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I don’t know about you, but now that Game of Thrones’ seventh season has ended, I feel lost. ‘Thrones’ gave me something to get excited for every Sunday, and now, some reports are suggesting that it may not return until sometime in 2019. If that’s the case, that’s at least 16 months without a ‘Thrones’ fix. The good news is that there are some other killer shows we can all binge—yes, there are other amazing shows—and it’s likely all these offerings will have new seasons to watch each week while we wait. Below are some of our best options to keep us happy during the break.
Where to watch: History Channel, Amazon Prime
What it’s about: This show tells the stories of some of the most celebrated Vikings in history. Season one primarily features Ragnar Lothbrok, a farmer who is skilled in battle and who wishes to travel west despite the fears that there is no west to find. Vikings is not, however, a one-man show. The story of Vikings is filled with intriguing characters, like Ragnar’s equally skilled wife, Lagertha, and Ragnar’s brother, Rollo. ‘Thrones’ fans will enjoy the stellar battle scenes, intense power struggles, and beautiful cinematography.
Find out more: history.com
House of Cards
Where to watch: Netflix
What it’s about: House of Cards centers on Frank and Claire Underwood, two power-hungry individuals who have devoted their lives to rising in the political ranks. Season one focuses on Frank’s attempts to move up from his position as the House Majority Whip. ‘Thrones’ fans will enjoy the show’s political intrigue, flawed characters, and shocking (and dark) twists.
Find out more: netflix.com
Where to watch: USA, Amazon Prime
What it’s about: Elliot, a drug addicted genius, is pulled into a hacktivist group called ‘fsociety’ after meeting a man referred to as Mr. Robot. Fsociety hopes to destroy the status quo and take down corporate bankers through an elaborate hacking scheme. Viewers follow along with Elliot’s internal monologue and eventually find themselves wondering, like Elliot, who they can trust. ‘Thrones’ fans will enjoy the suspenseful plot, strong character development, and clever dialogue.
Find out more: usanetwork.com
Where to watch: HBO, Amazon (available for purchase)
What it’s about: This show, based on Michael Crichton’s film of the same name, tells the sci-fi story of a robot-run amusement park in a place called Westworld. In Westworld, visitors can do as they please. However, when things start to go wrong, it looks like some guests may have a better time than others. ‘Thrones’ fans will enjoy the well-crafted plot, gorgeous visuals, and well-cast characters.
Find out more: hbo.com
Where to watch: Starz, Amazon (available for purchase)
What it’s about: American Gods, based on Neil Gaiman’s book, follows Shadow Moon as he is released from prison and meets the strange Mr. Wednesday. From this point on, Shadow is brought into a battle he could never have imagined, finding himself in the middle of a fight between the Old Gods and the New. ‘Thrones’ fans will enjoy the dark visuals, growing conflict, and intriguing group of characters.
Find out more: starz.com
Where to watch: SyFy, Netflix
What it’s about: The Magicians, based on the novel by Lev Grossman, follows Quentin Coldwater as he discovers a world of magic and gets a chance to go to Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy. Though Quentin is accepted to the university, his friend Julia is not, setting both Quentin and Julia on dangerous paths as they learn more about the magical world. ‘Thrones’ fans will enjoy the striking special effects, exciting sense of danger, and intriguing storylines.
Find out more: syfy.com
The Man in the High Castle
Where to watch: Amazon Prime
What it’s about: This show is set in an alternative history where World War II ended very differently from what we know. The United States has now become the separate areas of the Greater Nazi Reich and the Japanese Pacific States. However, propaganda materials are discovered that suggest there was another timeline where the War did not end with the Allied Forces being defeated. The story’s main character, Juliana, quickly finds herself working to protect this information while still trying to keep out of serious danger. ‘Thrones’ fans will enjoy the dark visuals, flawed and fleshed-out characters, and heart-racing suspense.
Find out more: amazon.com
Where to watch: Starz, Amazon (available for purchase)
What it’s about: Outlander centers on Claire Randall, who, in 1945, is somehow sent back in time to 18th century Scotland. She meets Jamie Fraser, a Highland warrior, and becomes involved with the people of the time and the war they’re fighting. ‘Thrones’ fans will enjoy the intriguing storylines, eye-catching visuals, and fantasy romance.
Find out more: starz.com
Where to watch: BBC America, Amazon Prime
What it’s about: This show centers on Sarah Manning, a woman who discovers she is one of many clones. She adopts the role of one of her clones after witnessing her death. The discovery of her fellow clones puts Sarah in danger, though, as information about where they came from begins to come to light. ‘Thrones’ fans will enjoy the twisting plot, dark subject matter, and engaging characters.
Find out more: bbcamerica.com
Prime seems expensive: the upfront annual cost went up to $99 since I signed up years ago. But if it was worth it to me then, it is a steal of a deal now, if you consider all the newly added benefits you get access to.
Get Prime by the month: Don’t have $99 lying around, or don’t think you need an entire year of Prime? Sign up by the month and pay $10.99. And you get a deal if you qualify for low-income benefits: it’s only $5.99 per month for customers with an EBT card. Sign up for Prime around Thanksgiving and cash in on all the online Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, with free shipping to boot, and then drop it when you’re done.
Prime Student: Use your school email (ending in .edu) to score four $49-years of Prime. Act soon and you can get 6 months free.
Amazon Household: A Prime account is for your whole household, not just one person. Two adults living in the same house, and with separate Amazon accounts, can link their accounts to share the benefits of a single Prime account. You can share payment methods, and even add profiles for up to four children so your kids can take advantage of all the free reading and streaming of videos and music without being able to order anything. (You cannot use Amazon Household if you have a Prime Student discount).
Prime Wardrobe: Try before you buy. Choose 3 or more items of clothing, and have them shipped to you to try on. Send back what you don’t want in a prepaid box, and only pay for what you keep. Keeping more items earns you discounts, too: up to 20%. Currently, Prime Wardrobe is in beta, but you can ask to be notified when it launches.
Prime Video: Originals like Transparent and Catastrophe are available. They also have Downton Abbey, The Wire, and you can pay a little extra for channels like Showtime and HBO.
Unlimited cloud storage for pictures: Store as many precious memories in the secure Cloud Drive as you want, and stop worrying about losing them.
Prime Music: Choose songs, albums, or a station. More than 2 million available songs and you can also upload your current collection and listen on any device with the app. There is also a paid subscription that gives you access to tens of millions of songs for $7.99 a month; however, the family plan is $14.99 per month and allows up to six family members to use it. That’s $2.50 per person! Quick, I need five people! Anybody?
Food: Have some grocery staples shipped to your door: Prime Pantry boxes ship for $5.99, and you can save 15% with Subscribe and Save. Weekly deals and coupons also make grocery shopping online attractive.
Prime Rewards Visa: For serious Amazon shoppers, the 5% back (in credit, not cash) may be a draw. Add a $70 gift card for signing up.
Free two-day shipping: Of course, this perk is awesome, but it can only be used for certain items. If you shop Amazon for everything, this perk may be worth the fee on its own: leading up to Christmas, the free shipping alone more than pays for my account. However, sometimes you can opt in for slower shipping and get credits for books, music, and more.
Prime Reading: There is a large rotating collection of books, magazines, comics and more available free with your Prime account, and some even have Audible narration, if you would rather listen.
Video games for Prime: Twitch Prime includes a Twitch subscription and free content. Prime discounts on video games could save you some real money, and some pre-orders are delivered ON THE RELEASE DATE. That means you can skip the line and still get that new game the second it is released.
It’s hard to resist all those perks for about $8.25 per month if you pay by the year. Amazon Prime members are much more likely to only shop at Amazon (I can see why), but beware: sometimes they have the best deal, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they really don’t, and getting free shipping may not make up the price difference, especially considering that other online retailers like Walmart and Jet are making a major effort to compete by offering their own free shipping. So remember to shop around.
What, you didn’t think you would survive, did you? Statistically speaking, those who live in Westeros are far more likely to die horrifically than survive. When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die, and there are a lot of losers. But you get points for style.
The top 3 streaming services—Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu—are always looking for a way to one-up the others, and Hulu may have found a way to come out on top.
Hulu is currently negotiating with HBO for access to its on-demand content and live TV, and the clock is ticking: will they be able to get access before the July 16th release of Game of Thrones Season 7?
Currently, customers can access HBO:
- Through cable providers.
- By subscribing to HBO Now.
- Through Amazon Channels: Amazon users can access HBO for an additional $14.99 per month through Amazon Channels, or purchase individual episodes.
Hulu already offers Showtime for an additional $8.99. It is possible that they may either offer HBO at an additional cost as well, or raise their prices once HBO is in the bag—especially considering the legions of rabid fans who will descend on the service for GOT season 7, if nothing else—but if Hulu maintains their low subscription, they will be offering access to HBO’s premium content for the lowest price in town. And that price includes all the excellent content that Hulu already offers.
Hulu also now has content from HGTV including popular shows, like:
- Property Brothers and PB Buying and Selling
- House Hunters, HH International, and HH Renovation
- Love It or List It
- Flea Market Flip
- Design on a Dime
- Flip or Flop
The thing that may differentiate the three streaming services the most is their original content. Each service makes their own movies and shows, and some of them are really great. In this contest of companies, the viewer is the winner. But to get to see all the most popular shows and movies coming out, you need access to all three services. Otherwise, you have to decide who has the original content you are most interested in.
Here are some of the most popular original shows on each platform:
- Stranger Things
- Orange is the New Black
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Arrested Development
- House of Cards
- 13 Reasons Why
- The Crown
- Sneaky Pete
- The Man in the High Castle
- Red Oaks
- Ripper Street
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- The Path
- The Mindy Project
Don’t know which service is right for you, or what other shows and movies are available? That’s ok, it’s hard to keep up because the shows on each service change so often. Consider this guide.
So far, my favorite shows are Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Stranger Things. What are yours? Tweet your show recommendations @willreadforfood or @easyinternetnow. (Please, no spoilers. Be cool.)
Winter is coming in July, and after seeing the latest trailer for Season 7 of Game of Thrones, it is clear that the stakes have never been higher. Timid princess-turned-predator Sansa continues her tutelage with the king of games, Little Finger. Everyone knows that in the Game of Thrones, you win or you die, and we are given a glimpse of those who haven’t yet lost: Cersei, Daenerys, Arya, Jaimie, Tyrion, Brandon, and the vast cast of supporting characters who have one way or another managed to survive against the odds.
Yet it is clear that the death count is about to rise again, and it isn’t only humans who are struggling for supremacy. The White Walkers are on the move, and among the living, only those who can play nice with others will have a chance. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” This is not the general philosophy of Westeros, however; the dog-eat-dire-wolf ethos is the only reason any of the current major players are still alive. Even Sansa, who grew up thinking chivalry was not dead, has made it clear she is looking out for numero uno, even above family.
Unlike previous seasons, which spun their rich bounty of drama, death and intrigue over 10 episodes, season 7 will only have 7 episodes, though most will be longer than average, and one is nearly as long as a full-length movie.
Like season 6, season 7 is breaking new ground in the Game of Thrones universe. The book this season is based upon (The Winds of Winter) has not been released yet, and no firm release date has been set, which only adds to the excitement over new developments in the extremely complex epic fantasy.
Time to get excited
If you feel a little behind the action, or you call half of the characters “that guy,” “what’s-his-face” or a Westerosy-sounding name you made up (like Barodarodarian, or Sir Friendzone), you might be interested in signing up for HBONow’s one month free trial and getting caught up. They have every episode available, from season one onward.
Don’t have time to re-watch everything, don’t want to use your 30 day trial (or already used it), or just looking for a quick reference? That’s not a problem, because HBO also has exclusive extras available without a subscription, which include episode synopsis’ so you can quickly brush up. Also available are discussions by the creators and the cast, behind-the-scenes footage, and a massive library of biographical information about the characters so you don’t have to play “guess who I’m talking about” with your friends.
Don’t remember where everyone is, or where they are going? Check out the interactive map of Westeros!