From Watchmen to The Lord of the Rings: All the Shows Hoping to Be the Next Game of Thrones

Everyone's on the hunt for the series that will be the successor to HBO's smash hit.

By Billy Nilles 20 Oct, 2019 7:56 PMTags
Game of Thrones FinaleHBO

The Iron Throne may have been destroyed in the end, but the game of thrones is far from over.

We're talking, of course, about the TV industry's quest to recapture even an eighth of that Game of Thrones magic now that the smash hit series is off the airwaves with a GoT of their very own. Cable networks and streaming services alike are all on the hunt for that magic series that might come to rival the HBO behemoth in terms of fan devotion and Emmys gold. 

Beginning with HBO's highly-anticipated adaptation of Alan Moore's beloved Watchmen, created by Lost's Damon Lindelof and premiering on Sunday, Oct. 20, these content providers are readying big budget adaptations of fantasy-driven source material rich with deep mythologies and expansive worlds. Truly, some are so hungry to deliver GoT's successor, they're literally backing up the Brinks truck to make it happen. (Looking at you, Amazon.)

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What's Next for the Game of Thrones Cast?

In honor of Watchmen's big debut, let's take a look at all the shows coming our way that will soon be vying for the coveted title of "the next Game of Thrones."

Watchmen

Taking Alan Moore's revolutionary comic book as a jumping off point, Damon Lindelof has created HBO's first big stab at replacing Game of Thrones. The series, premiering on Sunday, Oct. 20 is a wholly original creation set in Moore's world, but 30 years after his story, focuses on an alternate universe where Robert Redford replaced Richard Nixon as POTUS (and remains in office) and superheroes are outlawed. With a cast that includes Regina King, Jeremy Irons and Jean Smart, Watchmen might feel a little dense for those who haven't read Moore's source material, but hey, the same could've been said about GoT's first season. And look how that turned out.

His Dark Materials

Based on Phillip Pullman's epic trilogy, the BBC/HBO co-production debuts Stateside on Monday, Nov. 4. The show follows Lyra (Dafne Keen), a young girl from another world whose quest to find her missing friend unearths a sinister world involving stolen children and something called Dust. Lyra's world is full of fantastical elements like armored bears that talk and physical manifestations of people's souls as animal companions called daemons. And it only gets stranger from there. The series, which also co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson, has already been renewed for a second season.

See

Apple TV+'s first big fantasy swing, this series from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is set in a distant future where humans have lost the ability to, well, see, and have developed news ways to interact and survive. When warrior Baba Voss (played by Jason Momoa) and his wife welcome twins into the world who can miraculously see, he must do everything he can to keep them out of the hands of tyrannical Queen Kane (Sylvia Hoeks) and her cult. Alfre Woodard also stars in the series, which will be available when the new streaming service launches on November 1.

The Lord of the Rings

In 2017, Amazon announced that it had struck a deal with Warner Bros. and Tolkein family estimated at around $250 million to secure the television rights to the iconic fantasy franchise, with the intention of delivering a multi-season prequel series based on "previously unexplored stories" inspired by J.R.R. Tolkein's writing. No casting or story details have been confirmed on the series, said to be the most expensive in history, which is expected to debut in 2021.

The Witcher

Based on Andrzej Sapkowski's series of books, graphic novels and video games, this Netflix series stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter thrust into adventure with a powerful sorceress and a princess harboring a dark secret as the trio are forced to traverse the treacherous and increasingly volatile mystical realm of the Continent. No release date has been confirmed, but the series is expected before the end of 2019.

Cursed

Based on the upcoming YA graphic novel of the same name from authors Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler, Cursed stars 13 Reasons Why breakout Katherine Langford as Nimue, a teenage heroine destined to become tragic Lady of the Lake from Arthurian legend. While the series is in production, no premiere date has been revealed as of press time.

Sandman

Netflix recently announced it would be adapting Neil Gaiman's beloved graphic novel series into a live-action TV series, beginning with an 11-episode first season. Gaiman's rich tale of fantasy and mythology tells the story of Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams, and the Endless, the powerful group of siblings that includes Destiny, Death, Destruction, Despair, Desire and Delirium (as well as Dream). No casting has been announced yet.

The Wheel of Time

Amazon Prime has put this series, based on Robert Jordan's novel series of the same name, into production with Rosamund Pike attached to lead the cast as Moiriane a member of the shadowy and influential all-female organization called the Aes Sedaias she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women after their home village is attacked by the Dark One, an evil entity who seeks to remake the world in his image. Among the five, she believes one is the reincarnation of the Dragon, an ancient hero prophesied to either save the world or destroy it. Production began in September 2019.

The Watch

Based on Terry Pratchett's Discworld series of fantasy novels, this BBC America series is described as a fantasy crime procedural set in the city of Ankh-Morpork. Following a "crime of the week" element, we'll watch as GoT's very own Beric Dondarrion (aka actor Richard Dormer) acts as command as the city's police force. The eight-episode first season is due in 2020.

Shadow and Bone

Based on the books of Leigh Bardugo, Netflix's adaptation brings together stories and characters from both the Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows series, both of which take place in her Grishaverse. The streaming service describes the series thusly: "In a world cleaved in two by a massive barrier of perpetual darkness, where unnatural creatures feast on human flesh, a young soldier uncovers a power that might finally unite her country. But as she struggles to hone her power, dangerous forces plot against her. Thugs, thieves, assassins and saints are at war now, and it will take more than magic to survive." Bird Box screenwriter Eric Heisserer will serve as showrunner on the series, which just went into production this month.

The Chronicles of Narnia

After a feature film franchise based on C.S. Lewis' beloved book series petered out in the 2000s, Netflix inked a deal with the C.S. Lewis Company in late 2018 to develop a wide range of stories across the Narnia landscape that will involve a set of movies and at least one series. No further details have been announced as of yet.

Game of Thrones Prequel

And then, of course, there's the clearest successor: HBO's planned prequel. Though it hasn't been ordered to series yet, the still-untitled series is set thousands of years before the events of GoT at the end of the Age of Heroes as the world begins its descent into darkness. Naomi Watts leads the cast on the series as a "charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret." Said to be in post-production, an order to series feels like something of a foregone conclusion. Unless, that is, the network decides the whole thing is rubbish. But that feels highly unlikely.

Watchmen premieres on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. on HBO.