Peter Dinklage is nominated for Best Drama Supporting Actor at the Emmys for the sixth year in a row for his role as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” and he has won twice, including last year, but his co-star Kit Harington is poised to steal his thunder. Harington is nominated for the first time for playing the recently resurrected Jon Snow, and he’s going to win according to the predictions of the Expert TV journalists we’ve polled.
Thirteen out of 18 experts are predicting Harington, giving him leading 1/2 odds: Robert Bianco (USA Today), Debra Birnbaum (Variety), Eric Deggans (NPR), Lynn Elber (Associated Press), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Kerr Lordygan (Rotten Tomatoes), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Lynette Rice (Entertainment Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Ken Tucker (Yahoo) and Adnan Virk (ESPN).
Harington submitted to Emmy judges the episode “Battle of the Bastards,” in which he leads a military campaign against the man who invaded his homeland and terrorized his sister. That episode already won four Emmys at the Creative Arts Awards: Best Picture Editing, Best Non-Prosthetic Makeup, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects.
Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”) ranks second with 7/2 odds based on support from four experts: Michael Ausiello (TV Line), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine) and Jarett Wieselman (Buzzfeed).
This is Banks’s third nomination for playing the role of Mike Ehrmantraut, which he played on “Breaking Bad” before transitioning to the spin-off “Better Call Saul” (he has four Emmy noms total, without a win). His episode submission is “Bali Ha’i,” in which he faces off against a crime lord who threatened his family.
Banks was favored to win last year but was upset by Dinklage. This year, however, Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood) is the only expert predicting Dinklage for the win, giving him 12/1 odds. This time around Dinklage submitted the episode “No One,” in which Tyrion tries to bond with his advisers in Meereen before the city is suddenly attacked by slavers.
None of our experts are predicting the other three nominees in the category. Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”) ranks fourth with 66/1 odds. This is his second straight nomination for playing White House chief of staff Doug Stamper, and he submitted the episode “Chapter 44,” in which Doug responds to the shooting of President Frank Underwood and even tries to offer his own liver for transplant.
Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”) is next with 80/1 odds. He’s also nominated for the second year in a row for playing prodigal son Danny Rayburn, who died in season one but returned in flashbacks and hallucinations in season two. He submitted the episode “Part 23,” in which we’re shown a period when Danny asked his father for financial help, only for him to force Danny to choose between his career and his son.
Rounding out the category is Oscar-winning veteran Jon Voight (“Ray Donovan”), also with 80/1 odds. He’s nominated for the second time in three years for his role as Mickey Donovan, the father of the title character (he’s been nominated four times overall, without a win). He submitted the episode “The Kalamazoo,” in which he throws a barbecue and then murders an abusive pimp.
Our Editors, who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby, agree that Harington is out front, but we don’t think Banks is his closest challenger. So while four of us predict Harington (O’Neil, Sheehan, Chris Beachum and Rob Licuria), the other three of us pick the defending champ, Dinklage (Marcus James Dixon, Matt Noble and myself).
The Top 24 Users, who got the highest scores predicting last year’s winners, are also split between the “Thrones” co-stars. Twelve of them pick Harington, compared to eight for Dinklage, three for Banks and one for Voight.
Our All-Star Top 24, who got the highest scores when you combine Emmy predictions from the last two years, actually disagree with the other predicting groups, narrowly picking Dinklage over Harington. Given their consistency predicting the last two years’ winners in a row, it may be worth heeding their premonition. Dinklage and Harington are both backed by nine, though their overall rankings give Dinklage slightly better odds. Trailing them are Banks with support from four all-stars and Voight with support from one.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions right here. You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — 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). Be sure to read our contest rules.