Top 10 Emmy hopes for ‘Game of Thrones’

Now that season five of ‘Game of Thrones” has come to an explosive end, let’s take a look at its top 10 hopes at the Emmys, ranging from the potential for a fifth consecutive bid for Best Drama Series to three chances for a Best Directing nomination. To date, this hit HBO series has racked up 14 wins from 62 nominations. 

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Best Drama Series (#1)
According to Gold Derby’s official odds — which combine the picks of our Experts, Editors, Users and Top 24 — “Game of Thrones” is in a 3-way tie for this top prize with “House of Cards” and “Mad Men.” While the hit HBO series contended for each of its first four seasons, it lost to “Mad Men” (2011), “Homeland” (2012) and “Breaking Bad” (2013, 2014). However, let’s recall that the fifth TV season was the lucky charm for “Breaking Bad,” “24” (2006) and “The Sopranos” (2004).

Best Drama Supporting Actor (#2,3)
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) won this race for the first year of “Game of Thrones” and has contended in each of the subsequent three seasons. This year, we are predicting that he will finally pick up a bookend. He has leading odds of 7/2 while his closest rival, Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul“), is at 5/1. And Kit Harington could contend for the first (and last?) time for his riveting portrayal of Jon Snow. 

Best Drama Supporting Actress (#4, #5)
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) reaped a bid last year and is predicted to return to the race this year, although she is in fourth place, well back of 2012 champ Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey“). And 2013 nominee Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) could get back in, boosted by the support for the show. 

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Best Drama Guest Actress (#6)
Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) was nominated in this category both last year (Emmy darling Allison Janney won for “Masters of Sex“) and in 2014 (Carrie Preston prevailed for “The Good Wife“). Janney is out front again this year while Rigg is tied for second with Cicely Tyson (“How to Get Away with Murder“). This British Dame has entered “The Gift,” in which her character, Olenna, returns to the capital to aid her granddaughter, the Queen, in the struggle against the jealous Queen Mother. 

Best Drama Writing (#7)
The only episode submitted in this category was the season finale, “Mother’s Mercy.” This savvy move avoids vote splitting and gives this 61-minute jawdropper a greater chance of being nominated. Scripters David Benioff & D. B. Weiss have contended for the past two years in a row, losing first to “Homeland” and then “Breaking Bad.” 

Best Drama Directing (#8, #9, #10)
However, vote splitting could be an issue in this category as three episodes were entered. Episode 6 — “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” — was directed by Jeremy Podeswa. Episode 8 — “Hardhome” — was helmed by Miguel Sapochnik. And the Episode 10 finale — “Mother’s Mercy” — was overseen by David Nutter, who shared in the Emmy win for the directing team on “Band of Brothers” in 2002. He also contended in 1995 as a producer of “The X-Files,” for directing an episode of “The Sopranos” in 2006 and with Podeswa in 2010 as part of “The Pacific” directing team. Podeswa was also nominated for “Boardwalk Empire” in 2011. 

Tim Van Patten contended in this category in 2011 for “Winter is Coming,” the first episode of “Game of Thrones,” but lost to Martin Scorsese for the “Boardwalk Empire” pilot. And Neil Marshall reaped a bid last year for “The Watchers on the Wall” but was bested by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who oversaw all eight episodes of “True Detective.” 

Emmys showdown: ‘Game of Thrones’ now tied with ‘Mad Men,’ ‘House of Cards’

Do you think “Game of Thrones” will win Best Drama Series this year? Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.

Make your Emmy predictions below starting with Best Drama Series using our easy drag-and-drop menu and you could win a place of honor on our leaderboard, 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), and one of three contest prizes: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place. Prizes will be bestowed as gift certificates to be redeemed at Amazon. See our contest rules for more info.

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