In 2014, a fan commented on George R.R. Martin’s blog that while she loves Game of Thrones, “the lack of diversity really hurts.” The woman wrote that she’s “extremely sad that I can not include [Thrones] as an example of ‘hollywood’ starting to change how race is depicted.” Martin replied, “Westeros around 300 AC is nowhere near as diverse as 21st century America, of course… but with that being said, I do have some ‘characters of color’ who will have somewhat larger roles in The Winds of Winter. Admittedly, these are secondary and tertiary characters, though not without importance.” As for the HBO series, he added, “I do think HBO and [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] are doing what they can to promote diversity as well, as witness the casting of Areo Hotah, which you mention. Of course, Hotah IS a guard… but he is also a viewpoint character in the novels, a brave and loyal warrior.”
Hotah was unceremoniously killed last season.
Point is, Game of Thrones could probably do a better job at being more diverse. Golden Globe-nominated actor David Oyelowo (Selma, Nightingale) recently criticized the show for exactly that, saying that there’s “absolutely no excuse in a show like that why there aren’t more prominent characters of color.”
“The fact that they put any ethnic minorities in that means that there should be space for bigger characters. Because you’re not just saying, this is purely a white world, and here are very story-driven reasons why that’s the case… You are interspersing people of color into it, and so therefore it’s a conscious decision to put them on the margins, as opposed to put them front and center. Even if for whatever reason, it’s a world in which people of color in those stories are subservient, or they are more in a helper role, that doesn’t mean they can’t have prominent storylines. All you have to do is shift the focus to focus on those characters.” (Via)
Hopefully this is the first step towards a Grey Worm and Missandei romantic comedy spinoff. Bronn can play the horndog next-door neighbor.
(Via Radio Times)