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, including an on-air marriage proposal that stunned the audience.
The other big story of the gala, television's answer to the Oscars, was the huge success of eight Emmys overall for best comedy series "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel," Amazon's story of a 1950s housewife-turned-stand up comic.
"The Handmaid's Tale" -- last year's best drama and an early favorite for more hardware -- went home empty-handed from the event at the Microsoft Theater, having won three minor awards handed out a week ago.
The ceremony hosted by "Saturday Night Live" regulars Colin Jost and Michael Che took on a decidedly political hue, with a barrage of edgy jokes on hot-button issues such as diversity in Hollywood, #MeToo and President Donald Trump.
The gala also saw a handful of 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. Peter Dinklage took home the best supporting actor prize for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister.
"Writing for these actors behind us is the honor of a lifetime," said series co-creator David Benioff.
"But we didn't invent these characters. That was George R.R. Martin. The show could not be without the mad genius of George."
It won nine Emmys this year, meaning the blood-spattered tale of the battle 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.
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