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Game of Thrones fans anoint Emilia Clarke their Mother of Dragons after Emmys snub

By Benjamin Bullard

She may have gone her entire Game of Thrones career without a win at the Emmys, but longtime loyalists to Team Dany aren’t letting Emilia Clarke’s iconic (and even odds-defying) run on the show pass them by without honoring the body of her work over the show’s eight seasons. 

After walking away from her last Game of Thrones Emmys ceremony without a single trophy to show for her four lifetime GoT nominations (three for Outstanding Supporting Actress, plus this year’s nod for Outstanding Lead Actress), Clarke got a near-instantaneous boost from her legions of jilted Twitter fans, who were determined to let Clarke know she’ll always be the Mother of Dragons in their eyes.

Clarke earned her first three supporting actor Emmys nods in 2013, 2015, and 2016, before her pivotal role in the show’s eighth and final season put Daenerys Targaryen more squarely in the spotlight, in the Lead Actress category, as the moral wild card whose ultimate decisions largely determined how the series ended.

And while burning down King’s Landing astride a positively incendiary Drogon might have divided fans in terms of plot, Clarke’s commitment to taking Daenerys to the darkest depths — a Season 8 role she definitely did her homework for — appears to have permanently earned her a place of prominence in the long cultural tail that Game of Thrones leaves behind.

Clarke lost out this year to Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer (who genuinely appeared both stunned and humbled to be accepting the award), but she wasn’t alone among the show’s long list of nominees who similarly watched as other actors took home the hardware. Game of Thrones did cap the ceremony by taking home the overall Outstanding Drama award, and Peter Dinklage set a new record by earning his fourth Outstanding Supporting Actor award for drama, but other GoT actors — including Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Lena Headey, and Gwendoline Christie (Outstanding Supporting Actress), Carice van Houten (Outstanding Guest Actress), as well as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Alfie Allen (Outstanding Supporting Actor) — were still sitting on the sidelines as the evening drew to a close.

At least Clarke’s not resting idly on the smoldering remnants of her Game of Thrones pyre. She’ll next be appearing in Paul Feige’s comedy Last Christmas (out Nov. 8), as well as the upcoming thriller Above Suspicion, which is finished — but still hasn't been given a release date.