4 reasons Emilia Clarke deserves to take home an Emmy this year


Emilia Clarke has poured her heart and soul into Daenerys Targaryen for eight seasons, and she deserves to take home an Emmy for it.

The Emmy Awards are approaching, and even following its most divisive season yet, Game of Thrones is celebrating a record-breaking number of nominations,  ammounting to 32 in total. And perhaps unsurprisingly, both Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington were nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series and Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, respectively.

There’s no denying that most of the Game of Thrones nominations are warranted, especially after all of the hard work the cast and crew has put into the series over the years. But in particular, the possibility of Emilia Clarke winning an Emmy stands out. Her performance as Daenerys Targaryen has ensnared fans since season one, and her acting career is likely to be defined by the role.

This year marks Clarke’s final chance to win an Emmy for playing Daenerys, and here’s why it needs to happen.

Emilia Clarkeas DaenerysTargaryen–Photo:Courtesy of HBO
Emilia Clarkeas DaenerysTargaryen–Photo:Courtesy of HBO /

She poured her heart into the Mother of Dragons.

Utter the phrase “Khaleesi” or “Mother of Dragons,” and most people’s minds will jump immediately to Emilia Clarke — an amusing sentiment given how different Clarke’s personality is from the dragon queen she portrayed. As an actress, she’s poured so much of herself into Daenerys Targaryen over the past eight seasons, and she somehow has never received an Emmy for it. This is her final chance to get the recognition she deserves for taking on one of George R.R. Martin’s most complex characters, and we’d hate to see it go to waste.

Even Clarke’s final moments on the show were spent ensuring she stayed true to Dany’s character. She told The New Yorker that, during Dany’s final scene, she “wanted to show her as we saw her in the beginning: young, naïve, childlike, open, and full of love and hope.” And the actress somehow succeeded in that, even after we’d just watched her character take her darkest turn yet.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow - Game of Thrones finale
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow. Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO /

The final season showcased her best acting yet.

The final season of Game of Thrones took Daenerys on an emotional rollercoaster, and that’s putting things kindly. She lost her closest advisors and most-trusted friends, discovered that her lover is also her nephew — and the rightful heir to the throne — and realized that the people of Westeros didn’t particularly care whether or not she became queen. Talk about having a lot to process.

Capturing that wide range of emotions would leave many actresses overwhelmed, but Emilia managed it without ever losing sight of who Daenerys was.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen - Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Photo: Courtesy of HBO /

She even managed to sell that Mad Queen arc.

Look, whether you loved the Mad Queen story arc or hated it, it certainly could have been less rushed. With only six episodes this season, the showrunners were forced to squeeze Dany’s transformation from a just ruler to a merciless tyrant into just a few hours.

Given the timeframe, many fans felt that Dany’s shift didn’t feel genuine or could have used more character development leading up to it. But even with those obstacles, Clarke made a stunning show of Dany’s desecent into villainy. Her face before burning King’s Landing to the ground packs seasons’ worth of story into it, and her speech during the season finale is chilling. Even if you didn’t buy what was happening, you bought the emotions behind it — and that’s all Clarke’s doing.

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen - Game of Thrones finale
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen. Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO /

An Emmy might make up for her not getting the Iron Throne.

Some fans (myself included) will never get over the fact that Daenerys fought for years to win back a throne that she never even got to sit on. Considering Emilia’s character missed out on the Iron Throne, it only seems fair to give the actress some Emmy gold to make up for it — right?

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What do you think of this year’s Emmy nominations? Should Emilia Clarke win an award for season eight? Tell us in the comments.