Awards

WiCnet Awards Season Two: Best Actress

This is it. We are down to the final two categories: best actor and best actress. Ladies first, as they say. Head past the break to see our list of five nominees for best actress of season two. Vote for your favorite then jump into the comments to vehemently disagree with our nominations and trumpet your selection. As to when we will reveal the winners? An announcement on that will be coming soon. Stay tuned!


If you are unable to see the poll or unable to vote, click here.

182 Comments

  • Sophie Turner, because she was very good and she won’t win because her character is not one of the popular ones – an acknowledgement vote.

  • I thought Lena was incredible this year. She was great from start to finish, her work in Blackwater especially amazing.

  • Very hard vote. All were fantastic, but I went with Lena Headey. Sophie gets my #2 vote. They were both so great in Blackwater. Stole the show.

  • Sophie is phenomenal, I’d hate to see her never win anything just because of the unpopularity of her character. Vote Sophie!

  • Has to be Sophie Turner. Every scene she was in throughout S2, she delivered. Dinner table scene from 2×03 and the whole of 2×09 as well as her final scene in 2×10 comes to mind, all among the best moments of S2. Brilliant actress who sadly will never get the same recognition that the also wonderful Maisie will get due to the popularity of their characters.

    So yes, Sophie all the way!

  • Lena blew me away this season.

    Michelle was also good but I was #)$%* pissed at how terrible the writing for her was that I just couldn’t make myself click.

  • shadallion: Lena was better than her horrid season 1 performance, I’ll grant her that.

    I will never understand this point of view, I think she has been utterly fantastic in both seasons. Her conversation with Robert about their sham marriage in season 1 was one of the acting highlights for me.

  • They were all good.
    My vote had to go to Maisie though. I feel that one of the main things for being a good actor is use of the eyes. Maisie uses her eyes brilliantly in every scene. With a simple stare, extra long blink or an eye roll she managed to change good lines into great and memorable.

  • Tough. Lena’s work in the backwater episode was out standing. While Maisie’s scenes with Tywin was outstanding. Giving it to maisie

  • For me it’s between the two youngsters this year, Sophie really impressed me this season but Maisie was outstanding in every scene and even held her own against Charles Dance, so I’ll vote for Miss Williams.

    I love Emilia but she bordered on Razzie esque this year “WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS”

  • Voted for Sophie, she was just amazing!

    I also love the portrayals of Michelle and Maisie, but Sophie needs more praise than what she’s getting :)

  • I was about to vote Michelle by default, but thinking on it, she didn’t really have much time (or enough of the right scenes, more like it) to stand out that much this season.

    The only actress which consistently impressed me this season was Sophie. So I went with her in the end.

  • Lena for sure. The arguments for the others are actually very persuasive, and Sophie and Maisie in particular were just revelatory. Their depth and range is very impressive and I know we’ll get great things from them in the future, even after GoT. But I want to underline that they had a lot of help. The actors they shared scenes with were extremely generous with their listening and give and take. A large amount of Maisie’s terrific work was done by Charles Dance, and that doesn’t take anything away from her. Likewise Sophie had a great if more muted turn as Sansa, but she got to play off characters losing their grip, from Cersei to Joffrey to the Hound.

    Emilia had almost no help from the script this season, and Daenerys’ story seemed tacked on, lurching from violent confrontation to shouting match and back. Michelle was terrific in her quiet grief but her struggle was simpler in many ways than Cersei’s. That’s why it has to be Lena Headey this time.

    Her Cersei was really extraordinary. She had to convey her imbalance while asserting her need for control. She had to show her loneliness and vulnerability while maintaining her pride and determination. She ultimately did a lot more with Cersei than anyone who’s read the books would expect and ended up making me uncomfortable with the amount of sympathy she wrung out of me for this terrible woman. In fact, for Lena’s sake and the show’s sake as I have just finished re-reading AFFC, I really hope they keep and elaborate on this Cersei rather than the one in the books, and I can’t think of more of a tribute to the actress than that.

  • I do not like Sansa as a character but the actress plays her part in the series really well. Amazing performance throughout the whole series so far.. Good job!

  • First pick: Lena Headey

    Runner up: Sophie Turner

    Arya’s great but didn’t have a wide range of things to react to this time (she’s a great character, but lack of interaction with her father now). Good, just didn’t equal the other two.

    This was not a good season for Catelyn, straying too much from the books.

    Daenerys just doesn’t get much to do in book/season 2 and it shows, though I look forward to this being resolved in season 3.

    “Best Acting” award goes to a layered performance. Sansa is starting to get some nuance/layer scenes (by which I mean, its hard to play someone who is in turn *pretending* to be polite while seething with anger and fear).

    But in this respect, Lena Headey just had a ton of stuff to do. She could be seething, outright fuming, and just the *facial expressions* and ticks she can exhibit to give hints to punctuate each statement. Cersei is very difficult to play.

  • Lena really stepped it up this year. Had to go with her. The rest were also awesome but Lena was the perfect bitcy, ignorant, overreaching Cersei. She had a huge amount of material in season 2 and she just become Cersei. I really enjoyed hating her this season.

  • Lena in “Blackwater” sold it. One hopes that GRRM doesn’t kill her off until the very last chapters. She’s one of the anchors of the tale (both character and actress) and losing her would be hard to recover from.

  • Lena took the scene in the past season, a good work here too, but I’m almost sure Maisie has been the main female character in this season. Good the others, except for Emilia, pretty abscent, but the fault is not her.

  • Hands down Lena Headey. She is proof positive D & D pulling off the series: making wretched people watchable and fascinating.
    Outside of Lena, I thought Sophie Turner was fantastic.

  • Fairley deserves to win only for the scene where Littlefinger delivered her Eddard’s bones.

    Sophie and Maise continue to be amazing discoveries, but their characters are too one-tone. Lena has certainly improved in relation to last year’s Cersei. Meanwhile, Emilia’s performance has been less than stellar, but she couldn’t do much more shouting “where are my dragons” amindst a terrible storyline.

  • Lena Headey really stepped into her role as Cersei this season. She may have given one of the best overall performances out of any actor on the show, as far as I’m concerned. Gotta give her the nod.

  • Currer Bell,

    With Vary’s killing Ser Kevan at the end of ADWD I honestly don’t see how Cersei will survive, the Tyrell’s will make a move to seize the throne and Aegon has just arrived to start his campaign, she’s made far too many enemies to make it too A Dream of Spring IMO.

  • Lena absolutely rocked every aspect of Cersei, and brought her own depth to the character. The two scenes in particular that sold it to me were her drunken conversations with Sansa in the Hold and her Little Lion story with Tommen.

    Sophie and Maisie were close runners up. Sophie really brought the full emotional range to Sansa beautifully and Maisie IS Arya. But Lena came out on top for me.

  • lena was great in ep 9. but that was the first and only time ive ever felt her as ‘cersei’

    she was so perfect it annoys me that they didnt bring it out of her much sooner.

    my vote goes to the actress who not only nails every scene but also for me embodies the character perfectly.

    little miss maisie

  • Maisie! She stands Far and Above the others!!! ALWAYS perfection in playing the role of Arya.

    I do have to give props to Sophie as well…she did a brilliant job this season…But Maisie gets my vote!

  • Sophie…. her attack scene was so good for such a young actress.
    2nd would be Maisie, cos lets face it, she’s awesome!!!!

  • Sophie Turner. She was mind-blowing in everything scene. Her face expressions were accurate all the time and she has a promisiones career ahead of her for being so talented. Lena is my 2nd choricera, followed by maisie i guess

  • I went with Lena Headey because of all the actresses listed she seemed to have the most screen time throughout season 2.

    Plus she really had all the good scenes: the scene with council and Tyrion, the scene with LF, the scene with Joffrey where she slaps him, all the scenes with Tyrion alone, and finally all the scenes in Blackwater.

    The rest of the actresses did a fine job but they were scattered and inconsistent.

  • Ugh this is so tough. I’m between Sophie & Maise. Which really says something about the young actors on this show. Great job Nina!

    I came in here planning on voting for Maise, but I’m giving my vote to Sophie! Fantastic job this year.

  • Lena and Sophie, no question. The last scene with Sansa and the Hound was one of my favorites of the whole season.

  • This long awaited category was bound to be highly anticipated and debated choices.
    These actresses delivered fine performances, every one, in Season 1.
    Last season (2) Ms Headley as Cersei ,fared better but paled in comparison to Michelle
    Farley as Catelyn. However Catelyn’s scenes were fewer and a bit out of context for
    the ASOIF story. Maisie and Sophie were good too as Arya and Sansa . Emilia
    Clarke stood out as Danerys in both seasons and quite outstanding for someone
    with zero acting experience. She proved herself quite well.
    Now for the vote………………..

  • Lena Headey won me over in the Blackwater episode. Don’t get me wrong: the others in the list did an outstanding job as well (especially Maisie). But I had been a bit… doubtful about Lena Headey’s performance throughout the show’s two seasons (even with great scenes like the one she shared with Mark Addy back in season 1) and 2×09 just catapulted her to the top.

  • John W:
    I went with Lena Headey because of all the actresses listed she seemed to have the most screen time throughout season 2.

    Plus she really had all the good scenes: the scene with council and Tyrion, the scene with LF, the scene with Joffrey where she slaps him, all the scenes with Tyrion alone, and finally all the scenes in Blackwater.

    The rest of the actresses did a fine job but they were scattered and inconsistent.

    I hear you ser , although I decided against Headley ( she improved immensely since
    S 1 tho ), I found this category troublesome from the start. If I assessed only by
    screen time I could have easily chose Arya or Shae. What a conundrum :D

  • Lena was awesome in Blackwater. But I feel that her best scene of the season and one which embodies the character she plays was the scene with Tyrion in the Prince of Winterfell. That is Cersei to the T. “Because I am happy!” cue Bowie’s Queen Bitch.

  • Lena as Cersei.

    Last year I was not a fan. This year she blew me away. Especially in Blackwater. That last scene was fantastic.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    This!
    Lena knocked it outta the park this season. Her lines were fabulous, well acted, and more real than book Cersei! I actaully wanted her to be saved at the end of Blackwater.

  • ON second thought Sophie Turner did just as much of an outstanding job as Lena Headley. Cant take the vote back now, but if I could, I’d say Sophie as best actress, and Lena as comeback actress of the year (sports fans know what i mean.)

    Lena’s work on Blackwater was the highlight of the season for me, but Sophie was much more consistent throughout and has really brought Sansa to life for me in a way that I never thought was possible. Always hated Sansa while reading the books, but I love her in the show, and thats only because of Sophie Turner.

  • Defitely not Sophie Turner or Emilia Clarke!
    At least Turner was better this season than last.

    Much like Lena Headey, who last year I thought did terribly as Cersei. This year she was great as Cersei and had some brilliant performances in some of the best dramatic scenes of the season. She gets my vote. Kudos to her.

  • Im surprised there isn’t a bit more love for Michelle’s performance. I don’t expect her to win this category, but I figured there would at least be more people sticking up for her in the comments. She delivered some of my favorite lines of the whole season. That scene where she yelled at Karstark was amazing. “Do you forget me, ser?” Brilliant!

    Having said all that, I voted for Massie. Haha!

  • Voted for Michelle Fairley again. Though I wasn’t always happy with the changes to her arc this season she performed the role wonderfully. Once again displaying all the emotional turmoil, dignity and grace she showed last season. To me she remains the most brilliant actress of this entirely brilliant cast. Though Sophie Turner’s performance was fantastic as well this season.I loved her last season but she really stepped up her game this season. Can’t wait to see what she’ll do next season as book 3 has some really brilliant Sansa scenes.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    Lena was awesome in Blackwater. But I feel that her best scene of the season and one which embodies the character she plays was the scene with Tyrion in the Prince of Winterfell. That is Cersei to the T. “Because I am happy!” cue Bowie’s Queen Bitch.

    That was great wasn’t it (?) That scene pushed her ahead of Emilia, Maisie or
    Sophie ( the latter three not strong considerations IMHO ). Michelle Fairley
    was the only other contender methinks.

  • Skipjack,

    i agree with your most excellent assessment. My one caveat would be that some of Cersei’s sympathy come from the writers shifting some of her evil deeds to Joffrey (ie murdering Roberts bastard children, etc). She still gets my vote however.

  • A woman agrees with so many who have said that Sophie/Sansa has won our hearts with her performance this season. S1 she was an entitled brat (as in the book), and though Sophie did that well the performance didn’t win fans because the audience wanted to slap her a bit IMO. Only at the end of S1 did you feel any sympathy for her, and Sophie has only grown better and better in showing her pain in her eyes and using her vocal inflections to convey her emotions behind the actions. On a stage you need “bigger” acting techniques, but the subtly of Sophie’s portrayal is brilliant.

    Lena/Cersei was good form the start, and improved in S2 where you began to see some depth to her “evil Queen” character beyond the obvious.

    Emilia/Dany and Michelle/Cat were both fine given the material they had this season, but a woman liked both of them better LAST season. They both had moments of brilliance, as many have mentioned (Cat’s receiving Ned’s bones, Dany in THOTU was luminous and magical yet defiantly tough).

    For this woman, there can be no other female winner this season than Maisie/Arya. She hit the ball out of the park at EVERY opportunity without a HINT of a miss. She held her own with a Shakespearean master craftsman (Charles/Tywin), and stole every scene. Her chemistry with Jaqen showed not just that Arya connects with others in a deeper way because of her tender age, generous heart (who else would have saved Jaqen?), and precocious intelligence, but that Maisie is a pro with a talent that borders on otherworldly.

    How a youngster of Maisie’s age can pull off “I’m an angry/seething highborn tomboy girl who’s pretending to be an educated low-born girl who’s grateful for a good job and a hot meal without giving up my identity and still learning how the world really works so I can escape and find my family” requires a depth of connection with her character and motivations that many youngsters would not be able to master. The look in her eyes when staring at Tywin’s neck while grasping a dagger did it for me…she’s a wolf in sheeps’ clothing and she is dangerous. The looks at shirtless Gendry while casually eating an apple showed Arya is growing up and looking at boys differently than before. Maisie has inhabited Arya from the word “action,” and perhaps that’s why she’s underrated by some audience members. If she had been awkward last season and better this season more people might have noticed how good she really is. This woman noticed from her very first scenes. She’s a wolf-child, a wild-genius, a tomboy obsessed with sword-fighting, an aggressive leader of her posse, curious and not always cautious, loyal but learning how it works and doesn’t sometimes. A revelation. Can you imagine anybody else as Arya? No, you can’t – Maisie gets my vote, Maisie wins.

  • Nerd:
    It seems like we all pretty much agree that Emilia Clarke was the worst of these women.

    A woman does not agree, but Emilia did not have very much to work with this year. Her story line was less compelling, but she still had a few really great scenes IMO. Remember, last year she was a surprise and her character had to go from scared teenager to magical dragon queen – a tauntingly complex arc that she handled very well. This season it was more of an internal growth and external exploration year, which was somewhat less fascinating to the viewer. IMO, Maisie got all the good action THIS season, with Sansa close behind and Cersei in 3rd.

  • Esme has my supporting actress nod.

    All were good and all were great in some of their scenes, but Sophie was the only one who shined in EVERY scene she was in this season.

    Sophie conveyed more with just her expressions than the rest. You can see the inner turmolt in her head just by looking at the pain in her eyes. Lena’s a good drunkard, but aren’t we all? :P

  • R’hllor, this is so hard! All these actresses really owned their roles.
    But I go for Michelle. She had so very little to work with, so very few moments and lines, (and anything we don’t like about those has certainly nothing to do with her performance) and yet she managed an impecable performance that portrayed such a wide range of emotions in such subtle ways.
    Runner up would be Maisie (separated only by half a hair), with a very close third place for Sophie, fourth for the hillariously engaging Lena’s Cersei and fifth for Emilia.

  • Rygar:
    Esme has my supporting actress nod.

    All were good and all were great in some of their scenes, but Sophie was the only one who shined in EVERY scene she was in this season.

    Sophie conveyed more with just her expressions than the rest.You can see the inner turmolt in her head just by looking at the pain in her eyes.Lena’s a good drunkard, but aren’t we all?:P

    Well Rygar, a woman has to disagree, as Maisie #1, Sophie #2, Lena #3 IMO. Michelle and Emilia didn’t have the material this year. I’d almost make it a Maisie/Sohpie tie, but Maisie just had more “meaty” scenes to work with so edged out Sophie (who did a lot with a few good scenes).

  • Rygar:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    We all know it beacuse she’s your husbands co-star!Hmpf, favortism :)

    OK, a woman has to admit SOME favoritism. But, Arya was my favorite from S1 too, so I got on that bandwagon way back when. Though in S1 she would have stiffer competition from Emilia and Michelle IMO, they had much richer material last year for their characters.

  • Maisie was great this season, but after season one I didn’t expect any less than that from her. Had to go with Sophie Turner, simply because how amazing she was came as a bit of a surprise. Lena Headey was great too, but overall, all the awards Sophie Turner.

  • Rygar:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    We all know it because she’s your husbands co-star!Hmpf, favoritism :)

    LMAO.
    It is known perhaps, equally so than to debate with my fair lady Mrs H’ghar.
    Where she does exhibit partiality to be true is not the vital of point or question,
    but whether my lady shares her thoughts with Jaqen about your cause. Have
    no fear though lady Rygar, Mary Poppins has been sent for by swift raven to
    champion your cause. By decree the Northern king will honor the winner.

  • WildSeed: LMAO.
    It is known perhaps, equally so than to debate with my fair lady Mrs H’ghar.
    Where she does exhibit partiality to be true is not the vital point or question,
    but whether my lady shares her thoughts with Jaqen about your cause. Have
    no fear though lady Rygar, Mary Poppins has been sent for by swift raven to
    champion your cause. By decree the Northern king will honor the winner.

  • Toughest award to vote for so far! Really, really close between Lena and Maisie for me. Ended up voting for Lena, just because it’s such a difficult role. She (and the writers, of course) have made Cersei deeper, more nuanced, and more tragic than she is in the books. Bravo!

  • You both sold me.
    Maisie it is. I don’t need a poisoned dart in my neck.

    Lady? Har!

    WildSeed: LMAO.
    It is known perhaps, equally so than to debate with my fair lady Mrs H’ghar.
    Where she does exhibit partiality to be true is not the vital of point or question,
    but whether my lady shares her thoughts with Jaqen about your cause. Have
    no fear though lady Rygar, Mary Poppins has been sent for by swift raven to
    champion your cause. By decree the Northern king will honor the winner.

  • WildSeed: LMAO.
    It is known perhaps, equally so than to debate with my fair lady Mrs H’ghar.
    Where she does exhibit partiality to be true is not the vital of point or question,
    but whether my lady shares her thoughts with Jaqen about your cause. Have
    no fear though lady Rygar, Mary Poppins has been sent for by swift raven to
    champion your cause. By decree the Northern king will honor the winner.

    Jaqen shares a deep respect for Arya with a woman. If we had been blessed with a daughter we would have been pleased with one such as Arya.

  • Winterdark:
    Voted for Michelle Fairley again. Though I wasn’t always happy with the changes to her arc this season she performed the role wonderfully. Once again displaying all the emotional turmoil, dignity and grace she showed last season. To me she remains the most brilliant actress of this entirely brilliant cast. Though Sophie Turner’s performance was fantastic as well this season.I loved her last season but she really stepped up her game this season. Can’t wait to see what she’ll do next season as book 3 has some really brilliant Sansa scenes.

    My thoughts exactly. I voted for Michelle too.

  • Nerd:
    It seems like we all pretty much agree that Emilia Clarke was the worst of these women.

    Not her fault, the writing was utter crap for her this season so nothing much she could do. She did well with what little she was given.

  • *Kicks dirt*
    Wish Rose Leslie was an option. I haven’t been able to get her out of my head since ‘The Old Gods And The New’.

    With those choices I’ll have to go with Lena for ‘Blackwater’.

  • I don’t grade on a curve for age in these sorts of things and I try to isolate out the writing and general character bias. I’d call Season 2:

    1) Lean Headey
    2) Michelle Fairley
    3) Sophie Turner
    4) Maisie Williams
    5) Emilia Clarke

    That’s not meant as an insult to Maisie or Emilia…

  • yeah Maisie is great, people but do not FORGET Lena Heady just because you don’t like Cersei. She was the BEST in this season all her scenes with Tyrion and Sansa and of course the Blackwater episode.

  • Ser Pounce,

    Because almost every acting award ceremony is divided into categories by gender? This is not a radical concept. And frankly, with the way voting goes in public voting competitions, you would rarely see female winners. It sucks but it’s true.

  • I voted for Sophie Turner, but it could have just as easily went to any of the other nominees (except for Emilia Clarke, who didn’t have the material this year to impress as she did in the first season). I figured she’d be overlooked by mostly everyone (glad she wasn’t, though), despite the fact that she is consistently fantastic with somewhat difficult material to work with.

  • One word: loyalty. Maisie Williams is pure, unadulterated gold.
    Sophie and Michelle are a close second, Lena third and fourth is Emilia who was sadly lacking this season, though much of that had to do with the atrocious writing of her scenes (Qarth was so bad).

  • Lena delivered such consistent excellent work, she popped into my head immediately when I saw the question. I wish I could have voted for all of them, though – what a great troupe of actresses (and actors too!)

  • I would’ve voted for Gwendoline Christie if she was in the list. I found her to be the Maisie of the 2nd season… in that she completely nailed an important and very difficult female role.

  • Got to give it to Lena, Cersei was fantastic this season! Can’t wait to see Lena in “Dread”, she looks really fierce!

  • I went with Sophie. The way she conveyed so much of Sansa’s inner thought process in the little screen time she had was actually amazing. That girl has many awards in her future.

  • I voted for Maisie because I’m a big fan, and she was great opposite Charles Dance this year…

    …but I probably should have voted for Lena Headey. She really brought it this season.

  • Ms. Heady became Cersei this season, she just kicked ass in her scenes, but Maisie was a close second.

    A interesting tidbit for fans; Robert McLachlan, the cinematographer for episodes 9 and 10, mentioned in an interview that he was flown earlier this summer on the QT to Belfast to film a scene. Apparently a surprise actor (under cloud of secrecy) had a brief gap in his schedule to film one of his scenes, so the crew was called in to film it. He also stated that the fans were in (paraphrasing) for some other cool surprises this season.
    I lost the link to the page, sorry, but personally, I don’t know if I can handle this info, it already has me guessing wildly on what and who might this be about.

  • I can’t believe nobody thinks Michelle did a great job. When Littlefinger brought Neds bones, she was unreal.

  • shadallion,

    I think Lena was amazing in season one. BUT her role was different from season 2, I’l grant you that. In season 1, she’s Robert’s wife and living in a sexist society, so she’s a little more silent, not as expressive. In season 2, now free of Robert and Ned, we see her for who she really is: unstable, mean, controlling and sellfish.

    It may be just my opinion but that’s how I see it :P

    Oh and I voted Maise, because even though they are all amazing actresses, Maise has something more. When I am reading ASOIAF, for me, she is Arya.

  • Sophie all the way. She was, imo, incredibly underused this season, but every scene she was in was perfect. And her role was tougher than any of the other actors/actresses in that the majority of what she had to convey was nonverbal. She did a brilliant job, and deserves all the attention for it.

  • last year i voted for Massie, this year i have to say thought that Lena took it for the win all the way. She’s portraying Cercei going ever steadily mad, and she’s doing an amazing job of it :)

  • tysnow,

    I’m hoping for Clive Mantle, personally. He didn’t have much screen time, but his Greatjon really made an impression. In fact, I even had a few friends ask why he wasn’t in the second season, except they phrased it, “Hey, what happened to that dude who got his fingers bit off?”

  • Without a shadow of a doubt, Maisie Williams gets my vote for the best actress. She is an example of pure awesomness.

  • Selmy,

    So re: Lena, are you judging the character or the acting? I am not quite sure what you mean. Her acting in season 1 was better than in season 2?

    Just curious on your thoughts :-)

  • I went for Michelle Fairley. Maisie a close second. Lena Headey and especially Sophie came in leaps and bounds this season. They should keep it up for next season.

    I really DO NOT GET the Emilia Clarke hype. She was just there to fill up the nominations to 5, yes? Because a dead Renly and headless Ned was better than her. You guys should”ve put Gwen Christie in there instead.

  • Sophie Turner. Her achievement is undervalued, because her pesonage isn’t that popular.

    And indeed, i do not understand the Emila Clark hype as well. She is not great, i think, for Daenerys’ role.

  • Michelle Farley!!! No doubt about it. She’s just perfect as Catelyn even when the writing is less than stellar and her screentime is limited.

  • Rather appropriately, there is an interview with Lena Headey in the Telegraph today.

    Some really interesting comments:

    But Game of Thrones, frankly, has become her calling card. “I know. That scares me. I feel as if I’ve had a great year of work, but then I remember that the attention probably mostly comes down to Thrones. I don’t want to be owned by anyone.”

    Yet, conversely, she seems relaxed about fantasy fans, a famously dedicated bunch, obsessing over Cersei. “With fantasy and sci-fi, it’s based in a real fandom. You’re presenting to experts, and their source material is really important to them. They’ll come up and ask: ‘so when you turned your head slightly in that scene, what were you thinking?’

    “I enjoy that, because the battle is over the interpretation, and they’re more interested in the character than they are in you. There’s something cooler about the geek.”

    “I’m doing 14 days’ work for Thrones this year, which seems pretty good to me. I’m like an oil-rig worker. The only slight hassle is that it’s quite a long way from LA.”

  • Drunk Cersei won it this season for me, so my vote went to LH. She was having too much fun and it was contagious.

  • Of course Lena Headey, really no need to make this poll.Although Sophie is amazing, too, of course. As is Maisie, and Clash would have been THE time for Arya to shine, but unfortunately the writers totally ruined almost all of her (possible) scenes.

  • Skipjack:
    Her Cersei was really extraordinary.She had to convey her imbalance while asserting her need for control.She had to show her loneliness and vulnerability while maintaining her pride and determination.She ultimately did a lot more with Cersei than anyone who’s read the books would expect and ended up making me uncomfortable with the amount of sympathy she wrung out of me for this terrible woman.In fact, for Lena’s sake and the show’s sake as I have just finished re-reading AFFC, I really hope they keep and elaborate on this Cersei rather than the one in the books, and I can’t think of more of a tribute to the actress than that.

    Beautifully put. Write more. My boyfriend wanted either Lena or Maisie, and I wanted Lena, so Lena it is! Maisie, Michelle, and Sophie were great as well. We thought Emilia was better in season 1 – a little too strident and bossy this time around.

  • I love Emilia, but they didn’t give her much to work with this season. She didn’t actually repeat the same thing over and over- the problem is they used the same quotes in every ad and episode preview/summary, so it felt like more than it was. ACOK didn’t have much story for Dany either, so I don’t know how much I can lay at D&D’s feet in this instance.

    Fairley is wonderful but Catelyn was sort of gutted as a character in the adaptation and so the actress didn’t have as much variety and nuance to play with.

  • tysnow:
    Ms. Heady became Cersei this season, she just kicked ass in her scenes, but Maisie was a close second.

    A interesting tidbit for fans; Robert McLachlan, the cinematographer for episodes 9 and 10, mentioned in an interview that he was flown earlier this summer on the QT to Belfast to film a scene. Apparently a surprise actor (under cloud of secrecy) had a brief gap in his schedule to film one of his scenes, so the crew was called in to film it. He also stated that the fans were in (paraphrasing) for some other cool surprises this season.
    I lost the link to the page, sorry, but personally, I don’t know if I can handle this info, it already has me guessing wildly on what and who might this be about.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/television/Game+Thrones+crowning+achievement/7174671/story.html

  • Alan,

    tysnow,
    That isn’t actually what he said in the interview. He said:

    McLachlan filmed a scene in Northern Ireland earlier this summer, a single day’s shooting under a veil of secrecy.

    “Due to actor availability,” is all he say, cryptically, and leaves it at that.

    Game of Thrones is filmed under a veil of constant secrecy, so as not to spoil any surprises and to keep the fanboys at bay.

    He said they filmed one scene earlier due to one actor’s availability and that is it. And every day of shooting is under a veil of secrecy, as people who have tried to visit filming areas have found.
    There could be some sort of secret cameo, sure, but the interview doesn’t actually say that.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    While I agree that Catelyn seemed like an afterthought this season, I think Michelle was ridiculously great in every scene she was in, especially the ones set in Renly’s camp. Michelle is the kind of actress that has a strong presence everytime she’s on screen, no matter who’s sharing the scene with her. I think she’s absolutely brilliant.

    Lena was amazing as well. She portrays every bit of Cercei’s complex personality in a flawless way. And she had the material this season to show that in a number of occasions, more specifically her conversation about whores with Tyrion and, of course, Blackwater. But really, she shines every scene. When she ditches Sansa in favor of Magaery, her face, her mannerisms… flawless.

    Sophie and Maisie are constantly good. They aren’t over the top, their acting method is always so nuanced, especially in Sophie’s case, even though their characters aren’t as nuanced.

    I think Emilia has fantastic screen presence and charisma. I also think she still hasn’t reached her full potential and that her character and storyline suffered the most this season when it comes to writing. But I love seeing her whenever she pops in. I root for her.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear, it was very late. I was judging the acting, because it’s awesome, in both seasons. Her character is different in season 1 and 2, but Lena has more to work with in season 2 since she isn’t controlled by Robert. So I like Cersei more in season 2, but it’s not Lena’s fault if Cersei is more levelheaded in season 1.

    Hope I’m being clear enough :)

  • glenn,

    Exactly how I feel. Her emergence as the Cersei we all know and love to hate in Blackwater was partially due to GRRM writing the episode and putting in all these things D&D had neglected to show us about her character. I hope they continue portraying her as increasingly venemous and unstable.

    It seems to me that there are a lot of fans of Sophie Turner that want to vote for her just because they think she won’t be as popular due to her character’s unpopularity. Hopefully those voting for her actually think she deserves the win for best acting and aren’t giving pity votes.

  • It was between Sophie and Maisie for me. Lena was especially good in Blackwater, Michelle had a horrid script to work with and “with fire and blood I will take it! Where are my dragons” was just a horrible performance for me. Yes so it’s between the two youngsters.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    Thx for finding it as I lost the link, so was trying to express from memory. Anyway my thought was a secret cameo, such as Jason’s from last season, or an out in left field theory, a big name playing RV, because if he appears, it will be in episode 10.

  • Frost Nocturne,

    GRRM did not write The Prince of Winterfell and that Episode featured Cersei in all her glory.
    Perhaps just perhaps D & D are writing Cersei the way they are to make her look less like the evil Disney Queen she is in the books? That they are showing her as an unhappy yet ambitious individual who is revealing herself layer by layer to the audience as opposed to a fully developed character in the books? Perhaps D & D are building to the Cersei we all know and love?
    Here’s the thing and this is my opinion of course: Martin has some fantastic characters and on page their fully developed personalities come off fine. But a tv series has to keep viewers interested, they have to see some evolution/progression of the character over time. It’s just how it’s done. Now I am not saying that they have not made any missteps with character adaptation because they have, but personally I feel that Cersei is their crowning achievement and when we get to the late parts of her arc it will be fully earned. Don’t forget that after killing Ned Stark the producers had to make the unsullied accept the Lannisters as recurring characters and if they translate then from the books verbatim obey could easily come off as cackling villains. Not to say that are cheesy in the books as well, Martin’s writing takes care of that. I have read many comments from non reader fans who find Cersei and the Lannisters contemptible but also fascinating and entertaining. A writer has to create pathos to show that the character is much more than the archetypes that the audience assumes them to be. The unsullied also loved Blackwater and the fact that on either side of the conflict there are people to like and root for. This is a key element of the story realized…that this world is colored in shades of gray not black and white.
    As we are unable to read a character’s thoughts or read paragraphs providing background, the writers have to make slight alterations in the character to make it work. The trick is to make it different to fit their agenda but maintain the essence of the character. And I think this argument not only fits the portrayal of Cersei but also the adaptation as a whole.

  • Skipjack:
    Lena for sure.The arguments for the others are actually very persuasive, and Sophie and Maisie in particular were just revelatory.Their depth and range is very impressive and I know we’ll get great things from them in the future, even after GoT.But I want to underline that they had a lot of help.The actors they shared scenes with were extremely generous with their listening and give and take. A large amount of Maisie’s terrific work was done by Charles Dance, and that doesn’t take anything away from her.Likewise Sophie had a great if more muted turn as Sansa, but she got to play off characters losing their grip, from Cersei to Joffrey to the Hound.

    Emilia had almost no help from the script this season, and Daenerys’ story seemed tacked on, lurching from violent confrontation to shouting match and back.Michelle was terrific in her quiet grief but her struggle was simpler in many ways than Cersei’s.That’s why it has to be Lena Headey this time.

    Her Cersei was really extraordinary.She had to convey her imbalance while asserting her need for control.She had to show her loneliness and vulnerability while maintaining her pride and determination.She ultimately did a lot more with Cersei than anyone who’s read the books would expect and ended up making me uncomfortable with the amount of sympathy she wrung out of me for this terrible woman.In fact, for Lena’s sake and the show’s sake as I have just finished re-reading AFFC, I really hope they keep and elaborate on this Cersei rather than the one in the books, and I can’t think of more of a tribute to the actress than that.

    ^This
    That said, I think it speaks well of all the actresses on the show that the comments are evenly distributed. I imagine this category will be close, deservedly so.

  • Frost Nocturne,

    The thing is, Sophie DOES deserve it. I didn’t vote for her out of pity. I think her performance was just as strong as the others, and most people would agree but they’d STILL vote for more seasoned actors or Maisie, just because her character has a much more outward arc.

    I mean, just think about the way Sophie uses her eyes to portray the subtleties and complexities of her character. And think of how terrifying the mob scene in The Old Gods and the New would have been. For a 15 year old (and regardless of her age), she really did an incredible job.

  • Hannah:
    Frost Nocturne,

    The thing is, Sophie DOES deserve it. I didn’t vote for her out of pity. I think her performance was just as strong as the others, and most people would agree but they’d STILL vote for more seasoned actors or Maisie, just because her character has a much more outward arc.

    I mean, just think about the way Sophie uses her eyes to portray the subtleties and complexities of her character. And think of how terrifying the mob scene in The Old Gods and the New would have been. For a 15 year old (and regardless of her age), she really did an incredible job.

    Actually I think if people believe that Sophie gave the best performance last season they will vote for her. This whole ” her character is not popular so she won’t win” and ” people vote for Maisie because they love Arya” is nonsense. People will always see different things in an actors performance so it’s best not to make sweeping statements as to why they choose to vote for who they do. For example I personally would never choose Sophie – while she has improved greatly from season 1 (where she gave only one noteworthy scene) she is still very much hit and miss for me. This is probably due to her young age and the fact that she improved from S1 to S2 means she will probably only keep getting better. Emilia, however, was bad in S1 and was downright awful in S2 imo. The fact that the 3 teenage actors are so much better than her says a lot for her talent or lack there of imo.

  • darquemode: Much like Lena Headey, who last year I thought did terribly as Cersei. This year she was great as Cersei and had some brilliant performances in some of the best dramatic scenes of the season. She gets my vote. Kudos to her.

    this.

  • Aegon the Conqueror: “with fire and blood I will take it! Where are my dragons” was just a horrible performance for me.

    You do know she didn’t write that crap herself right? I don’t know how any actress could deal with the BS script she was given convincingly.

  • Arya’s story arc was more interesting (and Maise Williams performed it well) but Sophie Turner’s arc required a lot more acting chops this season. Those 2 were the stand outs this season IMO.

  • Had to go with Lena, she really impressed me this season after I had been sort of meh towards her portrayal in Season 1.
    She just seemed really tired/bored last season, but this season she seemed to really get into Cersei’s cynical, arrogant side.
    I also watched the audio commentary with Lena for one of the episodes of Season 1 and she’s actually hilarious and she seems to genuinely love the show, so I respected her a lot more after that.

  • Hannah:
    Frost Nocturne,

    I mean, just think about the way Sophie uses her eyes to portray the subtleties and complexities of her character. And think of how terrifying the mob scene in The Old Gods and the New would have been. For a 15 year old (and regardless of her age), she really did an incredible job.

    I agree with all my heart. Sophie can convey so much just with her eyes. Arya is a fan favourite and Maisie does a very good job, Lena and Michelle are seasoned actresses, but Sophie, with a much less sympathetic role than Maisie and less experience than Lena and Michelle, is outstanding in every single scene. For me, she’s the winner.

  • userj: You do know she didn’t write that crap herself right?I don’t know how any actress could deal with the BS script she was given convincingly.

    Good actors and actresses can make crappy scripts believable and convincing. Sadly, Emilia is not in that category yet, but she’s very young and will improve with time.

  • I agree that Clarke is not the best actress on the series but personally I find she has good moments especially near the end of season 1. As for her “bad writing”/desperation/immature behavior in season 2 I really believe she can improve. I thought her scenes in 1,2,5,8 and 10 of season were awesome. 6 being her nadir. Perhaps they shouldn’t have got a first timer for the role? Unfortunately for detractors even they have to admit that Clarke is iconic because of the series and vice versa not to mention her role as series ambassador since that 10 minute featurette back in early 2011. She ain’t going anywhere haters.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    I agree that Clarke is not the best actress on the series but personally I find she has good moments especially near the end of season 1. As for her “bad writing”/desperation/immature behavior in season 2 I really believe she can improve. I thought her scenes in 1,2,5,8 and 10 of season were awesome. 6 being her nadir. Perhaps they shouldn’t have got a first timer for the role? Unfortunately for detractors even they have to admit that Clarke is iconic because of the series and vice versa not to mention her role as series ambassador since that 10 minute featurette back in early 2011. She ain’t going anywhere haters.

    Most people who haven’t praised her are just pointing out in a respectful manner the same things you mention. Why do you call them “haters”? Or are you referring to other people outside of Wic, in some sort of “let’s replace Clarke” cruzade?

  • Tír Airgid,

    There’s a post several above mine that says “awful” in regards to her performance. That is not saying I was not a fan of her performance in a respectful manner. Awful= Paris Hilton or Tori Spelling. I found the comment had a bit too much hyperbole.

    In my experience people hate on certain actors regardless if they are good in the role or not. There are certain tics or quirks that annoy people, past roles that they cannot get past. For example a friend of mine was very upset with Lena Headey as Cersei. He thought she was wrong for the role AND he doesn’t think she’s that great of an actress. He did say she was improved with season 2 (begrudgingly) but he cannot get past those impressions. Personally I give any actor a chance a long as they put their mind to it or make an effort. I am not a Tom Cruise fan, but he was exceptional in Magnolia and Collateral.

    I see Emilia trying hard to improve herself and it shows in some scenes but I also saw her struggle with the script. Her lines in season 2 ep 4 were either terrible lazy writing or they really wanted to convey her desperation. She didn’t have much to work with. She was great in ep 5 and displayed some comic timing as well. She is great at eye contact and body language but yelling is something that she has not quite mastered. My opinion is that her whining is deliberate in the writing but she needed to pare down the shrillness of her voice. Even if she is only playing a capricious 16 year old, on screen it does not come off that well. This is probably a casualty of a rushed production schedule.
    Outside of Dany there are several moments in season 2 that are handled too quickly. The season plays well in a marathon viewing but week to week it was frustrating. This notion of directors filing their scenes all at once is a good one as it allows then time for reshooting and focus on making the individual episodes stronger.

  • It was my Sophie’s choice (see what I did there?) between Lena and Maisie, but I went with Lena because she became a favorite this year after I considered her a miscast last year. Maisie is, was, and always will be the Arya Stark, and while she deserves a ton of credit for her role, this year goes to Lena.

  • SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you haven’t read up to A feast For Crows, then you shouldn’t read ANY of this. You’ve been warned…

    Hey fellow fans,

    I have a pretty crazy theory that I’d like to share with you, just to get some opinions from those that have read the books. First I will say my theory, then I will give reason to back it up. Here goes: I’m pretty certain that Jaqen H’ghar is Rhaegar Targaryen. Now before you dismiss this theory outright, at least hear my reasons.

    1. When Robert supposedly slew Rhaegar on the Trident, we’re expected to believe that it was actually Rhaegar who was fighting because the look of his armor is described in great detail several times. It could’ve been anyone wearing that armor and his face was hidden by his helm. And it’s already been established in this series that some people have worn the armor of others for various reasons. (Garlan Tyrell wearing Renly’s armor during the battle of blackwater, Rorge wearing the Hound’s dog helm and doing horrible things that made people think that it was Sandor)

    2. When Dany asked Barriston Selmy about Rhaegar, he tells her that his wasn’t much of a fighter as a boy but he loved to read. Then one day, he read something in some old Valyrian scrolls. Nobody knows what it was he read but right after that, he felt that it was his duty to now be a warrior. GRRM wouldn’t go out of his way to include that information if it didn’t have real significance. And the religion if R’hllor and the prince who was promised is tied in with the Targaryens. Maester Aemon makes mention of the prophecy of the Prince Who Was Promised several times and for while, the Aemon and Rhaegar thought that Rhaegar might be him.

    3. After Jaqen changes his face and parts ways with Arya, I thought that maybe that was the last we had seen of him. But in the prologue of A Feast For Crows, we meet a man who refers to himself as the Alchemist. When his facial features are described, it’s the exact face the Jaqen changed into. He offered to give Pate (who gets called the pig boy, which he hates) a golden dragon if he would steal him a copy of a master key to the maester’s citadel. Even Pate wonders why this Alchemist would want the key. He thinks that maybe the Alchemist wants to get his hands on the old Valyrian scrolls that the maesters have locked away. So they make the trade, Pate gets the golden dragon coin, bites into it and drops dead. Later in the book, when Samwell finally makes it to the citadel, he tells one of the archmaesters everything that Maester Aemon told him about Dany and her dragons. In the same room, a young man introduces himself to Sam as Pate, like the pig boy. We obviously know that the real Pate died in the beginning of the book and would never introduce himself as the pig boy because he hated being called that. So obviously Jaqen stole the real Pate’s identity. If he’s not Rhaegar, then why would some faceless man give a shit about old Valyrian scrolls?

    4. Jaqen also believes in the R’hllor. Ans because he’s a faceless man, he changes his face, name, accent, everything. So he could be anyone.

    The main reason that got me thinking about Jaqen is that out of all the characters in this series, he’s the only on whose motives are a complete mystery. So if any of you fans took that time to read my whacked out theory, please respond. I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Later!

  • Agree 100%

    Skipjack:
    Lena for sure.The arguments for the others are actually very persuasive, and Sophie and Maisie in particular were just revelatory.Their depth and range is very impressive and I know we’ll get great things from them in the future, even after GoT.But I want to underline that they had a lot of help.The actors they shared scenes with were extremely generous with their listening and give and take. A large amount of Maisie’s terrific work was done by Charles Dance, and that doesn’t take anything away from her.Likewise Sophie had a great if more muted turn as Sansa, but she got to play off characters losing their grip, from Cersei to Joffrey to the Hound.

    Emilia had almost no help from the script this season, and Daenerys’ story seemed tacked on, lurching from violent confrontation to shouting match and back.Michelle was terrific in her quiet grief but her struggle was simpler in many ways than Cersei’s.That’s why it has to be Lena Headey this time.

    Her Cersei was really extraordinary.She had to convey her imbalance while asserting her need for control.She had to show her loneliness and vulnerability while maintaining her pride and determination.She ultimately did a lot more with Cersei than anyone who’s read the books would expect and ended up making me uncomfortable with the amount of sympathy she wrung out of me for this terrible woman.In fact, for Lena’s sake and the show’s sake as I have just finished re-reading AFFC, I really hope they keep and elaborate on this Cersei rather than the one in the books, and I can’t think of more of a tribute to the actress than that.

  • Lena. She did everything this year. She was sympathetic and horrifying at once, funny, her scenes with Peter were amazing.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    Hands down Lena Headey. She is proof positive D & D pulling off the series: making wretched people watchable and fascinating.
    Outside of Lena, I thought Sophie Turner was fantastic.

    Seconded.

  • ieiazel: Good actors and actresses can make crappy scripts believable and convincing. Sadly, Emilia is not in that category yet, but she’s very young and will improve with time.

    Sorry but no one can repeatedly scream WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS and I WILL BURN YOU ALLLLLL “convincingly”. I don’t care who you are.

    And writing absolutely has a strong influence on how good a performance is. How many terribly written movies are nominated for acting oscars?

  • Yes, I go definitely for Lena Headey! She was absolutely amazing throughout season 1 & 2. Her actingskills in those perfect details just blew me away! And with a grand finale in S2 episode 9 !!!!! So much enjoyed it :)