Can Lena Headey win the Emmy for Best Drama Supporting Actress on only her second bid for playing Cersei Lannister on "Game of Thrones"? Last year she lost out to Anna Gunn ("Breaking Bad"), but with Gunn gone we are guaranteed a new winner in this race. Headey submitted the Season 5 finale to Emmy judges "Mother's Mercy."
SYNOPSIS: A broken and imprisoned Cersei "confesses" her sins to the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) in order to get out of her jail cell. She admits to sleeping with her nephew, but lies and says there is no truth to the rumors that she slept with her brother. Cersei is then stripped naked and washed clean, and most of her hair is cut off.
To atone for her sins, Cersei must walk through the center of King's Landing completely naked. One of the Sparrow's aids follows her through the city shouting "Shame! Shame! Shame!" and ringing a cow bell. As Cersei walks deeper through the capitol, people spit on her, throw things at her and shout vile phrases. Finally, she arrives at the castle and is welcomed by a guard who says that they'll do everything they can to make sure the Queen's enemies are punished.
Will Headey's buzzed-about scenes help her win her an Emmy? Let's weigh the pros and cons:
Headey shows incredible emotional range in her short 15 minutes of screen time, from manipulative and cunning to broken and afraid.
At Gold Derby we often say that a performer needs to have one major impact scene in order to win an Emmy. Well, there was arguably nothing more impactful on all of television last year than Cersei's naked walk of shame.
As the show's major villain, Headey submitted an episode where her character goes through the beginning stages of what appears to be a redemptive arc. That character reversal will allow voters to see her in a new light.
Headey does not appear until the 40 minute mark of her episode. Will voters get bored waiting for her to show up?
Only one actor from "Game of Thrones" has won before — Peter Dinklage back in 2011. That's likely because the show rarely focuses on a character long enough in a single episode for Emmy voters to get attached.
Headey was pregnant during the filming of this episode and used a body double for her character's nude scenes. Might voters hold that against her?
Make your own Emmys picks now to the right or at the bottom of this post. You could win one of our three prizes ($500, $300 and $200 Amazon gift certificates) as well as a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Emmys line-up).
Last year, our Experts had an accuracy rate of 58.62% when it came to predicting the Emmy winners. That score tied them with both Gold Derby's Editors and the Top 24 Users (those two dozen folks who did the best at predicting last year's Emmys). Our Users scored 51.72% (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Emmys last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.
As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.
Photo: Lena Headey. Credit: HBO