Is Game of Thrones Not Diverse Enough? George R. R. Martin Weighs In
Lots of criticism, whether valid or not, is often leveled at HBO’s Game of Thrones. It’s sexist towards women. It’s too violent. There’s too much sex. These are some of the more common causes of uproar. But another frequent jab is that the show’s cast isn’t diverse enough, this despite the fact that the show mostly takes place in a fantasy world based largely on the very white Medieval England. But what does the creator of that world, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin, think of those criticisms?
On his blog, a fan asked George a question regarding Game of Throne’s diversity. The fan said, “The lack of diversity in both the show and the books has been really troubling lately ... I’ve seen the new cast and I applaud the casting of DeObia Oparei (Areo Hotah) but must all black people in the series be servants, guards, or charlatans? I don't know what I’m expecting but I just wanted to let you know that feeling this way really hurts.”
Martin responds, “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 WINDS OF WINTER. Admittedly, these are secondary and tertiary characters, though not without importance. Of course, I am talking about the books here, and you are talking about the show, which is a thing apart. I do think HBO and 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.”
It’s worth noting that the show has seemingly gone out of its way to cast diverse actors in several roles that are white in the books, such as Salladhor Saan (a badass pirate), Xaro Xhoan Daxos (a Qarth nobleman), and the aforementioned Areo Hotah (CAPTAIN of the Guard for the Martells, a high-ranking position).
Do you think Game of Thrones isn't diverse enough? Let us know in the comments below!