‘Game of Thrones’ Rules 2016 Emmy Race With 23 Nominations

Game of Thrones” once again conquered the Emmy nominations — earning 23 nods for its blockbuster sixth season, which also notched record ratings for its action-packed finale.

Stars Kit Harington and Maisie Williams both broke into the race this year, earning their first nominations in the Supporting Actor and Actress categories, respectively. They joined fellow cast members Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke, who are repeat nominees — Dinklage previously won the Supporting Actor category in 2015 and 2011. Max von Sydow also earned a Guest Actor nod for his role as the Three-Eyed Raven.

“It is a serious understatement to say that I am somewhat stunned,” Harington said of his nomination. “For my work on ‘Game of Thrones’ to be recognized in this way is an emotional moment for me. I could not be more humbled.”

Williams said, “I am so grateful to be a part of ‘Game of Thrones,’ so to be nominated for an Emmy is beyond words, but I would like to say thank you to George for creating such an amazing character and to Dan, David and everyone associated with the show who bring Arya to life.”

The show was also nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, and earned a Writing nomination for showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for the penultimate episode of Season 6, “Battle of the Bastards,” which also earned a Directing nomination for Miguel Sapochnik. Jack Bender was similarly nominated for his direction on the show, for the season’s heartbreaking fifth episode “The Door.” Additionally, the show picked up nominations for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Special Visual Effects, Stunt Coordination, Production Design, Casting, Cinematography, Costumes, Editing, Hairstyling, Makeup, Prosthetic Makeup and Interactive Program.

Last year, the HBO hit led the pack with 24 nominations, eventually taking home a record-breaking 12 Emmys at the 2015 ceremony, including prizes for Outstanding Drama Series; Outstanding Writing for Benioff and Weiss; Outstanding Directing for David Nutter; and Outstanding Supporting Actor for Dinklage. The show narrowly avoided beating its own nomination record this year, but the blockbuster drama could still beat 2015’s wins with a season that dominated the cultural conversation thanks to the resurrection of Jon Snowseveral major deaths and the biggest battle ever staged on television.

Thanks to its hefty “Game of Thrones” haul, along with nominations for comedies “Silicon Valley,” “Veep” and “Getting On” and telepics “All The Way,” “Confirmation” and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” HBO scored a total of 94 nominations for 2016, once again putting the premium cable network ahead of the competition. Last year, the network earned 126 nominations overall, but increased competition — especially from FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” and “Fargo” — dented that tally this year.

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