From Day One, Game of Thrones has had both a huge fan base, and its fair share of detractors, who spoke out about the show's controversial themes such as incestual relationships, along with the rape of several characters, graphic nudity and the brutal violence featured in the series. As fans get ready for Season 6, debuting Sunday, April 24 at 9 PM ET on HBO, there has been very little we know about the new season, since the show has caught up with the George R.R. Martin books. But there's one character we know won't be returning, Stephen Dillane's Stannis Baratheon, who was killed by Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) in the Season 5 finale Mother's Mercy. The actor revealed in an interview with Liberation that he was never really interested in the show to begin with.
"I don't regret doing Game of Thrones, but I have nothing to say about it. I didn't understand the series nor its success when I was a part of it. The experience has been weird, it really passed me by. For a role to please me, I have to be interested in it, which was not really the case. I was a bit overwhelmed by everything that happened. It was difficult because it [the show] is a huge machine."
Since we never actually saw Brienne's blade come down on Stannis' head, many have speculated that he isn't dead and that he may make a return at some point. However, in a separate interview with Radio Times, he did confirm that his character is dead, so fans should rule out Stannis' return in Game of Thrones Season 6 and beyond. The actor also admitted that he never watched the show that much, because it was too brutal.
"It's pretty brutal I couldn't watch much of that anyway. It's hardcore. Too tough for me.... It's just too painful. It's pretty intense, quite overwhelming, the whole world of it is pretty overwhelming."
He also added that he "didn't blame" fans who stopped watching the show after Stannis sacrificed his own daughter Shireen (Kerry Ingram), condemning her to a fiery death last season as a sacrifice to Melisandre's (Carice van Houten) Lord of Light. However, he did later add that he thinks the show is "fantastic," while adding that his favorite moments from filming were hanging out with co-stars Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) and Carice van Houten. Here's what he had to say below, adding that he wasn't "dismissing" the show, but the only thing he got out of the series was money.
"It's fantastic. I don't dismiss it at all. I think it's fantastic. I think it's an extraordinary thing. An amazing phenomenon. A really amazing phenomenon. Money is the main thing I got out of it. It's an odd situation. There is a kind of etiquette around these things. I think it's extraordinary. I am not dismissing it at all. I liked the nice people, the craic and hanging out in Belfast with Cunningham and Carice and the guys from Castle Black. The first three series was just me and Liam and Carice and then we ended up going to Castle Black which was a lot more fun."
Those who were hoping for Stannis' return in Game of Thrones will surely be disappointed, but do you think Stephen Dillane makes some good points? Do you think the series is too brutal? Did you stop watching after he ordered that his young daughter be burned alive? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more on Season 6 of Game of Thrones, as we get closer to the April 24 premiere.