If Game of Thrones Season 6 is proof of anything, it is that this television series is full of strong female characters. While this had also been true of past seasons, it has never been more evident. Accordingly, several of Game of Thrones' top actresses are up for Supporting Actress awards at the Emmys in September. But, as with the Iron Throne, only one can rise to take center stage. As good as Maisie Williams and Emilia Clarke's performances were (and with no disrespect to the other actresses in the category), it is Lena Headey who deserves to take the award home.
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Cersei Lannister Is One Of TV's Greatest Villains
Since Game of Thrones first arrived on HBO back in 2011, Lena Headey has been consistent in her ability to make fans love to hate Cersei. This is partly the reason why 2016 marks the third year in a row in which Headey finds herself nominated for an Emmy. This is highly unusual, as villainous female roles don't have a history of being recognized during Emmy season. Game of Thrones is also short on wins for its actors. Thus far, only Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) has come through for the series, having won Emmys for Seasons 1 and 5.
But Headey shouldn't win this time simply because she's been passed over before. It should also not come as a result of her being ineligible next year (due to Season 7's late start). Headey should win as the result of her ability to transform into an absolute monster and make us believe in it! She should win because Cersei is one of the best villains on TV! There's something about that smirk that gets under our skin, and we love her for it, don't we?
Cersei Knows How To Play The Game Of Thrones
Way back in Season 1, Cersei had a rather memorable conversation with Ned Stark, which gave birth to the following quote:
"When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die."
Since that time, few have played the game as well as Cersei Lannister. When she wanted her husband King Robert I Baratheon dead, she made it happen. When she blamed her brother Tyrion for Joffrey's murder, she had him arrested on the spot. She has survived this long in spite of not always making the best decisions, as when she facilitated the rise of the High Sparrow. Even as she was imprisoned and made to atone for her sins in Season 5, we knew her misery wouldn't last, because Cersei has been too good of a schemer.
No Children Left To Lose
As of the Season 6 finale, The Winds of Winter, all three of Cersei's children are now deceased, two by murder and one by suicide. These events had been foretold to Cersei when she was a child. Much of what she has done in the meantime was meant to work against the fulfillment of said prophecy. Now that each of the anchors tethering Cersei to the last vestiges of humanity left in her have been cut loose, Lena Headey is free to play her character as more ruthless than ever. That is a scary prospect, indeed!
Cersei Enjoys Being Evil
No one as far gone as Cersei actually believes themselves to be evil. But the only daughter of Tywin Lannister has always seemed to take a perverse kind of pleasure in the atrocities for which she is undeniably guilty. Lena Headey was at the top of her game in The Winds of Winter, including the scene where Cersei humiliates Septa Unella. There, Cersei freely admits to enjoying the commission of several unspeakable acts, the most recent being the use of wildfire on the Sept of Baelor and everyone inside.
The Emmys Have To Maintain Credibility
As they are little more than popularity contests, the various award shows do not typically have a great track record when it comes to recognizing the best that a given year has to offer. It almost seems like an accident when they make sensible choices. The Emmys this year have already proven themselves blind enough to deny Sophie Turner a simple nomination. For credibility to be maintained, the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards should be nothing less than a big night for Game of Thrones, and that must include acknowledging its most talented actress, Lena Headey.
Do you agree with me? Should Lena Headey be awarded for her work in Season 6 of Game of Thrones, or should it be Maisie or Emilia, instead? Voice your opinion in the comments section below!