Game of Thrones is king of the Emmys once again.
HBO’s fantasy sensation won the 2018 award for Outstanding Drama Series. This marks the third time GoT has won the top drama category (having previously won in 2015 and 2016) and it was the most nominated show overall this year (with 22 nominations).
The victory marks a return to the winner’s circle after staying on the sidelines last year due to season 7 airing too late to be eligible for the 2017 awards. In fact, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale — which won for its debut season last year — was narrowly favored by oddsmakers to win this category again, partly due to how long its been since Thrones has been off the air (about 13 months).
“Writing for these actors is the honor of a lifetime but we didn’t invent these characters, that is George R.R. Martin, the show could not be without the mad genius of George,” said showrunner David Benioff accepting the award. “Thank you for letting us take care of your people.”
Added fellow showrunner Dan Weiss: “A show is only as good as the people who make it and we’re blessed and lucky to have the greatest cast, the greatest crew and the greatest team of producers led by Bernie Caulfield. It’s an honor to work with them from Spain, to Iceland, all the way to our home base of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Here’s to you, Belfast.”
GoT also beat out FX’s final season of The Americans, HBO’s second season of Westworld, NBC’s second season of This Is Us and Netflix’s second seasons of Stranger Things and The Crown.
Thrones actor Peter Dinklage also won Monday night, taking home the award for best supporting actor in a drama series for the third time. Co-stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, as well as guest star Diana Rigg were also nominated.
Fun facts: Thrones had already won more Emmys than any other scripted show before the ceremony even began (45). With this win, GoT has surpassed Breaking Bad for its number of wins in this best drama category, but still falls short of shows such as The West Wing and Mad Men.
Backstage the producers fielded a few questions from reporters, One asked why GoT has such a global appeal. “Westeros doesn’t belong to anybody,” Weiss said. “Nobody has a history. Everybody can be equally connected to it. [Martin] took all of world history and condensed it into his world. It’s mirror into which everyone can see themselves.” The duo also answered why the final season was taking so long.
GoT returns in the first half of 2019 where it will be even better positioned to rule the Emmys once again with its final six episodes.
Here is the full list of winners from the 2018 Emmy Awards.