Emilia Clarke is Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons, in Game of Thrones.
Emilia Clarke is Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons, in Game of Thrones.

One show to rule them all: Game of Thrones tops Emmy nods

VIOLENT medieval fantasy drama Game of Thrones leads this year's Primetime Emmy Awards nominations.

The HBO series earned a whopping 20 nominations in the 66th annual awards.

The fourth season featured a few key game-changers including the assassination of cruel boy-king Joffrey and the Night's Watch's victory in the battle at Castle Black.

It is followed by snowy murder drama Fargo up for 18 awards, political drama House of Cards on 13 nominations and True Detective on 12 nominations.

The dark comedy Orange is the New Black, which stars Aussie Yael Stone, was also one of the top nominees with 12 nods including Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.

There were plenty of omissions as well, with the critically-acclaimed Orphan Black getting snubbed.

Zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead also only earned two nominations in the special effects and sound editing categories.

In the documentary genre COSMOS: A Space Time Odyssey, the long-awaited sequel to Carl Sagan's original 1980s series, lead the charge with 12 nominations.

Geek sitcom The Big Bang Theory, which was recently renewed for three more seasons, earned seven nominations while awards favourite Modern Family earned nine.

The 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on August 26, AEST, and will be hosted by Seth Meyers.