Game of Thrones season five is over, phew. We could all probably use a break from the increasingly bleak comings-and-goings of Westeros (and Essos), but before we move our thinking caps over to “True Detective” let’s throw together a highly-important list about the show. The topic of said list? The wonderfully over-the-top acting on display at almost all times, as evaluated by members of The Big Lead Staff who watch the show.
Hey, when you’re sharing the screen with gigantic CGI dragons you’ve got to bust out every trick in the book.
Note: massive spoilers lie herein.
Mike Cardillo …
1. Ser Jorah — Before The Wall comes down, I’ll force Shamburger to make a supercut of ever time the exiled Lord of Bear Island squinted off into the distance and gritted his teeth to deliver his line. Acting? Acting. Nay… ACTING!
2. Tyrion Lannister — At some point we collectively decided everyone in the Fantasy genre speaks in a British accent. Peter Dinklage isn’t British, meaning he must truly use all his gusto at all times. Mormont! MORMONT!
3. The Waif from the House of Black and White — In the original script Arya’s stern, uncompromising co-worker (?) was supposed to yell at her, “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat!” Instead the character simply sneered, “She’s not ready” about 50 times this season. Minds will be blown next year when Arya regains her sight and her former sweeping partner takes off her mask to reveal she’s actually Syrio Forel. (Note: I completely made this up writing this. I have no idea if it’s a viable fan theory or not.)
4. Ser Alliser — We alllllll get it. You don’t like Jon Snow. Or Wildlings. Or anything. /Glowers in the distance.
5. Ser Davos — Nobody can deliver the complicated (off screen) exposition and history of Westeros quite as earnestly as our Onion Knight, can they? His humble delivery of “Your Grace” and lengthy introduction for King Stannis will be missed next season.
In memoriam: Ned Stark — The best detective that never was; he set the bar about as high as possible in season one and we thank him for that.
Stephen Douglas …
1. Lord Petyr Baelish – Littlefinger has stood out since the very beginning of the show. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard his Irish accent in “12 Rounds” and his Baltimore accent in “The Wire” that I can’t get over his… Westerosi accent. It’s British turned all the way up to 11.
2. Ser Jorah – Nobody acts harder. I’m just disappointed they didn’t ask him to provide a single tear as Dany threw him away for the 10th time.
3. The Sand Family – Good to look at! Not so good at the art of war.
4. Mace Tyrell – If only because I can’t understand how he was raised by the Queen of Thorns and turned out as inept and goofy as he appears to be. And then he raised Loras and Margaery. Everyone around him seems normal and smart and he’s a buffoon with bad facial hair? Nothing makes sense.
5. Jon Snow – I put him on this list begrudgingly. I don’t know if he over-acts, but he certainly acts the hardest. It was the Seth Meyers dinner party sketch earlier this year that made me think Kit Harrington might actually be one of the best actors on the show. In early seasons, he was all Emo Jon Snow. Since then he’s done love. And super serious. And I think if you go back to season 2 or 3, he laughed. (It might have just been a smile.)
Look, Petyr Baelish and Ser Jorah, these are good and noble choices, but there are a lot of characters in this show. We’ll give Joffrey an alumni award, and I’ll try not to copy anymore, so the rest will be new.
1. Brienne of Tarth. She’s been through a lot, from her buddy comedy with Jaime to the her buddy comedy with Pod. She’s seen things, man, like smoke monsters. She’s an “Oathkeeper.” She’ll let you know that. Not so good at watching for candles, though.
2. Jaqen H’ghar. A man does not put Jaqen on this list. A man lies about overacting. He’s so underacting it’s overacting.
3. Hizdahr Zo Loraq. /raises one eyebrow //smirks.
4. All the Maesters! Qyburn has the unethical maester thing down. Maester Pycell, man, this man knows how to really maester it up. RIP Maesters Aemon and Luwin. And now we have Samwell Tarly, well on his way to the Maester School of ACTING.
5. Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons. I mean, that title alone. We have to close the list with the actress that has given us the most acting and dramatic speeches in 20 different languages.