Sunday, September 15, 2019

Emmy Winner Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. Submitted episode titles are in parentheses. Beware of minor spoilers for listed episodes.

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones (A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms)
This is the first nomination for Christie, who submitted her own name for consideration when HBO didn’t include her in its campaign. She’s a fan favorite who’s done reliable work throughout the years, but nothing matches her emotional turn in a dialogue-heavy episode close to the show’s end that sees her achieving an unexpected rank as mortal danger looms. It’s a formidable submission, and may just be what she needs to defeat her three costars with bigger roles.

Julia Garner as Ruth Langmore, Ozark (The Gold Coast)
This is the first nomination for Garner, who also contended for an individual SAG Award this past year. She’s definitely a very memorable part of her show, demonstrating a real inner rage that manifests itself externally multiple times an episode. I was actually more impressed with her work in earlier episodes, while the season finale emphasizes a dramatic arc relevant to her character that might have seemed like good awards bait. With four actresses from one show likely to split the vote, she’s got a good shot, but she’s far from a sure thing.

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones (The Bells)
This is Headey’s fifth consecutive nomination, with a staggering three costars nominated alongside her after she was her show’s sole female nominee last time. I thought she was definitely going to win for the show’s fifth season finale, but now she has the chance to be rewarded for all of her work for the swan song. Many seem to think she can win, but I don’t think that her final showcase is all that strong since she plays such a minimal, inactive role in her submitted episode, which I believe features stronger performances from her nominated costars Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams.

Fiona Shaw as Carolyn Martens, Killing Eve (Nice and Neat)
This is the first time Shaw has been nominated for an Emmy, and she also contends for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for “Fleabag.” Though she’s not one of the two lead characters on her show, Shaw still stands out as the savvy, sarcastic boss who knows much more than she’s letting on. Shaw smartly submitted an episode that demonstrates her deadpan skill, especially in sharing scenes with Sandra Oh. A nomination for Shaw makes sense, but a win seems like a bit of a stretch in this crowd.

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Game of Thrones (Winterfell)
This is the first nomination for Turner, who has been a series regular on her show since the beginning. Turner, facing competition from three of her costars, picked a smart episode to showcase Sansa, the season premiere in which she puts on a steely front to the arriving queen who wants to take over her kingdom. She’s definitely not the strongest of the actresses of her show, and it would be pretty shocking if she managed to eclipse any of them to take this award home despite a solid episode choice.

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, Game of Thrones (The Long Night)
This is the second nomination for Williams, who was previously nominated in 2016 for the sixth season of her show. I personally think she was the most valuable player next to Peter Dinklage, and she could have chosen a few different episodes to showcase her superb work. Her selection of the intense extended third hour was very smart since she plays a key role in its final scene. For some reason, she doesn’t seem to have the buzz she needs to win, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if she won for a deserving and impressive final effort.

Who should win (based on entire season):
Williams or Garner Who should win (based on individual episodes): Williams
Who will win: I’ve been wanting to say Williams, or maybe even Garner, but I think that Christie is going to pull it off.

Next up: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

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