Game of Thrones has been….erratic about adding POC actors.
The show has cut a large number of the book characters that would’ve been POC, and given their role over to white characters. For example, Chataya and her daughter Alayaya were replaced with Ros, a white woman in their storyline roles. The Dothraki have been erased, with Irri and Rakharo killed off and the other bloodriders and handmaidens vanished. Strong Belwas never made it onto the show. Sarella Sand seems likely to never be on the show. Most of the POC characters like the Summer Islander ship characters I don’t think we’re going to see.
There were many characters with no skin color described that could’ve been cast as anything and the show has regularly defaulted to white. It’s interesting. One example: when the artist (Amok) who made the portrait of Grey Worm that it’s in Wiki of Ice and Fire, the picture that people assume is accurate, he used information from GRRM, asking about race and physical description for accuracy’s sake. GRRM’s response was:
“I have no plans for Grey Worm’s race or personal history to become important at this time, though I do reserve the right to change my mind. Sometimes the muse plays strange tricks on me.” Source
So the artist made him white. Now people assume Grey Worm is white, and gave the show credit for changing him to a POC. But his skin was never specified.
Three characters who were white or were probably white on the books were switched to white- Salladhor Saan, Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Areo Hotah.
But we’ve seen other characters whitewashed like Kraznys.
Daario originally had a casting call for men of color, but then they cast Ed Skrein, a white man. So this isn’t the first time this has happened.
The show doesn’t deserve a cookie for casting characters as POC when they are supposed to be POC, like Hizdahr for example.
Game of Thrones is not the worst show when it comes to race, by any means. (In casting speaking roles. We don’t need to talk about that Mhysa scene right now, do we?) But it could be better. It has the potential to be so much better and that’s why we discuss it and bring it up when there are lapses like this.
Any discussion is born out of loving the ASOIAF series and wanting it to be as interesting and diverse as possible. To me, that feels the most realistic.