Watchers on the Wall Awards Season 8: Best Guest Actor & Actress

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As part of the Watchers on the Wall Awards, we like to pay tribute to all the actors who appear on Game of Thrones, from the leads, to the supporting actors, to the guest performers who bring their talents to the show for a shorter amount of time. It’s time to show some love for the short-term scene-stealers who leave a lasting impression and add to the colorful landscape of Game of Thrones‘ final season!

For Best Guest Actress, our nominees are:

Laura Elphinstone as Nora (In “The Bells”)
Bea Glancy as Teela (In “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” and “The Long Night”)
Carice van Houten as Melisandre (In “The Long Night”)
Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy (In “Winterfell” and “The Iron Throne”)

For Best Guest Actor, the nominees are:

Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn (In “The Iron Throne”)
Vladimir Furdik as the Night King (In “The Long Night”)
Harry Grasby as Ned Umber (In “Winterfell”)
Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully (In “The Iron Throne”)
Marc Rissman as Harry Strickland (In “Winterfell” and “The  Bells”)

*To qualify for a guest category, nominated actors and actresses required credited appearances in 1 or 2 episodes in Season 8.*


Final round rules: To choose winners, cast your vote in each category in the polls below. In the finals, unlike the preliminaries, fans have one vote to cast in each category. At the end of one week (Friday 12/13/19 at 12PM ET), the performer in each category with the most votes will be the winner! The results of the polls will be revealed during the live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony, specific date to be announced in the near future!

Best Guest Actor:

Best Guest Actress:

59 responses

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    1. Carice of course.

      My male vote goes to Lino. He didn’t have much to do, but his scornful hilarity over the very idea of democracy was spot-on and delicious to see.

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    2. Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn – Uh, no

      Harry Grasby as Ned Umber – Uh, no

      Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully – Uh, no

      Marc Rissman as Harry Strickland – Uh, definitely no

      Vladimir Furdik as the Night King – YES

      I don’t know if it was the behind the scenes documentary that sealed the deal for me or not, but I grew a tremendous amount of respect for Vlad. First of all, he’s not an actor, he’s a stuntman, but was put into positions to be required to act at least somewhat, and pulled it off very well. He also had MUCH more to do than the other nominees.

      Frankly, I can’t think of a single reason to vote for any of the other candidates. They did next to nothing. Maybe Edmure because he at least had a line or two, but IMO his scene was largely forgettable and wasn’t as funny as others thought.

      Best Guest Actress of Season 8

      Laura Elphinstone as Nora – Nope

      Bea Glancy as Teela – Nope

      Carice van Houten as Melisandre – Yup

      Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy – Nope

      The guest actresses generally had more to do than their male counterparts did, but still, very few of these nominees stand out to me except for Mel. She was great in The Long Night. I have no idea what Yara did this season that would merit any particular praise. She was rescued by Theon in 1.2 seconds, said goodbye to him, and then made a brief appearance at the Dragonpit debacle, I mean scene.

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    3. Melissandre and the Night King of course.

      We’ll give Sweet Robin honorable mention for the Best Unintentional Glow-up in a series.

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    4. where is the link for the results (or am I just blind?)

      Voted for the two that broke my heart in the short time they were with us

      Nora

      Harry

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    5. I’m not voting. Sorry, but it’s a travesty to include Gemma and Carice in this category. They played significant characters and appeared regularly throughout the series. I assume you are copying the Emmy definition of “guest”, but that’s ridiculous in itself. Those actors are not “guests”.

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    6. Mr Derp,

      Agree, Vlad did grow a lot as an actor I have to say, I though Dany try to roast him, that smile was just brilliant.

      Same with Carice, how could I not vote for this brilliant actress from my country.

      Grandmaester Flash,

      Gemma only had 2 scenes in season 8 and Carice 1 episode. That’s why they are guest actors in season 8. As mr derp stated, this are awards for season 8. When we get awards for the whole show I expect them to be in a different category.

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    7. Well they were all brilliantly written by Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss and brilliantly executed. It has to go to Lino or Rissman though. They both did amazing jobs and I’d say Rissman is one of the best guest actors of the series entire run. I had a lot of fun with Harry Strickland. And what more can be said about Lino? He was always brilliant. As for the Actress side, it has to be Elphinstone. I was completely moved by her performance in the greatest episode of televison in cinema history. Can’t wait for another rewatch! I just got my Limited Edition Complete series Blu Ray bundle as well as 4K Season 8! Talk about a visual and auditory feast 😛

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    8. Mr Derp,
      kevin1989,
      Yes I understand that, but I disapprove of the way this is being defined. You shouldn’t be calling long-established characters “guests”, regardless of how many scenes they have in a particular season.

      It is not fair on the genuine “bit-part” actors who have only had a few minutes IN TOTAL to make an impression.

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    9. Mr Derp:
      Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn – Uh, no

      Harry Grasby as Ned Umber – Uh, no

      Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully – Uh, no

      Marc Rissman as Harry Strickland – Uh, definitely no

      Vladimir Furdik as the Night King – YES

      I don’t know if it was the behind the scenes documentary that sealed the deal for me or not, but I grew a tremendous amount of respect for Vlad.First of all, he’s not an actor, he’s a stuntman, but was put into positions to be required to act at least somewhat, and pulled it off very well.He also had MUCH more to do than the other nominees.

      Frankly, I can’t think of a single reason to vote for any of the other candidates.They did next to nothing.Maybe Edmure because he at least had a line or two, but IMO his scene was largely forgettable and wasn’t as funny as others thought.

      Best Guest Actress of Season 8

      Laura Elphinstone as Nora – Nope

      Bea Glancy as Teela – Nope

      Carice van Houten as Melisandre – Yup

      Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy – Nope

      The guest actresses generally had more to do than their male counterparts did, but still, very few of these nominees stand out to me except for Mel.She was great in The Long Night.I have no idea what Yara did this season that would merit any particular praise.She was rescued by Theon in 1.2 seconds, said goodbye to him, and then made a brief appearance at the Dragonpit debacle, I mean scene.

      How was the DP a debacle? I have a lot of fun with it and it’s one of my favorite scenes in cinema history. 72 brilliant episodes all led up to that fateful moment. Bran the Broken knows Westeros’ history and won’t repeat the same mistakes again. He’s also impartial and unbiased. He has the best story and deserved it.

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    10. • Guest Actress? The Lord of Light whispered in my ear: “The Red Witch in a landslide.” One episode, four unforgettable scenes, including a fabulous exit. Bet the farm on Mel.
      ✅ Carice Van Houten as Melisandre in “The Long Night.”

      • Guest Actor is a little tougher though.
      And the nominees are…
      Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn (In “The Iron Throne”)
      Vladimir Furdik as the Night King (In “The Long Night”)
      Harry Grasby as Ned Umber (In “Winterfell”)
      Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully (In “The Iron Throne”)
      Marc Rissman as Harry Strickland (In “Winterfell” and “The Bells”)

      I gave serious to young Ned Umber, and would have chosen him if there had been a “Best Performance Art” category.
      Harry Strickland did not bring the elephants! That disqualified him in my book.
      Tobias Menzies? Lady Sansa turned Uncle Edmure into Mr. Irrelevant when she told him to shut the f*ck up and sit the f*ck down.
      Lino Facioli/Robin Arryn sure vindicated LF in one respect (something about how sickly boys sometimes become strong men?). That odd little breast milk-slurping, Moon Door-obsessed kid grew up into a chick magnet. Quite a transformation. (A “glow-up” I think Sue called it.) Good for Robin. Poor kid had been orphaned by his horrible “Uncle Petyr.”
      Still, Lino didn’t have any lines, did he? Maybe one or two words assenting to Bran the Broken? That takes him out of contention.

      ✅ I gotta go with Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, my boy NK. Vladimir Furdik gets my vote, notwithstanding NK’s indefensible tactical blunder.

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    11. Ten Bears:
      • Guest Actress? The Lord of Light whispered in my ear: “The Red Witch in a landslide.” One episode, four unforgettable scenes, including a fabulous exit. Bet the farm on Mel. ✅ Carice Van Houten as Melisandre in “The Long Night.”

      • Guest Actor is a little tougher though.And the nominees are…
      Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn (In “The Iron Throne”)
      Vladimir Furdik as the Night King (In “The Long Night”)
      Harry Grasby as Ned Umber (In “Winterfell”)
      Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully (In “The Iron Throne”)
      Marc Rissman as Harry Strickland (In “Winterfell” and “TheBells”)

      I gave serious to young Ned Umber, and would have chosen him if there had been a “Best Performance Art” category.Harry Strickland did not bring the elephants! That disqualified him in my book.Tobias Menzies? Lady Sansa turned Uncle Edmure into Mr. Irrelevant when she told him to shut the f*ck up and sit the f*ck down. Lino Facioli/Robin Arryn sure vindicated LF in one respect (something about how sickly boys sometimes become strong men?). That odd little breast milk-slurping, Moon Door-obsessed kid grew up into a chick magnet. Quite a transformation. (A “glow-up” I think Sue called it.) Good for Robin. Poor kid had been orphaned by his horrible “Uncle Petyr.” Still, Lino didn’t have any lines, did he? Maybe one or two words assenting to Bran the Broken? That takes him out of contention.

      ✅ I gotta go with Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, my boy NK. Vladimir Furdik gets my vote, notwithstanding NK’s indefensible tactical blunder.

      Lino said “aye”. The new Prince of Dorne should have been a nominee as well.

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    12. Grandmaester Flash,

      But it’s about season 8, they were guests. If it was about the whole show I would agree fully with you. But then they will be in the secondary category. Last year Diana Riggs won the Guest award if I remember right.

      Look at it differently, is it’s ok for for instance Gwendoline Christie who was in 5 episodes this season, to be in the same list as somebody who was just in one episode?
      Or even further, Gemma and Carice would be in the top 5 of this list because they were the best guest actors. But if they were not in this list but in the secondary character list, they wouldn’t end in the top 5, because people would choose the actress who were in almost every episode of the season.

      Ten Bears,

      Seems like we think a like ten bears with this.

      Ten Bears:
      Mr Derp,

      ”Vladimir Furdik as the Night King – YES


      I don’t know if it was the behind the scenes documentary that sealed the deal for me or not, but I grew a tremendous amount of respect for Vlad.”
      ————-Congrats to the horned f+cker.

      https://thumbs.gfycat.com/GleamingBeneficialEagle-size_restricted.gif

      Thanks for faking my death No One.

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    13. Vlad. The guy is an absolute boss and his stunts in the show are as impressive as his NK.

      Carice. Sorry Gemma, I love you, but it goes to Carice this year for that beautiful Episode 3 performance. ❤

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    14. Ten Bears:

      Tobias Menzies? Lady Sansa turned Uncle Edmure into Mr. Irrelevant when she told him to shut the f*ck up and sit the f*ck down.

      It was disappointing that he didn’t tell her to fuck right off, imo. As when everyone laughed at Sam’s “democracy” idea, I thought they were all a bunch of snide jerks on that council, for the most part.

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    15. Pigeon: It was disappointing that he didn’t tell her to fuck right off, imo. As when everyone laughed at Sam’s “democracy” idea, I thought they were all a bunch of snide jerks on that council, for the most part.

      Well, yeah. Ever since the night of his wedding Edmure’s life had been no picnic: tossed in a cell, threatened to have his throat cut (and his baby launched on a catapult), then imprisoned again.

      I had hoped to see Edmure’s wife Roslyn and his son. It would have bolstered Edmure’s case if they were with him at the Dragonpit in a show of solidarity. Plus, I did want to see confirmation that Edmure had in fact reunited with the wife and son as he’d been promised when Jaime pressured him to yield Riverun.

      And one last loose end: The last we’d heard (from Walder, at the celebration at the Twins after the Siege had ended), was that Edmure was “back in his cell.” Prrsumably, he gained his freedom and when his captors were wiped out, and probably was then able to regain possession of Riverun for the same reason, i.e. Winter came for House Frey.”
      A few words of gratitude for his liberation would have been a nice gesture – even if he never knew the identity of the mysterious face-changing girl…
      I mean, something, anything – maybe a few lines of exposition to wrap up the story of Edmure and House Tully, and to justify bringing back Tobias Menzies.*

      * Tobias Menzies is an accomplished actor, isn’t he? This is not for me to say. Yet, unless he got a monster paycheck for a few hours on set, if were me I might find it almost insulting to be brought back just to have my character humiliated after speaking a few words.

      I concur with you that when Edmure’s niece (rudely) interrupted him, it was “disappointing that he didn’t tell her to f*ck right off.” (I truly hope that exchange was not supposed to be a “Sansa takes charge” moment. It did not come off that way to me.)

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    16. Jack Bauer 24: How was the DP a debacle?

      Hey Jack, you already asked me this very same question in a previous thread, and I answered you, but you never replied. Imagine my disappointment when I failed to get the brilliant reply that I was hoping for 🙁

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    17. Vladimir Furdik
      Carice van Houten

      These two will take it in a walk, and they should. Easiest votes by far. Vladimir Furdik essentially has no competition whatsoever considering the incredibly brief amount of time everyone else nominated was on scree (a shame, since I love Tobias Menzies). Carice van Houten at least has some competition from Gemma–who is always great, if not as present this season as I originally expected–but Carice absolutely slayed Melisandre’s final moments (I actually thought she was the best part of The Long Night) and made every second count.

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    18. kevin1989: But it’s about season 8, they were guests. If it was about the whole show I would agree fully with you. But then they will be in the secondary category. Last year Diana Riggs won the Guest award if I remember right.

      Look at it differently, is it’s ok for for instance Gwendoline Christie who was in 5 episodes this season, to be in the same list as somebody who was just in one episode?
      Or even further, Gemma and Carice would be in the top 5 of this list because they were the best guest actors. But if they were not in this list but in the secondary character list, they wouldn’t end in the top 5, because people would choose the actress who were in almost every episode of the season.

      You haven’t addressed my point about the bit-part actors. I think they deserve a chance. So yes, I would put well-established faces, regular cast members, in the supporting actor categories. If they are good enough to win, they will.

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    19. Mr Derp,

      How was the DP a debacle?”

      ————-
      Hey Jack, you already asked me this very same question in a previous thread, and I answered you, but you never replied…
      ——————

      Uhhhh…. Mr. D. Perhaps he should be looking for an answer on a different kind of website.

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    20. best woman:
      Carice van Houten as Melisandre (In “The Long Night”)

      best man:
      Vladimir Furdik as the Night King (In “The Long Night”)

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    21. Carice wins best guest actress easily. Her performance was great. I love the character of Melisandre, and I love how she played her final episode.

      Don’t care about best guest actor, none of them did anything particularly great.

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    22. Ten Bears,

      Agree with all you said – I just thought that although it was apparently supposed to be funny (hur hur, look at dumbass Edmure trying to be important), that it just left a bad taste. So did the whole “Haha Sam wants democracy, haha” thing, but it’s entirely possible my sense of humour was lacking that day.* Ironic, anyway. Of course, they also made Greyworm look like an….you know what, I’ll quit while I’m behind. Not my favourite scene, we’ll say. 😆

      Of course not everything can be included, but it would have been great had Arya sprung him from the cells (maybe she did? Maybe she didn’t? I guess we won’t know. Could have just as easily been his wife after the unfortunate bad vintage of wine wiped out most of the Frey gang. 😜

      *100% likelihood, to be fair.

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    23. Grandmaester Flash:
      I’m not voting. Sorry, but it’s a travesty to include Gemma and Carice in this category. They played significant characters and appeared regularly throughout the series. I assume you are copying the Emmy definition of “guest”, but that’s ridiculous in itself. Those actors are not “guests”.

      Agreed, actors portraying characters that have been pivotal to the story for several seasons should not have been included here. Sometimes statistics are not a reasonable criterium…

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    24. I do love Gemma (not only as Yara, but also for playing the part of Gentleman Jack’s righteous sister), but it had to be Carice due to her acting in episode 3.
      For the male guest awards it was more difficult to choose, because nobody impressed me. Finally I decided for Tobias and not for his appearance as the stupid Tully uncle, but because every time I see him I remember his acting in Outlander and The Crown.

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    25. This is an interesting category. As some others have said, it doesn’t seem quite fair to put an established character from past seasons against a brand new character who just popped up in one or two episodes in season 8. I had to go with Mel and the NK, but I was impacted by Bea Glancy as Teela. The show has a great history of finding talented child actors. I often wonder why daytime soaps have so much trouble finding decent teen (and younger) actors, but I’m spoiled now watching GOT. Every child actor I can think of on GOT was awesome. Of course I’m thinking about Maisie, but all of the Starks were great and fit their roles perfectly. Isabella May Ramsey was a standout. I think Teela’s character just got me emotionally, since she made me think of Shireen, and I read they even used Shireen’s theme music during her soup scene with Davos.

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    26. Tar Kidho: Agreed, actors portraying characters that have been pivotal to the story for several seasons should not have been included here. Sometimes statistics are not a reasonable criterium…

      Thank you, good to know that at least one person is on my wavelength.

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    27. Shy Lady Dragon: For the male guest awards it was more difficult to choose, because nobody impressed me. Finally I decided for Tobias and not for his appearance as the stupid Tully uncle, but because every time I see him I remember his acting in Outlander and The Crown.

      Words fail me. Really!

      Although on reflection, I think this proves my earlier point. If people can be swayed by an actor’s performances in totally different shows, then it can’t be argued that they aren’t going to be influenced by performances in earlier seasons.

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    28. Tron79:
      This is an interesting category. As some others have said, it doesn’t seem quite fair to put an established character from past seasons against a brand new character who just popped up in one or two episodes in season 8. I had to go with Mel and the NK, but I was impacted by Bea Glancy as Teela. …. I think Teela’s character just got me emotionally, since she made me think of Shireen, and I read they even used Shireen’s theme music during her soup scene with Davos.

      And this proves my point even better.
      You should have voted for Bea Glancy.

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    29. Grandmaester Flash: And this proves my point even better.
      You should have voted for Bea Glancy.

      Well, I see where you’re coming from, but the fact is that Carice is in this category so I had to vote for her. I don’t think it was really fair, but she is in the running, so I had to go for Carice. Her “Not Today” pep talk put Arya on the right path to save everyone. Carice made me feel sorry for her even though she did the most despicable act on the entire series by burning Shireen. Her scenes with Davos culminating into her final walk into the dawn made me feel many emotions at once. It is to her credit as an actress that she was able to make me feel anything for her after what she did to Shireen. So I agree with you that unfortunately she was in the same category, but since she was there, I had to vote for her…

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    30. Actress: Carice, EASY. Her “guest” (unfortunately) performance was my single favorite piece of the season. (And having seen most of her films, I can confidently say that I’ve never seen such spectacularly effective acting as hers. She’s a phenom I wish I could’ve discovered earlier.)
      “Nora?” Was that the girl or lady Arya was trying to help? :/ I get it; there were no other female qualifiers, so had to include two whose names weren’t even spoken. Glancy was fine but minimal. Yara & Mel had minimal screentime relative to the earlier seasons, but Meli was way more impactful.

      Actor: Oh boy. That one is tough. All five should’ve had A LOT more to do. Well, Ned Umber was fine, poor kid. But not nearly enough for “Best Guest Actor.” Lino had a glow-up but nothin’ to do ‘sides show it off. Strickland was nothing; the Golden Company didn’t even get to make an impression (or have elephants!), and he could’ve been almost anybody. I momentarily considered Menzies…Edmure should’ve put snotty old Sansa in her place, pheh…but after seeing Vlad in that documentary, I had to go with him. From the prosthetics to the stuntwork to…well, the largest of the five roles, it kinda has to be.
      So essentially, ditto Mr. Derp!

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    31. Shy Lady Dragon:

      …For the male guest awards it was more difficult to choose, because nobody impressed me. Finally I decided for Tobias and not for his appearance as the stupid Tully uncle, but because every time I see him I remember his acting in Outlander and The Crown.

      Your reasoning aligns with my puzzlement (e.g., my 12/7, 12:37 am comment*) about Tobias Menzies accepting such a brief and humiliating bit part in S8e6.

      I have not seen “The Crown.” Although I only watched parts of one or episodes of “Outlander,” I’m aware that Tobias Menzies had dual roles as

      the heroine’s cuckolded husband in the present, and as her lover’s evil antagonist in the past; I think her lover in the past impregnated her, and she was going to give birth in the present and raise the child with her embittered husband, but I don’t know what happened other than tidbits of info from Entertainment Weekly coverage.

      Allow me to take this opportunity to recommend “Hysteria,” a film in which Tobias Menzies appeared as a well-spoken prosecutor (or whatever they were called). I was going to cite this movie in a response to another commenter’s recent discussion about the since-debunked practice of attributing assertive behavior in women to hysteria, a [non-existent] medical condition. In addition, the movie’s got a GoT tie-in: Jonathan Pryce (the High Sparrow on GoT) plays a doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating hysteria. He’s the father of two daughters, the staid and dutiful Emily (Felicity Jones) and the rambunctious and socially-conscious Charlotte (Maggie Gyllenhaal). He takes on as an assistant (and fiancé for Emily) a young doctor played by Hugh Dancy.

      I was lazy, and cut and pasted parts of an online synopsis of the movie:
      Hysteria (2011) is a “British period romantic comedy film directed by Tanya Wexler. It stars Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal,” with Felicity Jones, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett, Tobias Menzies, and Sheridan Smith in supporting roles… “The film [is] set in the Victorian era… The film’s title refers to the once-common medical diagnosis of female hysteria.”

      I thought Tobias Menzies was really good as the intelligent, articulate courtroom advocate for the crown in “Hysteria.”

      Back on message: In my initial comment about my reasons for discounting the other nominees for Best Guest Actor before voting for Vlad (NK), I had written:
      Tobias Menzies? Lady Sansa turned Uncle Edmure into Mr. Irrelevant when she told him to shut the f*ck up and sit the f*ck down.”

      Like Pigeon also observed in further reply, “I just thought that although it was apparently supposed to be funny (hur hur, look at dumbass Edmure trying to be important), that it just left a bad taste.”

      Like Shy Lady Dragon, I’m aware Tobias Menzies has been acclaimed for his work in other productions. It’s hard not to think of him in those roles when he appears on screen as Edmure.

      I do understand that in many ways the character of Edmure Tully is meant to be an underachieving f*ck-up, e.g., unable to light Hoster Tully’s floating pyre with a flaming arrow; and disregarding King Robb’s battle plan to flush out an enemy in deciding on his own to attack a mill. However, Edmure didn’t come off as an idiot in his back and forth with Jaime in negotiations to end the Siege of Riverrun. And even then, in surrendering the castle, he was accorded due respect as Lord of Riverrun; I would’ve thought that as one of the lords invited to the dragonpit summit, he wouldn’t be subjected to insults – especially by his niece. (BTW, wasn’t Sansa supposed to be the one who uses courtesies and social graces to her advantage? Or is that only book! Sansa?)

      Kinda weird to bring back Tobias Menzies as Edmure just to be a doofus for a couple of seconds.

      ______
      * e.g., from my 12/7/19, 12:37 am comment: “Tobias Menzies is an accomplished actor, isn’t he? This is not for me to say. Yet, unless he got a monster paycheck for a few hours on set, if were me I might find it almost insulting to be brought back just to have my character humiliated after speaking a few words.”

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    32. Shy Lady Dragon,

      FYI My long reply to your comment is stuck in moderation as of 10:31 am today. (I suspect it’s because my reply had lots of proper nouns, e.g., the titles of movies and shows and names of actors. That seems to trigger the anti-spam algorithms. At least that’s my theory.)

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    33. Guest Actor: Vladimir Furdik as the Night King. Ever since he took over the role in Season 6, he’s not only done an amazing job making the character seem terrifying and near unstoppable, but he’s also injected a surprising amount of character work into every smirk, sneer, or icy glare emanating from “that horned fucker” (as the Hound would so eloquently put it). You could almost see the gears turning inside his frozen mind as he pondered every step of his seemingly inevitable march to victory. I particularly love the moment where he faces off again Jon again, considers engaging him, then decides “No, deal with this, Azor Ahai. I have more important things to do.” The Long Night was the Night King’s hour right up until the very moment it wasn’t, and by projecting such supreme and alien confidence, Vladimir Furdik helped make that exhilarating terror feel all the more real.

      Honorable Mention to Tobias Menzies. It was so much fun to see Edmure again, and he gave us one of the funniest moments of the season. Never change, buddy.

      Guest Actress: Carice van Houten as Melisandre. I have some small reservations about voting for series regulars in the guest acting categories (I voted for her in Supporting Actress during the preliminary round). But ultimately, I accept the decision of this community, and now that she’s here, her performance in “The Long Night” is undeniable. Such an amazing final showcase for this wonderfully complex character and the actress who brought her to life for seven seasons!

      Honorable Mention to Laura Elphinstone, who did remarkably empathetic work in “The Bells”. One of the most harrowing and powerful sequences this show has ever delivered for us.

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    34. Shelle,

      ”Nora?” Was that the girl or lady Arya was trying to help? :/ I get it; there were no other female qualifiers, so had to include two whose names weren’t even spoken. Glancy was fine but minimal.”

      ——-
      With one exception, I thought “minimal” guest actress roles were a recurring problem. (I’m not referring to established characters returning for one episode, like Melisandre in S8.)
      I remember whinging that I had thought the show cast a tall fiery redhead, Meg Parkinson as Alys Karstark, to play a significant part in the storylines of Jon Snow or Tormund; instead Alys had a whopping three words of dialogue, “Now and always,” and that was it.

      The one exception of course was Brigitte Hjort Sorensen as Karsi in “Hardhome.” (I suppose Bella Ramsay as Lyanna Mormont in S6e7 and S6e10 would qualify too.)

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    35. Jared,

      ”…her [Carice van Houten’s] performance in “The Long Night” is undeniable. Such an amazing final showcase for this wonderfully complex character and the actress who brought her to life for seven seasons!”

      _______
      Now that was the way to bring back a character for a proper send-off!
      (Sorry. I’m still smarting from Osha (Natalia Tena) returning only long enough to be unceremoniously killed off.)

      Every one of Melisandre’s scenes in “The Long Night” was dramatic and memorable:
      • Trotting in alone out of the darkness right before the battle.
      • Igniting all of the Dothrakis’ aracks (?). (Great visual effect, although flaming weapons didn’t do much good.)
      • Praying long and hard to the Lord of Light to light the trenches, after the original plan went awry. (Once again, a great visual effect, although the flaming trenches ultimately didn’t do much good.)
      • Fulfilling her S3 prediction to Arya that “we will meet again,” and giving a pep talk to ASNAWPTWP capped off by the Syrio Forel Q&A callback, “What do we say to the god of death?”… “Not today.”
      • Consistent with her assurance to Davos she’d be dead by dawn, her final scene in which she took off her magic ruby choker, walked slowly into the distance and crumbled to the ground just as the sun was coming up.

      By my count, that’s five meaty scenes. Did I miss any?

        Quote  Reply

    36. Tron79,

      ”The show has a great history of finding talented child actors. I often wonder why daytime soaps have so much trouble finding decent teen (and younger) actors, but I’m spoiled now watching GOT. Every child actor I can think of on GOT was awesome. Of course I’m thinking about Maisie, but all of the Starks were great and fit their roles perfectly…”

      Hold that thought. GRRM once gave an interview explaining why TV shows have so much trouble finding decent child actors. I’ll see if I can find it. I think the interview was in a Time magazine (online) article back in 2011.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Shy Lady Dragon: Finally I decided for Tobias and not for his appearance as the stupid Tully uncle, but because every time I see him I remember his acting in Outlander and The Crown.

      Yes, Mendez is incredible as Frank and Black Jack Randall on Outlander. Not only with the depth of emotion Mendez must play with both Frank and Black Jack but that he can make these two characters seem like totally different people.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Tron79,

      (Continued from 11:44 am above)

      Here’s GRRM in 2011 talking about the challenge of casting the child actors for the show* (Excerpted from April 15, 2011 Time Magazine: Interview of GRRM)

      [Interviewer began by mentioning that he’d seen two episodes of the show at that point, and particularly liked the casting of the difficult children’s roles.]

      GRRM: “The child actors were the hardest to fill because we looked at literally hundreds for the three major children’s roles. I mean, most child actors. Well you know, you see these kids and they’re kids, they’re not actors. Their triumph is that they’ve memorized the lines. And mommy and daddy are very proud that they’ve memorized the lines, but that’s all.”

      “And then you’ve got the other extreme. You’ve got some kid whose obviously been told by mommy and daddy or by their school drama coach that part of acting is you have to emote. So those kids go to the other extreme and they emote all over the place, they’re rolling their eyes and they’re grimacing and they’re really going way over the top for everything and it’s completely unnatural.”

      “So you watch all this stuff and you reach a point where you’re just ready to despair and say, this can’t be done here because most child actors—a lot of child actors out there are in sitcoms. And their role in sitcoms is to mug and look cute, you know. Our kids have actual dramatic roles where they have to deal with grief and loneliness and anger and a lot of very adult stuff. [I thought] “my God, how the hell, are we going to do this,” you know?”

      “But then you find that one in a hundred, or one in a thousand that suddenly… “oh my God, thank God, this is great.” And Maisie Williams, who plays Arya, was one of those. I mean, just from the moment we saw her audition, I knew she was, she was our Arya. And you know, the same was true for Sansa and Bran; two good actors who played those roles too. They were extraordinary.”
      ———

      * I believe GRRM had made similar observations in his “LiveJournal” entries announcing the casting of Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, as well as in one of the Episode Commentaries he narrated.

      From his experience, I’d suggest that the answer to “why daytime soaps have so much trouble finding decent teen and child actors” could be two-fold: (1) the pool of young actors is flooded with kids whose “talents” consist mainly of the ability to memorize lines, mug for the camera, or overemote; and (2) most shows are only looking to cast young actors who look cute and can speak a memorized punchline on cue.

      Come to think of it, I can’t recall very many films or TV shows in which there are scenes of a young actresses or actor engaging in lengthy, serious conversations with an adult actor.

      Of course, I’m trying to think of scenes comparable to S1 + S2 Arya with Yoren, Ned, Jon, Tywin, Syrio, and Jaqen – not to mention S3 + S4 Arya with Sandor, Beric and Thoros.
      I’d bet not many drama schools for kids even try to teach them how to perform a scene like this quiet, heartfelt conversation between Arya & Yoren in S2e3:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj72-2TkX9Q

      There’s only one child actor I can think of who comes close: Thomas Robinson, who was about 9 or 10 when he appeared in “The Switch” (2010) with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston.

        Quote  Reply

    39. ash:
      where is the link for the results (or am I just blind?)
      ….

      I’m guessing that there’s no link to an “Imgur” chart for semifinal results in these two categories because there weren’t more than five semifinal round nominees for guest actor or guest actress. I could be wrong though.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Ten Bears,

      Thanks for those! BTW, that particular scene with Yoren and Arya wasn’t in the books. This was a great scene written by Bryan Cogman.

      I do recall now watching or reading GRRM’s interview about child actors. I guess what he said is very true. I’m also thinking that many talented young actors may not know they are talented and they aren’t auditioning yet. Most kids would be in school! Or they get interested in other things like dancing. Maisie really wanted to be a dancer! and if she wouldn’t have been picked for Arya, she may have ended up dancing instead of acting. Or she may have just ended up going to school and things would have been very different for her.

      Perhaps you get a parent who starts their baby out early making commercials to bring in extra money. I know that once the child actor gets a gig, they get a tutor, and many have issues since they have to spend all of their time with adults and never really get to grow up around their peers.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Ten Bears,

      Oh, right, makes total sense. Thx

      Tron, thank goodness things aren’t as bad fir child actors in the early days of film. But its still rough. A lot of kids go through some very dark times – in GOT and in Potter, there were enough older experienced adults around to help them through that, keep them all grounded. It is just amazing that they have all turned out so well.

        Quote  Reply

    42. ash,

      Just from the fact that there were only four choices for Guest Actress, I’m guessing there weren’t even five qualifiers.

      As for the five Guest Actor finalists, I don’t think Lino F had any lines: he just sat there looking all grown up and handsome, and – it pains me to say – vindicated two-faced LF’s prediction from S4e8 (below*) that “sickly little boys sometimes become powerful men.”
      I’d have to look back to see if there were even more than five actors who would technically qualify for Guest Actor. (I can’t include the nameless new Prince of Dorne. Nice costume. No lines.)

      My personal frontrunner for Best Guest Actor for last season (S7) didn’t even make the semi-final round, so I’d have to defer to the wisdom of the crowd and discretion of the site’s staff.
      I’m referring to the actor who played Captured Wight in S7e6 and S7e7. Poor fella. Got punched, kicked, bagged and tagged, impaled, chained up, and then cut in half by the Hound. I felt bad for him.😩 In my headcanon, when he jumped out of the crate and ran towards Cersei, he wasn’t trying to attack her. His screeching meant: “Please help me! Save me from that horrible man!”
      ———-
      * (From S4e8)
      Lord Royce: “Who would you have us back, Lord Baelish? Robb Stark is dead.”
      LF: “I’d have you back Robin Arryn, Lord of the Vale.”
      Lord Royce: “Robin Arryn is a sickly little boy.”
      LF: “And sickly little boys sometimes become powerful men.”
      Lord Royce: “More often they die young.”
      LF: “I adored Lysa with all my heart.
      But she loved her son so much, she became overprotective. He needs to learn how to swing a sword. How to ride a horse…”
      “Yes it’s time. Time for him to tour the Vale, to visit all the castles in his domain. Time for Robin to leave the nest.”

        Quote  Reply

    43. Tron79,

      Good observation about child actors in general. It’s usually ambitious parents behind them who, eg, start out by pushing little kids into commercials to bring in extra money, and then if they get a gig, yanked out of school and grow up with tutors instead of peers.

      Meanwhile, as you said, “…many talented young actors may not know they are talented and they aren’t auditioning yet. Most kids would be in school!”

      At that young age for the GoT child actors when they were cast (between 10 and 13?), I’ve got to think the kids have to have natural, god-given talent. There’s not enough time to “teach” them acting or for them to have the capacity to learn it. (At least for the kind of roles GRRM described:
      Our kids have actual dramatic roles where they have to deal with grief and loneliness and anger and a lot of very adult stuff.”)

      Can’t give enough credit to Nina Gold and the showrunners for finding child actors to play Sansa, Bran, Arya, Lyanna Mormont, Shireen and others.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Ten Bears:
      Tron79,

      Good observation about child actors in general. It’s usually ambitious parents behind them who, eg, start out by pushing little kids into commercials to bring in extra money, and then if they get a gig, yanked out of school and grow up with tutors instead of peers.

      Meanwhile, as you said, “…many talented young actors may not know they are talented and they aren’t auditioning yet. Most kids would be in school!”

      At that young age for the GoT child actors when they were cast (between 10 and 13?), I’ve got to think the kids have to have natural, god-given talent. There’s not enough time to “teach” them acting or for them to have the capacity to learn it. (At least for the kind of roles GRRM described:
      Our kids have actual dramatic roles where they have to deal with grief and loneliness and anger and a lot of very adult stuff.”)

      Can’t give enough credit to Nina Gold and the showrunners for finding child actors to play Sansa, Bran, Arya, Lyanna Mormont, Shireen and others.

      Yes, agreed on Nina Gold.

      When you said “There’s not enough time to “teach” them acting”…..
      It made me think of GRRM saying that the kids were taught to emote too much.
      Perhaps alot of the problem is that parents try to send their kids to acting school with the wrong teachers. I think in Maisie’s case she seemed to have an incredible imagination. She said in one of the interviews you linked me that she just imagines she’s really the person (or something like that). She said that’s how she acted when she was younger when she didn’t know any other way to do it, but that’s a pretty good way to act when you are older too! The camera also loves her, which doesn’t hurt!

      It was really an incredible job by Nina Gold finding the right child actors.
      Also, GRRM gets credit for making sure D&D didn’t overlook Rory Mccann. It was either in one of the links you posted or perhaps a GRRM YouTube interview I watched where GRRM explains that he brought Rory to D&D’s attention. (I didn’t mean to imply that Rory was a child actor! I was just thinking about casting in general… Stannis might have jumped in and scolded me for improper implying or whatever the technical grammar term would be)

        Quote  Reply

    45. Pigeon,

      Coming back over here from the new post (12-8-19) about the four Critics Choice Awards nominations for GoT.

      I glanced at the nominees for Best Actor in a Drama Series, which include Tobias Menzies for “The Crown” and Kit Harington for GoT.

      Best Actor in a Drama Series

      Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC)
      Mike Colter – Evil (CBS)
      Paul Giamatti – Billions (Showtime)
      Kit Harington – Game of Thrones (HBO)
      Freddie Highmore – The Good Doctor (ABC)
      Tobias Menzies – The Crown (Netflix)
      Billy Porter – Pose (FX)
      Jeremy Strong – Succession (HBO)

        Quote  Reply

    46. Pigeon:
      Ten Bears,

      I seem to remember Maisie saying that she was tempted to skip her audition because she wanted to go on her school’s field trip to a pig farm. 🐷😆

      Yes, I remember that too! School field trip to a pig farm or Game of Thrones audition… that it was a tough choice says a lot about how she had her head on straight.

      I think she also said her only other audition (after an agent saw her in a school production or something) had been for a role she didn’t get in the movie “Nanny McPhee 2.”

      Funny how fate worked to get her thumbnail picture onto the laptops of the showrunners and George Martin, and how she immediately developed a chemistry – and friendship – with her audition partner Sophie Turner.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Tron79,

      ”… I think in Maisie’s case she seemed to have an incredible imagination. She said in one of the interviews you linked me that she just imagines she’s really the person (or something like that). She said that’s how she acted when she was younger when she didn’t know any other way to do it, but that’s a pretty good way to act when you are older too! The camera also loves her, which doesn’t hurt!”

      Maybe that ability to imagine she’s the person (herself) in her character’s situation is s natural talent that can’t be taught to a youngster. I think back to her S1e1 dessert-flinging scene. No “mugging” for the cameras or overemoting. The mischievous, excited look on her face when she was loading up her spoon, and then her look of disappointment when Robb picked her up and told her “time for bed” were exactly how my little sister behaved in (natural) situations at that age.

      Though I’m an admitted Arya fanboy, I have to appreciate Sophie Turner, at such a young age, having to play a virtual hostage forced to endure the horrors inflicted on her by sadistic Joffrey and his conniving mother.

      It’s easy (for me) to forget these were just kids acting in adult, dramatic scenes with experienced adult actors.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Tron79,

      ”Also, GRRM gets credit for making sure D&D didn’t overlook Rory Mccann. It was either in one of the links you posted or perhaps a GRRM YouTube interview I watched where GRRM explains that he brought Rory to D&D’s attention.”
      ——-
      Yes! I think it was George or the showrunners, or all three, who jumped out of their chairs at the point in Rory McCann’s audition tape (a never-filmed scene of the Hound talking to Sansa) when he suddenly barks “Look at me. Look at me!

      It’s probably only my wishful thinking that Benioff and Weiss intentionally included those attention-getting words for Sandor in his last scene with Arya in S8e5.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Ten Bears:
      Shelle,

      ”Nora?” Was that the girl or lady Arya was trying to help? :/ I get it; there were no other female qualifiers, so had to include two whose names weren’t even spoken. Glancy was fine but minimal.”

      ——- With one exception, I thought “minimal” guest actress roles were a recurring problem. (I’m not referring to established characters returning for one episode, like Melisandre in S8.)I remember whinging that I had thought the show cast a tall fiery redhead, Meg Parkinson as Alys Karstark, to play a significant part in the storylines of Jon Snow or Tormund; instead Alys had a whopping three words of dialogue, “Now and always,” and that was it.

      The one exception of course was Brigitte Hjort Sorensen as Karsi in “Hardhome.” (I suppose Bella Ramsay as Lyanna Mormont in S6e7 and S6e10 would qualify too.)

      True.
      And “Nora” and “Teela” were particularly microscopic…though even had they not been, this category’s choice would still be crystal-clear. I absolutely wanted more Mel, but each of her scenes was substantial, exciting, beautiful…and I imagine the significance of the arakhs’ and trench’s effectiveness would have been more noticeable if one could compare with a version where the Dothraki lack fire (what were they thinking…!) and the trench plan never works…*shudder* x’3

      Good thoughts re: child actors, too.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Tron79,

      ”BTW, that particular scene with Yoren and Arya wasn’t in the books. This was a great scene written by Bryan Cogman.

      Thanks for that info.
      Unless somebody’s already done this, one of these days I should go back and identify episodes or scenes scripted by Bryan Cogman, and in particular, dialogue he wrote “that wasn’t in the books.”

      He wrote S8e2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” right? I presume that’s the fandom’s consensus favorite episode of S8, even though (or maybe because) it was heavy on interpersonal moments and light on action sequences.

      While I’d have to verify this (or leave it to someone who’s qualified to analyze screenwriting), my impression is that Cogman was able to weave ASOIAF history and lore into characters’ dialogue.

      For example, in S8e2:
      – Did Tormund’s recital of the origin of his surname “Giantsbane” come from the books?
      – I’m pretty sure the dialogue in the highlight of the episode, Jaime knighting Brienne, was premised on GRRM’s “rules” for knighting, i.e., an anointed knight, and not just a king or queen, can knight someone. I assume the chivalric oath administered to Brienne came from the books too.

        Quote  Reply

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