HBO’s record-breaking fantasy epic “Game of Thrones” stormed back onto the Emmys stage on Monday, winning the coveted best drama series prize on a night full of surprises.
The ceremony hosted by “Saturday Night Live” regulars Colin Jost and Michael Che took on a decidedly political hue at the start, with a barrage of edgy jokes on hot-button issues from diversity in Hollywood to #MeToo and Donald Trump.
The gala also saw several sentimental favorites take home their first Emmys.
Matthew Rhys won for best drama actor for spy thriller “The Americans,” Claire Foy was named best drama actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown” and Henry Winkler triumphed for supporting comedy acting on “Barry.”
But the coveted drama prize went to “Game of Thrones,” which was ineligible for last year’s Emmys, and series star Peter Dinklage took home the best supporting actor prize for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister.
“GoT” won nine Emmys this year, meaning the blood-spattered cinematic tale of noble families vying for the Iron Throne — which returns in 2019 for an abbreviated eighth and final season — now has 47 awards overall.
That breaks the program’s own record as the most decorated fictional show since the Television Academy first handed out prizes in 1949.
Other big winners included FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” which won Emmys for best-limited series and an acting prize for Darren Criss, who earned rave reviews for his dark turn as the designer’s killer Andrew Cunanan.