Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Stannis Baratheon Had No Clue What Was Happening on Game of Thrones

Image: HBO
Image: HBO

Stannis Baratheon might have been a major contender for the Iron Throne, but Stephen Dillane (the actor playing him) had no idea what was going on in Westeros. So, much like his character, Dillane was forced to rely on his second-in-command to explain things.

Advertisement

In an interview with The London Times, Dillane reflected on his time as Stannis Baratheon on Game of Thrones, indicating he wasn’t happy with his performance on the series. This is a pretty major thing, as Stannis was a vital part of the show for years, first appearing in season 2 and becoming a key player in the game of thrones until his death at the end of season 5.

Dillane said that since actors are usually the last to know what’s happening on a show (and he presumably hadn’t read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire), he was largely in the dark about what the hell was happening. He added that he leaned heavily on Liam Cunningham, who played Ser Davos Seaworth, to provide some context, but even that wasn’t enough to help him grasp the world of Westeros.

I’ve flicked it on [since leaving] to see if I could figure out what was going on, but I couldn’t. Liam Cunningham is so passionate about the show. He invests in it in a way I think is quite moving, but it wasn’t my experience. I was entirely dependent on Liam to tell me what the scenes were about — I didn’t know what I was doing until we’d finished filming and it was too late. The damage had been done. I thought no one would believe in me and I was rather disheartened by the end. I felt I’d built the castle on non-existent foundations.

Advertisement

The actor, who currently stars on Sky Atlantic’s The Tunnel, also said there’s one benefit to his time at Dragonstone: The financial security he got from playing Stannis allowed him to be more selective with roles afterward, adding “Game of Thrones pays for all this looking around and waiting.” It might be sad that Dillane couldn’t quite get a handle on the character or the world he lived in, but I have to admit that him flying by the seat of his pants, earnest yet reckless, with his only grounding source being Ser Davos, sounds so much like Stannis. Maybe he understood the character better than any of us ever could.

[The London Times]

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

bubbajoe123456
bubbajoe123456

Um, wow. Even at a pretty moderate pace, you could read all five of the GoT books in about 70 hours. Looked at another way, he could have read the entire plot of a season in two seven hour sittings. That doesn’t seem like an inordinate amount of prep work to do.