The eighth and final season of HBO’s massively successful drama beat out the all-time series record of 27 Emmy nods previously set by “NYPD Blue” in 1994. If "Game of Thrones" defends it best drama series title and claims a fourth trophy, it will join the quartet of most-honored dramas that includes "Hill Street Blues," ''L.A. Law," ''The West Wing" and "Mad Men."
The series earned one of the most highly coveted nominations, outstanding drama series. Stars Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke earned outstanding lead actor and actress nominations respectively. Clarke's decision to seek a best actress nomination after a series of supporting actress bids paid off. She's competing in a category that's notable for its diversity, including past winner Viola Davis for "How to Get Away with Murder" and repeat nominee Sandra Oh for "Killing Eve," who has a second chance to become the first actress of Asian descent to win the trophy.
Meanwhile, cast members Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Gwendoline Christie and Carice van Houten all earned nominations for supporting or guest roles.
In a surprising turn of events, “Thrones” creators Dan Weiss and David Benioff earned outstanding writing and directing nods for the final episode of the series, “The Iron Throne.” Despite its many winks from Emmy voters, fans of the series have not been kind to Weiss and Benioff since the final season premiered.
A Change.org petition surfaced urging the network to “remake ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 with competent writers.” As of this writing, the petition earned more than 1,688,000 signatures.
“David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have proven themselves to be woefully incompetent writers when they have no source material (i.e. the books) to fall back on,” the petition’s creator wrote. “This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”
Recently, the writing duo caught more flak for topping the Google search results for “bad writers” thanks to fans’ displeasure with how they ended the series based on George R.R. Martin’s sprawling fantasy novels.
Regardless of fans’ opinions on the final season, the 32 nominations help HBO mark a big win as the network with the most nods overall. As Deadline notes, Netflix toppled the premium cable network last year with 112 nominations to HBO’s 108. This year, HBO can boast 137 total nominations while Netflix only has 117.
In addition to “Thrones,” HBO hits like “Barry, “Chernobyl,” “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” “True Detective,” “Veep,” “Leaving Neverland” and “Succession” all received multiple nominations.
Netflix, meanwhile, scored nominations for “When They See Us,” “Russian Doll,” “Ozark” and “GLOW.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.