‘Game of Thrones’ could literally ‘Spoil’ ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ at the DGA Awards with help from Dany’s dragons

“The Handmaid’s Tale” has dominated the awards season. After winning the Emmy for Best Drama Series last fall it won top honors at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards and Producers Guild Awards. So can “Game of Thrones” finally get in the game at the Directors Guild Awards? “Handmaid’s” is out front here too, but “Thrones” has three nominations for Best TV Drama Directing, and one of those episodes in particular, “The Spoils of War,” could burn its rivals to the ground.

Reed Morano won the Emmy for Best Drama Directing for the “Handmaid’s Tale” pilot. Now she’s the DGA front-runner with leading odds of 2/7. Those odds are based on the combined forecasts of more than 1,100 users who have entered their picks at Gold Derby thus far. That includes 10 Expert journalists we’ve polled for their predictions, 9 of whom are betting on Morano to prevail here: Erik Davis (Fandango), Edward Douglas, Grae Drake (Rotten Tomatoes), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (IndieWire), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com). And our Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby are unanimous that Morano will win: Chris Beachum, Eng, Marcus James Dixon, Rob Licuria, O’Neil, Paul Sheehan and myself.

But “Game of Thrones” has won DGA for the last two years in a row: David Nutter for “Mother’s Mercy” (2016) and Miguel Sapochnik for “Battle of the Bastards” (2017). It might have even beaten “Handmaid’s Tale” at the Emmys if its new season had aired in time for the Emmy eligibility period. Now “Thrones” has three DGA nominations: Matt Shakman for “The Spoils of War,” Jeremy Podeswa for “The Dragon and the Wolf” and Alan Taylor for “Beyond the Wall.” According to our predictions “Spoils of War” has the best shot of taking down “Handmaid’s Tale.” Expert Thelma Adams (Gold Derby) thinks “Spoils” will spoil. So do 7 of our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s DGA winners, and 4 of our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ DGA predictions. Altogether “Spoils of War” is a close second with 6/1 odds.

And it’s no wonder. “The Spoils of War” was one of the most action-packed episodes of “Game of Thrones” season seven. It concluded with an epic battle in which Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and one her indomitable dragons led an ambush against the Lannisters. The balancing of character drama, tense action and CGI could impress the guild just like past episodes of “Thrones” have.

What do you think? Is the consensus right that “Handmaid’s Tale” will win? Do you think “Spoils” or another “Thrones” episode will pull off an upset? Or are we underestimating the Duffer Brothers for directing the “Stranger Things” episode “Chapter Nine: The Gate”?

Be sure to make your DGA predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name filmmakers can see how their movies are faring in our odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 3. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 DGA Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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