Casting Speculation

Multi-ethnic Dothraki?

Based on some intriguing tweets, it looks like they may be casting the Dothraki people a little darker than most had expected. Of course, the books describe the Dothraki people as having “copper skin” and “dark, almond-shaped eyes.” With the casting of Momoa as Drogo, it appeared they would at least be keeping the copper skin aspect. But now it looks like they are willing to deviate from the book’s description of the Dothraki people and go in a more “multi-ethnic” direction.

First, there was a tweet from Irish actor Yare Jegbefume in which he mentioned auditioning for Game of Thrones. He went on to state that the audition was for Dothraki bloodriders, Qotho and Jhogo.

Second tweet came from London-based actor Errol Clarke who didn’t state outright he was auditioning for Thrones but, given his mention of  Morocco and Northern Ireland, it seems highly likely. (The America in his tweet probably refers to the fact that it is an HBO show.) Also, if we look at his actor bio we see he has martial arts and edged-weapons training, which is a strong indication that he is auditioning for one of the bloodriders.

Of course, adding to the idea of a multi-ethnic Dothraki people, is the fact that all of the Dothraki dancers from the wedding scene in the pilot are black.

All of the above evidence indicates to me that they will be portraying the Dothraki in the show a bit differently than how they were described in the books. Not as a race of strictly one color, but a multi-colored one.

[Props to Phoenix_torn for finding the Errol Clarke tweet.]


  • Let me be the first to state…….that this is not a big deal, and no one should freak out about it, at all. Or get really excited about it.

  • This is pretty much canon, isn't it? Don't the books say the Dothraki were made up of lots of conquered groups? And they are based on the Mongolian steppe people?

  • I'm a little divided on this aspect. I don't find it problematic from a position of "oh no that's not what Dothraki look like!" and book canon. I find it a bit problematic that for the "tribal", "savage", "foreign" Dothraki, we're getting a mish-mash of non-White ethnicities. Yes, it's a fantasy book, and it will be a fantasy show. Yes, the Dothraki aren't real. But people of African, Hawaiian, and Carribbean descent and other ethnicities/races very much are, and for the production to be casting "Various Shades of Brown People" as Dothraki is a little problematic, IMHO.

    • There may well be conquered whites among the Dothraki, too, if they go with this concept. Plenty of colonies and outlying regions of the Valyrian Empire that might have come under the Dothraki heel somewhere along the way. We'll see how they do it, no way to know for sure based on a few tweets from actors auditioning for roles.

    • MTE. I haven't read your other replies yet, but in advance, I should point out that the bloodriders are hardly slaves — the Dothraki don't exactly seem to integrate conquered peoples too readily, outside the clearly delimited institution of slavery.

    • Considering what's done by the caucasians in the show, the Dothraki come off looking relatively good, I think. I mean, sure, they rape and pillage, but so do more than half the soldiers over in Westeros. The Dothraki are at least honest about it instead of making any sort of pretense of honorableness and knighthood. Sure, this doesn't mean people can't be upset, but it leaves them with considerably less than a leg to stand on.

  • Couldn't care less about this subject, as long as it's a bit obvious for the normal viewer they're not Westerosi. They all will be wearing their hair in braids I guess, so that won't be a problem.

  • Nothing wrong with multi-ethnic Dothraki…they can’t translate the book for canon…say goodbye to the Targaryen silver hair and purple eyes too…as well as much more…there going adult …I think a lot of the over the top fantasy elements will be toned down too

    • I don't think having multi-ethnic Dothraki should be taken as any indication that they are going to start changing a lot of things. I would actually be surprised if they did away with the silver hair and purple eyes. It's part of what makes Dany unique. I don't see how they get rid of the dragons either (I assume you would categorize them as an "over the top fantasy element"). Without them, much would have to be changed. There would be no reason for Dany to go sit in the pyre. Without that scene, the Dothraki choosing to follow Dany would be less believable. Without the dragons, she would have no bargaining chip for the Unsullied. I'm also guessing they will be important in the future.

      In short, all this says to me is that they wanted to include more minorities to appeal to a wider audience. They may end up cutting some things, but I don't think multi-ethnic Dothraki is any reason to assume that. They've always given the impression that they want to change as little as possible, and I still think that's the case.

  • Seems to make sense to me. Dothraki in the books seem to be lighter than Summer Islanders, but the two cultures are far enough removes that I don't think there will be much confusion.

  • This is no big deal. There is no reason for anyone to be upset. It's not like the dothraki have a big role in the series, only a few characters have any value at all to the final product. It's more important to have good actors than actors with the right colour or "race".

  • I'm fine with it.

    Like Coltaine777 mentions, it may be a departure from the books, but not a big issue.

    As @Jehphg said, having their own language is going to be a somewhat unifying factor, and Knurk's point about the braids working to consolidate them visually sounds about right.

  • Like Coltaine777 mentions, it may be a departure from the books, but not a big issue.

    As @Jehphg said, having their own language is going to be a somewhat unifying factor, and Knurk's point about the braids working to consolidate them visually sounds about right.

  • Add to that that their leader, Drogo, it's had a lighter, almost tanned caucasian complexion.

    Yes, it could be troublesome in the wrong eyes.

  • IMO need more "people of color" in ASOIAF. Why should white-skinned people have all the cool fantasy roles?? Nothing "Eurocentric" about fantasy worlds.

  • The only reason I can see doing this is because I imagine the US/UK probably has a much larger base of black actors than it does for actors who fit the roughly Mongolian looking Dothraki, and as the Dothraki are legion you'll need a lot of actors.

    I could see some people getting up in arms about the "savage" Dothroki being black and it won't help that their leader is a few TV-friendly shades lighter. I don't see it being a very big deal overall, though.

    Personally, I'd rather see things look like I imagined them, but it's going to work either way.

    • good point about the possibility of there not being many mongolian looking actors in US/UK. Possibly so.
      But also I think it's a stroke from HBO to add more diversity to the show, without rubbing canon-crazy too much the wrong way (f.i Bronn – who I myself don't have a vivid opinion about, think it could be a cool idea for him to be of another shade than white, but 'leave it up to HBO' to surprise me, not going to go up in a jiffy – osrry could have that term wrong… – about him being either color)
      And consider how many black people live in UK and US. Very good idea, as to not make them (using "them" not in a way "all-of-us-followers-here-must -naturally-be-white", that I know is not the case, but rather in a "I-am-obviously-neither-black-nor-american/british" way) feel marginalized as so many times before in the movie-tv-real world.

  • My gods this is the end of watching this series. Just kidding I think that it is just a way to perhaps show the Dothraki as conqurers and to add a little color to the world. See what I did there.

    • Love Coltaine by the way, One of my favorite characters of Malazan book of the Fallen next to Karsa Orlong.I love the Game of Thrones as well I can't wait.I am reminding everyone that has HBO about it and anyone that likes fantasy.

  • Yes, there is Eurocentric on fantasy, and that's the setting.

    Sorry, but if you're talking about Knights, Lords, Lieges, Kings, Fiefdoms and feudalism it's Europe. And as such, white people come to mind.

    If intead, you read about Caliphs, Viziers, Mullahs and such, then you'll think on an Middle-Eastern, arabic culture, wouldn't you? And what about titles as "Jade Emperor" or "House of hundred lanterns"?

    And, to keep us focused on ASoIaF, every time I read Dany's chapter I have a hard time imagining the people around them as caucasian, because the setting, the background, is not recognizable as one.

    Please take this with the utmost respect, but for me, in ASoIaF, we don't need the multiethnicity for PC sake. There are people that vouch for a black Bronn… I just don't see it.

    But, after Idris "Stringer" Elba playes Hiemdall, a NORSE god on the upcoming "Thor" movie… 'nuff said. :-)

  • @Jaqen_Hagar…I have to say again I hope your portrayed by Cillian Murphy….someone tell his agent…Mr.Gude ?…just kidding

    • I wish I could, but all of my contacts are no longer at my disposal. Sigh.

      That said, now that it's been picked up there's really no reason to worry. Everyone who would be open to this series is going to know about it.

  • The Mongolians sired so many bastards that something like 1 in 12 people carry their DNA.They conquered several very different looking peoples on at least 2 continents.The Dothraki would have various contrasts in hair,skin and eye colors as well as epicanthic folds for some,etc….The only common cultural features would be the braids and style of dress/weapons.

  • I agree (mostly) with Caedes. The setting was laid out by George R. R. Martin when he based the conflicts in Westeros on the War of the Roses. I think you do the eastern continent (Essos) a disservice by assuming its people are something "lesser" than Westerosi. Certainly the Dothraki are not at the height of the world's technological advancement, but they are only a small part of that. What about Pentos and the other free cities? What about Braavos? Asshai? Yi Ti? The impression I get is that they are all rather advanced societies, and you can hardly pin a single color on to any of them.

    Just because a culture differs from the knight-and-castle crowd does not make it a lesser one. No one is going to say the mountain clans or the wildlings are particularly advanced. Westeros is not the "better" continent to anyone other than a Westerosi.

    My case for trying an ethnically different Bronn is in part because we don't know where he is from. His description could be for a black or white man; all he really is is a thin, rag-tag mercenary with black hair. Were he born to Westerosi nobility I would argue long and hard about how Bronn should be played by a Caucasian. But the simple fact is we don't know where he is from, only that he clawed and schemed his way to a noble title. We know he's low-born; if they decide to make him look different on top of that, well, I think that makes his eventual lordship all the more striking.

    • I'd prefer a black Melisandre to a black Bronn. The case for Bronn being black is just that GRRM omitted his race, but Melisandre is clearly foreign, and I can think of a number of black actresses that would make her just as strong, beautiful, powerful, and disconcerting as she is in the books.

      • Doesn't Melisandre have red hair?

        Can't say I've ever seen a black person with red hair.

        • Malcolm X had red hair. He talked about it in his autobiography a bit. It wasn't Carrot Top flaming red, but it was definitely copper-colored.

        • A black Melisandre? A black Bronn? Why not make all the dragons fluffy pink aswell. The Dothraki can be scandinavians.
          Folks, please lets stick to the plan!

          That will suck just as much as a black Kingpin or Nick Fury.

          • Er….. Not that I like the idea of a black Melisandre or Bronn, but…

            You know that Nich Fury IS black in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, don't you? In fact, he is Samuel L. Jackson, and that comic was released like 8 years ago.

            And, for the record, Michael Clarke Duncan wasn't by far the worst in "Daredevil" either..

          • The ultimate marvel universe really sucks. Sure, I can see that all the stories kinda got tangled up in the end but Nick is still Nick.
            Based upon his biography and in the normal marvel universe he is white….but sure…..I get your point.

            And I second your opinion concerning DD.

        • She's also got red eyes, can't say I've ever seen a human with red eyes, even an albino. And stella is right, black people can have rust or copper colored hair naturally, but that's not important.

          The truth is that the descriptions in the book shouldn't be treated like the gospel they are. The case for making Bronn black was that his race is never mentioned, thus we could 'get away with' making him black, but parsing words to justify that is absurd.

          The truth is that Bronn serves as a juxtaposition for Tyrion, being as much a monster on the inside as Tyrion is on the outside, but no one sees it. Tyrion even at one point wants to yell "I am the only thing that protects you from the likes of him!" For that, Bronn needs an outward appearance of normalcy, of 'fitting in' in Westeros as much as Tyrion doesn't. That's why I think he should be white.

          But is there a similar case for keeping Melisandre white? I can't see one.

          • I remember Bronns first appearance when *spoiler* he helps Catelyn transport Tyrion to the Eyrie *Spoiler* and he states how horses are eaten by Dothraki, and from than on I assumed he was black, like I assumed the Dothraki was, but now I am not sure of the color of anybody. haha

          • Heh, interesting:

            "None of us will go hungry tonight," Bronn said. He was near a shadow himself; bone thin and bone hard, with black eyes and black hair and a stubble of beard.

            "Some of us may," Tyron told him. "I am not fond of eating horse. Particularly my horse."

            "Meat is meat," Bronn said with a shrug. "The Dothraki like horse more than beef or pork."

            Two things of interest.

            1) GRRM mentions Bronn's hair and eye color, but nothing about his skin. I simply took that to be part of the "white writers and readers assume someone's skin is white unless it's called out specifically" thing. Also, describing his body as "bone hard" and "bone thin" brings to mind bones, and therefore might give one the (false?) impression that his skin is paler than most. GRRM never specifically states it, though, and on the off chance he's omitting skin color *on purpose* it's an interesting choice.

            2) I always assumed the "Dothraki like horse meat more than beef or pork" line was sort of a near-xenophobic, "You know, they eat (insert name of friendly animal) in (insert name of foreign country) right?" It's a very interesting read that you had, if I'm interpreting it correctly of, "We Dothraki like horse meat more than beef or pork," or "The Dothraki, with whom I am very familiar as I was one as a child like horse meat more than beef or pork."

            I'm still not really buying it, as it would mean that GRRM had to have some forethought that he was misleading his readers on this score, and it's a very "meta" type of misleading. Like, he'd mention later that Bronn was related to Drogo and we'd go, "WHAT?" and then he'd go, "Go back in the books and find one place where I said Bronn was a white guy."

            It's really interesting to think about, but I'm definitely not saying that I think it's true.

  • If I seem to infer that the rest of the world is less than Westeros, I apologize, for that was not my intention, nor my opinion.
    In fact, the simmilarities between ASoIaF and our real world as such that while the Westerosi, the "european" in this context, think as themselves as the summit of the known world since the fall of Valyria (¿ancient Rome, anyone?), it is in the Free Cities and beyond the sea where culture and commerce thrive.

    Regarding Bronn, it just don't fit in my head. Don't mean I have a clear view of him (maybe a young Michael Walcott), but I hink, for starters that if not white he would've been written as such, just like Chataya or Drogo. And, I cannot help but think that non-whites are second class citizens in Westeros, so that would make things even more tough for Bronn, including his *SPOILERS* arranged marriage to nobility *END SPOILERS*

    But, gimme Idris Elba and I sign the contract right now!! :-)

  • Completely Off-Topic, but I thought of it and want to know your opinions:

    How about Keith Carradine as Barristan Selmy? Got the age, the acting… sure it's not british but has worked on HBO before (Deadwood).

    My dream cast here would be Sir Ian McKellen, but I think he's way out of our league.

  • Yes, but to counter that, the Dothraki pointedly do not intermarry with conquered people. There is rape, and I'm sure there are bastards, but those bastards are not Dothraki, per canon.

    • This will be interesting to see. Dorne is basically Spain mixed in with Morocco, and they could also make a case for there being immigration to Dorne from the southern Free Cities and from the Summer Islands as well, making for a more interesting ethnic mix (and the Martells still have strong Rhoynish blood and features in their genetic heritage).

  • I anticipated HBO going this route, because of simple economics. This is not a $150 million plus movie where they can import enough actors and extras who would match the books description of the Dothraki.
    Look at Gladiator, they brought over from the States around 600 Biker Gang members to be the barbarian extras for the opening battle scene. They will figure that the audience will go by the assumption that the Dothraki embraced conquered people into their culture or add a simple dialogue exchange stating this. I also believe you need to prepare yourselves for the Dornish being cast as a either mediterranean or Middle Eastern, the UK should have enough of both available through talent and casting agencies.

  • I anticipated HBO going this route, because of simple economics. This is not a $150 million plus movie where they can import enough actors and extras who would match the books description of the Dothraki.
    Look at Gladiator, they brought over from the States around 600 Biker Gang members to be the barbarian extras for the opening battle scene. They will figure that the audience will go by the assumption that the Dothraki embraced conquered people into their culture or add a simple dialogue exchange stating this. I also believe you need to prepare yourselves for the Dornish being cast as a either mediterranean or Middle Eastern, the UK should have enough of both available through talent and casting agencies. They may even utilize the Dothraki extras for the Dornish extras.

  • A black Bronn ?….why not ….would love to know if this idea has crossed D/D minds…Mr.Williams definitely has the attitude to portray Bronn…I can hear him whistling now !…oooops wrong show…but seriously I can picture him bantering with Tyrion right now…but isn’t he busy with Treme and he’s not a Euro…unlikely he would be cast…

    • Regardless of what they do with this, I'm still thinking Bronn is going to go to a lesser-known actor, who will soon turn into a fan favorite.

  • I think this is a fine idea. Westeros is pretty damned white, so any way that they can add a little more ethnicity is fine by me, as long as it stays relatively close to the books. For example, I wouldn't mind Bronn being black, as some have suggested (although Dominic West is my PERFECT Bronn)

    • How is a black person "more ethnic" than the other races that would portray the Dothraki?

      • In context, Ashli appears to be suggesting that anything that dilutes lily-white Westeros is "a little more ethnicity." Casting especially tan Caucasians as Dothraki, for instance, would appear to be going out of the way to avoid adding another ethnicity to the roll (and a move I would consider less true to the books than casting Afro-descendant actors).

        None of this detracts from my wish that the English language not adopt the unfortunate usage of the words "diverse" and "ethnic" to describe a single person who happens to not be white. Being unitary, a person cannot be diverse, and "ethnic" does nothing to denote the ethnicity to which a person belongs.

        Linguistic rant over.

        • I agree, and I read it as a more quantitative statement. Having more ethnicity as in having a larger quantity of different ethnic backgrounds in the show – not that one is more ethnic than the other.

          I do also hate the way that for many people, there are Caucasian people and then there are "ethnic" people. It's incredibly ethnocentric and is basically like saying "Well, there's white people, and then there is everyone else."

        • While a single person cannot be diverse, I would argue that a single person of color could help "add diversity" to a group of white folks, which is how I often see the word used.

  • Sorry to be a dissenter, but I think making the Dothraki multi-ethnic is a bad idea. I really don't see how it will "appeal to a wider audience" to make them a more diverse culture. Are any of you going to point out to your black friends that not only do black people get minor roles here and there, but they also play a lot of the savages! No one is going to watch this show because they identify with Qotho, and it's pretty paternalistic to assume otherwise.

    While plenty of their slaves would be of other races, it's pretty clear in the book that the Dothraki riders are copper-skinned people. A mistake a lot of people are making is equating them with the Mongolians, when actually GRRM has said that appearance-wise they are more Amerindian. There are plenty of Latino, Asian, Indian, and mixed race actors who could make the whole group appear more cohesive. Making the Dothraki a hodge-podge is as wrong as making the Westerosi a hodge-podge. If that makes me radically adherent to the books, then so be it.

    With that said, acting talent is more important than looks, but I hope HBO doesn't cast black Dothraki just for the sake of adding some color.

    • I think I understand what you might be saying. I went to a Midwestern High School and one of the things they did for their production of "South Pacific" was have multiracial "island natives." Now, there was a plan with this, and the director wrote some notes about it. However, to the outside observer it appeared like they were just saying "folks who aren't white are kind of interchangeable." The fact that they had a few kids of other races as Navy folks as well didn't really reduce the impression.

      • That said, I still don't see this as a problem. People will have their own perception no matter what the reality of the situation is, obviously, but HBO doesn't strike me on the whole of doing things solely for political reasons.

  • I for one would love to have the Dothraki people as black! Admittedly, according to GRRMs book, Westeros is mainly caucasian(except Dorne). And the entire GRRM world should in my eyes at least attempt to show the variety in this world as well.
    As I also think black skin is incredibly beautiful, really black skin or indian black skin like a heartthrob in my past had, I will personally really enjoy the Dothraki world being black for that reason also.. ;)
    And myself also being a big fan of african rhythms and dancing – the possibility that HBO would perhaps think to incorporate that as well in the series!! Well WOW!
    That would just be incredibly awesome!! Bring a whole other level to my fandom and love for this story!
    A great way of adding color – no pun intended actually – and life to the story. Adding a whole new perspective for us who all have read the books, know of all the spoilers and have a thousand theories of what-to-come..
    Genius stroke #HBO!!!

  • This is not a big deal for me. Black people as the Dothraki adds a little more diversity to the show, yes, but it also goes with the common problem (black people are only good for minor/savage/etc. roles).

    More problematic might be the fact that they've cast Momoa as Drogo. I definetely hope they won't be taking the route in which the Dothraki leaders are more white and the commoners black. That would be just wrong and bring forward unwelcome connotations. Hopefully HBO is really going to multi-ethnicality instead of just Drogo plus black people.

  • Have to agree with most here, I don't see how this is a big deal or even that surprising really. However, I do have to disagree with a few about Bronn being black — it's just unnecessary. His character is blackhearted, yes, but he's not black…and we don't really need another element of differentiation to make a great companion/foil for Tyrion.

  • I’ve been one of the “why not cast non-Caucasian actors” advocates all along- I can even take some credit for the Michael K. Williams-as-Bronn proposals (although Dominic West is also a marvelous suggestion).

    A few observations-
    In the book, in Westeros, skin color doesn’t seem to carry any particular social connotations apart from “not from around here”. The only unambiguously black characters in Westeros that I CSM think of are Jalabhar Xho (a prince, and treated with the dignity of such, albeit not taken seriously), Chataya and Alayaya (prostitutes/bordello keepers), and the ship that carries Sam and Gilly to Oldtown.

    That said, speaking globally, people seem to move around more in Martin’s world Than they did in Renaissance-era Earth. Ships are, evidently, routinely going between the Summer Isles, Westeros, the Free Cities, the Iron Isles, Astapor and so on. There’s a Dokrathi in Vargo Hoat’s band. Hoat himself is from I-don’t -recall. Littlefinger’s family origins are in Braavos, which is on a differerent continent. Melisandre is from the other side of the world.

    Westeros isn’t Renaissance Europe. It’s not even Roman Europe (where you might find Nubians in Gaul, Scythians in Britannia, Thracians in Italy and Jews in all sorts of places). It shouldn’t be surprising to have a diverse mix of people.

    I could see the ruling Westerosi families all being white (perhaps excepting Dorne). But we shouldn’t be surprised to see, say, maesters or Black brothers or merchants of color.

    And there are good, sound TV production reasons to add some diversity- if all we see on TV is a bunch of scruffy white guys in armor with beards, it will be tough for the casual viewer to tell them apart. In the book this isn’t an issue because the text tells us if we’re hearing about Osmund Kettleblack, or Bronn, or Ser Horas Redwyne.

    Call it the Lando Calrissian effect if you like.

    • Very well said, Dennis. I've been okay with the idea of multi-racial casting but your explanation of the movements of people within this world really opens up the possibilities.

      Personally my current casting dream has been Lennie James for Davos. It makes perfect sense to me that the most famous smuggler in Westeros could be the descendent of immigrants from the Summer Islands.

    • I should point out that Michael K. Williams is already attached to HBO's other flagship production, "Boardwalk Empire".

  • If this wasn’t based on a series of books I’d be all for it but my doubts spring from the fact that this is a deviation of the course of the books. I know that such will be made but I’m still reluctant to really accept them, especially when they seem unnecessary.

    • Martin has already commented that book purists might have a harder time enjoying the show; there will be a lot more deviations to come.

  • I think everyone is missing the point that these actors have only AUDITIONED for the part and have not been cast. Just because these three out of the hundreds (?) of people auditioning are black does not mean that they are only looking for black actors. Maybe HBO will be able to fill the roles with actors closer to Momoa’s skin tone.

    • You make a valid point. Remember they auditioned Dante Nero for Drogo, even though he was fairly far removed from the physical description of the character. Of course the role eventually went to Momoa who matches much more closely the book's description.

      In all likelihood, they are just being thorough with the casting. If a black actor blows them away in one of the auditions, they will cast him. Otherwise, all things being equal, I think they will attempt to match the descriptions given in the book as much as possible.

      But like covenant says, it is an interesting discussion.

  • Its been some time since I read the books but my take on the Dothraki is that they are somewhat racist in a way that they see the agricultural people as a lesser weaker people. Cultural differences often will show in difference in apparence. If the Dothraki were multi-ethnical they would also be multi-cultural and that they are not. I can see followers of other races, yes, but I would believe them to be way down in social rang. Therefor the main core of Dothraki warriors must be generally copper-toned. Slight differences could be a result of rapes during wartime but a too light- or darkskinned child would probarly be shunned as a weakling.

    Multi-ethnical societys are something we hardly can handle today. I think we still have a long way of mental development before we reach that point.
    I hardly think the Dothraki's more brutal culture allows for much differences.

    Just as the books are a story of clashing wills and agendas, in the long run it is also a story of clashing cultures and races.

    The dynamics of these clashes would be lost if there already are a "mix" to begin with.

    Also, one of my favourite movies, Hamlet with and by Kenneth Branagh does the mistake of having some non-caucasian actors in it which would hardly be the case in 14th century Denmark.
    It doesnt fit the picture and annoys me just like the always-exploding-cars and the computers that always makes strange sounds.

    It is the details that makes the world believable and in the end makes you buy the existance of dragons.

    Jalabhar Xho turns heads just because he is very exotic just as he would be in medieval europe. I think that is something to highlight by making it very rare.

    • I agree with this pretty strongly. The Dothraki despised the people they conquered . If I recall Danny even comments on how initially she couldn't tell the difference between the Dothraki and the "Lamb Men", but later grew to see the differences and began despise them for their weakness. It is possible that this isn't so much differences in racial traits as the weathering-effects that would come from the different life-experiences of a group of nomadic warriors vs. sedentary farmers. A lifetime of riding and warring will certainly show differently than a lifetime of tilling and herding.

      A couple things to consider as well: Their strongest leader, Drogo, marries Danny. She's certainly not Dothraki, but she is a princess and comes from a line of dragon-riders. Their choice of brides may not be limited Dothraki women.

      They grow a measure of respect for Mormont, as he proves himself a hardened warrior. I don't know that it would have gone to full-blown acceptance, if things had turned out differently and he'd lived among them for the next decade.

      All in all, I think the Dothraki should have roughly uniform racial characteristics. I'm not concerned with whether they chose a more or less Amerindian, Mongolian or African subset of chracteristics, but I'd prefer they not mix things too much. Like Covenant says, it just doesn't fit with Dothraki culture.

  • Something interesting has come up for the viewers who will not have cable/HBO when Game of Thrones airs:

    I probably will not have cable around the time the show airs, because II just don't watch network TV enough, so any series I'm watching I download and stream to my PS3 via my TV. So, since I'm already using my PS3 as my main source of media, this really appeals to me. $3 per episode is pretty damned steep, but I'd pay it for GoT, if only to provide HBO with more revenue to keep producing the show.

    Even after paying for a download, I'd be fully willing to still buy the series on blu-ray as well.

    • Really good news. Now we only need something similar for the internet in general.
      I download most of my media such as music, movies and tv-series via torrent.
      When it comes to music or movies I want to support I always buy the record, the dvd or go to the cinema. Sadly there is no sollution for me to pay my due when it comes to television since I live in sweden and the cableproviders in my house doesnt support most american networks.

      Great news!!!

    • "Under the terms of the deal, PS3 owners can pay a "premium price" to download episodes of HBO programs, at around the same time they become available on DVD."

      Another huge mistake. I would definately pay for it the next day after it aired, but not months after. The blu-ray will cost me about just as much. I'm still praying the BBC will air it the same week/month so I won't have to be a pirate, wrargh!

      • Ah, I just woke up so my bleary eyes read that as something to the effect of "a similar price to when it comes out on DVD."

        So yes, I agree, HUGE mistake. I would absolutely pay the $3 to stream it the day after it airs, but if I can just run to the store and get the whole show for around the same price that I can watch in any room?

      • They want subscriptions plain and simple. I believe it's better for the shows life span if more people subscribe.

    • I noticed that the announcement states that the downloads will be available around the same time as the dvd release, to me this is only news to PS3 owners. What HBO needs to do, in this age of instant demand and download, is to make available each episode for download on itunes one week after those episodes are aired on their network. I can see the point that HBO subscribers should be able to watch any HBO programming first before it is made available to the general public, but to wait 6 months means illegal downloads and copying will run rampant for their shows, and thus HBO will actually lose revenue. I would be more than willing to pay $3-$5 dollars for downloading episodes one week after airing on the network, but if I have to wait 6 months, it's a dvd purchase at that point.

      • Yes, but would the lost revenue from pirating be more than what they would lose in subscription revenue if they went to digital per-episode distribution plan? I doubt it.

        I'm sure they've crunched the numbers and decided that the way they can make the most money is by restricting access of their shows to those with only subscriptions. If they offered their shows a la carte, there would be millions of people that decide to cancel their subscription and just download the shows they want to watch.

        Let's look at The Sopranos as an example. At the height of its popularity, I would bet that maybe 4-5 million HBO subscriptions were strictly for people who wanted to watch the Sopranos. If you figure $3 for each episode, a 10-episode season would only cost you $30, whereas a 3-month subscription to HBO would cost you $45. So that's $15 dollars of lost revenue right there, multiply that by millions and you can see why it might not be financially viable.

    • Yeah, this basically sounds like the same way HBO handles their shows on iTunes. An alternative for DVD or Blu-Ray, but not for actual subscriptions. HBO seems content to keep the immediate viewing of their shows restricted to those subscribed to their cable channel and doesn't want to offer any online streaming with per-show or per-episode pricing.

      • I agree, my cost for HBO is minimal, well worth the few extra bucks a month, but what about those on limited incomes, especially those ages 16-30 who are in college or just starting out, they don't have the income for cable, all the tier packages, and then the movie and sports packages that go with them. This age bracket will be the largest target audience for Games, so to me HBO should attempt to make Games as accessible as possible to this group. I have plenty of younger relatives and children of friends that blantantly download illegal episodes but they also won't hesitate to purchase music downloads and those episodes that are made available close to the air dates. This to me implies they want to be honest and buy legally but in this age of instant demand they don't won't to wait weeks or months.
        The point being that HBO needs to come up with a reasonable strategy to maximize availabilty of Games and other shows that target this age group while still reaping increased profits.

    • I don't see the price as being all that steep. $3 per episode with 4 episodes per month comes to a price of $12 per month for the series. Hmm… That's exactly what Directv charges per month for a subscription to HBO. There isn't anything else on HBO that I want to watch (although Boardwalk Empire looks intriguing) so I'll be paying that $12 per month next spring just for GoT anyways.

      The timing for people who can't subscribe to HBO sucks however. I wonder if it has something to do with their contracts with cable and satellite providers.

      • It's that third month that will get you go_falcons. ;)

        Really though, paying $12-$15 a month for access to the show as soon as it airs isn't that bad. Once the show's run is up, you just cancel. The only ones who have an excuse to pirate are those in other countries that don't have immediate access. If I were in their shoes, I would illegally download as well. Of course I would get the DVDs and/or Blu-Rays as soon as they came out so HBO would make some money off me.

        • The only reason I plan on pirating is because I'm not going to have cable at all. I'm definitely not going to pay ~$75 per month for cable so that I can pay ANOTHER $15 per month for HBO.

          That's why if they did this as an instant release kind of thing, I would absolutely be first in line to pay for my episodes. But as it stands, it doesn't make a lot of financial sense for me to get cable for one channel.

          • oh good, "they won't have it available in the format and time frame I want so I'll just steal it, hey they made me do it…oh and i'll pay for it later."

          • Sorry, not going to pay upwards of $100 a month for one TV show.

            And why wouldn't I pay for it later? Blu-ray is greater quality and ease of portability and viewing than a download, and this is a series I intend to rewatch many, many times.

          • Option 1:
            I cant get HBO where I live. When the show premieres I download it via torrent. A year later I buy some nice steelbox blueray edition to keep in my bookshelf as I usually do.

            Option 2:
            I cant get HBO where I live. When the show premieres I will have to clench my jaws for perhaps a year before I can buy it on blueray and watch it. I will have to stay away from FB, WiC and just so I wont hear any spoilers.

            Option 3:
            I watch the show at a friends house and later buy the blueray.

            If option 1 is theft, then option 3 is mooching and option 2 is only sorrowful.
            Cant see any difference only that option 1 is better for the show and HBO since I can talk about it an promote it live and online.

            Theft is the best option here.

          • If only HBO would consider an alternative I came up with months ago, you would have a option 4. I am talking about HBO combining every 2 episodes, then releasing them theatrically each month in digitally equipped movie houses, over the span of 5 months. Utilizing just screens equipped with digital projection systems means no film print costs. Releasing one 2 hour film a month, takes us back to the serials and into the future, and if the first movie pulls in and hooks the vast majority of the audience, you have not only hooked them for the remaining 4 movies, but also HBO subscriptions for the next season would hopefully increase.
            To be continued

          • Continued from prevous post……
            I personally believe this to be a lucrative way to increase exposure and profits, it would only work though if Games is a critical success. We know it will have motion picture quality production values so it will look awesome up on the big screen. I also believe the best time to release these episodic films, would be September thru January, to promote the Winter is Coming theme. If though it becomes a behemoth of a success, just imagine how it could change t.v. and cinema. I can see Hawaii-Five O 2 hour movies being released every other month in theatres, or a 24 story spread over 12 months, the possibilities are staggering. HBO would of course have to modify contracts so everyone involved gets their little portion of the b.o. pie, but then HBO could make the claim they have taken Cinema Back to the Future.

          • If HBO attempted this release format, I would suggest it be along the following line.

            1.) Late March thru early June, Game of Thrones airdates for HBO subscribers.
            2.) September theatrical release for GoT part 1
            3.) October theatrical release for GoT part 2
            4.) November theatrical release for GoT part 3
            5.) December theatrical release for GoT part 4
            6.) January theatrical release for GoT part 5, including a 3 minute trailer for Season 2.
            7.) Early March, Blue-ray and dvd release of Season 1.

            To pull those into the theatre who already viewed Games on HBO, they could use an extended edition for the theatrical release, with like 15 minutes added to each movie.

          • That would be great but sad to say the cinemas today are quite dead.
            Many think that piracy killed them, but no. It began way back when the big cinematic chains bought up the smaller ones.
            Today in Sweden we have ended up with one; SF.
            They only buy the big blockbusters so that at any given time there are like 15 movies running across the country and only in these big cinema-complexes with one really big screen and a lot of smaller ones.
            The smeller independant-movies never make it to the screen and goes straight to DVD.
            Then later on came the problem with piracy and that made this single chain cut way back..
            And since HBO aint that big here…we get all the shows when they are bought and shown here 6-18 months later.

            It would perhaps work in mayor cities over in the US, but never here sad to say.

            I still think they really have to rethink their policies and bring their products online. Give me a chance to pay for something I really would like to support. It is 2010…..not 1980 where we are all waiting for The Macahans friday night.

  • Personally what race or races they choose for the Dothraki is not as important as what actor is selected as Liitlefinger, Vary's, Ser Barristan, Shae, and so forth; heck HBO can portray Vary's as Asian or Shae as Latin for all I care as long as the actor is talented enough to be cast in the role and that the direction, writing, music, effects, costumes, art direction, sound, editing; etc. are top notch.
    I always picture Petyr as someone with Italian/German ancestry, Vary's as sort of East European/Turkish,
    and while I am on this train of thought, I always imagined the Tyrells as representing the characteristics of the French, ie. flowers, beauty, music, food, laughter, frivolity.

  • I say we start another post concerning casting suggestions, but instead of just general suggestions for all the cast, we concentrate on one specific role, one at a time. Hey, I noticed when the Dany posting was getting wild and out of hand, along comes the Emilia Clarke announcement, maybe we can kick start some more announcements.

      • Couldnt we have a like a thread of suggestions for, say littlefinger to begin with. And then after a limited time-period of a day or three the suggestions are made into a new post with the top ten suggestions ranked by % and with photo?

        I think the choises will be quite realistic when it evens out in the end.

        Insted of only the four choices.

        Sort of like a poll which will make us all dream for a while during this long waiting-game.

        Any takers?

      • Something similar, I really liked that previous post it was entertaining and informative, but instead of multiple roles, concentrate on one specific role at a time.

  • don't see why they can't just stick to the copper skin look. get some Mongolians, Philippians, tanned New Zealanders. Strong Belwas should be the only black person with Dany. It's not a race issue, its a description and setting issue. What if they made Legolas and the elves brown or Ron Weasley a brunette. It would just be weird to look at.

  • Yes, all the Mongolian, Filipinos (Philippians?) and tanned New Zealanders living in Northern Ireland. This isn't a $200 million feature movie. It's a television show and there's a tight budget.

  • What do you now about the ?
    How much reliable is that site? Where do they get the infos?

    GoT is listed there, and it seems that the last update date was the 20th of April.
    The cast is from the pilot.

    The most interesting fact is that they had listed there the 12 of June as a start date of shooting.
    Obviously, they did not change it since. And the start date has been postponed after the update of the site.
    But, I wonder was the 12 of June – the planned day?

    And what is the difference between "series regular" and "recurring role"?

    • Seems like most of the info came from the original press release. No idea where that June 12th date came from though. Might have just been a guess based on the press release giving a vague June.

      The difference between a series regular and a recurring role sort of varies. Traditionally a series regular would be someone that appears in all the episodes, while a recurring role would only appear in half or so. With these ensemble shows though, it can be hard to fit every single regular in each episode. So you get some regulars that don't appear in all the episodes and sometimes you get recurring roles that appear in more eps than some of the regulars. Usually when that happens, the recurring role will get bumped up to a series regular the following season.

  • 5 appearances is traditionally recurring, but it is at the discretion of the makers. Less is a guest star and with more they can become a regular I believe. I could be wrong but that is how I have always understood it. A series regular can be guaranteed to be in almost every episode, maybe missing one. Recurring may appear in half or less. Guest stars show up for maybe 1 episode, possibly more.

  • I would assume they would just use people from Morocco, and take whatever the most common "look" of people are there. Wouldn't that make the most sense?

    • Moroccans come in wide range of colors; their ancestry is a mix of European, Arab, and African ethnicities, and that entire range is represented in the population. Check out the wikipedia article on Berbers for a few examples, or just do a google image search for "berber." See also the mosaic of "modern Moors in Morocco" on this page.

  • Another tip for today.
    It is Televisionary Blog now, wich editor reported that he had watched original pilot and "was blown away by it".
    There is also a mention of several roles being recast, including Jennifer Ehle and Tamzin Merchant.
    I just refuse to read too much in the word "several". : D

  • @Jwman1…I adopted my online name in honour of Fist Coltaine…i loved guy…Karsa Orlong and sgt Helian are classic characters too….but that’s 3 books ago since I loved a Steven Erikson novel …he has become bogged in the story…lost his way much like Robert Jordan….sorry everyone for discussing another author

  • I think a multi-ethnic Dothraki is probably a necessary choice, and not necessarily a bad one. It seems like they're going to be shooting most of the Dothraki stuff in north Africa, and not the steppes of central Asia, so a Mongolian like tribe envisioned in the books becomes a more Taureg like tribe; an African tribe with a variety of skin colors: from blue eyed, copper skinned people to blue black people (who still sometimes have blue eyes). A tribe my friend in Togo refers to as sand ninjas. So, that could be legit.

  • I really think Melisandre should be represented by an actress of Asian origins, that's because I am bias towards Zhang Ziyi as my top choice for her, with Gong Li a close second, of course I would settle for Ms. Satine, but I prefer the first two, with Elena perhaps getting the nod as Shae.

  • I always saw her as a bit russian myself. Perhaps it was all the red ;-) I think she clearly need an unique accent though. Maybe something russian-ish