Emmys Poll 2016: Who Should Win Supporting Actress in a Drama?

Westeros might not have been eligible to compete in the Rio Games (you know, with it not being a real place and all), but three of its fiercest women are finalists in the 2016 Emmy race.

The Game of Thrones trifecta of Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams make up half of this year’s nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Of them, Headey and Clarke have each been nominated three times, while Williams is a first time contender.

It would be positively UnREAL (see what we did there?) if Constance Zimmer walked away with a win for her no-nonsense role on the Bachelor-spoofing drama. Even if she loses, she has already made history by snagging Lifetime’s first-ever acting nomination in the drama series field. Meanwhile, Maura Tierney returns to the category for the first time in 15 years for her work on The Affair. She was last acknowledged in 2001 during her time on ER, but ultimately lost to Allison Janney of The West Wing.

Last but certainly not least, Dame Maggie Smith returns with her ninth career nomination having been omitted from the race in 2015. The three-time Emmy champ has previously won twice for her role as Downton Abbey‘s Dowager Countess — once as a supporting actress in a drama (in 2012) and once as a supporting actress in a mini-series or movie (2011).

What would you do if you had the opportunity to recognize one of the aforementioned supporting actresses when the Emmys are handed out on Sept. 18? Take our poll below to vote for your favorite, then hit the comments to defend your pick.

Every day for the next couple of weeks, we’ll launch another “Who Should Win?” Emmy poll, so visit TVLine.com daily to weigh in on who’s most worthy of TV’s most distinguished honor. (For a complete list of this year’s nominees, click here.)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. I would probably give it to Constance Zimmer or Lena Headey.

  2. Anyone but Emilia Clarke really…

  3. 'A' Got a Secret says:

    I still don’t understand why Emilia, Maisie & Kit were even nominated. Who got snubbed in supporting category this year? IMO Emilia & Kit are the weakest actors among the GoT cast.
    I hope the Emmy goes to either Lena or Constance :)

  4. Ron says:

    There are several really tough categories at the Emmys this year. In my opinion, this isn’t one of them. Lena deserves the win, hands down. Not that there aren’t other worthy people in the category. Constance was really good, Maisie was really good, and Maggie Smith is phenomenal in everything. But I’m not sure if they deserve to win over Lena’s amazingly stunning performance. I’ve always been meh on Maura Tierney, and I’m not sure why Emilia is even nominated.

  5. Freddie says:

    None of these are shows I have access to, and as far as I’m concerned Maggie Smith is the best actor alive today, bar none. However, it seems to me that it would be difficult to compare actors from “live action” series to actors from fantasy series, the latter of whom must be reacting, at least partially, to things they cannot see. This doesn’t make fantasy actors inherently better, of course. I just think the challenges are different, similarly to how drama and comedy impose different challenges on the actors.

  6. Joey Padron says:

    I want Constance Zimmer to win! She’s great on UnReal.

  7. Kevin K says:

    Lena Headey. As bad as she should win an Emmy.

  8. RC says:

    Maura Tierney. Case closed.

  9. Iris says:

    Another no brainer, Lena Headey. She should have won last year already. Although Maisie Williams is always flawless, her nomination is long overdue, and I’d be delighted if she won. Emilia Clarke deserves a nomination this year in particular, she was given more diverse material and she delivered imo.

  10. Steven says:

    Constance Zimmer. I still can’t believe Christine Baranski never won for The Good Wife though.

  11. ABG. says:

    The fact that Zimmer was the only nod for the show might point to lack of support from the voters. Maggie Smith is awesome but that role has been rewarded already and her final season arc was easily the weakest part of a good season. Not a fan of the Affair so I can’t comment on Maura.

    I hope the GoT ladies don’t cancel each other as Lena Headey deserves it. Maisie and Emilia had stronger seasons during S4 and S3.

  12. LT says:


  13. Shru says:

    Lena Headey for sure!! She constantly gives an amazing performance on GOT and she really deserves this award! Maisie is great too! Although I’m not too sure why Emilia was nominated.

  14. hands down: LENA HEADEY for the win. She is long overdue. Her Queen Cersei is so multi-facted and layered and memorable and insane. If she doesn’t win… it would be a shame.

  15. Sorry but in my opinion Maggie Smith blows everyone else out of the water.

  16. HAP says:

    Constance is a very versatile performer, but my sentimental favorite in the bunch is Maura Tierney. It would be poetic justice. She had been cast in Parenthood, but was replaced by Lauren Graham because Maura discovered she had breast cancer.

    • LT says:

      Doesn’t that only hold water IF Lauren Graham received an EMMY nomination in that role…which she didn’t. Sooooooo

  17. Lala says:

    Lena Headey…

  18. matty says:

    Christine Baranski… oh wait… she was not nominated. I guess Constance Zimmer.

  19. None of the Above. Amy Acker.

  20. Lena Headey should win. She has been nominated a lot of times and she never won even if she deserved it. Cersei is definitely a character that everyone will always remember, thanks to Lena’s performance. Although I love Maisie and she did a terrific job this year and she’s amazing and she’s just 20, I think that Lena deserves that Emmy more. Plus, this is probably gonna be Cersei’s last season, she’s soooo gonna die in the next. Maisie can win the Emmy next year or maybe in the 8th season. I’ll be happy if one of those two will win anyway.
    Not sure about Emilia’s nomination, she’s pretty terrible imho. Biggest GOT snub? Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen and Iwan Rheon.