Is 'Westworld' The New 'Game Of Thrones'?

by Loretta Donelan

Westworld is HBO's newest show, and ahead of its premiere, it's already proving to be one of the season's most talked-about series. The fact that the show has been generating so much buzz — and is an HBO sci-fi/fantasy drama — has many questioning if Westworld is the new Game of Thrones. Yet while there are a lot of comparisons that can be made between the two HBO shows, they are very different. Unlike Game of Thrones' medieval-esque fantasy setting, Westworld is set at a futuristic theme park at the dawn of artificial intelligence. The show's star-studded cast includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Tessa Thompson, and Luke Hemsworth, and it's based on the 1973 film of the same name — not exactly a GoT replica.

Yet it might end up being just as much of a success. Game of Thrones has been a huge money maker for HBO as well as a critical darling, and it makes sense that the network would want to replicate that achievement with another sci-fi/fantasy drama. While most of us will have to wait until Sunday night to decide how close in tone and look the two drama series really are, here are the similarities that are already apparent between Game of Thrones and Westworld.

They're Dark In Tone

HBO describes Westworld as set in a world in which "every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged." Many Game of Thrones characters similarly indulge their appetites, whether those be related to sex, violence, power, or revenge. Basically, neither show is what you want to watch if you're already feeling down and just need a light distraction.

They Cost A Lot Of Money

Game of Thrones is famous for being one of the most expensive shows on television, and the first season of Westworld has made headlines for apparently costing $100 million to make.

Both Shows Have Been Criticized For Their Portrayal Of Sexual Violence

Previously released footage of the upcoming Westworld depicted a rape, leading some to wonder if HBO perhaps should've held back on that topic considering how many conversations Game of Thrones has sparked about the same issue. Those involved with the creation of Westworld , however, have defended the scenes as exploring the crime of rape, rather than fetishizing it. Either way, it's sure to spark further conversation once the series airs.

Neither Are Set In The Real World

Science fiction and fantasy are often closely associated for their ability to explore real world themes in otherworldly settings. Game of Thrones does this in a fantasy setting, while Westworld is pure sci-fi.

Both Already Had A Cult Fanbase Before They Premiered

Game of Thrones was based on the George R.R. Martin's fantasy series, which were already popular before the HBO series aired. Westworld is based on the cult classic film Westworld , which was written and directed by thriller writer Michael Crichton.

They Have Massive Casts Of Characters

The first season of Westworld includes 17 main characters and lots of supporting characters, though it doesn't quite match the massive cast of Game of Thrones.

The question remains: will Westworld be as popular as Game of Thrones? That's certainly what HBO is hoping, but we'll have to wait and see.

Image: HBO, Giphy (6)