‘Game of Thrones’ interviews: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sophie Turner, Matt Shakman exclusive chats [WATCH]

Can “Game of Thrones” reclaim its Emmy crown after sitting out last year’s race? The HBO fantasy series has been an awards juggernaut, winning 38 prizes so far including back-to-back victories for Best Drama Series in 2015 and 2016. Because its seventh season didn’t air until last summer it wasn’t eligible for the 2017 awards. Now it will go up against the show that succeeded it for the Emmy throne: reigning Drama Series champ “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Gold Derby recently spoke with “Thrones” stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Sophie Turner, as well as director Matt Shakman about their work on the show. Scroll down and click on their names below to be taken to their full interviews.

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“You don’t really have heroes or villains, and when you think you have one, it turns,” says Coster-Waldau about the show’s nuanced morality. His character, Jaime Lannister, is at times unscrupulous but at times valiant. “None of us are just good or bad,” which helps make George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world relatable. According to our racetrack odds, the actor could finally receive his first Emmy nomination for Best Drama Supporting Actor: he’s currently ranked fifth in our predictions with 14/1 odds.

“I always saw something of a warrior in Sansa that I don’t think other people really saw,” reveals Turner about her character. This season Sansa came into her own and emerged as a leader after years of being manipulated and abused. “I always had the feeling that she was learning and adapting and at some point or another it was going to manifest itself somehow. And she manifested it into being a warrior. It felt really satisfying when it happened, and I’m really happy where this storyline for her has ended up.”

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Shakman is on the Emmy ballot for helming “The Spoils of War,” which brought him his first Directors Guild Award nomination earlier this year. The episode culminates with a battle between a dragon-riding Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and the Lannister army she ambushes. The scene actually set a record for the most stunt people set on fire. “We didn’t set out to break a record,” Shakman explains. “It sort of just happened. A battle like that, especially when you have a big visual-effects dragon, can quickly become something that feels unreal. I wanted it to always feel particularly visceral. People on fire: there’s nothing more visceral than that. It also is one of the most dangerous stunts you can do.”

Click on any name below to be taken to their full interview:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister

Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark

Matt Shakman, director

PREDICT the Emmy nominees and winners now; change them until July 12

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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