Will ‘Vikings’ finally conquer the Emmys this year?

Hey, Emmy voters: It’s time to pay more attention to “Vikings.” This past third season was its best yet, according to TV critics, who gave it 100% score at Rotten Tomatoes and 81 at Metacritic.

The History channel drama has so far received some (limited) love from the TV academy. The first season earned three nominations: Best Sound Editing (which it lost to “Boardwalk Empire”), Best Visual Effects in a Supporting Role (which it lost to “Banshee”) and Best Main Title Design (which it lost to “Da Vinci’s Demons”). Last year, it contended twice for Best Visual Effects in a Supporting Role, but lost that prize to “Black Sails.”

So, we know that the show is on Emmy’s radar but will voters finally open the floodgates to “Vikings” for its most successful, season to date? Below, we take a look at its best chances.

Emmy voters love to shower a show with repeat bids, so the show’s best bet should be in Best Visual Effects in a Supporting Role. The third season had no shortage of impressively epic battles from which to choose. And the VFX Society Awards recently honored the show with two nominations for its effects simulations and its compositing. Expect to see it return to a lineup along with frontrunners such as “Marco Polo,” “Daredevil,” “Outlander,” “Black Sails” and “The Walking Dead.”

Emmy-nominee Dominic Remane on creating ‘invisible effects’ for ‘Vikings’ (Exclusive Video)

I would also wager that the complexity of “Vikings’” sound — with all those clanging swords, cracking skulls and warrior screams culminating in a kind of symphonic cacophany — should see it return in Best Sound Editing for a second go-round and show up for the first time in the Best Sound Mixing category. It was, after all, nominated for a Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Golden Reel Award earlier this year, indicating support from like-minded sound technicians in the academy’s branch, who have in recent years gone for the likes of “Boardwalk Empire” and “Black Sails.”

What about Best Cinematography? To date, the lensers in the academy have overlooked “Vikings,” but the American Society of Cinematographers recently nominated P.J. Dillon for the second season highlight “Blood Eagle” (the show’s third season will be eligible next time), so don’t be surprised to see “Vikings” land here too.

And if we rely on guild support to indicate potential Emmy love elsewhere, then the recent Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award win for Best Period or Character Hair Styling, plus the additional nomination for Best Special Makeup Effects, might bode well in both the Best Hairstyling and Best Prosthetic Makeup categories at the Emmys. It could join previous winners “Game of Thrones,” “Downton Abbey” and “The Walking Dead” and likely newcomers “Outlander,” “Penny Dreadful” and “The Knick.” 

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Inexplicalby, “Vikings” has not been nominated for Best Costumes. That seems strange at first blush, given its pedigree. But grunting barbarians frolicking in mud, sweat and blood don’t have the same cache when it comes to those snobbish Emmy voters who prefer their kings glistening in emeralds and silks while seated on thrones in Tudor castles. But if they pay attention to “Vikings,” they’ll see the fine beauty of the gowns and furs, the ornate armour and intricate weaponry.

The last four years have seen many of the same series nominated again and again: “Boardwalk Empire,” “Mad Men,” “Downton Abbey” and “Once Upon a Time.” Two shows in particular have dominated, both winning twice: “The Borgias” in 2011 and 2013 and “Game of Thrones” in 2012 and 2014. However, “Vikings” costume designer Joan Bergin (along with Susan O’Connor Cave) won Emmys in 2007, 2008 and 2010 for “The Tudors” (and was also nominated in 2009, losing to “Pushing Daisies”), so she might finally crack this category again.

Best Film Editing, Best Production Design and Best Music Composition are also there for the taking.

Last but not least though, as a “No Guts, No Glory” pick, I suggest keeping your eye on Katheryn Winnick, who plays fan-favorite shieldmaiden Lagertha, to pop up as a surprise in Best Drama Supporting Actress. It’s a long shot, to be sure, but hot on the heels of her recent Critics Choice TV Award nomination, anything’s possible in this category, despite there only being one vacancy from last year’s lineup (winner Anna Gunn from “Breaking Bad” is no longer eligible). 

Make your Emmy predictions and you could win a $500 gift certificate as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys line-up).

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