Only one may sit on the Iron Throne, or, in this case, the Emmy Throne. Game of Thrones co-stars Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are pitted against each other in this year's Emmy race for Best Supporting Actor - Drama. Overall, Game of Thrones has more nominations (22) than any other show. Does that mean one of them will win? Probably, and we think it'll be Dinklage.
The 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards airs this Monday, September 17, and the Supporting Actor - Drama category is a crowded field. Here's the full list of nominees:
Apologies to everyone else, but this is a two-horse race between the Lannister brothers on HBO's Thrones. Patinkin is a four-time nominee in the category who has never won (and this season of Homeland was not his finest work). Matt Smith is a first time nominee for The Crown and probably has no shot. Fiennes is nice, but far from the best thing about The Handmaid's Tale. Harbour is the one who's within striking distance, for Stranger Things (Gold Derby likes him), but we'll take our chances with Dinklage. He's that much better than everyone else.
Everyone else includes the Danish actor, who portrays Jaime Lannister to Dinklage's Tyrion on Thrones. Coster-Waldau is a first-time nominee who can play conflicted about as well as anyone. His Season 7 performance is probably his best (kudos to the Emmys for recognizing), but it's going to fall short come Monday night. For Coster-Waldau, the nomination is his award this year. He's up against a powerhouse.
Dinklage has the Emmy pedigree to make him the favorite in 2018. He's been nominated in this category seven times, for every season of Game of Thrones so far. He's also won twice. Why do Emmy voters love Tyrion so much?
If one concedes Game of Thrones is the best show on television (which most of us do), then Tyrion Lannister is its greatest character and Peter Dinklage is its greatest actor. A scarred dwarf with a brilliant mind, Tyrion's Season 7 story is, admittedly, not as compelling as his previous seasons, but it's still plenty good enough. As Hand of the Queen to Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion is tasked with brokering a meeting between Dany and his dangerous sister, Cersei. The reunion of the estranged family members (Tyrion killed their father two seasons ago and disappeared to another continent) is one of Season 7's marquee moments. Dinklage, calculating, repentant, and always controlled, is the big reason why.
Game of Thrones ends its run next year with a shortened six-episode season that will tie up all the loose ends currently dangling in the wind. There are only two chances left to recognize Dinklage's work on Thrones for what it is: exemplary. Sure he's won twice before already, but Tyrion Lannister is an all-time TV character who's arguably the most beloved person on one of the greatest shows ever made. The fans love him.
The competition is fierce this year, and Dinklage has a new challenger in the form of his brother on the show, but he's got too much going for him to lose. Emmy voters are a fickle and unpredictable bunch. It's always hard to guess which direction they're leaning before the awards are handed out, but we know they already like Dinklage. That may win him votes from people who are not as familiar with Thrones. Time will tell. For now, our money's on the scarred dwarf from Casterly Rock.
70th Primetime Emmy Awards
When: September 17, 8:00 EST (NBC)
Hosts: Michael Che and Colin Jost
The 70th annual Emmy Awards will be held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA on September 17, 2018. Saturday Night Live's Michael Che and Colin Jost will host the festivities. Game of Thrones leads the television field with 22 nominations, including Best Drama Series and acting nods for Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Lena Headey.