Game of Thrones Interview

Actor David Oyelowo criticizes Game of Thrones’ lack of racial diversity

Actor David Oyelowo recently talked to Radio Times about racial diversity in Hollywood, and singled out Game of Thrones as an example of a show that’s lacking. Oyelowo, best known for his roles in Selma and The Butler, says there’s “no excuse” for Thrones to keep characters of color—e.g. Missandei and Grey Worm—in the background.

The fact that they put any ethnic minorities in that means that there should be space for bigger characters. Because you’re not just saying ‘OK this is purely a white world, and here are very story-driven reasons why that’s the case…You are interspersing people of colour into it. And so therefore it’s a conscious decision to put them on the margins, as opposed to put them front and centre. Even if for whatever reason, it’s a world in which people of colour in those stories are subservient, or they are more in a helper role, that doesn’t mean they can’t have prominent storylines. All you have to do is shift the focus to focus on those characters.


David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma. Paramount Pictures/Screencap

Oyelowo is not the first to bring up such matters. In 2014, a fan commented on author George R.R. Martin’s Not a Blog about the lack of diversity in the Song of Ice and Fire novels. Here’s Martin’s reply:

Westeros around 300 AC is nowhere near as diverse as 21st century America, of course… but with that being said, I do have some ‘characters of color’ who will have somewhat larger roles in The Winds of Winter. Admittedly, these are secondary and tertiary characters, though not without importance.

Oyelowo’s criticism pertains solely to Game of Thrones. Can HBO be blamed for adapting the source material faithfully? Should it have done more to promote characters of color? Generally speaking, the network has stuck close to the racial descriptions of the characters from the from the books, although there have been exceptions. Areo Hotah, for example, is a white Norvosi guard in the novels, but is black on the show.

S5 Areo Hotah

Changing the race and sex of traditionally white, male characters has happened before. For example, in the world of comics, the new iterations of Spider-Man and Thor are much altered. The new Iron Man is a young black girl named Riri Williams—there’s even some talk of Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) playing her in a movie.

So should HBO have done more to make Game of Thrones more racially diverse? Or was sticking to the original source material the right route to take? Let us know your take.

h/t Radio Times


  • this racial diversity shit annoys me so much. in every movie and every series, even in every videogame we now must have diversity.

    • Yeah these pesky minorities always wanting so much attention, cant stand them right?

      Some of the responses aren’t surprising in the very least nir the fact that it has gotten the quickest replies but most of the stories here havent gotten over 19 repsonses recently, hmm why is that?

      • What people don’t want to accept is that the story is set in pre-medieval type Europe. Which mostly WHITE at the time. Not as diverse as its is now. I too am getting annoyed with the racial diversity criticism and BTW I’m Latina. I don’t need to see Latinos in movies or shows to like it.

        • This is a fantasy show with dragons so why would it absolutely need to be accurate to pre-medieval Europe?

        • Well said. The show takes place in a Medieval (mostly Britain) European type setting so I wouldn’t expect them to have a large POC of cast. It’s not 21st century UK or Europe with a large immigration population mostly derived from colonialism and economic migration. The show has already done wonders to add some diversity (to what’s not in the story) by adding POC cast members to characters to the show. Really criticism like this just show how woefully ignorant the person doing the criticism is. And by the way I’m Black.

      • so what?diversity people has to try and go and create your own stuff and stories..why every time now white european civilization ( europe wasnt mainly white was in fact totally white at this time) do european middle age have to relate to a subsaharan african stone aged tribal mess?or did you forget that they had not even a bronze age…used bows and stone-tipped arrows…lol……go and try to create your own history, civilization and technology

        • Your comment demonstrates your ignorance. All parts of Africa had many sophisticated and advanced cultures during the medieval period. Here’s a wiki article to illustrate: African_empires.

  • This is typical bullshitting, THIS IS a white people world in asoiaf bc this is medievals and you cannot change this, better be happy about diversity in shows placed in current time, because there is a lot of it now, and praise them for it than try to make people faithful to the source material (who is again placed in the medievals more less) feeling somehow obligated to do something just to please the certain ethnic groups. So sorry, it is how it is and won’t & shouldn’t be changed.

      • Maybe because he is not an important character (like, I know he is in a way, but not compared to Jaime for example) so it’s no biggie, and he is from a relatively exotic place. He IS NOT from Westeros. Understand this first. Westeros is like Europe, you may be lighter or darker but not suddenly black, unless your roots are from somewhere else.

      • just because the producers are hell bent in destroying any factual relation in this story to keep the whole BS politically corrupt diversity discourse ..this is why..besides they are the regular progressives who in fact deep down hates european civilization and accomplishments…

  • Of course they should stick to the source material that’s what made it such a success in the first place! when you start changing character or stories for the sake of making them more like the here and now what’s the point of making anything at all? Just look out a window if that’s what your into.
    If you look back at the worlds history most parts of the world where largely segregated for the majority of human history up until recent centuries meaning people didn’t usually mingle with people from foreign countries as they do today, so a show set in another worlds version of the middle age will of course have similar segregation due to lack of long distanced transport it’s not racist to write or direct something that makes historical sense and its plain stupid to add to the story or change it in such a was as to remove that realism for no other reason than pandering to a couple of pains in the backside who don’t understand the difference between racism and realism.

  • This was posted by GRRM on “Not A Blog” as part of a response to someone upset that members of House Martell are to be represented as Mediterranean rather than African in appearance in the show:

    “Speaking of Valyria… right from the start I wanted the Targaryens, and by extension the Valryians from whom they were descended, to be a race apart, with distinctive features that set them apart from the rest of Westeros, and helped explain their obsession with the purity of their blood. To do this, I made a conventional ‘high fantasy’ choice, and gave them silver-gold hair, purple and violet eyes, fine chiseled aristocratic features. That worked well enough, at least in the books (on the show, less so).

    But in recent years, it has occured to me from time to time that it might have made for an interesting twist if instead I had made the dragonlords of Valyria… and therefore the Targaryens… black. Maybe I could have kept the silver hair too, though… no, that comes too close to ‘dark elf’ territory, but still… if I’d had dark-skinned dragonlords invade and conquer and dominate a largely white Westeros… though that choice would have brought its own perils. The Targaryens have not all been heroic, after all… some of them have been monsters, madmen, so…

    Well, it’s all moot. The idea came to me about twenty years too late.”

    He has given thought to the matter. House Martell was considered by more than a few readers to be black.

    • House Martell was never considered black.
      If Westeros is based on medieval Europe, Dorne is based on Spain.

      • I agree. It didn’t prevent readers from thinking when they were described as brown skinned to assume black. Those people were very surprised when the Dornish were cast Mediterranean. GRRMs response was interesting, nonetheless.

        • Mediterranean?

          Alexander Siddig is Sudanese.
          Indira Varma is half Indian, half English.
          Jessica Henwick is Chinese and Zambian.
          Keisha Castle-Hughes is half Māori, half Australian.

      • As it was constantly being invaded by people from North Africa, Spain had a significant black population (the Moors). According to Martin, Dorne is loosely inspired by Spain, particularly the south’s Moorish heritage, which culturally sets it apart from the rest of the country and of Western Europe. So, it’s not unreasonable for people to think that the Martells could be black.

        • no sir…moors means morenos in spanish and it is black hair and bronze skin..tanned the most!!…black lived in the subsaharan forests ..

    • That’s really interesting. I wonder why he thinks the Targaryen’s features didn’t work as well on the show. Maybe because they don’t have purple eyes and such on screen, and are therefore less distinctive?

      • That’s what I was thinking. The actors wouldn’t wear the contacts, including Peter Dinklage. His mismatched eyes may have been too much a spoiler as to his ancestry.

  • Are you kidding me? I find this type of appeasement to people of color for nothing more than the sake of racial diversity offensive.

      • ‘putting a few colored’ doesn’t cause anyone headaches.
        But constantly HAVING to put them in to appease everyone’s sensibilities, does.

        I can enjoy a movie with 2 white leading actors. I can enjoy a movie with 2 black leading actors. I can enjoy a movie with 1 white and 1 black leading actor. Or 1 white and 1 asian. Or 1 black and 1 asian. Or a movie with 100% asian actors. Or 100% black actors. Or 100% white actors.

        If NOT having an equal representation of every race/color in a movie causes you an headaches, you have some problem.

        There’s 2 things. Setting, and demographics.
        When a movie is made in the US or in Europe, most actors are white. Because most people who live there are white.

        This mean that if they want the best actor for the job, on average, there will be more white actors. Not because on average they’re better, only because there’s more of them. If there’s 1000 white actors and 100 non-white actors, taking the 10 best actors for the roles you have to fill will probably get you 9 white and 1 non-white.

        Then, there’s the setting. It’s a medieval’ish era story, people didn’t migrate much in this era. So people have to look pretty much all the same. Today you can have a white person and a black person who lives right next to each other… But in medieval era, not so much.

        If Ned Stark is white, pretty much everyone in Ned Stark story has to be white. Because there wouldn’t be any reason on how one or many non-white people got there.

        And to paraphrase GRRM, if you want more person of color if your stories, write some goddamn stories about persons of color? GRRM is white, he wrote about white people. He doesn’t have to write about a black hero just because it would make you happy.

        There are some black characters in ASOIAF and in GoT. They might not be the main characters, because the story happens with Westerosi characters and these are white. If the story had happen in the Summer Isles the main characters would probably be black, but that’s not the story, so what you want to do about it?

        If you think GRRM had some social contract to find a way to insert more black characters in Westeros and find them a reason to be there, you have something wrong.

        His job isn’t to appease to your diversity requirements. His job is to write an enjoyable story; ASOIAF is an enjoyable story. His job is done.

        • Agreed. Given that ASOIAF is somewhat modeled after Europe back in the day, I thought it was pretty progressive of GRRM to included many different races, cultures, and religions in his story. Grey Worm is a background character in this story, personally I don’t think the actor that portrays him is very good. There are several characters, in the books especially, that are minorities that receive more front line attention, however they are not all “black”. I liked the Dorne story line (in the books), and some of them had their own POV chapters. Oberyn was a fan favorite. He might only be mad because he is one of the more forgettable characters, but he should be happy that he is getting a ton more lines then the Grey Worm in the books.

      • There were a few ppl of color put in – Areo Hotah when he was white in the books, Sallador Sahn, Xzoan Dhaxos Duck Sauce or however you spell it, sh*t even Missandei and I even think some Unsullied (in the books there is also the guy in Kings Landing from the Summer Isles; can’t remember his name), but like so many have said before, this is a world based somewhat on medieval times with kings and queens and lords and ladies, and from what I recall in history, there weren’t people of color living in that setting. In the books, people of color are found in the Summer Isles , which nothing happens in. And across the Narrow Sea in Essos, Dany has crossed paths with many “people of color” just not African Americans.

        Overall, I am all for equality and cannot stand racism but this is a bit much. Leave the show and consequently the story alone. Not everything in life needs affirmative action Oldepo or whatever your name is.

        • And Grey Worm, and the pirate who captured Jorah & Tyrion. So think he should check his facts; there seems to be one when the show has the opportunity.

          • That’s what his point is. He is talking how the people of color play small parts rather than big parts. What mister Oyelowo missed in his amazingly ignorant talk, was the fact that the story the show is based on just simply doesn’t have them. So It’s swallowable to have Areo made black, but making for example Littlefinger or even Podrick black would be disrespect to authors imagination (and also for the viewers inteligence, since it is placed in the medievals). Creating an important character just in the show, whose actions change greatly plots of characters from the books, is also in a way disrespectful, no matter of their color. It is important to respect authors idea and imagination, because without it there wouldn’t be books, and therefore the show mister Oyelowo could complain about.

  • The physical characteristics of the main characters are part of the story and cannot be changed. All the Lannisters must be blonde. All the Baratheons must have dark hair. This is important in figuring out paternity. Sansa’s auburn locks mark her for Brienne to find. You simply cannot add minorities to the great houses of Westeros, and the story is mainly about those families. Should HBO add secondary minority characters? Absolutely, but Tyrion cannot be black, because that would fly in the face of common sense in this world that prizes blood lines. His hair color is a plot point. The story is what it is. He should take his argument to shows that are not based upon novels. Shows that have no source material are freer to look like America if they want to.

  • As a Hispanic man, I believe there is diversity in GOT. More than most shows on television. Not sure complaining is a bad thing, though, since that is the way to bring attention. Why complain about a show no one watches?

  • It’s based on GRRM’s book, why should anyone other then him decide what is going to be contained within said work. If one doesn’t like the storyline then don’t read/watch the show. I’m glad to see that the fans agree with this point. IMHO all this racial diversity crap is meant to drive the races apart not make them closer.

  • Its a regional thing. Westeros is predominately white and they don’t like outsiders. The main characters are all from Westeros thus lack of diversity with mains. Leave Westeros and it is very diverse. If the Dorne plot was handled correctly then there would be a little more diversity since Cercei has a intimate friend from Dorne in the books.

    • Diversity? Dorne?

      Alexander Siddig is Sudanese.
      Indira Varma is half Indian, half English.
      Jessica Henwick is Chinese and Zambian.
      Keisha Castle-Hughes is half Māori, half Australian.

      There it is in Dorne.
      In fact, Dorne is the best example of Diversity in the show.

      • Not Dornish, but Dorne. Like a place, right? That’s where Taena Merryweather is from. But in fact she is from Myr, so she could easily be entirely black, because why not.

        • And if that character were in show, sure make her whatever ethnicity you want.

          Her description is: “a beautiful and shapely woman with black hair and large, dark eyes”.

          Seems pretty open ended.

  • Fuck Dude! He probably tried out for the black pirate who wanted to fuck the Queen and didnt get the part. Maybe even the guy who wanted to cut off Tyrions pecker. Not all parts are for everyone. Get over it dude. Be happy that you were on the same network as thrones. Sad little show. Killed his mom and stalked some married dude. Hbo really let me down with that.

  • The entire country of Dorne is described as being dark skinned. The actors and actresses who have played Dornish ones on the show have not been white. When I read them in the books I imagined them being middle-eastern. Westeros is a predominately white continent therefore your characters are going to be white. Essos has more of a mixture and that has shown up well on the show. Missandei and Grey Worm ARE secondary characters. Being a secondary character doesn’t make them LESS of a character at all. The show has done well on bringing in all races to play characters. This guy is just talking to hear himself talk.

    • Westeros is based on medieval Europe.
      Dorne is based on Spain.
      Essos is mostly based on Asia. For example the Dothraki are based on the Mongols, who ruled over big parts of Asia in the 13th-14th century and threadened to conquer Europe…

      • I’ve had it in my head Dorne was more Middle Eastern especially with how the guards uniforms looked in the show. “Salty Dornishmen” to me were dark skin with black hair.

        • Spain is influenced by the Moors, Arab people from Northern Africa who tried to invade Europe over Spain in medieval times, so Northern African/Middle Eastern influences work actually pretty well for Dorne.

          You can relate basically all of the 7 kingdoms to European (medieval) countries:
          The North … Scottland
          The Reach … France
          The Iron Islands/Iron Men … Scandanavia/the Vikings
          Dorne … Spain
          The Riverlands … Central Europe
          Kingslanding … London
          The Stormlands … Wales
          The Westerlands … England
          Lannister … Lanchesters (War of Roses)
          Starks … Yorks (War of Roses)
          etc etc

        • Yeah but the spanish and hispanic peoples are like schrodinger’s people of colour. They’re ethnic when its convenient and ‘white passing’ when it isn’t. Its one of the many ways they try to de-legitimize anyone who disagrees with them and doesn’t fit the narrative.

  • This is my own opinion, HBO, had a hit series Boardwalk Empire, loosely based on events that occurred in the United States during prohibition in the 1920-1930s, In season 3 or 4 HBO tried to advance an African American story line centered around the character of gangster Albert “Chalky” White – played be a wonderful actor Michael Kenneth Williams. While I loved that character, he simply was a great and important secondary character to the story. His story did not translate well into a prime story. Ratings went down for these seasons and thus the show got canceled and did not go on as long as originally expected. I am not saying the elevation of Chalky White story was the only reason the show got canceled. I also felt they also made a mistake with Kelly Macdonald’s character story line as the show went on. But, as a viewer I felt the show got away from its original focus. This is always a hard issue to address.

    • I think that was mainly because they killed off (spoiler!!) Jimmy dormandys character who kinda was the main character even over (i cant spell his last name)

    • Boardwalk Empire did not get cancelled. And idk what the ratings were but the hunt for Chalky did not lessen the story for myself or anyone I know who watched the show. We all place it as one of the best series ever.

  • I’m a huge fan of the show and the books. Yes, its a medieval FANTASY tv show. However, as a FANTASY show created by George R R Martin, its not meant to be historical. I don’t see why the Martells couldn’t of been a black noble family in the show.

        • Areo Hotah is not a native Dornishman. He is Norvosi in the books and possible Summer Islander in the show.

        • You don’t understand he can be made black easily because he is of an exotic roots. So he could be even asian, why not. He is not important enough to be radically kept white, like the Westerosi characters. You just don’t make Brienne black out of nowhere. It would be illogical. As simple as it is.

  • Forced Diversity is becoming a serious problem and threatens creativity.

    – I was bummed out when Areo Hotah was killed off too soon.
    – I’m also upset that Salladhor Saan has not reappeared since season 4.
    – I also wish the Summer Islanders were featured or at least mentioned at some point in the series.
    – I’d love to see a Queen Nymeria spin-off movie!
    – I don’t give two shits about Missandei & Grey Worm’s love connection.

    Look at how not racist I’m being! It’s not difficult. Just don’t guilt people into shaping their stories to your fucking satisfaction – because you know what? – that satisfaction is unattainable and nonexistent.

  • Keep this crap out of GoT. The Oscars should be enough.

    GRRM trying to appease the screamers is funny. So if the Targs were black, how would Jon’s origin stay hidden? By populating the North with black ppl? Snow, sand… same thing really.

    Why is it some peeps can’t appreciate a movie for what it is, without messing it with fashionable hysterias of the day?

  • How boring.

    You can bet that if this guy got what he wanted tomorrow, and some of the new token hires were villains, that’d be the next complaint.

  • Fuck this PC diversity nonsense bullshit up the bunghole, let writers write their stories however they bloody like! it’s ridiculous how some just have to wedge in diversity everydamnwhere these days…

  • I think there are legitimate criticisms to be raised on this score in the novels, but of course, in a novel, it doesn’t really matter very much as the characters appearance is pretty unimportant in most cases. However, as the show is simply being faithful to the novels, it’s rather easily dismissed here. Don’t mind seeing people calling out Hollywood for this in general though, because it’s unbelievable how bad they still are on this front, despite the self-congratulatory liberalism that prevails in the industries portrayal of itself.

  • I’m all for diversity in Hollywood, and I get what this guy is saying, but the vast majority of characters on the show are from the same continent (Westeros) with similar heritage (Andals and First Men). So it would make little to no sense to have people from the same place and heritage be different races.

  • For all of you racist.
    This is a world of “fantasy”, which would allow for more racial diversity.
    It’s okay to have dragons but not more people of color??

    • Naemon, I agree with you. It’s okay to have dragons but not more people of color. Westerosi people are based off of medieval Europeans like the people from medieval Great Britain. Besides if there were people of color then Westeros would have no castles. Look at Africa’s history up until today. A vast amount of black people still live in huts there. You have to draw a line for the sake of believability somewhere and frankly dragons are far more believable than black people from the medieval age knowing how to build castles.

      • Look up greater Zimbabwe and see what castles Africans building during the middle ages. While your at it look up Nubia and see what pyramids they built before the middle ages.

        • Erin, I guess I should have said if there were more BLACK people then there would have been no castles in Westeros. Yes, Egyptians did build the pyramids and many amazing structures but they are more like people from the middle east like the Persians. As David Oyelowo made the statement his race is the one I was actually meaning to focus on but I guess I got excited when I was able to reply to Kaemon with his/her exact statement. I was attempting to point out black people have never been able to build anything or invent .1% of anything ever invented. I just now looked at pictures for Zimbabwe castles like you requested me too and as it turns out I already did a lot of research on those castles I just hadn’t looked at their photos. The middle ages ended in the year 1500 and there were very few castles built in Africa before 1500. Almost all close to 99.999% were built by Europeans and people from the Middle East or Egyptians with a few exceptions but you can barely if at all call those exceptions castles. Since you brought up Zimbabwe I’ll talk about those castles first. Nesbitt Castle in Zimbabwe was built by Theodore Holdengarde in the 19th century, an eccentric English colonist and admirer of the middle ages. The Castle Hotel in Vumba, Zimbabwe was built for the Seymour-Smiths in the mid 20th century. Admittedly though the black people of Zimbabwe were capable of constructing 1 thing that is considered a castle on the list I looked at and it’s a wall that encircled 2 trees called Great Zimbabwe and somehow a poorly constructed wall counts as a castle. Look it up!!! Other than things built in Egypt by the Egyptians, Persian invaders or European invaders I can’t find a castle built built before 1500 other than Elmina Castle in Ghana built in 1482 by the Portuguese. You can find tons of castles built after the middle ages but they all were built by the British, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish and so forth. If you can find a castle built by black people in Africa before lets say the 1900s that weren’t slaves being forced to work by the architect I’d be very interested in reading about it.

          • Bullshit, you should do more research and stop with the nonsense! Egypt was a multicultural area with Pharoahs that were Nubians, look at the hieroglyphics, we need to just focus on a great series that will be ending soon, and keep the peace!!

  • WTF? This is akin to complaining that there are no visible minorities cast in The Tudors. Or no caucasians cast in Red Cliff. W. T. F…

  • I want to see Peter Dinklage cast as Shaka Zulu in a remake. And Leslie Jones as Michelangelo in a remake of “The Agony and the Ecstasy.” And I don’t see why Jason Mamoa shouldn’t get the part of Joan of Arc, next time that one gets remade.

  • I wanna start off by saying I’m a Caucasian female so maybe I don’t understand but I disagree with all this equal diversity and equal gender casting. I hate it when shows cast people/kids just so they can say they are diverse. Like when they take characters from novels, comics or old movies and recast them as black or asian just to meet be diverse. They change the whole classic appearance of the character. I also hate it when they do it for females like the new Ghostbusters movies which was all woman.I loved the original and the new one was horrible. In my opinion we live in a world of globalization where countries are connected. I live in Canada which is a cultural melting pot because there are so many immigrants. I think in our modern world we should stop seeing colour and focus on people’s abilites. It should be okay to make a movie or tv accurate without worrying about having people of every race in a show.

    Especially in GOT in the setting the Starks had to be white, they live in the north where there snow, you don’t see any black russians. The targyans had to be white because it Rheagar Targyan was black then Jon Snow would be black andhe wouldn’t look anything like the Starks. Dorne is lile spain and in the books Dorne plays a bigger role but it was cut because the show didn’t have the time and didn’t do it properly. The Lannisters had to be white because if they were black with black hair it wouldn’t have been so obvious that Joffery, Tommen and Mar. were Cercesi and Jamie’s children with the pale skin and blond hair.

  • Honestly, I thought D&D at least tipped their hat by making a few minor characters black, but especially in expanding Missandei and Grey Worm’s roles, giving them more depth AND a romance. GoT is set in a world where there is no diversity and dark skin stands out. To have made the Dornish black would actually have introduced a racist element, which is perverse. One could accept the Braavosi being black–they were after all slaves in Valyria and are a self-contained, anti-slavery city-state. But it would have skewed the story if black Faceless Men functioned in Westeros, and Arya would have stood out like a sore thumb in Braavos.

    I sympathise with the need for more diversity and applaud colourblind casting, when it is reasonable and appropriate. However, there is also a lot of hypocrisy that goes along with it. People of colour want more originally white roles? Fair enough. But they howl when whites play people of colour. More important, I’ve seen almost no black or Latino men particularly supporting GENDER-blind casting. In fact, David Oyelowo would still be a nobody Stateside if, as in the past, unknowns were seldom allowed to take the lead in US films, but especially about American icons like Martin Luther King. I don’t think he’s at all right to protest about GoT.

    • I can think of at least three characters of African descent in three separate plays by Shakespeare just off the top of my head. One of them is Othello who is the lead. Shakespeare actually lived in renaissance England when according to most of the previous comments everyone was white. If all of you knew more European history you would realize that it is not nearly so simple. There was trade with Africa going back to before Roman times. Spain was conquered by the Moors who were from Africa. And slavery was not restricted to black people throughout most of its history. In Rome and during the Ottoman empire slaves were as likely to be blue eyed blondes from Europe as dark skinned people from Africa. I suspect that if a lot of you were to test your DNA you might find some surprises.

  • So based purely on skin colour / place of birth people should get a bigger role. Ok let’s recast sansa as Asian but just sansa. Daneris yep Daneris is now black. Aya can be whoever the fuck she wants because she has no name but only if 75% of the time she’s a so called minority.

    Im sorry but if you go to dorn people are Latino / Spanish
    The north people are white
    And the same for the dorthraki
    And unfortunately they don’t have much of a part because this story is already way too big

    And many other people have already mentioned this but not including the crusades mass migration meant moving 30 miles.

  • GoT is fine. By making GoT more diverse you would completely ignoring The history of Westeros. Westeros is populated mostly by first men and the Andals who represent the Vikings and Saxons. Now Dornish people are populated mostly by The people of the Rhonyar who have olive skin. Which is correctly cast in the show. If GoT were able to cast the Dornish family in its entirety I believe the is one black girl imperative to the story
    Secondly this story is mostly about nobles who represent their majority of population. To have a minority person ruling would immediately be questioned.
    Thirdly there are ethnic minorities in GRRM world. Summer Islands sounds like the most amazing place in the world and Yi Ti is the richest place in the East
    And finally Essos is much more diverse and we see that through Dany’s eyes. Major powers are led by minorities but the truth is Essos just isn’t that important. Unfortunately slave trade is important there and they take people away who are not there own

  • If we use Middle Ages Europe as the basis, then should the Dothraki leadership be Mongolian (I’ll take Chinese if you can’t find Mongolian actors) and not Hawaiians/Maori? Spain/Dorne was ruled by Moors (Arabic Muslims) for 700 years, so shouldn’t the main cast there be Arabic? Not even going to ask why there weren’t more Scandinavian people cast for Iron Islands. As for the Danny, couldn’t her family be Greek or Italian (representing the glory of Ancient Greece or Rome)?

    That said, it’s a fantasy show so they can cast who they want in whatever part they want. The important thing is that it’s still a great show with lots of twists and I’m excited about next season!

  • We should just have our own countries. And the people who want to visit eachother get passports.
    Clearly we are so different from eachother that we have to include more more and more of every race into everything

  • As much as I enjoyed Pablo Pascal’s performance as Obeyron Martell I think Idris Elba would have done a good job as well.

  • We need more Ice Cube’s in this world. He produces his own movies filled with black folks. And most of them are good movies this white dude enjoys.

    This David person and Jada Smith should put some money where the mouth is and produce some shows…. If they are good I’ll watch em….

  • If GOTs writers — who I presume are mostly white — were to shoehorn ethnic minority actors into roles solely to appease the Professionally Aggrieved, they should not expect praise or appreciation for doing so. Instead, the show’s writers are likely to be heavily criticised by the same crowd for that as well.
    After all, isn’t it an egregious act of cultural appropriation to create characters and plotlines involving people from racial / ethnic / socio-economic backgrounds that vary even slightly from the writer’s own? What makes a white (probably male, to boot) writer assume he’s qualified to tell a story from the perspective of a character of color, whose experiences and struggles the pallid, penis-possessing prose-processor could never hope to truly understand?
    And what exactly is the reason (besides seething racism and hatred) the show’s Lord Bolton couldn’t have been played by a South Asian amputee trans-woman with PTSD, severe haltosis, and a giant head?

  • Gosh there’s a lot of bad comments here.

    – No one is “forcing” anyone to provide diverse representation. Creators are free to do so or not. Others are free to criticize them for failing to do so.

    – It never hurts to think about how to increase diversity of representation, even if none of the ideas you come up with end up in the final product.

    – It doesn’t hurt anyone to criticize a work of art for lacking diversity. Such criticism should be seen as valuable and taken seriously when given.

    – It doesn’t hurt you, a white person, for a work of art to exhibit more diversity. Even if that work of art is “supposed to” (whatever that means) represent medieval Europe.

    – It’s absolutely ridiculous for white people to dismiss such criticism, or worse, to try to shut it down. Yes, I might even say it is racist to do so. Those of you that are doing that and don’t think of yourselves as racists might want to take a long look in the mirror.

    I’ll say here that I always pictured Areo Hotah as black. I weirdly pictured Xaro Xhoan Daxos as black as well (and I read the books before the show came out); I guess I missed the description of him as having “milk-white skin”.

      • This website is beginning to look like,UGH, not Lindaaaaaa again. Erin its a free country and you have a right to speak, so do we all, but please stop all the hate, lets all bow our heads in a moment of silence, why, because the best show on cable will be over too damn soon. Stop the bitching and lets move on!!!!

    • Its absolutely ridiculous for people to have to always have more and more. Why? We are all alike isn’t that the point?
      What we need to do is enjoy the show and stop adding fuel to the race problems we already have going on .
      I also bet most of you want more color just simply because you dislike seeing white ppl. There is alot of hate flowing these days.

  • Its a show where the main plot is about dynastic wars in a world resembling the Western European middle ages. Western Europe is full of white people. I also disagree with him arguing you either have a reason to be all white or you need to be fully representative. A character like Missendei is subservient to Danaerys but so are Barristan and Jorah. That is just the role Dany takes. You want powerful people of colour taking active roles in the plot there are of course the Dornish, inspired by the Spanish settled migrants from North Africa. The role of Essos is limited in the plot however.

  • I understand what he’s getting at, but it’s misdirected. I’m black btw. So the fault isn’t with HBO obviously. They’re just applying the story as it was written. This is the way GRRM wrote the book. Totally understandable and when you write a book, you are perfectly entitled to write whatever the hell you want. For those of you that are having a hard time understanding this perspective, I think what you’re seeing from Oyelowo is a type of frustration in general that people of color who are into fantasy often experience, and that is that even in a made up world, we tend to not be included. I’ll be honest, I was super excited when I read The World of Ice and Fire because they talked about more than whatever was going on in Westeros. I was especially excited when I read about the Summer Isles and Naath because I actually look like the characters described! Some of you might think that sounds stupid, but imagine if every fantasy book you read described characters that never looked like you. Like EVER. Oyelowo’s frustration at HBO is misdirected, they’re just doing their job, but I get where he’s coming from in a way.

  • First off, can we please stop calling it “racial diversity crap.” It does nothing to further your argument and makes you come off as an a$$hat. That said, Mr. Oyelowo’s point is moot in this instance. Like others have pointed out, this is roughly based, as most fantasies are, on Medieval Europe, which wasn’t a very diverse place like Europe or any western country is today. I don’t hear people complaining about the lack of diversity in Arthurian Legends.

    That’s also not to say that the world in ASOIAF isn’t diverse otherwise there wouldn’t be any characters of color at all. They are typically in supporting/secondary roles, because the story isn’t focused on them. That’s like complaining there weren’t enough Latinos or Asians in The Wire. It’s not to say the US isn’t a diverse country, just that the story wasn’t focused on those racial groups.

    Also, racial diversity aside, you have to admit there is plenty of cultural diversity on the show. To me that seems to mater more than race, since what truly separates people is not so much the color of their skin, but the different cultures and the ideas those cultures promote, be it religion or the status of women or acceptance of homosexuality in society to name a few.

    BTW I’m white and most of my friends are too.