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Emmy Predictions 2018: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Can "Game of Thrones" reestablish its relevance in the acting categories, or will a newcomer take the trophy? [Updated September 10 — Final Predictions]

Stranger Things 2 David Harbour Winona Ryder Season 2 Netflix

David Harbour in “Stranger Things 2”

Courtesy of Netflix

Last Year’s Winner: John Lithgow, “The Crown”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: Peter Dinklage is the only “Game of Thrones” actor to be nominated for every season.
Fun Fact: With one more win, Peter Dinklage would tie the record for most wins in the Supporting Actor category. Art Carney, Don Knotts, and Aaron Paul have three wins each.

Mandy Patinkin and David Harbour are the only returning nominees from 2017, and at least one has a good chance at winning. Patinkin already has an Emmy, but it was for “Chicago Hope” back in 1995; he has yet to take it home for “Homeland,” and perhaps that gives him an edge. Still, Harbour seems like the hot hand. He gave a strong performance in Season 2 of “Stranger Things” and is set to revive the “Hellboy” franchise next year.

Still, both will have to contend with a new nominee and one winner who took a year off: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage are back in the race now that “Game of Thrones” is eligible again. Dinklage won three years ago, and he remains well-liked. Coster-Waldau is growing in popularity, but it’s likely the nomination is his recognition. Dinklage is the major threat here, and he’s legitimate.

So, too, are a pair of first-timers. Joseph Fiennes broke into the race for “The Handmaid’s Tale” while Matt Smith snagged a nod for “The Crown.” Fiennes is riding a wave of love for the Hulu drama, as voters came around to the bad man in his second year of contention. Smith, however, really took things up a notch in Season 2. He had his own episode early in the run and added compelling layers to an easy man to dislike. Both actors play villains of sorts, and both managed to find the humanity within them.

Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (listed in alphabetical order), which will be updated throughout the season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2018 race, and read predictions in the rest of the categories, as well.

The Nominees: 

  1. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones”
  2. Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
  3. Joseph Fiennes, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  4. David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
  5. Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
  6. Matt Smith, “The Crown”

Will Win: David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Could Win: Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Should Win: Matt Smith, “The Crown”

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