Has the end of Game of Thrones left you feeling blue? You’re definitely not alone. For all the fans out there seeking something to fill the void, here’s a carefully crafted list of movies and television shows that will appeal to the most specific of Thrones-related needs. There’s something here for everyone, from diehard Arya stans to those who just need a good dose of family drama. So, if you’re in dire need of warming up your cold, dead heart after the series finale, just check out these picks for the best movies and shows to watch now that the game itself is officially over.
For the Arya Stans
Our girl had a big season, but to be fair, when does she not? Taking down the Night King single-handedly (thank you very much), heading off to discover what’s West of Westeros, and not to mention effortlessly making the last surviving Baratheon fall madly in love with her. Here’s a heaping dose of kickass female-driven must-sees in her honor:
Who doesn’t love seeing a teenage trained-assassin effortlessly destroy men twice her size? Both Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) and Arya more than deliver in this regard. If you’ve already seen the film, check out the new series adaptation of the same name from Amazon.
Lady Snowblood or Shurayuki-hime (1973)
A revenge-driven film about a relentless young woman with a kill list is music to the ears of anyone who will sorely miss Arya and her Needle. This Japanese thriller comes with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a powerhouse female lead.
Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
Coincidentally, its preceding film was heavily influenced by the previous pick on this list. However, the second part of Kill Bill was chosen for its legendary training sequences at the temple between The Bride and Pai Mei — his at-times problematic teaching style akin to that of the Faceless Man Jaqen H’ghar.
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all” — in this case the flower being the transformation of a young woman into a warrior and the adversity being the time’s (and realm’s) societal expectations for women.
Special Mention: Sucker Punch (2011)
Visually it rocks, and the women in it all rock (and kick lots of ass).
If your Thrones heart calls out for those tense, masterful sword fighting sequences, then these films with memorable one-on-one conflicts are for you. While you watch, reminisce about Jaime wielding his sword with his right hand and try not to think too hard on whether or not Brienne would totally thrash Aragorn:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
As one of the most legendary martial arts films, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon without a doubt deserves the top spot on this list. The aerial combat in the bamboo forest alone should beat back any pining after a good swordplay sequence.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
There are countless instances found in The Return of the King that make it a great pick for masterful sword fights. But Éowyn taking down the Witch-king will be forever in the record books as an iconic movie moment (and quote), and her going toe-to-toe with the Nazgûl leader is one of the most memorable action scenes in an already-epic film.
Entertain yourself with Russell Crowe‘s Maximus as he goes from general to gladiator in this classic action staple. It’s the final fight between our hero and Commodus (a role which Joaquin Phoenix absolutely kills, by the way) that really fulfills the need for tense duels — ones often with life-changing consequences or underlying histories. No eyeballs get gouged out in this sandy scuffle, though.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Back when the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise focused on the art of swordplay for the majority of its plotlines, audiences were endlessly wooed by the skirmishes between Captain Jack and bumbling redcoats. The first film has an especially great sequence between Will Turner and Jack in their first meeting. Having the fight take place in a sword-making facility, with the setting and workshop activity actually becoming a tool of sorts, is magical.
Special Mention: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon v. Darth Maul has earned a spot here, and you know it’s true.