Emmy nominations 2023: Emma D’Arcy fans fume as House of the Dragon star is snubbed

Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in HBO's House of the Dragon.

Emmy Award season is here, bringing with it a huge celebration of the year’s greatest queer talent. One LGBTQ+ fan favourite to be snubbed, though, is Emma D’Arcy – and fans are less than impressed.

The 2023 Emmy nominations have dropped, and it’s a pretty seismic year for LGBTQ+ stars and shows.

Bella Ramsey has received their first ever Emmy nomination for their portrayal of zombie-slaying sapphic icon Ellie Williams in the post-apocalyptic The Last of Us, while RuPaul’s Drag Race is up for a whopping nine nominations. 

Elsewhere, Niecy Nash-Betts scored a nomination for her work as Jeffrey Dahmer’s neighbour Glenda Cleveland in Ryan Murphy’s dark and twisted Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Murray Bartlett received two nominations; one for his devastating portrayal of Frank in the year’s best episode of television so far, The Last of Us‘ “Long Long Time”, and one for his “intimate” role as Nick de Noia in Welcome To The Chippendales.

One queer star who was notably absent from the nomination list, though, was House of the Dragon lead Emma D’Arcy.

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While the non-binary actor broke into stardom on BBC’s 2018 mystery drama Wanderlust and Amazon Prime Video’s 2020 series Truth Seekers, it was their role as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in the 2022 HBO fantasy series that made them an international household name.

Rhaenyra Targaryen was seen as such a vital part of the mammoth success of House of the Dragon that D’Arcy bagged a Golden Globe nomination earlier this year. Their fanbase, too, has only grown exponentially in the past year.

Actor Emma D'Arcy on the Golden Globes red carpet wearing a black suit with cropped purple hair.
Emma D’Arcy. (Getty/Amy Sussman)

Now, that fanbase has questions for the Emmy academy. While the series itself received nine nominations – including the much sought-after Best Drama Series award – not one nomination was for D’Arcy, nor any of the other actors. 

Fans appear particularly shocked at D’Arcy’s snub, considering they led two of the series’ best scenes.

In one scene, in episode seven, Rhaenyra Targaryen defended herself from a dramatic knife attack at the hands of her childhood friend cum decade-long mortal enemy Alicent Hightower.

Alicent had married Rhaenyra’s father and King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine), and she was determined for her children with Viserys to become next in line for the throne, over Rhaenyra. Tensions bubbled over, and when Alicent’s son Aemond had an eye cut out by Rhaenyra’s son Lucerys, things came to a head.

In a second, even more gruesome and distressing scene, D’Arcy’s Rhaenyra had to give birth to her stillborn child. She’d just found out that her father, the king, had passed away and that she had been usurped for the throne, and the stress contributed to the devastating loss and traumatic birth.

The scenes had fans weeping and on the edge of their seats, and many believe they alone were evidence enough that Emma D’Arcy deserved an Emmy nod.

“Literally the birthing scenes alone should’ve secured an Emmy for them because Emma was ACTING DOWN,” one fan ranted on social media.

“Total shock if I’m being honest,” shared another. “Like, were we watching the same performances y’all? Huge snub in my opinion.”

“This isn’t fandom brain. Emma truly goddamn deserves it. They are a proven actor of film, TV and theatre, and you especially feel the theatre training. They stand apart,” said a third.

Some fans are looking on the bright side, and hoping that D’Arcy’s award-sweeping time will finally come in 2024 or 2025, following the second House of the Dragon season.

The 2023 Emmy Awards are scheduled to take place on 18 September.

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