10 Best Historical TV Shows Like 'Vikings'
Are you looking for TV shows like Vikings? If you like fantasy series with ancient/medieval settings, action, battles, adventures, suspense, and thrilling elements, then here's a list of similar shows!
How would you rate Vikings out of 5 stars?
1. The Last Kingdom
The series is set in poor ninth-century England, one of the most tumultuous and deadly times in English history. This was when the country was divided into numerous kingdoms that invading Vikings often attacked and plundered. So, The Last Kingdom is set in the same timeline and world as Vikings, but what differs is that this time the story is told from the perspective of an English boy. It revolves around Untred, the son of Saxons. His parents have been killed by the Vikings and he was captured and raised by them. The show is about his struggle between his love for the Vikings and their culture and his duty to the Saxons.
There's a lot of drama and action that will keep you hooked. All the characters in the series feel like real people that are simply living their lives. They do what they think is best for them. There are no one-dimensional characters, so you will care for their fate. If you are looking for TV shows similar to Vikings, you shouldn't ignore The Last Kingdom.
2. Game of Thrones
Here's a series that will instantly immerse you in a vast and epic world! Game of Thrones is no longer categorized as simply a TV show. It has become a cultural phenomenon! People all over the world are addicted to one of the all-time greatest shows. Here you will find everything you need: action, drama, mystery, betrayal, murder, heroes, villains, and…dragons!
What is the show about? Game of Thrones tells the story of a fictional medieval country's civil war. The series is set on continents where seasons last not for months but for years. The story opens at the end of a decade-long summer, and "winter is coming" (this phrase has already entered the American lexicon). With winter coming, characters fight for control over the mythical lands.
The HBO series is based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. So, if you are an avid reader, there's good news for you! Game of Thrones is one of those few book adaptations that don't disappoint, as it follows the book almost to perfection. If you haven't watched Game of Thrones yet, you should give it a shot!
This series is set during the later days of the Roman Republic. The story follows a Thracian gladiator. His name is Spartacus. He is a slave forced into gladiatorial combat by the Romans. After his escape, he becomes the main figure in a slave uprising. So yes, Spartacus is based on historical events and characters, but we aren't talking about documentary accuracy here. If you are still looking for historical series filled with blood and flesh and you don't expect a perfect history lesson from an entertaining TV show, you definitely should check out the four seasons of Spartacus!
4. The White Queen
Adapted from Philippa Gregory’s The Cousin’s War book series, this riveting drama replays the war of the roses, the family feud from the perspective of the women who are players in the game of keeping the English throne.
If you are looking for a gripping British series, you should give The White Queen a try! This series set in pre-Tudor England (beginning in 1464), so you will see the intense war drama, steamy romances, and devious intrigues among royal family members.
5. Black Sails
If you have been looking for some gritty and pretty realistic top-notch production pirate show, here’s a must-watch for you! Black Sails is considered to be a prequel to Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson’s. The series follows the story of Captain Flint and his pirates twenty years prior to the stories told in the book. And here’s good news for those who like binge-watching series: there are four seasons in the show!
Though Reign is considered to be a historical drama, actually, it’s a fiction, an entertaining fantasy drama that you shouldn’t expect historical accuracy from. The first season is full of spiraling dresses, and love stories, while the second season gets more political. But anyways, intrigue is a fully part of the story.
Even if you will want to drop the series because of lots of historical inaccuracies, you will stay for the romance: you will stick to the show because of your affection for the characters. The drama is about the teen years of Mary, Queen of Scots, who faces political and sexual intrigues of the French court after she arrives there with the purpose to marry to Prince Francis. Of course, there are those who don’t want to see the marriage happen, including the queen, who believes warnings from Nostradamus, telling her if the marriage happens, “She will cost Francis his life”. Beyond that, there’s also a juicy love triangle: Francis’ half-brother also falls in love with 15-year-old Mary.
You should give Reign a try, if you are looking for an entertaining TV show, not for some historically accurate drama that will help you understand a very significant person of UK history.
7. The Tudors
If you don’t expect to see a biographic film on the King but just want to watch an entertaining show about Tudor England, you should give this series a shot. The Tudors takes many liberties, but that’s why it’s entertaining.
This costume drama is centered on the life of a young, hunky and lustful King Henry VIII: his reign and marriages. Though we do learn a lot about England’s royal court in the 16th century, the production isn’t 100% accurate (the producers say it’s 80% accurate). Anyway, it’s a drama, and like any other drama, even in the spirit of historically set series, it has never purposed to be an accurate historical documentary.
8. The Borgias
If you are looking for some interesting TV show with good tempo and breathtaking plot, try the Borgias. This series tells about the rich, ruthless, corrupt and scheming Borgias family in 15th-century Italy. Though maybe there are some holes in historical view, it’s thought to be a historical drama. The Borgias series focuses on Borgia’s ruthless efforts to rise to the position of Pope and his family’s struggle to secure and increase their political power.
9. Medici: Masters of Florence
If you enjoy political intrigue and relationship drama, this show should be your next watch. Shot in Italy, the TV show tells about the family of merchants who became bankers, and then politicians in the 15th-century Florence. The story primarily follows Cosimo de’ Medici, who has inherited Bank of Medici from his father, that has been mysteriously killed. Now Cosimo and his brother should find a killer and protect the wealth and power of the family.
The historical drama stars Dustin Hoffman and Richard Madden (he played on HBO’s Game of Thrones). The entire series is visually stunning: the series was filmed in Florence, Rome, and Tuscany, so beautiful images are guaranteed. Everything is breathtaking: landscapes, sets, costumes, colors, food… Medici definitely will be a feast for your eyes! Despite such beautiful images accompanied by great music, there’s political and historical thriller script that will manage to interest you learn more about this incredible dynasty.
10. Da Vinci's Demons
It’s better not to get into this series with a mindset of being a critic and bring it down because it isn’t historically accurate. It was never meant to be, it’s a fantasized presentation of Da Vinci’s life. Da Vinci’s Demons tells the story of the 25-year-old inventor, artist, idealist, dreamer, swordsman, lover, genius, and free thinker in Renaissance Florence. So, if you are still looking for a decent and entertaining show, this one is worth a try.