10 Shows Like House Of The Dragon You Should Watch

House Of The Dragon has brought Westeros back to our screens, and after the biggest TV disappointment of the century, it’s really refreshing to rediscover why everyone loved George RR Martin’s raunchy fantasy world in the first place. The eternal quest for power, the cast of hopelessly flawed characters, and of course the dragons, fire-breathing and all.

The dragons are, if not a unique selling point, then one that you don’t see much of outside of Westeros these days, which is why they’re in the title. But if it has whetted your appetite for grandiose political maneuvering, are there any other similar shows like House Of The Dragon that you can enjoy on the sidelines? Yes, there are, but we’re not included in Game Of Thrones, since that’s a bit of a no-brainer, really.

1. Rome

You might as well see Rome as a simulacrum of House Of The Dragon and its associated dynasty, an HBO product that combines the network’s staples of extreme sex and violence with a sumptuously recreated vision of the past. It’s set around the time Rome was moving from republic to empire, a transition that, didn’t you know, had a lot of sex and extreme violence going on for everyone.

Unlike most historical dramas, this one does not revolve entirely around the life and times of a renowned figure or dynasty. Obvious A-lister Julius Caesar it is there, but it’s seen through the lens of two average Roman soldiers, Lucius and Titus, with nothing special other than the way they appear whenever something important happens.

2. The crown

The crown
The crown

Not to mention the predecessor to House Of The Dragon, The Show That Must Not Be Named, but The Crown shares one of that show’s strongest qualities: Charles Dance wanders about being sexy and statesmanlike. Granted though, no modern show will have the guts to portray Louis Mountbatten as being one-tenth as ruthless and nasty as Tywin Lannister.

But the main event in The Crown is something that has been at the core of both House Of The Dragon and its disgraced ancestor: a very sympathetic young woman who finds herself thrust into the realm of royal power through no fault of her own. And just like House Of The Dragon, this one rattles through the life and times of her leading lady at a fast pace, moving between different stages of her life with different actresses portraying her as she goes. get old. It’s more of a highlight reel than a laborious story of her fetching the newspaper.

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3. The Borgias

The Borgias
The Borgias

Lacking dragons, the Borgia family has had to climb to the top of the tree on their own backs, which means we’re not saddled with the usual well-intentioned clot decoy protagonist before we start following a real political operator, we can jump at full speed Here, the main man is Jeremy Irons in mustachioed anti-hero mode, like the Pope.

From Irons onwards, it could just as easily have been titled ‘Borgias Misbehaving’ (as, indeed, the actual period of Italian history could have been depicted). The whole family is a list of things you’d rather people in positions of power didn’t even think about, from simple murders to stalls in the church hierarchy.

4. The Tudors

The Tudors
The Tudors

The Targaryens, a clan that what’s more they came in unexpectedly and took over using a dragon as their symbol, they were probably at least loosely based on the Tudors in the first place. And when House Of The Dragon introduces us to a king who desperately wants a male heir and doesn’t really care how many of his wives have to die before that happens, the parallels become too glaring to ignore.

The Westerosiverse is well known for particularly dramatic weddings, whether it be the one where the groom died, the one where the groom’s gay lover died, or where basically everyone but the groom died. But the great farce of the fourth great Harry, when he lost interest in the middle of the ceremony when he saw the bride in the flesh, has not yet been achieved. If you want shows like House of the Dragon with this much pomp, try this size.

5. Hall of the Wolf

wolf hall
wolf hall

Is it cheating to include a second entry where the plot largely derives from Henry VIII’s various wandering penis antics? Perhaps, but the main man here, Thomas Cromwell, is a level below the king himself, and the best analog for Rhys Ifans’ conniving Otto Hightower that he’s likely to receive on short notice (against Game of Thrones, and his Laurel-and-Hardy style double-act of Littlefinger and Varys).

So this is a far cry from the high school antics of Henry and the other attractive and popular kids, focusing firmly on behind-the-scenes power brokers like Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cranmer, Thomas More, and of course Cromwell himself. , as interpreted. by Mark Rylance. The grittier, more realistic approach to the Wolf Hall story straddles both ends of the spectrum, with the production lighting up scenes by candlelight and the backroom dealings turning out to be pretty thankless roles.

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6. The Warlock

The Witcher Netflix
The Witcher Netflix

The main parallel here that makes The Witcher one of the shows like House Of The Dragon is that in a world full of magic and CGI beasts, the biggest challenge to suspension of disbelief comes from the main characters’ silly white wigs. No, maybe that’s unfair, despite being very different bloodlines from fantasy history, The Witcher represents an equally gritty treatment of the genre, specifically one that isn’t all buttoned up with Tolkien-inspired temperance and modesty. Say it quietly, they’ve made fantasy sexy.

As it is, you’d expect any AAA television release, and certainly one based on a video game (based on books), to focus on a battle between the part-elven sorceress Yennefer and the all-important princess Ciri. But no, the main attraction has always been Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia, taking off his shirt and getting into the bathtub more often than he can say a complete sentence.

7. The Barchester Chronicles

the barchester chronicles alan rickman

To establish this early on, The Barchester Chronicles doesn’t have any sword fights or even a little dragon attack. If that’s what you’re here for when it comes to shows like House Of The Dragon, then you can safely scroll to the next one. It’s okay, you’re among friends.

However, it does have the kind of pre-electricity politicking that House Of The Dragon has shown (loud and clear) to be a huge, hungry audience. If you’ve enjoyed having to gain a working knowledge of all the different noble families in a large fictional country, you’ll love discovering the intricacies of local church politics in The Barchester Chronicles.

8. Succession

Succession
Succession

The thing about dynasties is that sooner or later, you’re going to run into a change of leadership. This has been built into House Of The Dragon from the start (poor Paddy Considine, getting sicker and weaker with each passing week), and that’s what Succession is all about: Brian Cox’s billionaire CEO is getting a little better, and your children are already looking to collect the bones.

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The kids are just as disgusting a selection of demons as you’d expect from a family too rich for the consequences, but (as seems to be trending on this list) that’s part of the fun. The show was created by Jesse Armstrong, also the creator of Peep Show and Veep, two shows that were firmly about how funny and horrible humans could possibly be. Apparently, Armstrong originally conceived of Succession as a biopic about Rupert Murdoch’s family — take what you want from that.

9. The Sopranos

The sopranos
The sopranos

Well, this was basically the original, right? In a sense, you could write off The Sopranos as a family drama, but this family just so happens to be powerful, dangerous, driven by pride, lust, and shame, and dysfunctional in a way that audiences just can’t get enough of. And just to be completely clear, when we say ‘family’ here it means both ‘immediate blood and marital relations’ and ‘mob’.

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano was one of those roles that goes beyond simply being career-defining, and bends the medium around its surface. And while he would eventually end up feuding with one of New York’s biggest mob clans, in the early seasons it really was a family affair, and the ultimate baddie was his deeply disliked mother.

10. Empire

Empire
Empire

This time around, the dynasty facing a succession crisis is a hip-hop label, an element that helps provide a tough, gritty, streetwise counterpoint to all the machinations of the boardroom. They’re not dragons, but it’s still blood and thunder. And, by the nature of the industry, the show also includes more singing and dancing than modern prestige dramas usually manage to fit in.

Empire suddenly became notorious in the real world in 2019, when the characters’ bottomless ambition seemed to rub off on lead cast member Jussie Smollett, and he publicly claimed to have been the victim of an elaborate hate crime. House Of The Dragon, and just about every other show on this list, is faced with the question “what would be your do for power?’ – well, there is an example.

READ MORE: 10 series like Rick and Morty that you should watch

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