Why The Actor Who Played Stannis Didn't Love His Time On Game Of Thrones

Heading into its sixth season, Game of Thrones has a worldwide fanbase, with HBO subscribers tuning in from multiple countries and using multiple TV platforms and devices. The show has been phenomenally popular and should continue to do good numbers when it returns this April. However, the legions of fans haven’t stopped a few people close to the show from having some negative things to say about HBO’s Game of Thrones. In fact, Stephen Dillane, who played Stannis Baratheon on the hit series, recently explained that he didn’t love the time he spent on the fantasy drama. Here’s what he had to say:

I do not regret having done Game of Thrones, but I have nothing to say. I understood neither the series nor its success when I participated. The experience was very strange, it passed under my nose. For a role to be pleasing, I must get interested, which was not really the case. I was a bit overwhelmed.

Dillane’s comments were given to Liberation, a French magazine, so the translation’s not perfect, but the gist is there. Stephen Dillane doesn’t really get Game of Thrones. He didn’t get it when he was signed on to play Stannis Baratheon. He likely didn’t get it when he had to burn his onscreen daughter Shireen alive. And he probably still didn’t get it when he was facing off against Brienne in the woods, her sword pointed right at him.

So, if he didn’t really get why Game of Thrones and Stannis Baratheon were a thing, why did he take the gig? Why does anyone take any role, really? Here’s his answer:

Among other things, for the money.

Stephen Dillane isn’t the first Game of Thrones actor to make some blunt comments about the series in recent days. This news comes just a couple of days after newcomer Ian McShane hilariously called the show “tits and dragons” after he leaked information about his character during Season 6.

Obviously, these are two different situations. Stephen Dillane wasn’t in a one-off role on the show. Instead he had to play the staunch Stannis Baratheon who seemed to only lose and lose and lose on Game of Thrones over the years. His battle against King’s Landing was foiled with wildfire. He later took the advice of Melisandre and decided to burn numerous people alive. He lost his family due to his actions, as well as the respect of his men. After all that, he still lost the keys to the kingdom and died in the woods at Brienne’s hand. I don’t think Stannis would be a character I would personally be in love with either, but Stephen Dillane pulled off the complex man well.

If you’d like to know more about Season 6, you can check out everything we know about the upcoming season, here. Or catch the Stannis-less trailer for Season 6.

Game of Thrones returns to the schedule on Sunday, April 24 at 9 p.m. ET.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.