Could Anna Gunn or Monica Potter step up against Dame Maggie Smith?
Michelle Fairley of 'Game of Thrones'
Michelle Fairley, "Game of Thrones"
Nomination Status: In the spotlight of the "Game of Thrones" spotlight episode, so she may surprise.
In Her Favor: I wanted to give this place to Natalie Dormer, who has taken a non-character from the books and given her complicated shadings. But the more I thought about it, it became clearer and clearer that if "The Rains of Castamere" is going to be presented as the big-ticket Emmy episode for "Game of Thrones" that's going to get an awful lot of exposure for Michelle Fairley. I don't think her performance in that episode displays an awful lot of colors, but it's soulful and earnest and helps ground the increasingly operatic proceedings. That's important and could be worthy of an Emmy nod if voters are getting hyped up for "Game of Thrones" Season 3.
Working Against Her: I think Fairley was probably better in the show's first season and she wasn't nominated then either. As I keep saying, Emmy voters have decided that Peter Dinklage is the guy they nominate on behalf of the full "Game of Thrones" cast.