Destiny is all. The Last Kingdom tells the tale of Uthred Ragnorson, an English Saxon raised by raiding Viking Danes, as he grows to be one of the greatest warriors in all of England. Torn between both sides, Uthred walks a fine line trying desperately to help both groups and bring peace to the land.
This BBC hit has quickly grown into one of the best shows of the past decade. With its last season now on Netflix, there is no better time to dive into the adventures of Uthred and his friends. But when the credits finally roll, and you have that empty feeling inside after finishing such a great show: here’s eight more to sink your time and teeth into.
Taking place during the Roman Empire’s occupation of Germanic lands, this fictional series is filled with action, intrigue, and plenty of sword fights. Having occupied the land for over twenty years the Romans are experiencing unrest in their conquered land. When several Germanic Tribes unite as one to combat their tyrannical overlords Rebellion is ignited.
Barbarians may not be the most historically accurate series but historical shows rarely are. Instead, the show focuses on the personal lives of the Roman and Germanic people, creating a more personal story of love and betrayal. With an incredible production design and exciting action sequences, this is a perfect show to jump to next.
Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)
If you’re no longer in the mood for sword fights and longships of the Viking Age, but still yearning for intriguing political dealings and compelling characters then look no further than the BBC hit Peaky Blinders. The show is set in the slums of England between both World Wars, as a small street gang rises to power in the criminal underworld.
The gang is led by a highly intelligent and ruthless WWI veteran, Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy who absolutely knocks it out of the park with his performance, bringing one of the most highly watchable anti-heroes to television. The cast is great, and the plot is filled with twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat until the credits roll.
Vikings: Valhalla (2022-)
Set a hundred years after its predecessor, this Viking’s spin-off follows the adventures of Leif Erikson, the actual first man to “discover” the Americas. The show chronicles the ending days of the Viking Age as the Saxons of England grow stronger and run out their Dane invaders. Fed up between the bickering politics and yearning for personal glory, a group of Vikings set sail to the sea in search of a new land to plunder.
This exciting, fast-paced series is full of action and adventure. With plenty of schemes and betrayals, this Viking’s series is perfect for fans of The Last Kingdom.
Roman Empire (2016-)
This historical docuseries follows the lives of various Roman emperors as they rise to power within one of the greatest empires the world’s ever known. The series blends dramatic reenactment, showing a personal view of the emperor’s life, and documentary-style talking-heads, with historical scholars providing context of the events occurring.
Roman Empire focuses on a particular ruler for each season, keeping things fresh and allowing viewers to really get into the mind of each emperor. It’s an entertaining and engaging look into history, keeping the drama high while providing interesting facts about what life was like during the waning days of Roman rule.
The Witcher (2019-)
The brutal, fantastical world of Andrzej Sapkowski‘s The Witcher has finally come to the small screen and brought the grumpy, badass, monster-killer, Geralt of Rivia to life. When the traveling monster-killing Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, discovers he is linked by destiny to a powerful young girl named Ciri, he must train and protect her from the evil forces that want her for their own sinister purposes.
Sapkowski’s fantasy world of Witcher’s and monsters is full of tense drama, awesome action, fantastical beasts, and plenty of devious political maneuvering. The show deals with heavy themes of destiny, war, and responsibility, and begs the question; who are the real monsters?
Vinland Saga (2019)
If you’re in the mood for a bloody, action-packed adventure filled with Vikings then look no further than this anime masterpiece. Vinland Saga tells the tale of Thorfinn, the son of a great Viking warrior who has since given up his life of fighting and instead lives in peace in a small village. But peace doesn’t last forever.
Thorfinn watches his father be killed in front of him and is then taken captive by his father’s killer. Consumed by revenge, Thorfinn grows into a bitter young man that longs for the day to avenge his father. Vinland Saga has some of the best-animated fights in all anime, along with some beautiful animation, and a harrowing tale of revenge. This Viking anime is one you don’t want to miss.
Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
Game of Thrones was at the top of the food chain when it was airing, and despite its controversial last season, it’s no surprise why. This fantasy series about warring kingdoms and fire-breathing dragons was one of the most highly addictive shows to watch on TV.
It is filled with a large cast of interesting, complex characters who could kick the bucket at any moment. For the first few seasons, it truly felt like no character was safe, making for an edge-of-your-seat viewing with every episode. It has the battles and the political intrigue like the Last Kingdom but with fantastical elements added in, along with a much higher budget.
Vikings is an honest, brutal look into the daily lives of a Viking. Following the exploits of Ragnar Lothbrok, a Viking warrior and farmer who yearns for adventure. He is aided by his friends and family as he rises to power.
Having a much lower budget than the likes of Game of Thrones, Vikings starts off small, focusing on character as opposed to grand landscapes, but given its impressive battle sequences from the start, it was not a shock that the show quickly gained steam. With a compelling lead, amazing action sets, and plenty of Viking mayhem this is a show you won’t soon forget.
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