Game of Thrones didn't end well, but it was undoubtedly an important pop culture phenomenon. So, are there anime shows similar to Game of Thrones?
The recent success of the prequel series House of the Dragon has definitely reignited interest in the series.
Although it's hard to find an exact equivalent in anime, here are some dark fantasy anime (and not only!) that you might enjoy if you loved Game of Thrones!
Berserk is a dark fantasy show in a setting that resembles medieval Europe -- and you can say the exact same thing about Game of Thrones too.
Based on a manga by the late Kentaro Miura -- and now continued by Miura's team -- Berserk follows Guts, a wandering mercenary.
Early on, Guts joins a group of mercenaries known as the Band of Hawke, led by the charismatic Griffith.
This choice will change his life forever and take him down an unbelievably violent and dark path that even hardcore Game of Thrones fans might find shocking.
With over 300 manga volumes, Berserk's world is even more complex than that of GoT.
Plus, both show and anime are based on famously ongoing book and manga series respectively.Advertisement
Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is one of the most brutal animated shows, to the point that it's often considered the Game of Thrones of anime.
The mindless Titans might at first seem underwhelming compared to GoT's wonderfully complex villains.
But Attack on Titan also features violent twists, selfish motivations, politics, and flawed characters... in short, many of the elements that make GoT great.
Moribito: Guardian of The Spirit
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit doesn't look very much like Game of Thrones at first glance.
However, if you enjoyed GoT's environmental elements, this might still be a great anime for you as it features characters dealing with a cataclysmic drought.
A common issue many viewers had with GoT was the poor treatment of female characters.
If you want to see female characters in positions of power, Mribito: Guardian of the Spirit is actually better in that regard.
Game of Thrones might unfold in a fantasy world but it features a setting that almost feels historical. If this appeals to you, don't miss out on Vinland Saga.
The tale of Thorfinn, a young Viking seeking to avenge his dead father, features great worldbuilding, character growth, a brutal war, and drama that Game of Thrones fans are bound to appreciate.
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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is probably a bit too wholesome if anime like Game of Thrones is what you seek.
But before it came Fullmetal Alchemist, a darker and edgier adaptation that often feels like true tragedy and doesn't shy away from humanity's potential for evil.
Ironically, both Game of Thrones and the first Fullmetal Alchemist suffered from the same problem, as they run out of material to adapt and have to create their own, rather controversial, conclusions.
If anything, Fullmetal Alchemist probably did a more imaginative job!
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Game of Thrones' success lies in its balance between plot, action, and character, with a strong emphasis on the latter. This is something the show shares with Fate/Zero.
Fate/Stay Night isn't the most cheerful, but Fate/Zero's search for the Holy Grail takes us down a much darker path.
The morally grey characters of Fate/Zero don't shy away from questionable, horrible, though sometimes understandable actions, so if this is the part of GoT that you love the most, do check this anime out.
Claymore's futuristic world might not bear the closest resemblance to Game of Thrones' medievalist one, but they both have dark, gritty settings.
In the bleak world of Claymore, humans coexist with shapeshifting, flesh-eating demons known as the yoma -- a concept that might remind you of the White Walkers a bit.
The story begins with Raki, a young boy who is saved by a Claymore; a half-human, half-yoma woman dedicated to exterminating the monsters.
Claymores are despised by humans due to their supernatural qualities, although they are admittedly necessary to keep humanity alive.
From there on, Raki and Claire begin a journey together.
If you hop along, you’ll find out more about the other Claymore warriors, and, eventually, the enemy that made Claire choose to undergo modification and become part-demon.
Like GoT, Claymore is all about characters making tough choices in a hostile world, so fans of one series might enjoy the other.
Elfen Lied is more of a sci-fi anime. However, it depicts one of the worst sides of humanity in a brutal, hostile world.
Of course, this isn't exactly a selling point, but Game of Thrones managed to sell it too.
For some viewers, watching things they would never want to exist can be appealing.
If you liked GoT's depiction of complex or even outright villainous characters, you might want to check out Elfen Lied and the world of the diclonii.
If the history-inspired and military aspects of Game of Thrones appeal to you, Kingdom might be worth watching.
Those who'd love to watch a show that unfolds in the distant past, but is not Eurocentric might like the story of Xin, a war orphan who dreams of becoming a War General.
Both Kingdom and GoT feature brutal, war-torn worlds and characters that go through hard trials and persevere at impossible odds.
In Game of Thrones, wolves are a significant motif due to the sigil and characterization of the Stark family.
However, we see them less and less as the CGI budget moved on to dragons and White Walkers.
If you desperately need more wolves in your life, Wolf's Rain is worth checking out.
In this heartbreaking anime by studio Bones, wolves hide in human shape to the point that they're thought to be extinct.
Their persecution during their pursuit of paradise and happiness is tragic to watch, and it might remind you of the Stark children's plight to take back their birthright.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan
The Heroic Legend of Arslan follows a young prince who seeks to prove himself on the battlefield.
Game of Thrones also features a variety of characters, many of whom belong to royal families, and the relationships between them.
Both shows feature political intrigue, betrayal, and difficult choices.
Death Note might not strike you as similar to Game of Thrones. However, its mind games and dark tone might be appealing to GoT fans.
Light Yagami is an evil genius, but his descent to villainy is gradual and quite engaging.
Similarly, many GoT characters who started off as good people with a strong sense of justice went down a dark path later in the series.
Engaging, morally grey characters aren't enough to make a show great. They should also have unique goals and desires that will inevitably bring them into conflict with others. Code Geass shares that with Game of Thrones.
Lelouch is a complex mastermind surrounded by other interesting characters who all fight for what they believe to be right, or for what they've been told to strive for.
Moreover, Code Geass showcases the absurdity, futility, and brutality of war and imperial expansion, issues that are also addressed in GoT.
Plus, Lelouch's mind games might remind you of the early seasons, when GoT was still clever and complex.
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf
The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf is a 2021 spinoff to The Witcher live-action series, focusing on Geralt's mentor, Vesemir.
Overall, The Witcher is a bit more fairy-tale-like and whimsical compared to Game of Thrones, but it definitely counts as an alternative for GoT-deprived fans.
Both GoT and The Witcher started off as books, and the animated film will likely appeal to fans of epic fantasy.
Princess Mononoke features wolves and conflicts between complex female characters, none of whom is 100% right or wrong. This statement also fits Game of Thrones.
By the end of Game of Thrones, you can't help feeling a bit sad for the world that people destroy through their actions.
Although this message is much stronger in Princess Mononoke, you might like it if you enjoyed Game of Thrones (and even if you didn't).
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