Game of Thrones wins big at Emmys despite final season backlash

The divisive last run of the HBO fantasy hit picked up Outstanding Drama Series award ahead of Bodyguard and Killing Eve

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:   Peter Dinklage accepts the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award for 'Game of Thrones' during the 70th Emmy Awards on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/FilmMagic)

Although its last episodes finished with a petition to remake the show without “incompetent writers”, HBO fantasy hit Game of Thrones won big at the 2019 Emmys.

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Not only did Tyrion Lannister actor Peter Dinklage set a record after winning Best Supporting Actor in a drama again, but the show took home the Outstanding Drama Series award for its final season, beating the likes of Bodyguard, Killing Eve and Ozark.

Thrones was nominated for 32 awards in total – the most for any single season of television ever – and had already won 10 Creative Arts Emmys last week, bringing the show’s prize count to 12.

Although the series only won two awards last night, the ceremony featured a special Game of Thrones tribute where stars of the dragon drama – including Dinklage, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and Gwendoline Christie – thanked “all those who have watched.”

But while this tribute achieved applause in the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, viewers at home couldn’t help notice that Isaac Hempstead Wright didn’t join his co-stars on stage, despite playing King of the Seven Six Kingdoms.

After the eighth and final season received mixed to negative reviews from critics, over 1.7 million people signed a petition labelling D.B Weiss and Dan Benioff – who wrote the majority of the show’s 73 episodes – “woefully incompetent writers when they have no source material”, calling for the show to be re-made.

Speaking at the press conference after the Emmys ceremony, Kit Harington revealed that he hasn’t yet watched the final season. “I still haven’t seen the show. I haven’t seen the final season,” he told journalists (via TVLine). “But I know what it took to shoot it, and it was hard on everyone and they put all of their heart and effort into it.

“We knew what we were doing was right, story-wise, and we knew it was right for the characters because we lived with them for 10 years,” he continued, adding that due to the highly qualified investment in the story and characters, “the controversy didn’t really affect us.”

Alongside Game of Thrones, Phoebe Waller-Bridge was among the big winners of the night after Fleabag took home four awards, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Jodie Comer, the British actress who portrayed Villanelle in Killing Eve, also picked up the gong for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

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Other winners included Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (Outstanding Television Movie), Chernobyl (Outstanding Limited Series), RuPaul’s Drag Race (Outstanding Competition Program) and A Very English Scandal’s Ben Whishaw (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie).