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What to Watch While You Wait for The Witcher Season 3

Toss a coin to your favorite streaming services so you can watch shows like The Wheel of Time and The Tudors

Elizabeth Morgan
Henry Cavill, The Witcher

Henry Cavill, The Witcher

Jay Maidment/Netflix

If you're a fantasy fan — or just a fan of incredibly handsome shirtless men hanging around in bathtubs — you've probably binged your way through The Witcher Season 2 twice by now, have read all of TV Guide's Witcher Week collection of explainers, interviews, and features, and are looking for a new fantasy series to get obsessed with. 

Netflix's high fantasy series — which is based on the novels and short stories of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski (as well as a popular video game franchise) — follows monster-hunting hero Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), the young princess (Freya Allan's Ciri) whose destiny is tied to his, and the powerful sorceress (Anya Chalotra's Yennefer) who has Geralt's heart. There was a two-year gap between seasons 1 and 2, but hopefully Season 3 comes quicker and we can escape back into its deeply realized world full of monsters, quests, and captivating drama. There's a spin-off prequel series called The Witcher: Blood Origin in the works that will hopefully satisfy that Witcher itch. 

In the meantime, to pass the time between seasons, we sought out shows like The Witcher, including new fantasy programs, series about fellow monster hunters, and dramas that also follow lone mercenaries. If you're looking for more shows like The Witcher, these are the shows you should watch next.

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Looking for more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! And if you're looking for more hand-picked recommendations based on shows you love, we have those too.



Game of Thrones

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones

In truth, the high fantasy of The Witcher is vastly different from the fantasy of HBO's Game of Thrones. The latter is more concerned with a game of increasingly bloody musical chairs and the complex interpersonal conflicts of its sprawling cast of characters than the show's larger fantasy elements, which include dragons, shadow monsters, and White Walkers. But if you love the fantasy genre and are looking to sink your teeth into a new, fully realized world — and if you've somehow managed to avoid Game of Thrones until now — this is the best possible place to start. Set in the fictional land of Westeros, the series follows several warring houses vying for power, while a terrifying non-human threat looms in the North. The show might start out slowly, and it might not end on the highest of notes, but there is a reason Game of Thrones became a global phenomenon.




The Tudors

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Natalie Dormer, The Tudors

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Natalie Dormer, The Tudors

Showtime

Narratively speaking, The Witcher and The Tudors don't have much in common. The former is about a monster-hunter-for-hire whose main antagonist is the plot, while the latter is a historical drama that follows the reign of King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Where the two shows overlap is Henry Cavill, who starred as Charles Brandon, the 1st Duke of Suffolk and the BFF of King Henry. Cavill was exceptionally hunky even back then, so if watching Cavill while he looks really attractive is high on your list of reasons for watching The Witcher (absolutely no judgment!), you can't go wrong by spending some time with The Tudors.




Supernatural

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, Supernatural

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, Supernatural

The CW

It might not be readily apparent, but Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) are actually pretty similar to Geralt in that they're exceptionally skilled monster hunters. Also like Geralt, they didn't have much choice in their dangerous career path after their mother was murdered by a demon and their father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) dedicated his life to chasing the demon down, saving people and hunting other monsters along the way. However, it's not just the "killing monsters" aspect of the narrative that unites the two shows. Both are surprisingly funny —though Supernatural is more obvious about it — while weaving together memorable self-contained stories with episodes that reveal a deeply complex overarching mythology. If you love the quests Geralt embarks on throughout the show, you'll love watching Sam and Dean crisscross America doing the same.




The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian Season 2

The Mandalorian 

Lucasfilm/Disney+

Fantasy and science fiction are similar in that they both offer viewers the chance to escape this boring reality for something new. But The Mandalorian — which is a live-action space Western set in the Star Wars universe — has far more in common with The Witcher than simply a new world ripe for exploration. Both shows follow lone hunters (Cavill's Geralt vs. Pedro Pascal's eponymous Mandalorian) who take dangerous jobs for money and eventually find their lives changed forever by mysterious and powerful children (Princess Ciri vs. Baby Yoda). When you add in strange creatures, memorable supporting characters, and intriguing politics, it's almost as if the two shows were created from the same blueprint.




Galavant

Joshua Sasse and Timothy Omundson, Galavant

Joshua Sasse, Timothy O

Liam Daniel/ABC

If your favorite part of The Witcher is the bard Jaskier (Joey Batey) and his uber-catchy songs, ABC's short-lived musical comedy Galavant should be your next stop. The silly but underrated fantasy series, which ran for only two seasons, follows a hunky knight (Joshua Sasse) down on his luck as he seeks revenge against the evil king (Timothy Omundson, sporting a truly excellent beard) who ruined his life and got in the way of his happily ever after. Featuring original music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater that will get stuck in your head just like "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher," the show flips the script on fantasy, subverting tropes left and right even while existing firmly within the genre.




Cowboy Bebop

John Cho, Cowboy Bebop

John Cho, Cowboy Bebop

Geoffrey Short/Netflix

There are two camps when it comes to Netflix's now-canceled Cowboy Bebop: You either love it or you hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. We fall into the former group because the show — which is a live-action adaptation of a life-changing anime — is fun. The space Western with shades of noir and an excellent jazz soundtrack stars John Cho as Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter with a dark and complicated past as a member of a dangerous crime syndicate. That should be enough to entice fans of The Witcher, who will also be drawn in by the stylized violence that permeates the show and each job that Spike and his partner, Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), take on. But you'll also get a kick out of the show's unique sense of humor. So while we respect the camp that prefers the anime, we can't help but love this version too. We're bummed that there won't be a second season, but the lone season that exists is still worth watching for Witcher fans.




The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time

Amazon Prime Video

When it comes to fantasy TV, nothing is quite like The Witcher (at least not yet). But The Wheel of Time — which is based on Robert Jordan's best-selling series of novels — offers another chance to escape into a world wholly unlike our own, one where time is cyclical and magic exists. The series stars Rosamund Pike as Moiraine, a powerful Aes Sedai (a woman who can channel the One Power), as she attempts to find the Dragon Reborn, the latest incarnation of the one person in existence with the ability to fight the Dark One and either save or destroy humanity in the process. She soon finds multiple contenders in the same village, so the story is a sly twist on the Chosen One narrative. And while it's arguably more Lord of the Rings than The Witcher, there are many elements of the genre that fantasy fans will enjoy.




Spartacus

Andy Whitfield, Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Andy Whitfield, Spartacus: Blood and Sand

Starz

If your favorite thing about The Witcher is the blood and violence, you might be interested in Starz's historical drama Spartacus. You won't find many monsters (at least not of the inhuman variety), but the show is well worth your time. Inspired by the historical figure of the same name, Spartacus tells the story of a man (played by Andy Whitfield in the first season and Liam McIntyre in Seasons 2 and 3) ripped from his homeland and the woman he loves and forced to fight in the arena as a fearsome gladiator. There's no shortage of brutality or blood here. Whatever you think is a lot, assume there's always going to be more.