Emmy episode analysis: Peter Dinklage (‘Game of Thrones’) trades in a mad queen for a new king in ‘The Iron Throne’

Despite the massive success of “Game of Thrones” at the Emmys, Peter Dinklage is still the only actor from the series to have won. In fact, he has three trophies to his name (2011, 2015, 2018) for playing the strategic Tyrion Lannister. This year he’s back in the Best Drama Supporting Actor race for a record eighth time. He has submitted the series finale, “The Iron Throne,” to voters for consideration.

In “The Iron Throne,” Tyrion is horrified at the destruction Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has wrought on King’s Landing. He discovers the bodies of his brother and sister amid the ruins of the Red Keep and says a silent goodbye. As Daenerys addresses her Unsullied “liberators,” Tyrion rips off his Hand of the Queen pin in a defiant public resignation. After the Mad Queen locks the imp in a cell, Tyrion pleads with Jon (Kit Harington) to kill the tyrant.

Sometime after the assassination of Daenerys, Tyrion suggests to a council of powerful Westerosi rulers that the future king or queen of the Seven Kingdoms be elected by them. He nominates Bran for the job, and the young new ruler chooses Tyrion to act as his Hand. Finally Tyrion convenes Bran’s small council and makes plans to rebuild a prosperous Westeros.

SEE Emmy episode analysis: Alfie Allen (‘Game of Thrones’) finds redemption on the battlefield during ‘The Long Night’

Let’s examine the pros and cons of this submission.


Dinklage is gifted with the emotional highlights of the episode. “You slaughtered a city,” he growls while giving Daenerys a death stare, before tearing away his Hand of the Queen pin in a public rebuke of her rule. His second moment is his fiery plea to Jon to kill the Dragon Queen; with his execution looming, Tyrion is adamant about doing what is best for the Seven Kingdoms rather than focus on his own life. In these two scenes, Dinklage showcases the height of his acting abilities. In the first, he conveys mountains of emotions with just one look. In the second, he uses his impressive command of dialogue for one of the most memorable speeches of the season.

With 32 total nominations, “Game of Thrones” is clearly the dominant force at this year’s Emmy Awards. The fantasy epic has become a cultural touchstone and voters will be eager to reward the series’s accomplishments in its final season. Dinklage is the perfect beneficiary of this Emmy love. Not only is he the only “Game of Thrones” actor to win at the Emmys, he is the only performer who has been nominated for every season.

SEE Emmy episode analysis: Emilia Clarke (‘Game of Thrones’) is put through the wringer as Daenerys in ‘The Last of the Starks’


Dinklage faces internal competition in the Drama Supporting Actor race from co-stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime) and Alfie Allen (Theon). Luckily for Dinklage, both characters are deceased by the finale so they don’t have any material in Dinklage’s submission. However, voters could decide it’s time to reward a different actor from the series.

There was a massive fan backlash to this finale that could affect Dinklage’s Emmy chances. Many fans were particularly miffed with Tyrion’s decision to nominate Bran as King of Westeros over badass women like Arya or Sansa, or even sitting on the throne himself. It’s unclear if this negative sentiment exists within the television academy, or just online.

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 22. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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