With the Emmy Ballots coming online, the bets, votes and speculations for the biggest TV award just kick started. Though it’s still a long way to an actual Emmy nomination – which will only be announced on July 14 – it’s already the end of hope for some. In the HBO’s Game of Thrones, for instance, only 9 actors have had their chance at being considered for an Emmy this year.
Now, the Emmys are a different sort of award, mainly because it’s the actors’s, shows’s and producers’s responsibility to submit their names to a nomination. Then, we get the ballots and the online voting begins to narrow down the humongous amount of names, which eventually leads to the nominations themselves.
It’s fair to say though that, with with shows like Game of Thrones, it’s HBO that actually submits the names and, although those 9 chosen ones surely deserved to be included in the run, there are still many who gave us outstanding performances but were left out. Here are a few of those Game of Thrones actors who didn’t make the cut and their Emmy-worthy scenes.
Lord Varys – Conleth Hill
‘The Spider’ is, alongside Littlefinger, a key player in the Game of Thrones, and has been since Season 1. Recently, he’s teamed up with Tyrion and sailed to Essos, in hopes of getting Daenerys on the Iron Throne. His back-and-forth with Tyrion, as well as his scheming time in Mereen this season, clearly make him a stand out in Thrones.
Memorable Scene: His conversation with the Red Priestess in Meereen, when she tells him she knows what he heard in the flames when he was being maimed as a child, brought some true discomfiture to Varys – as rarely seen before.
Davos Seaworth – Liam Cunningham
The ‘Onion Knight’ is, without a doubt, one if the most loyal men in Westeros. Since saving the Baratheon soldiers in the siege of Storm’s End, Davos became Stannis Baratheon’s loyal adviser, even opposing Stannis’s Red Priestess Melisandre. Now, Ser Davos is probably one of the most beloved characters in the fandom, since he was the one to persuade Melisandre to resurrect Jon Snow.
Memorable Scene: It’s precisely in this scene that we see Davos humbly ignore his reservations and his skepticism for the benefit of Jon, when he gives a little boost in Melisandre’s morale.
Littlefinger – Aidan Gillen
Petyr Baelish may not be a beloved character per se, but he sure is an important one. For starters, he single-handedly put Starks against Lannisters, leading to the War of Five Kings. He’s possibly in love with Sansa – through his love for her mother Catelyn Stark – and he is .
Memorable Scene: When he brilliantly leads his puppet, Lord Robyn of the Vale, to send his army North to help Sansa – in true Inception style.
Brienne of Tarth – Gwendoline Christie
Brienne is not a lady but, as Lady Catelyn Stark once put it, she’s a truer knight than most. She’s been sworn to Renly Baratheon and Catelyn Stark and, although she may have failed Renly, she kept true to her promise to protect the Stark girls – well, one at least. She’s responsible for , which is proof of her strong character on its own.
Memorable Scene: The moment when she finally achieves her goal and, after kicking some serious Bolton proverbial butts, she swears her oath to Sansa Stark.
Samwel Tarly – John Bradley
Sam started out as a coward, who was afraid of heights and almost everything else. Throughout the seasons of Thrones, he’s always been the voice of reason for his best buddy Jon Snow and a rightful man for Gilly and her baby. He’s now on his journey to be a Maester in Old Town, while trying his best to fulfill his promise to keep Gilly and lil’ baby Sam safe.
Memorable Scene: This season we saw Sam go back home to Horn Hill and finally put an end to a whole life of bullying from his father. By , the ancestral Tarly sword, Sam screamed his independence and broke free of his father’s emotional chains.
High Sparrow – Jonathan Pryce
From slowly manipulating the mighty Cersei into restoring the Faith’s power to forcing her to take a walk of shame, the High Sparrow has made abundantly clear that the power is no longer in the hands of the nobles. His anecdotes, stories and artful mind games played on anyone with a prerogative of power have made King’s Landing a dangerous place for those of means.
Memorable Scene: It featured in the season trailer – at least a bit – and yet it had a totally different weight when it actually aired. Seeing the High Sparrow bring Ser Jaime down with nothing but his words – was definitely a moment to remember.
The Waif – Faye Marsay
Safe to say no one really liked her – pun intended – but that’s a testament to her great work as Arya’s nemesis these two latest seasons of Game of Thrones. The Waif was a revengeful, sadistic and fake Faceless Assassin in training, and we were all very glad that she didn’t complete said training – otherwise we might have lost yet another Stark.
Memorable Scene: It’s got to be the one from ‘No One’, when she chased after Arya like a hound sprung from hell. I’d never seen such a great T-1000 since Robert Patrick’s in Terminator 2.
Olenna Tyrell – Diana Rigg
Olenna Tyrell is one of the most refreshing characters in Game of Thrones. While everyone is doing their best to hide their emotions and plot in the shadows, Olenna brings a breath of fresh air when she calls it like she sees it – every single time. She’s fierce in protecting her family and Cersei could take a page or two from the Queen of Thorns’s book.
Memorable Scene: In the one where she says her goodbye to Margaery, it’s possible to take measure of the wide range of emotions Olenna feels. From threatening to beat Septon Unella to death to grasping the truth of Margaery’s dangerous position, Olenna makes us feel like we’re all in on the scene, hoping against hope that she actually makes it to safety.
Ramsay Bolton – Iwan Rheon
He may be the most hated man on TV right now, but he certainly does an awesome job in giving us reasons to dislike him. Ramsay Bolton is the utmost evil in Game of Thrones – second only to the Night’s King, maybe – and the things he’s done have made us cringe and look away in shock. Seeing Iwan as Ramsay is hard to believe he almost got to .
Memorable Scene: As if killing his father didn’t fill his daily quota of sadism, Ramsay goes on to murdering his stepmother Walda Frey and her newborn baby. We all got a moment of hope – for Ramsay’s sake and Walda’s alike – when he handled the baby back to her after holding it for a while, but Ramsay prefers being an only child after all.
Lyanna Mormont – Bella Ramsey
Talk about making an entrance! The little Lady of Bear Island proved to be tougher than many a Westerosi knight out there, giving Jon Snow and Sansa Stark the hardest of times in under five minutes of screen. She is strong, well advised and fearless, even joining her 62 soldiers in preparation for battle.
Memorable Scene: She’s had but one dialogue scene, but she absolutely nailed it. Her pride in saying that every man from Bear Island fights as ten mainlanders was enough to have us believing Jon Snow’s army might have a chance.
And the list could go on and on with great actors and their amazing portrayals, but we have to draw the line somewhere!
Which actor of Thrones do YOU think should have been in the run for an Emmy?
The Walking Dead – Game of Thrones – Outlander – Vikings – Arrow – Sense8 – Homeland