‘House of the Dragon’ cast: Top 5 who deserve Emmy nominations

“Game of Thrones” consistently landed loads of Emmy nominations for each of its eight seasons, including several each time for its eclectic cast. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) was consistently the pick of the bunch, contending each and every season and winning a whopping four times (2011, 2015, 2018, and 2019). Now, it’s the turn of  the “Thrones'” prequel, “House of the Dragon,” to step into the Emmy spotlight.

Here are five cast members who deserve Emmy consideration.

Emma D’Arcy
D’Arcy plays the older version of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, who is at the center of the entire series. D’Arcy, who is non-binary, imbued Rhaenyra with a steely power and held a commanding presence while on screen. She is a strong contender for Best Drama Actress, ranking just behind Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”) and Imelda Staunton (“The Crown”) and just ahead of Bella Ramsey (“The Last of Us”), Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), and Sharon Morgan (“Bad Sisters”).

Paddy Considine
Considine played King Viserys Targaryen (think of him as this show’s version of Mark Addy‘s Robert Baratheon, who appeared in the first season of “Game of Thrones”). Both played kings at the center of the story approaching the end of their reigns and searching for a successor. The death of both characters ignites the wars between families that come after. Considine combines gentility with a strength that comes as both king and father. So good was his portrayal that George R.R. Martin told Considine his Viserys was better than his own. Currently, Considine occupies the sixth and final slot in our predicted Best Drama Actor nominees behind Jeff Bridges (“The Old Man”), Pedro Pascal (“The Last of Us”), Jeremy Strong (“Succession”), Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”), and, in top spot, Brian Cox (“Succession”).

Olivia Cooke
Cooke took over the role of Alicent Hightower from Emily Carey and made her version of the character her own. Truthfully, Cooke had more to work with with the character as, in the point of the story when she takes over, Alicent is a far more active player in the plot. Cooke expertly played the calculating, shrewd queen but wisely gave her a sense of vulnerability and loneliness, too, making for one of the most complex characters in the show.

Cooke deserves to be far higher up our Drama Supporting Actress chart. Our current eight predicted nominees are: Jennifer Coolidge (“The White Lotus”), Sarah Snook (“Succession”), Rhea Seehorn (“Better Call Saul”), Elizabeth Debicki (“The Crown”), Aubrey Plaza (“The White Lotus”), Christina Ricci (“Yellowjackets”), Meghann Fahy (“The White Lotus”), and J. Smith-Cameron (“Succession”).

Matt Smith
As Daemon Targaryen, Smith has an absolute ball as the show’s most colorful character. He’s the bad boy of “House of the Dragon” and relishes each profanity-laden scene he deliciously steals. He’s also a bit of a fan-favorite, too, meaning it’s no surprise he is nominee number five in our predicted eight for Drama Supporting Actor. He places just above John Lithgow (“The Old Man”), Jonathan Pryce (“The Crown”), and Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”). Meanwhile, he’s just below F. Murray Abraham (“The White Lotus”), Giancarlo Esposito (“Better Call Saul”), and “Succession” duo Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfadyen (who is in top spot).

Rhys Ifans
Ifans is under the radar in terms of attention for performances in “House of the Dragon,” but he deserves some Emmy love just as much as his co-stars. He plays the sneaky, manipulative Hand of the King — Otto Hightower. The role is a quieter one, but Ifans has so much presence and gravitas as the character (who is in many ways a combination of Tywin Lannister, Petyr Baelish, and Roose Bolton from “Thrones”) that you hang on to every word the man says.

Ifans is in the same category as Smith but is well outside of the top eight. He deserves a nomination, though, and should be cited alongside Smith — just like costars Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Alfie Allen who competed in the same category for season eight of “Thrones.”

Honorable mentions go to Eve Best, who played Princess Rhaenys Targaryen and will compete in Drama Supporting Actress; Fabien Frankel, who played Ser Criston Cole and competes in Drama Supporting Actor; John MacMillan, who played Laenor Velaryon and will compete in Drama Supporting Actor; Milly Alcock, who played the younger Rhaenrya Targaryen and will be in Drama Supporting Actress alongside costar Emily Carey (the younger Alicent Hightower).

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