The nominees for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards were first announced last July, but now as the ceremony draws near this month, only now has the question been asked regarding these. The titles of programs running for the Outstanding categories seem okay at first glance. HBO has “Westworld;” Hulu has “The Handmaid’s Tale;” and Netflix appears to be over-compensating with “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things” and “The Crown.” But a double take at the shows competing for “Outstanding Drama Series” shows that there is something quite off. It happens to be missing a particular fantasy medieval drama series based on a yet-to-be-finished book franchise.

Yes, “Game of Thrones” from HBO has not been nominated at all in the Emmys, but why?

Late to the party

One would recall that back in 2016, during the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards, the HBO cash cow show “Game of Thrones” received no less than 23 nominations. Nine of these were for broad categories, of which “Thrones” won 3. That triumphant performance was not repeated at all for the awards this year. The reason for that is the ineligibility due to the release date. A program stands a chance to be nominated for the 69th Emmys if it premiered in between June 1, 2016, and May 31, 2017.

Unfortunately, season 7 for “Game of Thrones” premiered two months late after the end limit, on July 16. That has eliminated it from consideration this year.

Interestingly, there are four episodes of the previous season that fell within the period stated above. Unfortunately that extra four count as “hanging episodes” of season 6, which was nominated for the 68th Emmys. Therefore they do not count as airtime that would have put the HBO series’ season 7 on the list.

Practical considerations

Ever since its premiere on Home Box Office back in 2011, “Game of Thrones” has had a powerful grip on its audiences and award-giving bodies. From its first to sixth, year after year, the show had not failed to get Emmy nominations and earned a record-setting 38 awards from them for its entire run. The later premiere dates of season 7 and the upcoming final season have broken the chain, though this was the unexpected result of a production schedule starting much later in a year.

The reason: Winter has come in the “Game of Thrones” setting; therefore they must film episodes when skies are gray or snow is falling. The seventh season of the show will have to wait until next year to be nominated at the 70th Emmys, but that should be easy.

Thankfully for HBO, they still have another Emmy contender this year in “Westworld,” which may take the place of “Thrones” as the cash cow once the series ends in 2019 with a six-episode farewell season. The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards night will be on September 17.