Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Leading Actor & Best Leading Actress of Season 7

Best Actor Actress season 7

Welcome, everyone, to the final round of the 2017 Watchers on the Wall Awards! Every year we celebrate the best of Game of Thrones, as chosen by the fan community. We’ve gathered up your suggestions for all our nominees, and after the preliminary round of voting, narrowed it down to just five candidates in each category. Now it’s time to get down to it, and choose the true winners of season 7!

We’re kicking off the fun with a pair of big categories- Best Leading Actress and Actor of the year. These are the stars who led the show and their storylines. They’re the backbone and the beating heart of Game of Thrones. Which leads reigned supreme in season 7?

(And before you ask- if you don’t see your fave in these polls, they were most likely placed in the Best Supporting category based on your nominations!)

For Best Actress, the nominees are:

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark

For Best Actor, the nominees are:

John Bradley as Samwell Tarly

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister

Kit Harington as Jon Snow

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 72 hours (Sunday 12/03/17 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 Leading Actress Poll:

Best Leading Actor Poll:

81 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Nikolaj and Lena have my vote. They’ve both mastered the art of subtle facial expressions — that look Jaime gives when Olenna calls Cersei a disease; a blend of understanding, disappointment, frustration, and annoyance — and then of course that last scene they have together.

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    2. Emilia and Kit arguably got the best material, but in my personal opinion, the King’s Landing scenes showed that Lena and Nikolaj are still the better actors. No problem if you disagree, we all have different tastes…

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    3. Lena and Peter.
      Maisie and Sophie got the worst material which hindered them although I think Sophie was great in the Bran reunion scene. Emilia and Kit can’t act. Nikolaj is good but not exceptional.

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    4. Mr Derp,

      Yes, and they were really good together. Their scenes, and the Hound’s scenes, were the only ones I thought were great. I could have done without King’s Landing and Winterfell. Euron is ruining the show.

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    5. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau really connected with me this year. He’s probably evolved the most of any character from pushing Bran out the window in season 1 to his realization in season 7 that he no longer could stay with Cersei. She had gone too far even for him, and his honor takes him north. Alot of times it was just his expressions that said it all. For me, I look for the connection on knowing if someone did a great acting job. I enjoyed his action scenes. Not any actor can pull off those scenes, such as the loot train battle. I felt how much he cared for his troops and his glorious brave stupidity of trying to end the war with one hail mary. I look forward to his journey in the final season as he now rides north on his black stallion with his black cloak and gloves. He has chosen the more noble path that Brienne brings out in him instead of his destructive Cersei driven path. I have hopes that he will fill up the pages of his book in season 8. He has already filled up a few of those pages for me from his acting in season 7.

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    6. Leading Actress: Emilia Clarke. I’ve loved Emilia’s work for the entire run of the series, but I thought Season 7 was her best yet. Her performance in “Beyond the Wall” – especially the heartbreakingly vulnerable scene with Jon in the ship’s cabin – sealed it for me.

      Close Second: Lena Headey. The two-time defending champion could easily have received my vote for a third year running if it weren’t for Emilia reaching new heights. In a cast filled to the brim with remarkable and unbelievably talented actors, I continue to think that when their full bodies of work for the series are considered, Lena may be the very best of them all.

      Leading Actor: Kit Harington. Last year’s deserving winner, he gets my vote to repeat in this category. As Jon continues to grow into his role as a leader and a king,, so Kit’s performance has taken on more weight and nuance as he stakes his claim as perhaps the story’s central figure.

      Close Second: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. This was agonizingly close, as I think Season 7 featured some of Nikolaj’s very best work in the series (and he’s got no shortage of great material). His performance in “The Spoils of War” alone was worthy of consideration, but there was so much more.

      I absolutely loved what Maisie, Sophie, Peter, and John did this year as well! Whoever ultimately wins these categories, they’ll be deserving.

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    7. I have to recognise that Kit and Emilia were AMAZING this season, I mean, I always liked their performances (really, I don’t get why people critisize their acting), they were the main characters this season, all he pressure and the weight of the narrative were on their shoulders and they delivered.

      I especially liked the chemestry between them, I believed it, I really did.

      But my votes had to go to the second most important characters this season (at east in my opinion): Jaime and Sansa. my favourite characters both in the books and the show.

      I was so happy with their arcs this season, both got free of their captors, both became the characters i always wanted them to:
      -Sansa played on LF and ruled winterfel wisely, like the great lady I always knew she was.
      – Jaime realised that Cersei was a disease and he inmediately regretted his role in spreading it. that last scene was just glorious, you really see his heart being shattered.

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    8. Tough, but I went with Lena for her subtle menace in the scenes with Jaime and Tyrion; and Kit for the Drogon scene and his “both Stark and Greyjoy” interaction with Theon. It was tough between Kit and Nikolaj for me, though!

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    9. I thought Lena’s season was rather one note outside of the very good dungeon scene, which is to say, a lot of teeth-bearing smugness and repeated bitter conversation. While I finally appreciated Sophie’s performance in S7 I don’t think she nor Maisie had the quantity or quality of material to choose over Emilia. Emilia had to display quite a bit of emotional range throughout and I feel she performed very well, despite what a small group of people continue to claim.

      As for the men, each of the nominees had their moments, but again due to required range in the performance and being a true ‘lead’ for the season, I have to go with Kit.

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    10. For me, on the female side, it came down to Lena or Sophie. Back and forth, I did go I finally chose Sophie. Since 4-8 I felt she was hitting it well for nods, in 5-6 I felt she truly along with Alfie and Iwen ( ? ) should have been given a nod. I chose Lena a few times prior, this time I feel it’s Sophie’s turn.

      For the men, down to Kit or Peter, I gave Peter nods before, this time I gave it to Kit.

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    11. Based on material and overall substance for season 7: Emilia and Kit

      Isolating the characters solely on the merits of their acting: Lena and Dinklage

      It was definitely a season that was meant for Emilia and Kit to shine. Their chemistry was blatantly clear and they made the tumultuous love story of Jon and Dany appealing in more ways than I ever though it could be.

      However Lena continues to do excellent work as evident in the dungeon torture scene and her reunion with Tyrion. Although Tyrion had one of the weaker plot threads this season, when he did shine, Peter was incredible as usual. When you can make weak material appear strong simply on the merits of your acting, there’s absolutely nothing that can be used against your prowess.

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    12. Oftentimes I and other fans confuse acting chops with favourite character/favourite storyline/great acting in the past.

      I’m as guilty as the next person.

      That said, just looking at S7, NCW is as good as ever, since S1, the character is growing, changing, and NCW portrays it perfectly. You don’t need big speeches if you can express huge emotions with subtle face-acting and body-language.

      So my best actor goes to NCW. Second choice would be John Bradley as Sam, he does such a brilliant job at it. Kit Harington isn’t bad either, and Peter Dinklage had a couple of good scenes (but I can’t get over his cringeworthy overacting in the trial scene in S4).

      As for the best female actors in S7… Lena Heady takes it, just on the strength of the dungeon scene with Ellaria and Tyene. Wow. That scene and her acting in it still haunts me. She also did amazing work in her other scenes. Just wow.

      Next comes Emilia Clarke. The way she played the high and mighty dragon queen but infused some humanity and vulnerability into her role as the script demanded. Well done!

      The Stark sisters are a toss-up for me. Maisie gets huge respect, as an actor, for the Arya/Brienne sparring scene and all the work that went into it, but otherwise I found her performance a bit wooden or “fan-Arya” cliched. Nowhere as good as in S1 to S4. Whereas Sophie Turner as Sansa seemed to step up a plate and inhabit the character very well. It’s probably a problem with the writing, but this year I, for the first time, felt that Sophie maybe acted better than Maisie. Both are amazing young actors, though.

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    13. Sophie and Kit nailed it for me this year.
      I know Lena doesn’t script the show (obviously) but I found myself getting annoyed with her this season, how she keeps repeating sentences in a certain rhythm while gritting her teeth just wore on me after a while.

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    14. Both of these categories were incredibly tough, and I’m really not looking forward to having to pick a sole winner in the other acting categories either.

      Leading Actress: Maisie Williams

      I loved Maisie’s performance this season. We got to see the inner conflict between the Arya who wants to carry out vengeance on those who have wronged her family and the Arya who wants to return home to Winterfell, and how she tries to piece those two together. The problems she faced readjusting to life at Winterfell with her family felt real to me. Whatever the quality of the material she is given, Maisie’s performance is always amazing.

      I loved her scene with the Lannister soldiers in 701 and her reunions with Hot Pie and Nymeria in 702, not to mention her reunions with Sansa and Bran in 704. I do believe the Arya/Brienne fight in 704 will go down as one of the most iconic fight scenes in GoT history.

      But, as I said above, this was incredibly tough and all four of these actresses were amazing this season. This was, for me, Emilia’s best season so far. She showed us the public and the private sides of Daenerys, and the internal conflict between her desire to do good and the fire of her Targaryen blood. The scenes she had with Kit were fantastic, and for once it felt like we were seeing Daenerys interact with an equal.

      Lena is never anything short of fabulous, and the dungeon scene between Cersei, Ellaria and Tyene was spine chilling and so much of it was performance over dialogue. I also loved, as always, her performance in the Tyrion/Cersei scene in 707. Lena gave us a beautiful portrayal of a woman spiraling into madness and growing in power.

      Sophie has grown amazingly as an actress as the seasons have passed, and she was fantastic this past season. Her portrayal of Sansa’s reunions with Arya and Bran was so beautiful to watch, as were the moments in which she realized just how much they had all changed. I also found her performance in the LF trial scene to be incredibly powerful. This was Sansa finally taking charge.

      Leading Actor: Kit Harington

      So much of Kit’s performance is subtle. I love re-watching the crypt scene from 702, with LF needling away at Jon as he tries to find out what his weak spot is. There is a small flicker in the eyes when LF mentions Catelyn that takes me back to the early scenes in season one. This is why his portrayal of Jon is as high quality as it is – because so much of who Jon is isn’t on public display to everyone all the time. It is internal.

      One scene I have a deep affection for, and in which Jon does wear his heart on his sleeve, is the boat scene at the end of 706 when we get to see Jon the man rather than Jon the leader. The looks Jon shares with Daenerys leaves her and the audience in no doubt of what we’ve suspected for a good few episodes – he’s fallen in love with her. But it doesn’t come out of nowhere. We see him staring at her on the clifftops as Drogon leaves them. And that scene with Drogon is another of my favorites from this season. The emotion on his face as he pets the dragon is stunning. Amazing performance.

      I definitely think this was Nikolaj’s best season since season three. His portrayal of Jaime during Olenna’s confession and the break with Cersei were two highlights from a season full of them. I also felt we really got to see in 707 Jaime’s inner conflict between the Jaime that Brienne knows is capable of true honor, and the Jaime that is loyal to Cersei. Jaime is in denial as Cersei shows more and more attributes which call back to Aerys, and Nikolaj completely nails that.

      Peter has been amazing in each and every season, and this one was no exception. The emotion in his voice during the reunion with Jaime in 705 was incredibly powerful, as was his performance in the Tyrion/Cersei scene in 707. This was very much a season in which even when things were going right for Tyrion, they were going wrong. And on the internal conflict theme, I loved his portrayal of the inner battle he experiences between his desire to seat Daenerys on the Iron Throne and his Lannister heritage.

      One of my favorite arcs this season was Sam’s, and John Bradley got it right in every single scene he was in. As was the case for many characters, we left Sam in a seemingly positive and hopeful place at the end of season six. In season seven, we saw Sam dealing with the reality behind the dream. John Bradley gave us comedy, pathos and drama in a series of memorable scenes. I loved his departure from Oldtown, in which Sam gives up his dream because he knows he has to live in, and fight for, the real world.

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    15. Nicolaj really won for me this year. Kit was excellent, John was lovely, and Peter had his moments (I think Tyrion was a little bit less ‘on’ this year, nothing to do with Peter), but Nicolaj consistently got my heart. The field of fire battle, and his expressiveness and those last 4 words to Cersei… “I don’t believe you.” Chills.

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    16. Jared,

      Damn. This is the first time I haven’t been able to go through the poll, check off my choices, and click “Vote” within a minute or two. I’m leaning towards your choices. However….

      It’s difficult to be objective about Emilia Clarke’s performance. Ever since I saw her Dolce & Gabbana commercial*, I’d vote for her for anything and everything.

      As for Kit Harington…I’m tempted to vote for him just in recognition of the grueling hours at the gym he must’ve spent to look that good in his birthday suit. That’s dedication.

      * I think I’ve rewatched that commercial more than any of my favorite Daenerys scenes.

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    17. Alba Stark:
      Leading Actor: Kit Harington
      So much of Kit’s performance is subtle.I love re-watching the crypt scene from 702, with LF needling away at Jon as he tries to find out what his weak spot is.There is a small flicker in the eyes when LF mentions Catelyn that takes me back to the early scenes in season one.This is why his portrayal of Jon is as high quality as it is – because so much of who Jon is isn’t on public display to everyone all the time.It is internal.

      One scene I have a deep affection for, and in which Jon does wear his heart on his sleeve, is the boat scene at the end of 706 when we get to see Jon the man rather than Jon the leader.The looks Jon shares with Daenerys leaves her and the audience in no doubt of what we’ve suspected for a good few episodes – he’s fallen in love with her.But it doesn’t come out of nowhere.We see him staring at her on the clifftops as Drogon leaves them.And that scene with Drogon is another of my favorites from this season.The emotion on his face as he pets the dragon is stunning.Amazing performance.

      I have to say I absolutely agree with every word you say. To me Kit does some of his best acting when he doesn’t say anything. His subtle looks and expressions often say more than words and whilst he may not be the best actor in GOT he certainly gets my vote for his nuanced performance of Jon Snow. My best actress goes to Lena Heady although coming very close is Emilia Clarke, as I thought this series was her best.

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    18. KaKa,

      Surprised you haven’t got more backlash from this but maybe people just don’t care enough. Emelia is always great in the show and Kit’s acting usually gets the most emotion out of me.

      Also… if you don’t really think Kit is a great actor, then you should watch “7 Days in Hell.” It’ll change your perspective, trust me.

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    19. Jaehaerys,

      I enjoyed that too but have you seen him in Testament of Youth? The scene on the beach where he is speaking to his fiance and it is obvious he is suffering from shell shock is heartbreaking. A subtle and nuanced performance from Kit.

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    20. Carole H,

      I haven’t seen that (or head of it), but I’ll definitely check it out! The more stuff I see Kit in, the more I love his acting. I’m also really excited to check out his new Gunpowder HBO series whenever that comes out. It looks like he’ll get a ton of screen time again so I’m sure it’ll be great.

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    21. Jaehaerys,

      I noticed the comment, but didn’t care enough to get into a pointless debate about it.
      It’s become “cool” to trash Kit and Emilia’s acting. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it and I’m sure it won’t be the last. There’s no reason for me to give it any attention. The lack of response sometimes speaks louder than any words can.

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    22. Jaehaerys,

      Gunpowder was excellent although it was criticised here ( Britain) because of too much violence, which considering when it was set, was laughable really, I didn’t think it was violent enough! It was a quality drama again from the BBC, as I have said before. The only reason the violence was highlighted was because of Kit’s involvement in GOT and no other reason. I hope you enjoy it

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    23. Carole H,

      I’m really looking forward to seeing Gunpowder in my country – we will, because we get all the quality BBC period dramas after some delay. It’s going to be good to see Kit as someone else than Jon Snow, haha. Does his character in Gunpowder ever smile or laugh?

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    24. talvikorppi,

      Lord no; without giving anything away he hasn’t got much to smile about. If you were Catholic in England in the 17th century life was not good and could be extremely dangerous. He has a scene with a young actor who plays his son and it is so sad it brought a tear to my eye and I thought if I have to go through the same sort of thing on GOT I’ll cry for a week. BTW, in case you don’t know, Kit is a direct ancestor of the man he plays through his Mum’s line.

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    25. I kinda surprise myself, but this truly was Jon and Dany’s season, so I have to vote for Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington, both of whom did a great job carrying this season.

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    26. Based on comments, no one picked the same two that I did:

      Maisie Williams
      Peter Dinkage

      Regardless of the material handed, they always held me riveted. I always knew what each was going through, what their characters were thinking, feeling, etc. (And in Maisie’s case that was really important because my GOD! was the Winterfell story a muddled, contrived mess this season… and I’ve never complained about the writing on GOT before.) So definitely Maisie Williams and Peter Dinklage.

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    27. Tar Kidho,

      Agreed. I think a lot of people might be voting with the characters they root for in mind… But when you think about it objectively (say, if you were to show a scene to someone who hasn’t seen the show and doesn’t like a character more than others), Lena and Nikolaj are ahead of the rest. It’s especially visible when they have scenes with the rest of the cast, it’s like they’re a level above.

      It was the same with Charles Dance, when Tywin was alive; His acting on its own elevated the scene. He was the best actor on the show, by a wide margin, in my opinion; And now that he’s off the show, I think this passed to Lena and Nikolaj, with Peter in third place.

      I fully expect Kit and Emilia to win this, and by a lot… But I think people are voting with their heart (the love they have for the character, and for the lines/actions they were given) and not with their mind, objectively voting for the acting alone.

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    28. aiad: I think people are voting with their heart (the love they have for the character, and for the lines/actions they were given) and not with their mind, objectively voting for the acting alone.

      I voted for Emilia Clarke and I don’t really even like Daenerys that much, so there goes that theory.

      I agree with you though about Charles Dance. IMO his presence is missed on the show.

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    29. the notion that this was jon/dany’s season is tainted by the fact that “beyond the wall” was one of the weakest episodes of the season, kit/emilia were mediocre af in it and since the jon/dany sex scene was lame and boring.

      The Cersei/Ellaria, Cersei/Tyrion, Cersei/Jaime finale scene was better than any Jonerys scenes. Team Lannister all the way. Peter, Lena and Nikolaj are much more talented than Kit and Emilia.

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    30. Carole H,

      Yeah, I knew it’s a pretty grim series, considering the subject matter and time. I just wondered if there was a lighthearted scene or two before everything got serious. But apparently no smiles/laughs from mr Harington on this one either, haha!

      And yeah, I knew he is a descendant of one of the gunpowder plotters – probably why he wanted to do the story in the first place.

      Imagine if all the plotters’ families had faced the fate many GoT fans seem to want for all the Freys = kill them all! We wouldn’t have our wonderful Kit Harington! o_O

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    31. Gayle:
      The Lannister twins.Lena and Nikolaj were both incredible this year.

      Agree wholeheartedly. They left their “litter brother” Peter trailing in their wake by a nautical mile.

      Peter Dinklage is by no means bad, mostly very good, but sometimes he’s so on the nose. I get the feeling it’s Peter Dinklage playing Tyrion, whereas Lena is Cersei and Nikolaj is Jaime. Just my opinion, of course.

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    32. ACTOR: Kit or Nikolaj. Kit has always been great at brooding, good at worrying, fabulous at fighting, and so-so at expressing emotion. This year he had to express so much AND convince people AND win Dany’s heart (and ours) AND be heroic AND deal with some Southron-style politics. He was persuasive and winning throughout. Nikolaj gave Jaime free-range, tumbling throgh all sorts of emotions just in his dealings with Cersei. But the delicacy of his scene with Olenna, the astuteness of his approach to Lord Tarly, his humanity with Dickon, AND the banter with Bronn plus his amazing charge at Drogon–that has pretty much won me over. Truly, Alfie was as good but just had so much less to do.

      ACTRESS: I’m torn between Emilia and Maisie. Emilia did the absolute best acting of Dany in any season. She showed many sides–from the angry dragon, to the worried, frustrated, and eventually lovelorn woman. She’s one of my favourite characters, but never close to favourite. We haven’t seen such tenderness from Dany since S1. Maisie played two roles in S7–Arya (emotional) and No One (stoic). Arya emerged with the soldiers and Hot Pie (going from focused and starved, to coming to life, then fluttering with excitement when she registered that JON was HOME!). Then with Nymeria, desperate, then resigned and understanding. Those “f**k off” guards quashed her, but her careful reunion with Sansa and warmer one with Bran were fine…till she heard Littlefinger was there AND meddling with her siblings. After the brilliant sparring with Brienne, she gave LF the Death Glare and turned into No One. No One walks, talks and moves differently and is utterly under control. Whether you think Arya was enacting an FM-style ruse using Sansa to push LF to incriminate himself OR just being nasty, mean, threatening, and obnoxious to the sister she had hugged in front of Ned–Maisie was playing someone else…and convincingly.

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    33. Kit, no question (tho if Alfie was up for this he’d be my choice). Ive seen him go from a youngster just learning the ropes to a true actor. In past seasons I kinda ignored him or didn’t give his acting much merit. By the time of the battle for castle black, I was rivited!

      I’d choose Emilia due to the material, but to be honest I was disappointed with her acting in some scenes, and I just didn’t see the chemistry between dany and jon. My pic for actress is Lena. Every scene was spot on perfect, and that dungeon speech one of the best in the show.

      That being said, each of these actors and actresses are phenomenal, and no matter which one is picked, I’d nod my head in agreement

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    34. Mr Derp,

      How is it cool to bash Kit and Emilia’s acting? It is a fact that, when it comes to the cast of this show, both of them fall on the mediocre spectrum. As Aiad mentioned, people tend to vote with their heart, and not by judging the performance objectively. If they would, Kit and Emilia would definitely not win anything when faced with much worthier contenders. No one would vote for Kit instead of Nikolaj, Peter or Alfie for instance, and no one would vote for Emilia instead of someone like Lena, Sophie or Maisie. If the voting was fair.

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    35. It is Lena and Kit for me.

      Her acting was tremendous in general, but her scenes with Ellaria and Tyene and with Tyrion made it for me. There you could see what she has become but at the same time you could get where she was coming from. The way her voice breaks when she spoke of Myrcella was heartbreaking, and her internal struggle that held her from asking the Mountain to kill her little brother was brilliant.

      His royal arse definitely deserves a prize!, but that’s not why a voted for him. He evolved throughout the season into his role as King of the North and I believed him every step of the way, both in the big speeches as with the little reactions and looks he pulls here and there, like his look of dispair when Lyanna Mormont questioned his decision to go South, or the look he gives Davos when he was introducing him to Daenerys, his interaction with Drogon, the time he unites the magnificent 7 saying “we’re all in the same side… we’re all breating”, or when he refuses to lie to Cersei at the Dragon Pit… but I guess my favorite happened during his conversation with Beric Dondarion North of the Wall… the minute Jon understood his purpose and reconciled his past and his present.

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    36. One must be blind to fail recognising the subtility of Nikolaj’s acting, how much of the character’s internal struggles he can express just with his eyes. He never appears to be acting, he becomes the character. Not to be too harsh, but Kit’s expressions have the emotional range of a potato. When it comes to fighting, he is sublime. And I’ve loved his speeches in the past. But that’s about it. He’s better than Emilia though.

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    37. Emilia and Kit all the way this year. I’d been voting Kit regularly since Season 4 but Emilia’s more sporadic. Well, this time it’s guaranteed.

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    38. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      “I’m torn between Emilia and Maisie.”

      So…. Did you choose the Many-Faced Goddess?

      PS. I lked how you explained her dual identities in S7: “Arya (emotional) and No One (stoic).”

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    39. Actress: It’s got to be Emilia for me. Not only did she display a greater range of emotions than the rest of the field (and let’s be fair here, she had the most material to work with), but I also got a sense of vulnerability from her that reminded me of the first season. While I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Dany, I really liked her this season, and Emilia was a big part of that.

      Actor: Oof. I’m really stuck over whether to vote for Kit or Nicolaj. On the one hand, NCW did a fantastic portraying Jamie’s slowing frustration and alienation from his sister, and of course his scene with Olenna was great. My favorite moment from him might be the look on his face when Cersei (seemingly) is about to have the Mountain kill him, and the way he says “I don’t believe you” gives so much meaning to his words, it gave me chills. I’m tempted to vote for him for that scene alone.
      On the other hand (I swear I wasn’t trying to make a pun there), Kit had a lot of great material to work with, as was befitting his screentime, from his inspiring speeches to his consistently excellent fighting skills, and even having to to convince the audience that he was actually interacting with a real-life dragon mostly through his facial expressions (as well as some truly extraordinarily cgi). Most significant of all, however, is how Kit (and Emilia) brought the Jon-Dany relationship to life. So much of their budding romance is developed without the use of dialogue, and Kit is able to get this across just by the way he looks at her (such as that cave scene), even though he isn’t as obvious in his affections as Dany is until Beyond the Wall.

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    40. Emilia! This was her season. Kit was also great, but I voted for Peter. He deserves this award, but he never won.

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    41. Maisie and her scenes with Nymeria were breath-taking. Her homecoming was perfectly acted and I loved her scene where she talking about Ned and her archery! But nothing beats her scene with Brienne. Blown away!

      Peter and Lena’s was amazing and the highlight for me! So Peter for Best Actor as well.

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    42. I voted for Lena and Peter. Their personal encounter in episode 7 was my favourite scene of the entire season. Emilia and Kit are the runner-ups.

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    43. aiad,

      That’s why I’m just reading your guys’ picks and not bothering to vote. I don’t think I can be objective really because all of these lead actors did great with what they were given. If everyone is on top of their game how do you choose except based on your fan faves.

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    44. This was Emilia’s best season since 1 (best material AND performance) and yet I still had a hard time picking her over Lena who is easily the strongest actor on the entire show. But, I decided to pick Emilia because damnit, this was Dany’s season…

      Nikolaj won best Actor this season from me and it wasn’t even close. Peter’s an awesome actor and there were some good moments but I just didn’t get close to feeling as much (good/bad) from what I was given compared to other seasons.

      Of course, I’m biased as Dany and Jaime are my faves but in the past even though that’s the case, I’d have picked Peter and Lena for the acting roles over Nik and Emilia. This season they both earned it.

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    45. Ten Bears:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      “I’m torn between Emilia and Maisie.”

      So…. Did you choose the Many-Faced Goddess?

      PS. I lked how you explained her dual identities in S7: “Arya (emotional) and No One (stoic).”

      What a question! It helped me decide. Watching Emilia slowly show Dany’s vulnerability was like drinking a hot cuppa in filthy weather. Satisfying, warming. But I think Maisie rose to a much greater technical and personal challenge. Actingdi is disciplined pretending. We all admire her scene wih Brienne, but the girl also acted with a bloody wolf! And in the joy of finally reuniting with BFF Sophie, imagine the discipline needed (especially for a 19YO) to display such a a range of mostly-negative emotions towards her, culminating in holding an arms-length knife up to her face. Maisie had to sell it, and we viewers bought it. The all-important dagger exchange, (carried out with panache and drama by both actresses) vindicated Arya. Watching that was like stumbling off a freezing moor into a fine pub and having a Single Malt Whisky. Fiery, smooth, and such relief. (That really happened.)

      FWIW, I still haven’t voted because my computer still doesn’t give me a workable poll link.

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    46. aiad,

      I still miss Charles Dance! Not only was he stunning on his own, but he elevated every other performance… Headey’s, Coster-Waldau’s, Dinklage’s, and most memorably to me, Williams’s. Imho, she’s at her very best playing against Dance and McCann.

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    47. It is hard to distinguish between “sympathy for the role” and “quality of acting”. But for me, it was “NCW” and “No One”.

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    48. Voted for Maisie Williams and John Bradley. These actors have been character/supporting players for years. In season 7 they carried lead roles like champs giving some unexpected insights into characters we thought we knew.

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    49. Lena is a very good actress, but…for the past couple of seasons (since her walk of shame more or less) her acting is SO monotonous. So villain-y cliche… She makes it almost to a Disney-villain level. I guess it is not her fault, and she did have a good scene with Ellaria, but other than that, kinda boring.
      Sophie is getting better and better but did not get any help from her material. She was good, but boy her material was stupid this year. It makes it really hard to appreciate her work. Still, Sansa is a character I deeply root for, so let’s see what happens.
      Maisie is also trapped by her material. She was so good in previous seasons, now she is no-one and she acts like it. Her part could be easily played by Jaqen. I did enjoy her scene with those nice Lannister soldiers. There she got to pierce the mask of the cold assassin, and she was lovely.
      For me, Emilia is the one this year.

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    50. And the gents:
      Kit is the man. He has really evolved and is great in his portrayal of the leader who has still his weak spots. Why, the simple fact that he pulls it off in his big hero role while being probably the shortest man on set (Tyrion excluded) is no small feat.
      Speaking of Tyrion, Peter has Lena’s problem: good, but monotonous. His biggest problem is that Tyrion is a great character, but the show has long ago forgotten the witty, tormented characters in favour of its heroic, tormented ones.
      Jon Bradley is someone I really like and Sam Tarly is probably my favourite character. He is amazing, but I still don’t understand how he got in the leading actors poll.
      And NCW is a very good actor that I would most enthousiastically vote for if Kit wasn’t there. Certainly my runner-up.

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    51. ygritte:

      That’s why I’m just reading your guys’ picks and not bothering to vote. I don’t think I can be objective really because all of these lead actors did great with what they were given.If everyone is on top of their game how do you choose except based on your fan faves.

      I voted for Sophie and Jaime….neither of whom were ever favorites for me before this season.

      I agree that all did very well with what they were given but simply put:

      Sansa rid the world of Little Finger (even if the mental gymnastics I had to endure to get there this season demonstrated that the writing was a bit…problematic)

      Jaime rid himself of Cersei.

      I realize that those two points I make do nothing to illustrate their acting skills; suffice it to say I found their nuanced performances to be highlights for me.

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    52. I like actors to give me a rise, pull at my heartstrings, and worry the shit out of me. Extra points if they do something I never seen done on TV. This year it was Nikolai Coster Waldau and Maisie Willians who each had some real ‘hell yeah’ momemts!

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    53. Objectivity is overrated… especially while enjoying ‘Arbor Gold’ in my new Ghost goblet 🙂 I’ll say Nikolaj and Lena. Because of the Euron scene(s), and the last episode, and Cersei’s revenge on Elaria and Tyene, which brought shivers down my spine. Arya/Maisie is one of my favourites and I love her in every scene/ interview/ gala, but I must say Lena (whom I also admire a lot) impressed me more.
      I can hardly choose between Peter and Nikolaj, but imo the latter had better material to work with in season 7.

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    54. Better (vote) late than never…

      I never considered Emilia and Kit the absolute best of the bunch before, but the longer the show goes, the better Kit gets. And Emilia at long last also impressed me this year.
      So deservedly, they get my vote.

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