Emmy Awards: Best Visual Effects will have new winner with ‘Game of Thrones’ not eligible

After losing the series award for Best Visual Effects in 2011 to “Boardwalk Empire,” “Game of Thrones” has had a stranglehold on it for five years running. However, with the show and its dragons sitting out the Emmys this year, one of the past nominees — “Black Sails,” “The Man in the High Castle” or “Vikings” — could finally prevail. But to do so, that show will have to best two strong newcomers, “American Gods” and “Westworld.”

The sweeping historical saga “Vikings” is still in the hunt for its first Emmy win after three previous losses. It entered the episode “On the Eve.”

The swashbuckling adventure series “Black Sails,” which lost this race the last two years running, submitted the episode “XXIX.” It did win Best Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role for its first season (2014) as well as Best Sound Editing for a Series (2014 and 2016).

“The Man in the High Castle,” which imagines a world in which the Axis powers prevailed in WWII, won two Emmys last year for its freshman season: Best Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series and Best Main Title. It contends with the episode “Fallout.”

The Visual Effects Society Awards at the start of the year do not offer much of a clear picture as to what will prevail at the Emmys since they hand out multiple awards for effects. Not surprisingly, “Game of Thrones” dominated. Indeed, the current Emmy entry for “Westworld” vied for Best Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode but lost out to an episode of “Game of Thrones.”

“Game of Thrones” did not contend for the VES prize for Best Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode. That went to “Black Sails (for the episode: “XX”). Among those it edged out was “Vikings” (for the episode: “The Last Ship”). Both of these entries were for the previous season than the one being considered by the Emmys. However, “The Man in the High Castle” was an also-ran in this category for the same episode nominated at the Emmys.

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