For too long, Peter Dinklage has been the MVP of “Game of Thrones” — at least as far as the Emmys are concerned. He is the only actor from the show who was nominated after “Game of Thrones'” first two seasons, and he won for Outstanding Supporting Actor only once.
There’s no denying that Dinklage’s acting is a high point of the series. His Tyrion is witty, strong and brave, not to mention lascivious, manipulative and cunning. He’s one of the increasingly few characters left to root for on “Game of Thrones,” but he’s not the only actor worth recognizing. As Tyrion took a more secondary role in Season 3, other actors had the chance to come to the forefront. From main players like Maisie Williams‘ Arya, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau‘s Jaime and Richard Madden‘s Robb to lesser characters like Natalie Dormer‘s Margaery, Conleth Hill‘s Varys and Diana Rigg‘s Olenna, the acting has never been better in “Game of Thrones” than it was in Season 3.
But since multiple members of the show’s ensemble have not been recognized at the Emmys, there is one “Game of Thrones” actress in particular who we at Zap2it think is a necessary addition to the Emmy nominee pool: Michelle Fairley. Her Catelyn Stark has gone through the ringer in “Game of Thrones'” three seasons, but Season 3 required Fairley to give all she had, and she delivered.
Though Catelyn sat in the background for much of Season 3 (she was on thin ice with son Robb), Fairley shone through in the scenes she did have to give several especially effective performances. Her scene in episode 2, “Dark Wings, Dark Words,” with Oona Chaplin‘s Talisa, where she describes wishing for Jon Snow’s death when he was a child and how she believes that event was the catalyst for all the terrible things to happen to the Starks, was fantastic. But it was in episode 9, “The Rains of Castamere,” that Fairley made herself a necessary addition to the Oustanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series nominees.
Spoilers for “Game of Thrones” Season 3. While the murders of Robb and Talisa at the Red Wedding were horrifying, it was Fairley’s performance during this sequence that gave it the emotional gravity it needed. Catelyn was the one to first realize the Freys’ betrayal, Catelyn was the one who begged heartbreakingly for her son’s life to be spared and Catelyn was the one whose scream after Robb’s death echoed through the episode’s silent end credits. Fairley’s performance was so powerful that we still get chills thinking about it, and giving her an Emmy nomination (and hopefully a win) would be a small way to honor one of the most disturbing, horrifying and moving events in scripted television history. That epic death scene demands it. End spoilers.
Sadly Madden and Chaplin’s names were not submitted for a chance at Emmy gold, so Fairley is the only actress who was present at the Red Wedding who could potentially win an Emmy. The “Game of Thrones” actors who Emmy voters could have nominated are Coster-Waldau (Outstanding Supporting Actor), Dinklage (Outstanding Supporting Actor), Kit Harington (Outstanding Supporting Actor), Emilia Clarke (Outstanding Supporting Actress), Dormer (Outstanding Supporting Actress), Lena Headey (Outstanding Supporting Actress), Sibel Kekilli (Outstanding Supporting Actress), Ciaran Hinds (Outstanding Guest Actor), Rigg (Outstanding Guest Actress) and Fairley. While there’s an argument for all of these and Rigg is a shoe-in for the Guest Actress slot (or at least she’d better be), it’s Fairley who deserves this honor. After all, the North remembers.
The Emmy nominees will be announced on July 18 at 5:35 a.m. PT.