WotW Awards: Best Supporting Actor Preliminary Round

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We’re covering two categories in this post actually: Best Supporting Actor, as it says in the title, and Best Actor.

Much like the Best Actress category, this year the Watchers on the Wall Awards nominee list for Best Actor is so brief that we’ve gone ahead and named the top 5, without a prelim poll. The finalists are:

Peter Dinklage

Charles Dance

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Kit Harington

Rory McCann

With only two more categories remaining after these ones, we’ll be finishing the preliminary round voting by next weekend. It’s been a long process, but you Watchers have made your opinions known loud and clear. The top 5 vote-getters in each category are headed for round 2, where winner takes all. We’re jumping right into round 2 voting when we finish preliminaries, and we’ll be racing toward the big finish. The date of the awards night will be announced sometime in the next week.

Now onto the fun part! As always, we’re asking you choose (up to) FIVE nominees from this poll. You can choose fewer, but you can’t choose more.

At the end of 72 hours (or by Thursday 9/11/14 at 8PM 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!)

Here’s a long list of very talented men, alphabetized by last name for your easier finding.

Huge thanks to Greatjon of Slumber for his Herculean efforts in compiling fan nominations for the Watchers on the Wall Awards!

71 responses

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    1. Is the poll not up yet or am I being dense as I can’t seem to see it?

      EDIT: It’s ok. Decided to pop up after I’d posted to make me look like a tit!

      Can’t see anyone troubling Pedro although narrowing it down to 5 was tough as everyone has had a good but not outstanding season.

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    2. Liam Cunningham, Conleth Hill, and Pedro Pascal for sure. I’ll have to think about the last two a little more, I’m leaning towards Alfie Allen and Jerome Flynn, maybe even Daniel Portman.

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    3. This was a bitch of a category to winnow down (and also to tabulate, so I appreciate the kudos, mods!).

      There are so many worthy. But I went with these five:

      Pedro Pascal — I really don’t need to explain here, do I? He’s everything we all wanted out of Oberyn. Owns the part, start to finish.

      Alfie Allen — He’s such an amazing asset in all of his scenes and really brought that transformation to Reek (and the wigging-out in front of Ralf Kenning) to life. He’s a gem.

      Owen Teale — He just rocked it this year. I really like when characters whose motivations are a mystery are shown to be something more than they’re not, and he really did the job on that front this year. His speech to Jon Snow, and his rousing address to the troops, and the fight with Tormund? Gold. If not for Pascal, he’d probably be my winner.

      Aiden Gillen – has become one of the more underrated parts of this show, but he was tremendous this season. Never mind the voice stuff, but the purring quality when he lets Sansa in on his secret about the Tyrells, his scenes with Kate Dickie, and the really creepy, yucktastic scene in the snow. All of his scenes with Sophie Turner, really. Bravo.

      Kristofer Hivju — The last two episodes did it for me on this front. Most of his early stuff is fine, but doesn’t show Tormund to be much more than a brute. But his “Husband to Bears” story, all of the great physical action throughout “Watchers on the Wall,” and then his really nice, quiet moment telling Jon Snow that Ygritte needed a proper burial really lifted his performance in a great way.

      Honorable mentions: John Bradley is always great, and was a just-miss here. And Hodor. (Hodor.)

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    4. Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy/Reek

      John Bradley as Samwell Tarly

      Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth

      Conleth Hill as Varys

      Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell

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    5. It’s going to be just horrible having to choose between Alfie and Pedro for top spot in the final round, assuming they both make it through!

      My other votes went to Conleth Hill, always amazing. Owen Teal who made me love Thorne this season and Daniel Portman because he managed to go between emotional scenes and comedy effortlessly.

      Kristofer Hivju just missed out on a vote. I adore his portrayal of tormund and he is one of my top 5 favourite characters, there’s just not enough of him on the show. Hoping for much more TG in season 5!

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    6. I voted for Alfie Allen, he was genius with the little material he got, Ben Crompton for bringing humor at just the right time, Jerome Flynn because he nails Bronn every time, Conleth Hill because his Varys (especially the facial expressions) is awesome and of course Pedro Pascal, for absolutely nailing his role and making an already awesome character even more awesome.

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    7. Alfie Allen – Has done a great job with Theon from the beginning and has managed the change from proud lord to broken Reek brilliantly.
      Liam Cunningham – one of my favourite characters from the book and favourite actors in general so it’s almost a perfect fit. Can’t wait to see what happens with Davos.
      Jerome Flyn – Who’d have thought the guy from Robson and Jerome would turn out to be a favourite minor character in a show several years later and the source of some of the funniest moments on the show. It almost makes me a little optimistic for the the Dorne story line next year.
      Kristofer Hivju – Again another book favourite brought to life excellently. I really enjoy the lighter side of the wildlings other than the comic book bad guys the Thenns became on the show. Also he was half of what was my favourite fight scene in series 4.
      Owen Teale – Brilliant interaction with Jon snow as well as a couple of great speeches and half of my favourite fight scene of season 4.

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    8. Greyworm. Dude killed it. His scenes with Missandei were some of the best emotion this season .

      Sam. always the best part of the scenes he is in.

      Edd. Just because I heart him.

      Alliser. Always on top of his game.

      Alfie. Best actor on the show.

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    9. In no specific order (but alphabetically): Alfie Allen, Kristofer Hivju, Pedro Pascal, Owen Teale, Peter Vaughan. And now matter how good the others are, Pedro should win.

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    10. It was tough but I’m gonna go with Alfie Allen and Daniel Portman (sorry Bronn). Alfie should’ve been an immediate choice along w/ my other three, and the one-two punch of his last scene w/ Tyrion and Pod Smile put Portman over the top.

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    11. I agree Grey Worm was great. Also, he’s apparently the best at the Astapori dialect of Low Valyrian, so much that the conlanger David Peterson altered the official pronunciation to match his.

      But I went with Alfie Allen, Pedro Pascal, Owen Teale, Thomas Brodie-Sanger, and Stephen Dillane. Too hard to choose.

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    12. No-one has mentioned Stephen Dillane? His portrayal gets deeper and deeper; so many layers.

      But Pedro Pascal is head and shoulders above everyone in this category.

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    13. Didn’t think Varys got enough material this season to merit, though Conleth’s one of the best actors on the show. My picks were:

      Pedro Pascal
      Alfie Allen
      John Bradley
      Liam Cunningham
      Owen Teale

      Also Rory McCann should win Best Actor this year. It is known.

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    14. Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy/Reek
      Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell
      Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth
      Aidan Gillen as Petyr Baelish/Littlefinger
      Owen Teale as Alliser Thorne

      The last two really won me over in season 4. Aidan does such a great job with Petyr and the character has definitely grown on me. I hated Thorne so much for being such an ass all the time… but that sure does show you how good of an actor Owen is. He was just so badass in episode 9 I couldn’t help but like him! lol

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    15. How did you decide to put Rory McCann in the Best Actor group?

      Im not arguing with your choice, im just wondering why he was put into that group when Pedro Pascal was in more episodes than him and probably had more screentime. Neither of them are main characters so im just wondering why you chose one over the other

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    16. Pedro & Alfie

      Everyone else was great, but these two stand out. It is going to be hell to choose between the two of them in the finals.

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    17. Sam, Hound and Oberyn Allister, and Theon (sorry, I remember the character names better then I remember the actor names) . They carried the show and did what supportive actors are supposed to do (the others were good as well, but these five carried the ball the most I think)

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    18. Reek Bronn Oberyn Thorne Aemon.

      EDIT: a suggestion for the next awards: scrap the guest thing and add a “tertiary character” vote instead (without the three episode limitation). Characters like Edd and Grenn have no chance of winning when pit against the likes of Oberyn and Theon. It’s a whole mother league for minor characters, really

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    19. Walter Harrow,

      Pedro had :44 seconds more screen time than Rory did this year. However, the Hound and Arya were the focus in all of their scenes. With Oberyn, he was in a few scenes where he was more of a side character(Purple Wedding,Tyrion’s trial).

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    20. Alfie Allen
      Pedro Pascal
      Conleth Hill
      Liam Cunningham
      Stephen Dillane

      I was worried that Rory McCann would also be considered best supporting actor and that I would have to choose between him and Pedro in the finals. Thank R’hllor that isn’t the case.

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    21. Aside from the best quote category that we just voted on, this may be the single deepest category at these awards. And that’s only because there are more words than characters.

      Pedro Pascal – Yeah … I don’t really feel like I need to justify this selection too much. Pascal was a wonderful Red Viper, even better than most of us could have hoped for. And if we can step outside the world of the show for a moment … this dude is just straight-up awesome. He just loves life, and he’s winning at it accordingly. I have a suspicion that by the time that Game of Thrones is over, Pedro Pascal will go down as one of the biggest breakthrough stars from a show that has presented us with an incredibly deep bench of great actors. What an incredible talent.

      Owen Teale – I was already predisposed to like Game of Thrones’s version of Alliser Thorne far more the Thorne that we saw in the novels – not that that’s much of a bar to clear – on the basis on Teale’s performance in Season 1 (especially the “You don’t know cold” speech that he gave to Jon and Sam in “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”) But in Season 4, Alliser Thorne was given an opportunity to reveal a bit more of the mindset has helped shape him into a man who is frequently harsh and occasionally cruel, but nonetheless remains a dutiful and effective leader. In doing so, my esteem for what the writers and Owen Teale has done with this character grew even more. Some people understandably take issue with the way that Game of Thrones has handled certain characters who, due to a combination of time constraints and writing decisions, have become less complex and more one-note in the transition from the page to the screen. But Alliser Thorne is a textbook example of this phenomenon working in reverse. I was expecting Thorne to die in “The Watchers on the Wall”, and while I was bit sad at that prospect, I figured that his time had come. But Teale’s performance in that episode was so fantastic that I began rooting for him to survive. And then he (apparently) did! I don’t what role exactly Thorne will play in Season 5, but thanks to Owen Teale, I’m eager to find out.

      Alfie Allen – Theon’s transformation into Reek is not an easy arc for any actor to play. It requires shedding pretty much every shred of vanity and committing to a portrayal of a man who has been utterly and completely broken. But as he has repeatedly demonstrated during his time on the show, Alfie Allen is a selfless and extremely versatile performer, and he rose to the challenge brilliantly. In only three appearances this season, he showed us just how completely Theon Greyjoy has been buried under the trappings of his new identity. He has sunk so low, it’s difficult to imagine that he could ever reemerge. But Allen was the one who sold us on that descent in the first place. If anyone can convincingly bring Reek back from the depths of hell, he can.

      Aidan Gillen – Aidan Gillen’s portrayal of Petyr Baelish has occasionally been criticized on several fronts – his wandering accent, the low inflection of his voice, and the way that Littlefinger appears to be far more openly villainous than he does in the novels. But this was a major season for Littlefinger – his biggest yet – and I thought Gillen handled all of the character’s big moments exceptionally well. His interactions with Sansa Stark are both disturbing and fascinating, and they lead to some of the season’s best moments. This Petyr Baelish scarcely attempts to conceal his ambition or his desires. Yet he remains enigmatic, in large part because Gillen always plays him as a man who harbors far more secrets than he’s willing to divulge. For a character who keeps his eyes fixed on the endgame more than perhaps any other player in the story, that’s a recipe for compelling drama.

      Conleth Hill – I’ll grant you that this was not the most prominent season for Varys. In accordance with the Spider’s preference to publicly keep his head down when times get dangerous, he appeared only when necessary and said only what someone in his position might be expected to say. But even when he’s keeping to the shadows, Varys is never idle. He made every single appearance of his this season count for something. And Conleth Hill is just so damn good. In Axechucker’s post about Favorite and Least Favorite changes, I mentioned that the way that Game of Thrones has handled Varys has been one of the highlights of the show for me. Hill’s performance is a major part of that. One of my favorite small moments this season came when Tyrion asked Varys if he had forgotten him, and Varys replied “Sadly my Lord, I never forget a thing.” Even when Hill is on the margins, I can never forget how good he is in this role. Here’s to more of the Spider in Season 5.

      I could issue honorable mentions to John Bradley, Liam Cunningham, Jacob Anderson, Stephen Dillane, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Mark Stanley, and Kristofer Hivju … Bbut really, every actor here gave a performance that is worthy of recognition in some way. I’ll leave it to others to celebrate them at greater length, as I’ve rambled long enough.

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    22. Jared,

      Good analysis on Conleth Hill. That he didn’t have much screentime in s4 didn’t even occur to me until others mentioned it, I just immediately knew he was one of my picks.

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    23. Pedro Pascal and Alfie Allen, two of the best actors the show has ever had.

      The other 3 that I voted for:
      Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont – despite limited screen time, kills it every season.

      Aidan Gillen as Petyr Baelish/Littlefinger – Awesome this season(and the seasons before for the most part).

      Owen Teale as Alliser Thorne – Made me respect a character that I absolutely hated in the books.

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    24. Varys didn’t have that many scenes this year, but Conleth will always get a vote from me. Pedro will win this though.

      A little bit sursprised Michael Huisman didn’t get a nomination. He might have gotten my fifth vote here.

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    25. jentario:
      Mine is the Furry,

      The fight is between Rory and Dinkles. I don’t know who to pick…

      For me its Kit and Rory. Dink and Dance have been great the whole series. I gotta give it to the two boys who really fucking made something special this season. And since I’d rather bang Rory over Kit, I’m going for the dog.

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    26. Rory was the MVP of the season. He will get my vote for best actor. The Inn scene in ‘Two Swords’ may be my favorite scene in the show’s history, certainly top 3.

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    27. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      Rory was the MVP of the season. He will get my vote for best actor. The Inn scene in ‘Two Swords’ may be my favorite scene in the show’s history, certainly top 3.

      The Inn scene in Two Swords and Rory’s whole sequence in The Children are the two best scenes the show has ever done.

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    28. Ironborn:
      Whoever doesn’t vote for Alfie Allen, I will chase you with Victarion’s axe.

      That might be the closest we get to Vic on GoT! :/
      Then again, I could pretend to be Yara and you could pretend to be a Ramsay bitch, then we could have a good chase…. 🙂

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    29. Walter Harrow:
      How did you decide to put Rory McCann in the Best Actor group?

      Im not arguing with your choice, im just wondering why he was put into that group when Pedro Pascal was in more episodes than him and probably had more screentime. Neither of them are main characters so im just wondering why you chose one over the other

      It was a close call. The screentime and dialogue are similar.
      There was some discussion about the fact that for Sandor Clegane this represents the long culmination of a long, long arc that begins at the end of Season 1 when he starts to protect Sansa and then later Arya, and in that sense became one of the “main” characters after not being all that prominent in most of the first season and only really becoming significant in the middle of Season 2.

      His death (or near-death) is also all about him, his primary relationship with Arya that he’s had throughout the season, and the knowledge that the viewer has that she’s leaving behind this person who has been her protector for a good long length of time now.

      Oberyn’s death is horrific and surprising, but other than Ellaria’s scream, his death ends up not being about him – Tywin stands to deliver Tyrion’s death sentence, and the camera zooms in on Tyrion as the episode closes. Oberyn was also not mentioned in the last episode at all.

      The voting didn’t reveal much on this front: votes for Pedro were about 9-1 favor supporting, Rory about 6-1 favor supporting. The decision was made to put in Rory McCann.

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    30. Sergei Walankov,

      He was in the “guest actor” category, having only appeared in three episodes this year. I will not be surprised if he makes the finals there, but that’s just a guess, as I’m not counting votes.

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    31. Ironborn:
      Whoever doesn’t vote for Alfie Allen, I will chase you with Victarion’s axe.

      I DID, already. Now put that thing down. *ahem* I also voted for John Bradley.

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    32. Thanks Greatjon. People are always going to quibble of course, and I do see the attraction of settling on an objective measure — but some of the inclusions here feel pretty minor (I’m not even sure which is which out of Dolorous Ed and Grenn), even if they did clear the three-episodes bar.

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    33. Peter Vaughan as Maester Aemon: this man is fantastic, let’s not forget about this. Everytime he appears on screen, I squeal a little. And his conversation with Sam in “The Watchers On The Wall”… loved it.

      Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy/Reek: best actor on the show, for me.

      John Bradley as Samwell Tarly: it’s always great to see him on screen, he’ so precious!

      Owen Teale as Alliser Thorne: I love hating him and I hate loving him.

      Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell: I don’t even know what to say! MVP of the season.

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    34. LukaNieto:
      Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy/Reek

      John Bradley as Samwell Tarly

      Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth

      Conleth Hill as Varys

      Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell

      My vote exactly!!!

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    35. LukaNieto:
      Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy/Reek

      John Bradley as Samwell Tarly

      Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth

      Conleth Hill as Varys

      Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell

      This was my ballot as well, except Owen Teale instead of Hill. Not that Hill was in anyway poor, he just didn’t have has much to do in S4.

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    36. Thorne: I’m glad it’s not just me who thinks Teale’s Thorne is fantastic. Best speech in the season and best supporting character for me. Exactly as said before, he’s taken a pretty two dimensional bitter chartacter from the books and made me respect him. He’s an honest bitter man and I found myself rooting for him. I’d definately have fought for him in TWOTW.

      Oberyn: What can I say, he stole every scene he was in and the death was perfectly full of misplaced hubris.

      Theon/Reek: The once scene in Moat Cailin where Allen is trying to be Theon and Reek is poking through was some of the best acting I’ve seen in the series thus far.

      Littlefinger: Apart from the misplaced accent he is another scene stealer and has been since the start.

      Winner for me should be Thorne, for me he came from nowhere this season and made me respect a character I hated in the books. Maybe my views were skewed by reading from Jon’s point of view and only getting one side of the story and all that. The actor has done a great job in fleshing out the man which has made me read it differently in the books and even view the book character different. That is some achievement.

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    37. Since Charles Dance and Rory McCann both got put in Best Actor, this was surprisingly easier to narrow down than a lot of the other categories, at least for me. No criticism of any of the actors here (well, maybe Aiden Gillan), but only a handful of the actors I felt were given enough material and range to make my top 5.

      Would usually vote for Conleth, one of my faves, but he wasn’t in this season very much at all, even compared to previous seasons.

      Pedro and Alfie were easy to vote for. Liam Cunningham made it in for his speech in Braavos, and I loved John Bradley in Episode 9, he provided a lot of the heart for that hour, especially the early scenes.

      Had a harder time picking the last. Ended up with Stephen Dillane, I thought he communicated a lot in his quieter moments. But Owen Teale and Pod were both seriously considered.

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    38. Yay! Now I won’t have to choose between Rory and Pedro! 😀

      Pedro Pascal and Alfie Allen are the two obvious choices. Alfie has been incredible, but I will have to vote for Pedro, who was the MVP of this season. It was extremely important for the show to get Oberyn right and make the audience love him in order for season 4 to work the right way, and Pedro managed to make me love Oberyn much more than I did in the book ( liked him but was never a big fan of his in the books), although with the help of some good writing choices (like moving the story about baby Tyrion to the conversation in the cell, where it had much more emotional weight and made more sense). Alfie Allen will have a chance to win an award the next year (Best Actor, probably), heck, unless the writers somehow completely screw up Theon’s story, he is almost sure to win.

      It was difficult to pick the other three, because there are so many excellent actors on the list – I like almost all of them, with the exception of two, who shall remain unnamed (I’ll give you a hint: moustache-twirling villainy). In the end, I went with Owen Teale, Liam Cunningham and Stephen Dillane. I feel sorry for not voting for Kristofer Hivju, Jacob Anderson or John Bradley. Conleth Hill was as good as always, but didn’t get much to do. Although Davos and Stannis also didn’t have much screentime, I decided to vote for them because of Liam’s speech to the Iron Bank and Stephen’s facial expressions and body language in The Lion and the Rose, which said so much that Stannis was not saying in the beach scene and the dinner scene.

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    39. Steeeeelllaaaaaaa!….er…I mean Staaaaaannnnnnniiiiiisssssss must get some love!

      And though a complete prick, Ser Alisser Thorne, impressed me to no end during the battle at The Wall! He might have been an asshole, but he was not a coward and was a Black Brother through and through!

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