by Graham Pierrepoint
It’s arguably one of the most ground-breaking TV serials of modern times, often challenging the boundaries of televisual expectation – and at this year’s Emmy awards, where the very best in small screen entertainment is celebrated, Game of Thrones has seen off half of its competition in award categories to become the most-decorated scripted series in Emmy-winning history. The show picked up the prestigious Best Drama Series award for the second year in a row, as well as cleaning up in Drama Writing and Directing categories for its spectacular battle-driven episode Battle of The Bastards.
Previously, long-running sitcom Frasier held the record for the most Emmy wins in history, having accumulated 37 in its run – Game of Thrones has outdone this number by one alone, now claiming 38 awards to its name, only seven behind the single-most decorated TV series of all time – Saturday Night Live. To its benefit, Game of Thrones is still very much running, meaning that it has much time to monopolize on its award success by taking on SNL’s records with episodes to come. Season six of Game of Thrones was widely applauded by viewers and critics alike, with season finale The Winds of Winter sitting atop IMDB’s highest-rated TV episodes list – which applies to any and all shows throughout history. Certainly, whether you love or hate the idea of George R R Martin’s all-encompassing adult fantasy epic, the quality of its craft is undeniable – as the awards it has won clearly shows.
Game of Thrones is allegedly set to run for a further two seasons up to 2018, and this past season was notable for being the first to surpass the narrative of Martin’s books – which has led to greater license for story arcs and character development, but has provided readers of the A Song of Ice and Fire series with a number of concerns with regard to canonicity. In any case, it has been a season that has taken bigger leaps with character development and plot twists than any other, with several regular cast members perishing in the most recent season finale.
Other shows that performed well at the Emmys include political comedy Veep, crime dramatization The People Vs OJ Simpsons, and even Downton Abbey – as Dame Maggie Smith won an Emmy despite being unable to attend. Will Game of Thrones extend and defend its records next year? Fans certainly hope so!