Ahead of the 71st Primetime Emmys, much ado was had over how many awards Game of Thrones would win after its record-setting nominations. It seemed like some of awards would be certain wins, especially those like Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama, where multiple Game of Thrones nominees were present. Yet, when that particular award came up and the world waited to see which GoT actress got the win, Ozark's Julia Garner was the one whose name was called.
Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Gwendoline Christie, and Lena Headey didn't need to be very shocked, because the world was shocked for them. The Game of Thrones actresses occupied 2/3rd's of the nominations, and yet it was Julia Garner, one of the two actresses not affiliated with the fantasy drama ended up winning the award. What exactly happened that led to this moment?
We can only speculate of course, but it's completely possible this is a situation of "too many cooks" being in the nomination count. There were so many Game of Thrones actresses to choose from, voters may have been torn on which actress deserved the award over the others, splitting those votes and allowing an outsider to rise up. It could certainly be the case that all the voters were in Garner's corner from the start, but it's not quite as likely.
While Season 8 of Game of Thrones was divisive, it's hard to argue most of Game of Thrones nominees were undeserving. Sophie Turner's verbal showdowns as Sansa were breath-taking, and Maisie Williams made Arya look about as strong as she ever was in some (literally) killer scenes. And who can forget Gwendoline Christie (who self submitted) and the emotional scene when Jaime tore open Brienne's heart and went back to his sister?
If there was any nominated performance that could've been debated, one could say Lena Headey's Cersei did considerably less in the final season than she had in seasons past. That's not to say she wasn't incredible throughout a bulk of the series, but Season 8 gave her very little screen time to really remind audiences why everyone loves the Lannister queen so much. Perhaps if Cersei got just a bit more time to shine, Game of Thrones could've captured this award. Or not.
For the record, Julia Garner is fantastic as Ruth Langmore in Ozark. While it is shocking that all the Game of Thrones actresses lost, it's not at all like Garner is undeserving of the award, especially after fueling all of that fearsome redneck energy she delivers in the Netflix original. Any nominee upset about losing in the category needs only watch the first episode of Ozark Season 2 to understand why Garner deserved that recognition.
It's worth noting this category was not the only time this particular kind of upset happened at the 2019 Emmys. Julia Garner's Ozark co-star Jason Bateman ended up winning the Best Directing award, even while going up against multiple GoT candidates who helmed some of the most talked-about episode of any series this year.
While the many snubs may have been disappointing for Game of Thrones' cast and crew, it's fair to say the team and HBO were relieved that the show ended up winning the biggest award of the night for Outstanding Drama series. It may not be individual recognition, which Peter Dinklage got for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama, but there had to be some feeling of vindication when everyone took the stage for the one award the world was relatively sure Game of Thrones would win no matter what.
Do you think one of the Game of Thrones ladies should've won Outstanding Supporting Actress, and if so, which one was most deserving? Sound off in the comments below and continue to stick with CinemaBlend in the coming weeks as we break down all the great things coming to television and movies.
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Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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