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Stephen Dillane really hated his performance as Stannis on Game Of Thrones

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Stannis wasn’t really anyone’s favorite character on Game Of Thrones, unless they were being ironic or are specifically drawn to mopey dudes who look like Ted Leo, but actor Stephen Dillane mostly did a fine job playing the guy. Apparently, though, Dillane himself doesn’t feel the same way, as he recently told British newspaper The Times (via Entertainment Weekly) that he has some regrets about his time on the show.

Specifically, Dillane says he was never really able to follow the show’s plot, even as a fairly central character on it, and so he never had any idea what he was doing until they had finished filming and it was too late for him to act better. By the end of his run on the show, Dillane says he was “disheartened” by the thought that “no one would believe” in what he was doing—all because he didn’t really believe in it himself. “I felt I’d built the castle on non-existent foundations,” he said, offering a very Game Of Thrones-y metaphor that also lines up nicely with Stannis’ own arc on the show.


Luckily, Dillane had a savior during his time on Game Of Thrones in the form of Liam Cunningham, who plays his former sidekick Ser Davos Seaworth. Dillane says Cunningham is “so passionate about the show” and invests in it so thoroughly that it’s “quite moving,” and he adds that he was “entirely dependent” on Cunningham to tell him what was going on in the scenes they shot together. Considering that his partnership with Ser Davos had dissolved by the time Stannis was killed, this seems like another direct parallel between Dillane and the guy he was playing.

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