Gilead vs. Westeros: How did Emmy nominations affect the battle between ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Game of Thrones’?

Game of Thrones” won the Emmy for Best Drama Series twice in a row (2015-2016). Then it took an extended hiatus and sat out the 2017 Emmys, so “The Handmaid’s Tale” took its place. Now they’re facing off against each other for the first time. Both shows did as well as they could have hoped when the 2018 nominations were announced on July 12 — maybe even better. So how did those noms affect our predictions for the winner?

In just one day since the announcement of the nominations (see the full list of contenders here) we’ve had hundreds of Gold Derby users making their early forecasts for who will win once the envelopes are opened on September 17. And our top users give the early advantage to the Republic of Gilead.

Out of the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Emmy winners, 19 are betting on “Handmaid’s Tale,” compared to just 3 for “Game of Thrones.” The advantage is even greater when you poll the All-Star Top 24 Users, who got the highest scores when you combine Emmy predictions from the last two years: 22 of them say “Handmaid’s” will win, compared to 2 for “Thrones.”

That’s ironic because “Thrones” actually received more nominations. It’s up for 22 awards, while “Handmaid’s” is nominated 20 times. Then again, “Handmaid’s” managed to sweep the awards last year with 8 wins out of just 12 nominations, so the fact that it increased its nominations haul by 66% might make it damn near unstoppable this time around. And “Handmaid’s” has more support from the TV academy’s actors branch: the show won three acting races last year, which is more acting awards than “Thrones” has won in its entire run so far.

However, the fact that “Game of Thrones” maintained its gargantuan nominations haul after skipping an Emmy season and hardly losing any ground to other sci-fi/fantasy shows like “Westworld” and “Stranger Things” shows how much the academy loves it. It’s even more impressive because “Thrones” aired its season almost a year ago, so being out of sight didn’t put it out of mind.

What do you think? Will Gilead carry its momentum from 2017 into a second straight win for Best Drama Series, or will the dragons and wolves of Westeros reclaim their rightful place on the “Throne”?

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 winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. 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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