The Emmys 2019 were filled with both multiple wins and losses for HBO’s Game of Thrones on Sunday night (22nd September). The last season of the epic fantasy drama may have bagged multiple the week prior at the Creative Arts Emmys for craft and technical categories (as they should!). However, on the big night in question GoT only took home two – Peter Dinklage won his fourth award for Best Supporting Actor, and controversially, the final season itself won Best Outstanding Drama.
As this was the final chance to scoop any awards, this also means that the actresses of Game of Thrones all leave empty-handed, not just for season eight, but the entirety of the show’s run. Yep, seems crazy but no actress has ever won an Emmy for GoT, series regular or otherwise.
Despite that Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner and Gwendoline Christie (who self-nominated) were all competing in the category of Best Supporting Actress, all lost out to Ozark’s Julia Garner. And in the more contentious category of Best Leading Actress the Mother of Dragons herself, Emilia Clarke, was defeated by Killing Eve’s phenomenal Jodie Comer.
Needless to say fans of these great actresses and their characters were disappointed. But where do the faults of these defeats lie? Many suggested that the Emmy voters wished to snub Game of Thrones‘ final season by crowning nominees from other shows, but that theory was canned when the show itself won the most prestigious award for best drama. But many also pointed to the below-par writing within the final season itself.
It is undeniable that the final season wasted the outstanding talents of Lena Headey, giving Cersei Lannister little screen-time or meaty material to explore. And perhaps Clarke’s missed opportunity could be explained by the fierce competition she was up against from across the board. Though one can not help feeling that Clarke’s endearing performance throughout the last few episodes of the series is one of the few aspects that made some otherwise whiplash-inducing character moments believable.
Nevertheless, it remains outstanding and surprising that the hardworking performers behind Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Arya and Sansa Stark, and Melisandre, whilst recognised, have never been individually awarded by the Television Academy for their near ten years of work as these iconic characters. The women of Westeros largely lost out in the final season, and here the women behind them unfortunately have too. Perhaps life really does imitate art.