This text will contain spoilers from the eight season of Game of Thrones
It is once again Monday and like many others, I woke to a sense of dread and disappointment. Winter is not here. The long night lasted roughly two hours. Now we are left with a watered out, dumbed down, rushed and altogether boring plot of who will eventually sit on the Iron Throne.
Because that what we wanted after seven seasons. More politics. That’s the reward for staying with this stupid show, this is the result of the promise that always lingered in the horizon: Winter is coming.
It never came.
As of such, I am disappointed. I am not satisfied. This saga never resolved, and it never will. That is a painful fact. However, rather than to give up, I decided to find my conclusion elsewhere. Game of Thrones is not the only epic saga out there, and it is most certainly not the best one. Being in love with storytelling and great filmmaking, it didn’t take long before I had gathered several more satisfying options to Game of Thrones.
That’s right, I have compiled a list of alternatives to Game of Thrones, all for your enjoyment. Feel free to check these out, and please come with your best suggestions as well. Let’s begin:
The obvious choice – Lord of the Rings
It goes without saying that this trilogy did everything better than Game of Thrones. We didn’t think so for a while, but in the end, this is what we really want from a fantasy film. For example, how awesome is it when the Witch King of Angmar swoops down in Minas Tirith, speaking with the darkest of voices, raise his blade, engulfed in flames and break Gandalf staff? Or when all hope is lost, yet the sun is rising and Théoden ride for Rohan one last time, all to the sound of the Horn of Helm Hammerhand? Or when Sauron dies, and the tower of Barad-dur falls to a giant explosion? Or when Sam carries Frodo?
These are epic moments, and this is how you make a fantasy film.
The darker alternative – Ran
Akira Kurosawa last film, in colour, is a take on the Shakespear’s King Lear. The plot centres around the elderly warlord Hidetora Ichimonji who want to live the last of his days in peace, and decide to divide his kingdom among his three sons. This is the starting point of conflict, betrayal and tragedy.
A dark film. Mistakes are punished, characters are complex, the plot is interesting, yet without any hero nor any villain. Huge plus for the great focus to details and fantastic special effects – especially considering that this film was made in 1985 and CGI was non-existent.
The political game – Wolf Hall
Maybe you preferred the politics of Game of Thrones? For you, the interesting thing where the schemes, the plotting and the back-stabbing? Then Wolf Hall is a series for you. Following Thomas Cromwell, a common son of a smith, whom make an incredible political career to become advisor to king Henry VIII (he’s that crazy king who decapitated several of his wives). You are witnessing history, and you are witnessing drama of another level.
One of my all-time favourite shows. It really take you to the 16th century and your mind start to think how it was in these times, as you are getting more deeply invested in the plot, fantastically driven forward by the ever so great Mark Rylance.
The historically correct alternative – Potop (The Deluge)
Stretching over four hours, this polish drama from 1974 is not the easiest film, but it is certainly rewarding if you give yourselves time to watch it. It is set in the 17th century during the Swedish invasion of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the years 1655 to 1658, known as The Deluge. You follow two polish colonels, Andrzej Kmicic and Michal Wolodyjowski, whom turn from foes to friends as they fight in this three year long war.
Besides being fantastically fun to watch Swedes being the bad-guys, this film is very well thought out. The attention to detail is increadible, the plotting between the warring factions are exiting and the characters feel real and make decisions based on their beliefs. There is even a love story that act as a premise for one of the main characters storyline. AND it has one of the best fencing scenes ever.
The fantasy option – Princess Mononoke
My favourite film. It start with young prince Ashitaka, fearlessly charging a demon that attack his village. During the fight, Ashitaka is struck by the demon, a blow that curse his right arm. A curse that eventually will kill him. In order to save his life and figure out what turned a god into a demon, he travels vest.
I can’t even describe how great this journey is. The film tackle big themes, such as old versus new, and man against nature, yet never really provide any answers. No one is truly good, neither is anyone really evil. You might think so as you watch, but that is your choice, based on your morals. And the film is beautiful. The score is fantastic. The pacing is on point. The battles are epic. The forest god is the most amazing character ever created.
This is the best film and you must watch it.
The bonus – Det sjunde inseglet (The seventh seal)
The black plague spread across Europe. A knight is on his way home from the holy land and he encounters death. As he is not ready, he challenge him – the Grim Reaper – in a game of chess.
Made in 1957 many consider this to be Ingmar Bergman’s magnum opus. Give it a go, it will guarantee you a + 5 in cultural points and + 10 in film snobbery. It is also a great film.
That’s it for me. Hope this help with your Game of Thrones- caused depression!