Those TV shows that reap an Emmy nomination for Best Drama Series on July 14 must pick six sample episodes, grouped into three pairings, to submit to judges. HBO tells Gold Derby it expects to enter these half dozen episodes if its new hit “Game of Thrones” nabs the bid:
Pair 1: “Winter is Coming” Episode #101, “The Kingsroad” Episode #102
Pair 2: “A Golden Crown” Episode #106, “You Win or You Die” Episode #107
Pair 3: “Baelor” Episode #109, “Fire and Blood” Episode #110
“Game of Thrones” is a densely plotted show that can be difficult to follow without knowledge of the backstories. As there were only 10 episodes in the first season, picking the right six to showcase the show was tricky.
The paycaster went with the lavish multi-million dollar pilot, which introduces us to the labyrinthine plot and large cast of characters. It was well-received when it aired earlier this year. And coupling it with the second episode makes for a strong reel as it doesn’t require prior knowledge of the show to appreciate it. However, the one criticism of the show was that it started slow and took a few episodes to really hook viewers, as did other of HBO’s prior prestige productions like “Deadwood” and “Rome.”
To that end, the other pairings are drawn from later episodes of “Game of Thrones.” Of course, voters could be confused while viewing them if they are not familiar with the show. “A Golden Crown” and “You Win or You Die” feature important milestones in two of the main arcs of the show, In the former, Danearys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) begin her ascendancy to warrior queen while her scheming brother Viserys (Harry Lloyd) is killed by her warrior king Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa). And the latter features a pivotal scene between Ned Stark (Sean Bean) and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), where she ominously recites the dialogue from which the title of both the episode and the show are taken.
“Baelor” and “Fire & Blood” are the last two episodes of the season, and were two of the most buzzed about. The penultimate episode saw the show’s hero Ned Stark brutally executed by petulant King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and is a strong contender for a directing Emmy this year. And the finale tied up many of the show’s loose ends while setting up the second season with a stunning final scene where some of the book’s fantasy elements finally make an appearance.
Photo: “Fire and Blood” episode of “Game of Thrones.” Credit: HBO