein Chronicles (TV) and The Martian coming out (read the book–it’s terrific!). For vintage Bean, there’s Sharpe and LotR. One does not simply walk into Mordor, especially when winter is coming.

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    68. Seconding Rome (Ciaran Hinds, Indira Varma and probably others) and Orphan Black (with Michel Huisman). Indira Varma was also in Luther (another great series).
      Michelle Fairley was in the latest series of 24 – playing somewhat against type (at least as a Stark).

      The Strain is excellent and stars David Bradley (Walder Frey) – although I haven’t seen any of the second series yet.

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    69. JCDavis,

      It is hard to imagine that Fantasy fans who love Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire wouldn’t have read Dune a long time ago. Dune was the second fantasy book that I read and that was in the 60’s.

      Its the first one I read, given to me by my HS boyfriend when I was 14; told me I must read this book before our next date. I read it and was hooked. He enabled me by giving me all of his Heinlein and Bradbury books. The rest is history…..

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    70. Salty Dornishman,

      I’ve read them all and just fell in love with the mini-series that was made by Sci-Fi many, many years ago (but I preferred most of the casting of the Lynch movie from the 1980’

      Oh I hought that movie was horrible! I ended up walking out on it. Really liked the series. ETA I did see that documentary, it was amazing. May need to read that book again; liked the two right after that

      Re Downton Abbey – I loved the first two seasons, third eh, the rest was unwatchable to me.

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    71. Don’t know if it was mentioned yet by someone else but the show Crossing Lines is really entertaining and it’s on Netflix. Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H’ghar) is one of the main characters and does a wonderful job. Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) also has a recurring role in the upcoming 3rd season.

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    72. You could always go back to the roots of Game of Thrones and watch I, Claudius. It was one of GRRM’s inspirations. Quality will no doubt be awful and the screen small. 70’s tv is like that.

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    73. telebuffoon:
      If you can find it, watch a french movie from the 90’s called Queen Margot. It’s beautiful and has more backstabbery than you can imagine.

      Ah, La Reine Margot; based on a book by Dumas – excellent film and with the lovely Isabelle Adjani. :thumbs up:

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    74. Hot Fuzz has Rory McCann in but he’s near unrecognisable!

      Or watch the first generation of ‘Skins’ which has both Joe Dempsie and Hannah Murray in (both get to stretch their acting legs a bit more than they do in GoT). Also the show that broke Nicholas Hoult as a grow – up actor.

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    75. telebuffoon:
      You could always go back to the roots of Game of Thrones and watch I, Claudius.It was one of GRRM’s inspirations. Quality will no doubt be awful and the screen small. 70’s tv is like that.

      Actually my husband and I watched it after our trip to Rome a few years back (we saw it when it originally aired). Some things are dated but the series and performances are wonderful. Didn’t see anything wrong with the quality

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    76. Pau,

      Go to National Theatre LIve to see when they will be showing the play at a theater near you. IIRC its coming out in Sept. Should be fabulous! (ETA nope, October 15)

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    77. JCDavis:
      Flora Linden,

      *whimpers*It is hard to imagine that Fantasy fans who love Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire wouldn’t have read Dune a long time ago.Dune was the second fantasy book that I read and that was in the 60’s.

      You don’t have to be a fantasy fan to love ASOIAF, so maybe not all the people who are fans of ASOIAF have read Dune. I’m not, and I haven’t read Dune. I used to read lot of sci-fi as a young teen, and still pick up a sci-fi novel occasionally, but somehow, I never got beyond first chaper of Dune, even if we had that in the house (left by an aunt, I think). I think I should try, after all, perfume Dune is one of my favorites, and I wear it as I type.

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    78. telebuffoon:
      If you can find it, watch a french movie from the 90’s called Queen Margot. It’s beautiful and has more backstabbery than you can imagine.

      La Reine Margot is great: lavish costumes, opulent sets, hot sex, violence, intrigue, pulpy melodrama, beautiful women, and so many attractive guys, my word. If the French language thing is a dealbreaker, there’s also the Cate Blanchett Elizabeth film, which is much along the same lines (fewer hot guys, though). I always thought the Cate Blanchett Elizabeth film was strongly influenced by La Reine Margot, actually.

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    79. Ripper Street also has Clive Owen as Abberline, who bosses around the three main characters.

      But even the Blackfish has to answer to Roose Bolton, who is somehow the Comissioner of the Metro police!

      Kristian Nairn also pops in one episode, and he’s not exactly, um, very Hodor-ish.

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    80. Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) is also in an episode of Misfits (3.1), and Gwyneth Keyworth (that prostitute in Volantis that Tyrion didn’t sleep with) has a small role as well.

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    81. MM and telebuffoon,

      There’s a series of French historical novels GRRM is a fan of, called the Accursed Kings, by Maurice Druon. There are seven books – “The Iron King”, “The Strangled Queen”, “The Poisoned Crown”, The Royal Succession”, “The She-Wolf”, “The Lily and the Lion” and “King Without A Kingdom”. The English translation is excellent.

      Back to sci-fi / fantasy, Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series, about a mysterious spaceship that visits Earth, is a good read. (I heard Morgan Freeman tried to get a movie made based on this, but that was a while ago.)

      Also, Richard K. Morgan’s “Altered Carbon” if you enjoy Blade Runner / Matrix-style cyberpunk.

      And there’s David Wingrove’s Chung Kuo: The Middle Kingdom series about China taking over Planet Earth in the 22nd century. It was published in the 1990s, and it’s timely (and creepy) to read now.

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    82. The Tunnel with Stephen Dillane aka Stannis playing a detective who teams up with Fleur Delacour from HP to fight crime in both France and England…it also features Daario #1 and Benjen Stark.

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    83. I am overcoming some of my StannisGrief by watching John Adams on HBO. Dillane gives a completely unexpected read as Th. Jefferson. I am at E.4 and I like it quite a lot (despite having a visceral dislike of Paul Giamatti in everything else I have ever seen him in).

      I will second others who have mentioned Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell (sort of like Jane Austin having a tea with Neil Gaiman) and Wolf Hall (the best thing I saw on TV this year – so far).

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    84. I’d you really are in serious Game of Thrones withdrawal, read some fanfiction. There is a surprising amount of it that is fairly good.

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