This year’s Emmy nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series represent the linchpins of popular ensemble shows, the grizzly mentors, and the villains you can’t help but love: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale), David Harbour (Stranger Things), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), and Matt Smith (The Crown).
This is the first nomination for Coster-Waldau, Fiennes, and Smith. Colder-Waldau has been playing the incestuous knight Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones for seven seasons now, but this is his first nomination for the performance. Perhaps that’s not surprising, since the most recent season of HBO’s medieval epic gave him quite the showcase episode. Meanwhile, Smith and Fiennes have only been playing their current roles for two years. Smith lost out on a nomination last year to The Crown costar Jon Lithgow, who went on to win the award. Fiennes, for his part, seems to be benefiting from an explosion of Emmy interest in The Handmaid’s Tale this year (just check out the Supporting Actress category, which features no less than three separate nominations from the show).
Harbour is riding his second straight year of Stranger Things nominations. He lost out to Lithgow last year, but perhaps Jim Hopper’s character growth in season 2 (including his new father-daughter relationship with Millie Bobbie Brown’s Eleven) will be enough to convince voters he deserves the gold this time around.
RELATED: See the full list of Emmy nominees
Dinklage and Patinkin are definitely the heavyweights of this category. Dinklage has been nominated every single year that he’s been eligible for Game of Thrones — and has already won twice, in 2011 and 2015. Don’t count him out, especially since Aaron Paul already proved it’s possible to win this award three times for the same role in the modern era. Meanwhile, this is Patinkin’s fourth Best Supporting Actor nomination for his work on Homeland. He won this very same award in 1995 for his role on Chicago Hope, but never for his performance as CIA operative Saul Berenson. Now that Homeland is confirmed to end with season 8, he’s running out of chances.
So, who do you think will win the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama? Cast your vote below!
The winners will be announced live on the 70th annual Emmy Awards — hosted by Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che — on Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.