Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 The Bells Daenerys

Emmys 2019: Breaking Down the Drama Categories

Who will win? Who should win?

The 71st Emmy Awards announced their nominations earlier today. All of the major players were there, from Game of Thrones to Killing Eve, with the former picking up a sizeable chunk of the total nominations in their respective categories. There are literally too many Emmy categories and nominees to talk about, so we thought we’d start the discussion by tackling the Drama category and making our predictions based on that – e.g. who should win and who will probably win. So without further ado, let’s dig in!

Best Drama Series

Pose Emmy Nominations

Better Call Saul (AMC)

Bodyguard (Netflix)

Game Of Thrones (HBO)


Killing Eve (BBC America)

Ozark (Netflix)

Pose (FX Networks)

Succession (HBO)


This Is Us (NBC)

This year’s Emmys are starkly divided between a stunningly competitive comedy field and a fairly underwhelming drama one. The overwhelming favourite, in spite of a truly divisive final season, is the HBO fantasy juggernaut Game of Thrones. If the HBO giant wins, it will tie the record for most Emmy Drama Series wins along with such storied series as AMC’s Mad Men. My personal pick, in light of an ending I wasn’t quite fond of forThrones, would be the groundbreaking series Pose, whose representation of the transgender community is dramatic, captivating, and empowering.

Will Win: Game of Thrones

Should Win: Pose


Best Drama Series – Lead Actor

Pose Billy Porter Emmy

Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul (AMC)

Kit Harington – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Jason Bateman – Ozark (Netflix)


Billy Porter – Pose (FX Networks)

Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC)

Milo Ventimiglia – This Is Us (NBC)

This is an equally weak category as the previous one. Odenkirk, Bateman, Brown, and Ventimiglia are Emmy stalwarts at this point. Harington should be happy with a nomination, especially considering the relative lack of Emmy moments Jon Snow had on this final season of Game of Thrones. I would love for Billy Porter, who is sadly the only nominee for Pose, to lift a golden candle for that luminous series.


Best Drama Series – Lead Actress

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4 Dany

Viola Davis – How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)

Emilia Clarke – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Robin Wright – House of Cards (Netflix)

Jodie Comer – Killing Eve (BBC America)

Sandra Oh – Killing Eve (BBC America)

Laura Linney – Ozark (Netflix)

Mandy Moore – This Is Us (NBC)

This is a toss-up between Emilia Clarke and Sandra Oh. Oh is the only returning actor from the previous Emmys, so that plus a solid, if not stellar, second season of Killing Eve should keep her right in the forefront. Clarke should benefit significantly from her incredible turn as Daenerys Targaryen in the final season of Game of Thrones, in which she had to run the entire emotional gamut even if the writing didn’t earn it. That expression from “The Bells” where she narrows her eyes in a darkened fury became instantly iconic. People who felt betrayed by Daenerys’s turn may want to support Emilia out a love for the character while those who felt the turn was earned may want to support her for her embodiment of it. This is a tight two-way race.

Best Drama Series – Supporting Actor

Game of Thrones The Long Night Theon Greyjoy

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Alfie Allen – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Peter Dinklage – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul (AMC)

Giancarlo Esposito – Better Call Saul (AMC)

Michael Kelley – House of Cards (Netflix)

Chris Sullivan – This Is Us (NBC)

Dinklage may win as he has multiple times in the past, but Alfie Allen has always been an unsung hero of this series. He may finally win a trophy for his haunting portrayal of Theon Greyjoy, a broken man redeeming himself.

Best Drama Series – Supporting Actress

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5 Cersei Lannister Jaime Lannister death

Gwendoline Christie – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Lena Headey – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Maisie Williams – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Sophie Turner – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Fiona Shaw – Killing Eve (BBC America)

Julia Garner – Ozark (Netflix)

Lena Headey has arguably always been the best actor on Game of Thrones. She has embodied Cersei in a beautifully complex fashion and while there is plenty to say how little she had to do for her swan song, she has more than earned an Emmy for all the times in previous seasons where her performance was sadly overlooked.

Best Drama Series – Guest Actor

Kumail Nanjiani Twilight Zone Emmy

Glynn Turman – How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)

Michael McKean – Better Call Saul (AMC)

Bradley Whitford – The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

Kumail Nanjiani – The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access)

Michael Angarano – This Is Us (NBC)

Ron Cephas Jones – This Is Us (NBC)

Kumail Nanjiani was a bright light in this Jordan Peele’s okay reimagining of The Twilight Zone.

Best Drama Series – Guest Actress

Carice van Houten – Game of Thrones (HBO)

Jessica Lange – American Horror Story: Apocalypse (FX Networks)

Laverne Cox – Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)

Cicely Tyson – How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)

Phylicia Rashad – This Is Us (NBC)

Cherry Jones – The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

This is a wild category up for grabs, but I’m handing this one to Carice van Houten for embodying an extraordinary difficult character with such accessible complexity.

Best Drama Series – Directing

David Benioff & D. B. Weiss – “The Iron Throne” – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

David Nutter – “The Last of the Starks” – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Miguel Sapochnik – “The Long Night” – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Lisa Brühlmann – “Desperate Times” – Killing Eve (BBC America)

Jason Bateman – “Reparations” – Ozark (Netflix)

Adam McKay – “Celebrations” – Succession (HBO)

Daina Reid – “Holly” – The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

Killing Eve has established itself as an Emmy stalwart with a slew of nominations along with Netflix’s Ozark, but the clear winner here is Miguel Sapochnik, whose helming of the Battle of Winterfell was a directing marvel. All jokes about brightening the screens aside, the construction of a cinematic battle with armies, dragons, and dozens of characters is incredible work. While his direction for the questionable “The Bells” was clearer to follow in terms of geographic scope, Sapochnik deserves to take this trophy home.

Best Drama Series – Writing

Killing Eve Emmy

Peter Gould and Thomas Schnauz – “Winner” – Better Call Saul (AMC)

Jed Mercurio – “Episode 1” – Bodyguard (Netflix)

David Benioff & D. B. Weiss – “The Iron Throne” – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Emerald Fennell – “Nice and Neat” – Killing Eve (BBC America)

Jesse Armstrong – “Nobody Is Ever Missing” – Succession (HBO)

Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder – “Holly” – The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

It is Emmy tradition for series to submit their pilot episodes and series finales for the writing submission. Prestige shows such as The Good Wife, which fell out of Emmy favour during their run, still earned a nomination for their finale as, if nothing else, a sign of respect. So it makes complete sense for Game of Thrones to submit its finale, but I expect that much like last season, it will win for Best Drama and lose Best Writing. Unlike the series finale of The Americans, there is no slam dunk here. The underrated Succession should be thrilled with a nomination. If the Emmy voters want to reward Killing Eve for its behind the camera work, this might be the place to do it.