5 ways to make ‘Game of Thrones’ more Emmy-friendly: Lose the dragons, …

Now that “Game of Thrones” is (finally) back with new episodes on HBO, it’s time to get serious about the show’s Emmy chances. This epic fantasy series is one of the most buzzed-about, lavish, expensive productions to ever grace our television screens… so then why hasn’t it won Best Drama Series yet?

The simple answer is that the show needs a bit of an Emmy makeover first before it can stand a chance against other top contenders like “Breaking Bad,” “House of Cards” and “True Detective.”

Below, five easy fixes that could make the show more Emmy-friendly.

1. Lose the dragons
Everybody’s favorite flying faux-reptiles will need to hit the unemployment line if “Game of Thrones” ever wants to have a real shot at winning Best Drama Series. The Emmys are notorious for giving the cold shoulder to sci-fi and fantasy shows, only allowing one such series to win in the past 65 years: “Lost” in 2005. Or better yet, instead of losing the dragons, can we somehow find a way for Emilia Clarke‘s fire-breathers to pay a visit to the homes of TV academy members and intimidate them into changing their votes?

2. Kill more characters
An interesting pattern has emerged with the first few years of “Game of Thrones”: Every time the show kills off a major character, it gets Emmy attention. The season one episode “Baelor” saw the beheading of star Sean Bean and wound up with nominations for Best Writing (which it lost) and Best Supporting Actor (which it won). Last year, the infamous Red Wedding episode “The Rains of Castamere” included the demise of several main characters and netted another Best Writing nomination. Moral of the story? Emmy voters love a good death!

3. Film in America
When it comes to the Emmys, academy members want their series winners to be homegrown. The last time a Best Drama Series winner filmed primarily outside the U.S. was England’s “Upstairs, Downstairs” way back in 1977. Even though “Game of Thrones” is produced by American paycaster HBO, its Emmy chances are seemingly hurt because it’s filmed in various locations around the world including Iceland, Ireland, Croatia and Morocco. (Sure, “Lost” may have felt exotic, but it was filmed almost entirely in Hawaii.)

4. Become more accessible
The first three seasons of the HBO epic won a total of 10 Emmys, all of which fell in the below-the-line categories except for that 2011 victory by Peter Dinklage as Best Drama Supporting Actor. How was Dinklage able to prevail? His scenes in his episode submission “Baelor” didn’t rely on any former episode in order to understand what was going on. They were entirely accessible to Emmy voters, many of whom may never have even watched “Game of Thrones” before hitting “play” on their DVD screeners. It’s no secret that the show can feel like homework at times, especially with so many different characters, alliances and locations popping up in every episode. If the series wants to win more trophies, HBO really should think about producing at least one episode per season that’s entirely accessible to Emmy voters.

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5. Take out the competition
If “Game of Thrones” wants to win Best Drama Series at the Emmys, it’ll first have to take out its three biggest competitors according to Gold Derby’s racetrack odds: AMC’s reigning champ “Breaking Bad,” Netflix’s hot commodity “House of Cards” and fellow HBO series “True Detective.” Since “Game of Thrones” never shies away from extreme levels of violence, we suggest a knife to the gut for Walter White (Bryan Cranston), assassination by beheading for Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and incineration by dragon fire for Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson).

Do you think Season 4 of “Game of Thrones” can win Best Drama Series? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.

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