WotW Awards: Best Guest Actor Preliminary Round


On Monday we voted for the ladies, for the Best Guest Actress award, and now the men are up. It’s time to cast your ballots in the category of Best Guest Actor of Game of Thrones season 4.

Actors in this category appeared in 3 or less episodes in season 4, but left a big impression on viewers.

The usual rules: we’re asking that each of you select up to FIVE nominees from this poll. You can choose fewer, but you can’t choose more.

At the end of 72 hours (Sunday 8/31/14 at 10AM Eastern Time), whichever five actors have the most votes will continue on to the finals. (Note: in the final rounds, you will only have one vote to cast in each category!)

The results of the poll will be revealed when it’s time to choose the final winner of Best Guest Actor in a few weeks. For now, discuss, debate, reminisce and lobby for your favorites.

Happy voting!

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com


  1. This is a pretty huge category and very hard to narrow down. As much as I love Ben Hawkey, for me the pleasure in seeing him was more than the performance – it’s a few minutes, it’s fun, and Hot Pie rules, but the writing in that scene was more the star than he was.

    And I’m probably in the minority, but I found Burn Gorman a bit too hammy as Karl Tanner – I loved his brief appearance in Season 3, but this year’s stuff was all too much, and with all the graphic (and unnecessary) rape around him, it was more of a turnoff than anything else. He deserved his death, but it was one of the few deaths where it was also good to be rid of the situation to get it over with, and not just good as a part of the story (contrasted with Robert Pugh’s Craster, who was odious and horrible and worth every minute he had on screen).

    And I liked Andy Kellegher as Polliver, but it was a brief appearance more notable for the writing and Rory McCann’s awesomeness. So he just missed the cut. Here’s my five:

    Jack Gleeson as Joffrey — In some ways I can see where people would say this isn’t true to the spirit of the award, but unlike Alfie Allen, who continues on the show and leaves a huge impression on the 3 episodes he was in, Jack is really only in 2 episodes (his dead body in the third doesn’t really count for much). And he only has one significant scene in the first episode, leaving you more or less with “The Lion and the Rose.” He’s amazing in that episode – just great and if I’m giving out MVP awards for one actor to each episode, he gets it for that one. It’s like we get to see Peak Terrible out of the King, and a real indication of what a horror show he is and would continue to be as a ruler. He reminds you, of course, how terrible he is as a person and then – amazingly – makes you feel bad in his last moments when you see the terror on his face as he realizes he’s choking. So he belongs in this category and I’m happy if he wins it. (FYI, for those who ask, Alfie Allen will be in the supporting actor preliminaries because of the strong support he had among readers who voted.)

    Michael McElhatton as Roose — Only two episodes with him this year, but he’s peerless per usual.

    Iwan Rheon as Ramsay — Three episodes this year, and he’s terrific in all of them. D&D did well by this storyline this year – judicious, a minimal amount of torture stuff, and an actual plot and purpose. Rheon is great, too.

    Tony Way as Dontos — Still upset about no curtain call from that other thing of ours way back when! But I thought he did a nice job as Dontos in a brief part, giving you a small amount of humanity even though he’s telling Sansa a bunch of bullshit.

    Barry McGovern as the dying farmer — Boy, does this scene stick with me. It’s a one-off character, but he’s got a great lived-in face, really handles the dialogue well, and he’s pretty unforgettable, making me almost wish there was a way to pull a Garrett Dillahunt and cast him again on the show in another small capacity.

  2. Oh thank fuck. I didn’t know this place existed until about 20 minutes ago. You have no idea how happy this makes me.

  3. McElhatton – Constantly great, really seems to get the characters mannerisms.
    Gleeson – Four great years.
    Rheon – Really plays the sadistic side up and the relationship between Ramsey and Roose is great. Ignoring Yara/Asha’s assualt and Miranda scenes but i needed a fifth vote.
    Lesser – Really gets the creepy side of Qybern across and nails the Dr F vibe ;-).
    Hinds – Different character than the books but he has the charisma to keep me interested in the character with the limited time he’s had on screen.

    @Greatjon of Slumber

    No your not the only one I found Karl to be a little to comic book villain for my tastes but everyone else seemed to like him. I didn’t particular like the story line either which i don’t think helped.

  4. *ALL* about Burn Gorman, dude.

    And, of course, our favorite King to hate, Jack, because he was always fantastic and deserves it.

    I thought Hizdahr was legit.

    And then I chose both Boltons.

  5. This was so hard!!! My 5 picks are:
    Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris – I love Mark Gatiss and him as Tycho was a dream come true!
    Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon – Jack was amazing, as always!
    Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton – I love Roose and Michael’s portrayal is spot on!
    Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder – I must say, I wasn’t impressed by Ciaran last season (season 3) maybe because of the writing, but his scenes in “The Children” were great, and so was the acting!
    Darren Kent as the Grieving Father in “The Children” – This guys! Every time I watch his scene I get really emotional. All that while speaking a made-up language.

  6. This was one was a little tough but I went with Jack Gleeson, Burn Gorman, Michael McElhatton, Iwan Rheon, and Mark Gatiss.

  7. FYI The Joffrey of Podcasts demands a win for His Grace, JACK GLEESON!

    As Pycelle said, King Joffrey was “the most noble child the Gods ever put on this good earth”

  8. This one is quite tough! It’s between Jack Gleeson and Iwan Rheon for me. I’ll give the nod to Iwan as I think Jack was good this season but not as good as he has been in previous seasons. Be amiss not to praise Burn Gorman too. For what could hav been a throwaway character he really made teh most of every bit of screen time he got. Fookin legend!

  9. I’m just putting it out there, Lucian Msamati (Salladhor Saan) is probably one of the most under-appreciated actors on the show. He’s absolutely brilliant in every scene he’s in :P.

  10. Thought Alfie was gonna be in this since he only got 3 eps? And the fucking Dying Man in Mockingbird definitely deserves a nom, he was great!

  11. Darren Kent did an amazing job with his one short scene. But this award goes to Javk Gleeson, hands down.

  12. Mormont,

    Yeah, can we clarify the Alfie situation? His lack of screentime made some vote for him as a lead, some as a support and some as a guest actor which means he didn’t get too many votes in any category. It would be a fucking tradgedy for him not to reach the final vote.

    And please don’t make us choose between him and Pedro Pascal.

  13. I was a fookin’ legend in Gin Alley!

    Burn Gorman’s performance was the best part of that digression.

  14. Gleeson deserves to win this one. He manage to bring Joffrey to life (and death) on screen with some amazing work. I do hope he decides to act more in the future.

    Gorman’s been great in other things, but he was a cartoonish villain here. The writing didn’t help him, but plenty of actors can elevate bad writing in performance. I didn’t give him a vote.

    Rheon has done a much better job of making a monstrous character interesting to watch.

    The grieving father and the dying man were both memorable even though their screen time was brief.

  15. jentario:

    Yeah, can we clarify the Alfie situation? His lack of screentime made some vote for him as a lead, some as a support and some as a guest actor which means he didn’t get too many votes in any category. It would be a fucking tradgedy for him not to reach the final vote.

    And please don’t make us choose between him and Pedro Pascal.

    The real mod, Sue the Fury, may chime in, but given I counted the votes, I can at least clarify. Most of Alfie Allen’s support – and he had a lot – came in the supporting actor category. He did get a few votes for Best Actor, but he won’t be there because the screentime just isn’t quite enough, so the decision was made to include him in the Supporting Actor preliminaries.

  16. Sorry about this, but it has to be said out of respect for the one true king:

    Fewer. They appeared in three episodes or fewer.

  17. I gave Burn a vote simply because “Fookin’ legend” although I agree with all those who said he was a little too cartoonish of a villain.

    To me, there was 5-8 folks who at least deserve to move on, and Iwan absolutely killed it this year, but this is Jack Gleeson’s award in my opinion. Hands down.

  18. Well, this was tough; many had too little screentime. I voted for:

    *Hizdahr zo Loraq – only had one big scene and it was a self-admitted copy of Antigone, but dang it, he acted it really well. Very strong acting there.

    *Joffrey Baratheon – sympathy vote for leaving, but also – it is *really* more difficult than we imagine to slip into the character of Joffrey, to play someone that arrogant and just *nail* it.

    *Ramsay Snow – similarly, he really captures Ramsay’s manic-energy and childlike giddiness, his flippancy as he, you know, hunts girls for sport and kills them, or flays men alive who surrendered to him under flag of truce and were promised safe conduct.

    *Tycho Nestoris – Mark Gatis is just plain a great actor and gave a very subtle performance. Nothing gigantic, but portraying this whole separate cultural idea – he’s a banker, plain and simple, doesn’t care about “bloodrights” just money, doesn’t raise his voice, but then grudgingly acknowledges a logical argument (“who the heck will lead the Lannisters once Tywin is dead?”) – and also that he’s *really* screwing with Stannis, or rather, establishing his dominance, non-verbally.

    *Hot Pie – Very serious on this one, not a joke vote. He gave a lot of range in a single episode appearance and of complex emotions. First, he’s just happy to ramble on about the joy he takes in his work. Then, when they mention the Starks, he reacts with a pretty believable mix of fear, with underlying wish that he could help the Starks, and doubt. Then later he grudgingly come out to tell them he actually saw Sansa’s sister Arya Stark. Probably not going to win the vote, but he got a heck lot more to do than some of the other nominees.

  19. Again this is very difficult, also because I haven’t rewatched the season yet and my memory is a little bit rusty sometimes.

  20. The Dragon Demands,

    I only voted for two of those that you picked, but your logic on your votes is nicely put together. I’d be happy to see Gattis and Hawkey among the Top 5; I just thought others were better.

  21. Tough competition in this category!! Voted for:

    McElhatton – One of my personal favorites, spot on as Roose
    Gleeson – Still thinking a main cast member shouldn’t win a “guest” award, but since he’s in he deserves my vote.
    Rheon – Creepy as hell. Which is great.
    Hinds – His scenes with Jon and Stannis were some of the most memorable of the season.
    Msamati – You’re not my friend, my friend.

  22. Dragonslayer,

    I think Pedro should be in the lead category, especially if we are supposed to have 5 candidates as usual. Several of the people who have their own storylines (Stannis, Davos, Theon, Bran) are considered supporting this year because of their reduced screentime). Oberyn had the 7th biggest screentime this season, behind Tyrion, Jon, Cersei, Jamie, Sansa and Tywin. Peter Dinklage and Kit Harington are the only clear cut male leads in season 4. Oberyn had his own story and motivations that were not really about Tyrion at all. It has been argued that Oberyn was still a supporting character in Tyrion’s storyline, but that is also the case, and more so, with Jamie this year (though NCW will certainly be in the lead category) and definitely Tywin (and Dance got a lot of lead nominations despite Tywin being a supporting character in his children’s storylines, even with the increased show role). And if Dance is nominated as a lead alongside Dinklage, Harington and NCW, who will be the fifth, if Pascal is supporting?

  23. Oh damn, this was tough.

    Burn Gorman – When Gorman was first cast back in Season 3, I was pleased, but I wondered if it might be overkill for what was likely to be quite a small role. However, when Karl Tanner closed his eyes, steeled himself, and then told Craster in an icy calm voice “You are a bastard. A daughter-fucking, wildling bastard,” I said to myself “That’s why you hire Burn Gorman.” When Gorman returned for Season 4, he proceeded to surpass his prior work. In just a few short appearances, Karl Tanner cemented his place as one Game of Thrones’ most memorable minor villains – wicked, cunning, twisted, and extremely dangerous – capable enough to take down Jon Snow before one of Craster’s long-suffering wives rose up to intervene. And then of course, there’s The Line. “I was a fooking legend in Gin Alley. A fooking LEGEND!” And he was. Karl Tanner won’t exactly be missed – he was a bit of savage bastard. But Gorman’s presence on the show certainly will be.

    Michael McElhatton – Considering that he’s a cold, detached, murderous, treasonous bastard who stabbed the King in the North through the heart, I’ve always had a somewhat strange affinity for Roose Bolton. Every appearance of his makes me irrationally happy. While McElhatton’s version of the character may lack some of the more overtly sinister features of his counterpart in the novels, if anything I find him more compelling in the show. McElhatton’s deep voice, icy charisma, and effortless confident screen presence perfectly accentuate the ruthless and commanding nature of his character. Add in his ease with deploying Roose’s wry sense of humor, and you have an extremely formidable but still recognizably grounded character (as much as I like Roose in the novels, he does occasionally skirt along the edge of supervillain territory). I sincerely hope that McElhatton will finally be promoted to series regular in Season 5. More Roose Bolton is always a good thing from my point of view.

    Jack Gleeson – What more can be said about Jack at this point? It may seem unfair in the eyes of some to give a Guest Actor award to someone who portrayed the most memorable villain in the series for four seasons. But this is where he’s been placed, and though Gleeson’s screentime on this season was relatively short, he made the most out of every second. “The Lion and the Rose” was a showcase for Joffrey at his worst – which meant that Jack Gleeson was at his best. As Joffrey was grandstanding, indulging in malicious humor, tormenting Tyrion, and finally scrabbling for breath in his final moments, I was soaking up every moment, knowing that this was going to be the last time that we got to see this great character and – if Gleeson’s decision to quit acting holds – this great actor work his magic.

    It’s a bit of a cliché when analyzing movies and television shows to look at a particularly memorable and acclaimed performance and say “I can’t imagine anyone else playing that role.” When it comes to Jack Gleeson and Joffrey, I have absolutely no reservations about saying that. He was perfect.

    Noah Taylor – Locke may well be the Game of Thrones’ most successful original character (and I say that as someone who liked Talisa and Ros). I found him to be infinitely superior to the slobbering cartoon that was Vargo Hoat, and Noah Taylor’s performance was a big reason why. After Season 3 focused on Locke’s brutal efficiency, malicious sense of humor, and deep-seated resentment of the highborn, we got to see a different dimension to his character this season as he went undercover with the Night’s Watch and “befriended” Jon Snow. It was an act, of course, but it drove home the idea that Locke wasn’t some dumb goon – he was smart and capable of charm when it served his purpose. In fact, the character displayed such potential that many members of a fandom that hasn’t always been receptive to the show’s original characters seemed to lament that he was dispensed with too early. I thought that he served his role perfectly well, but I certainly wouldn’t have objected to Noah Taylor getting a longer run on Game of Thrones. He was great.

    Ciarán Hinds – Mance Raydar hasn’t always been deployed as frequently or effectively as a man of his stature might merit. But he was note-perfect in lone appearance this season. In both the parley with Jon Snow and staring down Stannis Baratheon in the aftermath, Hinds reminded everyone who laid eyes on him that he is a force to be reckoned with. I look forward to seeing more of his character in Season 5.

    Iwan Rheon and Barry McGovern were very tough omissions – as were most the men on this list. When it comes to great actors filling smaller roles, Game of Thrones has an abundance of riches.

  24. Annara Snow,

    Rory McCann seems like a likely candidate for the final spot in the Lead Actor category. He certainly got enough to do this season, even if some people believed that he was a supporting player in “Arya’s” storyline.

    Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Kit Harington are the absolute locks for the Lead Actor field. My guess would be that the final two spots will be taken by some combination of Pedro Pascal, Charles Dance, and McCann. Not sure who’s the odd man out there, but whoever it is probably has to be considered the favorite to win the Supporting Actor category.

  25. I went with the actors who portrayed:

    Grieving father
    Dying man

    Gleeson and McElhatton have done fantastically well with important and difficult roles. Hinds is going to keep growing in his role and will have even more to do this season, and I think he will be great to watch especially in his scenes with Kit Harrington and Stephen Dillane. The last two are actors previously unknown to me but were entirely convincing in two equally poignant scenes that could have been awkward without such strong performances.

  26. That was really, really stupid hard. I’m still not satisfied with my votes. I left out Darren Kent, Iwan Rheon, and Lucian Msamati and I’m mad about it.

    I voted for:

    Lino Facioli–because I should have switched this to Darren Kent and forgot to, but! I initially checked him because Sweet Robin is a difficult character to take on and can we all just give the boy some love and recognition for being a twitchy, bratty boob sucker who can take a mean bitch slap?

    Cirian Hinds: See, you don’t need a full recast to retcon a character. Just one well written scene delivered brilliantly.

    Jack Gleeson: I mean. C’mon.

    Ben Hawkey: He’s so sincere! Add that throughline to the range of emotion Dragon Demands was talking about and yeah. That’s some powerful acting in so little time.

    Barry McGovern: who I believe I originally nominated as “roadside mercy kill guy” and YOU’RE WELCOME! ;p

    I will add myself to the ranks of not impressed with Burn Gorman, or Karl Tanner, or Gin Alley, or fook-ing anything.

    And not to derail things, (like seriously, you can totally FanSide this comment and poof it out of existence so as not to have to answer to the issues brought up within) but…Wow. THOSE guys. Amirite? My birthday was August 17. Shortly after but unrelated to that, I was without a phone. So I’ve been absent/playing catch up since and only this morning did I see what was going on over at the old stomping ground. (Hey, Delta! Bless your heart, you tried!) I know everyone here just wants to put it to bed, I’m just late to the party and wanted to say to Sue, Marko, Oz, Fabio, Bex, Lightbringer, and Zack…thank you. Thank you for being accessable. Thank you for taking a mean bitch slap. Thank you for moderating. Thank you for listening to your readers. Thank you for the countless hours, sleepless nights, and tough decisions. Thank you for your grace and civility. Thank you for your passion for quality content and breaking relevant news. Thank you for always supporting the bottom. It is these things that render any competition or catfighting irrelevant, for it is these things that will always set what you do apart from all other fan communities, not just GOT, ALL THE FAN COMMUNITIES. And for all of it, every last bit of it, this reader says thank you.

  27. I thought this was going to be hard and then I saw Ben Hawkey’s name. My choice was easy from then on. He’s never going to win this category, but he should. He took a character I already loved and made it better. I hated Brienne telling him to fuck off (bad writing), but Hawkey’s performance was flawless. And when he handed the loaf over to Brienne and Tripod, man the feels :'(.

    I have said this about the books and I’ll say it now, they can kill anyone, but they should stear clear from Hot Pie! For he is the Pie that was Promised!

  28. Jared:
    Annara Snow,

    Rory McCann seems like a likely candidate for the final spot in the Lead Actor category. He certainly got enough to do this season, even if some people believed that he was a supporting player in “Arya’s” storyline.

    Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Kit Harington are the absolute locks for the Lead Actor field. My guess would be that the final two spots will be taken by some combination of Pedro Pascal, Charles Dance, and McCann. Not sure who’s the odd man out there, but whoever it is probably has to be considered the favorite to win the Supporting Actor category.

    Rory is the only other candidate indeed, and though most people were nominating him as supporting actor, there were a couple of nominations for lead, too. Incidentally, he had the 9th overall screentime (a few minutes ahead of Maisie, interestingly enough; that was presumably because of the fight scenes). Now, technically, he was supposed to be the supporting character in Maisie’s storyline, though it’s debatable whether or to what extent that was actually the case.

    In any case, I’d be very happy for any combination in which I wouldn’t have to choose between him and Pedro. 😉

    Not sure about the favorite to win the supporting character category – Alfie Allen will also be a strong candidate.

  29. This one was *really* tough, I had to leave out some great people. I ultimately went with Roose, Ramsay, Joffrey, Qyburn, & Locke (what can I say, I love bad guys). Tough leaving out Karl and Tycho.
    Although I didn’t vote for them I gotta live a lot of credit to “Dying Farmer” and “Grieving Father” for doing so much with so little screen-time, they’re obviously memorable characters despite not even being named.

  30. Everyone’s comments are insightful, well prepared and clever.

    My thoughts were more like, “A poll! Squeeeeeee!”

  31. I wish I could choose all of them…

    But limited to 5, I would go with:

    Jack Gleeson (Of course).
    Iwan Rheon (plays a psychopath so well… and I also thought the scenes of him trying to gain his fathers approval were very well-acted too).
    Michael McElhatton (Really captures Roose Bolton’s character from the books – Can project anger, and chew someone out without ever raising his voice).
    Noah Taylor (As sadistic as Locke was, part of me almost didn’t want him to die because Noah played him so well).
    Ciaran Hinds (He’s Ciaran f*cking Hinds. Seriously though, his conversation with Jon in the last episode is one of the big moments I remember from this season).

  32. My votes are for: Micheal McElhatton and Iwan Rheon because they are just the perfect Boltons; Jack Gleeson because he made such a wonderful job in every single episode and I know I’m going to miss him… yeah, I’ll miss Joffrey… somehow.
    And then for the fookin legend of Gin Alley, aye.

  33. Wait…how is Jack Gleeson a guest actor?!?!? And Michael McElathon?! Jack Gleeson has been with and on the show literally since the beginning!

    He should be nominated for best actor!

  34. loco73,

    We’ve been over this. 3 episodes or less = guest actor. Exception was made for Alfie Allen due to still being with the show rather than being a dead character. Gleeson was in 3 episodes. One was his dead body, another featured him in one scene.

    McElhatton appeared in only 2 episodes. Thus, guest actor status for our purposes.

  35. Fuck me this was a hard category.

    In the end I went with:

    Burn Gorman as Karl Tanner, had a few over the top scenes but for the most part he nailed it. Plus had a pretty sweet fight scene with Lord Snow.

    Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon, what can be said that hasn’t already been said? Simply one of the best actors we’ve had on GoT period.

    Michael McElhatton as Roose Bolton, the Roose is loose that is all.

    Noah Taylor as Locke, I felt he had a stronger season last year, but considering that this will be the last time we can vote for Mr. Taylor I feel that he at least deserves the nom.

    Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder, despite some criticism by some, in my eyes Hinds is the King Beyond the Wall. “All the same we do not kneel.” was hands down one of the best lines of this season.

    Had to leave out too many great performances that deserve to at least be noted: Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris, Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow, Anton Lesser as Qyburn, Barry McGovern as the Dying Man.

Comments are closed.

House of the Dragon Premiere! 11 Days 18 Hours 52 Minutes 15 Seconds