Game of Thrones stars Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), and Carice van Houten (Melisandre) submitted themselves for Emmy consideration and received nominations. The team behind HBO’s awards campaign was caught by surprise, and HBO confirmed that it did not submit the trio for consideration by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. All three Game of Thrones stars, via their reps, chose to submit themselves and pay the $225 entry fee. As a result of their entries, all three performers were nominated for Emmys.
Gwendoline Christie was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a drama series, Alfie Allen was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a drama series, and Carice van Houten was nominated for Best Guest Actress in a drama series. Christie will be up against Lena Headey (who played Cersei Lannister) in the category, and Allen will be up against Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister).
It is a common practice for long-shot actors to be entered for Emmy consideration by their reps or themselves. However, it is uncommon for those entries to result in Emmy nominations. The fact that all three actors earned a nod of approval for their self-submittals was surprising.
HBO had formally put forward the names of Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), all of whom received nominations.
As a result, HBO scored four nominations for supporting actress in a drama series (Lena Headey, Gwendoline Christie, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams) and three nominations for best supporting actor (Peter Dinklage, Alfie Allen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Both Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington scored their first nominations in the lead categories, after having previously been nominated in supporting categories.
Peter Dinklage is the only Game of Thrones actor to have won an Emmy for the HBO series. This year, Game of Thrones was nominated for a record-breaking 32 Emmys overall, beating out the record holder NYPD Blue in 1994.