Winter has come and gone and we left our hearts behind in Westeros. From brutal wedding-night assassinations to spine-tingling White Walker clashes, Game of Thrones fans have faithfully followed the gritty survivalist saga of the beloved Stark family as the manipulative Lannisters attempt to slaughter them on their warpath to ultimate domination. It’s hard to believe it’s all over, and after eight seasons, GoT fans will need a new series to binge to fill the void of the ending of the series (or to, um, move on from the ultimate dismay in the final season). Here’s our guide for fans who crave complicated characters as lovable as Arya Stark and detestable as Cersei Lannister, politically gripping power struggles as dizzying as the War of the Five Kings, and battle scenes as scrappy as Prince Oberyn’s fight against the Mountain.
Some mild spoilers for these series ahead — promise, we didn’t ruin any major plot points of these bingeworthy shows.
What to binge for more political espionage: The Americans (Amazon Prime)
Knowing things first is half the battle, as any Westerosi knows, and the more you know, the closer you get to the throne — it’s why the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union employed so many little telltale ravens in the game of espionage. And it’s why in The Americans, two such little ravens, Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys), pose as doves roosting in the innocuous DC suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, where they cultivate the American dream by raising two typical kids and paying the mortgage, provided with a pittance from the KGB. As Soviet intelligence agents, their job is to both report on US espionage and muffle rogue KGB defectors, by any means necessary, and usually violent ones. But when Philip, having fed off the milk and honey of America’s ‘80s boom, urges Elizabeth to defect with him to the land of amber waves of grain, their Soviet loyalty is tested, as is their marriage — the ultimate domestic cold war. Though Elizabeth declares that the mother country comes before all things, including her husband and her children, that declaration of faith will be shaken by the KGB’s plans for their daughter Paige.
What to binge for more charming cold-blooded killers: Killing Eve (Hulu)
If you didn’t get your fill of Euron Greyjoy’s dastardly delights, tune into the charms of the one and only Villanelle (Jodie Comer), the cocky, strangely lovable villainess (or perhaps, heroine — like Game of Thrones, no character is black or white in this series) of this trickster’s universe that turns serial crime on its head. Villanelle, a droll, seductive Parisian, secretly works for a shadowy syndicate as a motorcycle-riding, pipe-scaling, gun-wielding assassin. Flitting from Bulgaria to Italy to murder powerful crime bosses and corporate power players with a flick of her poison-laden fingers, Villanelle does what she wants and suffers no fools. But when the killer’s carelessness leaves a witness, she finds MI5 officer Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) feasting on her breadcrumbs, hungry to pursue such an intriguing murderess. Villanelle is just as enchanted with Eve, turning the pursuer into the pursued as she lures her other half into a cat-and-mouse game as rapturous as it is deadly.
What to binge for more stylish fight scenes: Peaky Blinders (Netflix)
All’s fair in love and in anarchy — a political state that perfectly describes not only Westeros, but also Birmingham in the 1920s, a landscape disenfranchised by industrial grease, grinding poverty, and postwar PTSD. Decorated war hero and violent gang leader Tommy Shelby (the brilliant, cold-eyed Cillian Murphy) rules the police, the bookies, and the bars with an iron family fist. Though blustering, Bible-thumping Belfast cop Chester Campbell (the typecast Sam Neill) threatens to imbalance his carefully calibrated crime ecosystem, Tommy and his wild bunch manipulate both political bureaucracy and the criminal underworld as they claw their way to white-collar legitimacy in the clean, above-the-board economy. Tommy even manages to find love in all the wrong women — in between scrappy, punk music-scored fights with rival gangs and cold-hearted assassinations of foreign crime bosses that never manage to besmirch his impeccably natty white collar.
What to binge for more King Robb: Bodyguard (Netflix)
Did you weep “too soon, too soon” on that fateful night of the Red Wedding? Well, Richard Madden is back from his untimely Thrones death, plunging once again into life-threatening political chaos as David Budd, the stoic bodyguard reluctantly sworn to protect warmongering conservative British politician Julia Montague, whose trust (and arms) he finds his way into. But this is no Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner fairytale, with Budd’s Afghan combat experiences both equipping him to shield Montague from terrorist violence and plaguing him with trauma that threatens to explode with hair-trigger violence. Domestic terrorist plots and political rivalries within London’s government threaten Montague at every turn, and Budd finds it increasingly difficult to protect an outspoken politician whose power-hungry aims on the throne at 10 Downing Street put an assassination bullseye on her head. From tense bomb plots to warring politicians, this is an irresistible binge into the dangers of the duty to protect and serve.
What to binge for more noble antiheroes: Mr. Robot (Amazon Prime)
Rami Malek, fresh off an Oscar win for Bohemian Rhapsody, is sparking renewed interest in this dark, visionary three-season technothriller created by the director of Homeland, Sam Esmail. On a constantly shifting technology battlefield, multiple warring parties — a corporate behemoth called E Corp; its misnomered cybersecurity firm Allsafe; their nemesis fsociety, an Anonymous-like collective of hackers; and a group of Chinese hackers called Dark Army — form alliances and betray one another with equal gusto (sound familiar, Thrones fans?). No one is guaranteed the throne — in fact, fsociety is hellbent on destroying the hierarchical tyranny of thrones altogether. Our reluctant antihero Elliot is as Jon Snow as they come: noble, conflicted, and blind to his own destiny. A lowly cybersecurity tech by day, Elliot sheds his Clark Kent duds to assume his true identity as a powerful hacktivist superhero by night. Not only does fsociety’s amorphous collective fit his awkward, antisocial personality to a T, but its do-gooder goal aligns with his revolutionary instincts: to hack America out of its crushing financial debt, subverting the fake plastic sham of corporate consumer credit.
What to binge for more dynastic family drama: Succession (HBO)
GoT fans know there are few storylines more tortuous and delightful to watch than a house divided. In a family as spiky and coldly cruel as the Lannisters, four heirs of a powerful media scion (Brian Cox) maneuver for the upper hand in a power struggle sure to cauterize any familial warmth they once felt for each other as children. Heir apparent Ken (Jeremy Strong) faces an immediate coup from younger sib and enfant terrible Roman (Kieran Culkin), with resistance from politically shrewd sis Shiv (Sarah Snook) and reluctance from supposedly easygoing nutjob older bro Connor (Alan Ruck). The secret glue? Thankfully, the green paper that stands in for their father’s love unites them in fraternal unity. Determined to save the family biz while anointing himself king, Ken takes drastic measures to assure his ascendance in the wake of his father’s illness. Between snarky potshots and knockdown brawls, the sibs share some oddly affectionate moments that manage to penetrate the icy cloak of wealth and power. Who will emerge the vainglorious, victorious Cersei is anyone’s guess — you might think it would easily be Ken, but two dark horses are on the horizon: bumbling idiot savant grand-nephew Greg (Nicholas Braun) and ruthless upstart media rival Lawrence (Rob Yang).
What to binge for more meditations on what it all means: Russian Doll (Netflix)
Nadia Volvokov (Natasha Lyonne) is a wisecracking and wise Olenna Tyrell old soul stuck in the body of a bohemian 21st-century New York libertine in this trippy adventure into the philosophical wasps’ nests of pain, depression, memory, mortality, free will, and interdependent relationships. Nadia is doomed to die again and again, reincarnated after each taxi cab slam or trip into a bodega basement, waking to the sight of her wide-eyed “Did that just happen?” face in the mirror of her glowing blue bathroom. This East Village paean is a surprisingly fun jaunt with Nadia at the wobbly helm, steering us with only her tough street-won instincts toward a deliberate retooling of our oft-accidental-seeming universe. Nadia proves without a shred of idealistic innocence that it’s never too late to leave the not-quite-right lover, forgive the family member or friend, or take a leap into the clear-headed alternate universe that we always regretted leaving behind.
What to binge for more unlikely alliances … in space: The Expanse (Amazon Prime)
Often called “Game of Thrones in space,” this intergalactic class struggle pits ascendant military superpower Mars against a fading planet Earth, with Ceres, a rust belt asteroid where oppressed, thirsty Belters mine water, stuck in between. Exposition is a priority in this series, with a slowly unfolding mystery of a rebellious missing Earth heiress named Julie Mao, who is being searched for by a hard-boiled, fedora-clad Belter detective named Joe Miller. As Miller uncovers Mao’s Easter eggs one by one, he begins to suspect a threat to humanity as catastrophic as the White Walkers. With its urgent acting catapulting us compellingly from sleek high-tech ships to grimy cyberpunk underground cities, it’s heaven-sent that Amazon decided to pick up the fourth season of this series after it was canceled by SyFy.