Game of Thrones is set to rule the Emmys again. HBO’s fantasy hit scored 23 nominations Thursday morning, including its most acting nods ever, and the show’s stars are understandably thrilled.
Best drama? Of course. Best director, writing, cinematography, costumes, visual effects, production design, stunts, editing, hairstyling, make-up, casting? Yup. And then there were the acting categories. This is the show’s most-honored year yet in the performance categories, with not only previously nominated stars Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and Emilia Clarke landing nods, but also Kit Harington and Maisie Williams breaking in with first-time nominations. Plus, Max von Sydow picked up a guest actor nomination for his performance as the Three-Eyed Raven.
Harington: “It is a serious understatement to say that I am somewhat stunned. For my work on Game of Thrones to be recognized in this way is an emotional moment for me. I could not be more humbled.”
Williams: “I am so grateful to be a part of Game of Thrones, so to be nominated for an Emmy is beyond words, but I would like to say thank you to [author George R.R. Martin] for creating such an amazing character and to [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] and everyone associated with the show who bring Arya to life.”
Headey: “Totally overwhelmed. Thrilled for the show receiving so many nominations … Wahoo!”
Behind the camera, showrunners Benioff and Weiss were nominated for writing the ninth episode of the season, “Battle of the Bastards,” along with Miguel Sapochnik for directing the episode. Another Thrones director, Jack Bender, was nominated for directing “The Door.”
There was one surprising snub among the non-performance categories, however: Composer Ramin Djawadi was left off this year despite some amazing work in the show’s season finale.
Last year, Thrones won 12 primetime Emmys, setting an industry record for the most wins in a single year. Given the near-universal opinion that this year’s sixth season was creatively stronger than the last, Thrones is an overwhelming favorite going into the fall. The 68th Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on Sunday, Sept. 18 on ABC, with Jimmy Kimmel returning as host.