Gwendoline Christie put herself forward for an Emmy award because she wanted to be ''in charge of [her] own destiny''.

The 40-year-old actress self-submitted herself to the television academy for her performance as Ser Brienne of Tarth in the final season of 'Game of Thrones' and though she didn't find it easy to do, she felt she owed it to herself to create more opportunities after pushing herself ''beyond [her] limits'' with her last episodes in the HBO show.

She told the Los Angeles Times newspaper: ''It's something I find hard to do, like everyone else, but I would like to be in charge of my own destiny.

''And I would like to endeavour to give myself opportunities. Particularly when working very hard on something very special and you've pushed yourself beyond your limits.

''I checked that it wasn't an inappropriate thing to do, and I was told it wasn't. People submit themselves all the time. ''

However, Gwendoline admitted she didn't expect to be shortlisted for the Supporting Actress in a Drama prize when she made her submission.

She added: ''I truly never expected it to manifest in a nomination and I don't think anybody else did either. 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.''

The actress hopes her recognition is a sign that women are being seen in a ''different way''.

She said: ''I wanted the possibility of being recognised for everything that character represents, for what she's meant to me and for the part I feel she's played, in some small way, in the burgeoning landscape we have in entertainment of seeing women in a different way. A more realistic way and a more unconventional way.

''I'm really, completely overwhelmed. What an extraordinary way to round out this phenomenal, mind-blowing experience that has changed all of our lives.''

Gwendoline wasn't the only 'Game of Thrones' cast member to nominate herself for an Emmy, as fellow shortlisted stars Alfie Allen and Carice Van Houten also paid the $225 entry fees themselves.

HBO submitted Maisie Williams, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for nomination.