It’s about time Game Of Thrones fans started bending the knee to Gwendoline Christie. After HBO said they would not submit her for a 2019 Emmy Award, Christie decided to do it herself. In the end, Christie earned her first Emmy nomination for Game Of Thrones’ final season. Now, she says that recognition is “a testament” to Brienne of Tarth.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Christie talked about why she chose to submit herself for the award. “It’s something I find hard to do, like everyone else, but I would like to be in charge of my own destiny,” Christie told the paper. “And I would like to endeavor to give myself opportunities. Particularly when working very hard on something very special and you’ve pushed yourself beyond your limits.”
The final season of GoT featured the biggest battle Westeros had ever seen with Christie’s Brienne at the forefront of it. Seriously, she wasn’t the first woman to be knighted for nothing. This wasn’t the first time someone had nominated themselves for an award, as Christie pointed out, but she was surprised it worked out. “I truly never expected it to manifest in a nomination and I don’t think anybody else did either,” she said. “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.”
According to HBO, the decision to not submit Christie for a nomination was actually not a snub to the actress, but a strategic plan from the network. At the Television Critics Association’s press tour in California on Wednesday (July 24), HBO’s president of programming Casey Bloys defended the choice not to nominate Christie. “GoT is unique because it has 27 series regulars — which is unusual,” he told the TCA crowd, per Entertainment Weekly. “We have someone who has worked at HBO who is an expert in awards. She will work with showrunners to figure out what the best chance of success.”
They were told the best chance was for the lead actors on the show like Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke, who play Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, respectively. Those two were nominated, as were eight other actors from the show, including Alfie Allen (aka Theon Greyjoy), who also submitted himself.
Game Of Thrones is nominated for 32 awards, the most of any show this year. That number also beats the previous record of most Emmy nominations from one show in a single year, surpassing NYPD Blue‘s 26 nominations in 1994.
Watch the Emmys on Sept. 22 to see if Christie takes home the prize for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.