Game of Thrones takes top prize at Emmys

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. Reuters Photo

Winter arrived early at this year's Primetime Emmys as "Game of Thrones" took home the award for Outstanding Drama Series while newcomer "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" surprised with its clean sweep in the comedy category, including the top award of the Outstanding Comedy Series.

"GoT", whose eighth and final season premieres next year, won nine awards while "Mrs Maisel" took home eight trophies.

The popular HBO series bested last year's winner "The Handmaid's Tale" to score its third Emmy in the category after winning the honour for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016.

Claire Foy got the parting gift by winning the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for "The Crown".

It is Foy's first win, a memorable moment for the actor, who has exited as Queen Elizabeth II from Netflix's royal drama after its second season last year.

The role will be played by Olivia Coleman for the upcoming third and fourth seasons and Foy tipped her hat to her fellow nominees as well as the new cast.

"I know everyone is talking at the moment about women in the industry, but if that's anything to go by, bloody hell. That's technically not swearing... I was given a role that I never thought I would ever get a chance to play.

"And I met people who I will love forever. And the show goes on, which makes me so proud. So I dedicate this to the next cast, the next generation. I also dedicate this to Matt Smith," she said about the show, which also won Stephen Daldry the Directing for a Drama Series Emmy.

Foy mouthed an "I love you" to "Killing Eve" star Sandra Oh, who was considered the strongest contender in the category.

While drama category was more about saying goodbye to beloved shows and characters, Emmys recognised the new blood in the comedy category.

"Mrs Maisel" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino made history by becoming the first woman to grab both Writing and Directing awards for a Comedy Series.

Sherman-Palladino began her speech with a feminist joke, "Whoever put that carpet downs hates women. I just want to say that right away. Time's up, okay?"

Rachel Brosnahan, who plays a New York City housewife-turned-stand-up-comedienne in the period series, won the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series trophy.

In her speech, she thanked the show's team, her family and urged the audience to vote in the upcoming Mid-terms.

"One of the things I love most about the show is that it's about a woman who's finding her voice anew... (So) vote, show up, and a bring a friend to the polls," Brosnahan said.

Matthew Rhys and Bill Hader won in the lead actor categories in drama and comedy, respectively.

Rhys, who just finished playing a Soviet spy in "The Americans", beat fan favourites - last year's winner Sterling K Brown and Milo Ventimiglia of "This Is Us" to score his first Emmy after three nominations.

He thanked the show's creator Joe Weisberg and co-star and partner Keri Russell.

"The woman who truly got me this award," he said.

Weisberg and Joel Fields scored in the drama writing category for "The Americans".

Hader, who won his first Emmy for comedy show "Barry", said he was surprised with the win.

"Westworld" star Thandie Newton won the Supporting Drama Actress trophy for her performance as Maeve.

"I don't even believe in God but I'm going to thank her tonight. I am so blessed. I am so blessed. Without this, I am even -" before covering her mouth as she almost dropped an F-bomb during the ceremony.

This is her second nomination after last year and first win in the category.

Peter Dinklage bagged his third Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for "GoT" and thanked his co-star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, calling him "my brother from another mother".

As is with all things "GoT", the audience interpreted this expression of gratitude as a reference to one of the biggest fans theories. They have speculated that Dinklage's character Tyrion Lannister is actually a Targaryen.

In one of the best speeches of the night, Dinklage criticised the showrunners for taking away his anonymity.

"Thank you (creators David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss) for changing my life. I cannot walk down the street anymore. George (RR) Martin for creating this darn thing," he joked.

In the comedy category, Amy Borstein took home the trophy of Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for essaying Susie Myerson in "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel".

Borstein, who was presented the first award of the evening, informed the audience at the outset that she "went without the bra!" and later thanked the writers, the cast and her family for her second Emmy win.

"Barry" star Henry Winkler won in the Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category for his role of acting teacher Gene Cousineau. It was a long overdue win after six nominations, something that he pointed out in his speech.

"I wrote this 43 years ago," he joked about his speech.

Topics such as #MeToo and Time's Up continued to crop up throughout the night even though the ceremony was criticised for not living up to the diversity debate propagated in their opening musical number as only two of the 12 acting awards were won by people of colour.

Colin Jost and Michael Che, hosts for the night, also made a reference to ousted CBS boss Leslie Moonves while invoking the #MeToo movement.

"It's great to share this night with the many, many talented and creative people in Hollywood who haven't been caught yet," said Che. 

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Game of Thrones takes top prize at Emmys

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