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Apologizing for Porne: All Dornishmen are Snakes

Racism, Orientalism, and D&D’s Dorne

So, there’s one thing that’s been quite clear to me and many others since at least the third season of Game of Thrones, the show runners, D&D, are fans of the Lannisters. They loved Tywin and thought he was great, and the adore Tyrion and Cersei (hereafter called Saint Tyrion and Carol in the context of the show). They don’t quite know what to do with Jaime (Larry) most of the time, but I digress.

Anyway, considering that fact that the Lannister are the heros of the story now (what.) maybe it shouldn’t surprise me that the show would choose to see certain things from their perspective, that the narrative would want us to be sympathetic to their motivations.

But there’s one thing we seem to be seeing from the “Lannister” or perhaps by extension in this case, “general Westerosi” perspective that I can’t understand or excuse. Because, as I’ve said elsewhere, this is not what Dorne is like, this is what someone’s racist grandmother in Lannisport thinks Dorne is like.

Image: Tomasz Jedruszek. © Fantasy Flight Games.

In Westerosi culture, the Dornishmen’s separate history, cultural distinctiveness, strong sense of unified identity, and their determination to be politically autonomous quite naturally leads to them being rather “othered” in the eyes of  Westerosi. Put another way, they are the targets of prejudice, and what I can only describe as “racism”.

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