Game of Thrones made Emmy history on Sunday night, becoming the first-ever science fiction/fantasy show to win the award for Outstanding Drama Series.
The win was an appropriately epic present for author George R. R. Martin, who penned the series of books the HBO drama is based on and celebrated his 67th birthday on Sunday.
"Thanks again, HBO, for believing in dragons," said showrunner David Benioff as he and D.B. Weiss were joined onstage by members of the cast of the fantasy drama, which follows the battle to rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the inner politics and exterior perils that threaten the lives of the citizens and rulers of the fictional continent.
"A few hours from now, the greatest crew on the planet is going to get to work in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and in Spain," Benioff said in his speech, referencing the show’s upcoming sixth season, which is currently in production. "We wouldn’t be standing up here if it wasn’t for them."
The series also snagged awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for Benioff and Weiss, and Outstanding Directing for "Mother’s Mercy" director David Nutter.
"We’re only as good as our writers," Dinklage told the crowd during his acceptance speech, "and I’m lucky enough to work with the greatest writers, led by David Benioff and Dan Weiss."
All told, Game of Thrones won 12 Emmys this year (including eight at last week’s Creative Arts Emmys), surpassing The West Wing to break the record for most awards won by a single show in one year. Aaron Sorkin's White House drama took home nine statues in 2000.