Game Of Thrones: Liam Cunningham Runs Down Stannis Baratheon’s Blackwater Advantages

As Davos Seaworth in HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Liam Cunningham has been bringing honor, loyalty and a hearty dose of frankness to Stannis Baratheon’s camp in Season 2. And this Sunday, the Irish actor’s Onion Knight leads the charge for his chosen King in the highly-anticipated “Blackwater” episode, which features a massive clashing of rival forces over the Iron Throne.

Despite the sun in Monaco, fine wine readily available, racing cars on display, and a famous pal nearby, hoping to do some writing with the actor, Liam is ignoring it all to give the rundown of Stannis and Davos’ armies and navy, which are hoping to take the prize for the stags (the Baratheon sigil) on Sunday. Here we go, the battle…

Liam Cunningham: (Sings) Duh-Duh-Duh.

Access: So this is like the Super Bowl of ‘Game of Thrones.’

Liam: Yes.

Access: Or the World Cup… Who are your key players?

Liam: I think what we have is a continuation of the boat arriving in the bay at the head of the fleet, which I’m on, and this is the episode they have definitely spent — by far — the most money on. There’s a huge amount of CGI involved. There’s lot of extras, there’s battles… Stannis is going to be fighting. I don’t think he fights in the book, but as far as I know, he’s definitely going to be fighting in the episode and of course, we have all the business with the wildfire.

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Access: Let’s plot this out on paper… What advantages does Stannis have on his team?

Liam: He’s got superior numbers… We’ve got the ship that we have, plus the additional 30 from Salladhor Saan, and we also think that we’ve got — to a certain extent — the element of surprise, because of the time we’re coming in on [for] the assault… I’m as eager as the biggest fan of this show to see this episode and I have to record it because I’m not in the country. I’m going to have to record it and see it after everybody else. I’m dying to see it.

READ: What advantages do the Lannisters have in “Blackwater”? Click HERE to read our interview with Eugene Simon (Lancel Lannister)

Access: There’s an incentive for Davos in this battle. If memory serves me right, in last week’s episode, Stannis was asking Davos to be his hand.

Liam: Correct.

Access: I thought it was interesting… Davos usually protests when Stannis wants him to take on big responsibilities. He was asked to lead the battle, and he told Stannis the other Lords wouldn’t be happy about that. But, last week, when Stannis said, ‘When I take the Iron Throne, you’ll be the Hand of the King.’ Davos is on his knee right away.

Liam: Well, I think in the previous episode, he has [protested]. When I tell him to not allow Melisandre along because she’ll get the credit,’ He’s like, ‘OK, I’ll take your advice, but you’re in charge of the navy,’ or ‘You’re in charge of a battle.’ And that takes him aback, which is why [Stannis then] says, ‘Hard truths cut both ways, Davos.’ So when we get on the boat and we’re about to head into battle… [Stannis says when he is] King, he’s decided… it’s a gesture of congratulations when the throne is finally ours… For Davos… It’s a great honor.

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Access: That was a really nice moment between you and Stephen Dillane [who plays Stannis], last week.

Liam: That’s one of my favorite scenes. I just loved the way Stephen played that about the siege. It was really, really entertaining and wonderful…

Access: You two definitely have some of the most wonderful, serious stuff in the show.

Liam: It’s really great. When you’re working with someone who’s as great as Stephen, you can get to that position very quickly between the two of us, where you get a sense that these guys have a history. And that’s a credit not only to writing, but to Stephen’s talent. He’s just wonderful to play off. I hugely enjoy working with Stephen. As I said, he has a very dry sense of humor. I find him very funny… The character of Stannis [in the books] is supposed to be boring and humorless, but I think Stephen managed to get some very nice irony in. He amuses me.

Access: Your enthusiasm for this show, I love it. You just get so excited about it all.

Liam: Oh, I love it, I love it, I love it! And I love the fans. I love having a look at all the reactions and video critiques… and it’s wonderful to see the fans enjoying the hard work that everybody’s put in… And I think the fans love the fact that they’re not been patronized or spoken down to… I’ve always been of the opinion, like ‘Field of Dreams’ — ‘If you build it, they will come.’ And, certainly in the case of ‘Game of Thrones,’ that’s definitely happened.

Access: So, Comic-Con is coming up. Any chance you want to go? Or are going to try and get over for it?

Liam: Oh, I’d love to go. If the boys want to bring me over, I’ll get my sleeping bag and I’ll sleep at the airport, waiting. I hear it’s wonderful.

Access: Would you dress up? Not in your character, but people go in these intricate and crazy costumes – I saw a guy last year with mechanical horse legs behind him.

Liam: Maybe I’ll bring my Davos Seaworth mankini.

“Game of Thrones” “Blackwater” episode, penned by “A Song of Ice and Fire” author George R.R. Martin himself, airs Sunday night at 9 PM on HBO.

-- Jolie Lash

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