Just as the show’s massive cast has had to go through eight winding seasons on the small screen, the people involved in bringing Game of Thrones to life found themselves sharing the spotlight with a crowded and competitive field at the 71st Emmy Awards Sunday — despite entering the evening with a history-making 32 nominations.
HBO’s sprawling, culture-defining epic made off with the golden trophy for Outstanding Drama, capping off an evening that saw shows like Fleabag, Killing Eve, and Chernobyl walk away with their share of hardware as well. GoT show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss got their chance to jokingly thank “the demented mind of George R.R. Martin” in their acceptance speech for Outstanding Drama, but didn’t get to take the stage in the best directing and best writing categories, where the awards for which they were nominated instead went to other series.
Peter Dinklage came up with the other big moment for Game of Thrones on Emmys night, earning a record-breaking fourth trophy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. Like his character Tyrion Lannister, Dinklage’s marathon trip through nearly a decade’s worth of nominations felt like a moment of vindication at the series’ last-ever Emmy Awards, and his solo thank-you speech under a solitary spotlight fittingly, if only incidentally, seemed to drive that point home.
Elsewhere, Black Mirror's feature-length (and then some) Bandersnatch was rewarded for taking chances with its interactive, branching-path storyline, earning Netflix an Emmy for Oustanding Television Movie. And in a nod to her overall versatility as an actor, Phoebe Waller-Bridge picked up an armload of hardware for both her creative and on-screen roles in Amazon’s Fleabag — though we just look at it as confirmation that her voice acting turn as L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story showed she's had range to spare all along.
Though it was a good night for women outside of genre, none of GoT’s major female actors — including Emilia Clarke — managed to leave Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater with a statue. The night’s biggest honors, instead, went to Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama, and Waller-Bridge (for real; she had a busy night) for Fleabag. The Handmaid’s Tale’s Cherry Jones also said “not today” to GoT’s Carice van Houten, edging out the Melisandre actor for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
TV’s biggest night may be over, but that just means awards season has finally begun in earnest. How would you have distributed the hardware at this year’s Emmys — and, more specifically, how many times would your version of the ceremony have bent the knee to Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments.