Dragons and deaths may lead 'Game of Thrones' to Emmy victory

Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:07am EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Game of Thrones," HBO's wildly popular medieval fantasy series, may have served up gory beheadings, scintillating sex scenes, fire-breathing dragons and an ever-expanding battle for the Iron Throne, but it has never won the most important crown of all: the Emmy award for best drama series.

Despite commanding a formidable fan base with 20 million viewers per episode, 16 million Facebook fans and 3 million Twitter followers, "Game of Thrones," based on George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novel series, has yet to win over Emmy voters.

The show premiered in 2011 and has been nominated four times in the best-drama race. But voters of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, deciders of the Emmy awards, traditionally shun fantasy in favor of realism in drama.

All that could change at Sunday's Emmy Awards.

"Thrones" has a leading 24 nominations, and all 18,000 members of the Television Academy can vote for best drama, compared with around 1,000 in the past, said Tom O'Neil, founder of awards tracker Gold Derby (www.goldderby.com).

"Everyone is voting online, so you will get more broad-based popular results that would benefit 'Game of Thrones'," he said.

The biggest competitors for "Thrones" are AMC's period drama "Mad Men," which concluded this year in a widely praised finale, and Netflix's political thriller "House of Cards," according to Entertainment Weekly TV writer Lynette Rice.

"Simply by virtue of lack of competition, it looks good for 'Game of Thrones,' but also this season was an extraordinary year for the show," Rice said.   Continued...

Cast members (from L-R) Sophie Turner, Natalie Dormer, Liam Cunningham and Carice van Houten from the television series "Game of Thrones", pose during the 2015 Comic-Con International Convention in San Diego, California July 10, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni