HBO is approaching an interesting strategy with Game of Thrones at the Primetime Emmy Awards this year, as seen by the episode picks they've submitted for consideration. Curiously, the company is even submitting the highly controversial series finale, "The Iron Throne," as a contender for Best Writing. This is rather peculiar, as anyone with the internet has seen the complaints stemming from this episode, with there being particularly heavy criticism over the show's creative direction.
Additionally, for Best Directing, HBO also submitted Miguel Sapochnik for "The Long Night," David Nutter for "The Last of the Starks," and D.B. Weiss and David Benioff for "The Iron Throne." The better-received episodes of the final season, such as "Winterfell" and "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," were oddly enough not included at all.
It's worth noting that along with the episode before it, "The Iron Throne" ties the lowest rating of the entire series on Rotten Tomatoes with a 49% rotten rating. "The Last of the Starks" is also among the lowest, now sitting at 58% rotten. Over on IMDb, the final three episodes are also the lowest-rated by viewers, with the finale scoring 4.3 out of 10 stars. While the quality of television programs (or their writing) is obviously subjective, it would appear that the majority of fans were very disappointed with the series finale. With this in mind, it just feels very strange for the network to submit the most-maligned episode of all for a Best Writing Emmy award.
Perhaps this is just a way for Wiess and Benioff to stick to their guns by standing by the show's final episode. Submitting it for Best Writing sends the message that they feel there were no issues at all with how "The Iron Throne" was written. This goes against the infamous Game of Thrones Season 8 petition started by a fan for HBO to remake the entire final season with "competent writers." Ultimately, the petition went on to gather over 1.6 million signatures, meaning at least that many people believe the final season was written horribly. As it turns out, it seems to have had no effect on HBO's plans for the series moving forward.
There remains some hope for big Game of Thrones fans hoping the series would end quite a bit differently. Author George R. R. Martin says he remains hard at work on the next two installments of the original novel series which inspired the show. While there will be some similarities between the upcoming books and what happened on television, there will be many key differences as well. It remains to be seen just how vast these changes will be, but if Martin is paying attention to the complaints over the show's creative direction, perhaps he will pen some very big deviations for his own story.
While Game of Thrones has undoubtedly been a Emmy darling in years past, it's much more difficult to believe the controversial finale will take home the Best Writing award this time. Still, the episode has been praised by many other fans of the show, even if it seems like they're a vast minority. However, the series has been submitted for many other categories as well, including Cinematography, Art Direction, Visual Effects, and Costuming, so it may still be recognized at the event. This information comes to us from TV Guide.