A couple of fan-favorite Game of Thrones actors are trying for lead actor Emmys for the first time in the show’s history.
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Kit Harington (Jon Snow) are both submitted for the top categories this year for their work in the seventh season of the HBO smash.
Both actors have previously submitted in supporting categories, with Harington having earned a nomination in 2016 and Clarke having earned three nominations, in 2013, 2015, and 2016.
Given the show’s massive ensemble cast which limits the screen time of each character, GoT actors typically submit in supporting categories (though stars Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey have in the past tried for lead). The shift for Clarke and Harington makes sense, however, as the show’s cast has gotten smaller and characters have come together resulting in each getting more respective screen time. Last season in particular, with their characters teaming up to form an alliance, Clarke and Harington felt like the show’s leads.
In addition, according to Gold Derby, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Dinklage are trying for supporting categories. Diana Rigg is going for drama guest actress.
Game of Thrones set a record for its sixth season as having won more primetime Emmys than any other drama in history, though the show has struggled to take home awards in the acting categories — with the size of its talented cast and relatively limited screen time for each actor likely making it more difficult for any given performer to stand out and dominate a category. The only actor to win an Emmy on the show so far is Dinklage, who picked up supporting actor for the show’s first season in 2011 and then again in 2015.
Game of Thrones returns in 2019 for its final season.