You’ve heard of Game of Thrones but what about Brazil’s epic answer to the show Deus Salve O Rei? HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire turned into a genuine cultural phenomenon over its eight-season run. Not only did Game Of Thrones attract a huge, loyal international fanbase and record-breaking viewership figures, the show also won a massive 47 Primetime Emmys – the most ever won by a drama series.
With that level of popularity, it was only natural Game Of Thrones would spawn a few similar shows in its wake. The South Korean Netflix series Kingdom has been described as a mix of Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead set in the medieval Joseon dynasty, while fellow South Korean fantasy drama Arthdal Chronicles – also airing on Netflix – has similarly been compared to the hit HBO show. Back in 2015, there were rumors India was developing its own Game Of Thrones inspired show Rani Mahal but that seems to have fallen by the wayside in the intervening years.
Brazil’s answer to Game Of Thrones is Deus Salve O Rei. The show’s title translates to God Save The King and it’s produced by Brazilian media giant Globo. A telenovela transported to a fictional medieval setting, Deus Salve O Rei aired for seven months and, like most telenovelas, it boasted an epic number of episodes – a total of 174, in fact. For the record, that’s over 100 more episodes than Game Of Thrones aired during its eight seasons.
Whereas Game Of Thrones had Westeros and Essos, Deus Salve O Rei has the fictional land of Cália and the kingdoms of Montemor and Artena. At the center of the show’s plot is the conflict that arises between those two previously peaceful kingdoms after the death of Montemor’s queen, and the abdication of its crown prince Afonso who has shacked up with commoner Amália. In Afonso’s absence, his younger and wholly unprepared brother Rodolfo takes the Montemor throne which leaves the kingdom at risk from the ambitious plans of Princess Catarina of Artena.
Alongside being visually similar in set and costume design, there are quite a few similarities between Deus Salve O Rei and Game Of Thrones characters too. Afonso, for example, has a kind of Robb Stark arc with his relationship with Amália which echoes Robb’s marriage to Talisa. A female warrior character named Selena has parallels with Game Of Thrones characters like Arya Stark and Brienne and there are definitely shades of Cersei Lannister in the power-hungry Princess Catarina.
Naturally, there are a lot of differences between the two shows as well and being a telenovela Deus Salve O Rei is more like a soap opera take on Game Of Thrones. Still, it’s interesting to see how Game Of Thrones’ influence spread and spawned a distinctly Brazilian take on the show.