Salladhor Saan cast
By Winter Is Coming on in Casting, News.

Lucian MsamatiThe casting news keeps coming… James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly announces that Lucian Msamati will play the pirate, Salladhor Saan.

Producers have enlisted Lucian Msamati in the role for the highly anticipated second season. He’s a (one more time, all together now) British stage and screen actor. Msamati is known to some HBO viewers from his role on No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.

Salladhor Saan is a mercenary pirate pledged to the late King Robert’s brother Stannis.

Winter Is Coming: Another race change from the books where Salladhor Saan was described as tan, but definitely not black. Also it is interesting to note that both Jaqen Doreah and Saan are from Lysene. Wonder if one of their countries of origin will change? At any rate, Msamati sounds like he is a talented actor and we welcome him to the cast!


273 Comments

  1. eleusis
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Jaqen is from Lorath, isn’t he? Doreah is from Lys, however. I think the HBO Free Cities are clearly a more cosmopolitan and racially diverse region than Westeros, which is something suggested in the books anyway.

  2. LL
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    So a pirate look (even a black pirate) !! And he was awesome in No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency !

  3. jellydonut
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Jaqen is from Lorath, not Lys. Lorath is in the north, Lys in the south. It all makes perfect sense.

    And then there’s the BEEP BEEP BEEP. I CAN’T DO SPOILER TAGS WHY AREN’T THEY LISTED HERE?

  4. eleusis
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Also, any book concerns aside, Msamati is a brilliant actor who will be excellent as Salla.

  5. Hi-Fi
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I really love the character. Not exactly how he looked like in my mind, but I’m sure he’ll be great!

    This has been an exciting week!

  6. metalgoddessamb
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I really hope they keep the syntax and accent of how he speaks in the show. I really enjoy his way of speaking in the books.

  7. Charles
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    You’ve been a bad boy WIC. Jaqen is from lorath, not lys!

  8. Black Lion
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Oooooo nice pirate looks! I think he will be great in the role. Still waiting for Edmure casting news. And yes, Jaqen is a Lorathi.

  9. Epic-itty
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Oh my lucky stars! Another one!

  10. Domenico Barbato
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Weird thing is, i’ve always imagined Salladhor to be black!

  11. Johan Sporre
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink
  12. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    eleusis: Jaqen is from Lorath, isn’t he? Doreah is from Lys, however. I think the HBO Free Cities are clearly a more cosmopolitan and racially diverse region than Westeros, which is something suggested in the books anyway.

    Oops. My bad. I have a hard time keeping the Free Cities straight… even after just finishing A Dance with Dragons.

  13. João Amaral
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    This guy is very good.

  14. Rory P.
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    He was awesome in “#1 Ladies Detective Agency”! He will be brilliant!

  15. dizzy_34
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m liking the open flood gates at the moment. I hope the casting keeps coming.

  16. Starkgirl
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Rory P.:
    He was awesome in “#1 Ladies Detective Agency”! He will be brilliant!

    I agree! I loved him in that show. I’m excited to see his performance in Game of Thrones, which I’m sure will be excellent.

  17. MW
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always found this character to be very intriguing. I’m glad they are keeping him in. I’m past caring about skin color for anyone on this show. I just want good actors and I’m sure everything will make sense when we see it on screen.

  18. Nimble Dick
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Could they be changing him to Summer Islander?

    I dont really think it matters what race they are in real life as long as the absorb the character and play them great they could be Martian for all i care.

    I had him visioned to be fatter

  19. Knurk
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Awesome, one of my favourite characters, and looks like a very good actor. Now where the frack is Belwas?

  20. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Race is probably the most unimportant thing about his character. He looks perfect.

  21. Anthony Cordisco
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    So. Freaking. Happy. I’m VERY glad they didn’t cut Saan – he is one of my favorite minor characters.

  22. Carrie Meathrell
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Randomly, I’ve always thought of Sallador Saan as black anyway? LOL! Maybe I’ve been confusing him with Jalabhar Xho.

    Anyway, I dig it.

  23. Josh Parker
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t picture Salladhor as black, but I did picture him as Arabic. Somehow this picture makes me happy. I think he’ll be great.

  24. dizzy_34
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    So the “biggies” that are still left, the Tullys (any of them), the Reeds, Ygritte, the Halfhand, Rattleshirt?

  25. KG
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    No one ever said Doreah was BORN in Lys. No one ever said Sallador was BORN in Lys.

    I know Australians that live in Texas and Detroiters who moved to Japan.

  26. dizzy_34
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    and Ramsey Snow…can’t forget him (that bastard)

  27. userj
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I kind of hate Saan, because he was in a most of the boring (read: no Stannis) parts of the Davos chapters… :p

    Anyawy, yay to more casting. I think I was right that’s its premature to say that X role hasn’t been cast yet, given that small parts are coming out all the time. And e.g. Edmure, Jojen, and Meera would indeed be parts as small as these.

  28. Epic Awesomesauce
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    KG: I know Australians that live in Texas and Detroiters who moved to Japan.

    Oh yeah? Well, I know Liverpudlians that.. that… are arab!

  29. dizzy_34
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    Can you please take back all your Red Wings fans that infest my city?

  30. loco73
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Such a minute change is irrelevant. I’m sure Mr. Msamati will be a great addition to the already stellar cast we’ve been blessed with on this show…I have not yet been dissapointed with the actors cast so far, and it looks like the second season is shapping nicely! Welcome to the cast sir!

  31. Lex
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I have no problem with this casting, I’m sure he’s a good actor. Looking forward to his performance.

    But I picture most of the characters the way Amok has painted them, so in my mind THIS is Salladhor Saan.

  32. KG
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    dizzy_34,

    Sorry, Red Wings fandom is contagious, incurable, and good for the soul. Like sports chicken soup.

    /Swings an octopus overhead gleefully

  33. Epic Awesomesauce
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Well I sort of agree with you. But to me,

    this

    is Salladhor.

  34. Nimble Dick
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    i know. Why not cast some Battlestar alum

  35. Elena Amici
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    yeah! salla!! :)

  36. Pastor_of_Muppets`
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Personally, at this point I’m not really expecting any casting information on the Tully’s for this season. It seems that D&D plan on expanding some of the plot lines in season two (i.e. Loras/Renly/Margaery), so moving the Tully’s back to next season seems to make sense and wouldn’t really require much re-tooling of the storyline.

    I’d expect Ygritte and all the happenings north of the Wall to also be expanded upon, as well as the storyline in the East, in order to keep Dany and Jon’s presence felt throughout the second season. And let’s not forget that Jaime’s story in season two is also confirmed (or all but confirmed) to be expanded.

    With that being the case, the Tully’s proper introduction can safely be moved to the beginning of the third season, which should cover nearly two-thirds of A Song of Swords. I don’t think the “RW” should be used as a cliff-hanger, as many seem to think, but should instead be moved to roughly the middle or first third of season four, which can then conclude with portions of Sword, Feast & Dance. Season five covers the remaining portions of Feast & Dance, and possibly includes some early Winter material and the show is on track to keep pace with the novels as far as the number of entries is concerned.

    Ah’, speculation.

  37. Jan Fennick
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Msamati is a fantastic actor. He was in an episode of “Dr Who” last year (“Vampires of Venice”) so some people might remember him from that. He’ll be an excellent Sallah!

  38. Elena Amici
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets`: I’d expect Ygritte and all the happenings north of the Wall to also be expanded upon, as well as the storyline in the East, in order to keep Dany and Jon’s presence felt throughout the second season.

    i’ve been telling this for ages. Nice to meet somebody who agrees with me, lol

  39. Jim Cross
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
  40. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Jan Fennick:
    Msamati is a fantastic actor. He was in an episode of “Dr Who” last year (“Vampires of Venice”) so some people might remember him from that. He’ll be an excellent Sallah!

    Yeah, and he even kinda looks like how I imagine Saan will look for Game of Thrones in it too…

  41. Tessa Leonie
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Ah nice choice, now let’s cast some women and men candy ( though actually there are no ‘young’ guy parts to cast are there?

  42. purplejilly
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    How do you pronounce the character’s name? I thought it might be (excuse the language here)

    Salad Whore San

  43. grandmaFunk
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    sala-door SA-an

  44. Josh Parker
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    SAH-lah-door Sahn is how I do it. With the silent h.

  45. Josh Parker
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny, just today on the way to work I was thinking how we likely wouldn’t get Salladhor. He’s not a needed character necessarily (unlike the Tullys and Reeds) so I was thinking he would be cut. I’m happy to know he isn’t.

  46. Josh Parker
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    I knew he looked familiar!

  47. Lord Two Feathers
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    dizzy_34:
    So the “biggies” that are still left, the Tullys (any of them), the Reeds, Ygritte, the Halfhand, Rattleshirt?

    Regarding the Reeds, I have a days work on set next week, and although I don`t know any details as yet ( except for my character ), I am GUESSING it could be the feast in Winterfells hall were Jojen and Meera make their entrance to pledge allegiance to the king in the north, and Bran welcomes them from the high seat. I hope this is the case as I am a big fan of the Crannog folk. As usual I will not be able to give much away after the shoot other than possibly an outline of the location and scene,but if no more is confirmed about the Reeds by then, well,………………ASTB! I must stress again this is purely an educated GUESS based on the character I am playing and the assumption the the filming schedule will roughly follow the chapters of the book as it did last year. Personally I think the inclusion of the Reeds is a no brainer.

  48. Josh Parker
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Lord Two Feathers,

    Do you actually have a name for the character you’re playing or are you a background bannerman?

  49. dizzy_34
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Lord Two Feathers,

    Good looking out Two Feathers, as always man.

  50. Impi
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    JLB Matekoni! Oh how I love No. 1 Ladies Detective, he was endearing in that role, it will be fun to see him in this.

  51. House Lark
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant in vampires of venice, one of the better Dr. Who episodes – and incidentally would have been a great location for GoT – it’s a small-ish town on the coast in Croatia.

  52. Lord Two Feathers
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Josh Parker:
    Lord Two Feathers,

    Do you actually have a name for the character you’re playing or are you a background bannerman?

    No josh not a background bannerman, I could possibly be featured or semi featured, but probably won`t know for sure until later… Sorry to be so vague, don`t want to do a ” Lisa Nolan” and wake HBOs dragon.

  53. dizzy_34
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Lord Two Feathers,

    line(s)? Awesome!

  54. Connie
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see why people are so concerned about the skin color of a secondary character in a fantasy series. Unless the color of their skin is a defining asset of their character, such as Othello or an albino… it doesn’t matter. It’s background. It’s no different than changing someone’s offhandedly mentioned tunic from green to blue. The warlocks will have blue lips, the Lannisters will be blond, and the Starks will have darker colored hair — THIS is important because it’s defining of their characters.

  55. Epic Awesomesauce
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Connie,

    You’re so right. Who’s that? Brooown! As far as secondary characters, I don’t see color or gender. I still think Tea Leoni coulda been a great Stannis. But yes, Stannis is a man …

    though there are theories he is a lobster.

  56. Brad Villane
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    We are getting so many more characters than I thought we would. Don’t mind the blackifying of some of the characters. It’s more about them embodying the persona than meeting the exact description in the book. Peter Dinklage doesn’t look anything like he’s described in the book, and we know how that one turned out.

    Can we start a make Slaver’s Bay Asian campaign for season III?

  57. Epic Awesomesauce
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Brad Villane: Peter Dinklage doesn’t look anything like he’s described in the book

    That is amazing insight. My mind is blown. You ppl are seriously enlightened.

  58. Dekar
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    …Why change the origin? Can’t two races coexist in the same country? lol

    Well, he looks good for the role!

  59. Kingthlayer
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Brad Villane,

    I didn’t realize Dinklage plays himself in the series…and here I thought he was Tyrion!

  60. Sarah
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Epic Awesomesauce,

    Hahahaha rofl that picture was funny. But Lex have to disagree that pic of your not how I see him and I actually like this casting. In the book, I cannot for the life of me remember if martin said he was black/tan/Arabic looking or not, this guy suits him we are now getting better casting *jumps up and down with joy*

  61. Hear Me Roar
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Carrie Meathrell,

    You’re not the only one, LOL. Anyway, glad everyone loves the actor.

  62. Sarah
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    I knew I saw him in that episode, loved him as the father

  63. Dreamlife
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I was actually hoping for Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire, Luther from…Luther) so obviously I was picturing Salladhor Saan as a black character in my mind. I recognize this actor from #1 Ladies Detective Agency (a short but sweet HBO show) and found him to be quite talented. Congratulations to Mr. Msamati; I love this character.

  64. Elena Amici
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Josh Parker:
    Winter Is Coming,

    I knew he looked familiar!

    THIS

  65. Honest Jerk
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care about race…

    Instead, I remember how charming and gentle his character was on No. 1 Ladies’ Detective and never thought of Salladhor Saan as charming or gentle.

    I almost wish he’d be cast as some other character like Thoros of Myr

  66. Fire And Blood
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I always found Salla to be charming.

    And I definitely thought he was dark-skinned. For some reason I pictured a Moor, like Morgan Freeman played in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.

    I love all the casting we’re getting. It comes in furious little flurries. Every iconic character we get tells me they’re just as intent on the minor details as they were in season one.

  67. Tom Hilton
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Dreamlife: I was actually hoping for Idris Elba (Stringer Bell from The Wire, Luther from…Luther) so obviously I was picturing Salladhor Saan as a black character in my mind. I recognize this actor from #1 Ladies Detective Agency (a short but sweet HBO show) and found him to be quite talented. Congratulations to Mr. Msamati; I love this character.

    I’m not sure there’s a character awesome enough to be played by Idris Elba. Although maybe Moqorro, a few seasons down the line…

  68. Ninepenny
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Lex: I have no problem with this casting, I’m sure he’s a good actor. Looking forward to his performance.

    But I picture most of the characters the way Amok has painted them, so in my mind THIS is Salladhor Saan.

    Agreed. In my mind pretty much everyone in the books look like their Amok depictions, but so long as they get a good actor who can act the character then I’m happy.

  69. Jan Fennick
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: Yeah, and he even kinda looks like how I imagine Saan will look for Game of Thrones in it too…

    Definitely! I’ve always imagined Sallador to be swarthy so this works really well (and given that I have a good friend who is descendent from Black/Sicilian pirates, it really DOES work) .

    He was also on “Ashes to Ashes” as a member of the ANC so he can definitely pull off tough and imposing guy as well as nice guy (which was more his character on both #1 Ladies Detective Agency and DW). The role is in very good hands and I suspect we’ll be seeing more of Sallah in the series, perhaps to give Davos more to do on screen too?

  70. Rinso
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Wow…

  71. Felagund
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Well, I thought we already had the “obligatory black guy” with Xaro Xhoan Daxos. (I am starting to believe my friends who told me that if Americans would make a movie about VIth century vikings, the protagonist would surely have a black friend…)

    I would have no objections, if the race-matter would have been handled with some consistency.

    It is written that Lysene are white people, furthermore, quite fair, pale skin, blonde hair and blue eyes are common among them.

    Nonetheless, they may change the birthplace of Salla to the Summer Islands, where the people are black by their own right and to me it would be completely acceptable like that – we do not know as of yet…

    But seeing that Xaro Xhoan Daxos is also black, when the qarthians are called Milk People by the dothraki for their pale complexion (and Pyat Pree is outright caucasian), suggests that the producers do not respect this consistency.

    I do not say I am completely uncontent (and here I must stress out for the sake of some simple-minded folks that I have nothing against black people, neither personally, nor in general, nohow at all! Furthermore I can well believe that Lucian Msamati is a great actor!), it jut leaves a bitter taste in my mouth…

  72. New Stark
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    I wish they would cast according to the descriptions within the books, instead of doing the whole racial political thing.

  73. Mirri Maz
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    i doubt they are doing it to meet some sort of quota, it’s probably that they needed an actor for the role and they liked his audition so they cast him. Apart from uber fans i doubt many will be able to recall where he’s from (i know i didn’t) and people who just watch the show will not care, also it’s a minor role and those will probably change the most from the books.

  74. GaR
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    metalgoddessamb: I really hope they keep the syntax and accent of how he speaks in the show. I really enjoy his way of speaking in the books.

    Agreed. That’s the main appeal of the character for me (that, and his betrayal of Stannis and Davos).

    I hope he has a hilarious accent. I can’t remember how Doreah spoke in S1…

    It’s looking like they aren’t bothering too hard about tying specific ethinicities to specific Free Cities, which I can understand, even if it does trigger my purist tics :B

    I love the scene in the tavern with Davos, Salla and the excellent grapes, when Salla tells Davos that “that sword was not Lightbringer” and relates the legend of Azor Ahai forging it.

    New Stark,

    Or, more likely, this guy was the best actor to audition for the role…

  75. metalgoddessamb
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    yeah, the way he spoke was funny and endearing, and indicated he was a foreigner, so I really hope he speaks that way in the show.

  76. New Stark
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    I am assuming you are not aware of how casting works, for commericals, tv shows movies. They are looking for certain types of people to cast, for political reasons. Especially since they were called racist several times during the show last season, and suprise suprise they are casting all of these black characters.

  77. Bro
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Carrie Meathrell:
    Randomly, I’ve always thought of Sallador Saan as black anyway? LOL! Maybe I’ve been confusing him with Jalabhar Xho.

    Oh same! :L
    All this casting news at once is getting me extremely excited. I have such a good feeling about the new additions.

  78. GrzebykK
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always imagined Salla as an elder man with big belly. But I understand HBO’s cutting belly-budget. Illyrio’s belly was cut off as well ;)
    As for the skin color, I’ve seen him as a Mediterranean type. But I can change my mind. No problem.
    To be honest I didn’t pay much attention to the skin color earlier in the books. Westerosi were pale for me, and Essosi had olive skin. Black skin equaled Summer Islanders. In Dance with Dragons however we also have Moqorro, the seriously black guy.
    Speaking of him and hoping that we have many seasons ahead I’d like to propose Jimmy Jean-Louis for that role.

  79. Bro
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Excellent pic WiC! (Just realised that sounds funny when you read it fast!) Looks very piratey there. Can’t eait to see the new cast in their costumes and makeup.

  80. Rose
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t think that Doreah was Lyseni in GoT, actually. I got the impression that she was Westerosi or something similar, and ended up in the pleasure houses of Lys after being juggled about. I may be wrong but I definitely don’t think she was a native Lyseni in the HBO version.

  81. andrea
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    one can not go a couple days!!! all good news comes together!

  82. Sam
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    with all these awesome actors joining an already huge (and awesome cast) it’s a shame we’ll only be getting 10 episodes to see them in. not going to bring THAT debate up again. i’m just glad all these minor characters that could have been cut have made the list.

  83. GaR
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    New Stark,

    Your assumptions are at least as baseless as mine. I say more so.

    In other news, Idris Elba would be amazing as Moqorro.

  84. Lex
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    GaR:
    New Stark,

    In other news, Idris Elba would be amazing as Moqorro.

    Yes!

  85. GaR
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    If it turns out to be a major role, he couldn’t help but be perfectly suited to the role :D

  86. andrea
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    GaR: In other news, Idris Elba would be amazing as Moqorro.

    Oh wow Idris Elba IS amazing. Don´t make me talk about him.

  87. GaR
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Word. We need a Casting Idris Elba thread.

    ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap

    Idris Elba as Mance Rayder.

    You heard it here first.

  88. Dreamlife
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Tom Hilton,

    Tom Hilton: I’m not sure there’s a character awesome enough to be played by Idris Elba.Although maybe Moqorro, a few seasons down the line…

    I actually pictured Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (yes, I have to look it up every time because I can’t ever remember anything after Adewale let alone how to spell it) for Moqorro. He played Mr. Eko on Lost and Simon Adebisi on Oz. Not only is he a fantastic actor, he can really play mystical/spiritual/eerie characters well. However, Idris Elba would work, if he ever decided to work with HBO again. However, I get the feeling he is not very happy about his work on The Wire and the direction they took Stringer Bell…it’s like he never wants to talk about that part of his career in interviews.

  89. andrea
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    oh, you made me start…you´re killing me… You say we need a casting thread for him, I say that man deserves a statue. But, a girl can dream.
    Mance Ryder? I never thought that, but any idea to include him in something will be perfect for me and I´ll be completely impartial. I must confess though that it´s very hard not to think on Luther every time I see him.

  90. andrea
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Chiwetel Ejiofor?? I like him!!! and he can act! I saw him in very different roles and he was amazing. I think he´s a perfect Moqorro.

  91. Susan C
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Connie,

    Well said! The man could be striped like a zebra for all I care. There are some character descriptions that matter, and some that don’t. I think he’ll be perfect.

  92. Ser Jean-Ralphio
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny, I imagined Salla was black for the entirety of CoK, only to realize Davos actually describes him as just tanned in his second (third?) SoS chapter.
    So it’s totally fine by me that they choose a talented black actor.

    People going crazy about him, Xaos, and the difference of ethnicity between Xaos and Pyat need to chill out. The Free Cities and Qarth are huge trading places, people from all over the world came to those cities to trade or seek work, the mixity is perfectly logical, and sometimes a bit overlooked by GRRM who seems to have black people only in the Summer Isles and Sothoryos (which we’ll probably never see), I’m not calling GRRM a bigot at all (it’s probably because he view his whole world as a gigantic Eurasia with a sea where the Alps are or something), but it’s good that the show will display more diversities in characters from the eastern continent.

  93. Wildling
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Erm, not quite what I imagined him to be like, but could def. work. Just put on some awesome costume and yeah, really. Why not?

  94. Lisa
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    I also always imagined Saan as black, that’s how much attention I sometimes pay. ;) he looks really good for the part.

    And I think that him being from Lys shouldn’t prevent him from being black. Just because there are many people with Valyrian features living in Lys doesn’t mean that there can’t be a few people with other skin and hair colours from there. That doesn’t negate the fact that there are still a lot of blonde and blue-eyed people there.

  95. SugarVampire
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Felagund,

    Even though I am a non-PC guy, I am OK with the casting of Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xhoan Daxos. Showbiz in US involves lots of compromises. Since these interpretations do not really affect the story, I have no problem with them.

    One can also defend the casting choice by pointing out that Salladhor Saan is a pirate and Xaro Xhoan Daxos is a trader/merchant of a cosmospolitan trading city Qarth. They are not lords or the pureborn.

    For Salladhor Saan, his ancestor might be Valyrian and himself a Lysenis, nowhere in the books preclude him from being mix raced. I don’t recall much prejudice against the Summer Islanders anywhere in the book. Most of the prejudice are about wealth and titles, not race.

    As for Xaro Xhoan Daxos, his name is kind of similar to Jalabhar Xho. If I recalled correctly, he also has a big nose piercing- obviously he is not a typical Qarthees. The casting is not necessary out of thin air. Remember in the medieval world, lots of very wealthy traders were minorities in the cities they resided in – Jews, Arabs, Persians, etc in both East and West. No reason why Xaro Xhoan Daxos couldn’t be dark shinned while the majority population of Qarth is paled ones.

    p.s. Good for Winter for defending Linda of Westeros on twitter. Not happy about preceived PC based casting doesn’t make one a racist. People need to present their opinions about the subject and not demonize the opinion makers.

  96. Kate
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire: Good for Winter for defending Linda of Westeros on twitter. Not happy about preceived PC based casting doesn’t make one a racist. People need to present their opinions about the subject and not demonize the opinion makers.

    Seconded. The criticisms to Westeros for their post have left me astounded. We are in a website where nearly every single change from the books have been openely criticized without any problem. We’ve criticized, sometimes harshly, hair colours, noses, weapons, dresses, chairs, or paintings in the walls. We’ve never atributed any hidden agenda to the proponents of those “gates”, both major and minor. What happened to the old “always asume good faith unless proven otherwise”?

  97. Felagund
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire,

    Aside from Qarth being a cosmopolitan town (I think it is not the case, in the middle ages there were precious few real cosmopolitan cities, and those were mostly coastal ones and Qarth is far inland), I can completely agree with you

    Kate,

    Americans have a tendency to see racism everywhere, it’s a learned reaction just like today’s Germans with anything that looks a wee bit similar to nazism. ;)

  98. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Felagund: Americans have a tendency to see racism everywhere,

    no offense meant to americans here, but YES. definitively YES.

    EDIT: i just looked on twitter. God. I can’t believe people are actually arguing about this. Seriously, this is incredible

  99. Zack
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I just think it’s funny that we can have nearly 100% white Westeros and then you have such varied reaction to a casting like this, whether it’s people either appeased by seemingly token castings of other races or deeply opposed to the idea of altering a race from the book.

    I’d like to occasionally see a city in this world where the majority is non-white, personally.

    I’ve been busy lately and haven’t had time to post as much as I’d like, but in general I tend to be thrilled with the recent flooding of cast updates. Especially glad to see Balon and Pod.

  100. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I loved him in No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, so I’m pretty excited. XD I don’t think it matters whether Salladhor Saan is black or white or striped like a zebra, personally.

    I would like to see them not do with Qarth what they did with the Dothraki and make them a hodge-podge of non-white ethnicities, but it doesn’t seem weird to me that trading hubs like Qarth or the free cities could have a mostly black or white population and then a few scattered people who weren’t of that race.

  101. Basketca
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Like they said, it’s about consistency, not race.

    I have to say I don’t really mind Msmati as Salladhor, and he looks great in that picture from Doctor Who. But I won’t say race is not important, because it is. And if Alayaya turns out to be pale white I’d be like “WTF?!” just like if Ygritte turns out to be black.

    This is supposed to be like the Middle Ages. People where born, lived and died in the same small towns, lots of people never saw anything apart from their town. There were no cosmopolitan cities, just some few cities where mercaders went to sell their stuff. But it doesn’t mean those cities were multiracial, they weren’t. Mediterranean cities had big ports and people from all around the world used to stop there. But they were not multiracial cities. Mercaders stopped, bought, sold, and left.

    So Summer Islanders are black, people from Qarth are white, and so are people from Westeros.

    That said, I don’t mind so much if Summer Islanders are a bit lighter or Lorathies a little bit darker, since most of them have minor roles. But it is inconsistent, and might seem that they’re either not reading the descriptions in the book or they just don’t care, which makes me fear they’ll do some “crazy casting” for an important role.

  102. Ryan John
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    This bothers me not at all.

    /back to Blackfishing

  103. Langkard
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood:
    I always found Salla to be charming.

    And I definitely thought he was dark-skinned. For some reason I pictured a Moor, like Morgan Freeman played in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.

    I thought the same about Saan when reading the books. I like Lucian Msamati’s looks for the part and his acting credits, while not extensive, include some large roles. I look forward to seeing him as Sallahdor.

  104. P_Rack
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Kate: Seconded. The criticisms to Westeros for their post have left me astounded. We are in a website where nearly every single change from the books have been openely criticized without any problem. We’ve criticized, sometimes harshly, hair colours, noses, weapons, dresses, chairs, or paintings in the walls. We’ve never atributed any hidden agenda to the proponents of those “gates”, both major and minor. What happened to the old “always asume good faith unless proven otherwise”?

    To be honest, a lot of people complaining about recent castings gives me pretty solid “I’m not rascist, but…” vibes. Saala was actually the first person I thought when thinking about race blind casting. Him being Lyseni doesn’t seem like a plot point and will likely be ignored on the show. Why make the mountains out of molehills?

  105. Felagund
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    P_Rack,

    If you read the thread carefully, it is not about Salla (as I said, I would have no objection if henceforth he’d be a summer islander pirate), his casting was just the trigger ;)
    (I am personally much more discontent with the change of Xaro Xhoan Daxos, a change that, to me at least, has no real reason other than “we do must have some black people otherwise our PC viewers will be pissed off”)

  106. plop_
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    P_Rack,

    I don’t care about this choice either, since I always pictured Salladhor as being black (don’t know why..)… but there’s no need to call people who are bothered with this racists.

  107. Dolorous Al
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Elena Amici,

    I’m sorry for being somewhat off topic here for a second, but as an American who just returned from a trip abroad, I just have to express frustration with a lot of foreigners’ network of competing complaints about my country’s many faults. One minutes it’s “Oh, Americans are so racist, it’s awful.” The next minute it’s “Americans see racism everywhere, how terrible!” Can we at least maybe get stuck with one gross generalization and leave it at that?

    For the record, I’d much rather that Americans’ “problem” in this regard were an over-sensitivity to issues of race. Unfortunately I think we’re more likely to be guilty of ACTUAL RACISM. Which makes this whole conversation about PC casting (and PC everything) really confusing and upsetting for me. Especially when it comes in the form of criticism from foreigners who may or may not have first hand experience of what racism in the US is like.

    /rant. I’m not as funny as Edd, but apparently I’m just as Dolorous…

    (PS Elena, didn’t mean to single you out, I just clicked ‘reply’ from your comment–coulda been anybody’s, not just yours.]

  108. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    KateSeconded. The criticisms to Westeros for their post have left me astounded. We are in a website where nearly every single change from the books have been openely criticized without any problem. We’ve criticized, sometimes harshly, hair colours, noses, weapons, dresses, chairs, or paintings in the walls. We’ve never atributed any hidden agenda to the proponents of those “gates”, both major and minor. What happened to the old “always asume good faith unless proven otherwise”?

    If the people against this casting had said, “well I would have thought his skin tone should be dark tan instead of dark brown,” that would be one thing. But no, they are saying that A WHITE PERSON should have been cast instead of A BLACK PERSON. The gate’ers (not the defenders) are the ones that have chosen to make this a racial debate, when it might have simply been another argument about hair color.

    The issue here (in contrast to previous “gates”) is that people are harping on the race choice for a character for whom NO RACE WAS PROVIDED BY THE TEXT. We literally know only this: he is from Lys, a multiracial trading city (though we don’t know if he was actually born there). He has darkly tanned skin and white hair. That’s ALL. Readers are applying their own biases as to what race Salla “should” be to this casting choice. And guess what the “default” race they pick Salla to be? SHOCK: it’s white. We all need to be aware that we have unconscious biases and stereotypes, and what I’ve read shows a disturbing inability to do this.

  109. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Basketca,

    This is supposed to be like the Middle Ages. People where born, lived and died in the same small towns, lots of people never saw anything apart from their town. There were no cosmopolitan cities, just some few cities where mercaders went to sell their stuff. But it doesn’t mean those cities were multiracial, they weren’t. Mediterranean cities had big ports and people from all around the world used to stop there. But they were not multiracial cities. Mercaders stopped, bought, sold, and left.

    Unless you have some very specific/odd idea about what “multiracial” means, you’re wrong. Many cities were multi-racial in that people of many different racial and national backgrounds were born, lived, and died in these cities. Even Rome (not particularly multiracial) had “quarters” where people from their various provinces lived. Cities further east (especially in the Middle East during the Dark Ages) even more so. If what you mean is that the establishment/government of these cities were of one race, then you would be correct. But if you mean the every-day people, you would be wrong.

  110. Felagund
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    userj:

    We literally know only this: he is from Lys, a multiracial trading city

    Wrong.
    It is nowhere stated in the corpus, that it is multicultural.

    Just as others have pointed out: For example you could have seen Moors, Arabs, Africans maybe even Chinese people in the docksides of Venice, they were not clearly NOT Venetians, just travellers and merchants, passing by, and therefore they were referred to by the locals as “that particular Moorish merchant from Damascus” and so on…

  111. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Felagund,
    (I am personally much more discontent with the change of Xaro Xhoan Daxos, a change that, to me at least, has no real reason other than “we do must have some black people otherwise our PC viewers will be pissed off”)

    Or how about “We wanted to pick the best actor that auditioned for the role regardless of his race since that wasn’t important to the role?”

    The default assumption appears to be that the best actor for the job couldn’t possibly be black, which is disturbing.

  112. Felagund
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    userj,

    If you have ever seen a casting call, you’d know that it specifies the required looks quite rigorously (which, of course, represents the views of the producers on that particular character)

  113. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    userj: The issue here (in contrast to previous “gates”) is that people are harping on the race choice for a character for whom NO RACE WAS PROVIDED BY THE TEXT. We literally know only this: he is from Lys, a multiracial trading city (though we don’t know if he was actually born there). He has darkly tanned skin and white hair. That’s ALL. Readers are applying their own biases as to what race Salla “should” be to this casting choice. And guess what the “default” race they pick Salla to be? SHOCK: it’s white. We all need to be aware that we have unconscious biases and stereotypes, and what I’ve read shows a disturbing inability to do this.

    George never provides a race in the text. He never says “white person” or “black person”. He gives you skin, eye and hair color and we apply our own real world distinctions (“Oh this guy is white. This guy is black. This guy is Arab. Etc.”) Tanned skin and white hair generally are attributes of a white person. Furthermore, Saan is from Lys where the people are said to have fair skin and blonde hair. More clues that these people are what we would consider Caucasian.

    Now they have cast a black person in the role, which IS a change from the books. Therefore, you have people complaining or wondering about the change. Especially book purists.

    As far as I can tell, none of those people have complained that there are black actors IN THE SHOW, which is what an actual racist person would say. Just that they are casting black actors in roles that were white in the source material. The people making it a race issue are the ones crying “That’s racist!” when people are simply following the long-standing tradition of complaining about the lack of strict adherence to physical traits such as hair color, eye color, etc.

    Others, who are less book purists, are worried that this change may have effects on the story in the future. Or they are disappointed that the world building in the show seems to lack the consistency of the world building in the books. See Ran’s initial post and subsequent posts in this thread for more on that topic.

  114. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    userj: The default assumption appears to be that the best actor for the job couldn’t possibly be black, which is disturbing.

    No one is saying that and to suggest that people are even thinking it is pretty insulting.

  115. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,
    Tanned skin and white hair generally are attributes of a white person.

    O_o
    They most certainly are not.

  116. Felagund
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Beautifully put, WiC, I go with paragraph 4 :)

    Come on, userj, black people can’t get tanned (at least visibly to me :)), they are already pygmented. They are from Africa.
    Evolution, you know.
    Protection from solar radiaton.
    Does it ring any bells?

    Or are you trying say the Sun is racist, for not allowing them to get tanned? :P

  117. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Felagund:
    userj,
    If you have ever seen a casting call, you’d know that it specifies the required looks quite rigorously (which, of course, represents the views of the producers on that particular character)

    Casting calls vary a great deal in how specific they are re: the appearance of a character. Many casting calls actually say “actors of any race will be considered”.

    Also as I have pointed out the description tan skin and white hair could apply to a person of practically any race. White hair of course being the color everyone’s hair turns when they are old, and skin color not being a good proxy for race at all.

  118. Felagund
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    userj,

    I doubt that I can sell myself as a black (even as a latino) with my pale skin and blue eyes no matter how long I am lying on the Sun…

  119. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Felagund:
    Beautifully put, WiC, I go with paragraph 4:)

    Come on, userj, black people can’t get tanned (at least visibly to me :)), they are already pygmented. They are from Africa.
    Evolution, you know.
    Protection from solar radiaton.
    Does it ring any bells?

    To the bolded part: I’m not sure if you’re serious anymore because, just… wow…

    The amount of pigment in the skin of people who identify as black varies wildly from very little to very dark black. The same could be said for people who identify as any race. There are many white people with darker skin than many black people.

  120. Felagund
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Are we now really arguing over Gaussian distributions?

    Gees, I’m outta here…

  121. Josh Parker
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Actually, WiC, racism isn’t just white people who hate black people. Racism is any time you are more concerned with a person’s skin-tone than what they say or do, or the kind of person they are.

    People who complain about “not enough black people” in a show, and assuming the producers are racist because of said lack, is racist. So is complaining about a character’s race-lift when their race is incidental.

  122. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Felagund declared that the only reason they could possibly have cast a black person was because they needed to “fill a PC slot”. I suggest instead that they cast a black person because he was the best actor they auditioned, and I’m the one who gets singled out? Come on.

  123. You-know-nothing
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    userj,

    Hiya, i have some fish and tomato sauce for that chip on your shoulder if you’d like

    :-D

  124. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I’m not even going to bother arguing whether Saan was black or white in the text. Clearly the majority of people assumed he was white since the overall discussion isn’t about how people are misinterpreting the book’s description of Saan but rather about whether a change from the source material is prudent or not.

  125. Felagund
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    userj:

    If that soothes you I’d be just as outrageous if they’d have cast a white guy for the role of Jalabhar Xho ;)

  126. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    userj:
    Winter Is Coming,

    Felagund declared that the only reason they could possibly have cast a black person was because they needed to “fill a PC slot”.I suggest instead that they cast a black person because he was the best actor they auditioned, and I’m the one who gets singled out?Come on.

    The two things are not mutually exclusive. They could have cast Msamati to “fill a PC slot” AND because he was the best actor for the job. You’re reading into what others are saying and assuming that because people would rather they stick to the source than fill any sort of perceived quota it means they think a black person is less capable of playing the role than a white person. Which is simply not true.

  127. P_Rack
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Felagund: Wrong.
    It is nowhere stated in the corpus, that it is multicultural.

    Just as others have pointed out: For example you could have seen Moors, Arabs, Africans maybe even Chinese people in the docksides of Venice, they were not clearly NOT Venetians, just travellers and merchants, passing by, and therefore they were referred to by the locals as “that particular Moorish merchant from Damascus” and so on…

    This is factually wrong. There were ethnic quarters in many medieval cities: Jewish, Italian (Eastern Mediterranean), Armenian, German (Eastern Europe), Arabs/Berbers (Iberia, Sicily). You could technically argue these weren’t different races but then we’re talking about a period where religion was more important than skin color.

  128. Superdeluxe
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Okay if they are casting some of these bit players, that means there is hope for the Tullys and Reeds right?

    I mean come on!

  129. You-know-nothing
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Superdeluxe,

    I would certainly hope so, we need the Reeds ;-p

  130. Superdeluxe
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    You-know-nothing: Superdeluxe, I would certainly hope so, we need the Reeds ;-p

    especially if the reeds are end game characters..how do you do spoiler tags? there is a spoiler that I want to address from ADWD..Thanks!

  131. Josh Atreides
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    On this “race” issue, both sides have strong arguments and in all the good faith I place in humanity I believe nobody is being intentionally ‘racist’. The bottom line is barring our ability to alter society as to make these prejudices virtually nonexistent, we can complain and argue about this issue till the cows come home. For none of this matters a fig to anyone in the film/TV industry who ride the wave of cultural/social trends.

    To play Captain Obvious: If it’s a PC thing, wherein they are afraid of offending people, well that’s the reality of the world my friends. As much as we would like a pure translation of what we read in the books, this adaptation exists in the world outside print media and has to conform to the ups and downs of modern cultural politics. This issue primarily exists because for centuries racism and imperialism once flourished and unfortunately still haunts us to this very day. These matters are bigger then any television series and therefore story elements such as the Quarth/Lyseni/Summer Islanders etc that to0 many sensitive viewers/cautious executives perceive as analogous to multi-ethnic cultures in the real world will be sacrificed on the alter of PC appeasement. It is unfortunate that these modifications are probably made for purely financial considerations (ie: the loss of profits due to declining ratings) and not an expressed compassion for the ugliness that is racism.

    I think the sooner we resolve ourselves to this reality the more we can appreciate the show given the restraints impressed upon it from influences completely outside the intricacies and foibles of film making. There are Gates and then there are Gates

    And with all due respect to the actor I pray that his casting was a result of his talent and his trumping of all the other auditions in for this role. If David and Dan wanted to pursue this angle, then so be it. If they did not…well somebody writes their checks.

  132. Steve the Pirate
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    “Tanned skin and white hair are generally attributes of a white person.”

    I’m a little speechless right now.

  133. Nights King
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m not bothered by racial changes to Saan, and its not surprising since HBO has already shown that they are completely willing to change a character based on an actor they prefer (Shae being foreign, Renly being a little wimp rather than being an ambitious and showy lord, Loras looking like he’s never lifted a weight in his life, Osha being hot etc.)

    Saan’s best aspect was his accent/syntax which was so interesting to read. As long as they keep that and the “Old Rogue” aspect to his persona, they can amend his background all they like IMHO.

  134. knowsomething
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    Just want to say, you are not alone out here in your opinions, userj. I don’t care one way or another about this guy’s race and who they cast for the part, but the reaction of commenters and at Westeros.org is what I find most disturbing.

  135. RobTheGood
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    yowzers on this thread!

  136. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,
    I’m not even going to bother arguing whether Saan was black or white in the text. Clearly the majority of people assumed he was white since the overall discussion isn’t about how people are misinterpreting the book’s description of Saan but rather about whether a change from the source material is prudent or not.

    Actually that is kind of the point, and is at the heart of “the overall discussion”. People perceive Saan as white because the default assumption in our culture – with all its racial baggage – is that unless stated otherwise, a person must be white. What I’m pointing out is in fact that we have no evidence that he is white, because “darkly tan person with white hair” is not a race. It’s about as neutral as you can get w.r.t. race, in fact.

    Steve the Pirate,

    “Tanned skin and white hair are generally attributes of a white person.”
    I’m a little speechless right now.

    I know, right?

    knowsomething,

    Just want to say, you are not alone out here in your opinions, userj. I don’t care one way or another about this guy’s race and who they cast for the part, but the reaction of commenters and at Westeros.org is what I find most disturbing.

    Thank you.

  137. Wolfjaw
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    i thought the first season was great, but after i read the third book i was like “ehm the tv show is gonna fail…” and that is because of the budget. if we never get to see any of the epic battles, then why turn it into a tv show? if they’re gonna turn these books into something else, then i wanna see everything.. and now the show has failed, at least for me, cause of the casting for season 2.. this Saan thing is another example. freakin sad cause i love the books

  138. Pastor_of_Muppets`
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    knowsomething,

    Seconded. General consent?

    In general though, this thread reeks of petty bullshit on the part of everyone. I just happen to lean more on the side of not really caring about any changes made that don’t impact the characters/storyline in a negative way.

  139. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Dolorous Al: I’m sorry for being somewhat off topic here for a second, but as an American who just returned from a trip abroad, I just have to express frustration with a lot of foreigners’ network of competing complaints about my country’s many faults. One minutes it’s “Oh, Americans are so racist, it’s awful.” The next minute it’s “Americans see racism everywhere, how terrible!” Can we at least maybe get stuck with one gross generalization and leave it at that?

    as i asid, i didn’t mean to offend. I’m sorry if i did. but, seriously, most of the people who complain about racism are americans. Not in Thrones, but everywhere. Even in real life. You’re a little touchy about the topic, (“oh, you’re racist” “OMG, that’s racist” “gosh, i can believe you said that: it’s racist”) and sometimes i just want to scream “there is no feaking racist here, just shut up”. As i said, i’m sorry if i offended you. I don’t want to criticize (I loved living in america, really. I’d be ready to go back there anytime) or stereotype american people, (stereotypes are EVIL) but it’s a fact that often you will react in a badly to this topic (es: is saying “the actor should have been black a way to imply that there are not black actors who are good enough?” God, no! that’s overeacting)

    PS: i don’t want to start a flame, just replying your post & be done. IMO what you call “I just have to express frustration with a lot of foreigners’ network of competing complaints about my country’s many faults” is just a natural raction to the way most american media (and productions, books, and expecially many people) consider the rest of the world.The foreign media want to return the favor
    (if you think i’m wrong i can explain what i mean in another post. but i’d like to finish here!)

    so, sorry if i upset you :)

  140. Nic
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    But surely you know that being accused of racism is far, *far* worse than being on the receiving end of racism? ;-)

  141. Nimble Dick
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Nights King:
    Osha being hot etc.)

    WOW….THIS IS A BIGGER ISSUE WITH THIS TREAD THEN RACISM

  142. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    userj: Actually that is kind of the point, and is at the heart of “the overall discussion”. People perceive Saan as white because the default assumption in our culture – with all its racial baggage – is that unless stated otherwise, a person must be white. What I’m pointing out is in fact that we have no evidence that he is white, because “darkly tan person with white hair” is not a race. It’s about as neutral as you can get w.r.t. race, in fact.

    I think the reason most people assumed he was white was because he comes from a region where people are known for having fair skin and blonde hair. Not because of any “racial baggage.”

    In any case, the actor cast clearly doesn’t fit the description from the book. Ergo, book purists are probably going to complain about it.

  143. purplejilly
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    From the book, I always thought of Salla as sort of Egyptian looking, like the Sallah that helped out Indiana Jones in the first Raiders of the Ark movie. I even imagined his voice to be similar, when I read the Salla dialogue.

  144. Lex
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    IMO, this is not racism. This is purism.

    Many people are concerned by ANY changes made to the source text (as we’ve seen, from all the other “gates”). People complain when a character is aged up, given a different hair colour, or too good-looking. This is no different.

    PLUS there’s the possibility that Lyseni traits ARE important to the plot (i.e. their similarity to the Targaryen look).

    To start throwing the term racism around, and calling commenters racists, is not just insulting, but also probably untrue.

    Not that my post will sway anyone either way…

  145. Nic
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    “White” hair isn’t blonde hair, though – it’s a sign of a) age or b) Targaryen-ness. Likewise, ‘tanned skin’ to me doesn’t necessarily imply fair skin to begin with, although as userj notes, I can see why a lot of (white) readers might assume it does.

  146. austin_sleep
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    this feigned outrage “i’m speechless” stuff is so absurd.

  147. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: The reason I assumed he was white was because he comes from a region where people are known for having fair skin and blonde hair. Not because of any “racial baggage.”

    But the description from the book already negates that point, since he does not have fair skin.

    The idea that the Lyseni are a pure 100% homogenous race is not at all clear from the text, IMO. There appears to be a “typical” Lyseni look (exemplar: Illyrio’s wife) which many Lyseni – Salla included – don’t fit.

    In any case, the actor cast clearly doesn’t fit the description from the book. Ergo, book purists are probably going to complain about it.

    And I have no problem with this type of criticism, although I find the topic rather banal. It would be totally fair to say “The actor doesn’t match his book description – his skin is darker than as described in the text.”

    Instead what people are saying is “Why’d they cast a black guy – Sallador Saan is supposed to be white”!

  148. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Lex: IMO, this is not racism. This is purism.

    PLUS there’s the possibility that Lyseni traits ARE important to the plot (i.e. their similarity to the Targaryen look).

    this.

    Nic,

    what else could “tan” imply? just asking….

  149. Knurk
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Probably good or bad news for dutch people, we’re likely going to get our own HBO-channel.

    http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2011/08/22/ziggo-and-hbo-to-launch-dutch-premium-services/

    Edit: good news of course is we’ll get GoT, bad news is we have to pay extra for it.

  150. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Exactly. The people who want to make it about race are more at fault for this whole race controversy than those who just wish to discuss a character change.

    Nic,

    Right. And there is a certain segment of people who are worried about this casting strictly because they think Saan may have some connection to the Targaryens/Valyria. And you are right that tanned skin doesn’t imply fair skin… but Saan’s Lysene heritage does.

  151. Josh Atreides
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Nice attempt to change topic!

    I applaud you sir!

  152. Knurk
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: Right. And there is a certain segment of people who are worried about this casting strictly because they think Saan may have some connection to the Targaryens/Valyria.

    this is a silly worry, it is obvious all these genetics don’t work for the tv-show (Gendry/Renly for example). A little diversity is great news, mixed races in Essos can easily be explained via TV-canon, no matter how GRRM has build up his world in the books. TV-viewers won’t give a rat’s ass about black and white people in Quarth or Lys, they probably won’t even know what the hell Quarth and Lys is anyway.

  153. Nic
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici,

    Well, more or less anyone can tan – although it’s less obvious on very dark skin (at least to the eyes of people not used to distinguishing), and some people tend to just burn, e.g. very pale-skinned redheads – so by itself it doesn’t really mean anything.

    My turn for just asking: whose PoV do we see him from? (I assume Dany, but can’t recall.) Because that would affect my answer – we never get objective descriptions in these books, after all, so the perspective of the one describing matters. :-)

  154. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    userj: But the description from the book already negates that point, since he does not have fair skin.

    The idea that the Lyseni are a pure 100% homogenous race is not at all clear from the text, IMO. There appears to be a “typical” Lyseni look (exemplar: Illyrio’s wife) which many Lyseni – Salla included – don’t fit.

    He has tanned skin from being a sailor and spending most of his days in the sun. At least, that is how I looked at it.

    And George has a tendency to assign physical attributes to a certain region and give most, if not all, of the people from that region the same attributes. So I don’t think it means you have racial baggage if you assume that Saan would have the fair skin and blonde hair of most Lyseni had he not spent much of his life in the sun.

  155. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming:
    Lex,
    Exactly. The people who want to make it about race are more at fault for this whole race controversy than those who just wish to discuss a character change.

    Over and over, you seem to be implying that anyone who disagrees with you is “making it about race” whereas anyone who agrees with you is “just discussing a character change”. It’s not nearly so clear cut.

    Nic,
    Right. And there is a certain segment of people who are worried about this casting strictly because they think Saan may have some connection to the Targaryens/Valyria. And you are right that tanned skin doesn’t imply fair skin… but Saan’s Lysene heritage does.

    This doesn’t work for me. Heritage =/= Race or appearance. There is a large family of black folks in the US who can trace their lineage in an unbroken male line to Thomas Jefferson. And genetic tests recently backed them up. Their decent from Jefferson is an important part of their heritage, but this heritage contributed very little to either their appearance or their racial identity.

    Likewise, Saan could have named his ship the Valyrian because he knows he has a Valyrian ancestor – like how Brown Ben Plumm has a Targaryen ancestor but looks nothing like a Targ. The point is we have no idea why he named his ship that, so it’s ridiculous to argue backwards that it must be because he looks Valyrian.

  156. purplejilly
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
  157. shadallion
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    This casting is racist!

  158. Nic
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    but Saan’s Lysene heritage does

    Does it, though? Honest question; I don’t know if we’re ever told what his heritage is, only that he’s from Lys. And, as has been pointed out above, there are any number of real-world medieval cities in which you find non-monocultural populations (Venice, Tyre, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Isfahan etc, plus of course lots of places in Sicily and Spain). Some merchants did all their own travelling, but most had family members and associates living and working as factors and agents all over the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Persian Gulf etc, and did a lot of their business by correspondance.

  159. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    userj: Over and over, you seem to be implying that anyone who disagrees with you is “making it about race” whereas anyone who agrees with you is “just discussing a character change”. It’s not nearly so clear cut.

    My point is there is no reason to sling around accusations of racism or racial bias on any level.

    The text supports an interpretation of Saan being a white person. You could also infer from the text that he is non-white, as you seem to have done. Both are valid interpretations. But automatically accusing those who take the former interpretation as having “racial baggage” is wrong.

  160. More Rice Cooks
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Seems like good casting. In terms of his race…who cares? Saan is not a major character in the series, and while his description in the novel is clearly not that of a black person, him being a pirate who sails around the world makes the change logical. I could understand outrage if he were a character from Westeros, which is basically medieval Europe where there weren’t any people of African descent. But Saan is from a port city, so it would make sense for there to be more racial diversity there.

    Personally I always pictured Saan as Arabic.

  161. Knurk
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    What this thread really needs is a Blackfish casting, or a Belwas one at the least!

  162. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    For the record, I don’t have a problem with the casting at all. From all accounts, Msamati is a talented actor and after seeing him in that Venetian garb I can totally picture him as the flamboyant Salladhor Saan.

    Also I’m intrigued to see whether they address his heritage in the story or not. Either way, I don’t think this casting causes any major story problems.

    I’m mostly just playing devil’s advocate. Also I find the knee-jerk reaction of “Oh you don’t like this casting? You must be racist” a bit distasteful.

  163. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Friday’s poll! Quick!!! … or Blackfishbelwastormundtgrittereeds casting now!!!

  164. dizzy_34
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Race Gate!
    I can’t wait to see what race Shitmouth is going to be!

  165. userj
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,
    Actually, no. I actually don’t know what race I thought he was while reading the book, but probably would guess “white mediterrainian” if pressed.

    I am arguing that the text does not objectively give us enough information to say what race he is. Therefore to change his race is not a change from the book at all. Those who are against the casting are the ones that made it about race, when they said that it was a miscast because “he’s supposed to be white.”

    We all have racial baggage. Myself included (my imagination defaulted to white on this character as well as other characters that are or might be PoC). It’s not insulting to say as much.

  166. Steve the Pirate
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    WiC, there’s a big difference between “I don’t like this casting,” and “This casting is not great because he’s black, and Salladhor Saan is not black.” I don’t think anyone has disparaged Msamati’s acting abilities at all, which is what makes this so frustrating. All it is, is the skin color of a minor character whose heritage will very likely never be explored in the TV series. There shouldn’t be any drama over it. People claiming “purity of the source” are absurd. The source is not about skin color, the books are about the story.

  167. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Knurk:
    What this thread really needs is a Blackfish casting, or a Belwas one at the least!

    not belwas. People are going to bitch if he’s black AND he speaks funny.

    Winter Is Coming: I’m mostly just playing devil’s advocate. Also I find the knee-jerk reaction of “Oh you don’t like this casting? You must be racist” a bit distasteful.

  168. More Rice Cooks
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    There’s nothing racist about the objections I’ve seen; I haven’t seen what’s happening at westeros.org. If anything it’s a bit…petty dunno. If this was a major Westeros character being changed from white to black, objections would make perfect sense. But this character doesn’t have much backstory or major impact on the series in general. It’s not like they decided to make a Westeros house black.

    As a black fan of the series myself, I have no qualms about the lack of diversity in the novels. It’s to be expected given the setting. But obviously HBO wants to appeal to as many people as possible, so adding diversity to the cast makes sense from their perspective, from the writer’s perspective, etc.

  169. Steve the Pirate
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: Exactly. The people who want to make it about race are more at fault for this whole race controversy than those who just wish to discuss a character change.

    Wow. Way to blame the people who are unhappy about racism. What an illuminating moment. Oh well.

  170. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    Like I said, I think the text could be supportive of either interpretation. Some apparently feel strongly about their interpretation of the character and even more strongly that the show should stick to the source in this case. That doesn’t make them racist or racially biased. It makes them a purist.

    Steve the Pirate,

    I agree with you that it shouldn’t be a big deal and people are overreacting to the change. But that isn’t anything new, many of the same people were upset about other changes in physical characteristics as well. So why is it that this time it is about race but before it was just about them being book purists?

  171. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Steve the Pirate: Wow. Way to blame the people who are unhappy about racism. What an illuminating moment. Oh well.

    What racism? There is no racism. That’s my point.

  172. Franny Bee
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Steve the Pirate, I always pictured Salador as black. Must be the name and/or my unfettered imagination.

  173. plop_
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Steve the Pirate,

    A lot of people were complaining about NCW’s nose when he was first announced as the actor cast as Jaime. Others feel that Michelle Fairley wasn’t beautiful enough to interpret Catelyn, or that Emilia Clarke was too chubby to play Daenerys, and so on…

    There have been tons of critics based on the physical features of the actors announced before. Msamati isn’t the only one to receive that kind of treatment, so there’s no need to call people who complain racists. They are just purists, or nitpickers if you prefer to put it that way.

  174. metalgoddessamb
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I don’t remember the exact description of Saan,on how it was written in the book but I always pictured him as Mediterranean looking. Someone who had a medium color skin, who because of spending so much time in the sun on the deck of ship was made darker than his natural color. and for some reason I always pictured him with a hat on, so in my minds eye I never see his hair! I don’t know how I came to that, because I honestly don’t remember the pale skin or white hair description at all!

    But the way it was written, maybe is not as vague as people seem to think it is?

    As I read this argument here, something kept bugging me. because I kept thinking of the definition of “tanned” and looked it up to be sure.

    So, as I don’t remember, was the word Tan or Tanned used? Because that could make all the difference. The main definition of Tan is as a verb, and you don’t find it defined as an actual color until further down the definition. But the definition of Tanned is very clear:

    tanned-past participle, past tense of tan (Verb)
    1. (of a pale-skinned person or their skin) Become brown or browner after exposure to the sun.
    2. (of the sun) Cause (a pale-skinned person or their skin) to become brown or browner: “he looked tanned and fit”

    here are two definitions of Tan:

    http://east.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tanned

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/tanned

    So maybe when some people read tanned, they interpreted the word by it’s correct definition, as someone who has lighter skin and has become brown from the sun.

    And not because they are racist and see white people everywhere?

    Just throwing that out there…carry on.

  175. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    metalgoddessamb, that is the way I read it, yes.

  176. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Steve the Pirate: Wow. Way to blame the people who are unhappy about racism. What an illuminating moment. Oh well.

    the problem is that there’s no racism. The only complains are because lyseni’s skin color COULD be an important plot point. And other people are still complaining that this is racist, which isn’t true. I didn’t see any racist comment here

  177. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Josh Parker,

    If I could “like” this I would. Racism is A LOT more complicated than being obviously malicious.

    I definitely see the argument that could be made concerning the quality of world-building and consistency, but with a role like this one I don’t think there needs to be an issue with that at all (and most people aren’t making one, I don’t think).
    Like any physical problem any of us might have with a casting, I think it mainly comes down to what we pictured while reading and being confronted with something unexpected or different than what was in our minds. When it comes to things like race/skin colour that initial confusion can come off poorly, and I think mostly it -is- unjustified, though it is certainly understandable. I think people just need to try and imagine being in a different position with a different viewpoint to try and see why it might be important for a racial minority (as in the case of black people in the U.S.) to feel as though somehow their reality is represented in a show like this (which is, after all, an American show in many ways, despite the mainly British cast). I don’t mean casting a character as black just because you can and even if it appears to make no sense/even if the actor isn’t as good, but in some cases there’s no reason why a particular city/country COULDN’T be mainly black without a clear conflict with the story of the show.
    It’s been addressed, but it’s not like there -were- no black people in Europe during the Middle Ages, and besides which, the countries Martin has invented outside of Westeros are quite varied and unlike most real-world countries. Since Westeros isn’t exactly a mirror image of Europe, who’s to say Essos is a mirror image of the countries/continents that surround it?
    I like consistency because it makes the world feel more real to me, and I did find that the hodge-podge of ethnicities that was the Dothraki in the show was a bit off-putting and unrealistic, but a more varied population for a major city doesn’t seem so unlikely to me, and there isn’t any reason why that locale’s major population group couldn’t be black.
    Yes, adding random minority characters to shows can come off the wrong way, especially if those characters are included for the sole purpose of being whatever they are (black, gay, Jewish, etc, which is ultimately JUST as racist, as Josh pointed out), BUT legitimately including compelling, fleshed-out minority characters makes shows feel more realistic, not less.
    Some people (including me sometimes, hey hey!) are very purist about things from the books, and I have always been a defender of nitpicking on this site (even when I wasn’t supporting the bottom of that particular nit-pick), but I do find it hard to believe that a white reader reading the books was so invested in the white character of Salladhor Saan being representative of them somehow that they could get angry about that facet of his being. I’m not sure anyone here (or on Westeros) specifically is upset about it from that perspective, but when you think about it that way I think it gives one a new perspective on why casting a character as black may be a good thing and not a bad one. For instance, how entitled could you be to be offended that a white character to be cast with a black actor in the role (barring and problems regarding plot), when there are a million other, obviously white characters in the show.
    I mean, I think if it was a plot point people would have a legitimate argument here, but even if George intends the skin colour of the Lysene to be important (not impossible), then he’ll probably tell D&D and they’ll make the character from somewhere else. There’s also nothing wrong with having that argument if you DO think it’s important to the plot somehow or whatever, but since this has become an argument more about what constitutes racism than whether or not his race is important, those are my two (hundred) thoughts.
    Annnnnyway, that turned into a bit of a garbled mess there, so I hope what I wanted to say came across.

  178. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Knurk:
    What this thread really needs is a Blackfish casting, or a Belwas one at the least!

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

  179. Kate
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    userj: People perceive Saan as white because the default assumption in our culture – with all its racial baggage – is that unless stated otherwise, a person must be white. What I’m pointing out is in fact that we have no evidence that he is white, because “darkly tan person with white hair” is not a race. It’s about as neutral as you can get w.r.t. race, in fact.

    This is false. The book have repeatedly described the Lynese as fair of skin, blue eyed, and blond haired. All of the Lynese from the books share those traits. The RPG mentions it. The Lynese are described as one of the cities with heavier Valyrian ascendance and Salla’s main ship is called “the Valyrian”. Amok’s portraits, which were reviewed and approved by GRRM himself, depict him as a white. It is OBVIOUS that Salla is supposed to be white in the books and there’s little point discussing otherwise.

    I’m fine with people saying this is a change too minor to bother them. I’m fine with people saying that they prefer to see a multicultural setting than sticking closer to the books. But I hate this urge to involve racism when it is repeatedly stated that we just want it close to the books.

    As said, if Jhalabar Xho had been casted as a white person the criticisms would be expected, wouldn’t they?

  180. Lisa
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici: the problem is that there’s no racism. The only complains are because lyseni’s skin color COULD be an important plot point. And other people are still complaining that this is racist, which isn’t true. I didn’t see any racist comment here

    I see why people think that the Lyseni’s skin colour could become a major plot point in the future but I fail to see how specifically Salladhor Saan’s skin colour could become that important. I mean, unless he’s YG’s father thus proving that he’s not the real deal, that’s really unimportant. They could always say that his mother was from the Summer Islands or something to explain that he has a different skincolour than most Lyseni.
    And maybe they’ll give him the white hair, so at least something of his book description is fulfilled. ;)

  181. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Lisa,

    yes, but i’m okay with SS being black. i’m just not okay with people seeing racism everywhere, because it’s just pointless. I’m done, anyway.. i’ve to go to dinner!

  182. Lisa
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici:
    Lisa,

    yes, but i’m okay with SS being black. i’m just not okay with people seeing racism everywhere, because it’s just pointless. I’m done, anyway.. i’ve to go to dinner!

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to accuse you of not liking his casting. But your post was the only that mentioned that “the Lyseni-being-blonde-and-blue-eyed-could-become-a-major-plot-point”-thing that I’ve seen posted elsewhere. That’s why I jumped on it because I didn’t see how it has any relevance to the casting. Didn’t mean to attack you or anything. :)

  183. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Lisa,

    no, it’s okay!! :) i know you weren’t

  184. Epic The Balls
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Nights King:
    I’m not bothered by racial changes to Saan, and its not surprising since HBO has already shown that they are completely willing to change a character based on an actor they prefer (Shae being foreign, Renly being a little wimp rather than being an ambitious and showy lord, Loras looking like he’s never lifted a weight in his life, Osha being hot etc.)

    Saan’s best aspect was his accent/syntax which was so interesting to read. As long as they keep that and the “Old Rogue” aspect to his persona, they can amend his background all they like IMHO.

    Nice thought. To me that is the most important thing. I hate to see the “Old Rogue” be switched for something new, which is what is happening here (at least age-wise).

    I hope that the new Saan will be more than just Davos’ black friend who only serves to give him credentials. As supporting black actors often do on American TV shows.

    I didn’t like Loras and Renly changes, both being pop trend (or PC) related. As far as Shae, they only replaced an impossible (fantasy) whore character with another more stereotypical whore character.

  185. Knurk
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I think the whole ‘racism’ card came into play when Linda (of Westeros.org) accused the showrunners of pandering to the public’s demand for more PC in the show. Though not racist per se, this just wasn’t a smart move by her and when she posted it I just knew all this shit was going to happen. This, her comments on Amazon (accusing people who don’t like ADWD are too stupid to appreciate a good book), telling people to fuck off in the Pyatt Pree thread just isn’t smart behaviour from someone who is running a big fansite and co-writing an asoiaf-encyclopedia.

  186. Nic
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Epic The Balls,

    Epic The Balls:
    And, I also didn’t like Loras and Renly changes, both definitely were pop trend (or PC) related.

    How so? If you mean the fact that they are in a relationship together, that’s from the books.

  187. Lisa
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Knurk:
    I think the whole ‘racism’ card came into play when Linda (of Westeros.org) accused the showrunners of pandering to the public’s demand for more PC in the show. Though not racist per se, this just wasn’t a smart move by her and when she posted it I just knew all this shit was going to happen. This, her comments on Amazon (accusing people who don’t like ADWD are too stupid to appreciate a good book), telling people to fuck off in the Pyatt Pree thread just isn’t smart behaviour from someone who is running a big fansite and co-writing an asoiaf-encyclopedia.

    I wholeheartedly agree with all of this. I don’t think she is racist but her comments weren’t worded very carefully.

  188. Epic The Balls
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Sounds like she doesn’t have much of a sense of humor! :D

  189. Epic The Balls
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Nic,

    Oh, just the way they are completely different in the show.

  190. Justin
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I always imagined Salladhor as having an Arabic/Egyptian/North African appearance, rather than Sub-Saharan African appearance, but I suppose that’s close enough.

    I personally don’t think it’s a big deal that they’ve switched races on a few of the minor characters (I understand the arguments against it, but it doesn’t bother me). Clearly, HBO is trying to make GoT accessible to a wider demographic (because Westeros, for all intents and purposes, is basically an analogy for medieval England, which, last I checked, wasn’t very racially diverse).

    It would be one thing if they changed races on a major character, but Salladhor Saan? Who cares?

  191. purplejilly
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Epic The Balls: I hope that the new Saan will be more than just Davos’ black friend who only serves to give him credentials. As supporting black actors often do on American TV shows.

    Oh god, if they make him a “Magical Negro” then I will be very annoyed..

  192. Johanna
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Shouldn’t you be moderating this discussion instead of playing devils advocate? It seems pretty juvenile that you are trying to stir things up with the commentors on this site

    Winter Is Coming,

    Winter Is Coming,

  193. Zack
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Johanna,

    Moderators have opinions too? Good grief. What a concept.

  194. KG
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    You and me both, PJ.

  195. SugarVampire
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I think underneath all these passionate arguments about casting is an inate fear about the impending changes in Season 2 and its effect on future seasons. Even though D&D had done a tremendous job in Season 1, there were still quite a few letdowns (Renly, Shae, Marillion, Hound). And the news are not getting better.

    Starting with Yara and Alton, mixing with the statements from Benioff in Comicon (He will feel satisfied if the series can reach a certain event in Book 3) and D&D’s Emmy interview in Deadline Hollywood (“HBO has been generous and there’s never ever enough money”; “More characters. More locations. More dragons. Less sleep”; ” nothing we’ve considered important to the show has been axed for creative reasons as opposed to financial reasons”; “we put our careers on the line with this series. After nearly 6 years invested, if the show had failed we would have thrown away a hefty portion of our working lives”), I suspect that even people that are close to the production like Westeros, Winter and FaBio are anxious about the future of GoT after Book 3 (Season 3 & Season 4?). Hence the rather raw reactions to the latest casting.

    Even I am an ardent fan of ASoIaF, I have learnt to temper my expectation and detach somewhat from this adaption. The best possible scenario I foreseen is that Benioff will greatly lesson his role as showrunner and writer after season 4 (He has a young family and it is hard to be out of the country 6 months every year for several years while scrambling for last bit of money and time to fit HBO’s straitjacket.) while DB Weiss will remain as showrunner and increase the writing staffs.

    Sometimes one has to let go one’s fear, accept the reality, have faith in the eventual outcome and realize that in life only a couple of things really matter, the rest are just icing on a cake. Peace.

  196. Johanna
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    He is not stating his opinion, he is playing devils advocate. There is a difference.

  197. Epic The Balls
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    SugarVampire: have faith in the eventual outcome

    What’s the fun in that?

  198. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Epic The Balls: What’s the fun in that?

  199. Winter Is Coming
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Johanna, so I’m not allowed to engage in discussion on my own website? That seems a bit unfair.

  200. Lord Two Feathers
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    The first child of the forest Bran and his companions meet has “skin dappled like a doe”. That casting ( if we get that far) should keep most of the folks on this thread busy……..

  201. Ser Skwisgaard
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what would happen if they cast Blackfish…with a black actor.

    Anyone in a three mile-radius of this site would likely be turned to dust…

  202. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Ser Skwisgaard,

    then you don’t get the point. Nobody here is complaining because the cast black actors, people are just complaining when a actor whose features might be important is played by a completely different actor.
    Ex: if HBO had casted a dark haired guy to play salla, people wouldn’t have liked either.
    i’m fine with vargo hoat being black. I can’t be fine with the BF being black because he’s catelyn’s uncle, and catelyn is a white redhead

  203. P_Rack
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    People who go “OMG his race could be a plot point what if Salla is Danny’s real father” seems to be missing the fact that GRRM is apparently watching the audition tapes. Surely he would let D&D know of something like that.

  204. Lord Two Feathers
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici: and catelyn is a white redhead

    Carefull Elena, Catelyn`s hair is auburn! Lets not upset the gingers. sorry redheads.

  205. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici,

    I have a mix for Mance and Tormund, but it is in “Is the Troud out” thread. Read it if you want to. The idea made me laugh.

  206. Dolorous Al
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming:
    For the record, I don’t have a problem with the casting at all. From all accounts, Msamati is a talented actor and after seeing him in that Venetian garb I can totally picture him as the flamboyant Salladhor Saan.

    Also I’m intrigued to see whether they address his heritage in the story or not. Either way, I don’t think this casting causes any major story problems.

    I’m mostly just playing devil’s advocate. Also I find the knee-jerk reaction of “Oh you don’t like this casting? You must be racist” a bit distasteful.

    I agree with your statements here, generally. The thing is, I don’t think anybody’s come out and said “So and so is being racist for not approving of this casting.” (I haven’t read every single comment so I guess I may be wrong.) The fear for me (and maybe others in this camp), I think, is of a creeping, subconscious racial element to the proceedings; that anti-PC reactions stiffen broader societal acceptance of a kind of ‘soft racism’–i.e. a great black actor is disregarded for a role because of non-essential or nonexistent textual evidence that the character is supposed to be white. It would be unfair if that were happening systematically because of a fear of being seen as “militantly PC” or something.

    But that’s actually the opposite of what has happened in reality; a (by all accounts) talented black actor has been cast in a role whose racial identity has thus far been irrelevant to the story. To me that sounds like a cause for celebration; maybe it’s the fact that others don’t see it as such, and instead err on the side of purity to the book, that has some people on “my” side a little ruffled. (Because to me, if someone’s first reaction is “He’s not supposed to be black,” rather than “Hmm, interesting choice, I wonder how he will be,” *that* is distasteful to me–but then I remind myself that no one here is out to personally attack anyone else, and I try to see it from other perspectives, and I realize everything will be fine.)

    But I don’t think anyone is calling anyone else racist. For me, like I said, it’s a broader societal concern; each individual is free to be happy or disappointed, each for his or her distinct reasons.

  207. Chris
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Sheesh.

    Must this conversation happen EVERY time a black actor is cast?

  208. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Chris,

    I was thinking the same thing. I don´t understand.

  209. Ser Skwisgaard
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici,

    First, I think you are overreacting. I was just making a play on the word black, and the fact that the two biggest fan-gates both involve that word.

    Second of all – the features are very important, I would just argue that they are important for reasons different than most here argue. We aren’t dealing with a book, where all you have to do is describe someone. This is a visual medium. You need to communicate within a second that in a scene with Dany and Xaro, or Davos and Salladhor that these people are not from the same place, they don’t have the same backgrounds, same cultures. It’s the same reason they put so much effort into color coding Theon in lighter tones from the Starks – so you can tell he doesn’t belong. Same reason they put a white fur collar on Jon Snow’s black cloak – so when it’s a bunch of men on the Wall, you can pick Jon out of a crowd. The Frey’s wear hats and lots of Green. It’s the same reason it worked, in the end, to put Dany’s wedding by the shore. So when she’s gazing out over the water, you can say “oh, interesting, she’s looking across to her homeland”.

    With a black actor, Sallador immediately communicates “I am not Westerosi, and therefore don’t need to play by your rules”. Which, in Sallador’s case, is a smart move if the actor is good, which it sounds like, is true.

    [edit: In Nina We Trust]

  210. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Lord Two Feathers,

    ops, i’m sorry. That was insensitive of me

  211. Dolorous Al
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici: as i asid, i didn’t mean to offend. I’m sorry if i did. but, seriously, most of the people who complain about racism are americans. Not in Thrones, but everywhere. Even in real life. You’re a little touchyabout the topic, (“oh, you’re racist” “OMG, that’s racist” “gosh, i can believe you said that: it’s racist”) and sometimes i just want to scream “there is no feaking racist here, just shut up”. As i said, i’m sorry if i offended you. I don’t want to criticize (I loved living in america, really. I’d be ready to go back there anytime)or stereotype american people, (stereotypes are EVIL) but it’s a fact that often you will react in a badly to this topic (es: is saying “the actor should have been black a way to imply that there are not black actors who are good enough?” God, no! that’s overeacting)

    PS: i don’t want to start a flame, just replying your post & be done. IMO what you call “I just have to express frustration with a lot of foreigners’ network of competing complaints about my country’s many faults” is just a natural raction to the way most american media (and productions, books, and expecially many people) considerthe rest of the world.The foreign media want to return the favor
    (if you think i’m wrong i can explain what i mean in another post. but i’d like to finish here!)

    so, sorry if i upset you :)

    Hey Elena, you didn’t offend me, and likewise I hope I didn’t offend you with anything. :-) Just frustrated, like I said, especially coming back from abroad, where even my own boyfriend has some pretty…unflattering views on America, and is not hesitant to express them. Which is fine; that’s what we try to be all about, after all :-) I just wish there was more recognition of the fact that we aren’t just one big homogenous mass, that there are tons of varying opinions and feelings and emotions within us, just as there are in Europe, Australia, China, everywhere. Just like in Westeros! Shades of grey! Haha.

    So, I will continue to have concerns about insidious racism. Others can continue worrying about what troubles them. And hopefully we will all be kind to each other and help make the world a better place where we feel it needs it :-) (yes, I DO love to sing “kumbaya,” how could you tell… :-))

  212. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    andrea:
    Elena Amici,

    I have a mix for Mance and Tormund, but it is in “Is the Troud out” thread. Read it if you want to. The ideamade me laugh.

    LOL i saw it! “singin’ songs about his huge member made my day”.

    ETA: Actually, what about mance being played by a black actor? I’m serious. They could say his dad was a trader or something, because i’d love Idris Elba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idris_Elba) in the role. I’m serious, i swear!!

  213. Elena Amici
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Dolorous Al: Hey Elena, you didn’t offend me, and likewise I hope I didn’t offend you with anything. :-)Just frustrated, like I said, especially coming back from abroad, where even my own boyfriend has some pretty…unflattering views on America, and is not hesitant to express them.Which is fine; that’s what we try to be all about, after all :-) I just wish there was more recognition of the fact that we aren’t just one big homogenous mass, that there are tons of varying opinions and feelings and emotions within us, just as there are in Europe, Australia, China, everywhere.Just like in Westeros! Shades of grey! Haha.

    So, I will continue to have concerns about insidious racism.Others can continue worrying about what troubles them.And hopefully we will all be kind to each other and help make the world a better place where we feel it needs it :-)(yes, I DO love to sing “kumbaya,” how could you tell… :-))

    thanks, i get it now. And sorry again about the whole “incident”, lol. I don’t like stereotypes either, and MY boyfriend is american, so you can imagine… (actually, kinda ex boyfriend :( since he’s still in america and i’m back home.. But i guess you get what i mean)

  214. Alice
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    I totally agree, it’s getting kind of tiresome. If I was GRRM, I would be pretty embarrassed that this conversation is even taking place. Those who call themselves purists really need to calm down, of course the series is not going to be exactly how you pictured it in your mind when you read the book.

  215. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici: ay his dad was a trader or something, because i’d love Idris Elba

    Oh, just read my posts above and you know what I feel about Idris Elba… I don´t want to start all over again but, I could…

  216. Basketca
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    userj: Unless you have some very specific/odd idea about what “multiracial” means, you’re wrong. Many cities were multi-racial in that people of many different racial and national backgrounds were born, lived, and died in these cities. Even Rome (not particularly multiracial) had “quarters” where people from their various provinces lived. Cities further east (especially in the Middle East during the Dark Ages) even more so. If what you mean is that the establishment/government of these cities were of one race, then you would be correct. But if you mean the every-day people, you would be wrong.

    Have you studied european history? Europe was not multiracial. Like Felagund pointed out, people from other races were usually merchants. But they weren’t citizens of that country, they were merchants that stopped in a certain city for a week or so every year.

    In fact, one of the most multiracial moments in history was when the Arabs conquered half the Iberian peninsula, and they didn’t last much in there. Christians, Jews and Arabs didn’t mix, so when Arabs were kicked out Spain & Portugal were all white again. And they had “quarters” for Jews, for example. But Jews could blend with the rest of the population, they didn’t look “different” from the rest of the people.

    And Westeros in like England during the Middle Ages, not Rome (with all the slaves from Africa & the Near East) uring the Roman Empire.

    Again, it’s not Salla’s skin that worries me (I don’t know why I pictured him with a Mediterranean kind of look), it’s the fact that it seems they don’t really care about the book’s descriptions. They start changing the looks of people from the Free Cities and they end up casting a chinese 80 year old man as Ygritte (this is an exageration, I know they wouldn’t do something as crazy… I hope).

  217. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Alice: of course the series is not going to be exactly how you pictured it in your mind when you read the book.

    just like that. I repeat myself: I rrrrrreally don´t understand.

  218. Lex
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Johanna:
    Shouldn’t you be moderating this discussion instead of playing devils advocate? It seems pretty juvenile that you are trying to stir things up with the commentors on this site

    Winter Is Coming,

    This site has never been a forum, and WiC is not a moderator (aside from occasionally banning or deleting offensive comments). This is his blog, and we are all just commenting on his posts. He has always engaged in the discussion, whether or not his opinion is the same as the majority.

    Also, your claim that WiC isn’t sharing his genuine opinion, but only playing devil’s advocate is just silly.

  219. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici: They could say his dad was a trader or something, because i’d love Idris Elba

    don´t trouble yourself with excuses for him… I will say YES even if you proposed Idris Elba to play Rhaegar Targaryen.

  220. sid
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m white, and my “racial baggage” says old white-haired latino/spaniard or arab. It might also be the name, which sound moroccan to me. Btw, all people can get tanned, except albinos. That said, I don’t give a flying f*ck what race the actor is, as it isn’t important for the role. Is this thread The amazing race?

  221. GaR
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Basketca,

    You haven’t even a nodding acquaintance with logic, have you?

  222. Knurk
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Idris Elba is a god. I remember rooting heavily for him to play the part of Bronn. I’d bet he’ll be an excellent Jojen Reed, Ygritte or Red Viper. This probably describes my mancrush for him… Are you watching Luther?

  223. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: Are you watching Luther?

    oh my… oh my… I remember that man every day… I can not believe how much I love that series… you and I are family?
    he would be the world’s most beautiful wall if he wanted

  224. sid
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    On another note, I’m Kinda surprised no one has suggested Tormund be cast as black. Hollywood seems to nurture the sterotype that black men have big penises. And Tormund is known for bragging about what? I sometimes think they should cast Tormund as japanese, just for the h*ll of it.:)

  225. Alice
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I think Johanna is referring to WiC’s comment above

    “I’m mostly just playing devil’s advocate. Also I find the knee-jerk reaction of “Oh you don’t like this casting? You must be racist” a bit distasteful.”

    But I don’t see anyone saying “Oh you don’t like the casting, you must be racist”. I think people have a problem with others saying that it is “infuriating” that they cast a black actor and not a white one.

  226. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    jijijijijiji but Jojen Reed?…jijijijiji yes! he could be Jojen too and have the most beautiful black -green whatever color dreams…

  227. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Can I talk more about him??? just wait … when I finnish dinner… I´m inspired

  228. Knurk
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Hey, this thread is asking for some deviation and I’d love to read an essay of love about Elba by your hands. It’s a relief for me that you have a bigger crush on him than me, because I was kind of worrying about myself.

  229. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny how a large portion of this (not excluding my own second comment) is a reaction to the discussion on Westeros and not on here.
    As important a thing as it is to discuss I almost wish I had stopped reading the comments.

  230. Nic
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Basketca,

    Have you studied european history? Europe was not multiracial. Like Felagund pointed out, people from other races were usually merchants. But they weren’t citizens of that country, they were merchants that stopped in a certain city for a week or so every year.

    As I’ve noted above, the notion of merchants as intrepid individuals travelling the world, spending a week here and a week there and always moving on, is only part of the picture. Cities with any significant levels of trade also had resident communities of foreigners. Trade was carried out through networks: it’s not just about the guys in the ships or in the caravans, there’s also the local factor storing goods until it comes time to sell, the agents who cultivate and maintain local contacts (government officials, trading partners further inland), the business partners, the bankers and money lenders, and so on.

    >In fact, one of the most multiracial moments in history was when the Arabs conquered half the Iberian peninsula, and they didn’t last much in there.

    Yes, 700 years is basically just a flash in the pan, really. Seriously, Europeans haven’t been in the US as long as Arabs and Berbers were in Iberia.

    Christians, Jews and Arabs didn’t mix, so when Arabs were kicked out Spain & Portugal were all white again.

    Well, so pro-Reconquista ‘history’ until 30 or 40 years ago claimed. Now that historians have started to look beyond the propaganda, though, we can see a much more complicated picture: intermarriage, conversion and acculturation all happened, just as did isolation and separation. Who you married, who you associated with, and what religious tradition(s) you participated in depended a lot on social class, location (urban or rural, for example), profession, gender, etc; not surprisingly, elite urban men seem to have been the prime demographic of conversion and acculturation, because they were a part of politically and socially elite life, and under Arab Muslim rule the prestige religion was Islam, and the prestige language was Arabic. In cases of mixed marriage, children were legally Muslim.

    Ghettoisation did happen, but it is more a phenomenon of the later middle ages (13thc onwards).

    There were also very substantial populations of Muslims and Jews who remained in Iberia under Christian rule; most were forcibly converted after 1492, and some of their descendants were expelled around a century later, but many people who had Arab and/or Berber heritage in some degree remained. The ethnic history of Spain and Portugal is much more complex than you’re acknowledging. Even the Christians who were ‘reconquered’ by the Christian north were Arabic-speaking and writing, based on the documentary and literary evidence they left behind them (this doesn’t necessarily say anything about their ethnicity, I just mention it by way of demonstrating how much culture, language etc were not straightforward in this period).

    Similar story for Sicily; also for the Crusader states in the Near East.

    And Westeros in like England during the Middle Ages, not Rome (with all the slaves from Africa & the Near East) uring the Roman Empire.

    Hmm, I think it varies. My impression is that King’s Landing has a considerable immigrant/migrant population – as you would expect of a prosperous port city. Also, Westeros is not the whole of GRRM’s world, by far.

  231. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    no no, don´t worry I have a bigger crush… i´m almost ashamed. The key word is “almost”.
    I knew the actor before (Rock´n rolla I guess) but when I saw Luther (not long ago) I died. I was very impressed. It´s a perfect role for him. Do not even care that he act like a god in the series. He´s never wrong but I don´t give a damn. He IS a god and I´ll love to see him playing Ygritte with or without a red wig. No one better to turn Jon into a wildling. Who would not fall at his feet?
    The Red Viper??? I probably could not bear it. It´ll be too much beauty.
    Am I being clear enough?
    Oh sorry, I forgot to talk about something else besides his beauty: the relationships Luther creates with people around him are amazing… ¿Alice? she´s crazy but she´s no stupid at all for many reasons. Don´t remember the name of the girl he decides to protect at the end of season 1. That broke my heart.
    And the loyalti of his partner? you have to love that guy too (forgot the name). I would be so blindly faithful like him. Don´t you?
    So, there you have it, my essay for you. I´m waiting for season 2.

  232. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Steve Hugh Westenra: As important a thing as it is to discuss I almost wish I had stopped reading the comments.

    It´s important, you´re right… just not here maybe and certainly not for the reason that started all. Makes me feel very shallow I guess.

  233. Knurk
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Rock’n Rolla? I do hope you’ve seen him in the Wire! If not, stop commenting now and start watching the Wire asap (twice (if not more) as good as GoT). I just saw he’s almost 40 on IMDB, holy crap!

  234. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    I saw The Wire for a while and then I could not anymore and then I don´t know what happen with me. Do not be angry, I´ll obey you now I have time and can not move.
    40 you say? it´s perfect, i´m not a child you know ( I have no hope anyway…you realize that from me, don´t you?) I mean, I´m not a crazy person, just have a big embarrassing crush on a fictional character… and probably on a real person… ummm, better watch The Wire right now.

  235. darrylzero
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Keep in mind that according to Cersei, only *half* the whores in Lys have Valyrian features. The other half could be displaced Summer Islanders. It’s not particularly likely, but Lys is pretty close to the Summer Islands, compared to the rest of the Free Cities, and the Summer Islanders are a people reasonably accomplished at seafaring and trading. It makes a certain amount of sense for them to have a pretty strong presence there, and it’s not ruled out by the text.

  236. Knurk
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    andrea:
    Knurk,

    I saw The Wirefor a while and then I could not anymore and thenI don´t know what happen with me.Do not be angry,

    I’ll let this one slide because he wasn’t using his regular sexy english accent for this show, but you really won’t regret watching the Wire, I promise. Btw, you can’t move?

  237. purplejilly
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Elena Amici: They could say his dad was a trader or something, because i’d love Idris Elba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idris_Elba) in the role. I’m serious, i swear!!

    Idris Elba could do anything in this show and I’d be happy. even Ygritte, as someone else mentioned. He could teach Jon Snow something!! hee hee

  238. Epic Awesomesauce
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    The Wire isn’t for everyone. By the fourth or fifth episode, I still didn’t care about any of these characters so I forgot to continue watching it. I already had heard it was a great show, so further prodding from Wirefans was insufficient to have me resume watching.

  239. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,
    what I saw I liked very much! but sometimes I have to travel and I lose things.
    Yes, cannot move. I had an accident (funny really) and I hurt my back and one foot and on Wednesday I had surgery on my left foot. So, I’m in a wheelchair and crutches and in pain.
    But, i´m ok… bruised yes but never broken. It´ll pass. I´m a bit wild sometimes and also very stupid. Don´t worry, as I said, I have time now.

  240. andrea
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Epic Awesomesauce,

    but i´m not everyone.

  241. darrylzero
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    In contemporary or futuristic settings, I’m all for re-imagining the racial background of characters if you have a good idea or a chance to cast someone particularly interesting, as long as it makes sense. I guess the same is true in more medieval-ish settings, but the bar for making sense is a little higher. That’s part of what has made me so interested in how the accents will work.

    That said, as much as I love Martin’s writing and world-building (and I do love both), I think there’s a chance to improve on how much sense the ethnic variation makes. I was excited about the possibility of an Asian Melisandre (though after Dance it seems pretty clear her appearance is a glamor), and a darker tone to the Qartheen, because that makes sense to me.

    Since the Valyrians are so pale (despite coming from such a warm climate) and it was probably the Andals who inhabited areas around Tyrosh and Qohor before the Valyrians showed up, I’m inclined to believe that playing up the cosmopolitan aspects of the Free Cities is the most sensible way to introduce more darker skinned characters (and, as others have pointed out, consistent with the medieval Mediterranean and not ruled out by the text).

    My fear, though, is that there is no vision here at all, which means that we’ll end up with an ethnic breakdown that seems racist to some, overly-PC to others, and confusing to still more. Maybe that’s just the cost of finding the right talent for the part, and I’ll happily concede that that’s most important thing. But it’s also why I’m going to be a little anal about accents and the like, right up until the moment that I shut up and enjoy the hell out of season 2.

  242. Blackfish Blues
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    If the Blackfish was not a Tully, and with his heritage being so important to the character, one of my fave actors for him would be Morgan Freeman. Who by the way has a nice bit of color-blind casting to his credit, in “The Shawshank Redemption”. One of the most awesome moments in the movie is when they kept this exchange from the Stephen King story, where his character was a white Irishman:

    - Why do they call you Red?
    - Maybe it’s ’cause I’m Irish.

    Andrea,
    I admire your bravery! Check out your FB page. ^_^

  243. Elena Amici
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    sid:
    On another note, I’m Kinda surprised no one has suggested Tormund be cast as black. Hollywood seems to nurture the sterotype that black men have big penises. And Tormund is known for bragging about what? I sometimes think they should cast Tormund as japanese, just for the h*ll of it.:)

    after DANCE i have a crackpot theory: the reason why tormund keeps talking about his huge penis is because it’s extremely small. my 2 cents

  244. mnemosyne
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Whether or not Linda likes the casting itself is immaterial. Purporting that the casting of a black man is ‘pandering’ to ‘PC’ interests is racist. I’m not saying Linda Antonsson is some sort of virulent racist, because I don’t think she is — her comment, however, was a form of low-grade racism that is endemic to our culture; the idea that black people (or other people of color) are only chosen for things as some form of affirmative action.

    I don’t care how big a book purist you are — arguing that Msamati and Anozie were cast as shallow diversity hires, rather than based on their talent, is racist. Bottom line.

  245. gammaray
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    mnemosyne,

    YES to everything in your comment. You’ve very effectively and efficiently put the issue into perspective.

    The reaction from some fans (including the ‘BNFs’ Elio/Linda) is very disappointing, and denial of why complaints like this are problematic smacks of either complete ignorance of cultural history and context (and privilege), or deliberate obtuseness. And even if it’s only a few (loud) voices, it doesn’t reflect well on the fandom. See also: the moronic reaction to Laurence Fishburne’s casting as Perry White in the upcoming Superman movie. It’s both infuriating and profoundly depressing.

  246. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    mnemosyne,

    gammaray,

    Racism is a very strong word and accusing one of it is a very heavy accusation. I’d like to think that those who have a problem with black people being cast as Lyseni, Quarthene or whatever, are simply stupid and ignorant and unable to understand the difference between the book and the TV adaptation.

  247. Elena Amici
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Alexander Dubrovsky,

    stupid and ignorant are also accusations.

  248. andrea
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Blackfish Blues,

    I love that dialogue (The Shawshank Redemption) and never knew where it came from because I did not read the book. I just laughed at it. I never imagined another actor better than Morgan Freeman for that role. He was perfect.

    Blackfish Blues: Andrea,
    I admire your bravery! Check out your FB page. ^_^

    Thank you! I don´t know exactly what you mean though…I confirmed your request but did not see a message so I guess you saw the picture of my poor Shrek foot? it´s hilarious I know… but again thank you.

  249. andrea
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Elena Amici,

    So, Elena, you saw what I think about Idris Elba? It´s a shame, I know… but it´s true!
    What are those rumors about Tormund??? not discredit the poor man!

  250. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Elena Amici,

    IMO, much less than racist.

  251. Dolorous Al
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    mnemosyne:
    Winter Is Coming,

    Whether or not Linda likes the casting itself is immaterial.Purporting that the casting of a black man is ‘pandering’ to ‘PC’ interests is racist.I’m not saying Linda Antonsson is some sort of virulent racist, because I don’t think she is — her comment, however, was a form of low-grade racism that is endemic to our culture; the idea that black people (or other people of color) are only chosen for things as some form of affirmative action.

    I don’t care how big a book purist you are — arguing that Msamati and Anozie were cast as shallow diversity hires, rather than based on their talent, is racist.Bottom line.

    I think that crystallizes it very well.

  252. andrea
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    mnemosyne: the idea that black people (or other people of color) are only chosen for things as some form of affirmative action.

    I think you´re probably right. At least you make me understand a little better the faint smell of shit that I thought had all this.

  253. Joshua Taylor
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Epic Awesomesauce,

    oh episode 5 and on is when i got hooked. Everyone that I know who watched the series and initially were going to drop it because they couldn’t immerse themselves into it were lost to its world forever by midseason. I was lucky I saw the incredible ball-breakingly socially relevant season 4 that focused on the urban school system first. Incredible storytelling, Its modern day Dickens I tell you. I URGE you, if you ever have the wherewithal make an attempt to at least finish the 1st season . You will thank yourself for it. The Wire is not mere entertainment, its incredibly storytelling that highlights the injustices in our society. It’s the Game of Thrones in the real world.
    McNulty, Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale, a shakespearean bromance if there was one, Bodie, the Sobotkas, the Greek, Rawls, Burrell, Bunny Colvin, the incredible story arc of Bubbles, Cutty, the awesomeness that is the Bunk and Lester Freamon, the rise of Carcetti, Clay Davis, the kids in Season 4 and of course….Omar the robin hood of the Baltimore ghetto. So much greatness to come.

    Hyperbole this may seem…but it’s not. As a Film Major and someone who loves both film and literature I make it my goal to recruit anyone to its cause. The Wire is a masterpiece.

  254. Rosie
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    mnemosyne,

    STRONG TRUTH here. Thank you for this. Comments about this kind of casting being a “slippery slope” have really been creeping me out.

    A lot of people here could probably benefit from having a look of this (WARNING: strong language)

    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/2005/12/02/how-not-to-be-insane-when-accused-of-racism/

  255. Nic
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    mnemosyne,

    Well said, yes.

    I’m glad to see that we can all at least agree on one thing: Idris Elba can play anyone. In fact, possibly Idris Elba can play *everyone*, by some cunning combination of split screen and CGI. ;-D

  256. Joshua Taylor
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    In a nutshell this not about racism, it is as someone said above about ‘Purism’. Those who wish to see the series reflect GRRM’s text verbatim versus those who have detached themselves from the idea of a flawless adaptation (there is no such thing) because they accept that issues like that of the possibility of PC pandering (though I doubt this was the case) does happen and will continue to happen because this the fricking world we live in!
    Sorry Purists but no offense: if you expect that a production company like HBO to not make alterations/compromises like this in our modern cosmpolitan, global village of a society wherein certain choices and sensitivities being ignored will not affect the bottom line (money!) then you live in a fantasy world. Enjoy the series for how much they get right rather than how much they differ. Otherwise you just set yourself up for disappointment.

  257. andrea
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    well, probably it is about purism (wich I don´t understand), but the way in which it was said was not wise enough, if I understood well. I think that’s why WiC had to become the devil’s advocate.

  258. andrea
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Nic: Idris Elba can play anyone. In fact, possibly Idris Elba can play *everyone*, by some cunning combination of split screen and CGI. ;-D

    keep adding fans…and we are already _____?

  259. Elena Amici
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    andrea: What are those rumors about Tormund??? not discredit the poor man!

    i told you, it’s a crackpot theory. Until we get to see tormund’s member we can’t be sure. Anyway, idris elba as mance rayder is officially my dream casting

  260. knowsomething
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    mnemosyne:
    Winter Is Coming,

    Whether or not Linda likes the casting itself is immaterial.Purporting that the casting of a black man is ‘pandering’ to ‘PC’ interests is racist.I’m not saying Linda Antonsson is some sort of virulent racist, because I don’t think she is — her comment, however, was a form of low-grade racism that is endemic to our culture; the idea that black people (or other people of color) are only chosen for things as some form of affirmative action.

    I don’t care how big a book purist you are — arguing that Msamati and Anozie were cast as shallow diversity hires, rather than based on their talent, is racist. Bottom line.

    I completely agree with this. You just nailed what I’ve been thinking reading this thread. Speaking of The Wire, I just watched it for the first time thanks to Game of Thrones. I had been obsessively rewatching the show on HBO Go and noticed that they had all of their original series online. I had always heard about how brilliant the show was, so I’m glad I finally got a chance to see it. It was strange seeing Littlefinger as Baltimore-accented JFKesque politician. I totally see a lot of parallels to both shows. When I heard the line, “You cannot loose, if you do not play” I almost thought it was a direct counterpart to “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

  261. Joshua Taylor
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    knowsomething,

    When I heard the line, “You cannot loose, if you do not play” I almost thought it was a direct counterpart to “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

    THIS!

  262. Blackfish Blues
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Forgot to add that among all the welcome casting news of these days (unfortunately I only know Ineson vaguely) Msamati certainly contributes to the hottie quota, judging by the pics!

    Gammaray,
    what does BNF mean?

    Andrea,
    don’t worry for your foot, I’ve seen worse! I’ve only just been able to log in. I hope the surgery helps things for you!

  263. Alice
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    gammaray,

    Thank you! This also reminds me of the reaction of Idris Elba in Thor.

  264. andrea
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: but you really won’t regret watching the Wire, I promise.

    I do not know what the hell I saw when I watched The Wire, really, I didn´t pay attention.
    I saw only 3 chapters of the first season so far and already filled two pages with notes. I remember Mc Nulty, of course, but, evidently, didn´t understand one thing about him the first time.
    I already love some characters and hate others (Commissioner Burrel? piuk) and I laughed and laughed with the faces of the poor lieutenant Daniels every time he sees officer Pryzbylewski. Thank you again.
    See? Caramba: obedience sometimes works.

  265. Knurk
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Don’t take notes, just enjoy the ride. Every character is memorable even though you may not know who they are. Pryz is just one of those little gems in the show, but the first season is all about McNulty and Bunk. Fuck, fuck. Fuck? Fuuuuck. Fuck, fuck! Fuck? Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck. Fuck!

  266. andrea
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    yes, I guess first season could be called: What the fuck did I do? (Mc Naulty).
    I must take notes because my memory is not good. Later may no longer do that anymore but for now I must. I enjoy it anyway.

  267. gammaray
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Alice,

    I know, right? I wasn’t even aware of the Thor debacle until recently – I’m not part of the fandom. I’m not in the Superman fandom either, but THAT scandal made the news here in Australia. How incredibly shameful. I mean, who complains about Idris Elba being cast in anything? He’s amazing. As is Fishburne. They have mega-talent, gravitas and subtlety. Oh, and Idris is also very, very hot. Bonus for the female viewers (Hemsworth didn’t do it for me). I concur that Idris would make a f’ing awesome Mance Rayder. Let’s start that campaign now!

    I’m glad to see so many fans here voicing their agreement with mnemosyne (and many others who made elegant points earlier in the thread). Let’s hope some of the BNFs (Blackfish Blues, that stands for Big Name Fans, and has both positive and pejorative implications) eventually grasp the concepts and settle down. I really don’t want to be reading about a GOT race-gate in the Sydney Morning Herald.

  268. Knurk
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    Gheh, you haven’t seen the episode I’m talking about yet. You’ll know it when you get there.

  269. andrea
    Posted August 27, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: Gheh, you haven’t seen the episode I’m talking about yet. You’ll know it when you get there.

    I saw it! I loved it! that scene takes about 3 minutes or so. Fucking A!!!
    Now, I must go to rest. My fucking Shrek foot it is fucked up.

  270. Blackfish Blues
    Posted August 28, 2011 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    Gammaray,
    thanks, I had tried all possible interpretations of BNF with some crazy results.

  271. witless chum
    Posted August 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Epic Awesomesauce: Oh yeah? Well, I know Liverpudlians that.. that… are arab!

    I met a guy who was from an Italian family who lived most of his life in Wales, but moved to Michigan. That was an accent and a half.

  272. Shinyteapot
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Late to the party here, but just wanted to say I loved Msamati in No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and in Doctor Who, so I think he’ll be great.

  273. Kimmi
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Kimmi the cheerfully offtopic responds to Blackfish Blues,
    … Red was Malcolm X’s nickname (his hair was reddish). ;-)


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