Awards prediction and analysis site Gold Derby predicts Morton could land a Best Drama Supporting Actress nomination for her portrayal of the Whisperer leader, marking the first time The Walking Dead is represented at the Emmys in an acting category.
In Morton's favor is her status as a twice Oscar-nominated actress, for turns in Sweet and Lowdown and In America, as well as the Emmy voters' appreciation of villains.
Morton's portrayal of the emotionally complex Alpha is accompanied by a makeover that makes her near unrecognizable, another plus for the Emmys, which also appreciates comebacks: The Walking Dead reworked itself in Season 9 under new showrunner Angela Kang, who won the series its best-ever critical reception.
The 16-time nominated Walking Dead has won two Emmys, both for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup, awarded to special effects makeup guru Greg Nicotero and team in 2011 and 2012 for the series' Season 1 and Season 2 premieres.
Though network AMC has submitted many of its stars for consideration in the Best Drama Actor/Actress and Best Drama Supporting Actor/Actress categories — including Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Danai Gurira and Melissa McBride — The Walking Dead has not yet garnered any acting nominations in its nine-season history.
Rick Grimes star Lincoln, who has since exited the flagship television series permanently but will reprise the role in a coming movie trilogy, deserved "way more recognition than he got" as Walking Dead leading man, argued former Carl Grimes star Chandler Riggs.
"I had an audition with this name actor and I was looking through [Wikipedia] just to get more intimidated by the audition and I was like, 'Oh my god, he has all these awards,' and was like, wait a second, Andy doesn't ... I went to look on his IMDb and it's like nothing," Riggs told TooFab in March.
"Andy was on the same level, if not, definitely had way better stuff than the other actor."
Riggs added he has "no idea" why the hit zombie drama is "always shunned" in major award acting categories.
"It always won the visual effects awards, which well deserved, they do an incredible job," Riggs said. "But I feel like, especially Andy, deserved way more recognition than he got."