Awards Daily TV shines the Emmy® Spotlight on HBO’s Game of Thrones after last night’s record-breaking Season 7 finale. How hard will Emmy fall next year?
Game of Thrones wrapped its seventh season finale last night. It capped a season that, while not without its detractors, astonished week after week with sheer spectacle. Overnights are in, and the episode produced a record 16.5 million viewers. With all platforms in, the series appears to be averaging just over 30 million viewers per episode. The popularity of this show – a fantasy epic once relegated to the Dungeons and Dragons set – is simply staggering.
Still, as strong as the season finale was, I didn’t think it holds status as the best hour of television on last night. More on that next week…
Game of Thrones Season 7 engaged me in ways the overall series largely hadn’t. For a series that comically spent an entire season walking characters from King’s Landing to Winterfell or north of the wall, things moved fast in Season 7. Not just fast. Epically fast. Many assumed the creators would spend the season setting up Season 8’s climax. Instead, we were served up week after week of staggering action sequences, potent character pairings, and the admittedly expected lavish deaths. Personally, I loved the cautious scenes of plotting and politicizing largely omitted this season, but there’s no denying the mind-blowingly awesome sites served up this year. That any other series could deliver on this level feels near-impossible.
How Deeply Will the Television Academy Fall Next Year?
My friend and colleague Jalal Haddad put it best last night on Twitter:
It’s wild that next year’s Emmys are basically locked up while this year’s voting is still in progress #GameOfThones
— Jalal Haddad (@theleztaylor) August 28, 2017
Yup. That pretty much says it all.
Admittedly, it feels very early to be discussing Emmy 2018, but it does feel like no other series could possibly match this level of achievement. Last year, Game of Thrones received 24 nominations. Next year, it could top that. The only thing really standing in its way is time.
Those 24 nominations came just after the show completed Season 6. However, Season 7 premiered and aired at the beginning of the 2018 eligibility year. Will the Television Academy still bask in the glow of a successful season next June? Will they still have all the feels some 10 months into the future? Or will the inevitable backlash dampen enthusiasm? Already, “controversial” Game of Thrones “just isn’t that good” pieces are starting to pop up, complaining about the speed or perceived improbability of the season. Or will time work to mute the backlash and rebuilt enthusiasm?
Hard to say just how tight the Television Academy will hug the series when voting starts in June. But if HBO managed 22 Westworld nominations, then anything’s possible. Right?
Series, writing, directing, and literally all the below the line craft nominations feel guaranteed. In fact, it may be difficult whittling potential candidates down given the scope of each episode. The acting races will, in the end, ultimately drive the total number of nods. Dame Diana Rigg should receive a final Guest Actress in a Drama Series bid, matching last year’s Actor mention for Max von Sydow. In the supporting actor race, Peter Dinklage and Kit Harington should emerge as repeat nominees.
And given the strength of the women on the series, you could nearly fill the entire Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category with Game of Thrones contenders. Returning favorites Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey will have no problem meriting nominations again. Yet, the unexpected nomination for Maisie Williams feels less certain. Personally, I would swap her out for Sansa Stark’s Sophie Turner. Maybe the Television Academy will make room for all four.
Which would go a long way toward topping last year’s series record haul.
Directing (Probably two bids)
Writing (At least one bid)
Peter Dinklage, Supporting Actor
Kit Harington, Supporting Actor
Emilia Clarke, Supporting Actress
Lena Headey, Supporting Actress
…And All. The. Crafts.
Maisie Williams, Supporting Actress
Sophie Turner, Supporting Actress
Aidan Gillen, Supporting Actor
Diana Rigg, Guest Actress