12 binge-worthy shows you have to watch if you love ‘The Witcher’

Image via Netflix

The Witcher took the world by storm in 2019 when its first season aired on Netflix. Game of Thrones had just ended earlier that year and fans across the globe were itching for another fantasy TV show. Before Bridgerton and Squid Games took their spots as the most-viewed shows on Netflix, The Witcher held the title. The book-series-turned-video game, now turned television series, blew expectations out of the water and delivered a surprisingly refreshing take on its source material.

The best part? The show’s leading man, Henry Cavill, announced he was an ardent fan of the series, and said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that he would absolutely sign on for seven seasons of the show (as planned by showrunner Lauren Schmidt-Hissrich) under one condition. “As long as we can keep telling great stories which honor [author Andrzej] Sapkowski’s work,” Cavill said he’d be in it for the long haul.

What that means for fans is that we can expect to see Cavill reprise his role as Geralt of Rivea not only when season three returns, but for many more years thereafter. Season two aired its full eight episodes in Dec. 2021, which means that fans have quite a ways to go before news of season three is released. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 12 binge-worthy shows you can watch in the interim ⏤ shows that we’re confident any fan of The Witcher will love.

Without further ado, here are our top 12 picks.

Game of Thrones

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Any fan of The Witcher should immediately direct their full and undivided attention to the HBO show that rocked the world. Consider it a requirement for any Witcher fan, as so many aspects of The Witcher can be found in Game of Thrones, including political drama, world-building, epic battles, dragons, steamy sex scenes, and exciting twists that will have your jaw on the floor. There’s no putting this one off any longer. All eight seasons are currently available to stream on HBO Max and Hulu.

The Wheel of Time

The Witcher and The Wheel of Time are probably the two most notable fantasy shows on the market right now. When news broke that Amazon Studios had acquired the adaptation rights to Robert Jordan’s beloved fantasy novels, buzz of a new Game of Thrones began to circulate. A reported $80 million was put into the first season, which premiered in Nov. 2021 exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

The show is noticeably more progressive than Game of Thrones (and The Witcher), which is a surprise given that Robert Jordan wrote the books in the early ’90s. Sexual assault isn’t sensationalized, queer characters are represented and celebrated, and women carry the torch as protectors of the world. In addition, the show departs from the dark colors and dimly lit scenes found in Game of Thrones and The Witcher. The heavily lit scenes and bright colors in The Wheel of Time are a nice departure after almost a decade of browns, blacks, and greys. Any Witcher fan should most definitely check out The Wheel of Time, especially since season two has officially been confirmed.

Spartacus

Image via Spartacus: War of the Damned

There’s nothing like a well-choreographed fight scene, the kind that leaves you breathless and glued to the spot. The Witcher has plenty of those, and so does Spartacus. We’re talking 300-level fight scenes. Just like The Witcher, beneath Spartacus’s hard, gritty exterior is a beating heart and a storyline that is propelled by an emotional purpose. Any fan of The Witcher will love this show. All four seasons are currently available to stream on Hulu and Starz.

Supernatural

At his core, Geralt of Rivia is a monster hunter. So while it might not seem that brothers Sam and Dean Winchester have anything in common with the white-haired assassin, they actually do. Sam and Dean hail from a long line of monster hunters and they made Supernatural the most successful show to ever air on the CW. Their 15-season adventure will have you enthralled from the first episode to the last, at which point you might find yourself in tears, or at the very least wishing for more. The good news is that a prequel starring Sam and Dean’s parents, Mary and John Winchester, is officially in development. That gives you plenty of time to binge the series before the potential prequel comes out. All 15 seasons are currently available to stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Vikings

Travis Fimmel Vikings

This highly rated show is a shoo-in for fans who appreciate the well-choreographed fight scenes in The Witcher. It’s gritty, bloody, and well thought out, with enough cliffhangers to decorate an entire walk-in closet. It portrays one man’s rise from a simple farmer to a Scandinavian king and was the History Channel’s most popular series, scoring several Emmy nominations during its run. If you’re itching for a show with stunning visuals, hard-hitting drama, and fantastical elements, it’s time to stop whatever you’re doing and start watching Vikings. All six seasons are currently available to stream on Hulu and Peacock.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

buffy-the-vampire-slayer
Image via Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Vampires. Witches. Demons. Buffy the Vampire Slayer might not seem like the obvious choice for fans of The Witcher, but trust us, if you haven’t already watched this Joss Whedon classic about a vampire slayer and her scooby-gang’s apocalyptic battles against various Big-Bads, then get ready for the ride of a lifetime. Hailed as one of the best TV shows of all time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is just the pick-me-up you need to get you out of your TV show slump and hold you over until the next season of The Witcher. All seven seasons are currently available to stream on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Xena: Warrior Princess

In the vein of badass women kicking, well, ass, here we have Xena: Warrior Princess, a show ahead of its time in many ways, and one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorites. Tarantino loved Xena’s stunt double Zoë Bell so much that he actually cast her as Uma Thuman’s double in Kill Bill. With Tarantino’s stamp of approval, you can rest assured that Xena: Warrior Princess has quality writing, iconic characters, and top-of-the-line action. What began as a spinoff to Hercules: The Legendary Journeys eclipsed its predecessor and created a cult following that created a fan base for shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Spartacus. In order to watch Xena: Warrior Princess, you’ll need a subscription to Tubi or Roku Channel, or you can rent/buy the episodes from Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV.

Merlin

Who better to watch cast spells than the greatest wizard of all time? Merlin revisits the classic tale of King Arthur and his wizard (or Warlock, as Merlin is referred to in the show) back when the two were young and trying to discover what their destinies held. The BBC original aired for five seasons and gave fantasy nerds everything we could ever want. It’s the kind of show you’ll want to watch all over again once you finish. Plus, it’s surprisingly funny, so any fan of Supernatural, Buffy, or The Witcher will love it. All five seasons are currently available to stream on Hulu.

The Tudors

Before you scratch your head wondering why The Tudors is on this list, allow us to explain. It’s easy to think of Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivea or Superman, but did you know that he was also the 1st Duke of Suffolk (aka King Henry’s bestie) in The Tudors? If your favorite part of The Witcher is Henry Cavill (and there’s no shame in that), then you’ll enjoy watching him flex his acting chops in this Showtime drama. It’s filled with gasp-worthy surprises, so don’t worry about being bored by a period drama, because you won’t be. All four seasons are currently available to stream on Hulu.

A Discovery of Witches

Sometimes what you want is magic, spells, and all the usual things that come with the fantasy genre, but you want it told through a dramatic lens. If that’s the case, then you’ll love A Discovery of Witches. This U.K. show based on the All Souls trilogy written by Deborah Harkness has witches, vampires, demons, and forbidden love. It’s much lighter than The Witcher, which can be a relief, and carries a ton of emotional weight. All three seasons have scored over 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, so you’re in for an enjoyable ride. All three seasons can be streamed with a subscription to Sundance Now, Shudder, or AMC Plus, otherwise they can be rented or bought from Amazon Prime Video.

His Dark Materials

In the mood for an epic fantasy quest? Then check out His Dark Materials. This HBO show based on the books of the same name by Philip Pullman came out the same year as The Witcher and has since acquired a devoted fanbase. It has a tinge more mystery to its story than The Witcher, but still has plenty of magic and lore to keep you entertained. Plus, there are daemons (human souls that take the form of animal companions), parallel worlds, and secret organizations. What’s not to love? You can stream the first two seasons on HBO.

The Magicians

If what you love about The Witcher is the magic, then there’s no better show to watch than The Magicians. The magical elements in The Witcher are dark and unflinching, which is what you can also expect from The Magicians. Mages in the Witcher universe harness the power of chaos magic through the four primordial elements (earth, air, fire, and water). As we learn from Yennefer in the season one finale, unleashing all of your chaos has consequences. A similar concept exists in The Magicians. Despite being about a bunch of college kids attending a magical university in New York, The Magicians is incredibly dark and you will see a lot of blood and adult themes, so don’t keep an eye out for magic wands or Wingardium Leviosa-type spells, because you won’t find any.

Raisa Bruner of TIME Magazine put it best when she said, “The Magicians is less interested in neat tales of good triumphing over evil, and much more interested in the dangers of greed, power and ambition.” Seasons three and five have maintained a solid 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, so don’t worry about whether or not the show is good ⏤ it is. All four seasons are currently available to stream on Netflix.

Season three of The Witcher might be a ways away, but the good news is that there are plenty of shows ⏤ some new, some timeless ⏤ for you to binge in the meantime. Whether you’re in the mood for high-packed action or spell-binding magic, our list of 12 binge-worthy shows has got you covered.