Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Guest Actor

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With the infamously large size of the cast of Game of Thrones, we found it necessary in the preliminaries to divide the actors with more playtime this year into a separate category from those who appeared in one or few episodes but made a great impression nonetheless.

Performers in the Best Guest Actor category appeared in 1-3 episodes in season 4. The results from round 1 were:

Guest Actor

And so, your talented finalists for Best Guest Actor are:

Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon

Jack Gleeson

Burn Gorman as Karl Tanner

Burn Gorman

Ciarán Hinds as Mance Rayder

Ciaran Hinds

Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton

Michael McElhatton

Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow

Iwan Rheon

You have 48 hours to vote for your winner, beginning now and running until 10/15/14 at 11AM eastern time.

With voting almost done, we’ll be announcing details about the Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony this week, so stay tuned!

80 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Leaned toward Jack but had to vote Burn Gorman because he made that character in a throwaway storyline so fookin’ memorable.

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    2. My own definition of ‘guest actor’ would’ve been ‘appeared in 1-3 episodes, and only in season 4’…voted for Jack Gleeson but it definitely feels weird calling him a guest. Guys’ been in since season 1.

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    3. I ultimately voted for Gorman, partially because a lot of the other people in this category really don’t feel like “guests” to me, and because I thought Gorman took his incredibly one-dimensional part and played it to the hilt.

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    4. Voted for Ciaran Hinds. His two scenes in the last episode were really nice. I also refuse to vote for Jack Gleeson in a “guest actor” category.

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    5. Sorry, but Burn Gorman made a mockery of his character and was easily the most laughable role since the stable boy in S1.

      This belongs to Jack. Who could have won best actor in any previous season.

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    6. Jack edges out Iwan for in one episode reminding us why Joffrey was such a prize prick!
      But as others said, it feels weird that those two are considered guests!
      Special mention for Burn Gorman who really rinsed every little bit from such a small part. Could feel his intimidation through the screen!

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    7. Jack Gleeson. I hated Joff with the passion of a thousands suns after seeing Jack giving life to that little shit of a Lannister. Yes, I always hated book Joff, because the character was wrote that way, but Jack made me angry just looking at his smirk, hearing the shrilly voice, seeing the evil glint in his eyes, and watching the actor’s perfect interpretation and line delivery.

      Kudos to him and I hope to see Jack in something else at some point in his life, even though I understand he announced his intention to stop his acting career. Sometimes though things change in time. I’m sure It will be a huge shock to strip the mantle of villainy but I am very confident he will be just as good in whatever he chooses to do.

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    8. A difficult choice.

      First off, very sad to not see Barry McGovern make it into the final five for his really awesome performance in one scene in “Mockingbird.”

      The easiest to eliminate was Burn Gorman, who felt hammy and over-the-top. The only character on this show I’d ever wanted to see killed because I found the actor annoying, and not because I found the character unlikable. And it’s odd – because his very, very brief appearance in Season 3 (and his one line, with the eyes closed) was the definition of a great “bit” part. It was all too much after that.

      Michael McElhatton is always an asset for this show, even in just two episodes. He just didn’t have as much to do this year as Roose. But as said, he did nice work.

      Iwan Rheon was typically good as Ramsay, especially the bathing scene, which was a nice bit of shading for that character. His plot was much stronger this year.

      Jack. Wow. I thought I’d vote for Jack Gleeson, but I guess when it came down to the final vote I feel somewhat persuaded by those who believe he’s not really a “guest.” I get it. Maybe I’ll add a vote for him later or something, I’m not sure. If he wins, fine by me. He’ll deserve it.

      But I went with Ciaran Hinds as Mance. Only two scenes, but unlike some others I quite like his portrayal as Mance. He’s clearly quite cunning, has a sharp survival instinct, and knows how to talk to people. I hope they use a bit more of him next year. He works very well as an offscreen presence also, which I like. He did good work.

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    9. No lute, no Val, no Dalla, no baby…hence no Mance. Of all the goofy adhoc shit they inserted into S4, they couldn’t explore Mance a bit more? No dissing Ciaran, he was fine.

      I went with Purple Face.

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    10. Iwan Rheon. As good a performance as the show has ever seen, but he doesn’t get his due because he carries the stigma of the season three torture porn, and to a lesser extent the botched Yara-to-the-rescue scene from season four – neither of which was his fault. He brings to the character a vein of black comedy that makes him a lot more interesting than he is in the books. The pork sausage scene (yes, season three, I know) never gets old no matter how often I watch it, which is a lot.

      Jack Gleeson is a difficult one, because he was brilliant in so many specific ways. As far as nailing Joffrey’s punchably arrogant swagger and simmering psychotic derangement, you couldn’t have hoped for better. And yet … in other ways, he’s actually quite limited as an actor. Whenever he had to project normal emotion — his laughter during the dwarf show, or his anger at being sent off to bed by Tywin — he didn’t really carry if off.

      Props to Michael McElhatton, who does a faultless job and could well have got my vote in the face of different competition. But Mance Rayder and especially Karl Tanner don’t offer enough as characters/story elements to qualify.

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    11. Voted for McElhatton. The guy is probably the most underrated actor on the show.
      And, tbh, just for the fact that the Bolton/Theon storyline is one of the few that D&D didn’t fuck up in season 4.

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    12. As always, all are deserving. I went with Jack because his performance has captivated me from the start. It is only fitting that he is recognized for Joffrey’s final moments. Magnificent!

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    13. Kyrenna,

      I partially agree. I might have gone with something like “1-3 episodes and not a main cast member”. It just feels that this category has been made to give Jack the win: just my two cents, I have nothing against Jack and think he did a marvellous job, but people should only be judging on performnces this season, but past impressions are bound to influence us.

      I have decided that main cast members shouldn’t really be in this category so I’m going to rule out Jack and Iwan (although I think one of these two, probably Jack will win). I’m also going to rule out Michael as I feel he has been it it for three seasons, and quite a bit last season (although even he would have made my definition; perhaps 3 episodes this season and 10 episodes top, or something like that would have been better).

      Therefore, it is between Ciaran and Burn, and I enjoyed both of their performances. Yes Burn was a bit hammy, but he was a fooking legend. Ciaran deserves more screentime, and next season hopefully will get more, so he can be a supporting character. It is a difficult one, but as this is his last chance at winning it I’m going to go with Burn, but they were alll fantastic, even the ones who I wouldn’t have included.

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    14. Mine is the Furry:
      Sorry, but Burn Gorman made a mockery of his character and was easily the most laughable role since the stable boy in S1.

      This belongs to Jack.Who could have won best actor in any previous season.

      He did win Best Supporting Actor in season 2. He was never (I believe*) up for Best Actor.

      * I’m not sure about season 1, since there were a lot of nominees in each of the acting categories that season, instead of the 5 candidates rule.

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    15. This was really fooking hard.

      A part of me wants to give it up one last time for Jack Gleeson.

      But this is not a final goodbye award (if it were, Jack would deserve much more then Guest Actor). This is a season 4 award, and I am going with Iwan, who does another gloriously detestable motherfucker justice

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    16. Iwan Rheon takes the most vile, despicable character imaginable and somehow makes him…fun? Jack was great at this too, but I think he passed the torch this year. “It’s fallen out of fashion – flaying. Sad really; but true. Traditions are important! Where are we without our history, eh?” Talking about the most horrible thing like it’s setting up a Christmas tree.

      I love everyone in this category though, esp. Jack and Michael. I guess I’d prefer Mark Gattis, Noah Taylor, or Anton Lesser to Burn Gorman, but he was good too.

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    17. Jack Gleeson was great, but like others I feel weird voting for a main cast member who appeared briefly in the season as a “guest” actor.

      Same applies for Iwan Rheon, but I also think that he’s occasionally over the top as Ramsay. I like his more subtle moments of glee, like when he couldn’t help but smile at Theon’s mutilated crotch in “Laws of Gids and Men,” but he often is just too darn giggly (most of his scenes last year, his taunting of Tansy this year). It comes off forced and fake, and I wish his joy at other people’s pain came off as more genuine.

      I get that some think that Gorman similarly is over the top. I didn’t love his little monologue in “Oathkeeper,” but I thought he delivered it well, and I thought he was really menacing in all of his other moments. Unlike Rheon, Gorman made Karl’s sadism feel genuine. But like I said, I didn’t like all of his material, so that makes him easy to eliminate.

      Roose was solid but not in it very much, and I don’t think he really shined as much as he did last year.

      That leaves Hinds. I’ve always thought he was a good pick for Mance and liked his portrayal of the character. Mance fell a little flat in Season 3, but that’s because he was given almost no material that revealed anything about himself or his character. Hinds’ interpretation of the character didn’t change in Season 4 but he was finally given some great character moments when he drank to fallen friends and foes with Jon and given a great badass moment when he refused to kneel to Stannis.

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    18. jentario,

      That stableboy’s the reason I stopped watching this show. Ever since that moment it’s gone to the dogs, I tells ye!
      Hence the reason I’m on this web site, bothering to type a comment.

      As for the poll, there’s some I would’ve chosen over those picked… Finn Jones (just b’cause I love Loras, I know, he barely made an impression in s4), Anton Lesser (he does brilliantly with the small amount he’s given, hope to see much more of him next year!), Owen Teale… but I chose McElhatton, Roose is always intriguing and memorable, he really gives him an intense, enigmatic presence! Jack was amazing as always of course.
      As for Karl being “over-the-top”, I’d have to disagree. I’ve met plenty of people who talk tough in that convoluted, impassioned way, while pacing around intently.

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    19. No doubts – Jack Gleeson was the best although like others it feels odd that he is in a “Guest Actor” slot.

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    20. Joachim,

      You would have chosen Finn Jones? Then I believe you…you haven’t watched GoT since S1, indeed. Except for one short shot of Loras attacking Stannis’s legions wearing Renly’s armor in Blackwater, show!Loras is nothing like book!Loras.

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    21. I liked everyone but chose Iwan. His character could so easily become a caricature since he has to do such outrageous stuff, and instead he convinces me every time that he is completely genuinely twisted and should be feared, but also somewhat vulnerable in his excellent scenes with Michael McElhatton.

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    22. jentario,

      True. But that kid isn’t a respectable character actor of Burn’s stature. Karl’s “Yorick” scene and his “I can smell your cunt” vibe with Meera are sincerely some of the worst scenes in S4. Not sure if it was on his own accord or if it was the way the part was written. Either way, it caused me to snarf my booze thru my nose multiple times, which was probably better than having to smell all that cheese wafting from Burns mouth.

      Oh Karl. Where be your gibes now?

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    23. All these actors are amazing but I voted for Iwan Rheon, in the end.
      Both the Boltons made it and this makes me happy because Iwan and Micheal are incredible.
      Kudos to Jack Gleeson though, he made a fantastic job.

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    24. I voted for Iwan Rheon, being one of the very dark and diffficult characters; whereas he seemed to be very one-dimensional in the beginning, he showed emotion in the scene with Theon and Roose Bolton, his hated father. Looking forward for more….

      And now something concerning a personal question: I have ordered a new sword for my training – and want to give it a name referring to GoT: “Only cunts name their swords” I know, I know – but the Hound is right as usual… Any suggestions? (I will NOT accept Widows Wail!!)

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    25. I find it odd people are ruling certain choices out based on semantics. Especially when all these actors have been in multiple seasons.

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    26. I’m with those who feel that the definition of guest actor was a bit too loose and that several of these guys belonged in other categories Jack and Iwan especially as main cast members. I would have loved to give my vote to the grieving father who in my opinion exemplifies what this category is all about, a small role made memorable by an amazing performance. In the end I’ll go for Jack as I feel he was the best of these 5 and I won’t punish him for being put in the wrong section but I really do think that the true guest stars have suffered by being compared to mainstays of the series.

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    27. Hexonx,

      hmm, it’s a difficult one. The thing is if you say that actors who appeared in 3 epidsodes or less should only be considered for the guest award then Carice and Alfie shouldn’t have been in supporting categories. In fact, Jack Gleeeson had morre screentime this season thanboth Carice and Alfie, as well as, (characters names) Varys, Bronn, Davos and Stannis! Jack had the 19th highest amount of screentime out of the characters this season.Moreover, Ramsay (a guest) had more screentime than Theon (a supporting). I’m sure it is a difficult call to make, and I’m not sure I can come up with much betterr, but I would personally like to see someone who hasn’t been in as much of the series win the award.

      Someone like Barry McGovern never stood a chance in this category as he wasn’t in it enough. But if he had been in it for three seasons prior and then his death this season, well he would have had a heck of a lot more votes. Like I say, it is a difficult call to make, but as I don’t see Jack as a Guest I am not going to vote for him (but then I wouldn’t have voted for him in Supporting either, Pedro all the way there).

      (Screentime: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/112748-a-game-of-screentime-season-4/)

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    28. Jeb: Like I say, it is a difficult call to make, but as I don’t see Jack as a Guest I am not going to vote for him

      It’s your vote so it’s your prerogative. I don’t have a problem with it, I just find it odd you would rule one of the options out based on the name of the award. Maybe it should have a different name or maybe there should have been another category for ‘Bit Actor’ but how many awards do you want?

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    29. ashara,

      What about The LOC (lock), as in “Lots of cunts”?
      Have to have The in front of it, to honor THE Hound.

      Yeah…pretty uninspired but the best I could come up with.

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    30. Greenjones,

      Things are gonna get downright testy between Cersei and her. Can’t wait! Regarding her and Tommen though…great for him, not so much for her. I think Ser Pounce would approve though.

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    31. I’m not a fan of Iwan’s interpretation of Ramsay to be honest. I wouldn’t call it terrible but it doesn’t feel authentic in a way. I don’t buy his malevolence. His father, however, is a different as story: what a great actor he is and what a great performance even tho he had so little to do. That’s the reason I voted for him. I loved Ciaran as well but couldn’t vote for the two of them, unfortunately.

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    32. Hexonx,

      Yeah, as I say it is a diifciult one. I thought about other possible awards, but it is difficult Like “One Season Wonder” could be a good one, but then someone like Burn might have been considered for that last year, but then he ended up in Season 4. It is impossible to decide really, because if Iwan and Jack had been in Supporting they would have pushed out others who were real supporting characters.

      Aarghh, now I see the problem! Anyway, I loike all the actors so not too bothered who wins

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    33. All these actors are great excellent.

      Last year McEllhatton was the man in this category, but last season I did not think he was so memorable.

      Could not vote for Jack Gleason, as much as I enjoyed his performance, because he does not feel like “guest” actor. He may have appeared in few episodes in season 4, but he has been a major character throughout the whole series. It’s kind of not “fair” to pair him with guys who appeared briefly.

      Rheon is second place in my list of bad guys after Jack Gleeson, but still he has had plenty screen time throughout several seasons.

      I don’t feel season 4 was that great for Ciaran Hinds to be honest. Hopefully his character will get a better deal in season 5. Otherwise it would be a waste of an excellent actor.

      My vote went for Gorman: With less screen time in the series than the rest (maybe similar to Mance Ryder’s), he made quite an impression. He was a traitor, a leader, a merciless captor, a badass with knives and delivered an excellent soliloquy, all in about 10 minutes!

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    34. The Awful Awful Knight,

      His expression after that line was the definition of a grim smile. He felt more Mance-like in his few minutes in “The Children” than he did in the entirety of season 3. A great actor who I hope to see a lot more of next year.

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    35. I’m not sure who I’d choose but what a nasty bunch of characters this is! (Mance possibly excepted). Would be interesting to put these lot in a room together!

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    36. When folks say “Jack, no contest,” (I count four) they don’t seem to realize that is why he ought not be considered for this category. It really is “no contest” when an actor has dozen and dozens of episodes and screen time to develop a character to do it very well compared to others who must make the most of thin material (e.g. Mance who didn’t sell me as a leader of Wildlings).

      In terms of my raw reaction at the time of viewing, I felt that Gorman was the best followed by Rheon. In terms of long-term memorability I would put Rheon just ahead of Hinds. Roose was better as a Stark lieutenant that betrayed them at the Red Wedding; he isn’t carrying his weight as a lord.

      Thus I will go with Rheon as Ramsay and hope to see him back in Season 5.

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    37. Stannis the Mannis,

      I couldn’t disagree with you more about the actor playing Roose. The scene where he legitimizes Ramsay was one of the best of the season. He plays Roose as so cold and calculating. I can’t envision anyone else in the role. I hope he has a lot more screen time in season 5.

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    38. Ross,
      hmm…Joffrey immediately craps his pants and tries to run. Ramsay takes him out with an arrow to the back of the head. Ramsay’s crazy and fearless enough to attack Karl alone, but it’s a “Leeeeeroy Jenkins!” type deal and Karl dispatches him easily. Roose then hires Karl to kill Mance, being able to pay his 7 silver fee many times over thanks to his dowry from marrying Walda Frey. Afterwards Karl is, of course, betrayed and flayed.

      Roose wins!

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    39. I really wanted to go with carl “the foocking legend” tanner, but in the end, my vote goes to little joffers

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    40. Jeb,

      I have decided that main cast members shouldn’t really be in this category so I’m going to rule out Jack and Iwan (although I think one of these two, probably Jack will win). I’m also going to rule out Michael as I feel he has been it it for three seasons, and quite a bit last season (although even he would have made my definition; perhaps 3 episodes this season and 10 episodes top, or something like that would have been better).

      I totally agree. Jack,Michael and Iwan are amazing actors and did a fantastic job bringing their characters to life; I was esp impressed with Iwan; the scene when his father accepts him as a Bolton was so honest; you could tell how honored and shocked Ramsay was, feelings that you wouldn’t expect from Ramsay after the torture scenes. But I still can’t vote for them. To me they were main characters. I voted for Gorman.

      I do wonder if changing the title of the category would help. Rather than ‘guest actor’ which implies a few scenes in a few episodes, perhaps ‘best character actor’?

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    41. Mine is the Furry:
      Sorry, but Burn Gorman made a mockery of his character and was easily the most laughable role since the stable boy in S1.

      This belongs to Jack.Who could have won best actor in any previous season.

      THIS.

      ashara,

      Love your name. 😉

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    42. I never cared much about Burn Gorman as Karl, Michael and Iwan didn’t have that much to do this year, just like Ciaran who’ll have better stuff waiting next season I hope. So even though Jack can hardly be called a guest actor (like many others I feel that this category has to change or even go), this was the easiest of all votes so far. And Jack was so good throughout the years that I happily voted for him in a category beneath his dignity!

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    43. Stannis the Mannis: When folks say “Jack, no contest,” (I count four) they don’t seem to realize that is why he ought not be considered for this category. It really is “no contest” when an actor has dozen and dozens of episodes and screen time to develop a character to do it very well compared to others who must make the most of thin material (e.g. Mance who didn’t sell me as a leader of Wildlings).

      I see what you’re saying, and probably messed up when I discounted Burn and Ciaran for ‘not having much to do’ (as this is the definition of this category). However, seeing that I disliked Burn’s way of playing KT, this would have left only Ciaran as a contender since Michael and Rheon also had major roles in past seasons. I feel that the problem with this category is the fact that GoT doesn’t adhere to the normal ‘rules’ of movies/series. A minor character in one season can become a major in the next, and vice versa. And since there’s so many different characters and story lines to be told in just ten episodes per season, the difference between major and minor characters is much less clear than in other series to begin with. Hence, dividing the actors in several categories will allways be a bit pedantic. I don’t think there’s really a solution for this ‘problem’, but maybe we should accept that GoT doesn’t live by normal award category schemes? Anyways, Jack is in this category now, and I feel it would be disrespectful to him and all he gave us over the past four years to not consider him for this award.

      [edit: the weirdest thing just happened. After pressing ‘send’ on this message, I got an error screen saying something like “You are posting too much too quickly, slow down” – luckily I could get my message back by pressing ‘back’ in my browser, and then the posting went ok. Just a glitch of WordPress?]

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    44. Tar Kidho: [edit: the weirdest thing just happened. After pressing ‘send’ on this message, I got an error screen saying something like “You are posting too much too quickly, slow down” – luckily I could get my message back by pressing ‘back’ in my browser, and then the posting went ok. Just a glitch of WordPress?]

      That also happened to me. My refresh/stop button was rapidly alternating. Maybe made the system think I was spamming the comment button. I also went back and it posted fine the second time.

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    45. Hexonx,
      Tar Kidho,

      I get it sometimes as well. The s/w is looking after our well being and wants us to think about what we say before posting, I guess. 🙂 I also sometimes get a message like “session timed out” when I take longer than 5-10 minutes to post a response.

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    46. Very well, now I am getting annoyed lets finish that topic once and for all: Since about seven years I practice the Chinese Taiji-chuan (for interested persons – Chenstyle, member of the WCTAG World Chen Taiji Assoc) That part of traditional Martial Arts contains besides the so called “hand forms” four weapons: the long stick(originally spear) the short stick, halberd and sword. Because the gym where we practice -because winter is coming! is not apt for training with seven to ten persons with the longstick, we sweep to sword every autumn. And I just got hold of a new one. With my phantasy on GoT, I considered it a good idea to ask. I was mistaken.Looking forward to further debates about screentime etc. Have a nice day.

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    47. Stannis the Mannis,

      Based on the perimeters set forth for qualification for this award by the staff here and by the preliminary votes by the readers, yes, Jack’s nomination applies. And that should be all the justification needed for his inclusion.

      Still not good enough? Don’t vote for him. However, based on the rational reasoning above, Jack clearly was the best “guest actor” this season.

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    48. ash:
      Jeb,

      I totally agree. Jack,Michael and Iwan are amazing actors and did a fantastic job bringing their characters to life; I was esp impressed with Iwan; the scene when his father accepts him as a Bolton was so honest; you could tell how honored and shocked Ramsay was, feelings that you wouldn’t expect from Ramsay after the torture scenes.But I still can’t vote for them.To me they were main characters. I voted for Gorman.

      I do wonder if changing the title of the category would help. Rather than ‘guest actor’ which implies a few scenes in a few episodes, perhaps ‘best character actor’?

      I never understood what the term “character actor” is supposed to mean. All actors play characters. Does this mean that the main characters are devoid of personality, or what? In this case, how exactly is Jack or Iwan or Ciaran more of a “character actor” (whatever that means) than Peter Dinklage or Nikolaj or Rory or Pedro or Alfie?

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    49. Cian:
      The Awful Awful Knight,

      His expression after that line was the definition of a grim smile. He felt more Mance-like in his few minutes in “The Children” than he did in the entirety of season 3. A great actor who I hope to see a lot more of next year.

      Yes.

      The others in this category were also great, but I really loved Ciaran Hinds’ one episode, two-scenes performance (now this really fits the definition of “guest actor”!) where he made the most of some 10 or less minutes of screentime to finally salvage the character who’s been shoved aside, mishandled and marginalized for a long time. Though, of course, the writers also deserve credit. The Jon/Mance parlay was one of my favorite scenes of this season, and he’s even better in the Stannis scene.

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    50. How the hell is Jack Gleeson…a godamn guest actor?!?! Joffrey Baratheon…unless I live on another planet…is, at least on the show, one of the characters we’ve followed since Season One…Jack Gleeson has been with the show since day one…and he gets put on a guest actor list…wow…?!?!

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