That's pretty much how Stannis actually is, though -- his brother constantly better than him and letting him know it, overly-serious because there's a certain amount of broken social function. Peevish and irritated all the time -- hence no one but Davos, Cressen, and small children who don't know better are the only people that love him. It's not just that he's serious all the time -- he lets you know it at all times, too, as he worries at and complains about every little slight done to him.
I dig Dillane quite a bit in the role. Sustained, jaw-grinding anger can be something that comes out of S2 and informs his S3 performance.
I agree. I think they've cast Stannis really well and the actor has a good handle on how his personality should come out to the viewers. No one is supposed to really like Stannis, Trying to like him is like trying to like a wooden statue (those got burned).
Those who think he's too whiny should watch again. He's always brooding and surly. He nitpicks the scribe to death over the details of the wording of his letter, but that one letter revealing Cersei and Jaime's incest, becomes famous in all corners of the seven kingdoms. Not because Stannis chooses particularly flowery speech... he doesn't. It's famous because its brutally to the point and entirely true. At this stage, Stannis DOES have the rightful claim to the throne, regardless of anyone liking him or not. But as we all know, GoT is not as simple as claiming your right to the throne by birth. The throne has been taken by conquer enough times that no one in the seven kingdoms really believes Stannis can just waltz in and lay down his birth certificate and be handed the crown.
Each of the men claiming to be king has a character flaw, and each one's is different: cruelty, passion, vanity, stubbornness - it plays out almost like the seven deadly sins and yes, there's plenty of envy in there too. /wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />