Stannis Baratheon was one of the hardest “Game of Thrones” characters to make sense of. Declared the One True King of Westeros by some, he was dismissed as an uncharismatic also-ran by others. Stephen Dillane, who actually played Stannis the Mannis, apparently leans toward the former. The actor reveals in a new Times interview that he “didn’t know what I was doing until we’d finished filming” and that he was “disheartened” by the whole experience.
Fittingly, his fictional right-hand man helped him out for real. Dillane notes that Liam Cunningham, AKA Ser Davos Seaworth, 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.”
By that time, however, “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.” That’s a very Stannis-like musing, suggesting that Dillane was more right for the part than even he seems to realize.
As for what’s happened since his attempt to take Winterfell failed spectacularly, he says he’s “flicked [the show] on [since leaving] to see if I could figure out what was going on, but I couldn’t.” Wait till he hears the White Walkers are up to.