Skip to main content

What season 8 controversy? Early Emmy wins hint at big night for Game of Thrones

The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones generated plenty of controversy and criticism, but that doesn’t appear to have affected its standing in the awards arena. The record-breaking series claimed 10 Creative Arts Emmy Awards over the weekend, which suggests it’s headed for a big night at the official Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

Announced the week before the Primetime Emmy Awards, the Creative Arts Emmy Awards honors the year’s best television projects, actors, and creative teams in lower-profile categories that don’t necessarily make the cut for the annual Emmy Awards show. Along with providing well-deserved recognition to a wide range of people who helped make some of the best TV of the year possible, the Creative Arts Emmys can sometimes provide insight on the shows and actors likely to earn the lion’s share of attention (and trophies) at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

This is the final year that perennial favorite Game of Thrones is eligible for Emmy Awards, after having concluded its eighth and final season in May.

Although the show’s final season earned mixed reactions from fans — with some even calling for the season to be rewritten and shot again — that polarizing response to the final arc of Game of Thrones wasn’t reflected in its performance at the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony. Game of Thrones was honored in the following 10 categories:

  • Sound Editing for a Comedy Or Drama Series (one hour)
  • Special Visual Effects (for the episode The Bells)
  • Fantasy/Sci-fi Costumes (for The Bells)
  • Makeup for a Single-camera Series — non-prosthetic (for The Long Night)
  • Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie
  • Main Title Design
  • Music Composition for a Series (original dramatic score)
  • Casting for a Drama Series
  • Single-camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series (for The Long Night)
  • Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series — one hour (for The Long Night)

HBO’s Game of Thrones has won 47 Primetime Emmy Awards to date, the most by any drama series and a total that will likely increase during this year’s ceremony. With nominations in 32 categories this year, Game of Thrones broke the single-season record for any show — a record previously held by NYPD Blue, which received 26 nominations in 1994. The series also holds the current record for overall Emmy nominations for a series with 161 across its eight seasons.

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. ET on September 22 and will be broadcast on Fox.

Editors' Recommendations

Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
Can House of the Dragon save the Game of Thrones franchise?
Milly Alcock and Emily Carey in House of the Dragon.

Game of Thrones was a revolution. The show once not-so-eloquently described as "tits and dragons" proved to be so much more, introducing a seemingly never-ending parade of compelling characters likely to die from one episode to the next. High production values and genuinely impressive CGI further contributed to the show skyrocketing into the apex of pop culture, but Thrones' secret weapon was always the writing.

Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens; Thrones knew that. Its action episodes were thrilling and massive -- from Stannis' invasion of King's Landing to the infamous Battle of the Bastards. However, most of the show's most iconic clashes were verbal; think of Littlefinger and Varys' snarky remarks to each other or Cersei and Tyrion's surprisingly honest conversations. Guided by George R. R. Martin's sprawling source material, Game of Thrones was a writer's dream. Enhanced by the delicious readings of a cast of icons at their prime, the dialogue in Westeros was a writer's dream come true. Thrones was the perfect combination of cleverness and wit mixed with political intrigue, high stakes, ambitious world-building, nonstop violence, and yes, "tits and dragons."

Read more
Game of Thrones: How George R. R. Martin’s world can expand in animation
Young Princess Rhaenyra with her dragon Syrax looming behind her.

The recent Warner Bros. Discovery merger seems to have added a layer of tense unpredictability regarding the state of WB's IPs, but it seems that writer George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones world will stay the course with the upcoming House of the Dragon around the corner.

It would be bizarre if it didn't, as it is HBO's most historic TV series and proved to be a cultural phenomenon in the process. And with reports of many spinoffs in the works, the network should look to animation as another worthy avenue to explore. Per those reports, there are at least some such projects already in development, and taking advantage of animation's newfound appreciation could prove to be something more than worth doubling down on.
Exploring uncharted territory
House of the Dragon | Official Trailer | HBO Max

Read more
Game of Thrones: Best Daenerys Targaryen episodes to prep for House of the Dragon
Daenerys Targaryen with Drogon behind her in Game of Thrones.

The three-plus-year drought of Game of Thrones-related content is finally coming to a close, as HBO's prequel series House of the Dragon is set to premiere toward the end of August. It will chronicle the beginning of the end of the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros, leading both the family and the dragons they brought to become endangered.

Emilia Clarke's portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones undoubtedly made her and her character a fantasy icon alongside the likes of Jon Snow and, despite a controversial close to the show, had one of the most engrossing character arcs. From the birth of her three draconic sons to her explosive arrival in Westeros, these are some of the best Daenerys-themed episodes worth revisiting before House of the Dragon's premiere.
Winter is Coming (season 1, episode 1)

Read more