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– by David Kozlowski

Britannia is Amazon’s answer to Game of Thrones. Wait, didn’t Amazon just sign a major deal for a Lord of the Rings series too? What gives? It’s beginning to look like the next campaign in the streaming wars will be fought largely with swords and dragons. So exciting!

Cable TV and streaming services are already lousy with sword-and-sandals shows and quasi-historical series (The Last Kingdom, Knightfall, Vikings) with a bunch of new contenders on the horizon. It’s a pretty good time to be alive if you’re a fan of epic fantasy. As GoT slides into the sunset, you can be sure every cable network and streaming service will take their best shot to fill the vacuum. Amazon is doubling-down, starting with Britannia.

Related – Lord Of The Rings Gets Multiple Season Order At Amazon

Lord of the Rings is currently just a glimmer in Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ eyes — it’s probably a couple years off. However, Britannia is here now, dropping on Amazon Prime Video next week. Surprise! But is it good enough to compete with GoT? Can it tide fantasy fans over until LOTR hits? Are Merlyn and King Arthur in it?

The new trailer for Britannia doesn’t exactly answer any of these questions, unfortunately. But it does have a rocking soundtrack, flaming arrows, and lots of bloodletting — it looks pretty damned cool, too! The cinematography in this series is cranked-up to eleven. All that sounds great, right? So what is Britannia all about? Here’s the synopsis:

Britannia begins in 43AD as the Roman Army, determined and terrified in equal measure, returns to crush the Celtic heart of Britannia, a mysterious land ruled by warrior women and powerful druids who can channel the mysterious forces of the Underworld. Arch Celtic rivals Kerra and Antedia must face the Roman invasion led by Aulus Plautius as it cuts a swathe through the Celtic.”

Based on this timeline, we’re a few hundred years too early for Camelot. Don’t despair, however, 43AD was the historical start of the Roman conquest for the British Isles, where they faced-off against blue-painted pagan tribes and other scattered resistance forces. To keep things interesting, somebody in the marketing department mandated a bunch of shady magic would be thrown in too. Oh, and that Governor guy they killed-off from The Walking Dead a few years back is in it too (and he’s still the bad guy).

Rome occupied England for 350 years, so this Amazon series has the potential to run for a long, long time. The Britannia trailer makes no apologies for its attempt to mirror the tone and style of Game of Thrones, and frankly why should they? Epic fantasy’s popularity is strong, and Britannia looks like it has the goods to engage the fanbase… at least until their Middle Earth series arrives.

Are you interested in a streaming series about ancient England, Romans, and maybe some dark magics too? Let us know in the comments down below!

Britannia hits Amazon on January 26, 2018.

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SOURCE: Prime Video

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.