Emmys: Why HBO Didn't Submit 'Game of Thrones' Stars Gwendoline Christine, Alfie Allen and Carice Van Houten

Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan/HBO

The network president was asked to explain the reasoning behind not submitting the entire cast for Emmy consideration.

Game of Thrones may have scored Emmy acting nominations for 10 of its stars, but three of them weren't submitted for consideration by HBO. Rather, nominated actors Gwendoline Christie, Alfie Allen and Carice van Houten all submitted themselves for Emmy consideration.

Their nominations took everyone by surprise. Christie was honored in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for playing Brienne, Allen was nominated in Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Theon Greyjoy, and van Houten was recognized in Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Melisandre. 

HBO president Casey Bloys addressed the trio's Emmy surprise, explaining why the network opted not to submit names outside of Game of Thrones' topline stars for TV's top award following the final season.

"Game of Thrones is unique because it has 26, 27, 28 series regulars, which is unusual, but we have someone who has worked for HBO for many, many years and has been an expert in awards. She will work with showrunners to figure out what's the best chance of success," Bloys told reporters Wednesday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

"The challenge of a series that big is if everybody submitted themselves... everybody could cancel out the entire show. So, there's strategic thinking in terms of how to submit and who to submit," he continued. "Ultimately, if somebody decides to submit on their own, we'll help them and their reps, too. And I think it's the first time that anybody who ever self-submitted was nominated, so I think it's great."

HBO officially submitted Game of Thrones stars Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage for Emmy consideration. All of them ended up with nominations for the drama's final season.

Game of Thrones topped all shows with 32 Emmy nominations this year. The show also broke a 25-year record held by NYPD Blue for the most nominations in one season.