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After a week of nothing but huge praise of Jack Gleeson's fantastic portrayal Joffrey Baratheon, I wanted to make a post to praise the quality of acting this in this show. More accurately, I wanted to ask who is your favorite actor/actress so I could tell you mine.

Who do you like the best (off-screen interviews, their views on the show, whatever)? Who is doing the best job and why do you think so? And what is your favorite scene from that character?
If you read the books, who has managed to capture the essence of their character best/who reminds you of their book-counterpart the most?

Now I want to make something clear before I start. I know bad acting when I see it but I can't differentiate when an actor provides a fantastic performance or just a good performance. Why am I making this post then? Because I trust that the community is a lot wiser than me in these matters. And another thing worth mentioning. I went back like a year on the community page to see if there has been a ”Top actor/favorite actor kind of a post. I didn't see any (there was one about Emmy snubs so I'll leave a hyperlink of that here but it only seemed to scratch the surface) but in all honesty, I just skimmed the community feed so it could be that I missed it. If I did, say so. I think a public humiliation is a price that I should pay for that.


First my favorite! Alfie God Damn Allen!



Alfie Allen has been amongst my favorite actors from this show ever since the scene where Theon executes Ser Rodrik (up there). I don't know why. Allen's face pops in my head everytime I read a Theon chapter. Another reason is the fact that in many ways, show-Theon is different than book-Theon but Allen manages to manipulate me into thinking that the things show-Theon feels are part of the Theon I know from books.

For example: bTheon thinks of Robb as his brother as does the sTheon... However, bTheon thinks of Eddard Stark as a possible executioner not a father. 'The shadow of Eddard's greatsword, Ice, was always between them' to paraphrase the books. But Theon's monologue about his 'real father losing his head in King's Landing'...

I bought it completely. In many ways Alfie's (yes, we got to the first name basis during the previous paragraph thingy) portrayal of Theon is one of the main reasons why I adore this tragic, desperate and pathetic character so much. I guess that's enough reasons for thinking his great at his job.

Allen is by far the most underrated actor this show has. I'd say under-appreciated but he's not. Everyone I have talked to about GoT has said that he's great but he just hasn't received any sort of official recognition for his role.

The inner hipster continues as the second actor I'm going to mention is Sophie Turner.

Sophie is an odd choice in a way. She has been constantly solid but I have to admit that she hasn't really had a scene as powerful as ”My real father lost his head in King's Landing” or the bath monologue by NCW. She hasn't really stood out from the massive cast this show has, which is not me dissing the actress as much as it is me praising the quality of acting this show has or I think it has.

The moment that made me appreciate Turner the most was the ”Or maybe he'll give me yours” scene from S01. It was so calmly delivered and yet it had this fury/rage? Or it could be the 'Kubrick Stare' she gave Joffrey when she was about to push him off the bridge... Whatever it was it has stuck with me ever since I saw it. Here's the clip.

For some reason I can't take my eyes off her eyes. You could mute that video and read everything from her eyes. Maybe. I can't stress it enough that I'm not all that great with determining what makes for a great performance but that scene was probably my favorite scene of the whole first season.

Joffrey was a dick, Sansa was awesome for the first time ever and gets beaten for it, the Hound of all people was knightly and the show ripped open the fresh wounds from the fresh death of Ned. That scene could almost entirely describe this show: good people get punished, goodness is found in the weirdest places, the dicks have the most power and that this show loves to repeatedly rip open fresh and old wounds.

Now that I have written the whole thing and edited it (if you think this is long, it was about twice as long before I cut some stuff out. Haha), I'll put this here...
This post is 3 actors ”shorter” than I planned it to be. The length of the post started to bother me (Sophie and Alfie were the first that popped to my mind so their reasons for being on my list are more detailed! I promise! I'm not a fanboy!) so I'll just brutally summarize the missing three in one or two phrases.



Maisie Williams, Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

Maisie obviously is one talented lass (I could point at any scene she's been in to prove that), Lena Headey is great and seems to love Cersei as much as Cersei loves herself/her children (I find it admirable for some reason, it's one of the reasons Sophie is on my list. She genuinely seems to love Sansa/playing Sansa) and NCW was just made for this role. He is Jaime Lannister. So my favorite scenes from them:

Because of NCW's ”Are you kidding me” face during Jaime's discussion with Cersei + the hilarious golden arm waving.

http://youtu.be/KaeIsHnC00c

Because... Well you see.


And because I couldn't find the weird scene where Cersei was so threatening that Tyrion fell over the steps. I thought that to be fantastic but this will do.

I don't know how that embedding worked out. Some videos don't like being linked, some require the embed-code and some don't even have one. We'll see. Sorry for mistakes and what not.
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May 21, 2014
1. Peter Dinklage - represents every bastards, outcast and broken men out there, just need a warm hug and love
2. Jack Gleeson - if evil has a face
3. Alfie Allen - succeed in getting me disturbed each time he's on screen (Reek period)
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May 01, 2014
There are far too many "perfect" casting choices in this show so I'll highlight a few of my favourites;
The Stark family - whether it be Sean Bean's grim face as Lord Eddard, Sophie's angelic and hopeful Sansa or even the breakout heartthrob (and my fav. character) that is Kit Harrington's Jon Snow, the Stark family is the epitome of duty and honour. It's just a shame they have taken such a beating in the books and show.
The Imp - ever since news of Peter Dinklage's casting made the internet, I re-read the books again and came to love Tyrion as the fellow outcast of Jon Snow and the source of much of his family's hatred.
The baddies - Jack Gleeson's turn as the hateful bastard King, Cersei's deliciously bitchy Queen Regent and the misunderstood twin brother Jaimie. you can't help but feel all the right emotions when you see them.
Daenerys contingent - Emilia Clark's journey from terrified heir of her dynasty to downright terrifying Mother of Dragons is just as amazing to see as Ser Barristans walkout of King's landing and the supporting arm of the exiled knight Ser Jorah.
The delusional - Melisandre thinks Stannis is "the One" and yet who would follow such a passionate fanatic and her stoic puppet. full marks to those two for making me believe that talk and magic can't make someone something their obviously not.
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Apr 28, 2014
As a book reader, I have one actor and one alone who wins this coveted award:

Sophie Turner

Somehow, Ms. Turner has made Sansa into a sympathetic, beloved character---easily the most dramatic transformation from book-to-screen, for in the books, Sansa comes off (unintentionally, I feel) as very unlikeable. The transformation of Sansa Stark from whiny brat into sympathetic underdog has everything to do with Ms. Turner's fantastic portrayal of the character.

But on a larger note, the biggest credit has to go to the casting directors: This show has the best cast in recent memory, period. Every single character (with the exception of the first Daario Naharis, blessedly corrected with a brilliant recasting this season) has been hand-picked with perfect precision---indeed, I'd argue the casting of this show is leaps and bounds superior to the "wish-list" casting you'd often see on book fansites before the show began (i.e. "which actor would you choose to play your favorite character?"-type stuff).
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Apr 29, 2014
I don't know why excactly Sansa is so unlikeable in the books. I think it has something to do with the way George wrote her. I remember the tourney chapter where she is unbelieveably sympathetic towards the Hound, very compassionate and understanding. Then when the next chapter comes around, she's the naive, bratty and spoiled lady she was before the tourney.
The show writes Sansa a bit more consistently so that might actually have something to do with it. Sophie is phenomenal but we have to give some credit to D&D's writing which in Sansa's case is a bit more consistent than GRRM's... At least in the aGoT material.
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Aug 20, 2014
And Sansa a "weak character"? What, because she does take up a sword and start trying to cut people down in King's Landing? That only shows she is not a moron. Sansa is incredibly strong, with her "courtesy armor" that allows her to survive among the Lannisters while hiding her real emotions, and staying herself, and remaining a compassionate person who saves Dontos (successfully manipulating Joffrey), shows humanity to Sandor and calms down his emotional instability and rage, even shows compassion to wounded Lancel during Blackwater, calms down and keeps the morale of the women during the battle (something Cersei should have been doing, but instead, like the "strong" woman you presumably think she is, got drunk, mistreated Lancel and ran off to drag Joffrey back from the battle, since she doesn't care about anyone except her children and herself)... and yes, she was also going to a secret meetings in the godswood and planning to escape for almost two years, while maintaining the outward facade of a meek little girl to the people keeping her hostage!

As for the female equivalent to Joffrey... Cersei Lannister, anyone?
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Aug 24, 2014
Believe me, I agree with you. Sansa is my all time favorite character from the books and the show.

She isn't a weak character, she's among the strongest, the meek little girl act wasn't an act in the beginning but Sansa learned to use it to her advantage. Sansa would not be alive if she wasn't a strong character.

What I meant by saying that "She doesn't have allies in KL" is the fact that SHE thinks so. She doesn't trust Tyrion and she has all the right reasons for it but we, as a reader or a viewer, know that Tyrion is not like the rest of the Lannisters. There are people who quite disgustingly say that she should have opened her legs for Tyrion simply because he was kind to her but I am not one of them. Joffrey was kind, in the beginning. Not trusting Tyrion, while a mistake, comes from a place that's completely understandable and makes sense. Sansa doesn't know Tyrion like we do because when we are reading the books, we are Tyrion during his chapters.

I don't think GRRM has given Sansa a proper underdog arc yet. He's 100% surely going to give it to her. Out of all the Starks alive, Sansa would be the one who's best qualified as a good leader. During the Blackwater episode/chapter, she kept the women calm (a job you pointed out belonged to Cersei, a queen) and she kept her composure. She's learning the game. And last but seriously not the least, she's one of the only characters in the entire show that know how to somewhat read Littlefinger.

The writers of the show have botched a lot of things. The escape from KL was one of them. Dontos appearing out of nowhere, two seasons after his initial introduction was bad writing. They should have had scenes with him springled around season 2/3 as well. But one thing I don't agree with you. Sansa is a character that is, honest to God, the hardest to translate to on-screen in the entire show/book series. Her season 3 arc was disappointing to a book reader but as a fan of the show, I also realised that they couldn't do any better. Now that she's in the Vale and can actually somewhat say what she thinks, a lot of the viewers and readers (who've been disappointed with her in the show) could actually begin to like the character.

In the books during Sansa/Tyrion wedding, Sansa refused to kneel for Tyrion so he couldn't put the cloak on her. The entire chapter was told from her point of view. The decision made a lot of sense because we were Sansa at this point. Now if the show decided to do something very un-Game of Thrones-y and include inner monologue speaken over the scene then yes... They could have kept the scene. But without that, Sansa refusing to kneel would have translated as "Sansa is a massive douche towards Tyrion" instead of the correct "Sansa is proud of being a Stark and will now kneel as they attempt to make her a Lannister". So in a way what you saw in the wedding was the writers attempting to keep Sansa as Sansa as possible by changing a huge part of her personal hell. It made me angry and glad at the same time.

I'm on your side but I don't think Sansa is an easy character to adapt on screen. I can't stress that enough.. What we got in season 3, while a lot worse than in the books, was in my honest opinion the best we could ever hope to get.

Sorry for this getting too long.
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Apr 29, 2014
I discussed this awhile ago in another episode's thread (it may even have been last season).

I think it boils down to the fact that almost every other female character is strong, assured, self-sufficient, powerful and confident. Indeed, it's at the point of being a cliche---where's the female version of Mace Tyrell, or Grand Maester Pycell, or Joffrey, or Theon/Reek, or ... the list goes on! I can think of only two exceptions: Lysa Tully, and Sansa Stark.

Given Lysa's scant appearances, Sansa largely exists alone as the "weak female character" in the novels: She gives us little to root for, and, though it's hardly her fault, I think her contrast against so many powerful female characters is why she is so disliked in the novels.

In the TV show, however, Sophie Turner makes you genuinely sympathize with Sansa, in a way that the novels failed to do (at least for me).
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Sep 01, 2014
I'll just reply tl this since TV.com doesn't allow me to reply to your most recent comment. I have not been able to keep up with the latest theories thanks to Finland's conscription thingy. Technically I could bring a PC here if I made a request to the lieutenant but I have a desktop PC and it's not excactly easy to transport. Using my phone currently but the small screen does make it a bit daunting to read elaborate fan theories. Can I ask you to write a small paragraph about a theory you're speaking of? I have heard that 'The Dream of Spring' was originally 'A Time for Wolves' so I do have hope for a positive Stark ending.
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Sep 09, 2014
Originally, GRRM planned A Song of Ice and FIre to be a trilogy. The names of the three books were to be: "A Game of Thrones", "A Dance With Dragons" and "The Winds of Winter".

However, he quickly discovered that the story of political intrigue he had planned for book 1 was sheer awesomesauce, and had enough material to fill four+ novels. I think most of us are very happy he decided to expand A Game of Thrones into four full books, even though SOME of the plots---e.g. Daenerys, Bran---show signs of being "stretched", if only by necessity to allow other plots (Rob Stark, Catelyn Stark, the Lannisters, Greyjoys, Martells, etc.) to thrive.

But the "theory" of a Stark resurgence rests largely on this original trilogy plan, and the name of the final book referencing House Stark more than any other.

Indeed, a popular theory right now is that the "Stark deaths" are over, and that the remaining Stark children will all play pivotal roles in the endgame: Sansa, backed my Littlefinger, will become the central noble authority in the north by uniting Stark and Arryn lands; Bran will restore the power of the Old Gods; Arya will ; Jon Snow will fulfill several prophecies related to Daenerys and the Targaryens, and Rikkon will represent the Wildlings.
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Aug 20, 2014
I don't know what you're talking about. Sansa is incredibly sympathetic in the books (except in book 1 - and even then she was sympathetic in her last chapter and in the scenes with Sandor) and much more interesting than in the show. Also, I can't believe you actually think she's written more consistently in the show. George writes her wonderfully; the show has cut 70% of her story and has been incredibly inconsistent (making her look stupid in season 3 and then trying to make her an overnight "player" in season 4, as opposed to the slow, subtle and more logical development in the books). Sophie's acting has often been the only thing saving the character.
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Aug 26, 2014
I can't say much more than that I very much (and respectfully) disagree: You're clearly a savvy individual, so I don't think it's a matter of either of us being wrong, but Sansa's unique frailty among major female characters in the novels is, I suspect, what turned me off her character.

I do think we both agree that Sophie Turner's acting in the series has been fantastic: For me, she completely revitalized the character; for you, she redeemed a character that was otherwise a pale reflection of the novel's original. So kudos to her! :)
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May 02, 2014
I think you're right about Sansa giving us little to root for. She's the one of the only characters who can't do anything to break free from their imprisonment. She doesn't have allies in the KL so she can't actively plot an escape or rise up the ranks or anything. It's kind of hard to root for something that the character does nothing to accomplish.

One of the reasons why I love the book version of Sansa is when I was reading the books and I was never really worried for the likes of Jon, Arya, Daenerys or Tyrion. I had formed this weird attitude that the fan favorites can't die (well Jon and Dany are obvious... the only POV character on the Wall and only POV char with dragons) even though GRRM has a habit of killing characters . It was different with Sansa. I was far more immersed with her chapters. I was genuinely anxious when I was reading them. For the most of the books she acted as a window to the court of King's Landing. She didn't seem to have an arc and therefore I thought that she had absolutely 0% of plot armor. It made me invest in the character.. No matter how unsympathetic she was compared to her show counterpart.

But you're right. The show version of Sansa is a lot more sympathetic than the book version and Sophie Turner has everything to do with that.

I would love if GRRM would give a proper underdog arc for Sansa. Arya is the obvious choice for such an arc but still.. One can wish. All hail the queen in the North! (Until Rickon is old enough to rule himself because I seriously doubt that Bran is going to come back to the right side of the Wall... Ever)!
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Sep 01, 2014
It's been a while since you posted that, but I hope you've been keeping up on novel-based theories: The last book is called the Winds of Winter for a reason, and the remaining Starks still have their House Words....
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Aug 26, 2014
Replying to IvanaCvetanov (tv.com won't let me do it directly):

"... except for the fact that plotting to escape is exactly what she was doing in the books"

Sansa was not "plotting" to escape... ever. She was "hoping" that someone would come along to save her... and someone (multiple people, in fact) did.

"Planning her escape with Dontos" was nothing more than Dontos telling her what to do, and Sansa nodding mutely. I much preferred the scene in the shelter between Sansa and Cercei during the Battle of Blackwater Bay---a scene that was not in the novels, but did such a great job of showcasing the likeable sides of both characters (and Cersei is one of my favourite characters in both the novels and the show).
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Aug 20, 2014
"She doesn't have allies in the KL so she can't actively plot an escape or rise up the ranks or anything"
- except for the fact that plotting to escape is exactly what she was doing in the books? As opposed to the show, which cut out the entire storyline and let her really do nothing for 2 seasons (not to mention they also cut most of her interactions with Sandor and watered down the story of her forced wedding) before she's dragged out of KL like a sack of potatoes after Joffrey's murder, instead of having been planning her escape with Dontos since book 2.

"I would love if GRRM would give a proper underdog arc for Sansa."
Except he already has?

No, book Sansa is one of the most sympathetic characters - and far more interesting than the poorly written show version, which has often only been somewhat saved by Sophie's acting (especially during the dreadful season 3 treatment of her story, where she somehow became a supporting character in the story of her own forced wedding, and a prop to Tyrion and the story of his troubles with Shae).


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Apr 26, 2014
Thank you for highlighting Sophie Turner' s eyes in the clip. I did watch the clip with the sound off, and it made me appreciate her even more. I don't think there are any bad actors in GoT, but I have listed my favorites below (by their characters' names):
Jaime, Tyrion, Lady Olenna, Bronn, and Jaquen.
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Apr 26, 2014
Yeah no problem. It really is quite a feat to try and point out the best actor in this show. I couldn't do it so I just listed my favorites as well :)
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Apr 23, 2014
Jaqen H'ghar's Tom Wlashchiha.

The man acted with his voice, he acted with his body language, he acted with his eyes, his face expression and posture and he was absolutely perfect as A Man.
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Apr 23, 2014
He was unforgettable. Such a shame that he's not around anymore. Every scene he had was fantastic.
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Apr 22, 2014
The whole cast is amazing. There is not a single person who does not fit his role. But Jaime is the one who pulls me into the world the most, second and third would be Dany and Lena/Cersei.
I didnt like Dhaario its good they changed him
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Apr 22, 2014
P. Dinklage, M. Williams, E. Clarke and virtually everyone else...
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Apr 22, 2014
1 Peter Dinklage best scene Tyron speech
2 Michelle Fairley best scene Catelyn red wedding
3 Shawn bean best scene Ned stands up to the king
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Apr 22, 2014
I'm on the contrary here. i liked gleesons performance throughout the whole series. he portrayed that inbreed little psycho so fantastic.
but the acting we saw in the purple wedding episode was just horrible. like he didnt care anymore because he was leaving anyway.
besides that, Peter Dinklage is my favorite actor since his first appearance. this little dude always pulls out the big guns when it comes to emotions.
(sry, for that bad pun)
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Apr 22, 2014
Just love that dude who plays Daario, he's so method he actually seems to have altered his appearance Jaqen H'gaar-style to more closely match George R.R.'s description of h...oh, wait.
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Apr 22, 2014
God damnit Daario! Didn't your mother or anyone ever tell you that if you 'stretch your face' it can stay that way?!
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Apr 22, 2014
Lena of course !
...

Beautiful, insecure and absolutely breathtaking!
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Apr 22, 2014
Oh... A real reply within a sea of "Start making cash now" comments!

Yeah! Lena is fantastic. One of the commentors linked the scene where Cersei tells Tommen the story of the lion cub during the Blackwater episode. She has plenty of great scenes but that's probably my favorite of hers!
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Apr 22, 2014
Lena Headey for me! She is brilliant!
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Apr 22, 2014
she is indeed a good actress, but brilliant? just watch terminatorSCC and you will regret that comment ^^
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Apr 22, 2014
Fortunately I watched several films with Lena, so I don't have to wastye my time for a tv-show I'm not interested in.
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Apr 22, 2014
Peter Dinklage, Charles Dance, Maisie Williams.
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Apr 22, 2014

Discounting the actual storylines and judging purely from a performance point of view, my list is:

  1. Lena Headey
  2. Jack Gleeson
  3. Peter Dinklage
  4. Sophie Turner
    sdfgadsf
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Apr 21, 2014
Frankly, there is no weak link amongst the cast of GoT, every actor/actress is superb in their role. My favourite actor will have to be Lena Heady, ever since the Blackwater episode in season 2 she has proven to be one of the best in the show. She should have gotten an Emmy nod for that performance. From her drunken advice to Sansa to her scene with Tommen she owned the episode. Last season she had less to do, and I'm sure she'll have great scenes this season as well; but I can't wait until season 5 when we will get to Cersei's Feast material, which I'm sure she'll be brilliant.

Seriously, this scene sends chills through my spine:
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Apr 21, 2014
Embedding videos is so hard here, I'll just leave you the link instead.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=UG2YXzlLHw0
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Apr 21, 2014
Yeah tell me about it! I was struggling with my videos as well...

I was considering that scene as well. Lena Headey breaths so much life into this character that it's unbelieveable. She is on my top 5 at the moment and has been ever since the first season.

I can't wait until Cersei's (and Sansa's) Feast material. I have said this previously, can't remember where, but Sansa, Cersei and some of the POVs from Dorne (Arianne for the most part) really saved that book. Would have been a big let down after A Storm of Swords if it weren't for those chapters.
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Apr 21, 2014
This show has amazing actors, almost all of them are very good at their job so it is very hard to pick one out as the best , but as far as favorite goes that part is much easier. My favorite actor on Game of Thrones is Emilia Clarke, she does a great job at portraying Dany and she seems very likable in interviews
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Apr 21, 2014
Emilia is wonderful. The only reason she wasn't on this list is because of the god awful season 2. Well not awful per se but she didn't have all that good of material in my opinion. The constant title dropping and the absolute bore of a plot (which got interesting in the last stretch with the House of the Undying). She has been wonderful in seasons 1 and 3 and the 2 episodes she's appeared on 4th season.

She has a fun, bubbly personality during interviews. Her smile is infectious :)
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