Casting

GRRM comments on Red Viper casting and more

Following last week’s casting of Pedro Pascal in the fan-favorite role of the Red Viper, there was much debate among fans. Over on his livejournal blog today, responding to a fan’s question, George R.R. Martin had this to say about the choice of the actor, his audition, and about the ethnicity and racial makeup of several other characters in the series.

I wasn’t present for Pedro Pascal’s audition, but I understand that he really killed it with his reading. And since his casting was announced, the producer of another TV show on which he appeared recently has written me to say how terrific Pascal is, and to congratulate us on the casting. So I suspect that he will turn out to be a wonderful Red Viper.

I do know that David and Dan and HBO do favor having a racially and ethnically diverse cast on the series. It is true that we’ve lost several black characters who appear in the novels (Chataya and Alayaya, Jalabhar Xho, Strong Belwas), but to balance that, characters like Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xhoan Daxos, both white in the books, have been played by black actors. Missandei as well, though in the books the Naathi are golden-skinned, not white.

As for the Dornishmen, well, though by and large I reject one to one analogies, I’ve always pictured the “salty Dornish” as being more Mediterranean than African in appearance; Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, etc. Dark hair and eyes, olive skin. Pedro Pascal is Chilean. (Check out Amok’s version of the Red Viper, that’s how I saw him. Or Magali Villenueve’s beautiful and sexy portrait of Princess Arianne).

When and if the show introduces Prince Oberyn’s daughters, the Sand Snakes, I expect we will see the same diversity as in the books, ranging from Tyene (blond and blue-eyed) to Sarella (light brown skin, as her mother was a Summer Islander). And I expect that the crew of the CINNAMON WIND will all be cast with black actors…


Ours is the Fury: It’s great that Martin clarified some of the characters’ descriptions that have been debated. I have for instance seen it argued that Belwas is merely tanned and not black. He’s now confirmed that Missandei and the Naathi are indeed not white. As for Oberyn Martell- the statement “Dark hair and eyes, olive skin. Pedro Pascal is Chilean,” doesn’t really make sense since there are people of all skin, hair and eyes colors in Chile. However, if Pascal fits Martin’s vision of the Red Viper, then that’s hard to argue with. It’s great that everyone is so enthusiastic about Pascal’s audition as well, since the fandom is very attached to this character.

603 Comments

  • YES AND YES

    WE SPANISH, ITALIANS, GREEKS ARE NOT MOORS.

    GRRM, the creator of all this, said it quite clearly. Salty Dornish are based in us, and we have not brown skin. In fact, I’m from Spain, with white skin and brown to light hair, same as most of my friends. Most of us Mediterranian guys don’t look like moors.

    So all of you that wanted a stupid, and most of all, NOT FAITHFUL to the books Dorne crowded with black and Indians guys, get a life and leave us in peace.

  • Javi Marcos:
    YES AND YES

    WE SPANISH, ITALIANS, GREEKS ARE NOT MOORS.

    GRRM, the creator of all this, said it quite clearly. Salty Dornish are based in us, and we have not brown skin. In fact, I’m from Spain, with white skin and brown to light hair, same as most of my friends. Most of us don’t look like moors.

    So all of you that wanted a stupid, and most of all, NOT FAITHFUL to the books Dorne crowded with black and Indians guys, get a life and leave us in piece.

    Woah……Calm down dude jeeeez

  • Javi Marcos,

    Who exactly are you shouting at?

    Anyway, Martin’s comments, while helpful in some regards, are a little embarrassing in others.

    For starters, he seems unaware that Africa borders on the Mediterranean Sea, and what does “African” in appearance mean? I’m afraid George has stepped in it a little.

  • Can we finally put the subject of Oberyn’s skin color to rest now? Can we just be happy for Pedro Pascal that he scored this role and assume it was well deserved? If Nina Gold and D&D loved him and GRRM have faith in the casting, it’s good enough for me.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    George has been in Spain. More than once. I’d bet that he has come to Spain or Italy more times than you. So, please, don’t say that he does not know what countries borders with the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Javi Marcos,

    Who exactly are you shouting at?

    Anyway, Martin’s comments, while helpful in some regards, are a little embarrassing in others.

    For starters, he seems unaware that Africa borders on the Mediterranean Sea, and what does “African” in appearance mean? I’m afraid George has stepped in it a little.

    I think by “African” he may mean Black/dark skin. Like if someone says “european” they will mean White/light skin mayhaps.

  • Javi Marcos,

    You missed the point. He’s being Eurocentric. And Africa is a large continent with I think 54 countries, so there’s no such thing as an “African” appearance.

  • Azad Injejikian,

    No, he said “assuming Sam’s voyage remains in the story” but that part isn’t pasted into the post above for spoiler reasons.” It was the end of his livejournal post.

  • Ours is the Fury: story” but that part isn’t pasted into the post above for spoiler reasons.” It was the end of

    You are being too sensitive. People describe groups by their origin all the time. Are you going to ge toffended the next time someone uses the term Asian. Relax.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    When someone is described as Mediterranean, they generally mean the north coast of the Mediterranean Sea. That’s just how it is in popular culture. I’m certain he realises that Northern Africa is on the Mediterranean coast.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    I assume he means them in the way people usually use those terms when speaking of race and ethnicity. Mediterranean is generally used to refer to, as described, the Italian/Greek/sometimes Spanish appearance that is generally darker in hair, eye and skin tone than Northern Europeans. “African” is generally used to refer to a much darker pigmentation than that.

    It’s not a geographically accurate or biologically useful set of categorizations, but then, Caucasians rarely have any relationship to the Caucasus whatsoever, and if you want a biologically accurate delineation of race, you’re going to be splitting people up by whether they’re lactose intolerant or not.

  • I’m all for diversity in casting. If they cast a white Sarella/Alleras I wouldn’t be pleased. But, GRRM has stated that the casting of Oberyn fit’s well with book canon so I guess I don’t see the problem and don’t know why we’re still arguing about this.

  • Wow…this is amazing. I think GRRM is publicly responding to the fans because of the massively crazy response that this and other websites received since the announcement of Pedro as the RV. And, like OItF observed, even he is insensitive! This is so funny!

    Break a leg, Pedro!

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Javi Marcos,

    For starters, he seems unaware that Africa borders on the Mediterranean Sea, and what does “African” in appearance mean? I’m afraid George has stepped in it a little.

    Oh come on. So, from now on white South Africans living in the US should be called African Americans?

  • Should we start taking bets on how long it’ll take before an angry fan comes screaming in, saying George is only saying these things because HBO is making him and The Red Viper was totally way darker than this in the books? Personally, I give it five more minutes.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    So, I guess you’ve just got to find something new to complain about now that you’re alleged “whitewashing” has been put to rest, right?

    When he said “not African in appearance”, he meant nor arab, nor black nor whatever skin color you may find in Africa. Was it that hard to understand?

  • I can’t believe they threw George into the middle of this debate. It is a bad idea, he should stay above this topic and let the fans hash it out. This might seem to them damage control but it’ll only further stoke the flames.

  • “That’s just how it is” reasoning never really flies with me.

    Anyway, I think it would have been better if George had just said black, white, used basic physical descriptions of hair color, eye color, etc, to convey what he meant because that’s really what he was going for. I think he honestly tries not to offend people. He’s a liberal and doesn’t seem to want to piss people off.

    The thing about Oberyn is, if George says if that’s how we envisioned him, well that’s how he envisioned him. I acknowledged that. And I like that he confirmed some other stuff, because it was preposterous how many times I saw fanboys try to tell me that Belwas was just really tan ok.

  • Javi Marcos,

    Being from southern Europe myself, and married to a Greek — I can only laugh at you. I look at my skin and I see pinkish hues mixed with slight beige, not a trace of “white”, blue as my eyes might be.

    Yes, there are plenty of blond-haired or blue-eyed people in Spain as well.

    But you don’t know your own history or yourself, and I pity you and your ilk. I bet you would freak out to see how smoothly Andalusia transitions onto northern Morocco, in terms of both soil and architecture.

    GRRM is great when it comes to transposing British history onto the universe of ice and fire, but his knowledge of other parts of the world is scant at best, and limited to short visits abroad. This is aggravated by his lack of ability in foreign languages (although Tolkien, with all of his skills, was even more parochial and capable of awful comments about “Celtic imagination”).

    I love GRRM’s ability to build a character, but I am glad that I don’t live in his world which would be deprived of India, China and South America, with only a thin sprinkling of people of African descent.

  • Delta1212,

    Agreed. Scandinavian looking usually means tall, blonde and blue eyed even though there are lots of short dark Scandinavians with Asian features. Like Bjork. Sometimes for simplicities sake we have to use shorthand when describing how look.

  • PhilPhobic,

    Nothing ever gets hashed out on the Internet. People just get bored and find something new to argue about.

    D’Arcy,

    That, or the Sands Snakes aren’t appearing in this season and HBO hasn’t officially greenlit next season yet so everything beyond that point is still technically “if and when” rather than just “when.” Plus, side things do get cut sometimes and George is very wary about making statements about what is going to happen in the future that he might have to go back on at some point. I can’t imagine why.

  • babar: Ours is the Fury,

    So, I guess you’ve just got to find something new to complain about now that you’re alleged “whitewashing” has been put to rest, right?

    When he said “not African in appearance”, he meant nor arab, nor black nor whatever skin color you may find in Africa. Was it that hard to understand?

    You do know that they have white people in Africa, right?

  • Rhys: Oh come on. So, from now on white South Africans living in the US should be called African Americans?

    Charlize Theron did a bit about that in her SNL monologue once. It was funny.

  • I really hope the Cinnamon Wind is included. Fat pink mast! Sam won’t say it, but we’ll all be thinking it.

  • Javi Marcos,

    Martin mentions in his very same post of “dark hair, olive skin” as being as his vision for the salty Dornish. So, no, man, the Dornish are not white. Martin has stated many times that Dorne is in fact based on Moorish Spain, so your comment is irrelevant anyways. And also, Middle-Easterners and Berber people do in fact have olive toned skin, but many of them also have white skin as well (in fact, many Berbers even have brown reddish hair). You have more in common with your neighbors than you think, therefore your statement along with your usage of the outdated term “Moor” belies a certain prejudice.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    Sorry, I’m just slightly confused as to what is offensive here. Mediterranean is just a generalized description, like African or African-American or Asian.

  • Finally the creator himself speaks out on the subject and confirms and/or squashes any opinions on the matter of Dornish diversity, we can now concentrate on casting the rest of Dorne. Just find a part for Monica Bellucci, perhaps Ellaria.
    The BIG news here is we will apparently have the Cinnamon Wind, and its fabulous crew.
    Looks like Oldtown is in and thereby Sam’s arc.

  • MX,

    Very well said. Unfortunately there are racists everywhere, but there are many who are not as well and who know their roots in Spain and Greece. Recently, I think there was a study that proved that there were more than 20% of Berber origin in Spain, moreso in Andalusia. While many of them were forced to leave due to religious persecution, many stayed behind with Spanish names. The whitewashing of Spain and other countries in the region is such a shame, considering the great history of multicultural and multiracial unity during the Middle Ages.

  • Quite honestly I don’t care what character George had in his mind when he wrote the Martells. I know what character I had in my mind when reading about a group of desert dwellers with olive skin and it certainly didn’t look anything like Mr. Pascal. He might write the books but he can’t dictate how I interpretation his words. He could tell me up is down and down is up in the world of Westeros but I’ll still view the world as I come to understand it.

    I don’t agree with GRRM on Dornish appearance and I don’t believe this casting choice was correct or that people should just be happy with the token minority representation we have in this show.

  • Yes the statement he is Chilean doesn’t really mean much, but considering Pascal seems to have an hispanic origin (going by his last name) and has the skin tone typical of the Mediterrean countries GRRM listed , I guess he has the right appearence.Caucasian White, with light olive skin, easily tanned in the summer and dark brown hair/eyes.

  • voiceareason,

    Martin is an older man and the terms he is using are somewhat out of date, and though I hate this term, I’ll use it to be understood- politically incorrect. If he meant black when he said “African,” he should have said black. Because Africa is a huge continent with such a wide variety of people. Africa does not automatically mean black.
    They film in Morocco, and we actually saw with our own eyes that most of those people were not black, they were Berbers- a light golden/brown-skinned people. That’s common in northern Africa. Lots of variety in Africa.

  • Good grief! Will someone please notify me when this ridiculous subject is no longer be hashed out AD NAUSEUM?

    I wish this blog had like/unlike options.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    He used Africa because he was encompassing the native looks of Africa. That’s not limited to Black. It’s a bit much to expect him to list off every arbitrary ethnic subset to get the point across that the natives of that continent are not what he pictured the Salty Dornishmen to resemble.

  • Javi Marcos,

    George has also said that Janina Gavankar looks like Lady Nym so it’s not off base for people to have assumed that Indian actors would have been casted. And get a life? You are the one screaming at no one.

  • “I know what character I had in my mind when reading about a group of desert dwellers with olive skin”

    @PhilPhobic

    It’s not simple as that, GRRM gave more complex descriptions that could fit Pascal.

    As for the little clarity in GRRM’ statement, I guess that has something to do with him being American.I find that people from the US are often excessively confused about other countries.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    The thing is, “black” and “white” are just as inaccurate descriptions as “Mediterranean” and “African”. I’ve seen very few “black” people that were dark enough to reasonably be called black, and while my Italian girlfriend is “white” you’d be hard-pressed to actually call her skin color white, especially if I was standing next to her for comparison.

    We know what the terms “black” and “white” mean because of how they are generally used, not because they accurately describe the color of most people’s skin. Racial and ethnic divisions are culturally rooted. There isn’t any way to objectively break up the categories because who falls into what category and what the categories even are varies from person to person and place to place. I doubt most people on here could tell the difference between a Tutsi and a Hutu, but some people saw enough of one for a genocide to take place.

    I realize that using arbitrary categories that don’t accurately reflect the reality of people sucks, and saying that it’s “just the way it is” doesn’t justify anything, but all of these categories are arbitrary, so if there is a specific unreal category you wish to refer to, you’re pretty much stuck using pre-existing terminology if you want to be understood.

    I mean, even within something narrower than “black” or white, the range is huge. A blonde, blue-eyed person could be look completely different depending on whether you mean toeheaded or dirty blonde, light blue, dark blue, or basically gray eyes.

    In truth, any description grouping more than one person together is comparing unlike things because they are perceived to be more alike in some way than when compared with another group of fundamentally different people.

    So to wrap up, pointing out that some aspect of how we categorize ourselves and each other is bullshit is fine in that you’re absolutely right, but ultimately everything else we use to slot people into categories is just as bullshit, so you either stop categorizing people or accept that certain words are used to mean certain categories and just try not to perpetuate any of the especially negative categories or consequences of certain categorizations that you can.

  • I think this post proves two things.
    1) No matter what the fan belief of what the Red Viper looks like, Pedro Pascal is fairly close to GRRM’s personal idea of physical coloration/appearance.
    2) GRRM is not a cultural anthropologist and not very many of his fans are either. With ever correction of someone seems to be a misstatement as well.

  • The hairs, they’re splitting.

    I know what Martin means, and I understand what OitF is trying to get across. It’s topics like this that the word nontroversy was invented for. Let’s simmer down and keep our eyes on the prize – a kickass season 4.

  • Cary Storm,

    You know, that’s a much more succinct way of putting that without piling on what I’m sure were at least a few more inaccuracies.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Anyway, I think it would have been better if George had just said black, white, used basic physical descriptions of hair color, eye color, etc, to convey what he meant because that’s really what he was going for. I think he honestly tries not to offend people. He’s a liberal and doesn’t seem to want to piss people off.

    “Mediterranean” is, on planet Earth, in 2013, the right word to describe the (of course ‘typical’ and not ‘all-embracing’) Italians, Spanish, Greeks. of course most italians doesn’t look like the ‘Dagos’ in old movies (for example, here’s an italian actress, and she is NOT considered ‘different’ from typical italians: http://www.tudonna.it/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/NEWS_1280303782_laura_chiatti_slideshow_gallery_sfilate.jpg but in common language, Mediterranean is the perfect word, and means exactly this: http://images.corrieredelmezzogiorno.corriereobjects.it/campania/fotogallery/2010/09/cucinotta/img_cucinotta/cuci03_672-458_resize.jpg

    what Martin just said is what a lot of us said plenty of times on WIC: Andrew Naveen (just an example) was not a ‘faithful’ Oberyn-candidate, ’cause he’s not Mediterranean. in the books, he would be a Sandy Dornishmen , not a Salty one :)

    btw, what really i’m curious to find about is if they are trying to cast people with ‘latino’, ‘spanish’ accent (and make them use that accent) to emphasize the peculiarity of Dorne. (i doubt it, of course, because for example Jaqen and Syrio had completely different accents)

  • Oh joy, another debate on ethnicity that will probably approach 500+ comments. The Comic-Con announcement can’t come soon enough.

  • Talk about first world problems! Jeez! Cant people just be happy ASOIAF series is being adapted by well capable and talented people such as D&D and Mr Bryan Cogmannnn.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    voiceareason,

    Martin is an older man and the terms he is using are somewhat out of date, and though I hate this term, I’ll use it to be understood- politically incorrect. If he meant black when he said “African,” he should have said black. Because Africa is a huge continent with such a wide variety of people. Africa does not automatically mean black.
    They film in Morocco, and we actually saw with our own eyes that most of those people were not black, they were Berbers- a light golden/brown-skinned people. That’s common in northern Africa. Lots of variety in Africa.

    Oh, come on. Give the guy a break. Fuck being “politically correct”. He’s doing his best to answer questions that all his fans are freaking out about. I seriously doubt many people were offended at all by his statements. And using the terms black and white is no better. It’s just lumping people into two groups! How is that not racist? And who says he has to be PC anyway. This is Game of Thrones we’re talking about here!

  • Javi Marcos:
    YES AND YES

    WE SPANISH, ITALIANS, GREEKS ARE NOT MOORS.

    GRRM, the creator of all this, said it quite clearly. Salty Dornish are based in us, and we have not brown skin. In fact, I’m from Spain, with white skin and brown to light hair, same as most of my friends. Most of us Mediterranian guys don’t look like moors.

    So all of you that wanted a stupid, and most of all, NOT FAITHFUL to the books Dorne crowded with black and Indians guys, get a life and leave us in peace.

    I’m not from any of those countries but even I know that people from said countries can be dark of skin.
    How do you not know your own people?

  • I’m glad George responded to the question. I don’t really care what the Red Viper looks like, as long as he plays a killer Oberyn, then that’s all I need. I’ve been looking forward to the Red Viper for 4 years now. I wish Pedro the best. I am not familiar with his work, so I look forward to seeing how he handles the part. Nice to know he killed it at the audition.

    And yes, the Comic Con panel announcement can’t come soon enough. I hold out a small hope that Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley will attend again this year.

  • Georgie boy, you’ve just been proven racist by the racist provers, bwhawhawhaa!

  • The first time I get to say Hodor & the thread turns into a massive, unnecessary race debate :(

    But to get back on subject, I am also looking forward to the Red Viper’s performance :)

  • Scarlett Reaper: I’m not from any of those countries but even I know that people from said countries can be dark of skin.
    How do you not know your own people?

    so false :)
    of course it’s important to understand what each other means using the word ‘dark’.
    look at Javi Marcos avatar. seen? you call that ‘dark-skinned?’. if the answer is yes, than italians and spanish are dark-skinned. if it’s no, than they aren’t, ’cause no one is darker than that in those countries. well…of course, Balotelli is black, and is italian, but that’s beause his parents were from Africa (Ghana).

    i know all this talking can be silly, but i understand very well. no one has a problem with being call ‘dark-skinned’, or ‘light-skinned’, the problem are always the stereotypes. it’s sad that in 2013 someone still think that citizens of a countries have a certain look just because they were shown that way in some american tv-show from the 90′ :)

  • Ours is the Fury,

    No shit?

    Doesn’t change the fact that “African” is only used to describe “people of color” who live in Africa, and whose roots there are deep.

    Here is what GRRM probably has in mind when he talks about an “African appearance”: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/LA2-NSRW-1-0039.jpg

    People use the term “African American” on a daily basis to describe people of African descent. Would they use it to describe Charlize Theron, though? Probably not.

    Sure, it’s a loosely generic term.. but there really is nothing offending about that. Don’t we use “Caucasian” to describe white people? Are we all from Caucasus, though? Would people call black people originating from the Caucasus region “Caucasians”? Probably not.

    You’re just looking for a fight, as usual.

  • Javi Marcos,

    Mate, ease up.

    George said “salty Dornishmen”. Not sandy. So uh, yeah, I think Dorne would still have many Indian/black looking people what with the Rhoynar settling there. Also, Pascal isn’t white. And finally, GRRM also said Janina Gavankar looks like Lady Nym and she’s not white-passing at all. That’s all.

  • Ser Hound: Oh, come on. Give the guy a break. Fuck being “politically correct”. He’s doing his best to answer questions that all his fans are freaking out about. I seriously doubt many people were offended at all by his statements. And using the terms black and white is no better. It’s just lumping people into two groups! How is that not racist? And who says he has to be PC anyway. This is Game of Thrones we’re talking about here!

    My problem with this was that George obviously had no intent to offend anyone, and people are only offended because they try as hard as they can to seek out something to be offended over. If you are so sensitive that no one can say “African” without offending you then that is your problem. Guess what Europeans are White, Indians are Indian, Africans are Black, and Asians are Asian.

    You know what the PC term for a black person in America is anyway? AFRICAN American! Not racist.

  • As i said before on this site; I trust Nina Gold.

    And, did we see any bad actor/actress in a major role on GOT yet?? No, i dare to say.

    Nina Gold knows what she is doing.

  • ltgg:
    Javi Marcos,
    George said “salty Dornishmen”. Not sandy. So uh, yeah, I think Dorne would still have many Indian/black looking people what with the Rhoynar settling there.

    exactly. they will probably show us the dornish ethnic groups when Oberyn arrives in KL and fill the group with rock, sandy and salty dornishmen.

  • I’ll never understand people who jump into a post topic only to complain about its existence. No one’s holding a gun to your head to make you read it. You don’t like the subject, move along.

    Ser Hound: Oh, come on. Give the guy a break. Fuck being “politically correct”. He’s doing his best to answer questions that all his fans are freaking out about. I seriously doubt many people were offended at all by his statements. And using the terms black and white is no better. It’s just lumping people into two groups! How is that not racist? And who says he has to be PC anyway. This is Game of Thrones we’re talking about here!

    I appreciate George taking the time to address the issue, and said as much. I am the author of this post, after all. But you are wrong about many people not being offended by his comments. Many were. I do actually understand the intent of George’s words, what he meant, but they’re still some poorly chosen words.

  • Stop bitching. In every country you will find people with different skin colors. Like babar said, it´s just a generic term. Why is it that some people have to start an argument everytime this happens…grow up.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    You realize your the one jumping all over the topic when there is nothing to be offended over. Calm down. People were slaves due to their race and they could handle it. You can handle a slightly non politically correct description of a different race.

  • Glad GRRM chimed in to see he always pictured them as Mediterranean!
    (Just as he described frankly….)

    Now if people will just accept that and not parse words and split hairs trying to win some imaginary argument no one is having with hem! XD

  • Oh black white dark light olive brown what does it matter anyway? No one’s being racist and if you are offended by anything said, you’re being pathetic.

    Obviously Pascal is good for the role in the eyes of the people it actually matters to, whatever he looks like.

  • Ha, you all got TOLD by The Man, himself. That’s awesome :D

    Thanks for weighing in, Mr. Martin!

  • In the end. Id rather have a great performer who knocks it out of the park, than someone who matches the description in the books.

    Make the Qartheen multicultural, and people cry political correctness. Make the Red Viper Latin, it’s whitewashing. Are D&D liberal do gooders or are they in the KKK? Make up your minds!

  • Ours is the Fury:
    I appreciate George taking the time to address the issue, and said as much. I am the author of this post, after all. But you are wrong about many people not being offended by his comments. Many were.I do actually understand the intent of George’s words, what he meant, but they’re still some poorly chosen words.

    i’m really interested in this. i really don’t understand how someone can be offended. i mean..call someone ‘black’ and ‘white’ is not racism, is having eyes. for example, every Ork, reading The Lord of Rings, would be offended (and should well be) because orks are evil ‘by default’, ‘by race’. and that’s racist :D but calling them ‘yellow-skinned’ is not, if they are :)

    instead i understand people who are offended by stereotypes (‘mediterraneans are lazy‘, ‘african-americans are troublesome‘) or plain ignorance (‘spanish and italians are dark-skinned‘, ‘iran is an arab country‘)..

  • I never understood these arguments about racial diversity and things like that… I’m not really watching the show to see the producers demote racism. It’s not like they’re encouraging racism either. The show has a great plot with rich characters and different cultures have their unique customs. It’s not like they’re sending the message that all people who do not have “white” skin are evil savages. Yes, the only two black people on the show were Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xhoan Daxos, not the most virtuous of characters, but I certainly do not generalize all black people as cheating rapists who prey on the weak just because one character fit that characteristic and he happened to be black. (getting off topic)

    I pictured the salty dornish people to be as GRRM described above and the skin colour of the Red Viper actor is how I’d thought it would be. I don’t understand why some people are offended by his skin colour. So what if his skin is a bit lighter than you’d wanted? Does it now mean the producers are trying to make all the “good guys” light skinned and try to cast as few dark skinned characters as possible? I don’t know, but it seems like some people take it as the biggest insult to any race that’s not cast in the tv series. My race isn’t in the series, and I really couldn’t care less. I just watch for the story. :/

    In regards to Ours is the Fury’s comment. I understand why you would find GRRM’s generalization of “African’s” to be disconcerting, but I’m quite sure he know that northern Africans can be lighter skinned and not all inhabitants of Africa are “black”. I also know of some people who aren’t sure if calling black people “black” is insulting, so they like to use the word “Africans” in replacement. Also some people are lazy and they like to shorten things into one word. A lot of people generalize Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and such as “Asians”. I do, and I don’t feel like saying “Oriental Asians” or whatever other names there are because “Asian” is just simple and most people understand what I mean.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    Unless by “African” he means the full range of African appearances that people were calling for, especially North African and Arabic, and not just what Americans mean when we say black, but using an older term. Granted, I don’t know which he meant, but if he wasn’t just using African as a stand in for black, then it’s not exactly incorrect terminology.

    And Mediterranean is used to refer to a specific appearance shared by many people on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s not strictly geographically accurate, but again, neither is any of the other geographically-based description we use to describe people.

    Ultimately, it’s possible he chose poor words, but it really depends on what he was referring to with them. (Except the Chilean comment. That showed a failure to grasp the complexity of race in South America, but then a lot people don’t really seem have a handle on that).

  • I think my favorite part of GRRM’s post is that he expects the Sand Snakes (plural) to be included in the TV series. Of course he has no say in the final decisions, but has had discussions with D&D about the plans for future season arcs…..

    Maybe he has some insight. Maybe not, but I will go on hoping!

  • Hilarious hypocrisy.

    Ours is the Fury:
    “That’s just how it is” reasoning never really flies with me.

    Let’s see, only from our mini-discussion from the other day :

    We’re discussing several young females. That’s why I said girls. No more reason than that.

    “Imagine that” = sarcasm because I think that the reasoning for the laws is quite obvious. People just don’t like the rules.

    The regulations exist for a very good reason- to prevent people from being victimized.

    And so on. But hey, “that’s how it is” doesn’t fly with you…right?

    Since we’re at it, thanks Pau Soriano for defending me on the previous post, as I didn’t get back in time.

    ***

    On the subject of ethnicity, we‘re certainly overcomplicating things. I just hope Pascal’s performance is good enough so we can skip the “not dark enough” thing.

  • “Dark hair and eyes, olive skin. Pedro Pascal is Chilean,” doesn’t really make sense since there are people of all skin, hair and eyes colors in Chile.

    That’s taking his statement out of context.

    “As for the Dornishmen, well, though by and large I reject one to one analogies, I’ve always pictured the “salty Dornish” as being more Mediterranean than African in appearance; Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, etc.”

    After that statement, it becomes eminently clear that GRRM was alluding to the fact that the majority of Chileans are of Spanish ancestry in his discussion of Pascal. It’s not especially controversial.

    Nor is it especially controversial, in my view, to refer to ethnic generalizations based on geographic origin. It’s very true that, in the present day, people of all sorts of skin tones can be found in almost all parts of the world. That doesn’t mean, however, that certain skin tones or physical features aren’t generally still associated with majority populations in certain geographic regions, or with certain ancestries. He’s not denying that white people live in Africa, for instance, nor is he denying their African-ness.

    If it were so problematic for him to refer to “Africa” in that way, his reference to a “Mediterranean” appearance should be equally problematic, since there are black-skinned and pale-skinned and blond people who live there as well. I think we all recognize, however, that he was only referring to an ancestral archetype, just in the same way that he did with “Africa”. These archetypes aren’t problematic in-and-of themselves; they become problematic when they are used to ostracize people by denying their nationality (e.g. “You’re not a real American because your grandparents immigrated from Pakistan! My grandparents immigrated from Ireland, and people there are white, so that means I’m a real American!”). It’s pretty clear that it isn’t GRRM’s intent to make any claims like that.

  • Red Hound,

    Um that is not a case of “That’s just how it is.”
    You literally just quoted me saying, “The regulations exist for a very good reason- to prevent people from being victimized.”

    That is the reason. To keep teenage girls like Sophie Turner from being victimized by studios and directors catering to men like the ones in that thread who are complaining because they can’t see her breasts.

  • Mescalinic,

    You are right of course, I think the often “dark skinned” Italians term is really a gross simplification.The fact is, that even a pinch of olive skin can make you from pasty white to almost brown in a matter of weeks; and southern Italians have 5/6 months of summer per year.

    Here is a photo of the actress you posted in winter:

    http://www.imagebam.com/image/7feef5169340104

    If Pascal can get tanned easily he will be perfect for the role (in appearence at least).

  • Endless Giraffe:
    Ours is the Fury,

    You realize your the one jumping all over the topic when there is nothing to be offended over. Calm down. People were slaves due to their race and they could handle it. You can handle a slightly non politically correct description of a different race.

    Saying people could “handle” slavery is offensive and doesn’t make your point well. I think if you read some junior high level history you will find that people could not handle it at all.

  • Now people are offended by George’s comments? Hahahahaha.

    When the fuck are you people going to stop getting outraged by everything that doesn’t conform to your world view? Amazing.

    This is a tv-show, btw.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    voiceareason,

    Martin is an older man and the terms he is using are somewhat out of date, and though I hate this term, I’ll use it to be understood- politically incorrect. If he meant black when he said “African,” he should have said black. Because Africa is a huge continent with such a wide variety of people. Africa does not automatically mean black.
    They film in Morocco, and we actually saw with our own eyes that most of those people were not black, they were Berbers- a light golden/brown-skinned people. That’s common in northern Africa. Lots of variety in Africa.

    Yeah well, lots of variety in Latin America too, yet there’s been countless comments claiming that the Martells look “Latino”…made by people who are younger than GRRM, I would think, hence age has nothing to do with it. In truth, it’s the radically different definitions of race/ethnicity vs. nationality/region applied in the U.S. (when compared to the majority of other countries) that is really at fault here.

    Also, by this point, I would dare say that ASoIaF and GoT have become much bigger than the U.S. So being “politically correct” doesn’t really apply here, because political correctness is solely dependent on each reader/viewer’s cultural background. And since it seems to me that GRRM is addressing all of his readers (country of origin not withstanding) again, not every country shares the same culture or history with the U.S., of course.

    An author’s vision will always depend on his personal views of the world. A writer may fail to get his vision across to the reader as intended or the reader may misconstrue the writer’s vision. Once the author has clarified his vision, it becomes fact, though. And in this sense, right or wrong, GRRM’s just made his vision perfectly clear: the Martells fit his personal concept of a European Mediterranean, not African Mediterranean, much less “Latino”. End of story.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    But you are wrong about many people not being offended by his comments. Many were.

    Do you count as many people now? I don’t see a single other post where anyone but you was offended. Or are you Jean Grey peering into the minds of people around the world?

  • spacechampion: Do you count as many people now?I don’t see a single other post where anyone but you was offended.Or are you Jean Grey peering into the minds of people around the world?

    Reminds me of the flag of St George row in Radstock……

  • Pointy End: I never understood these arguments about racial diversity and things like that… I’m not really watching the show to see the producers demote racism. It’s not like they’re encouraging racism either

    That kind of thinking can get dangerous quickly. Racism doesn’t need to be overtly encouraged in order to spread, especially where the cultural paradigm already favors racism quite heavily. Game of Thrones does exist in a cultural context, and has certain responsibilities to the culture in which it exists.

    I don’t think that means GoT must necessarily present an idyllic world of perfect racial diversity, but it does mean that it has to be sensitive about how it portrays people of color to ensure that those portrayals don’t mirror and reinforce real-world problems.

  • isiman:
    Mescalinic,

    You are right of course, I think the often “dark skinned” Italians term is really a gross simplification.The fact is, that even a pinch of olive skin can make you from pasty white to almost brown in a matter of weeks; and southern Italians have 5/6 months of summer per year.

    Here is a photo of the actress you posted in winter:

    http://www.imagebam.com/image/7feef5169340104

    you’re absolutely right. and your is an informed, non-stereotyped post :)
    a man really must live in 1950 to do not understand the difference between ‘easy-tanned’ and ‘dark-skinned’ :)

  • spacechampion,

    You realize there are places other than WiC and Westeros, yes? The people here who disagree get shouted down and pushed out. Go to other websites. For starters, look at the reaction on the Tumblr reblogs (if you know how) and ONTD comment threads. There is a lot of anger there. My reaction here has actually been very diplomatic by comparison. If your response to this is to merely dismiss ONTD and Tumblr, then that’s weak because their GoT communities are just as big as WiC’s, though it’s less centralized.

  • Just want to say for a moment that all of my comments are intended with nothing but respect for Ours is the Fury; I do think these are important issues to acknowledge, and I don’t think they should be cast aside too quickly.

  • I think this creating a controversy over nothing is to boost hits to the website. Offseason is not so off these days

    500+ comments incomming

  • Ours is the Fury:
    spacechampion,
    You realize there are places other than WiC and Westeros, yes? The people here who disagree get shouted down and pushed out. Go to other websites. For starters, look at the reaction on the Tumblr reblogs (if you know how) and ONTD comment threads. There is a lot of anger there. My reaction here has actually been very diplomatic by comparison. If your response to this is to merely dismiss ONTD and Tumblr, then that’s weak because their GoT communities are just as big as WiC’s, though it’s less centralized.

    Reblogs are sloppy games of telephone. Really not interested.

    I come here for information, speculation and fun stuff, not your pet identity politics projects.

  • WeirwoodTreeHugger: Saying people could “handle” slavery is offensive and doesn’t make your point well.I think if you read some junior high level history you will find that people could not handle it at all.

    Um, which comment included someone saying people could “handle” slavery? Or mention slavery at all, actually. I think I missed it.

    Edit: Found it! I’d claim visual impairment, but I’m wearing my glasses, so who knows.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    Ultra feminists and other hyper PC people are a tiny tiny minority of the GoT fandom.

    Are we supposed to be surprised that those people are outraged? About anything?

    Since you share their ideology that means you’re going to give undue weight to their arguments and over exaggerate their significance. That’s obvious.

  • Mescalinic,

    Defending Orcs…that is classic! May I use that in my next thesis?

    Every time I return to this site, my love for ASoI&F and GoT increases. It never ceases to amaze me. Much appreciation goes out to the brave and adventurous folks at WiC for creating threads with built-in (sometimes flammable) perspective to which a very vocal and often literate microcosm of humanity responds.

  • Glad to see GRRM confirm my own thought that they looked Greek/Italian/Mediterranean. Would be nice to get some more Greek actors in the show (aside from Miltos/Syrio).

  • john:
    Ours is the Fury,

    Ultra feminists and other hyper PC people are a tiny tiny minority of the GoT fandom.

    Are we supposed to be surprised that those people are outraged? About anything?

    Since you share their ideology that means you’re going to give undue weight to their arguments and over exaggerate their significance. That’s obvious.

    I’m a feminist and I think the skin tone of Pedro Pascal and GRRM’s statement are not an issue. Feminists can sometimes have differing viewpoints. We aren’t all one big monolith or anything.

  • john: Ours is the Fury,

    Ultra feminists and other hyper PC people are a tiny tiny minority of the GoT fandom.

    Are we supposed to be surprised that those people are outraged? About anything?

    Since you share their ideology that means you’re going to give undue weight to their arguments and over exaggerate their significance. That’s obvious.

    Women are about 40% of this fandom. GoT is not a boys club. And many, many of those women define themselves as feminists. It’s 2013, John. Feminism is not a dirty word. Ultrafeminist just means extra-awesome feminism!

    Sure I give other websites’ opinions weight. Tumblr counts. ONTD counts. And Reddit, and all the other websites in addition to WiC and Westeros count. Every website has something different to offer, its own dynamic. I don’t discount them just because they might not be a place I frequent or to my taste.

  • “Ultra feminists and hyper PC people” should be the sub-heading for Tumblr and ONTD.

    This “topic” is a small subset of people screaming very loudly and making as much noise as possible and it does not deserve the amount of coverage it’s getting on this site. The vast majority of people here don’t give a shit about this issue and it has been given a disproportionate level of importance because a small handful feel like they need to elevate it outside of their insular discussion circle.

    Can we maybe have a poll about what types of topics that this site should lean towards? Just because you’re putting inflammatory posts up and getting lots of reactionary comments doesn’t mean they are indicative of the interest in seeing these posts. It just means you’ve managed to rile up a bunch of people. Congrats if that was the intent.

  • WeirwoodTreeHugger: I’m a feminist and I think the skin tone of Pedro Pascal and GRRM’s statement are not an issue.Feminists can sometimes have differing viewpoints.We aren’t all one big monolith or anything.

    This.

    I’d further add that trying to specify “ultra” feminists doesn’t really help anything. It implies that “feminist” is a bit of a bad thing, and that an “ultra feminist” is even more bad (or, alternatively, that “feminism” can be qualified in a linear manner with regards to how much it is bothered by things, which is also a problematic interpretation). Even if you disagree with feminism, I think that kind of remark isn’t especially respectful.

  • Ours is the Fury: And many, many of those women define themselves as feminists.

    Many of the men define themselves as feminists too. Not to suggest that you necessarily meant otherwise; I just think it always bears mentioning that these sorts of issues aren’t about “women vs men”.

  • PhilPhobic:
    Quite honestly I don’t care what character George had in his mind when he wrote the Martells.

    I don’t agree with GRRM on Dornish appearance and I don’t believe this casting choice was correct

    This is moronic. You may not agree with him, that’s fine… but it means you are wrong. Period.

  • Ours is the Fury:

    Anyway, I think it would have been better if George had just said black, white, used basic physical descriptions of hair color, eye color, etc, to convey what he meant because that’s really what he was going for.

    Why do you think black would be a better term? After all the “black people” are, genetically speaking, much more diverse than all the other humans, so your comments on the term “African” even more in that case. I think you’re making mountains out of molehills here and (no offense) making yourself look overzealous.

  • Can y’all calm down? This isn’t a wedding, heh…

    I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with what he said or his choice of words, but people are entitled to their own opinion. No need to get angry if you don’t share that opinion.

  • King Tommen,

    Considering that people have been arguing for years about Martin’s depiction of the Martells, this post was essential, I would say. A lot of people are happy to hear that Martin made a clear statement about how he sees Oberyn and House Martell. It is definitely news.

    And if you don’t like a post, why are you responding to it? Our inclination is to report what is news, what people what to know. Frankly, if a topic is getting a lot of responses, it probably is a good discussion to have. (That does not mean a topic with a low comment total is a bad one.) Even if it gets hairy, there is a real dialogue to be had sometimes with a difficult subject. Once you cut through the BS and trolling, you can find interesting ideas.

  • Azad Injejikian,

    Agreed. I just want a GOOD ACTOR.

    As for what terms GRRM (African) used, well good lord. People can’t even decide which term is proper. Have none of you ever used the wrong word when you meant something else? In this instance, I certainly don’t think he was trying to insult anyone. People LOVE to find insult where none is INTENDED.

    Many, MANY people say “African” or “African American” when they mean black. Some do not like that. But some also don’t like the term “black.” Truly, they do not. So unless he gets to ask each reader what term they prefer, and uses all of them…

    See how ridiculous this is?

  • Premislaus,

    …I honestly don’t know what you’re trying to say. Yes, sub-Saharan populations are genetically diverse. What’s your point? I was saying George should stick to basic physical descriptions (eye/skin/hair color) because that is actually what his intent was.

  • As a strong supporter of Pedro Pascal’s casting, I heartily approve of this post!

  • Lost in this debate is the possibility that GRRM JUST CONFIRMED THE SAND SNAKES APPEARANCE IN THE SERIES! Can’t wait to see them at some point down the road

  • Eljuma:
    See? You made the fat man talk. I suppose you are happy now.

    I am actually very happy this is a topic of conversation. If GRRM is talking Sand Snakes, and Cinnamon Wind with regard to the show… that can only bode well for (most of) us.

  • Turncloak,

    I wouldn’t say it’s confirmation at all… but I would say it’s a good thing that it’s at least part of the topic of ongoing conversation.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    King Tommen,

    Considering that people have been arguing for years about Martin’s depiction of the Martells, this post was essential, I would say. A lot of people are happy to hear that Martin made a clear statement about how he sees Oberyn and House Martell. It is definitely news.

    And if you don’t like a post, why are you responding to it? Our inclination is to report what is news, what people what to know. Frankly, if a topic is getting a lot of responses, it probably is a good discussion to have. (That does not mean a topic with a low comment total is a bad one.) Even if it gets hairy, there is a real dialogue to be had sometimes with a difficult subject. Once you cut through the BS and trolling, you can find interesting ideas.

    I absolutely can’t stand the “if you don’t like what I’m talking about it, ignore me” argument. I could say the same thing about you responding to poster’s opinions you don’t agree with. It’s bogus. I’m responding because I want to affect change and I don’t think we need to hear about this particular “issue” anymore on this site as it’s tiresome. Clearly based on the vast majority of the comments, people aren’t fans of this being brought up over and over again ad nauseum either.

    And I think simply posting GRRM’s thoughts would have been sufficient without the added little commentary basically undermining his thoughts because they still clash with your own ideology.

  • Big surprise! I still can’t believe people drove the man himself to have to clarify…

  • Five Pedro/RV scenes in s4 that I am already picturing in my head:

    1) RV arrives on horseback, discussion with Tyrion, putting Tyrion in his place

    2) RV and Tywin trade barbs and threats, RV puts Tywin in his place

    3) RV and Cersei, thick with disdain and sexual innuendo

    4) RV and Margaery/Olenna, witty, evil rapport with some inter-family revelations

    5) Duel w/Mountain

    {Some scenes are invented for personal satisfaction}
    Knock it out of the park, Pedro!

  • Turncloak,

    Yes. I dislike this part of fandom very much, and so it makes me avoid it often. All the nitpicking and reading into things…and so on, and so forth.

  • King Tommen: And I think simply posting GRRM’s thoughts would have been sufficient without the added little commentary basically undermining his thoughts because they still clash with your own ideology.

    Oh I see, we’ve reached the real problem. You don’t care about me posting George’s words, you just want me to shut up.

    Yeah that’s not going to happen.

  • This is just getting pathetic. Like, truly grasping at straws.

    Am I just being dismissive of tumblr? I don’t know how else to treat comments as utterly stupid as this random one I found:

    I skipped half of season 2 and season 3 entirely bc it was getting boring and I JUST WANTED OBERYN TO APPEAR waited anxiously for them to cast the one and only person who can be Oberyn (that is Alex Siddig yes thank you) and then they do this. I was 97% done with the whole franchise, now I’m 2372% done.

    Why would anyone with half a brain care about an opinion like that? It sounds like it was written by a 5 year old.

    Anyways, what is, IMO, truly pathetic is that anyone who doesn’t share this insanity is being called a racist.

    Seriously, OiTF, I think you need to stop bring tumblr-centric “debates” over here. The intention might be to elevate the discussion, with racial sensitivity and social awareness, but it’s actually just dragging things down to a new low.

  • George’s comments are about as innocuous as comments about race can be. Anyone who finds them in any way offensive needs to stop scrutinizing him and focus on why they’ve had such a completely unwarranted reaction. What’s with this uber-PC mentally that causes people to start looking for reasons to be upset as soon as they see the topic is race and completely ignore the actual content?

  • So I’m trying to stay out of most of the shitstorm, but I’m just curious…

    Wouldn’t including cast members on other ethnic criteria than “black” and “white” actually mean MORE diversity? That instead of having the dark people and the light people, we have a wide spectrum of people?

    Other than that, protip: When the discussion has gotten this infected, it’s very hard not to look a little bit racist no matter which side you’re arguing for, as long as you’re actively picking a side.

    Or, y’know, I could just reference Delta1212’s post and say QFT.

  • Can we talk about something actually interesting, like the fact that another producer wrote a freaking letter to GRRM to congratulate him on casting Pedro Pascal? That’s awesome.

  • Congrats on crossing a creepy boundary, Lex. Cut it out with the copying and pasting.

  • Atreyu:
    Who wants popcorn?

    It looks like I didn’t even have to wait until tonight for the fireworks. Happy Fourth!

  • Andrew,

    I deleted his comments because he is copying comments from my personal fandom blog. Not cool. And yes he was misrepresenting what I said, as well.

  • Aaand this has reached new level of ridiculous. I’m going to go find something more productive to do until we get a new post and things calm down.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    No one has even insinuated that you should “shut up”.

    You just love being the victim, don’t you.

    You’re not the victim though. You’re the bully.

    I get the feeling that you’re not being upfront about your “real” opinions on this site either. Why? I don’t know.

    I’d suggest that you should either start being honest about your opinions, or just stop editorializing the content you post.

  • Andrew,

    I told you, he was misrepresenting what I said. Copying half a sentence, removing the context, inserting his own context and opinion is bullshit. It’s not cool and it stops now.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Congrats on crossing a creepy boundary, Lex. Cut it out with the copying and pasting.

    Stop with the name calling. First you called me a liar, so I copied and pasted to prove that I was not lying. Then you deleted all the comments. I think you’re the one crossing boundaries in this thread.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    I’ll never understand people whojump into a post topic only to complain about its existence. No one’s holding a gun to your head to make you read it. You don’t like the subject, move along.

    I appreciate George taking the time to address the issue, and said as much. I am the author of this post, after all. But you are wrong about many people not being offended by his comments. Many were.I do actually understand the intent of George’s words, what he meant, but they’re still some poorly chosen words.

    Right cause GRRM saying “black people’ instead would have made it that much more politically correct right? That is what you said earlier right? It saddens me that the best part of that post ” He nailed the reading… other producer told me we got a great actor…” all got thrown under the bus because GRRM dared having a viper that was not how you imagined him to be. Worst,, he used vaguely insulting language to describe the looks of the Viper.

    We should seriously torch his house and demand justice for all the tears of rage flowing through the internet from those insensitive remarks right OITF? Should bring some eggs to comic con and tell him yourself what a big jerk he is.. maybe that’ll calm you down and bring some measure of joy in your life.

    PS: Obviously I was kidding.. people need to ease up here and focus less on the skin tone (which i’ve stressed here foreeeeeeeeeeeever), and more on having an actor who won’t @#$@ suck at one of the best roles of the show.

  • Your personal tumblr came up right away, I didn’t do any searching. I don’t even know how to use tumblr. I went over there, at YOUR suggestion above, and clicked on an Oberyn Martell hashtage. Yours popped right up. You can’t expect to be a moderator on a popular ASOIAF site, and then insult or bash your commenters on your “personal” tumblr, without expecting people to ever see them. And this isn’t the first time.

  • Lex,

    I called you a liar, because you copied part of a post from my blog but messed with it. So yeah, you already had copied stuff, Lex. Let’s not bullshit here. Then you went and copied the rest and pasted after I said you were lying by stripping away context, etc.
    This ends now. My other fandom activity is no secret, links to my fandom blog are everywhere, but copying my personal posts over to WiC is creepy. Cut it out. You made a mistake in crossing that line, I cleaned it up. Let’s move on.

  • Drfunk,

    I can’t wait to see him. I’ve been debating for a while if I should start watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer or not, and seeing as he’s in it at some point, it might sway my decision in the shows favour.

  • Ours is the Fury: Javi Marcos, Who exactly are you shouting at?Anyway, Martin’s comments, while helpful in some regards, are a little embarrassing in others.For starters, he seems unaware that Africa borders on the Mediterranean Sea, and what does “African” in appearance mean? I’m afraid George has stepped in it a little.

    I can totally understand when people are upset when filmmakers “whitewash” the characters that are clearly meant to be non-white – like in case of Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea – the TV version of that great saga was indeed an embarassment –
    but in case of GoT – Comments like those above are the only thing “embarrasing” here.

    For one,trying to look smarter, more politically correct than GRRM make one sound ridiculous and simply pretentious, most thinking people understan perfectly what he meant and there WAS NOTHING EMBARASSING or WRONG in his words,

    secondly, can we ever get over this race, ethnicity and political correctness speculations? there are no chinese in the series, let’s all start complaining about that now…

    thirdly – as someone has rightly mentioned already – what about term “african-american” ? it does not refer to people of moroccan or egyptian origin, it refers specifically black people- why don’t you request to change that term in every single US questionaire and statistic data? Why should we try to see all as black or white?

  • Wow George wasn’t even included in the casting of Oberyn smh.

    Oded Fehr will always be my Red Viper.

  • I thought personal insults were not allowed on this site, but apparently a moderator gets to call someone creepy. Seems fair.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Lex,

    I called you a liar, because you copied part of a post from my blog but messed with it. So yeah, you already had copied stuff, Lex. Let’s not bullshit here. Then you went and copied the rest and pasted after I said you were lying by stripping away context, etc.
    This ends now. My other fandom activity is no secret, links to my fandom blog are everywhere, but copying my personal posts over to WiC is creepy. Cut it out. You made a mistake in crossing that line, I cleaned it up. Let’s move on.

    What are you talking about?!? You posted ONE sentence, and I copied/pasted that one sentence. There was no alteration, or stripping away of context. I did not make any “mistakes”, and you did not “clean it up”. Get real, lol! This is unbelievable.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    spacechampion,
    Have you figured out how Tumblr works yet?

    Have you stopped beating your wife? What’s the point of this question? Only thing that comes to mind is that somehow you think this is some sort of insult.

  • Lex,

    I posted a couple sentences on my blog actually, and you copied over a half of one sentence. Not that it matters. What was altered is how you misrepresented whom I was referring to. But anyway, I edited out the stuff that should never have left my personal blog. It’s over. If you have any more complaints, take it up with Winter in private.

  • Lex: Lighten up, dude. Not worth it. Probably shouldn’t be comparing website info, especially immature stuff from Tumblr

    OItF: Lighten up, dudette. Probably shouldn’t be blogging on that silly Tumblr site, which is a place for lazy I-am-the-center-of-the-universe types who think forwarding and linking spammy images is an art form. Rise above the fray.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Lex,

    I posted a couple sentences on my blog actually, and you copied over a half of one sentence. Not that it matters. What was altered is how you misrepresented whom I was referring to. But anyway, I edited out the stuff that should never have left my personal blog. It’s over. If you have any more complaints, take it up with Winter in private.

    Wow… I’ve had some pretty big concerns about your moderating before, but tried not to get too involved (e.g. back when you were implying anyone who didn’t like the casting of Oona Chaplin was a racist), but wow. A new low for this site. Congrats.

    And for the record, OiTF is the one who brought up tumblr in the first place, suggesting we pay attention to what’s going on over there, when someone pointed out that she was the only one over here talking about all this supposed offense and outrage. I went to have a look, at her suggestion, and surprise surprise…

  • Well, this took a turn for the worst. Let’s cut the back-and-forth, “he-said, she-said” stuff. It’s silly and unproductive.

    If you have an opinion on GRRM’s comments, feel free to share it. Otherwise, move on.

  • *sigh* Here we go again. I just hope that not every single thread about Dorne will end up like this until next year. Are there no other topics regarding Dorne and the Dornish apart from ethnicity or skin color? I’m tired.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    While I agree that the sentence was… loosely interpreted, I only saw the one when I hopped on tumblr to see what he was talking about.

    (Guess I didn’t leave quite as well as I wanted to).

    Edit: But per Winter, now I really am out.

  • Al Swearengen,

    I think he said on Twitter it was coming in a few days. Hope it’s by the end of the weekend, at least. Can’t wait to see who’s going this year!

  • Lol wtf haha.

    Winter is Coming.net, the once respectful, peaceful #1 site for all things Game of Thrones has turned into The Battle at the Blackwater part 2 since the Red Viper casting was announced.

    Glad to hear Pascal owned his audition though. Can’t wait to see him in the role.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    Arguments in the heat of the moment can degenerate into 5 year old debates very quickly. This is the internet after all. Regardless of who is right and wrong in this instance, I’d love to see some moderation policy changes regarding to Dorne specifically. Seriously, I don’t want to read up 200 comments of why X should be Y color and have another 200 comments disagree with the 200 while another 100 posts accuse another 100 of being racist or just downright stupid etc… I mean seriously, is EVERY Dorne thread going to degenerate to that point? Would love to see some active moderation to insure the discussion steers clear from this issue. Or worse add another button on the site to turn on/off the asinine racial comments.

    That said, would love to see some more videos of Pascal in his previous work to get a better feel for the actor.

  • Fire And Blood: I am actually very happy this is a topic of conversation. If GRRM is talking Sand Snakes, and Cinnamon Wind with regard to the show… that can only bode well for (most of) us.

    Lol, now we just need to figure out something controversial about Euron, Victarion, and Aeron so we can get some confirmation on whether they are in the show.

    I for one think there is not enough Seamen on the show. I thought this show was going to have lots and lots of Seamen, I know people get up and arms about anytime a TV show seamen (well not LF), but we need more seamen and if we don’t get it might time to boycott this show.

  • And to add my 2 cents to the discussion, I didn’t find GRRM’s comments offensive at all and was quite surprised to find out others are outraged over them. It seems to me he was just using the best terms he knew to describe what the Dornish looked like. Yeah, he was generalizing, but it’s not something worth getting offended over. He was writing a blog comment, not an anthropological dissertation.

    As to his opinion of the Red Viper casting, my take was Pascal does NOT match the Red Viper in GRRM’s head. Notice how he contrasts his view of the Dornish as being Mediterranean with noting that Pascal is Chilean. He then points us to a fan art of Oberyn which looks nothing like Pascal. And he opens the comment with the qualifier that Pascal “killed it” in the audition. To me it all read as a diplomatic way of saying, “He doesn’t look anything like the Red Viper in my head, but I think he will do a good job anyway.”

    Anyway, that’s my attempt at getting the discussion (somewhat) back on track!

  • Ours is the Fury,

    Reading the comments here and the dismissal of what is ignorant language on GRRM’s part is really disheartening. And yes, the fandom does exist outside of WiC and Worg and a lot of people aren’t happy about this response. People attacking OITF because she’s pointing out generalizations GRRM made in his comments is ridiculous.

    GRRM is not above criticism, and his treatment of POC in his novels is not perfect and is also not above criticism because it is rife with stereotypes (and yes, that includes the Dornish). And the term “Mediterranean” is an inclusive term that includes African countries. Just because the “popular” definition is Spain, Greece, Italy, does not mean that that is the correct definition.

    Furthermore, his defense of the POC casting the show has had is absurd. He rattled off two characters who did not appear at all in the third season, and one of which was killed on the show as opposed to being alive in the books. The show’s treatment of POC is pretty reprehensible, and defending it or justifying it just doesn’t stand.

  • Part of me finds the ultra sensitive PC types annoying, but another part of me really enjoys them for hilarious comment sections like this one.

  • Winter Is Coming:
    And to add my 2 cents to the discussion, I didn’t find GRRM’s comments offensive at all and was quite surprised to find out others are outraged over them. It seems to me he was just using the best terms he knew to describe what the Dornish looked like. Yeah, he was generalizing, but it’s not something worth getting offended over. He was writing a blog comment, not an anthropological dissertation.

    As to his opinion of the Red Viper casting, my take was Pascal does NOT match the Red Viper in GRRM’s head. Notice how he contrasts his view of the Dornish as being Mediterranean with noting that Pascal is Chilean. He then points us to a fan art of Oberyn which looks nothing like Pascal. And he opens the comment with the qualifier that Pascal “killed it” in the audition. To me it all read as a diplomatic way of saying, “He doesn’t look anything like the Red Viper in my head, but I think he will do a good job anyway.”

    Anyway, that’s my attempt at getting the discussion (somewhat) back on track!

    Thank you, a reasonable view. ;-)

  • God, this site is awful. Any suggests on where I can go instead? ANYWHERE that provides good info like this and where the comment section is at least half decent? I know I keep saying I’m done with this site, but I can’t find a good enough replacement. Please help! The comment section on this site is it’s biggest flaw.

  • Im glad to see the clarity GRRM has given to what the producers see as Pascal’s considerable acting skills. The rest of this thread is barely worth anyone’s time, and the way these threads continue to repeatedly devolve into silly attacks is getting very tedious.

  • Yeah guys, the show’s treatment of “POC” is reprehensible.

    It’s not even a joke…

  • Well this is just downright ridiculous.

    This does not really make me want to stick around on this site, which is unfortunate. I love the news, and the once light-hearted vibe this place had. But I guess like all internet sites and commenting communities, humanity’s ugly head is inevitable.

    Keep up the good work with news Winter, but OitF: You are not acting with the behavior that is expected from a moderator. I am quite appalled really, despite having slight agreements with your POV.

  • Jen:

    The show’s treatment of POC is pretty reprehensible, and defending it or justifying it just doesn’t stand.

    I think you should defend and justify that statement. While I personally didn’t like the uber-British Spice King, I think casting actors of color in the roles of Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xoan Daxos was excellent. Are you saying the leaving out of people like Chataya and that dude in court with the peacock feathers equates to “reprehensible?”

    Of course I wanted more color in Dorne, and it looks like we’re getting that with Pascal. Saying it’s been “reprehensible” sounds like an overt amount of drama on your part.

  • Ugly, obese mysoginist male writes ugly, obese, misoginist books. Then makes racially stereotypical comments

  • Winter Is Coming:
    Well, this took a turn for the worst. Let’s cut the back-and-forth, “he-said, she-said” stuff. It’s silly and unproductive.

    If you have an opinion on GRRM’s comments, feel free to share it. Otherwise, move on.

    It’s kind of ridiculous that people can’t criticize “Ours is the fury’s” editorials on this site, and her deleting posts he don’t agree with.

    It’s pretty obvious that “Ours is the fury” is a very left-wing, very feminist person who constantly inserts her own political opinion in her postings, and in the comment sections.

    No other contributor on the sites does that.

    I don’t mind the occasional “meta discussion” about the show but the fact is it’s pretty much the only thing “Ours is the fury” seems to be interested in. And she’ll dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree with her as either racist or misogynist.

    Sometimes I think she even herself realizes that she can’t take it too far (on this site). So she quotes other peoples opinions , which mirror her owns, instead of being honest with her own views. Or she’ll posts things like the ridiculously biased and (actually) offensive round table discussion which was posted a few weeks ago.

    I’m sure your knee-jerk reaction to criticism of her moderation/contribution will be defensive as she is part of her crew but in my opinion it’s making the site worse.

    A lot of people (me included) read this site because it isn’t westerost.org, or tumbr, two sites which are very extreme in their views.

  • Fire And Blood,

    God. So glad you guys are saying this stuff so that I don’t have to.

    I wish some of these people could understand how they sound with these statements basically amounting to criticizing the casting of Pascal for not being nonwhite enough. It’s in the running for most absurd sentiment I’ve seen expressed here.

    No, he doesn’t match my internal Oberyn either. So what? haha.

  • The way I look at it: GRRM and David and Dan are NOT racists. Therefore any work they produce does not have a racist agenda. Oh and as I’m watching a fantasy series/reading a fantasy series I, much like Tolkien “detest allegory in all its manifestations”, because I focus on the fictional world that is presented to me.

    I raise a glass to whomever suggested a post with links to videos of Pedro’s past career.

  • Fire And Blood,

    The show has killed, either on-screen or off, the majority of its POC. Namely, the Dothraki and Xaro (who is white in the books and still alive as of ADWD). Salladhor Saan appeared in two scenes and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. I doubt the average viewer has any recollection of him at this point.

    And then there’s the Mhysa scene, which made use of POC as a backdrop to Dany’s triumph. So yes, “reprehensible” is a decent word to use imo.

    These complaints are separate from issues I have with Pascal’s casting.

  • john: I’m sure your knee-jerk reaction to criticism of her moderation/contribution will be defensive as she is part of her crew but in my opinion it’s making the site worse.

    A lot of people (me included) read this site because it isn’t westerost.org, or tumbr, two sites which are very extreme in their views.

    I do hope that as a team of moderators you do approach this with honest ethics. A moderator shouldn’t be aloud to name call, censor comments that she herself has posted in other PUBLIC forums. It seems a bit hypocritical and not within the original mission of this site.

    Just my .02

  • I always find it funny when people get so worked up about racism. If you’re so tolerant, why aren’t you a little more open minded when it comes to you dealing with people who are racist? I’m sure they didn’t start out open-minded and actively though, “Hey, I’m going to start prejudicing people now.”

    I was happy to hear the comments from GRRM. Though, honestly, I’m a little gutted that Ours is the Fury chose the words of my favorite house. Because, honestly, I couldn’t cringe more at his equality rhetoric.

  • Lex,

    Indeed, though I rock more of a vampire mysoginist vibe. Grats for being able to read too, bro

  • Al Swearengen,

    They released the Thursday info earlir today, but I have not seen any roll-out schedule for more info on the other days.

    http://comiccon2013.sched.org/2013-07-18/list/descriptions/type/1%3A+programs#.UdXgCvn2bh5

    There is one Thrones note though.

    “And at 4:45 p.m. in Ballroom 20, we’ve got some of TV’s gutsiest (and, ahem, most attractive) men coming together for our Brave New Warriors panel. Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), and David Giuntoli (Grimm) are scheduled to appear.”

  • Jen:
    Fire And Blood,

    The show has killed, either on-screen or off, the majority of its POC. Namely, the Dothraki and Xaro (who is white in the books and still alive as of ADWD). Salladhor Saan appeared in two scenes and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. I doubt the average viewer has any recollection of him at this point.

    And then there’s the Mhysa scene, which made use of POC as a backdrop to Dany’s triumph. So yes, “reprehensible” is a decent word to use imo.

    These complaints are separate from issues I have with Pascal’s casting.

    Because clearly, deciding to do things like lock Xaro into a cell with a Caucasian woman, is all about SKIN COLOR and not, perchance, an interesting story idea? Dothraki dying is not at all in keeping with the books? No?

    I won’t even touch the rest, because…no.

  • Jen,

    Such a word villainizes the show runners. Ergo you are saying they are reprehensible. Maybe “unfortunate” or “oblivious” or “myopic” would be the word your looking for?

    Some people on this board give off the feeling that the show runners are terrible human beings when it’s more of a case of last minute ignorance. Maybe they need to be more aware or these issues. Hell, I’m writing a book myself and I am terrified that ill be considered a racist. As for the show’s future approach to these sensitive issues, we know Bryan Cogman is aware of it ;-)

  • Jen:
    Ours is the Fury,

    And the term “Mediterranean” is an inclusive term that includes African countries. Just because the “popular” definition is Spain, Greece, Italy, does not mean that that is the correct definition.

    Words are defined by how people use them. Saying that the “Spain, Greece, Italy” meaning is popular shows that it is a correct definition. You can’t deem definitions incorrect just because you don’t like them.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    Their treatment of POC are all of those things as well. For all GRRM talks of diversity, at the end of the day, this show has one of the largest casts on television and one of the least diverse. And that is a real shame.

    And I wish you luck on your book. :)

  • Fire And Blood: I think you should defend and justify that statement. While I personally didn’t like the uber-British Spice King, I think casting actors of color in the roles of Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xoan Daxos was excellent. Are you saying the leaving out of people like Chataya and that dude in court with the peacock feathers equates to “reprehensible?”

    Of course I wanted more color in Dorne, and it looks like we’re getting that with Pascal. Saying it’s been “reprehensible” sounds like an overt amount of drama on your part.

    So basically the one black character’s most famous line in the show to date is about “raping” a blonde, white woman and the other black guy was in actuality broke but pretended to be wealthy and ultimately was killed for betraying Dany, which is a huge deviation from the books, both the character and the outcome. I think its notable that the show gives black actors roles that fulfill many negative stereotypes about blacks. Pirate, liar, untrustworty, hyper sexualized etc…

    This doesn’t even begin to touch on the crowd surfing of brown people…

  • In the words of B. Cogman, “Wow.”

    Anyways, as I said earlier, I think the coolest part of GRRM’s post is the revelation that another producer wrote to him, congratulating him on the casting of Pascal. That bodes very well.

    And regarding the general fiasco that is this thread, well, GRRM has tried (perhaps futilely) to clarify the look of Salty Dornishmen. Turning the focus on his (mis)use of other terminology is beside the point. I can’t help thinking some people are upset/angry to be proven wrong (by GRRM clarifying that the Salty Dornish look Greek/Italian/Spanish rather than Arabic or Indian) and so they’re looking for something else to be offended about. The Martells are Greek/Italian/Spanish in appearance. Deal with it.

    Also, thanks WiC for pointing out the fact that GRRM seems to be saying Pascal does not exactly match his image of Oberyn. I hadn’t caught that implication, but I think you’re right.

  • Thanks for posting this, but the comments on this topic have become unbearable. Our Is The Fury’s extreme PCness is dragging every discussion down and IMO no longer should have a place in stories like this. Just put the news up and a brief comment, thats it…let users drive the conversation. I still can’t believe the outrage over someone using the word “pussy” as a derogatory term (this happened in one the episode discussion posts).

  • SunnyI think its notable that the show gives black actors roles that fulfill many negative stereotypes about blacks. Pirate, liar, untrustworty, hyper sexualized etc…

    LOL, are you kidding? What about all the white characters who are also pirates, liars, untrustworthy, hyper sexualized? It’s Westeros, nearly everyone is like that. You’re reading/projecting your own stereotypes into it.

  • Dark Star:
    Good grief! Will someone please notify me when this ridiculous subject is no longer be hashed out AD NAUSEUM?

    I wish this blog had like/unlike options.

    Gods be good, yes. I completely agree with you. Enough is enough already!

  • I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The Salty Dornishmen were never described as being black. This whole thing is a storm in a tea cup. GRRM has just explicitly stated it out, and you people are still arguing about it. Like you know more about the characters than he does. Get over yourselves, please.

  • Lex: LOL, are you kidding? What about all the white characters who are also pirates, liars, untrustworthy, hyper sexualized? It’s Westeros, nearly everyone is like that. You’re reading/projecting your own stereotypes into it.

    Yeah but there also alot of honorable, good, courageous and heroic white characters that add balance. There really is no balance for PoC on this show.

  • Burn Notice: Sam Axe

    that is all you need to know he was awesome in that! a cornish/welsh accent?

  • Anyone who gets offended by someone using the term “African” when they are thinking of someone black is not worth arguing/debating with. Overly sensitive personality + an insatiable drive to be correct and “proper” = a rather dull individual

  • WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    That did come off a bit wrong. What I meant was so much better now than it ever was and all this outrage is just stupid. You need to put things into perspective. People in the last have lived and died in slavery, suffered discrimination and torture beyond belief, and you are offended by a couple of words that aren’t even meant to be offensive? Really?

  • Sunny: Yeah but there also alot of honorable, good, courageous and heroic white characters that add balance. There really is no balance for PoC on this show.

    Really? Can you name me 10 good, honorable, courageous, heroic white characters?

  • Jen,

    So they are reprehensible? Their just merely awful human beings who are doing it for the lulz in addition to being myopic and oblivious?

    I don’t want to publish my book to be honest. Not if it opens up cans of worms like these.

  • Lycanthropist:
    Well this is just downright ridiculous.

    This does not really make me want to stick around on this site, which is unfortunate.I love the news, and the once light-hearted vibe this place had.But I guess like all internet sites and commenting communities, humanity’s ugly head is inevitable.

    Agreed.

    Plus I can’t really get the discussion, maybe a cultural thing? More a US discussion than European? I don’t know..

    Do you guys discuss most of your movies you watched and books you read like this? Discussing how many major roles where played by which ethnic (I don’t like the POC abbr.) and many of each died?

  • glenn,

    Because generalizing an entire continent and several nations and ethnicities makes for an exciting individual.

    Great logic right there.

  • WILL EVERYONE PLEASE SHUT UP ABOUT RACISM!!! It’s frickin’ annoying! And it will never F#CKING be resolved, so just drop it already! We’re talking about Game of Thrones here. Give it up!

  • Joshua Taylor,

    I don’t know what your book is about, but if it’s along the lines of ASOIAF and you’re taking things from different cultures, do proper research. And don’t stereotype based on skin color or ethnicity, or anything. It’s really not difficult to write an inclusive story.

    And I don’t think they’re doing anything for the “lulz,” but the treatment of POC on this show stems from ignorance and blindness to said ignorance. I honestly don’t know how that Mhysa scene made it to air.

  • At this stage all threads regarding Dorne should have the comment section disabled .

  • Lex: Really? Can you name me 10 good, honorable, courageous, heroic white characters?

    Ned Stark, Davos, Tyrion (show version), Aemon, Commander Mormont, Jon Snow, Catelyn, Blackfish, Sam, Robb, Bran, Yoren just off the top of my head.

    But there are also alot of morally grey and ambigous white characters. The Jaimes, Theons and Hounds of the world.

    All the PoC chracters in the show are one dimensional caricatures. The Dothraki are savages. The brown people in Dany storyline are either slaves or slavers. The one black person in Westeros is a pirate and his most significant line is about raping a white woman. Not a lot of balance there.

  • If you have to point to Tumblr and the “Social Justice” brigade to prove a point, you’re probably wrong. Those people get offended at the sound of a sneeze.

    Yes, there are white people in Africa. There are white people in Asia too, but I would still use the word “Asian” to describe the appearance of someone who looks… Asian. Take a deep breath and move on.

  • guest, generalisations happen at every turn. whether its skin colour, ethnicity, religion, hair colour. to be offended so easily is a boring way to be.

  • Sunny,

    At this point, don’t even bother. Apparently having two POC on the show does enough for representation according to a lot of these comments.

  • Sunny,

    What about Grey Worm and Missandei? Are you saying the intelligent, multi-lingual Missandei, and the badass that is Grey Worm are just filling negative stereotypes for POC? Sounds like Lex is right about you projecting.

  • I’m so not into the term “POC” when white people use it. It’s not a word meant for white people to use. It’s a term of solidarity, meant to use only in manifestos, by “non-whites”. When a white person uses it, its alienating. Maybe the white saviours out there should stop using it? If you want to stop alienating people, call them people with no qualifiers.

  • I began reading because I was thrilled to read the casting choice and to see an actor who somewhat resembles my image of the RV.
    I’ve always found the moderators on this site to be moderating and calming and hovering godlike above the fray.
    While we all have a right to our opinions, the moderator/thread author of this subject has kept this topic skewed to an antagonistic degree by her own militant world view.
    I tuned in thinking the subject was this very important casting choice, not racism in GoT, the series and the books, or the parsing of various ethnological terms.
    Also –

    House Snow: GRRM isn’t the one embarrassing himself.

    Agreed.
    Very disappointed.

  • Sunny,

    Yeah. Jon Snow, Blackfish, Sam and Tyrion should’ve been portrayed by POC actors. Then we would have a balance.

  • Sunny: So basically the one black character’s most famous line in the show to date is about “raping” a blonde, white woman and the other black guy was in actuality broke but pretended to be wealthy and ultimately was killed for betraying Dany, which is a huge deviation from the books, both the character and the outcome. I think its notable that the show gives black actors roles that fulfill many negative stereotypes about blacks. Pirate, liar, untrustworty, hyper sexualized etc…

    D&D’s notes for today:

    Casting priority number one from this day on: Create a new noble charakter and find a black guy for this role to counterbalance two random minor characters some crazypeople on the web might think of as potentially offensive. And eliminate the Dornish storyline completely, it’s a fucking minefield!!!11

  • Im sorry “Ours is the fury” that the comments on your post went crazy, great job informing us and bringing news about ASOIAF, Game of Thrones and stuff. Keep it up.
    Greetings from Argentina.
    PD: Now we now that apart from religion and politics, race is now not a good topic to talk about in posts.

  • Arya Dunyett:
    I began reading because I was thrilled to read the casting choice and to see an actor who somewhat resembles my image of the RV.
    I’ve always found the moderators on this site to be moderating and calming and hovering godlike above the fray.
    While we all have a right to our opinions, the moderator/thread author of this subject has kept this topic skewed to an antagonistic degree by her own militant world view.
    I tuned in thinking the subject was this very important casting choice, not racism in GoT, the series and the books, or the parsing of various ethnological terms.
    Also –

    Agreed.
    Very disappointed.

    There is a certain attitude needed to be a moderator. You’re basically customer service, which requires a good deal of patience. A moderator’s job is to accommodate, not agitate. Ours is the Fury needs to decide whether she’s a poster or a moderator.

  • As a (half) African-American, I wish people would just shut the fuck up about race issues, in general. I’m tired of people attempting to ‘stick up’ for us poor, defenseless “P.O.C.’s”, when I haven’t heard any of my black (gasp!) friends give a flying fuck about any of this, let alone get upset about it. It’s a blatant case of the white savior trope, except it’s pretty much in reverse, and almost certainly more racist than anything the show is doing.

    Also, Tumblr is a fucking cesspool. Almost as bad as 4chan and reddit.

  • The story is set mainly in Westeros. If the main action were moved to one of the other two primary continents, the roles would likely be reversed. Depicting a land where nonwhites make up such a small part of the population, the bad apples are going to bring attention upon themselves. But doing a show in such a way is hardly an indictment of all nonwhite people in that world. Migrants from other lands, in areas where they are easily visibly distinguished as the minority, often find themselves discriminated against such that finding gainful employment can prove difficult, leading them to wade into murkier moral waters.

    Set the story on another continent, Essos or Sothoryos, and you’d probably find a primarily nonwhite population of neither heroes nor villains, and the few white people you’d see would probably have a higher-than-average chance of not being particularly sympathetic. If such a story were being told, as a white guy the last thing on my mind would be that the people depicting this had a thing against white people.

  • Dan:
    Sunny,

    What about Grey Worm and Missandei? Are you saying the intelligent, multi-lingual Missandei, and the badass that is Grey Worm are just filling negative stereotypes for POC? Sounds like Lex is right about you projecting.

    There good characters, but nothing more than plot devices for Dany. Missandei is just there to be a translator and Grey Worm is just a generic captain/commander. Actually I do like what they did with Grey Worm especially. Having Dany ask him for his advice on whether he trusts Daario. I can’t remember if that was in the books or not, but it was a good scene nonetheless. But still these characters are very one-dimensional and there only relevance to the story is Dany’s savior arc.

    I would have loved to seen a PoC play someone like Thoros. I believe in the books hes described as having dark skin and being from Myr would make him being a PoC in the riverlands believable. Thoros is such a wonderfully complex, funny and multi-faceted character it could have added much needed balance to the show. That being said I love Paul Kaye and the job hes done has been amazing.

  • With respect to the specific comments made by GRRM, you should note that he is North American, where members of the “African-American” community are generally called “African American” because respected civil-rights leaders in that community sometime ago requested that this term be used. They made the point that other ethnic groups in the US were called “Italian-American”, “German-American”, and so on. The term “black”, once proposed by civil-rights activists as preferable to “Negro”, an earlier term in use, was considered inaccurate and less respectful.

    Dealing with the world community, he naturally leaves out the “American” part. Had he said, “black” instead, as some suggest, this would have been an over-generalization, and offensive
    to some. The whole concept of race is, of course, socially significant, particularly to peoples who have been discriminated against and worse, based on someone else’s classification of them. But it is biologically amorphous, which makes all of these terms in a very basic way, meaningless.

    As a North American, GRRM was using the terms he has been taught by the media and African American community are politically correct.

  • Khal-A-Bunga:
    As a (half) African-American, I wish people would just shut the fuck up about race issues, in general. I’m tired of people attempting to ‘stick up’ for us poor, defenseless “P.O.C.’s”, when I haven’t heard any of my black (gasp!) friends give a flying fuck about any of this, let alone get upset about it. It’s a blatant case of the white savior trope, except it’s pretty much in reverse, and almost certainly more racist than anything the show is doing.

    Also, Tumblr is a fucking cesspool. Almost as bad as 4chan and reddit.

    =D

  • Khal-A-Bunga,

    Exactly. I find the ultra PC types to be extremely demeaning towards minorities with their constant mission to find things to be offended about on their behalf.

  • Dan:
    Khal-A-Bunga,

    Exactly. I find the ultra PC types to be extremely demeaning towards minorities with their constant mission to find things to be offended about on their behalf.

    I like how idiots bandy about terms like PC. Yet these very same people act out in anger when PoC are given roles originally written for whites.

  • Sunny: Where did I say the Dornish storyline should be eliminated? I’m crazy because I have an opinion that differs from yours? Fuck off.

    Jeez, no, I don’t think you’re crazy, but you’re blowing things out of proportion IMO. I was trying to be sarcastic, if I should have offended you: My apologies.

  • Nice to here from George that Pascal killed his audition.

    And after Ours is the Fury gets booted out of moderation duty on this thread, PC warriors Jen and Sunny show up. Coincidence?

  • Ours is the Fury,

    I appreciate where you are coming from.. but it is pretty accepted that African typically is thought of as black, hence the term African-American. Yes we know there are white people in Africa, as there are black people in Europe & Asia (shocker!). Does that mean the general description of Europeans & Asians are off? Would you rather black people in America be called “Most Of-but not South(even though some in South Africa are black & chinese & other nationalities too) African-Americans”? Because that is the only way a general term to describe to most common type of person from a specific place can be described.

    I know he is older but it isn’t like he called them something ridiculous & racist like the n word or even a coon. He used a term that a lot of people clearly understood what he was saying. As far as geographic issues with the Mediterranean… it was a general statement.

    If somebody says South American it is typically a latino (yeah that word has been a nontroversy too)… yet there are many black appearing Brazilians which is in SA. How technical are we trying to be here with a general & commonly accepted/understood statement?

    No disrespect intended here I have always respected & appreciated your comments and existence on this site…. and still do. I just think you were being a bit too sensitive with this statement/concern. GRRM isn’t racist.. or ignorant (a slow writer he definitely is though). There is no reason to take his statement…. that was meant to defend the ethnicity of an actor who has been attacked based on his skin color!, and make it like using a socially accepted term makes him somebody warranting an in depth analysis of his very innocuous/benign comment.

  • Dammit Patrice:
    Im sorry “Ours is the fury” that the comments on your post went crazy, great job informing us and bringing news about ASOIAF, Game of Thrones and stuff. Keep it up.
    Greetings from Argentina.
    PD: Now we now that apart from religion and politics, race is now not a good topic to talk about in posts.

    A very nice comment! Agreed!

    It’s a healthy thing to have these discussions, but they are hard and they are inflamatory for a reason. Because of a whole heap of social history that has led to where we are today it’s difficult for people to speak openly about race, gender, sexuality etc without someone feeling like they’re being attacked. You can see it on both sides in this comments thread. I tend to think there has been problems with the way that non-white ethnicities have been handled in this show, for the reasons that Jen has pointed out. GRRM’s comments seemed pretty innocuous to me though and Pascal is growing on me as a casting choice, particulary having heard some things about his acting chops.

    Mainly, it’s just super-exciting to me to be getting to the bits with the Dornish. The Martells are a really interesting house. My hope is that they eventually get quite a lot of focus in the show and become established as a story strand of their own. Appreciate this might not happen though given the time constraints and the fact that they’re somewhat self-contained in terms of the narrative so far.

  • john:
    Sunny,

    Yeah. Jon Snow, Blackfish, Sam and Tyrion should’ve been portrayed by POC actors.Then we would have a balance.

    When the fuck did I say that?

  • Forgot to mention that none of my white friends give a flying fuck, either.

    Dan,

    And yes, some times it can come across as demeaning and slightly offensive, but only because of how oblivious these people can be. The insinuation that I should – for some reason – be offended is off-base. I’ve been exposed to real racism, and that shit doesn’t have anything to do with the casting choices of a fantasy show, just ignorance.

  • sunspear:
    Nice to here from George that Pascal killed his audition.

    And after Ours is the Fury gets booted out of moderation duty on this thread, PC warriors Jen and Sunny show up. Coincidence?

    Someone is always called PC when they defend against discrimination and promoting negative sterotypes as if those things are the norm and should always be acceptable.

  • Sunny,

    Salladhor Saan in the books is a slaver who tries to trick Dany into giving her a dragon and then brings all of Meereen to wage war on her.

    Salladhor Saan is no different than he is in the books, a rapist pirate who’s only in it for the gold.

    Joffrey, Tywin, the Mountain, Balon, Craster, and every cowardly lannister guard and rapist in Westeros are played by white people. By your logic, the show is racist against whites.

  • Sunny,

    You are not defending against discrimination. You’re being an troll and posting the most irrational arguments I’ve ever read. Actual civil rights leaders would want nothing to do with you.

  • sunspear:
    Sunny,

    Salladhor Saan in the books is a slaver who tries to trick Dany into giving her a dragon and then brings all of Meereen to wage war on her.

    Salladhor Saan is no different than he is in the books, a rapist pirate who’s only in it for the gold.

    Joffrey, Tywin, the Mountain, Balon, Craster, and every cowardly lannister guard and rapist in Westeros are played by white people. By your logic, the show is racist against whites.

    Indeed, the most ‘twisted’ of characters are white. Ramsey, anyone?

    But no notice was given to my comment of the white girl locked up in Qarth with Xaro, so…falling on deaf ears, all this, me thinks.

    I love this show.

  • Sunny,

    I care absolutely nothing about the race of a casting choice. I care whether they will do a good job acting the part and entertain me. The people who complain about black people being cast for roles written for a white person are just as lame as the people who complain about the reverse. I wouldn’t want to grab a beer with anyone like that. People like that are only good for the occasional laugh in comment threads on the Internet. In the real world I avoid ultra PC people like they are caring the plague.

  • sunspear:
    Sunny,

    Salladhor Saan in the books is a slaver who tries to trick Dany into giving her a dragon and then brings all of Meereen to wage war on her.

    Salladhor Saan is no different than he is in the books, a rapist pirate who’s only in it for the gold.

    Joffrey, Tywin, the Mountain, Balon, Craster, and every cowardly lannister guard and rapist in Westeros are played by white people. By your logic, the show is racist against whites.

    Get your facts straight it was Xaro that tried to take the dragon not Saan. And I already addressed the last “point” earlier. My point isn’t that all PoC are good and all whites are bad, it is that humans, like in Westeros, are largely grey and that people are capable of good and bad. The PoC in this show are not as represented as complex individuals in comparison to their white counterparts.

  • Moono,

    Thank you! And it would be nice if comments were mature and rational like yours; but most of all, with respect.

  • Sunny: So basically the one black character’s most famous line in the show to date is about “raping” a blonde, white woman and the other black guy was in actuality broke but pretended to be wealthy and ultimately was killed for betraying Dany, which is a huge deviation from the books, both the character and the outcome. I think its notable that the show gives black actors roles that fulfill many negative stereotypes about blacks. Pirate, liar, untrustworty, hyper sexualized etc…

    This doesn’t even begin to touch on the crowd surfing of brown people…

    So I’ll put you in the group of people who are then glad Chataya and Alayaya weren’t cast? Because I’m not sure how you would react to the prostitute stereotype.

    While we’re at stereotypes, I’ll note you’ve said nothing about the bass-ackwards Hill tribes, or the barbaric Wildlings, or the despicable Freys, or the pillaging Ironmen, or the flaying, dehumanizing, castrating Boltons.

    Because clearly only PoC are placed in a negative light on Game of Thrones.

    (“Pirate, liar, untrustworty, hyper sexualized…” I think you just described Theon.)

    And for the record, you clearly do not know how persuasive Salla can be. It was the white dude who did the talking about raping. Salladhor Saan intended on making love to her.

    Salla is awesome.

  • sunspear:
    Sunny,

    You are not defending against discrimination. You’re being an troll and posting the most irrational arguments I’ve ever read. Actual civil rights leaders would want nothing to do with you.

    Please summarize my irrational arguments please.

  • Michael274,

    Me saying one of the largest casts, if not the largest cast, on television is sorely lacking in diversity is simply whining.

    Ok. Good to know. Thank you for your input.

  • Fire And Blood: So I’ll put you in the group of people who are then glad Chataya and Alayaya weren’t cast? Because I’m not sure how you would react to the prostitute stereotype.

    While we’re at stereotypes, I’ll note you’ve said nothing about the bass-ackwards Hill tribes, or the barbaric Wildlings, or the despicable Freys, or the pillaging Ironmen, or the flaying, dehumanizing, castrating Boltons.

    Because clearly only PoC are placed in a negative light on Game of Thrones.

    (“Pirate, liar, untrustworty, hyper sexualized…” I think you just described Theon.)

    And for the record, you clearly do not know how persuasive Salla can be. It was the white dude who did the talking about raping. Salladhor Saan intended on making love to her.

    Salla is awesome.

    You people just dont get it. I’m not complaining that they are portrayed in that manner. I happen to like show Saan. And there is a random brown prostitute in the show and I could care less. I’m complaining that THESE ARE THE ONLY ROLES THEY ARE GIVEN!!! Why is this? Why are there not PoC who are given the characterization and complexity of the white characters? I’m a PoC myself. And it is so disheartening to always see people who look like me played as savages. That why I love the Dornish so much because you never see PoC given roles like that in the fantasy genre.

  • Jen:

    Me saying one of the largest casts, if not the largest cast, on television is sorely lacking in diversity is simply whining.

    Canon tho

  • Sunny: You people just dont get it. I’m not complaining that they are portrayed in that manner. I happen to like show Saan. And there is a random brown prostitute in the show and I could care less. I’m complaining that THESE ARE THE ONLY ROLES THEY ARE GIVEN!!! Why is this? Why are there not PoC who are given the characterization and complexity of the white characters? I’m a PoC myself. And it is so disheartening to always see people who look like me played as savages. That why I love the Dornish so much because you never see PoC given roles like that in the fantasy genre.

    Canon tho

    (Seems to me we got our first glimpse of a PoC Dornishman with the Red Viper casting. Or are you saying Pedro “isn’t dark enough?”)

  • Can the mods just close the comment section and pretend this never happened.. this has gotta be one of the most embarrassing civil rights movements I’ve ever seen.

  • Tumblr is still butthurt that they didn’t cast a “POC” like Oded Fehr. Can anyone explain to me how by the American definition a Jewish man of full European descent can be a POC?

  • Fire And Blood: Canon tho

    (Seems to me we got our first glimpse of a PoC Dornishman with the Red Viper casting. Or are you saying Pedro “isn’t dark enough?”)

    30 Percent of Chile is of Caucasian descent, 52 percent of Chile is culturally European. Latin America has a very diverse racial makeup. The fact that you call Pedro a PoC because he is from Chile is laughable.

  • Sunny,

    65 percent of Chile is a combo of Mestizo with predominant caucasian origin. 30 Percent is predominantly Causcasian and only 5 percent of Chile is indigenous.

    Say what you want, but do not try and pass Pascal off as a PoC when he is obviously Caucasian in origin.

  • Sherry,

    Oh shit, wouldn’t that mean that they whitewashed the role?

    Also in that sense, was Khan whitewashed from the beginning, since Ricardo Montalbán was of full Spanish descent as well?

  • I dont get the “Thoros should of been darker” arguments, his book description doesn’t even mention skintone. The only known description of the Myrish (men) are that the males are usually dark haired and dark eyed. For women, of course, there is Taena but we can’t say she represents the look of all Myrish women.

  • Sunny: I’m complaining that THESE ARE THE ONLY ROLES THEY ARE GIVEN!!! Why is this? Why are there not PoC who are given the characterization and complexity of the white characters?

    Ok. Well, I think it’s because they are mostly minor characters. They don’t have nearly as much screen time as a major charakter like Tyrion for example, so they’re less complex on average. But I don’t think they are less complex BECAUSE they are “POC” (though I agree, there are some stereotypes in GRRMs original story).

  • Sunny,

    Not everyone studies this like you, give it a rest.

    We severely doubt that any of you are the Chosen One – the fabled figure of legend and prophecy who will unleash the power to convince people to behave differently on the Internet.

  • Sunny: But Saan being black, Xaro being black, and Thoros being pale white isn’t CANON though. Rebuttal.

    I liked that Saan and Xaro were cast as PoC. Saan especially. I was a little disappointed that he was made straight, but so goes it.

    Thoros is never described as a PoC. If we’re talking book canon, Myr is one of the Free Cities, and is coastal, so any number of colors seems acceptable. The fact that the show offered the role of Thoros to a PoC (who turned it down) before going with Paul Kaye tells me ethnicity and race are not inherent in the character, and I would tend to agree.

    The reason I reference the tried and true “canon tho” (I guess I need to explain internet memes now) is to put an ironic spotlight on the actual culprit: the source material. Every PoC character we’ve mentioned could be considered inconsequential in the greater scheme of things. It’s a very white story. That’s why I wrote the original “Importance of Dorne” post.

    So before you go off the rails on how the show doesn’t have enough PoC, go talk to Martin first. (Seriously, is a Martell the first PoC PoV we get? I’m pretty sure.)

  • Sunny: 30 Percent of Chile is of Caucasian descent, 52 percent of Chile is culturally European.Latin America has a very diverse racial makeup. The fact that you call Pedro a PoC because he is from Chile is laughable.

    That’s pretty damned racist. I’ll ask you this: What is a white person? I’m curious how you define it.

  • I wish Pedro would come on here and comment on how he is not Caucasian.

    I hope he will be at SDCC.

  • john,

    Actually, a German philosopher came up with the term. Stop blaming all things on America.

    /rebuttal to useless statement

  • Fire And Blood,

    I agree on all points. And I don’t think the show is racist but the visual imagery of TV versus the books make certain things more transparent. For example, i never had an issue with Mhysa in the books but in the show it was kind of uncomfortable.

  • Gee, and silly me always loved how diverse and international the cast of GoT seemed to be (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sibel Kekilli, Jason Momoa, Oona Chaplin, Carice van Houten, Kristofer Hivju, Tom Wlaschiha, Lucian Msamati, Amrita Acharia, Nonso Anozie, Miltos Yerolemou, Sahara Knite, Noah Taylor [isn’t he Australian?], just to name a few).

  • Joshua Taylor,

    He could very well be a white Chilean, but it all depends on how he personally identifies. I doubt he’ll clear anything up on some fan forum, and he shouldn’t be made to feel like he has to.

    And when are we getting the SDCC announcement? I’m dying to know who’s going already.

  • john:
    “Caucasian” is a horrible American word that doesn’t really mean anything.

    Caucasian is a term originating from Germany. But I agree it is a horrible words as are all racial classifications for the most part.

  • Sunny:
    Fire And Blood,

    I agree on all points. And I don’t think the show is racist but the visual imagery of TV versus the books make certain things more transparent. For example, i never had an issue with Mhysa in the books but in the show it was kind of uncomfortable.

    I can agree with this sentiment of seeing verses not. What we can imagine is often quite different than when it’s right in our faces, certainly. It can’t be ignored or tempered through our own filters when it’s “right there.”

  • Ours is the Fury,

    “Eurocentric?”
    For the love of god keep your tumblr-social justice bull **** out of this. GRRM was clear as day on what he meant.

    Ever since the Importance of Dorne article this place has had its head up its ass. What the hell happened?

  • Fire And Blood: The fact that the show offered the role of Thoros to a PoC (who turned it down) before going with Paul Kaye tells me ethnicity and race are not inherent in the character, and I would tend to agree.

    I didn’t knew about that. Which actor was it?

  • The mods should close the comment section…just for now. The comments are getting agressive and i am not enjoying it. This is supposed to be fun.

  • Sherry:
    john,

    Actually, a German philosopher came up with the term. Stop blaming all things on America.

    /rebuttal to useless statement

    First of all, no. “Caucasian” is an American English word. Germans don’t speak English.

    The concept of the “Caucasian race” is what you can attribute to that German philosopher.

    Which is irrelevant in this discussion. It’s how Americans use the word “Caucasian” that I think is ridiculous.

  • Fire And Blood,

    It is a very white story. Who cares? Something tells me that you would not demand more white people in a majority Asian or African country.

  • Sunny,

    I think ultimately they ran into two issues with the Mhysa scene. One, they did put out a call for “extras of all ethnicities” (paraphrasing, but I do remember the post we did on it a year or so ago) for Morocco. Apparently the people we saw are the people who showed up. Some people have said that they could have just shipped in a few white people to make it look less of a sea of brown, but unless they’re credited (and paid) as “featured extras,” it’s against most guild laws. (Then you’d also have the mess of a bunch of dark-skinned Moroccans pissed that these white people are getting preferential treatment, which opens up a whole different can of “favoritism” worms.)

    Alternately you could just CGI some white people in… but isn’t that in and of itself whitewashing? I hear a lot of complaints, but never any viable (or legal) solutions.

  • Fire And Blood,

    It is a very white story. Who cares? Something tells me that you would not demand more white people in a majority Asian or African country.

  • Now I’m hoping they cast Timothy Dalton as Doran just for all the rage it will cause. It’ll be glorious.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    I wish Pedro would come on here and comment on how he is not Caucasian.

    I hope he will be at SDCC.

    If Pedro is at SDCC, I wonder if he’ll be in makeup to demonstrate how the RV will appear on the show.

    Regarding your book, write it and publish it if you can. As others have said, have your key cultural points (real and imagined) well-researched and maintain a very, very, very thick skin.

  • Abyss: I didn’t knew about that. Which actor was it?

    I wish I remember. Someone told us in passing way back when and it just sort of went over my head. (Because I remember my thought being, at the time, “Oh, was Thoros a PoC in the books? I guess he could be!”)

    If any of the other mods/peeps remember the story…?

  • Sherry,

    Well, sure they use it, like in Caucasian people or Caucasian languages or Caucasian cuisine or well, actually anything related to the Caucasus region. But a Caucasian race as a term for “white people” is an entirely unknown concept. Actually quite a common source for mistakes, when American papers are translated into German.

  • OtherWise1:
    Fire And Blood,

    It is a very white story.Who cares?Something tells me that you would not demand more white people in a majority Asian or African country.

    Oh, I don’t demand anything. I’m just … old and well-traveled. I have seen the world, so to speak, and it is not very white. Pink-skinned dudes like me are the minority. So I kind of hoped Essos would reflect that (“Valyrian stock” aside.)

  • Sherry: nargrad,

    Nobody at all? Really? Sure…

    But anyway.

    Germans are not familiar with the term “caucasian”. If you’re talking about “Kaukasier”, you’re referring to people from Armenia or Georgia.

  • MX:
    Javi Marcos,

    Being from southern Europe myself, and married to a Greek — I can only laugh at you. I look at my skin and I see pinkish hues mixed with slight beige, not a trace of “white”, blue as my eyes might be.

    Yes, there are plenty of blond-haired or blue-eyed people in Spain as well.

    But you don’t know your own history or yourself, and I pity you and your ilk. I bet you would freak out to see how smoothly Andalusia transitions onto northern Morocco, in terms of both soil and architecture.

    GRRM is great when it comes to transposing British history onto the universe of ice and fire, but his knowledge of other parts of the world is scant at best, and limited to short visits abroad. This is aggravated by his lack of ability in foreign languages (although Tolkien, with all of his skills, was even more parochial and capable of awful comments about “Celtic imagination”).

    I love GRRM’s ability to build a character, but I am glad that I don’t live in his world which would be deprived of India, China and South America, with only a thin sprinkling of people of African descent.

    Because not mentioning a fictional alternative for EVERY race/ethniticity is such a crime? Do you really expect George to put everything out there in his books?

    He tries making a vast fantasy world with lots of diversity , but in the end nobody could do that. No author would be able to juggle so many different races (or whatever you want to call it, because I am tired of trying to be careful while saying the word “race”, you know what I mean) nor should it be expected of him/her. Merely suggesting that is uncalled for, IMO.

    There’s a certain point where you draw the line. George isn’t racist nor is he intentionally leaving anyone behind. But I guess that’s what you get when you actually try.

  • Lex,

    Hear, hear, Lex. Keep fighting the good fight. Just because someone is associated with the site itself, it doesn’t mean they’re never wrong.

  • Ah! The “original Thoros” actor in question was Asim Ahmad! He tweeted about it. But we now kind of think it was just a hoax on his part.

  • KG:
    Lex,

    Hear, hear, Lex.Keep fighting the good fight. Just because someone is associated with the site itself, it doesn’t mean they’re never wrong.

    Blaspheme.

  • Westeros isn’t a corny-assed mess like the Forgotten Realms, where there were not-called-Japanese and not-called-Native-Americans and not-called-Africans.

    George R. R. Martin created it. What he says is .. IS. If his word isn’t good enough for you, then … maybe you need another hobby. And therapy.

    P. S. I always pictured the Martells as classic Arabic types. I was wrong, apparently. And I’m not going to lose a wink of sleep over it.

  • KG:
    Westeros isn’t a corny-assed mess like the Forgotten Realms, where there were not-called-Japanese and not-called-Native-Americans and not-called-Africans.

    George R. R. Martin created it. What he says is .. IS. If his word isn’t good enough for you, then … maybe you need another hobby. And therapy.

    P. S. I always pictured the Martells as classic Arabic types. I was wrong, apparently. And I’m not going to lose a wink of sleep over it.

    This.

  • This whole thing is ridiculous. I’ve been reading this site from the very beginning, and although I almost never participate myself, I’ve always enjoyed the discussion. But this thread… it just saddens me. It is pointless flamebait. It tries so hard to fabricate a controversy, where none should exist. Reading the ramblings of some posters you would believe GRRM/D&D/Nina Gold were white supremacists, XVIII century plantation owners and Ghestapo officers, all rolled into one. It’s perplexing, almost quixotic, to see some people conjure up windmills to fight against, out of thin air, while ironically cornering themselves into the white-savior trope they rile against.

    And finally, Ours is the Fury, I’m sorry to single you out, but clearly, I’m not alone in my impression. You are moderator: it is expected of you to keep things civil, and to rein in the discussion if it gets out of hand. Please, take a good look at the difference in tone and approach between the conciliatory, calm responses of WiC and FaB and your own confrontational, inflamatory interventions.

  • Grijnwaald: Woah……Calm down dude jeeeez

    Thanks for giving an immediate ” calm down ” embrace for a our fellow ASOIAF
    / GoT fan (:

    Albeit very heartening to hear from the author whom penned the books, GRRM both
    clarified his intent however drew short ,of a few historical facts. That does not
    undermine his overall meaning though, he speaks of diversity, which is true
    enough, just not accurate in relevant perspectives. I love it though, that he takes a
    pause to to weigh in on fan chatter, from GoT viewers to book fans. *>*

  • Fire And Blood:
    Ah! The “original Thoros” actor in question was Asim Ahmad! He tweeted about it. But we now kind of think it was just a hoax on his part.

    I thought that was confirmed as a hoax months ago?

  • Lol it weems that I’m late to the party…all I can say is that I think OitF should take a vacation ;)

    If there is one guy in this communitty that’s been posting since day one and that has always strucked me as moderate, reasonable, a cool guy with common sense that is LEX.

    If there is a thing I learned since day one on the internet (and I’m old enough for that) is that a mod should NEVER take advantadge of his position of advantadge to win an argument,discussion , by for example deleting comments

    It strikes me as funny (well not actually, as it’s very common) that the ones that are supposed to be the liberal ones are the first to use censorship, the bullies, the most retrograd with his actions…o well, live and learn

    PS: At then I ended up saying much more tan I first intended, but I just couldn’t help myself

    Fire And Blood: Oh, I don’t demand anything. I’m just … old and well-traveled. I have seen the world, so to speak, and it is not very white. Pink-skinned dudes like me are the minority. So I kind of hoped Essos would reflect that (“Valyrian stock” aside.)

    But the world you travelled is not the world Essos is in ;)

    Really, the old guy just wrote a fantasy book…

    As Kurt Vonnegut said “Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”

  • OMG, that discussion is so sick. GRRM should have given the RGB code for the Dornish skin colour. It is known.

  • KG:
    Westeros isn’t a corny-assed mess like the Forgotten Realms, where there were not-called-Japanese and not-called-Native-Americans and not-called-Africans.

    George R. R. Martin created it. What he says is .. IS. If his word isn’t good enough for you, then … maybe you need another hobby. And therapy.

    P. S. I always pictured the Martells as classic Arabic types. I was wrong, apparently. And I’m not going to lose a wink of sleep over it.

    Haha… Forgotten Realms. Now I’m trying to remember the name of the Japanese stereotype character in Baldur’s Gate…

  • Drfunk: That said, would love to see some more videos of Pascal in his previous work to get a better feel for the actor.

    I believe that relevant links were shared in the recent Casting Post. I viewed all
    of them, especially since I’ve never heard of him nor viewed his work before.
    I’m remaining open minded until the onscreen portrayal of Oberyn Martell begins.

  • Chickenduck: I thought that was confirmed as a hoax months ago?

    I cannot confirm nor deny the actuality of the hoax until production tells me either way. But all signs point to major hoax. Apparently the actor in question does this from time to time! I have no idea why. It doesn’t seem a fair trade-off: brief notoriety followed by a complete loss in public confidence.

    Not unlike my own existence.

  • PoC not cast as Thoros we hear: Why isn’t Thoros a PoC? They only cast PoC as prostitutes, rapists, and liars.

    PoC cast as Thoros in an alternate timeline: They only cast PoC as prostitutes, rapists, liars, and drunks.

  • Pau Soriano: It strikes me as funny (well not actually, as it’s very common) that the ones that are supposed to be the liberal ones are the first to use censorship, the bullies, the most retrograd with his actions…o well, live and learn

    Nah. It depends on the issue. Many conservatives in our country do all they can to delegitimize Muslim, atheist, liberal, urban, educated etc communities.

    Left-wingers have their own issues, don’t get me wrong. But conservatives are not necessarily saints when it comes to allowing others the expression of their opinion.

  • See Lemoncakes:
    Noah Taylor and Conan are Australians!

    And both play true villains and Conan was replaced after season 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s blatant racism against Australians!!!!!!!!!! :p

  • Chickenduck: Haha… Forgotten Realms.Now I’m trying to remember the name of the Japanese stereotype character in Baldur’s Gate…

    I was a Minsc fan, myself.

    Go for the EYES, Boo! GO FOR THE EYYYYYYEEESSS!

  • Pau Soriano:

    If there is one guy in this communitty that’s been posting since day one and that has always strucked me as moderate, reasonable, a cool guy with common sense that is LEX.

    Thanks! Although I will be the first to admit that I’m not always reasonable/moderate at first. I do get into pretty heated debates, at times. But I think I was unfairly attacked in this thread (by a mod, no less), for saying nothing but the truth. So I thank you for the support. :)

  • Lex,

    Uhoh … did Pau and I agree on something? Dany may wind up pregnant, after all … I think that was one of the conditions …

  • John: Agreed.

    Plus I can’t really get the discussion, maybe a cultural thing? More a US discussion than European? I don’t know..

    Do you guys discuss most of your movies you watched and books you read like this? Discussing how many major roles where played by which ethnic (I don’t like the POC abbr.) and many of each died?

    I agree with this. I have never really seen anything like this before. I don’t think the show is actually promoting racism, so what’s the problem? I don’t think it’s the job of a TV show to actively fight racism. A show is meant for entertainment, so as long as the actors can act and the audience is entertained, what’s the problem?

    And I’m not trying to be condescending or anything, I’m really asking what the problem is. Because I get the impression that it IS a cultural thing. I’m Estonian and it’s not like there’s no racism here (Estonians and Russians are constantly at each other’s throats) but when we have a movie or a show, I’ve never seen or heard anyone so much as mention counting how many Russians vs Estonians were cast in what roles and how many died. It’s just not the sort of thing anyone would think of doing.

  • If someone has a problem with an interpretation such as the RV, or sallador based on any characteristics or traits, especially because it doesn’t match how you imagine it.
    That’s your problem.
    Your problem.
    But people love to make their problems, other people’s problems.
    And even if all the word wars going on are driven by good intentions ill quote another fantasy series “sometimes the greatest harm comes from the best intentions”.
    So by crusading whatever personal vendettas you have are you helping to quench the fire or fuel it?

    And back to the topic at hand. I’m glad grrm tried to weigh in and clarify things for people, even if some of those people are still hellbent on sticking to their predispositions.
    Personally I always viewed the dornish as very diverse and inspired by Mediterranean, middle eastern etc.

  • I’m starting to feel like America is a lot more racist than any of the countries I have lived in :(

  • Pau Soriano: As Kurt Vonnegut said “Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”

    One must also consider , if point is to be made, why any of us make the time to
    visit this site or any other, especially if sharing one’s own perspectives are
    valid in any way.

    Mr Vonnegut makes a fine point , in this quote , however fails to acknowledge
    his own participation in critiquing his fellow peers’ writings. Any author might
    comment this of the other, however true in expressing personal opinion, he also
    finds himself engaging in the same. It becomes a redundant, tautological discussion,
    without any new insights. He didn’t become a great satirist, noted for is sarcasm
    and wit , for no reason. Not sure though, if his words bear much weight to this
    subject post comments.

  • Chickenduck: I thought that was confirmed as a hoax months ago?

    I’m not familiar with Almad’s situation, but I am aware of the internet ” blowing up ”
    over the consideration for a darker complexioned Thor character. Most chatter
    presumed it was to be Idris Elba.

  • Veltigar: And both play true villains and Conan was replaced after season 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s blatant racism against Australians!!!!!!!!!! :p

    :D

    I’m quite disturbed by the way the show has cast Scottish actors, always putting them into shameful or dubious roles.

    Richard Madden: a boy-king who breaks his oaths for a curvy bum, resulting in mass slaughter. How very selfish.

    Rory McCann: a perennially angry alcoholic(!) who only gets along with dogs… and a select few children.

    Kate Dickie: an insane, rambling poisoner.

    Iain Glen: a disgraced, cuckolded exile and former slaver with an eye for young girls with silvery hair. A “flip-flopper” if it suits his desires.

    Emun Elliot: an asshole minstrel. According to the books, he abuses his favour with a high lady, using his privileges to harass other women. Quite helpless and bumbling in season 1.

    Rose Leslie: a foul-mouthed, sexually suggestive Northerner. Tries to kill her other half over a loyalty dispute.

    Ian Hanmore: an albino with a penchant for “shade of the evening” (shandy? Whiskey?)

    And the Red Wedding, based on real Scottish history too! I am incensed. Where’s the positive Scottish influences? The Wall, based on Hadrian’s? It was built to keep us barbarians out of the civilised world… is GRRM equating the Scots to dirty barbarians? Hey, nationalities can be portrayed unfairly, too.

    Except no, none of the above is happening. You can really give rise to your own outrage if you’re really so inclined.

    I can’t wait for more casting news to come and bury this monstrosity. Or maybe even Bryan Cogman’s ‘Ask a GOT writer’ article :)

  • Anytime George R.R. Martin says something he is not only clarifying something the term that is used is Word of God, It’s canon. So that should end any debate, it’s the hammer strike. Anyway, the post have comedic value. :D

  • Am I alone in thinking the Dothraki aren’t any more or less savage than the Westrosi? They do rape when they conquer. So do the Westrosi. Also, the Dothraki take “gifts” and then leave. The lords of Westeros expect permanent fealty. Neither are good. The ASOIAF/GOT is just bad and brutal all around. Once Danaerys starts to try and rule Mereen we will likely see people with brown skin who are more more three dimensional such as the Green Grace and the Shavepate and Hizdahr.
    For the most part though, this series is about Westeros which is loosely based on medieval Britain. Therefore I don’t expect it to be quite as racially diverse as some other shows. The lack of diversity is more of an issue in a show such as Girls, or Friends when that was airing. Any show set in an American city should be diverse because all American cities are very ethnically diverse.
    There is my rational and not at all vitriolic argument for why I think some people are overreacting a bit about the ethnic make-up of the GOT cast.
    That being said, it is beyond me why some people feel the need to insult feminists and liberals. There is nothing wrong with being either of those things. Also, as I stated before we don’t all think exactly alike all the time.
    This is hopefully the last time I will mention this because I don’t think being a member of the ASOIAF/GOT fandom is or should be a partisan issue. I do just have to say this one time; if you think liberals are the biggest bullies around you should really do your homework. Seriously, check out the comments section on any given Daily Caller article. Look up Zerlina Maxwell and see the hate directed at her when she went on Fox News and the gall to suggest that perhaps the first step in preventing rape is teaching men not to rape. The most appalling crap I have ever seen.
    Sorry if this post was overlong and full of grammatical errors. Just got back from a BBQ and am a little drunk ;)

  • GRRM is the author of these books so I think it is somewhat arrogant for people to dispute what he states that his characters are meant to look like. It’s great to state, “well, I’ve always pictured so and so in my head a certain way”, but arguing with the author (when he wrote the books) is just ridiculous.

    He just said that the salty Dornish are olive skinned with dark hair. He also said that Dorne is loosely based on Spain. I don’t understand the big drama about this. Pedro Pascal looks perfect for the role, and it sounds like he nailed the audition.

  • Ours is the Fury: Women are about 40% of this fandom. GoT is not a boys club. And many, many of those women define themselves as feminists. It’s 2013, John. Feminism is not a dirty word. Ultrafeminist just means extra-awesome feminism!

    In that quote you made the assumption that all 40% of those women are feminists. John said ‘ultra feminists are a small minority’ not ‘women are a small minority. And I would disagree that ultra feminism is ‘awesome’ in any sense of the word. Modern day ultra-feminism often involves making women seem like victims when gender had nothing to do with the issue at hand, making women seem like victims when the issue affects both genders equally and complaining for the sake of complaining.

    As for Geroge’s comments, he was speaking in generalisations. The majority of people who reside on the African continent are of a brown or black skin complexion, so when speaking in generalisations it is commonly accepted and legitimate to mean ‘darker skin complexion’ when you say ‘African people’. In the same way, you wouldn’t expect someone to mean black people when you say Japanese even though there are black people living in Japan, because the majority of people living in that region are east-Asian in appearance. And when someone says ‘Mediterranean in appearance’, it is commonly accepted for that to mean Italy, Spain, Greece etc, even though there are countries on the south of the Mediterranean sea. It’s kind of like using the word ‘gay'; it is technically correct to use it to mean ‘joyful and happy’, but most people will interpret it to mean ‘homosexual’. Accepted meaning != technically correct meaning.

  • So, the lone female moderator on this site, Ours is the Fury, is being attacked for daring to express her crazy “fringe” opinions, such as “sexism and racism are bad”? She’s being told to settle down and take a vacation? To paraphrase Bryan Cogman, “Wow”.

    This comments section removes any doubt that ignorance about racism and sexism are alive and well in our society. Anyone who dares to point out problems with representation in the media, anyone who dares to suggest that issues such as race and gender are worthy of discussion, anyone who dares to ask that the privileged majority stop shouting “what’s your problem, it doesn’t bother me!” and listen, for just a minute, to how others feel, will simply be shushed, shouted down, ganged up on, or ridiculed.

    Wow indeed.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Javi Marcos,

    Anyway, Martin’s comments, while helpful in some regards, are a little embarrassing in others.

    For starters, he seems unaware that Africa borders on the Mediterranean Sea, and what does “African” in appearance mean? I’m afraid George has stepped in it a little.

    He probably knows that African countries border the Mediterranean sea as well, but it’s pretty much common knowledge that when you refer to a “Mediterranean feel/look/food” etc you actually mean parts of the Spanish, Italian, Greek and Turkish Mediterranean shores… It’s cliché and probably eurocentric, yes, but it’s just the way it is!

    That is pretty much what i envisioned for their looks!

  • How come so few American actors are cast on the show.

    One could say D&D are Anti-American.

  • Luana,

    No one comes on here to hear about their perceived sexism and racism. This is a GoT fan site we want to hear about GoT.

  • Luana:
    So, the lone female moderator on this site, Ours is the Fury, is being attacked for daring to express her crazy “fringe” opinions, such as “sexism and racism are bad”? She’s being told to settle down and take a vacation? To paraphrase Bryan Cogman, “Wow”.

    This comments section removes any doubt that ignorance about racism and sexism are alive and well in our society. Anyone who dares to point out problems with representation in the media, anyone who dares to suggest that issues such as race and gender are worthy of discussion, anyone who dares to ask that the privileged majority stop shouting “what’s your problem, it doesn’t bother me!” and listen, for just a minute, to how others feel, will simply be shushed, shouted down, ganged up on, or ridiculed.

    Wow indeed.

    No she wasnt being attacked for that. She was being attacked because she was taking advantage of her status as a moderator to influence the discussion in her favour(can one even call this a discussion anymore?)

    Plus, like so many others, she was throwing accusations of racism where none existed in the first place. Where I come from there is a saying, “Trying to find an elephant under a fly”. And that is exactly what she was doing.

  • “How come there were no PoC actors in Rome, Deadwood, The Borgias, Camelot, Shogun and Vikings…

    How come The Sopranos didn’t have any high level PoC characters in the crime family?

    All these shows must be ran by racist producers!!!”

    This is honestly how, to me, many of you people sound.

    These kind of WiC threads end up getting people into passionate arguments about race and sex.

    You all are looking way to deep into things.

  • Luana:
    So, the lone female moderator on this site, Ours is the Fury, is being attacked for daring to express her crazy “fringe” opinions, such as “sexism and racism are bad”? She’s being told to settle down and take a vacation? To paraphrase Bryan Cogman, “Wow”.

    This comments section removes any doubt that ignorance about racism and sexism are alive and well in our society. Anyone who dares to point out problems with representation in the media, anyone who dares to suggest that issues such as race and gender are worthy of discussion, anyone who dares to ask that the privileged majority stop shouting “what’s your problem, it doesn’t bother me!” and listen, for just a minute, to how others feel, will simply be shushed, shouted down, ganged up on, or ridiculed.

    Wow indeed.

    Always the victim card.

    Seriously, you open your post with blatant lies and straw men and you expect people to reply to you?

  • MX:
    Javi Marcos,

    Being from southern Europe myself, and married to a Greek — I can only laugh at you. I look at my skin and I see pinkish hues mixed with slight beige, not a trace of “white”, blue as my eyes might be.

    Yes, there are plenty of blond-haired or blue-eyed people in Spain as well.

    But you don’t know your own history or yourself, and I pity you and your ilk. I bet you would freak out to see how smoothly Andalusia transitions onto northern Morocco, in terms of both soil and architecture.

    GRRM is great when it comes to transposing British history onto the universe of ice and fire, but his knowledge of other parts of the world is scant at best, and limited to short visits abroad. This is aggravated by his lack of ability in foreign languages (although Tolkien, with all of his skills, was even more parochial and capable of awful comments about “Celtic imagination”).

    I love GRRM’s ability to build a character, but I am glad that I don’t live in his world which would be deprived of India, China and South America, with only a thin sprinkling of people of African descent.

    Well stated ser .

  • Cary Storm:
    I think this post proves two things.
    1) No matter what the fan belief of what the Red Viper looks like, Pedro Pascal is fairly close to GRRM’s personal idea of physical coloration/appearance.
    2) GRRM is not a cultural anthropologist and not very many of his fans are either. With ever correction of someone seems to be a misstatement as well.

    GRRM , quoted above, mentions his satisfaction with Pascal’s references while in
    contact, and pleased with the audition reading, although he had not been present to
    witness it. He obviously respects the process, and the individuals in charge to
    carry out these tasks. To say he gave personal approval relating to his vision of
    Oberyn Martell, is stretching it a bit. Yet, I hear where you’re coming from,
    especially with respect to your second point. I’m in full support of any author
    pursuing their passion for their projects, at long as they own what they wrote,
    gain new insights in retrospect, and remain proud of their work. I believe it’s
    safe to say that Martin understands this well. He’s pragmatic yet engaged with
    his fans and the real world. He earned my respect.

  • I missed Luana, actually. Her outlook is… unique. Glad she’s back spouting her sunshine-and-rainbow worldview!

  • MX:

    GRRM is great when it comes to transposing British history onto the universe of ice and fire, but his knowledge of other parts of the world is scant at best, and limited to short visits abroad. This is aggravated by his lack of ability in foreign languages (although Tolkien, with all of his skills, was even more parochial and capable of awful comments about “Celtic imagination”).

    This is 100% correct. Westerosi characters are hundreds of times better developed than ones from elsewhere in the world of Ice and Fire.

    I’ve already ranted enough about how 2D the non-white characterisations in the books are, though… So won’t do it again here ;)

    So anyway, the American century is winding down, bring on the Asian century!

  • Ser Tahu: In that quote you made the assumption that all 40% of those women are feminists. John said ‘ultra feminists are a small minority’ not ‘women are a small minority. And I would disagree that ultra feminism is ‘awesome’ in any sense of the word. Modern day ultra-feminism often involves making women seem like victims when gender had nothing to do with the issue at hand, making women seem like victims when the issue affects both genders equally and complaining for the sake of complaining.

    Egads. Ser Tahu, I generally like many of your thoughts, but this is awful generalization. You seem to be describing what some would call an extreme form of political correctness rather than anything in particular about feminism, and it comes awful close to trying to shut down the conversation by dismissing someone for complaining.

    I think that there are several commenters who have pointed out that the mod here – Ours is the Fury – seemed to ratchet up the tension rather than try to dial it down a bit, when the discussion needed a bit of a referee. But those here who are claiming various things, be it to tell others to calm down, shut up, it’s only a TV show, et cetera, don’t do their causes any more of a service either, and the increasing sense of entitlement people feel to either A) say whatever they want regardless of who it hurts or B) demand that D&D somehow, I don’t know, consult? them before daring to cast actors on the show they run is getting out of hand.

    And coming so quickly after the really U-G-L-Y direction the original Pedro Pascal thread went, a couple of the other Dornish threads, and the super-creepy discussion of why Sophie Turner hasn’t gotten naked yet (RETCH) it’s been a bit of a rough couple of weeks for WIC. And for as much as I’ve heard about ASOIAF threads being too overrun by people hammering D&D for not paying fealty to the books, the Pedro Pascal casting thread was pretty civilized compared to the WIC version.

    To look at the original comments from GRRM, let’s take it apart a bit:

    I do know that David and Dan and HBO do favor having a racially and ethnically diverse cast on the series. It is true that we’ve lost several black characters who appear in the novels (Chataya and Alayaya, Jalabhar Xho, Strong Belwas), but to balance that, characters like Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xhoan Daxos, both white in the books, have been played by black actors. Missandei as well, though in the books the Naathi are golden-skinned, not white.

    As for the Dornishmen, well, though by and large I reject one to one analogies, I’ve always pictured the “salty Dornish” as being more Mediterranean than African in appearance; Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, etc. Dark hair and eyes, olive skin. Pedro Pascal is Chilean. (Check out Amok’s version of the Red Viper, that’s how I saw him. Or Magali Villenueve’s beautiful and sexy portrait of Princess Arianne).

    Now, I may be giving GRRM a wide berth and a too-generous reading, and as a white man, may not have enough perspective on this. But given he uses the word “black actors” in the same passage as comparing “Mediterranean” to “African,” I think he’s making a (poor, perhaps) geographical distinction. And perhaps to me that’s because when I hear the words “Mediterranean,” I picture Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, Syria. That covers a lot of ground, but explicitly includes North African peoples, who admittedly can look a LOT different than Italians, but is a clear distinction with his use of “African,” which I take to mean “sub-Saharan African,” although of course that’s a ton of countries with people of varying appearance.

    For those who meanwhile decry the unbalanced nature of those black characters on the show again, let’s look at it using the GoT moral code rather than the 2013 world (in which just about everybody but Hodor is a lousy person on a lot of levels). Missandei is a freed slave and servant, and isn’t a killer. One on the good side. Grey Worm is a soldier, a brutal one, sure, but not out of place in this world. That’s 2. Salladhor Saan? Despite his comments about Cersei (and really, comments that make him similar to most men in this universe), he’s what, a pirate, making a living and staying alive the only way he can – as are most in this world. He’s also a good friend and wise counsel to his old smuggler buddy Davos, and from that limited perspective I’d easily place him on the side of the angels, which is of course enhanced by the fact that Lucian Msimati is awesome and I want a spinoff just starring him and his adventures on the sea.

    So that’s 3. And the other side, you’d rightly have Xaro Xhaon Daxos, a treacherous creep who tries to make off with Dany’s dragons. So three to 1. Admittedly a limited universe — and anyone who says that the general nature of the show is much too white to begin with has a good point.

    You’d want to see the folks on Sam’s ship cast as black, and Moqorro of course (because he’s such a fucking badass), a Sand Snake or two, and throw in the Shavepate, Hizdar, and a couple of the guys on the boat sailing down the Rhoyne, for that matter. (And ok, maybe a couple guys in the Night’s Watch? What about Bowen Marsh or Donal Noye coming next year??)

    Anyway – I hope more casting news and the usual array of “Best of” posts that I hope are coming soon will produce discussions that don’t devolve so quickly. The passion is great, and there’s lots to argue about, but the tone of late has been a bit over the line.

    Stepping off my soapbox now.

  • Mescalinic: so false :)
    of course it’s important to understand what each other means using the word ‘dark’.
    look at Javi Marcos avatar. seen? you call that ‘dark-skinned?’. if the answer is yes, than italians and spanish are dark-skinned. if it’s no, than they aren’t, ’cause no one is darker than that in those countries. well…of course, Balotelli is black, and is italian, but that’s beause his parents were from Africa (Ghana).

    i know all this talking can be silly, but i understand very well. no one has a problem with being call ‘dark-skinned’, or ‘light-skinned’, the problem are always the stereotypes. it’s sad that in 2013 someone still think that citizens of a countries have a certain look just because they were shown that way in some american tv-show from the 90′ :)

    “No one is darker than that in those countries.”

    Yes there are. You just gave an example, Balotelli. He’s Italian, he was born there, lives there, and has a citizenship. And he’s dark of skin. Soooo…what were you saying?

    I don’t know if the second-half of your post was directed at me, but I know that. Only an ignoramus thinks everyone in a certain country looks the same.

    I don’t really understand what point you were trying to make. :?

  • Greatjon of Slumber,
    I agree that GRRM overgeneralised ethnicities and regions in his comment. My (admittedly poorly made) point was that it isn’t worth people going out of their way to be offended by it. It annoys me to no end that people keep on going on about Pedro’s race while ignoring the important thing: GRRM is happy with the casting, so we should be too. All evidence so far suggests that he will do great in the role of Oberyn Martell.

    As for the ultra-feminist (NOTE: Ultra-feminist/extremist feminist, NOT regular feminists, I have no problem with them) comment: I live in Australia, and we just put up with three years of one of the most incompetent Prime Ministers our nation has ever seen, who just so happened to be female. Something that really annoyed me, though, was that whenever someone criticised the Prime Minister, ultra-feminists would pop up in the media and say that people were being misogynistic when the criticisms made against her had nothing to do with her gender. And when the Prime Minister was (finally) ousted, there were ultra feminists even outside of our country that said it was a step back for equality, even the the PM was ousted because she was an incompetent leader with ineffective policies, not because she is a woman. In other words, the ultra-feminists (again, the extremist minority, not regular feminists) were essentially playing the gender card to dismiss any argument against the PM regardless of the fact that gender was irrelevant to the issue at hand, which in itself is highly sexist. So that’s why I went on a little rant when OiTF (who I have nothing against, by the way) said that ultra feminism is awesome feminism, because for the past three years extremist feminists (not regular feminists) have been actively harming any attempt to have a serious debate or discussion when it comes to our nation’s leadership.

  • Arthur:
    “How come there were no PoC actors in Rome, Deadwood, The Borgias, Camelot, Shogun and Vikings…

    How come The Sopranos didn’t have any high level PoC characters in the crime family?

    All these shows must be ran by racist producers!!!”

    This is honestly how, to me, many of you people sound.

    These kind of WiC threads end up getting people into passionate arguments about race and sex.

    You all are looking way to deep into things.

    Come on Arthur, you must have surmised by now that these and other productions
    operate with the perceived notion of what works for them, for whatever perspective
    the wish to punctuate. Entertainment does not always take into account what is
    credible or accurate. The product just needs to be effectual to it’s ( ? target )
    audience. While book authors get to envision fantasy or highlights of a particular
    genre, film media owes it’s greatest impact to reaching an even larger audience,
    one that maybe relates to the real world. That pragmatic approach sells $ tickets
    and boost Nielsen Ratings. With that said, these well regarded cable network
    shows you mentioned, have done well with it’s targeted audience, but not scored
    anywhere for success for general viewers. On the other hand, some shows resonate
    with those, unrepresented viewers , in part because the subject matter / False Prophet /
    Alpha /Cowboy , really is recognizable to them. Too bad no project actor was chosen
    to further the fan base. Too bad producers or their research people are unaware that
    there are African Jews as well as US Cowboys of African descent. As for sailing
    culture, well I look to the Moors. Willful blindness or denial of credible facts aside,
    many of these execs aren’t totally racist, just perpetuating certain myths that many
    chose to believe, unquestionably .

    I’d say many here have written disturbing things here . Whatever viewpoint or level of
    understanding , I hope those reading gain some new insights and choose to learn
    some credible facts by pursuing fact. To the rest of you unbidden , I suggest tuning
    out by changing the channel ( web tab ).

  • Luana: This comments section removes any doubt that ignorance about racism and sexism are alive and well in our society.

    Seriously. This is revolting. “RACE DOESN’T MATTER” say the legions of people who then devote hours and hours of their time to trotting out every tried-and-true tactic to excuse racism in the book and rationalize why white actors and characters are disproportionately represented, more completely characterized, and just darn more IMPORTANT. Because that’s how much it doesn’t matter, that’s how UTTERLY UNCONCERNED THEY ARE with people who are not white having roles in a TV show! Truly, they are the new vanguard of quality and compassion.

  • Luana,

    Just because she’s a woman doesn’t make her automatically correct or impervious to criticism. That’s a sort of sexism right there. You sexist, you.

  • Luana:
    So, the lone female moderator on this site, Ours is the Fury, is being attacked for daring to express her crazy “fringe” opinions, such as “sexism and racism are bad”? She’s being told to settle down and take a vacation? To paraphrase Bryan Cogman, “Wow”.

    This comments section removes any doubt that ignorance about racism and sexism are alive and well in our society. Anyone who dares to point out problems with representation in the media, anyone who dares to suggest that issues such as race and gender are worthy of discussion, anyone who dares to ask that the privileged majority stop shouting “what’s your problem, it doesn’t bother me!” and listen, for just a minute, to how others feel, will simply be shushed, shouted down, ganged up on, or ridiculed.

    Wow indeed.

    Racism , like any form of ignorance fueled by hate, remains entrenched in any
    society as long as it’s practiced and perpetuated through fear and denial. I’m
    ashamed to learn that disturbing things have been expressed here about women,
    human genealogy and historical fact. While many of us here do not boast advanced
    degrees on any subject expressed, it takes nothing but a conscious effort to seek
    education for credible references instead of narrowly focusing on a self appointed
    philosophy. We may create our own fantasy, but not a different reality from that
    which is indeed true.

    I believe Ours is the Fury stated her points well, as did Lex and king Tommen,
    where validity is concerned. The issue persists that many valid points went
    unchecked over the faulty ones.

  • Ser Tahu,

    I see what you’re saying. My point is that I blanch a bit at the characterization of extremist because up here in the USA we have many that seek to do that, and in a way try to remove them from the conversation by considering their opinions invalid.

  • WildSeed,

    It just bothers me that some people on these threads get at each others throats over racism and sexism issues…

    People on this thread do realize they are arguing about race demographics in a fantasy world? They do realize they are arguing of how a fantasy race of people may or may not have physical attributes of real life PoC?

    I think everyone needs to just take a step back and breathe a little.

    I have never heard of anyone complaining about LotR not having PoC.

    Why is GoT held to such overbearing scrutiny?

    It just seems absurd, to me, that people are arguing about racial demographics in a fantasy world…

    Maybe the sense of outrage over this PoC stuff is something beyond my understanding because I myself am a Caucasian. But I can tell you I would never support any show that I believe to be racist.

    There is no evidence what so ever of GoT going out of it’s way to avoid casting PoC.

  • I honestly think GRRM might have misunderstood a term used by the person commenting on his blog in this reference,

    “I was wondering what you thought about the most recent casting decision for the Martells…as a reader and a person of color who really appreciated the diversity in your novels”.

    From what I understand, GRRM took the term PoC to refer to individuals of African descent, whilst the more modern usage today, refers to people who identify themselves as not white. Maybe someone else can elaborate on that. But that’s how I understood how he went on to talk about the Martells not being African, and how he continued speaking about the African or “Black” cast members included in GoT and those left out.

    Also his references to Salladhor Saan and the other characters from the Free Cities outside Westeros as not being “African”.

  • The Laughing Storm,

    What’s funny is defenders of whitewashing keeping turning the debate into “Dornishmen aren’t black”, which is literally not what POC fans are saying. I know the Dornishmen and Martells aren’t black. But I also KNOW that from Tyrion’s description in the book, Oberyn doesn’t look anything like Pedro Pascal. And if they have to slap bronzer on him to get the look right, it’s tantamount to blackface.

    The whole “it’s just a fantasy novel/show” is a weak excuse. People who defend whitewashing don’t understand what its like to never see people on TV or in movies like you unless they’re the unintelligent bad guy, the thug, the slave, or the handmaiden. Here we finally get a POC family of nobility (arguably royalty) who resisted white dominance in a western world and our first introduction to that family will be through a white actor. It’s not acceptable.

    The idea of “well he was the best actor for the role” also suggests that “there just aren’t good POC actors for this role”. That’s another insult to POC viewers and actors.

    Just to clarify, when I say POC, I mean “not white”. Pedro Pascal is white and Oberyn Martell has officially been whitewashed.

  • Africa Belgrave,

    Something I’ll ask of you, and of anyone else who screams “whitewashing” of the Pedro Pascal casting:

    What’s white? Do you actually have a definition, or are you just talking out your ass?

  • Fire And Blood,

    Now we need to define white. Dude, Pedro Pascal is white. He may be Chilean or considered Latin, but he’s white or for some people, could “pass” for white in certain social circles. Race is a social construct, you know that. Either way, GRRM’s description of Dornishmen wasn’t adhered to at all in Oberyn’s casting, which in my opinion, is an issue.

    And please don’t ever suggest that any poster is “talking out of their ass” because they said something you don’t agree with or don’t believe exists. For alot of POC viewers, this casting is a disappointment.

  • Fire And Blood,

    This.

    It seems racist in its own way to imply that a person who is not white is somehow not a ‘true’ POC if due to random genetics happens to have fairly light skin tone. To me it seems fairly obvious that heritage, culture, place of birth, lineage etc are far better markers for what is ‘non-white’ than something as variable as skin tone.

  • Africa Belgrave,

    Well I say “talking out your ass” to anyone who can’t, or won’t, describe what they mean. It’s the same thing as someone coming in and saying “these kinds of movies sucks” and then refusing to tell anyone what kinds of movies they actually do like, for fear of someone calling them out on it.

    They, like you, are afraid to be painted into a corner with a descriptor and then proven wrong… or worse proven to disagree with others of your supposed mindset. It’s easier to complain than to provide solutions.

    So I’ll ask you again: What Is White? The answer is not “Pedro Pascal is white.” What defines it?

    Because I’ll bet you have no idea.

    Also: Some people have posited that, because Pedro went to school in Orange County California, that makes him white. I live in Orange County California. We’re probably a third white, a third Latino, and a third Asian, roughly speaking. A number of my Latino/Latina friends are thrilled that Pascal was cast, and consider him a PoC. My wife (a PoC) is thrilled he was cast, and considers him a PoC. Just because you don’t consider him a PoC doesn’t mean he’s not a PoC.

    I would say ask him whether or not he considers himself PoC. It’s not really anyone else’s place to determine.

  • Fire And Blood,

    I’m not sure if your slow, or if your just the type that enjoys pointing out his own ignorance by asking people to further clarify a clear statement, but you keep tooting your own horn..

  • Africa Belgrave:

    Now we need to define white. Dude, Pedro Pascal is white. He may be Chilean or considered Latin, but he’s white or for some people, could “pass” for white in certain social circles. Race is a social construct, you know that.

    Then it’s not for you to say whether he’s white.

    He’s an olive complexioned man named Pedro who grew up in the United States: Texas, California, New York. I don’t know what his experiences were, but knowing this country like I do there’s every chance he wasn’t treated like a white person, and if so that carries a lot more weight than your opinion of whether he’s dark enough or not.

    Only Pedro can say if he identifies as white or not, and it’s rude as hell to make that judgment for him.

  • As far as I know Pedro Pascal has not said publicly what ethnicity he is (and he shouldn’t need to). Maybe people shouldn’t make any assumptions about whether he is “white” or a “person of color”. How would you know. You can’t tell by looking at somebody all the time. I posted in an earlier thread the ethnic composition of Chile. From a random sample of people in Santiago the majority of mitochondrial DNA was Amerindian (that means northern Asian, Siberian origin, haplogroups A,B,D). The majority of Y chromosome DNA is European. Kind of similar to Dorne isn’t? Rhoynish and Andal populations mixed together and the result was a variety of skin tones. As many have pointed out, Latin America is very diverse. How can you assume anything by looking at somebody? Statistically speaking Pascal is probably Eurasion, but maybe he isn’t. We don’t know. It really baffles me that so many people (totally justifiably) complain that there aren’t enough Hispanic people on T.V., then when a popular show casts a Hispanic man for a great three dimensional show it somehow doesn’t count. I really don’t get it!
    I hope Pedro Pascal doesn’t get wind of all this and get the impression he is not welcomed by the GOT fandom. Lets try to remember we are talking about a human being here. Not a concept or an ethnicity. Anyway, he is welcomed by me.

  • The Laughing Storm:
    Fire And Blood,

    I’m not sure if your slow, or if your just the type that enjoys pointing out his own ignorance by asking people to further clarify a clear statement, but you keep tooting your own horn..

    If my what is slow?

    It’s possible I’m a complete blithering idiot. Just assume I’m slow. Maybe you can then tell us what “white” is.

    Or not?

  • Lex:
    This is just getting pathetic. Like, truly grasping at straws.

    Am I just being dismissive of tumblr? I don’t know how else to treat comments as utterly stupid as this random one I found:

    Why would anyone with half a brain care about an opinion like that? It sounds like it was written by a 5 year old.

    Anyways, what is, IMO, truly pathetic is that anyone who doesn’t share this insanity is being called a racist.

    Seriously, OiTF, I think you need to stop bring tumblr-centric “debates” over here. The intention might be to elevate the discussion, with racial sensitivity and social awareness, but it’s actually just dragging things down to a new low.

    Agreed. Time to move on

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Javi Marcos,

    Who exactly are you shouting at?

    Anyway, Martin’s comments, while helpful in some regards, are a little embarrassing in others.

    For starters, he seems unaware that Africa borders on the Mediterranean Sea, and what does “African” in appearance mean? I’m afraid George has stepped in it a little.

    I’m afraid not; most educated people understand that when using the term “Mediterranean” to describe ethnicity, one is referring to Southern Europeans close to the coast, not Africans. This shouldn’t have to be spelt out for you.

  • “He’s buggered off!”

    “So he has! He’s scarpered!”

    = my reaction whenever someone conveniently disappears after I’ve asked the “Can you define what makes a person white?” question.

  • Fire And Blood:
    “He’s buggered off!”


    “So he has! He’s scarpered!”

    = my reaction whenever someone conveniently disappears after I’ve asked the “Can you define what makes a person white?” question.

    I guess it would be a mix of ancestry (genetics) and culture to a much lesser degree. But in many ways it very subjective. Many white people do not necessarily have the same definition for what constitutes white. For example, I don’t consider Jews white, but there are many people who do. I would consider Pascal white, as I would Greeks, Spaniards, Italians.

  • Al Swearengen:
    Ours is the Fury I think you’re hot.

    Why do that? Directing misogynistic comments towards someone who already sees misogyny everywhere doesn’t make you funny. Now you’re just the weirdo lending credence to those views.

  • Sunny: I guess it would be a mix of ancestry (genetics) and culture to a much lesser degree. But in many ways it very subjective. Many white people do not necessarily have the same definition for what constitutes white. For example, I don’t consider Jews white, but there are many people who do.

    …Jews? You can’t put them all under the same heading. I presume you’re only talking about the Ashkenazim.

    There are Jews from all over. Some Jews ARE white. Some aren’t. The Jewish understanding of race is not the same as the majority American white person view.

    I’m not Jewish in any real sense of the word, but some of my ancestors were. My Jewish ancestors were pretty white. My wife’s Jewish ancestors were also pretty white. For the record, we are both only 1/8 Jewish (although Jewish law doesn’t work like that – under halakha it has to do with the maternal line, which means my wife and daughters qualify in theory, but I don’t).

    Other Jews come from Ethiopia and are black. Others come from Iraq and are kind of brown. I’m friends with one Egyptian Jewish family who are whiter than me (and I’m pretty white). Etc etc etc.

    Anyway, this argument is getting pointless. GRRM said he pictured the Salty Dornish as “Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or Greek” in appearance. Pedro fits that bill. Done.

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Javi Marcos,

    Who exactly are you shouting at?

    Anyway, Martin’s comments, while helpful in some regards, are a little embarrassing in others.

    For starters, he seems unaware that Africa borders on the Mediterranean Sea, and what does “African” in appearance mean? I’m afraid George has stepped in it a little.

    I am African/Mediterranean and i have white skin with black hair and eyes most African/Mediterraneans like me or with olive skin but very few with black skin, so your argument is invalid.

  • Sunny: I guess it would be a mix of ancestry (genetics) and culture to a much lesser degree. But in many ways it very subjective. Many white people do not necessarily have the same definition for what constitutes white. For example, I don’t consider Jews white, but there are many people who do. I would consider Pascal white, as I would Greeks, Spaniards, Italians.

    Would you consider Miltos Yerolemou white? He is of Greek decent, and considers himself a PoC–or at least as someone who plays PoC characters.

    It’s weirdly fascinating how “white” has changed as much as it has. I think I’m glad for it, in all honesty. Growing up in rural Virginia (technically “the south”), as a child back in the 1970’s, some of the neighborhood white folks would talk about Italians as though they were less-than human; they were seen as minorities to be sure, and the words “Goombah” and “Wop” were heard when people were referring to them in a derogatory way. And Hispanics, be they Spaniards or Mexicans or Cubans, were called “Spics.” None of them would have been considered white.

    But now, to many, they’re white.

    Is that the result of a broadening of peoples’ horizons? America wouldn’t have had a biracial president in the ’70’s, after all. The positive thinker in me would like to think times are indeed changing for the better when certain PoC’s can start accusing other PoC’s of being white.

  • I can’t help but think this whole discussion is ridiculous. GoT is a character-driven drama as far as books and shows go. It is not race-driven at all. Any and all skin color changes were made to make the show more easily relatable to the viewer or allow for the casual show watcher to understand the massive cast of characters better. The pirate character that davos befriends has a vastly different world-view than others at Dragonstone so they changed his skin color to make it more relatable. The same goes for xaron xaron doxas (sp) because he is recognized as an outsider who made his way into the “13” also Dany’s new boytoy was best portrayed as a pretty boy so of course they changed his appearance and axed the ridiculous blue hair.

    None of these skin color changes affect the show in any way as far as substance or drama is concerned. What a silly and over-the-top arguement. GRRM obviously doesn’t care about such minor changes either. Complaining about skin color changes make you look racist at best.

  • Arthur,

    Discussions like these are rarely born overnight, or solely based on one aspect
    of the book adaptation. What, apparently , has taken place is a larger point
    reckoning historical precedent and influence. Not everyone here appreciates
    relevant factors of ” race politics ” and how it influences the world we live in.
    Some find it extraordinarily difficult to part with privileges and perceptions
    held onto for whatever purpose. I really find it deplorable that some have decided
    cheapen expression for diatribe and name calling.

    I understand the frustration you speak of, but the subject matter wholly matters,
    in both author’s fantasy world premise, and the real world. Any author might be
    queried regarding his external or internal influences for their work. The question
    does not condemn or condone. GRRM engages his fandom, has clarified some
    elements and likely gain some insights from the long history he’s practiced his
    craft. Compared to many apologists and hatemongers whom happen to write a
    book or memoir, and enrage the public, GRRM towers above their narrowmindness.
    I’ve been offended with some author’s thinly veiled demeaning works of fantasy before,
    and ASOIAF isn’t one of them.

    I believe the general public has a right to be accurately depicted in an onscreen version
    of the natural world. That’s just my opinion. If this stands as a precedent, an admirable
    work of art onscreen has the potential to creating an even larger fan base, and one that
    gives props to the inventor. This stands to reason, if the revision stays true to the
    spirit of the piece involved.

    Not sure exactly what you mean by ” caucasian”, although I’m familiar with it’s misuse
    in the States, especially that Donald Trump fellow. I was raised in the Caribbean,
    where many besides myself, cringe at the number of name designations ( race )
    given to certain ” non caucasian ” people of the US. One’s ancestry does matter, as
    in often the need for physical description, for an emergency situation. Other than that,
    I’d rather respond to a ” what are you ” question, with a ” are you asking of my
    ancestry or ethnicity ? ” It’s no wonder why my mom had me interpret for her in public,
    as others display outward ignorance that French is spoken by many people outside
    of France, as is Spanish. Sorry to digress, but I am equally frustrated with those
    in denial, of the very fact that issues of ignorance and disrespect , persist . *>*

  • Arthur:
    How come so few American actors are cast on the show.

    One could say D&D are Anti-American.

    That’s petty……… especially since you are already aware of the answer (:
    And I wonder, does Mr Pascal count ?

  • WildSeed,

    Well said…

    I respect your thoughts and views on this matter. I now understand more about where you’re coming from in regards to your views on the importance for even a fantasy world to show as much diversity as the real world. I agree with you that it would have been best for more PoC (of all shades and ethnic backgrounds) to be cast as characters to show the GoT world has as much diversity as ours.

    However, I also understand the many realities of running a show. There is of course budget and time constraints at the top of this list. I would also guess that while watching audition videos D&D want to hire the best actor for the job based on acting ability and not racial background. So if a character being a certain race isn’t that important to the story, unlike the Dornish characters, then D&D would just cast the best actor. Of course if its a Stark or Lannister or something like that they would have to be white but otherwise I’m guessing it was a free for all. So there is the problem, many of the main story is in Westeros, a medieval European type country where the vast majority is white…

    Now comes The Red Viper and we finally get some major PoC players entering the arena. Many PoC were waiting for this and it seems D&D’s first House Martell actor selection isn’t dark enough for them? Is that what this comes down too? Pedro looks to white?

    I’m trying to understand the fuss here. I’m not trying to pick a fight or offend anyone. I just don’t see what the big deal is.

  • So can we from now keep moderators comments out of posts, when the mod have nothing to say?

  • WildSeed,

    I believe the general public has a right to be accurately depicted in an onscreen version of the natural world.

    Not quite sure what you mean there exactly and how it relates to GoT. But if taken as a general rule, wouldn’t that put a terrible restriction on artistic freedom and fiction in general? The general public can not have a right to demand what a work of fiction has to look like. Fiction needs a right to be fiction, a creative work. It creates, it doesn’t document. And it never will be a 100% accurate depiction of the natural world. And neither should it. Which doesn’t mean that you can’t criticize it. You should, in fact, if you think there’s something wrong with it. But giving the general public the right to tell artists what their creative output has to look like can not be the way to go.

  • Greatjon of Slumber,

    And perhaps to me that’s because when I hear the words “Mediterranean,” I picture Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, Syria.

    This is quite interesting, growing up in a mid-western school district in the 70’s and 80’s, we were taught that Mediterranean peoples were Spain across the northern Med to Turkey, including Italy, Greece, etc.; whilst Morocco, Algeria, Libya were considered North Africans and Egypt around to Lebanon was the Middle East. Perhaps this explains some of the problems in this post; the varied ages (generations) and diverse international educational methods, or in America’s case, the regional and cultural heritage we were raised in, including school district curriculum.

  • Wow! Some people get offended so easily even if it’s not about them. Harden the fuck up and stop with this racism bullshit. Thanks xoxo

  • There is a difference too between African … and Afro-American. When I think of Africans, I think of South Africans, of Maracons, Ethiopians etc. etc, of which many can have fair eyes or even fair hair. I would call a South-African person living in the states by whatever she identifies herself with.

    It is silly to attack George over this. But yes, this whole topic does show that many are blind to the diversity of the African continent. And I think the argument ‘everyone uses these terms (Mediterranean, African) in this way’ is a rather weak one. And clearly, not everyone uses these terms in the same way. Europeans have quite a different understanding of Mediterranean which usually does include Asia Minor and North Africa. When in n fashion, American blogs speak of a ‘European look’, and I am sure no European would understand what is meant. And I am sure we generalize other continents too. It is a good thing to be aware about such cultural presuppositions.

  • 90% of this topic consists of people complaining about how boring this topic is. The other 10% was a backlash against Fury.

    I agree with her on GRRM’s poor choice of words, but no reason to get offended. Race is a tricky subject and people slip on it all the time. It’s important to point it out (like she did), but better not to make a big deal about (which she didn’t, rather people who disagreed with her assumed she was deeply offended).

    I hope this doesn’t come to any sort of ban or reduction of Fury’s moderation on this website. I like her posts and love her interactions with the commenters – polemic as they might become sometimes.

    Keep it up, WiC.net :)

  • About Pascal though:

    1) He’s white.
    2) He’s not a “Poc”. This term is a total joke, only Americans use it.
    3) He looks A BIT like the Oberyn in my head, not much.
    4) I’m perfectly fine with it.

  • WildSeed,

    dude, i don’t know if it’s my phone browser messing up but there’s like a bunch of random line breaks all over your posts. are you pasting them from notepad or something? kinda a pain to read.

  • This place is getting more and more like westeros.org every day. Now we got a female overseer wanting to control our speech as well. whoopee…

  • WildSeed,

    That was very well said, thank you. I tend to respond with a even more complicated question when asked “What are you?”. Something like: “Are you asking where I was born or where I grew up? Where my parents were born or my grandparents?”.

    But I disagree on that view that people need someone who physically look like them to feel
    represented on a TV show. Or someone who was born in the same country. Or “region” (as if someone from Nairobi should feel identified with a Senegalese actor).

    I like Arya. I identify with her personality. Shouldn’t that be enough? She even looks a bit like myself, though she’s British and I’m half-Brazilian, half-Italian with Portuguese, Dutch and indigenous ancestry. I don’t need a Latina actress on the show to feel like I’m represented on it.

    Race is tricky, the discussion ISN’T silly, people don’t like parting with privilege, I know, but there are other ways that people relate to one another rather than race and nationality.

    Here’s an article that explains that more clearly than I do: http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/03/racist-question-brown-answer-curious

  • Scarlett Reaper: “No one is darker than that in those countries.”

    Yes there are. You just gave an example, Balotelli. He’s Italian, he was born there, lives there, and has a citizenship. And he’s dark of skin. Soooo…what were you saying?

    oh my god. you’re joking, right? i really hope you’re joking and i’m too slow to understand it…’cause if you’re serious, that’s the most funny, silly, naive statement i ever read in the last years. thank you fot the LOL :D

    Balotelli is black ’cause his “lineage”, his “ancestors” (and parents) are from Africa. he’s not “Mediterranean”. and he’s italian because, thank to god, citizenship is not based on the colour of your skin. so again, Italian CITIZEN can be black (and yellow, and red, and purple) but Italian-looking (MEDITERRANEAN) cannot. Mediterranean means white with usually dark eyes and dark hair and that got easily tanned.

    so, again, no ‘mediterranean-origin’ person (as Italians and Spanish) is dark-skinned. seriously, what have you just said? you know that there are black citizen in..i don’t know..Norway, Russia, China? African-Norway, African-Russian…but of course they’re not ‘caucasian’. If someone is talking of a Caucasian-looking person, only a completely crazy man could say “Ehi, caucasian can be dark, you don’t know Geronimo Cacau?” :D :D :D
    so you’d say that “i know that Asian-looking can mean black” because there are African-chinese citizen in Beijing, and immigrants of every nationality and colour? :D :D :D :D :D

  • A lot of people (me included) read this site because it isn’t westerost.org, or tumbr, two sites which are very extreme in their views.

    As a mod on Westeros, I have to take exception a little bit to this. Westeros.org has 70,000 members, a dozen or so moderators and millions of posts. The moderating team goes to some lengths to remove ‘extreme’ viewpoints, such as racism, misogyny and so on, and there are few forums on the net which are as sensitive about such issues as Westeros is. Offensive posts occasionally slip through, usually resulting in criticism, though usually only because people have forgotten to report them. Once they are reported, they are dealt with.

    Unless you’re referring to the editorial viewpoint of Westeros.org’s admins, in which case a preference for adhering very closely to the books may be regarded as unrealistic, but not really ‘extreme’.

    Namely, the Dothraki and Xaro (who is white in the books and still alive as of ADWD).

    I’m pretty certain Xaro is still alive in GoT, or at least in a state of Schrodingers until the writers make a decision either way. Did you see him die? It’s possible he’ll be back as a ‘surprise’ in a later season (possibly with Doreah in tow). If Xaro was random enough to spend all his money on an impregnable empty vault, he was probably random enough to put in an escape route as well.

    All the PoC chracters in the show are one dimensional caricatures. The Dothraki are savages.

    I don’t think that’s true. Irri and Rakharo, at least, were presented as sympathetic and good characters, and in Rakharo’s case certainly honourable. So is Grey Worm (so far).

    That’s why the show needs Anna Torv and John Noble! Aussies unite!

    John Noble for Marwyn?

    How come there were no PoC actors in Rome, Deadwood, The Borgias, Camelot, Shogun and Vikings…

    I know you’re being facetious here, but it’s worth pointing out that there was a PoC actor in THE BORGIAS, GoT’s own Elyes Gabel who played the brother of the Ottoman Emperor (I just happened to see this episode last night). There were several on DEADWOOD as well (I recall Richard Gant have a reasonably large role in Season 2). There weren’t many in ROME (mostly extras in the Egypt scenes IIRC, with the key characters played by Europeans which makes sense as the ruling Egyptian dynasty of the time was descended from Greece), although there were several very complex Jewish characters.

    I’ve never seen SHOGUN, but I would hazard a crazy and wild guess that it had a fair few Japanese characters in it?

  • Zack: Nah. It depends on the issue. Many conservatives in our country do all they can to delegitimize Muslim, atheist, liberal, urban, educated etccommunities.

    Left-wingers have their own issues, don’t get me wrong. But conservatives are not necessarily saints when it comes to allowing others the expression of their opinion.

    No, of course, but conservatives are not supposed to be!

    I’m very left-wing myself (or I was…ah, damn you Winston!!) , as in european left wing, with both my grandparents fighting on the republican side of the spanish civil war, with my parents having to endure 40 years of dictatorship, blablabla, and it really pisses me off when liberals act worse than conservatives would..Stalin all over

    Lex: Thanks! Although I will be the first to admit that I’m not always reasonable/moderate at first. I do get into pretty heated debates, at times. But I think I was unfairly attacked in this thread (by a mod, no less), for saying nothing but the truth. So I thank you for the support. :)

    No need ;)

    KG:
    Lex,

    Uhoh … did Pau and I agree on something?Dany may wind up pregnant, after all … I think that was one of the conditions …

    Haha! Look in Spain there are 2 totally distint groups that want the King gone (not Elvis mind you, but Juan Carlos I) , the republicans and the fascist extreme right…polítics makes strange bedfellows :P

    WildSeed: One must also consider , if point is to be made, why any of us make the time to
    visit this site or any other, especially if sharing one’s own perspectives are
    valid in any way.

    Mr Vonnegut makes a fine point , in this quote , (…) Not sure though, if his words bear much weight to this subject post comments.

    You can’t deny it looks cool though :P

    Luana:
    So, the lone female moderator on this site, Ours is the Fury, is being attacked for daring to express her crazy “fringe” opinions, such as “sexism and racism are bad”? She’s being told to settle down and take a vacation? To paraphrase Bryan Cogman, “Wow”.

    No, she’s being attacked for being a bully , always trying to pick a fight, and a cheater, that uses her moderators powers to win arguments by deleting slected posts…she should take a vacation for her own sake, to re-evaluate why is she alienating 90% of the community, and aknowledge some of the valid points about her attitude that people is making

    Scarlett Reaper: “No one is darker than that in those countries.”

    Yes there are. You just gave an example, Balotelli. He’s Italian,he was born there, lives there, and has a citizenship. And he’s dark of skin. Soooo…what were you saying?

    I don’t know if the second-half of your post was directed at me, but I know that. Only an ignoramus thinks everyone in a certain country looks the same.

    I don’t really understand what point you were trying to make. :?

    That you’re wrong? There’s people of all the races in 99% of all the countries in the world, that’s not what we’re talking about here ;)

  • Wow, this escalated fast.

    I usually agree with Ours is the Fury but I’m kinda anti-PC. I just find the whole concept of a group of people deciding on the correct word usage a bit odd, and to then criticise people for using the wrong words, when there is clearly no intent or racism underlying that usage… well, I just find that sad.
    My parents generation were brought up being told they should refer to black people as “coloured” (colored for you Americans). Then last year, the football pundit, Alan Hansen, got into trouble for using the word “coloured” to describe a black person on Match of the Day. The irony is that he was actually being extremely positive about black footballers and completely anti-racism (that was what the actual discussion was about), and yet people decided to focus on the mis-use of a word. This level of political correctness is basically the same as someone correcting someone’s spelling or grammar; the person may have been incorrect, but if you knew what they meant it’s just pedantic to bring it up.

    This isn’t me jumping on the bandwagon, shouting down OitF, or anything like that; I’m just expressing my opinion. And like any good discussion, and any open minded individual, I am open to having my mind changed or at least seeing a different point of view.

    For the record, regardless of the actual politically correct usage, I wasn’t aware that using “African” in this way was bad – is it also wrong to use the word “Asian” to describe an ethnic group? I’m not being facetious; I just actually don’t know and am interested.

  • What’s the deal in having this pathetic discussion? Or in wasting time to convince strangers of your opinions?
    People are repsonsible for what they say, not for what others interpret.

    I don’t think people here are really racists (or even GRRM). Some just used very general terms like African, Caucasian, Asian, which are commonly used names, no matter how big the different minorities in the respective countries are.

    Maybe some just enjoy to raise the drama (aka. trolling)…

  • Harry:
    I don’t think people here are really racists (or even GRRM). Some just used very general terms like African, Caucasian, Asian, which are commonly used names, no matter how big the different minoritiesin the respective countries are.

    Maybe some just enjoy to raise the drama (aka. trolling)…

    trolling is too general, i think you’re being a bit racist toward trolls.
    what kind of trolling? Grammar-trolls? Crybabies? Haters? Forest Trolls?
    you should be more specific :D

  • Chickenduck: Haha… Forgotten Realms.Now I’m trying to remember the name of the Japanese stereotype character in Baldur’s Gate…

    Allow me to help: Yoshimo. :)

    The best game ever made.

  • tysnow:
    Greatjon of Slumber,

    This is quite interesting, growing up in a mid-western school district in the 70′s and 80′s, we were taught that Mediterranean peoples were Spain across the northern Med to Turkey, including Italy, Greece, etc.; whilst Morocco, Algeria, Libya were considered North Africans and Egypt around to Lebanon was the Middle East. Perhaps this explains some of the problems in this post; the varied ages (generations) and diverse international educational methods, or in America’s case, the regional and cultural heritage we were raised in, including school district curriculum.

    That’s true, and it’s also – for me growing up in the 80s in the Northeast and now living in New York – that I’m taking a very generous reading of it rather than a tighter reading. And even my interpretation is selective – Israel and Lebanon and Morocco would to me be considered Mediterranean, but Libya and Algeria not, and I’m not sure why that is, perhaps b/c those societies were closed for so long, and run by dictators, or perhaps it’s b/c the bulk of those countries’ land does not border the sea the way smaller countries can be said to all be pretty much right on the Mediterranean. (France borders the Med. Sea as well, but it never gets lumped into that category either, for what that’s worth)

  • Adam Whitehead: I’m pretty certain Xaro is still alive in GoT, or at least in a state of Schrodingers until the writers make a decision either way. Did you see him die? It’s possible he’ll be back as a ‘surprise’ in a later season (possibly with Doreah in tow). If Xaro was random enough to spend all his money on an impregnable empty vault, he was probably random enough to put in an escape route as well.

    Actually I have thought about this as well. It certainly is possible. Given how things happen in the books, and how we’ve become conditioned to the idea that a person isn’t definitely dead until we see their goddamned head being held up for a crowd to look at, he could very well be alive.

  • Greatjon of Slumber,

    Also, wasn’t it Xaro who claimed it was impregnable? So the only evidence on that is from the same guy who also boasted that vault was full of… stuff – which it wasn’t.

  • What is PoC?I thought that acronym stand for point of contact, but somehow I don’t think it’s the case here

  • The two blackest characters (Salladhor Saan & Xaro Ducksauce) had something in common; they were both obsessed about having sex with the two most aryan-looking women in the series, Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen (respectively). I wonder if that was a coincidence.

  • ENM:
    The two blackest characters (Salladhor Saan & Xaro Ducksauce) had something in common; they were both obsessed about having sex with the two most aryan-looking women in the series, Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen (respectively). I wonder if that was a coincidence.

    Two of the most sadistic characters in the series, Joffrey and Ramsay, are both played by white actors. Coincidence?

  • One day we will have moved past this ridiculousness of a notion that skin colour has any importance and we will all just be considered “people”. This debate is disgusting. It doesn’t matter what the characters look like, what matters is who they are and what drives them. I would rather have an actor who can breathe life into a certain role than one that fits perfectly with everyone’s expectations on their looks (which will never happen anyway).

    Let’s not be superficial ffs, give the actors a chance to impress us with their acting skills and you know…just enjoy our favourite series brought to life for another great season.

    This made me really angry.

  • sunspear,

    As the story takes place in the equivalent of medieval Europe, and as 99% of the characters are white, it’s probably a coincidence yes. But on the other hand, nearly all fictional villains are white due to political correctness.

  • BathoryBane,

    You’re implying that skin color is the only difference, though. Skin color is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. There’s so many biological and psychological differences between the races, that race is very much an issue. Rottweilers and poodles have more genetically in common than Europeans and Africans.

  • Sino-Soviet Split,

    Nah, it’s everybody who’s not white. Apparently it’s very politically correct, but to me it seems to inadvertently reinforce a very white-centered world view, particularly if used by whites.

  • Sino-Soviet Split,

    I believe it includes all ‘non-white’ people. It’s a very anti-white term really, because it implies that white people are bland and colorless. It’s very shallow as well, as race is so much more than skin color.

  • ENM:
    BathoryBane,

    You’re implying that skin color is the only difference, though. Skin color is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. There’s so many biological and psychological differences between the races, that race is very much an issue. Rottweilers and poodles have more genetically in common than Europeans and Africans.

    You couldn’t be more wrong with this statement if you tried. Human “races” are meaningless, they have no significance and are entirely (self)-imposed – we are all members of the same species and the same sub-species. And I’m not implying anything about skin colour, this is what most of this absurd debate was about – I would rather it had never happened.

  • BathoryBane,

    Anti-scientific and absurd. Humans don’t exist as some kind of artifical construct that’s apart from nature. We’re part of nature as everything else, and thus subject to the laws of nature. You might as well claim that there’s no such thing as different cats, dogs, wolves, bears, apples, grapes, etc.

  • Some of this almost makes me glad I’m a pale Irish/German, so I don’t have to do any soul-searching, consult ancestry.com, or compare pigmentations to decide whether or not I’m white. Though then again, to FaB’s point, a hundred years ago I too would probably have been considered a minority in the United States.

  • ENM:
    BathoryBane,

    Anti-scientific and absurd. Humans don’t exist as some kind of artifical construct that’s apart from nature. We’re part of nature as everything else, and thus subject to the laws of nature. You might as well claim that there’s no such thing as different cats, dogs, wolves, bears, apples, grapes, etc.

    You’re actually serious. /facepalm
    I don’t want to live on this planet any more.

  • BathoryBane: You’re actually serious. /facepalm
    I don’t want to live on this planet any more.

    The funny thing about people with your attitude is that although you have access to all the hard science on genetics (largely thanks to the Internet), you consciously avoid seeking it out because you realize that it contradicts your ideological world view. Even if I had no interest in such science, I would only need to take a look at the rape and crime statistics here in Norway to affirm my racial realist views.

  • Al Swearengen: hot

    In context, perhaps.

    Calling her hot in this context reads as you trying to diminish her contribution to the thread.

    I don’t agree with what she’s saying, but there’s no need to belittle her.

  • ENM,

    I’ve seen most of the biological arguments people trot out regarding race, but I rarely see them coming from actual biologists. There is more genetic variation in the human genome than what contributes to the features we consider when determining race.

    If you present me with a random white person, I can pretty much guarantee I can find one white person and one black person such that the original subject has more genetically in common with the black person than the other white person.

    There are biological differences between human populations, but most of the major genetic differences aren’t the ones people actually use to define race, and which characteristics we do use are largely arbitrary. The way people define race culturally doesn’t correlate biologically the way people like you claim that it does, and most of the differences that get pointed to are cultural, environmental or made up rather than genetically rooted.

  • Jen,

    Except that Salladhor Saan DOES appear in this season… he saved Davos from the sea. So your argument is null and void and does come across as “whining”.

    As for Ours is the Fury’s assertion that people should ignore his posts if they don’t like them… Wouldn’t it be more prudent to not intentionally post an inflammatorry comment bashing GRRM (w/out whom this site wouldn’t exist). You would’ve been better off stating your opinion based on how most people do generalize these regions, rather than making it sound like GRRM is an ignorant racist. In any case after reading your comments on this thread, perhaps everyone should skip any posts you put forward from now on, or a reasonable mod should delete them before we have a chance to. Go back to TUMBLR to spout your inflammatory reteric, please.

  • Atreyu,

    This is why this type of controversy annoys me. There is perpetuating a negative status quo through a failure to actively promote more inclusivity, and there is perpetuating a negative status quo because you believe it should be perpetuated or even strengthened. The former is unfortunate and should be noted so we can see where there can be improvement. The outrage should be reserved for the latter which is actually revolting.

    Equating the two alienates people and lessens impact of calling something racist (or other [marginalized group]-ist) when it gets applied to something truly vile.

    But that’s my opinion on the matter, and I don’t expect everyone to share it, which is why, while I’ll debate them on a point of contention, I try not to get personal.

    (Except when the opinion is actually disgusting ignorance disguised as rational enlightenment, but that doesn’t apply to the first discussion I was having in this thread.)

  • WOW. I’ve read the whole of this thing (yep, it’s vacation and I have nothing better to do) and learned nothing except that:

    1) Some people think they can say they know a character better than it’s author; O.O

    ) That must’ve set a record of the biggest amount of bad press a country has garnered on it’s independence day CONGRATS now I never want to set foot in the US (is that the proper term?)

  • valyrian,

    Nah, you should visit if you can. There’s some really beautiful and interesting places here. Just don’t talk to anyone or watch the news and you’ll be fine.

  • Delta1212:
    valyrian,

    Nah, you should visit if you can. There’s some really beautiful and interesting places here. Just don’t talk to anyone or watch the news and you’ll be fine.

    Lol thanks for the heads up! XD

  • ENM: I would only need to take a look at the rape and crime statistics here in Norway to affirm my racial realist views.

    I hope this doesn’t mean what I think it means.

  • The books are about a fantasy world based on medieval Europe. Of course it is somehow eurocentric.
    It could be based on imperial China during the Ming dinasty, or on the Umayyad Caliphate, and the racial depiction would be totally different- but it is not.
    I can understand that POC (what a hateful term I must say – should we really split humanity between “whites” and “non-whites”? Isn’t THAT racist?) would like to see role models they can relate to on TV – as a woman I love to see other women in powerful positions.
    But maybe this is not the best show for that, as almost every main character in Martin’s books is white. Even the Martells, who he described as olive skinned, darked haired southern europeans.
    So please, if you like the books and the universe of ASOIAF, stop accusing the show of “whitewashing” or racism for bringing it to life.
    I am sure Pedro Pascal is a great actor and he will do an excellent job.

    (Sorry if my English is not that good- it is not my first language).

  • Delta1212,

    You did not put me off my popcorn. Your post was very informative. I was reacting to another poster’s use of the term “racial realist” as it relates to criminal Norwegian grapes. Or poodles. Something like that. I am leery of asking for clarification.

  • So… this all but confirms that Sarella is Alleras. Not that anyone didn’t know already

  • I do not want to join in this pointless discussion of race and wish others would just let it GO. GRRM wrote what he wrote and in no way should he be pressured to change what he wrote for it to be depicted on tv. Works of art DO NOT and SHOULD NOT be required to reflect society as a whole. I do, however, wish to address a couple of other things that have come up in this dreadful thread:

    Adam, you have to admit that Linda in particular jumps all over people who disagree with her, and she’s more than a moderator over there. Her diatribes are what sent me here. Now OitF is doing much the same and I am disappointed. Please, OitF, dial it back in future when ur moderating. I understand that u r offended, but I think ur wrong in saying that “most” people share ur view. It is clear here that they don’t.

    I am also very disappointed at the level of anti-Americanism here on the anniversary of our birth. Sure, we’re not perfect, but we ARE very educated, we ARE diverse, and we were and remain the first and best refuge of the downtrodden on this planet! The person above who suggested that they would be reluctant to visit the US should take a look around at the rest of the world. Nowhere else will you find the tolerance and opportunity FOR ALL that you find here. I’d be willing to bet that the great majority of posters here who find this whole discussion of race to be tiresome and racist itself are Americans. Race plays little role in my life, and I’d be considered a “PoC” by most of you! Skin tone varies, hair color varies, eye color varies, yet none of these things has a bearing on my treatment of any human being because I was raised that way IN THE UNITED STATES!

    Finally, ENM: I have heard and read of the resurgence of the fascists in Europe, but I did not see it myself when I was there. Now, I have seen it. I will think twice about revisiting Norway.

    Pedro fits the bill for me. Looking forward to his performance next season.

  • Is 10% red-brown melanin considered white? Or 2% brown-black melanin, is that considered brown? Why is red-brown sometimes not a colour, but brown-black always is?

    No, there is no biological basis for race. It is no more real than dragons or white walkers. The term “people of colour” is grating. If someone called me that to my face, I will punch them right in theirs. It’s an ideology I do not share. Personally I also reject the patronizing attitude that I’m suppose to get anything in particular out of seeing people of my specific skin tone on screen or in the books I read. As if my imagination is so weak and intelligence so limited that I can’t imagine myself as Daenerys or Jon Snow, or Tyrion, or Cersei, or Tywin, or Sam, or Xora Xohan Daxos, or Alayaya, or Shae, or the Red Viper, or Elia of Dorne, or Balerion the Black Dread.

    If people want a term to refer to a group of people who are alienated, “alienated identities” works just fine. That’s not a construction. It’s real, not a social agreement. Either you are alienated, or you’re not, or you’re alienated sometimes in specific situations or just by specific people.

    Sometimes alienated identities are specifically oppressed. At that point, that subset of alienated identities can call themselves oppressed identities. In either case, those are social justice issues and political issues, not an issue of personal identity that other people get to weigh in on. If you want to jump on GRRM or anyone else in the GOT fandom for the correctness of their words to meet your political criteria, then you are politicizing fandom and GRRM. I’ll leave it as an exercise for your to figure out if that’s what the GOT community’s or the show’s or GRRM’s role is.

    An alienated identity may be a single person, a person with a birth defect for instance. A group of people alienated just because of the colour of their skin has a right to speak of themselves as an alienated group, but I wouldn’t consider it wise to participate in their own alienation by claiming to be a different race. A person descendent from an alienated group but is not constantly alienated themselves (a child of deaf parents for instance) need not refer to themselves as an alienated identity, but probably understands alienation quite well, but they are fully capable of using their imagination and empathy to put themselves in their parents place.

    My tribe is geek. My nation is space. My identity… is none of your business.

  • Sorry all. Rereading, I guess I should have put a winky-face on the end of my address to ENM. Of course I’ll visit Norway if I get the chance. I’ll just go in winter when my “tan” is less pronounced…

  • valyrian,

    Why would you base your real world view (and vacation plans) on anything stated in this thread, or anything stated in entertainment-related blogs? Please don’t do that. These are opinions (some stronger than others) made by folks who you don’t know anything about. They could be blogging from jail or from their high castle or from their classroom or from the nearest starbucks or from their home…and you definitely don’t know their disposition in life. The world and its cultures and people is much more hopeful and beautiful than anything that could be stated here.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    Please stop with the racebaiting and faux outrage bs. The person who made the Asian analogy was spot on. You were kidding yourself to believe that the Dornish were dark skinned mainly because Rhaegar would never have been allowed to marry someone darker skinned(following the logic that the timeline is based on War of the Roses /European culture and mindset).

  • Jay:
    Wow, this escalated fast.

    For the record, regardless of the actual politically correct usage, I wasn’t aware that using “African” in this way was bad – is it also wrong to use the word “Asian” to describe an ethnic group? I’m not being facetious; I just actually don’t know and am interested.

    I agree with your post, it seems to me that most of the confusion that comes about because of these terms is because of painfully sensitive white people thinking they know best when they are less well travelled and experienced than a sloth.

    This is going to be a long post but I just have to contribute…The use of the term African is not racist. I am in despair at people getting so puffed up and righteous when GRRM is actually using the exact same terms that those of us from the European side of the Med, and Africa, use for ourselves. My husband is North African and he looks typically North African (or Arabic you can also say), and guess what, they do not use African or Mediterranean as terms for themselves because they are considered part of the Arabic world (I think even the UN supports this?) and they prefer the term Arabic, it doesn’t matter that technically they are on the continent Africa or that they can go swim in the Med right there, they have far more in common with the old beautiful cultures and people of the Arabic world in their own eyes. To those from the continent of Africa, and to GRRM, and to the majority of people in Western culture, ‘African’ is a term used exclusively for those from the Sub-Saharan region, where the vast majority of the people are black (so there most definitely is a typical ‘African’ look and it means to have the darkest skin tones and the classic features, and to be related to the cultures of, sub-Saharan Africa, for example the footballer Didier Drogba; he is French born but he calls himself African and he chose to play for the Ivory Coast rather than France because of his sub-Saharan heritage). Some South Africans come from European colonialists and so are white but they have their own terms too for those about to start screaming about ‘white Africans’. I’d like to know where do people get these stupid ideas that traditional culture and terms are racist and wrong? To be called Mediterranean just means typically Greek/Spanish/Portuguese/Italian and related to that culture, that region has often been the powerhouse of the European world so maybe that’s why Mediterranean refers exclusively to it? Sure there are a a few blondes in these countries but like with Italy, most blondes are originally from the Alpine North rather than down near the Med. I suggest some people get a passport, visit the places you are trying to control the terms for and then laugh at yourself for your pomposity. But for now, GRRM is correct and you are being over sensitive and causing problems where there are none!

  • Davidbc,

    That makes no sense, since besides historical accuracy issues/lack of evidence of this kind of racism in the series, this a a marriage to another noble/royal family.

    Also, pretty much everybody has darker skin than Rhaegar.

  • Davidbc,

    That really doesn’t follow. Skin color is a relatively recent source of prejudice. Not that people didn’t stereotype people with different skin colors, but most people were just prejudiced against foreigners in general, rather than against any particular “race.” Just look at historical attitudes between England and Ireland for an example of why darkness wasn’t the issue. The Rhoynar, having already established themselves as a local power prior to the Targaryen invasion, wouldn’t have faced any more prejudice from the Targs over mixing blood than any of the other, equally if not more foreign to the Targaryens, populations of Westeros.

    Modern ideas regarding race and nationality only go back a few hundred years. People have always been provincial and xenophobic, but the definitions they use and manners in which they act so change frequently.

  • john,
    You keep repeating “feminist” as if it’s a bad thing. Clearly it means something very negative to you or you wouldn’t continue to use it as if it was a stigmatizing label. Why would you want to stigmatize Ours is the Fury and those that agree with her? The purpose of using a negative label is ALWAYS to 1) shame the other person/people, 2) counter or derail their argument, and 3) eventually shut them up. This is called an ad hominem attack where you ignore the actual debate and instead attack the person. Clearly you feel threatened by her stance or you would never have responded in such a way. It’s not like someone is forcing you to read these posts. You could skip the post entirely or read the post but ignore the comments that get you riled up. Or you could engage in the debate in an honest, open and unemotional fashion trying to change Ours is the Fury’s mind through reason and rational thought. Instead you chose to go the “attack” route in order to shut her up. Since she’s a mod on this site and you’re a visitor, you don’t have the right to try to shut her up. Maybe the rational engagement approach would have been a wiser solution to your problem. And make no mistake about it, it is YOUR problem–not hers.

  • Jay,
    So far as I understand it, yes, Asian should not be used and is considered offensive for the same reason that African isn’t all that good either…it’s a very large geographical area with a great deal of variety in skin tones (and many, many other factors) and people don’t like to be lumped together.

    And yes, terms will naturally change over time. What was used in the past (i.e., colored in 1950’s America) is no longer acceptable and will be discouraged by society. Go back a 100 to 200 years ago and you will find that the British and many white Americans referred to the Irish as ‘white n*ggers” (PLEASE pardon the reference, I am only using it to make a historical point). There are cartoons from American papers that portray the Irish as drunk apes and sexual predators. Now, of course, there is no such distinction in American society and the use of those terms and visual imagery would be completely unacceptable.

    IMHO I don’t think it’s too much to ask that people be aware of such speech changes in our culture. Too many anti-PC people think that their Freedom of Speech is being violated and that’s not true. Freedom of Speech only applies to complaining about our government. If society as a whole or large groups in society decide to punish individuals who violate cultural norms (like when Imus called those female basketball players ‘nappy headed hos’) then that simply means our society is changing. Nothing is certain except for change (and death…since this is a GOT thread, death cannot be ignored). :)

  • Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I’ve also noticed a tendency of people to throw around the term “PC” when describing Fury here. This indicates to me that they know really know what “politically correct” means, and are intending to use it as some kind of insult, to belittle her opinions. This is used often as a counterattack on any kind of anti-prejudice rhetoric, often to justify one’s own sense of entitlement and privilege.

  • Ms. D. Ranged in AZ: IMHO I don’t think it’s too much to ask that people be aware of such speech changes in our culture. Too many anti-PC people think that their Freedom of Speech is being violated and that’s not true. Freedom of Speech only applies to complaining about our government. If society as a whole or large groups in society decide to punish individuals who violate cultural norms (like when Imus called those female basketball players ‘nappy headed hos’) then that simply means our society is changing. Nothing is certain except for change (and death…since this is a GOT thread, death cannot be ignored). :)

    Freedom of speech (in the United States, apologies to our international crowd) also only applies to government infringement on the exercise of free speech. The point is that there was no legal repercussions preventing Imus from making his idiotic statement, only societal and employment. People are perfectly legally allowed to make reprehensible speech against groups of other people. And media is free to rephrase in their own light, websites are free to remove content, groups of people are free to criticize or even insult those who do.

    Relax, you’re perfectly free to be a bigot. And you’re perfectly free to call others out for being bigots.

  • Proserpina,

    I think this confusion about terms and skin tone and the sensitivity to it is worse in the US than almost anywhere else. And it’s all due to our recent history. The US was the last industrialized nation with a representative government to ban slavery. Segregation de Jure (meaning in law) continued until 1954 when schools were ordered to be segregated. The Civil Rights Act wasn’t passed until 1968. Segregation de Facto (meaning in fact) particularly when it came to where we lived and socialized was still well in force when I was a child in the 1970’s living in Memphis, TN. Just walking through the other’s neighborhood could have gotten me killed. So it’s only been about 50 years since we really started trying to live together and Americans feel the effects of slavery and segregation to this day, whether they want to acknowledge it or not. And this ongoing debate regarding GOT characters is the perfect example of how we struggle with it.

  • Proserpina,

    This.
    The word “African” as GRRM used it is not racist in any way whatsoever. Granted, it is vague, but it expresses his point clearly to anyone who does not read their personal sensitivities into it or feel the need to parse words and split hairs as if they are in some technical debate.

  • Mescalinic: trolling is too general, i think you’re being a bit racist toward trolls.
    what kind of trolling? Grammar-trolls? Crybabies? Haters? Forest Trolls?
    you should be more specific :D

    I hate those Amani bastards. Shifty eyes … small hands … smell like cabbages.

  • Khal-A-Bunga:

    Also, Tumblr is a fucking cesspool. Almost as bad as 4chan and reddit.

    Even on Reddit they’re saying about this issue:

    The only people I’ve seen complaining about the casting are the social-justice blogs on tumblr, who I think assumed that Oberyn was black or Arabic instead of Mediterranean. They also firmly stand behind the belief that if you don’t agree that the Red Viper’s casting is wrong then you are a racist.
    So long story short now they’re going to be accusing George of racism even though he created the character and will be whining even more about the ‘tragedy’.

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Jay,
    So far as I understand it, yes, Asian should not be used and is considered offensive

    I’ve never heard this before, and my fiance and her family are Chinese. Maybe it’s US-centric. One of my workmates is from India and he doesn’t care if he’s called Asian either.

    This whole discussion makes my head do the loop-de-loop.

  • Javi Marcos:
    YES AND YES

    WE SPANISH, ITALIANS, GREEKS ARE NOT MOORS.

    GRRM, the creator of all this, said it quite clearly. Salty Dornish are based in us, and we have not brown skin. In fact, I’m from Spain, with white skin and brown to light hair, same as most of my friends. Most of us Mediterranian guys don’t look like moors.

    So all of you that wanted a stupid, and most of all, NOT FAITHFUL to the books Dorne crowded with black and Indians guys, get a life and leave us in peace.

    You mean like this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moors

    Moors of Iberia and Moors of Sicily. Looks like someone needs to go read a history book.

  • I think that Pedro is definitely at the lighter complexioned end of possible actors to play Oberyn, but I wouldn’t outright say he doesn’t fit the book description.

    Personally, while Oberyn definitely reads as the “badass Spaniard” type (hence good casting to have someone of Spanish ancestry), the book description seems like it could easily describe an Arab (“liquid eyes” is a somewhat stereotypical description of Arab features). One ambiguity is that Tyrion’s POV describes Oberyn as saturine, which can either refer to dark skin or to a gloomy/mysterious expression (or both I suppose).

    In terms of Martin’s response, it does seem like he envisions many characters as on the lighter skinned end of possible complexions (incidentally, I interpreted Missandei as black and Strong Belwas as not necessarily black- apparently it is the opposite).

    I also note that I do find it strange how with several groups in Essos, their notable feature is extremely pale skin.

    As someone mentioned, part of the context of Martin’s response may be because he interpreted POC as a synonym for black (as otherwise, he does seem to be ignoring a lot of cultures). I myself usually understand the term that way.

    One other thought- as someone mentioned, kind of lost in the shuffle is that Martin (accidentally?) confirmed the (admittedly pretty obvious) implication that Alleras is Sarella Sand.

  • Arthur: medieval European type country where the vast majority is white…

    Oh my Arthur, please look this up in a credible academic textbook.

    Thanks for responding to my earlier posts, that was indeed kind. (:

  • BathoryBane:
    One day we will have moved past this ridiculousness of a notion that skin colour has any importance and we will all just be considered “people”. This debate is disgusting. It doesn’t matter what the characters look like, what matters is who they are and what drives them. I would rather have an actor who can breathe life into a certain role than one that fits perfectly with everyone’s expectations on their looks (which will never happen anyway).

    Let’s not be superficial ffs, give the actors a chance to impress us with their acting skills and you know…just enjoy our favourite series brought to life for another great season.

    This made me really angry.

    Well that is fair, people such as you, with an apparent limited amount of knowledge about human nature. But not lacking righteous fervor and a very loud voice makes me rather angry. I suppose it’s just one of those things we all have to endure.

  • Ser Habakuk Tibatonk,

    If you’re new here, I can understand that question being asked. For now though,
    read the previous comments above , for your answer , then review the Subject
    tabs for Dorne or Casting.

    If you’re being facetious, as some here have proved to be, go read a textbook, if
    that’s possible or go fly a kite.

  • WildSeed,

    Nah, ain’t kite flying season yet where I live. But thanks for not answering my question at all. How is GoT supposed to be an ‘onscreen version of the natural world’?

    And yes, I firmly believe that the general public should not be allowed to dictate what art has to look like. That would be horrible.

  • Alex Dubrovsky:
    D&D should’ve cast Idris Elba as Mance Rayder. It would’ve been so much fun to read all the “discussions” here and on Westeros.org.

    I would’ve loved Elba. Great actor!

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ: Yes, I think it is.

    BTW, OT, love the traditional spelling of your name, bet it throws non-gaelic speaking people for a loop!

    Haha, thank you. I often get asked how to pronounce it :D

  • Seonaidh Ceanneidigh: They also firmly stand behind the belief that if you don’t agree that the Red Viper’s casting is wrong then you are a racist.

    I think they’re more firmly standing behind the belief that if you go to every effort to reject even the possibility that a character could be something other than white then you are a racist. Pro-tip: if race doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t matter if every single character in GoT isn’t white.

    Bunch of disgusting comments in here. Oursisthefury, please continue with everything you’re saying and doing. Not only do you challenge the disgusting comments, you do it calmly and fairly, without giving in to any temptation to be jerks to the people who are jerks to you and to all the people who think “hey, it’d be nice if this show weren’t just for white people!”

    If you can accept a world with summers that last ten years, dragons, zombie-making killing machines, magical fire, and people who can put their consciousness inside wolves, but you can’t accept non-white people unless they’re in “proper” roles as slaves, or unless their presence is minimized, or unless they only take roles they’re “allowed” to take by your own specific and narrow view of the text (after all, most characters aren’t explicitly identified as any particular color or race, they’re just assumed to be white)…well, guess what? YOU’RE RACIST. Based on Europe =/= Europe, Fantasy =/= Historical Fiction, Everyone =/= white (yes, even in Medieval Europe! Those non-white people were all over the place! I KNOW, RIGHT, HOW WEIRD!!)

  • tysnow:
    Greatjon of Slumber,

    This is quite interesting, growing up in a mid-western school district in the 70′s and 80′s, we were taught that Mediterranean peoples were Spain across the northern Med to Turkey, including Italy, Greece, etc.; whilst Morocco, Algeria, Libya were considered North Africans and Egypt around to Lebanon was the Middle East. Perhaps this explains some of the problems in this post; the varied ages (generations) and diverse international educational methods, or in America’s case, the regional and cultural heritage we were raised in, including school district curriculum.

    I learned similarly, as you. We would all benefit with a federate mandate to update,
    revise and review all texts that are utilised in the States. Some regions do a better
    job than others.

    As for any academic subject, texts are updated and revised as thoughtful research
    and knowledge changes the perspective. Unfortunately the reverse may also be true.
    Many schools in the Southeren US teach” creationism over evolution “. The same
    area of the country is in charge of revising textbooks via national committee . I
    have personally met southerners from the US that were taught that the Civil War
    ended with a stalemate, in the war against the confederates. This isn’t a history
    that difficult to fact check, yet many choose to blindly believe that gen Lee &
    Sherman ended the fighting solely for the benefit of sparing the South of
    further bloodshed. There was no surrender (!). I’m amazed at what is taught in
    schools……… anywhere. At least people of African descent are no longer depicted
    with aberrant blood types, that differ for those of fair complexion. Yes, I actually
    read that in one text from the medical school I attended.

  • jkb:
    WildSeed,

    dude, i don’t know if it’s my phone browser messing up but there’s like a bunch of random line breaks all over your posts. are you pasting them from notepad or something? kinda a pain to read.

    No, I don’t own a iPad….. yet. Sounds like your phone is experiencing a few
    difficulties unrelated to me or WiC.

  • Seonaidh Ceanneidigh,

    Of course every individual is different, but I have a number of friends who are Asian and take no offense to the term either. If someone asked them their nationality or ancestry they would likely answer Japanese or Korean or Chinese etc and not Asian. However, that does not make the term Asian offensive or racist.

    Collective terms by their very nature are vague, but not inaccurate. Of course someone who comes from a country on the continent of Asia is Asian, or African if from a country within Africa. And of course there are more accurate specific terms for each region, and country, and province, and city…and village etc…

  • I’ve just skim-read this thread and…… I don’t……… I don’t even know anymore

  • WinterRose,

    I hear you well, and for many decades unrepresented people simply chose to
    relate to stories with written descriptions that did not include them, and onscreen
    stories that excluded their existence. Many did so because that was the order of
    things. I remember fantasizing different people in those roles, but I enjoyed
    immensely the escapism or entertainment of those stories. However, I never
    bought that faeries were ” white “, or ” natives ” were bloodthirsty cannibals, or
    all people along the Mediterranean or any land mass was unaffected by human
    migration or the incessant need for men and women to have sex.

    The rules for expectation has been raised for some time now, and people that
    were under represented are rightfully speaking up in great numbers and $$$$.
    It might be fantastical thinking for now, but I hope that some day ASOIAF
    explores other lands in existence as well. To further explore the ” Summer
    Isles”, lands of the Asian continent, Pacific and the Atlantic’s Oceania.
    Probably too vast, I know, but I can dream on.

  • WildSeed: Many schools in the Southeren US teach” creationism over evolution “.

    In truth, many schools in Iowa, Michigan, Wyoming and/or Montana do this as well. It’s not just a Southern thang.

  • Cary Storm: In truth, many schools in Iowa, Michigan, Wyoming and/or Montana do this as well. It’s not just a Southern thang.

    Wow, that’s a shame. Young minds are easily moulded by their environment
    and education. That’s why the KKK and the Skin Heads ( incl the Michigan
    Militia ) run their own ” charter schools “. As a society we take 3 leaps forward
    and 2 steps backward. Ignorance is a beast that must be slayed and deserves
    no mercy, no matter where it’s encountered. The Christian Fundamentalist
    remind me of the days of the ” Crusades “.

  • WildSeed,

    You’ve got hard returns at the end of your lines. On certain browsers, if the line doesn’t fit on the page, it comes across as line breaks in inappropriate places. But you (and I) don’t see that. If the text is typed directly into the text box without cutting and pasting and hard returns only at the end of paragraphs, this doesn’t happen.

  • Alex Dubrovsky:
    D&D should’ve cast Idris Elba as Mance Rayder. It would’ve been so much fun to read all the “discussions” here and on Westeros.org.

    Mance Rayder has been cast. The actor Ciaran Hinds has been chosen and
    appeared in S3 , but you probably already knew that.

    Actor Idris Elba’s career is white hot, I’d wager roles on cable networks are
    not on his radar. Too bad, he’d make an awesome Areoh Hotah !!

  • Alex Dubrovsky:
    D&D should’ve cast Idris Elba as Mance Rayder. It would’ve been so much fun to read all the “discussions” here and on Westeros.org.

    Frankly Idris Elba would have made more of an impression than Ciaran did ;-p

    In all seriousness I would love to see Stringer/Luther play Moqorro.

  • WildSeed
    As for any academic subject, texts are updated and revised as thoughtful research
    and knowledge changes the perspective. Unfortunately the reverse may also be true.Many schools in the Southeren US teach” creationism over evolution “. The same
    area of the country is in charge of revising textbooks via national committee . I
    have personally met southerners from the US that were taught that the Civil War
    ended with a stalemate, in the war against the confederates. This isn’t a history
    that difficult to fact check, yet many choose to blindly believe that gen Lee &
    Sherman ended the fighting solely for the benefit ofsparing the South of
    further bloodshed. There was no surrender (!). I’m amazed at what is taught in
    schools………anywhere.

    How many is “many” when it comes to schools that teach creationism and the revisionist history of the Civil War?

    Which area of the country are you talking about who revise textbooks by national committee and where are those textbooks being used?

    I ask because I don’t want the international community members to get an unfair impression of the southern United States. It is a large and varied region filled with wonderful, welcoming, people.

  • Cary Storm,

    Thanks for clarifying. I make an effort to adjust long sentences to fit the text box.
    By pasting, you must mean the ” quote ” tab (?). At any rate, I read several comments
    here, where the comments appear to string on beyond the text box, usually when
    someone is presenting a long web link or similar. Since you know a little about
    me, it comes to no surprise that pasting links or anything elaborate in the
    computer world, is beyond my knowledge . Even so, I’m still unsure why breaks
    occur in my comments, and not visualized upon review, to everyone. Almost
    as if it’s corrected (?).

  • Atreyu,

    Read Cary’s comments, but please, please re-read mine as well, okay ?

    I understand that there is an appointed National Textbook Review Committee
    located in Texas. PBS network ( Frontline ) and many news organizations have
    shed some light on this growing concern.

  • Hodor’s Bastard:
    WildSeed,

    Teaching creationism over evolution? Please no. Please, please no! {weeping for those poor children…}

    Don’t worry, so far it’s contained to private schools that nobody takes seriously anyway.

  • WildSeed:
    Atreyu,

    Read Cary’s comments, but please, please re-read mine as well, okay ?

    I did. Yours too.

    I want to hear more about the national committee that revises textbooks. I was born and raised in Virginia and haven’t come across anything like what you described being taught in our schools. Neither have any of my friends, acquaintances or educators. I’m not saying that what you’ve described isn’t happening (it is happening), but I think it’s probably (hopefully) a few outliers.

  • sunspear,

    The majority of the south does believe in science but the small minority of creationists are a very loud and well organized group.

  • sunspear: Don’t worry, so far it’s contained to private schools that nobody takes seriously anyway.

    Actually that makes me worry even more. These kids will grow up, multiply and will probably be in positions to make critical decisions regarding others and their children. This nation and this world needs to move forward and not stand still (stagnant).

    As Wildseed said before….the Crusades and its lingering effect on the world…the fucking Crusades!

  • Al Swearengen: Frankly Idris Elba would have made more of an impression than Ciaran did ;-p

    In all seriousness I would love to see Stringer/Luther play Moqorro.

    I think he’s way way too big now to play Moqorro, who is a great character but a relatively small one. To me the guy to play him is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, aka Simon Adebisi and Mr. Eko.

  • Greatjon of Slumber: I think he’s way way too big now to play Moqorro, who is a great character but a relatively small one. To me the guy to play him is Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, aka Simon Adebisi and Mr. Eko.

    I actually thought of him before but I couldn’t hope to do anything but mangle his name and was too damned lazy to google it.

  • sunspear:
    Seonaidh Ceanneidigh,

    As a person the US, I can assure you that upwards 98% of the people living here would not think that ‘Asian’ is an offensive term.

    As another person in the US, I can also share with you that at the very least 75% of the people here have no problem with throwing out statistical information on the fly. :-)

  • Greatjon of Slumber,

    Had he not already been cast I would say Nonso Anozie should play Moqorro! XD
    He was just about exactly how I pictured the role I guess…

    I think AAA would be awesome as Moqorro too!
    I have thought of Djimon Hounsou in the role too, but AAA has more of the build I think of with Moqorro.

  • Atreyu: I did. Yours too.

    I want to hear more about the national committee that revises textbooks. I was born and raised in Virginia and haven’t come across anything like what you described being taught in our schools. Neither have any of my friends, acquaintances or educators. I’m not saying that what you’ve described isn’t happening (it is happening), but I think it’s probably (hopefully) a few outliers.

    WildSeed: Some regions do a better
    job than others.

    Many States have their own Instructional Review Committees, often spearheaded
    by progressive and intelligent people. These were in itself , formed because of
    widespread abuse of erroneous material taught and ancient texts utilized in
    economically poor school districts……… of the US South and other regions .
    Cary pointed out a few more. I am increasingly dismayed at the prevalence
    to adopt heresay and local folklore over easily obtained fact. I presume
    this is where willful blindness and ignorance plays an unfortunate role.
    Fortunate for you, and many other states and/or regions, the furtive spread
    is not depicted everywhere.

    The issue of the Civil War stalemate, was encountered in the great state of Georgia,
    specifically Sapelo Island, where I first lived upon entering the States. Maybe
    Paula Deen received her education nearby. It’s been a while since I stood
    outside her family’s restaurant ( not hers ), I was warned not to go in………
    cause trouble ):

  • Greatjon of Slumber,

    Idris still has the time to make a drama for BBC I think he’d be fine with a small role on GOT. Besides HBO ignited his career, I am sure he’d be happy to work for them again.

  • Ours is the Fury is on some sort of crazy pc butthurt racial jihad. The only authority on what the various ASOIAF characters look like, GRRM, has spoken. Now everyone whining that their favorite dark skinned actor wasn’t cast needs to move on. Anyone who has a problem with “Eurocentric” books or television or other media is really in the wrong place. GRRM has created a diverse inclusive multi-ethnic/racial universe. Ours is the Fury and the other haters need to reflect on that and hang their heads in shame for the needless drama they have created.

  • Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Hey there, you’ve made some good points there, particularly in referencing the change in language from a hundred years ago, or so.
    I suppose what my point really is, is: if someone clearly isn’t racist, and there misuse of language is as innocent as someone misusing “there” and “their”, then it seems a little pedantic to jump on them and bash them down.

  • Hodor’s Bastard:
    valyrian,

    Why would you base your real world view (and vacation plans) on anything stated in this thread, or anything stated in entertainment-related blogs? Please don’t do that. These are opinions (some stronger than others) made by folks who you don’t know anything about. They could be blogging from jail or from their high castle or from their classroom or from the nearest starbucks or from their home…and you definitely don’t know their disposition in life. The world and its cultures and people is much more hopeful and beautiful than anything that could be stated here.

    So very true. Just being respectful of the inhabitants and language usually adds to
    the experience. If I’m planning long term stays or a month of respite stay, I
    review Rick Steves’ ” Graffiti Wall ” travel forum. These are well meaning
    and seasoned travelers that offer solid advice for any person posing a query.
    The Forum is titled ” Minority Travelers Forum “, but great insights may be
    learned in the discussions and advice. Definitely helped my stay in Austria
    and Belgium.

  • sunspear: Don’t worry, so far it’s contained to private schools that nobody takes seriously anyway.

    Unfortunately, it is not just private schools that are doing this (btw–not bashing private schools at all. My kids both attended a private school for different learners.). Because of the extremity of the PC (yes, I went there) culture in the US today, public schools are being forced in court to mention “creationism” as a possible alternate theory. It depends completely on the teacher whether or not this fake science is taken seriously. You can and do find public school teachers that will teach this crap on an equal footing with evolution. Sad but true. But living in a tolerant society means that these misguided folks are free to believe whatever they want. It is up to me as an American parent to teach my children to think critically and discount the discountable on their own. The power provided by living in the US to forge your own way in the world also comes with the understanding that those around you are free to do the same in their own way, regardless of where they originated. THAT is what differentiates the US from the other countries of the world. THAT is why my kids would not even think to argue about the race of an actor hired to portray a character in a piece of fiction. White, black, brown, red, yellow, green, blue–all the same.

    BTW: Asian is perfectly acceptable in my neck of the woods (suburban Chicago), although it is a geographic rather than racial reference. What I don’t get is, why is it offensive to refer to someone as African? Wouldn’t it be interesting to be African? Just like I find my Irish-Italian-Belgian-English heritages interesting and my husband’s Polish-Austrian-German backgrounds interesting, I would find being Chinese or Native American or Botswanan (Botswanian? Botswanese?) interesting. Found out a few years ago that my Italian family tree descended from a soldier in Charlemagne’s army who settled in Italy. Who knows where HE came from! It is only those that find something wrong with being classified as one or the other that could possibly find these types of descriptive terms offensive. My daughter has black hair and almond-shaped eyes…maybe that soldier was Mongolian. Cool! ;) Or, I tan easily, so perhaps he was a MOOR! Also cool! ;D The more, the merrier as far as I’m concerned ’cause the truth is, folks, we’re all everything genetically. Just ask Darwin. ;P

    (Like how I pulled that back around to creation v. evolution after my rant? Impressive.)

  • WildSeed:

    Fortunate for you, and many other states and/or regions, the furtive spread
    is not depicted everywhere.

    The issue of the Civil War stalemate, was encountered in the great state of Georgia,
    specifically Sapelo Island, where I first lived upon entering the States. Maybe
    Paula Deen received her education nearby. It’s been a while since I stood
    outside her family’s restaurant ( not hers ), I was warned not to go in………
    cause trouble ):

    And there’s the rub. Where you see a “furtive spread” I see a slow death of flat-earthers. Their thinking flares up like a hemorrhoid now and again, but it usually gets shouted down. Even here in the South.

    And I’m glad you brought up Paula Deen. She’s a dinosaur. There are fewer of her kind every day.

  • axia777,

    We had moors in Spain, like we had jews, roman, goths and phoenicians. But visit my country and you will realize 70-80% of us have white skin, and the most popular hair color is brown.

    You should both travel AND read History

  • Atreyu, love your positivity! Greetings from the Midwest. And if there is any place on this website for a hemorrhoid reference, this is it. I appreciate it.

    Even the Paula Deen thing is a positive. She now knows that she was wrong and is willing to amend her ways. That is progress! At least she is not trying to defend her mistake to the bitter end like the Norwegian skinhead guy above. “Racial realist.” Geesh!

  • Atreyu,

    The ” flat earthers ” are indeed prominent on certain regions, however smaller
    in numbers to those that believe the contrary. I’m a regular contributor
    to the SPLC ( Southern Poverty Law Center ), and supporter of their
    Teach Tolerance campaign. Those that maintain the vital spark of
    ignorance keep the flame going as long as there are those willing
    to make it so. So far, these folk have deemed it dangerous for some
    of us live or or work where we choose, where safety and respect is
    concerned. Homophobic Skinheads murdered a long term couple
    living in upper Washington state. There are only pockets of
    places that are dangerous, in addition to the usual petty crimes, but
    ignorance is a tough thing to eradicate or mediate. Anyway, it’s
    some comfort in knowing that the ” furtive spread ” remains low,
    in comparable numbers. To ignore it’s potential however, would be
    detrimental. Not unlike a steady diet of Paula Deen’s “fried twinkies &
    fried pickles ” (:

  • Ashara D,

    I’ve met many lovely people from Michigan, where went to University of Mich.
    Not everyone there believes in the ideals of the Michigan Militia and similar ilk.

  • Javi Marcos:
    axia777,

    We had moors in Spain, like we had jews, roman, goths and phoenicians. But visit my country and you will realize 70-80% of us have white skin, and the most popular hair color is brown.

    You should both travel AND read History

    bright white ? polar white ? creamy white ? off white ? alabaster ? moon glow ?………..

  • Jeesshhh can we give this stuff a rest?! That’s it, the Red Viper has been cast, can we stop arguing about his damn race, appearance and all this bullshit! I’m more interested in his acting abilities. He wasn’t who I thought would make a good Red Viper, I wanted Alexander Siddig, but it didn’t happen! If this guy is as good as they’re saying then that’s all I need and want from him for GoT. The rest is not important in this context.

    Everytime there has been an actor we did not approve of, made the same circus about, once we saw them as their characters….all this other shit fell by the wayside!

    I’m more interested in the Sand Snakes! Hell yeah! I hope we get them!

  • As a non-American, the following quoted post expresses how I feel more with more eloquence than I possess. (But I will try). I feel like Americans are a huge amount more sensitive to words and labels, yes, possibly because it is not so long ago that segregation exists. I think that is a large part of why most race discussions I come across seem to focus almost exclusively on “white” and “black”. But privilege and discrimination is a lot more complicated than just the color of your skin, and I think in order to shape a better world we need to move on from this focus on race, labels and quotas.
    I have been a victim of racism myself, but I do not consider it racist when someone uses a certain label to describe me, knowing that it often comes from how they were brought up and/or ignorance and/or language differences, and not from any bad feelings or actual racist thoughts at all. I resent actual racism, and I don’t believe Martin is at all racist just by using certain words. Languages are complex, living, evolving things and so labels can’t remain static. Far better to consider whether their is poison behind their use.
    I think Americans tend to be sensitive to the point where I think it restricts free speech and where “anti-racists” end up acting very “racist” in their own way. Especially in the way they treat “white” people as one race – so Irish immigrants to the US had “white privilege”? The Scottish immigrants ethnically cleared from their British homeland because of culture and language, also privileged simply because they were pale?
    As a further note, I think quotas and things like affirmative action actually do worse harm in the long-term by formalising the labels/racial boundaries, and can actually breed more problems than existed beforehand. Look at the Hutus and Tutsis of Rwanda, and how their “ethnic” divide was drawn by the colonialists.

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    Proserpina,

    I think this confusion about terms and skin tone and the sensitivity to it is worse in the US than almost anywhere else. And it’s all due to our recent history.The US was the last industrialized nation with a representative government to ban slavery.Segregation de Jure (meaning in law) continued until 1954 when schools were ordered to be segregated. The Civil Rights Act wasn’t passed until 1968. Segregation de Facto (meaning in fact) particularly when it came to where we lived and socialized was still well in force when I was a child in the 1970′s living in Memphis, TN.Just walking through the other’s neighborhood could have gotten me killed.So it’s only been about 50 years since we really started trying to live together and Americans feel the effects of slavery and segregation to this day, whether they want to acknowledge it or not.And this ongoing debate regarding GOT characters is the perfect example of how we struggle with it.

  • edi: His last name is either Italian or French not Spanish… there are many Chileans of French and Italian origins

    It’s a stage name.

  • The Lightning Lord,

    The withewashing of Spain?? Which one? I am Spanish and have pale skin, fair hair and I get easily burned under the sun. Most of Spanish people are white. They get more or less tanned, but that is all. I am feeling a bit offended by all this debate.
    Of course there are people of different origins / complexions/ cultures / skin colour living here, and they are most welcomed. But most of the people here are white. I do not understand what is the problem with that.
    If you are oversensitive to a casting made for a TV show and want to complain about it, that is fine with me, but please do not try to stablish how the whole population of a country should look like according to your opinion.

  • ENM: The funny thing about people with your attitude is that although you have access to all the hard science on genetics (largely thanks to the Internet), you consciously avoid seeking it out because you realize that it contradicts your ideological world view. Even if I had no interest in such science, I would only need to take a look at the rape and crime statistics here in Norway to affirm my racial realist views.

    This is sad for many reasons, but particularly because I work in genetical pharmaceutical research. You have removed any shred of doubt remaining about you. When we move past people like you, we will be able to move forward and perhaps make a better future for us all.

    Kim: Well that is fair, people such as you, with an apparent limited amount of knowledge about human nature. But not lacking righteous fervor and a very loud voice makes me rather angry. I suppose it’s just one of those things we all have to endure.

    Wasn’t going to post here again, but seriously I don’t understand what’s wrong with some people. I’m not going to get involved in personal discussions, but I do find it alarming how my opposition to racism makes someone convinced I have a severe lack of knowledge of human nature. I understand it all too well, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. It would be nice not to have thoughtless judgements thrown around as if they mean anything, they are what’s wrong with us as a species in general – in this particular case criteria for casting an actor should be their acting skills, and not how they look.

    Agree to disagree, I still think anyone getting upset over the casting due to a particular race, skin tone or whatever other physical attribute is extremely superficial and unfair to the actor receiving the role.

    And that’s me never making another comment here again. Hf with the show all.

  • Biscotti wrote: “I think Americans tend to be sensitive to the point where I think it restricts free speech and where “anti-racists” end up acting very “racist” in their own way. Especially in the way they treat “white” people as one race – so Irish immigrants to the US had “white privilege”? The Scottish immigrants ethnically cleared from their British homeland because of culture and language, also privileged simply because they were pale?”

    It’s very interesting to get the POV on diversity issues from non-Americans, because I’ve had such discussions in other multi-national fandoms. Agree that it’s in accurate to act like all “white” people are a monolithic oppressive group. Also, while it’s interesting to hear from George himself on this issue, I know that in the past, he’s stated that while the Dornish are BASED on certain ethnic groups, in the end, they are DORNISH, not Spanish or Greek or Italian or whatever.

    Much as the “Northmen” of Westeros are not actually Scotsmen, even though many of them have been PLAYED by Scotsmen on the show (most notably Richard Madden), not all have been, and no one has complained about, say, Sean Bean playing a Northman. Even though you certainly COULD compare the North vs South dynamics in Westeros to Scotland vs England in Real Life.

    What really makes me sad about this debacle, is that so many fans have not only reduced Pedro Pascal to his race, ethnicity, national origin, whatever you want to call it, and totally ignored other facets of this casting choice, they seem to have decided they have the right to determine what this human being’s primary identity is or should be — based on what? A photo? A video clip? Some rumors spread around the Net by people who claim to have met the man?

    Whether Pedro himself considers himself “White” vs “POC” seems completely irrelevant to many people around here, who are comfortable declaring “HE’s WHITE! HE’s NOT A POC!” So what if Pedro DID come on here and declare what he considers himself to be? Would people accept that? If he said he DID think of himself as a POC, would they say “No Pedro, you’re wrong, you look white to me, so you’re white!” There’s something very disturbing about that.

    It seems a lot of “white-passing POCs” are in for a double-whammy, then; they are still subjected to discrimination by people who DO see them as POC/Other, but they can’t get any sympathy from the “social justice” crowd who see them as too Privileged due to their “white-passingness” to deserve any sympathy. But I suppose there’s no such thing as “reverse colorism”, either.

  • Well, it’s clear there are many people here with different notions of race. I can understand confusion arising from that.

    Many people in Latin America are descended from Southern Europeans and judging from Pascal’s appearance he likely is. Could be French too, you know. Pascal is also a French surname. Unless you think Southern Europeans are not white, I’d say he is white.

    What I can’t understand is how can anyone disagree with an author on his own creation? That author knows what he was doing.

    Who said? “…I don’t agree with GRRM on Dornish appearance “ Makes no sense.

  • Satsuma,

    Both of you summed up, I think, everything that was “wrong” about this debate and addressed the issue.

    Shame it won’t end the debate.

    On the other hand, it produced some good posts like yours and Biscotti’s.

  • On a totally tangential note, while “Pedro Pascal” sounds suitably foreign and mysterious, translating it to the English “Pete Easter” makes him sound like some 1940s gumshoe detective.

    Ok, carry on.

  • ENM: The funny thing about people with your attitude is that although you have access to all the hard science on genetics (largely thanks to the Internet), you consciously avoid seeking it out because you realize that it contradicts your ideological world view. Even if I had no interest in such science, I would only need to take a look at the rape and crime statistics here in Norway to affirm my racial realist views.

    Oh my goodness, and this amount of crap isn’t censored yet ! So racism is science now… It’s so fucking dumb i can’t believe it . I miss the “politically correct” debate when i read this, but maybe it’s because i’m too left winged to be rational…

  • Satsuma: Much as the “Northmen” of Westeros are not actually Scotsmen, even though many of them have been PLAYED by Scotsmen on the show (most notably Richard Madden), not all have been, and no one has complained about, say, Sean Bean playing a Northman.Even though you certainly COULD compare the North vs South dynamics in Westeros to Scotland vs England in Real Life.

    Why would someone complain about that? Sean Bean is a Northman in real life, being from Yorkshire. Although a lot of the actors playing Northerners on the show are Scottish, they generally play their characters with Yorkshire accents. But it makes sense that one would see just as many parallels with Scotland. And Russia, what with the famously harsh winters.

  • Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I can really appreciate where you both are relating here. It’s factual and points
    to direct experience, rather than extrapolating myth and heresay. I too,
    have added personal points, but hoped to convey better guidance via real
    science and historical fact. What you both state is true, and I hope someone (s)
    take to heart the observation of you both, for it’s merit.
    I took some personal interest , since my mate informed me of his Turkish
    ancestry. He’s from Bangladesh. Having grown up in the Caribbean, the
    presence of Indians and Chinese is common, but a complete shock to citizens
    of the US just a few ocean miles away. VS Naipual is one of my favourite
    writers, and speaks with heartfelt pride of his long associated Caribbean
    heritage.

    To be sure, people draw their own conclusions based on their personal experiences
    and milieu , augmented with popular myth. Some oral and written local histories
    contain hints of fact admixed with hate and doctrine. Thankfully there remained
    educators in every part of the world that documented truer and relevant facts that
    supersede many confused or dispossessed . People also have a tendency to conflate
    because it’s easier to deny the existence of better known fact , especially if what they
    feared worst was true or contradicts their perceived notions .

    The fact is , Race has no biologic or genetic basis. It is a concept fueled by the
    desire for late 19th & 20th century categorization of the world population.
    Following on the heels of pseudoscience and Eugenics, it’s foothold appealed
    to those hoping to punctuate why we are different and/or superior in some way.
    These Designations elevated some, and dispossessed the other “end ” of the spectrum.
    It’s no doubt that over the decades, revisions have taken place to either exclude or
    include whomever lobbied for consideration. This is not science, this is social.

    Human origins owes its distinction solely upon morphologic features expressed
    through genetic inheritance . The outcome is not always visible to the eye. It
    takes many generations of dominant or recessive genes to depict a pattern.
    Phenotypes, by themselves maybe expressed anywhere ( features ), yet our
    Genotypes may express something altogether different. Even within societies that
    actively practiced eugenics, genotypes continue to prove our inheritance .

    Simply put, you cannot always equate by observation alone. In all my years of
    world travel, and participating in medical procedures, I discovered more
    commonality than difference. Even though these continents were vastly
    separated.

    To this day, many Chinese have no awareness of their German ancestry , especially
    dating from the ” Prussian Asian Trading Comp ” days, nor the acknowledgement
    of the German contribution to their infrastructure . The Dutch East India Trading
    Company, in the 17th century, made the British colonialists look like amateurs,
    with respect to genetic mixing along the routes the traveled. The understanding
    of migration and mating dates back to ancient times, and long before the practice of eugenics or Racial Existentialism , where the African and other diaspora sought
    better conditions. Some remained where they were, but genetic links continued
    to evolve.

    Racism is but another expression of ignorance and hate, but should not be
    levied without merit. Whether the hatred , which may include denial of
    another sector or group to exist, is an ongoing threat that remains alive
    because it’s never quite stamped out. Whether the hostilities, violence
    or hatred against one’s ethnicity , religion, gender, sexual orientation,etc
    is the motive__ it’s still hatred. The misunderstanding of this fuels topics
    that we’re engaged it here. We just need to accept that theres more that
    meets the eye, respect and acknowledge that skin complexion contributes
    to what makes us special, not a accusation of proof.

  • I enjoyed grrms comments but I cannot forgive the people who have written their negative opinions here. You do not represent the majority of the fans. Sorry you have nothing else to complain about this week.

  • Alayne Stone,

    Responding to a comment you made earlier, GRRM’s world and the world of Ice and Fire is based on characters and empires throughout the world, not just medieval Europe. The “whitewashing” of Spain I speak of is the inaccurate belief that Spanish society is entirely “white” and devoid of non-European origins, which is a claim that has been debunked by genetic evidence, which proves Jewish and Arab and Berber ancestral origins as well. Please see: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/health/05iht-05genes.18425407.html?_r=0. GRRM’s Dorne was based upon Moorish Spain, which included large populations of Jews and Arabs, who have contributed to Spain’s makeup more than you think, because of the whitewashing of history by the Inquisition. Places like Sevilla, Cordoba, and other regions are far more diverse than what the far right and white supremacists would have you believe.

  • Ok … I have been reading this thread for DAYS and I still don’t get it . I don’t get the modern day OBSESSION with origin , culture , race , what ever you want to call it.
    WHAT the absolute F**K are you all talking about ? He’s black she’s white we’re brown no wait, maybe we’re mocha choco coffee milk…why is it SO important to our every day lives, who screwed who in our past? Realy I would like an explanation … I don’t get it .

  • Um wow HOLY CRAP! I sincerely hope this actor never reads this thread because YIKES … I have absolutely no issues with the casting, he looks great and must have done well in his audition! Just super psyched to see Oberyn brought to life. I think there is a weird essentialist racial thing going on where people have stereotypical notions of what certain ethnicities should look like (particularly compounded when we chuck in the fact that this is a fantasy world, albeit inspired by some real world cultures and events). I think we have to wait to see what they do when they cast more Dornish characters to judge the casting – and I always had the impression that they were a culturally and racially heterogenous group. I was someone who did have a bit of a problem with the Mhysa scene and some of its connotations, but I think people will look back on it as an overreaction, considering how complex and problematic the ‘white saviour’ trope becomes as explored in the books (and hopefully the show) – thought I’d spoiler that bit just to be safe. I suck at being concise and don’t generally comment on websites, but thought I’d chuck this in, hopefully haven’t fanned the flames even more!

  • Here is my review of the comments on this thread.

    First Ours is the Fury tried to redefine what Mediterranean descent means, then stating African descent is misleading because there are more than just “black” people in Africa. She goes on to claim GRRM is being Eurocentric…which left me scratching my head as I’m sure there are more than just “white” people in Europe.

    Then everyone started attacking OitF for making Pedro’s race an issue instead of waiting to see what he brings to the role.

    My buddy Atreyu asked for some popcorn which prompted Khal-A-Bunga to make some. Mmmmmmm popcorn!

    Lex then chimed in with his .02 and the fireworks started. It was the Alamo all over again with both sides crossing borders. Lex was accused of being “creepy” and OitF started using her God-like moderator powers to censor opposing arguments. Lex’s reinforcements showed up pretty fast and Andrew and Pau Soriano both called OitF out for abusing her moderator powers for her own benefit.

    WiC tried to come in and calm things down with limited success, followed by FaBio asking for a definition of “What is White?” White is what the eye sees when all color is reflected from a surface, “including the color indigo,” and so I shouted “Casper” at the screen only to second guess myself as Casper is really translucent. Frosty the Snowman comes to mind, but only if pristine snow was used.

    Then an actual racist showed up and peed in the popcorn! We were all screaming, “DUDE, JUST BECAUSE IT’S YELLOW DOESN’T MEAN IT TASTES LIKE BUTTER!”

    Frustrated with the ruined popcorn, OitF reinforcement finally showed up claiming others were belittling her using terms like “feminist” and “PC” to try and invalidate her argument. Which was true…but it was still a BS move to resort to censorship to try and erase someone else’s arguments.

    About that time I was about to leave as the ruined popcorn was really bumming me out, Rygar showed up smoking a bowl and had me actually LMAO.

    I’d give the thread a 6. It was beating eyebrowgate up until the asshat showed up.

  • YvyB,

    Obviously , because it’s an unresolved issue. It would appear that much has been
    learned through science and anthropological studies, but myth and hate still
    exists.

    Shortly after the ” Myhsa ” episode Recap, I was astonished at first, that every
    viewer did not perceive as I did. I saw a beautiful and jubilant moment, in the
    finale. My mind only on Danerys and the liberated citizens and slaves, I
    was transformed back to the book passages I read so long ago. It’s a
    fantasy book adaptation, right ? Danerys is a purple eyed, silver haired
    Targaryeon after all.

    Since then, I’ve gain insights how others perceived those moments. And many
    valid and poignant points have been discussed by WiC panel, WiC moderators,
    and many well made comments in the Dorne and Myhsa posts. I did not
    choose only to read the negative connotations as you and others had.
    I ‘ve come away both enlightened, and disturbed by what I ‘ve read here, which
    wholly points to the disconnect . The beauty of the Myhsa finale, nor Mr Pascal’s
    casting won’t strongly affect my reasoning for GoT being a good show. From the
    conversation that erupted from Ethnicity and other factors, some people have
    aired their disappointment, expectations, intellect, rational thought, diatribe
    and petty differences . To be true, it’s become a forum of sorts. To think that
    when the topic fist came about, I shouted down a new poster to ” stop focusing on
    what’s indicated, just remember that Danerys isn’t real…” I now regret my
    words. I also regret that some well meaning visitors have stayed clear of this
    Subject Post, simply because it’s evolved into a general forum, and not
    specific to Oberyn Martell’s duties on the show. Well, what’s discussed is
    indeed relevant, just not narrowly focused on one aspect of the show. It’s the
    broader sense of what the show represents.

    I , for one, applaud writers like GRRM that offer a wider scope of the world
    through his prose. I also appreciate several commenters here for putting that
    into perspective, for what it signifies to them. Remember, there would be no
    onscreen versions of Ser Elyan_ from ” Merlin “, or Muslim comic book
    superheroes__” The Green Lantern ” DC Comics, to name a few recent, if it weren’t
    for public outcry for acceptance and recognition.

    WildSeed,

    I can understand frustration , since discussions may leap to broader points,
    what I find more interesting is the antagonism and hostility that it’s
    generated. For some folk, it doesn’t take much to scratch the surface to
    reveal brooding mistrust and hate. The read has been most interesting for
    that as well . One’s choice of cuss words and candor has been most
    revealing indeed.

  • fuelpagan,

    I’d rate it a 4.75, because the diver misheard the signal to begin, peed in
    the pool, splashed into an outside lane where a different analysis
    was taking place, cussed out the guy in the next lane, and still
    demanded recognition for effort. All that and sampling the guy’s
    popcorn in the front row, which had rancid butter. You should
    just give up and purchase a ticket for Comic Con_____ But please
    don’t bug Mr Martin about the actors, he’s only responsible
    for the book material ( and he’s done a damn fine job at that ! ).

  • Maddy: I sincerely hope this actor never reads this thread because YIKES

    I wouldn’t worry. Nikolaj forgave us for nosegate and Emilia forgave us for eyebrowgate. It’s just unfortunate this gate centers around a hot button social issue.

  • WildSeed,

    Can’t let the idiots of the world ruin all your fun or you will never be able to have any, because idiots are everywhere.

    I have no interest in asking anything of the big man other than the one question he refuses to answer. And now that we know the end of the story if 4 to 6 years away from the show, I could care less when his next book comes out.

  • Scarlett Reaper,

    alucino con este comentario, sabe mas de Espanya que un espanyol. puede haber algun autoctono con piel mas oscura, como algun familiar, pero negro? por favor… si, en Espanya hay una gran mezcla racial que se ha desarrollado a lo largo de los anyos. Venga, a aprender castellano.

  • Serjeant Grumbles,

    “Why would someone complain about that? Sean Bean is a Northman in real life, being from Yorkshire. Although a lot of the actors playing Northerners on the show are Scottish, they generally play their characters with Yorkshire accents.”

    Well, my point was that no one says the actors from Yorkshire are “not Northern enough” to play Northmen, or INSISTS that the North represents Scotland, and that anyone who says otherwise is bigoted and unaware of their own privilege, or whatever. I am sure that while the Scotland parallel is valid, the North IS certainly based on Yorkshire as well; the Stark-Lannister feud is partially based on the Wars of the Roses between the House of York and House of Lancaster, and much like the North is the largest of the Seven Kingdoms in terms of geography, Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK. I agree with the Russia parallels as well.

    However, these are all PARALLELS, not absolute allegories. I see the Dorne the same way, that you can draw parallels between Dorne and other regions and countries, but you can’t say “Dorne represents Moorish Spain, and people who disagree are all bigots who support white-washing!” I think it’s sadly reductionist to take people from a FANTASY world and insist on shoehorning them into a modern understanding of race and ethnicity identity politics; especially when you try to apply a uniquely US-based perspective on that, which isn’t shared by most people across the globe, even in our contemporary world. (As well as ironic, because isn’t that “our modern US liberal POV is the only valid POV” assumption, very close to the kind of ethno-centrism the social justice bloggers are supposed to be protesting?)

    Also, since the OP was about GRRM’s own comments about this casting; I find it very presumptious for people to basically say, “I know better than the author himself, how the Dornish are supposed to look”. I realize there is a school of literary analysis that basically disregards author intent as irrelevant, but people basically calling GRRM out and saying “You’re wrong! The Dornish ARE POCS!” to me, isn’t that different from my scenario of someone calling out Pedro Pascal, if he were to claim to be a POC, and declaring, “You’re wrong! You’re white!” I also suspect that few people would ever dare say such things to GRRM’s face, or Pedro’s face.

  • PhilPhobic,

    PhilPhobic:
    Quite honestly I don’t care what character George had in his mind when he wrote the Martells. I know what character I had in my mind when reading about a group of desert dwellers with olive skin and it certainly didn’t look anything like Mr. Pascal. He might write the books but he can’t dictate how I interpretation his words. He could tell me up is down and down is up in the world of Westeros but I’ll still view the world as I come to understand it.

    I don’t agree with GRRM on Dornish appearance and I don’t believe this casting choice was correct or that people should just be happy with the token minority representation we have in this show.

    Did you get in touch with the producers and inform them of your visualization, and argue that it was the One True Visualization? Because if you didn’t, I honestly don’t know how you could expect their casting to cater to the specific way you happened to imagine the characters.

  • As for the little clarity in GRRM’ statement, I guess that has something to do with him being American.I find that people from the US are often excessivelyconfused about other countries.

    Yep, we dumb Americans have no idea what’s going on in other parts of the globe.

    Really, guys, America-bashing is so blasé. Get over yourselves.

  • Adam:
    Really, guys, America-bashing is so blasé.

    That word. It doesn’t mean what you appear to think it means.

  • Satsuma:
    I think it’s sadly reductionist to take people from a FANTASY world and insist on shoehorning them into a modern understanding of race and ethnicity identity politics; especially when you try to apply a uniquely US-based perspective on that, which isn’t shared by most people across the globe, even in our contemporary world.(As well as ironic, because isn’t that “our modern US liberal POV is the only valid POV” assumption, very close to the kind of ethno-centrism the social justice bloggers are supposed to be protesting?)

    Also, since the OP was about GRRM’s own comments about this casting; I find it very presumptious for people to basically say, “I know better than the author himself, how the Dornish are supposed to look”.I realize there is a school of literary analysis that basically disregards author intent as irrelevant, but people basically calling GRRM out and saying “You’re wrong!The Dornish ARE POCS!”to me, isn’t that different from my scenario of someone calling out Pedro Pascal, if he were to claim to be a POC, and declaring, “You’re wrong! You’re white!”I also suspect that few people would ever dare say such things to GRRM’s face, or Pedro’s face.

    Spot on.

  • Adam,

    Yep, we dumb Americans have no idea what’s going on in other parts of the globe.

    That is so truefax much of the time, blame the media partly; for example consider current events, more American’s pay attention to that Zimmerman trial than events in Egypt. Our media covers it more too, the sad part is the events in Egypt have far more reaching consequences to our nation and its people than the trial in Sanford, Florida.

  • Some people are way too high strung and waiting to pounce on ANYTHING no matter how minor.

    I feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with those people in the real world.

    In any event, Africa’s racial makeup is mostly brown (in whatever way you define that). So when GRRM suggests that people of that region would be of a darker complexion than say people in Europe, he’s clearly generalizing THE VAST MAJORITY. Which is why we have generalizations. Why they haven’t been outlawed. Because generalizations are a quick way to move points forward without needing to explain every tiny bit of detail that covers every single base so that your emotions aren’t offended because one-leg albinos with green hair weren’t covered in a discussion about the makeup of South Africa.

    Amazing.

  • Alex Dubrovsky:
    D&D should’ve cast Idris Elba as Mance Rayder. It would’ve been so much fun to read all the “discussions” here and on Westeros.org.

    This!
    A TV adaptation of a fantasy novel doesn’t need to cast all whiteys, no matter what the historical real-life inspiration was, or what the author had in mind. Most people in the world aren’t white so why not represent this in the castings?

    Ps- I don’t hear much moaning about the Targ’s lack of purple eyes.

  • At the end of the day, George is the author, and George made the world. George says what goes, and you shut up.

    If he doesn’t get a say in casting, fine. But he get’s the say in the books, and he has spoken.

    Now take your political correctness, and telling Mr. Pascal that despite his heritage, he does not have ‘the right colour of skin,’ for you, and leave. There is something really… wrong about telling a human being their skin colour is wrong. Wasn’t that the whole point of… everything?

  • What a tempest in a chamber pot!
    This obsession with some politically correct quota for the characters in a medieval fantasy story has just gotten ridiculous.
    I actually pictured Oberyn Martel to be darker than Pedro Pascal but he certainly seems to be in the neighborhood. Add a nice goatee and I’m sure his look will be fine. The ludicrous furor that greets every casting decision is just insane.
    Then it turns out the showrunners can’t win even when they go against the books and darken up a character, as they did with Sallador San. Suddenly, his bawdy tirade about Queen Cersei is some kind of racial issue? Some people have enough chips on their shoulders to build The Wall. I hope Pascal’s casting is proof that that idiocy is being ignored.

  • “In any case… I hope no one heaps any vitriol on you for stating your views. I may not agree with all you’ve said, but I respect where you’ve coming from, and you’ve been nothing but polite. You do not deserve abuse for that, and if anyone tries to heap some on you here I will delete their posts (I have no control over what happens elsewhere, alas, but I can at least keep my own blog civil).”

    I am actually in the process of responding, but I didn’t want to wait to add this. Did any of you visit the link to read further? It’s an interesting read. This is GRRM’s response to the woman who originally posted the question, the one that Ours is the Fury quoted – it was a response to her comment, “… I know that by writing you again here I am continuing to open myself up to vitriol from my fellow fans.”

    Surely if GRRM, having written the books, can both understand and respect the original poster’s POV, even if he may not agree with all she’s written, surely his fans can do that as well, yes?

  • semi-sullied,

    Respect is great! Unfortunately, everyone reacts to the most insulting stuff that’s said on each side, not the reasonable stuff. Here there were a series of escalating provocations on both sides here that spun out of control. So first there was the initial backlash against Dorne’s “whitewashing,” and then there was “hey read the books dummy, the Dornish aren’t Mediterranean” and then “shut up racists, don’t you know what Moorish is,” and then “You shut up you tumblr PC idiots, look GRRM even said they’re Mediterranean, ha ha!,” and then “GRRM has stepped in it for not using the word ‘Mediterranean’ in the right way, just shows how Eurocentric he is”….

    By the way, here is GRRM’s quite reasonable response to that:

    About “Mediterranean,” for sure. Yes, one can argue that anyone living in a country that borders on the Mediterranean Sea is a Mediterranean, but that’s not the way the word is usually understood. In common usage, it refers to the countries of southern Europe, and not even all of those. France is not usually spoken of as a Mediterranean country, despite the Riviera. Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and Morocco are usually spoken of as North African countries. Egypt, though it is also in North Africa, is more often referred to as Middle Eastern or Arabic. I live in New Mexico, which is about as far south as a state can be and still be part of the United States. And yet New Mexico is not part of “the South,” not counted as a “southern state.” Virginia, considerably further north, IS a “southern state.” These terms are not meant to be taken literally.

  • WildSeed,
    A little bit of personal testimony to back what you are saying….to look at I am as white as a person can get. I have green eyes, blondish/brown hair, very fair with freckles. My ancestry traced back on both maternal and paternal lines for a 1,000 years is completely northern European. However, I’ve had my mitochondrial DNA traced and going back before the last 1,000 years my ancestry traces to Germany and the Ashkenazi Jews, who originally came from the Middle East and those people’s ancestors came from…….drumroll……….you guessed it, Africa. Knowing what we do about DNA and human origins, the use of labels to divide ourselves should be patently ridiculous. Humanity is one family, whether bigots like it or not.

  • semi-sullied,

    “Fan” is just a shortened form of “fanatic” and you rarely see a description of fanatics that includes the word “reasonable.”

  • OtherAndrew:
    semi-sullied,

    Respect is great! Unfortunately, everyone reacts to the most insulting stuff that’s said on each side, not the reasonable stuff.Here there were a series of escalating provocations on both sides here that spun out of control. So first there was the initial backlash against Dorne’s “whitewashing,” and then there was “hey read the books dummy, the Dornish aren’t Mediterranean” and then “shut up racists, don’t you know what Moorish is,” and then “You shut up you tumblr PC idiots, look GRRM even said they’re Mediterranean, ha ha!,” and then “GRRM has stepped in it for not using the word ‘Mediterranean’ in the right way, just shows how Eurocentric he is”….

    By the way, here is GRRM’s quite reasonable response to that:

    He also voices some opinions about Tumblr that would(will?) give Ours Is the Fury a seizure :P

  • Pau Soriano, he qualified it by saying all he knows about tumblr is what people send him.

    Well, I am not on tumblir, as I said, so perhaps I have the wrong impression of it… but whenever anyone sends me screencaps or quotes from the discussions there, I see a level of ugliness way beyond what I see on LiveJournal. Are tumblir discussions moderated? My own experience has taught me that unmoderated sites inevitably bring out the very worst in people.

  • semi-sullied:
    “In any case… I hope no one heaps any vitriol on you for stating your views. I may not agree with all you’ve said, but I respect where you’ve coming from, and you’ve been nothing but polite. You do not deserve abuse for that, and if anyone tries to heap some on you here I will delete their posts (I have no control over what happens elsewhere, alas, but I can at least keep my own blog civil).”

    I am actually in the process of responding, but I didn’t want to wait to add this.Did any of you visit the link to read further? It’s an interesting read.This is GRRM’s response to the woman who originally posted the question, the one that Ours is the Fury quoted – it was a response to her comment, “… I know that by writing you again here I am continuing to open myself up to vitriol from my fellow fans.”

    Surely if GRRM, having written the books, can both understand and respect the original poster’s POV, even if he may not agree with all she’s written, surely his fans can do that as well, yes?

    This response by GRRM, is a good example as a show for respect, if not politeness,
    for someone rendering an opinion. It neither condemns or condone, just fair.
    Wish I knew in what context the response was for , exactly, or what was the
    comment ( here or there ). Not sure what ” vitriol ” was expected, I just hope
    it wasn’t quite met, as she anticipated.

    I wish I’d read Winter’s comments more thoroughly, before adding mine own.
    There were already a several hundred before mine. At some point people just
    react to the fervor or tone , without clarifying or discerning the disconnect and/or
    the balanced response to it. Anyways, in a failed attempt to reason, some were
    unread or ignored. With a cacophony of competing voices, this thread spiraled
    out of control. At some point though, the moderators are shouted out, which is
    disrespectful. As we are all adults here, presumably, we should attempt to moderate
    ourselves better. There are those with patterns of response, courteous and provocateur,
    to note ( incl mine ), for future reference. I plan to pay better attention than to
    respond to any if at all, from now on. The fellow that began the tirade, commenter
    #2, has a predictable frame of reference in all if most of his posts. Even tempered
    Grijnwaald was the first to note the demeanor.

  • Ms. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I get what you’re saying, however phenotypically similar or dissimilar to my
    very un-white aunt with the same features you describe , blond hair as well.
    Green and Amber eyes are very common in the Caribbean, I thought I was odd
    with light brown eyes (: Anyway, there is always more beneath the surface,
    as any genotype would express. We’re all unique in some way, and as mixed
    as the strawberries that grew from the recent batch of compost I added to
    the soil. Yum !

  • WildSeed: Thank you so much for this link, I have forwarded it to a few close acquaintances,
    and my aunt, who will hold her sides laughing and sighing, as I did.

    Mmm I just read it and didn’t find it funny at all…more like strangely resentful? I dunno..

  • NousWanderer,

    Are you Squall from Final Fantasy VIII?!

    Anyway, I didn’t read through every comment on this thread because I don’t want to waste my time doing so. This discussion imploded on itself. It is a black hole. Please don’t anyone correct my use of the word “imploded.” If black holes don’t actually implode on themselves, I’m sorry. I’m not an astrophysicist and am not trying to be technical.

    And that was the problem right off the bat with this thread. People are being way too pedantic, way too technical and getting way too worked up over simple words while ignoring the intention behind them. I’d wager my life that GRRM knows Africa borders the Mediterranean. He wasn’t speaking in the jargon of a cultural anthropologist, and I don’t think he was trying to isolate fairer-skinned people from Africa by saying “African” as a physical characteristic (the same goes for the use of “Mediterranean”).

    In an effort to strive toward honesty/user feedback, I’ll say that there have been several times in which I found Ours is the Fury to be overzealous or confrontational in her moderating. It seems to me that she sometimes jumps to conclusions about what people are saying and creates conflict either: (1) under the guise of moderating; or (2) to have something to moderate. Or maybe both. I feel like there have been many instances in which