Gwendoline Christie is competing for her first Emmy Award nomination this year for her final outing as Brienne of Tarth on “Game of Thrones,” but the actress would not have landed in the race had she left things up to HBO. According to the Los Angeles Times, Christie submitted herself in the Emmys category for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series after learning HBO would not. Her decision resulted in a surprise nomination opposite co-stars Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams, all of whom HBO entered into the race. Speaking to the LA Times, Christie shared the reason why she felt compelled to join the Emmys race herself.
“I checked that it wasn’t an inappropriate thing to do, and I was told it wasn’t,” Christie said. “People submit themselves all the time. I truly never expected it to manifest in a nomination and I don’t think anybody else did either. But I just had to do it for me. And I had to do it as a testament to the character and what I feel she represents.”
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Christie’s Brienne of Tarth had a whirlwind final season on “Game of Thrones.” In addition to being knighted, Brienne consummated her love with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). One of the final season’s most polarizing moments took place when Jaime abandoned Brienne at Winterfell to go save Cersei in King’s Landing, leaving Christie’s character devastated and in tears. Christie told the LA Times that Brienne is not defined by what Jaime did to her, but by what she did after Jaime left her.
“When you’re about to lose something that has truly meant something to you, it can destroy you, and I don’t think there’s any weakness in that,” Christie said. “What I liked was that happens, but then she goes back to work. She doesn’t follow him, does she? She stays with Sansa and she does her duty. And she did get her happy ending, and her happy ending wasn’t defined by a man. What completes her as a character and what makes her three dimensional as a character is the fact that she becomes open about her feelings.”
Besides the three women from “Game of Thrones,” this year’s Emmy race for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series also includes Fiona Shaw of “Killing Eve” and Julia Garner of “Ozark.” The 2019 Emmys take place Sunday, September 14.