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99% of the principle actors on game of thrones are white.
house martell is the only noble house featuring people of colour in principle roles.
you want them to be white as well.
think about that for a second. most of the characters on this show are white and you want the few who aren’t, to be white also. don’t they teach you how to share in kindergarten or do we need adult classes to teach people that it’s selfish and offensive to want the whole pie when you’ve already got most of it?
whitewashing, that is, erasing people of colour from narratives when there are so few positive portrayals of people of colour in western media, is a racist practise. it happens a lot and it’s been happening for decades. it’s absolutely frustrating and hurtful to people, who have been fighting the process for a very long time: the battle against whitewashing and racebending.
if you’re whitewashing and you keep insisting that there’s nothing wrong with it, then you’re perpetuating racism. you’re contributing to the erasure of poc and less visibility of poc in media.
colourblind casting (which happens in theatre), that is, casting a role not made for a person of colour with a person of colour in order to diversify your production (
since there are so few roles available for people of colour and hollywood is obsessed with remaking and adapting material where it’s straight white men in main roles), is not the same as whitewashing. these practices are not interchangeable.
whitewashing = taking representation away from a marginalised group. colourblind casting = giving representation and visibility to a marginalised group.
if you don’t care, then fine, you don’t care. but do the rest of us a favour and own up to your racism so we don’t waste time trying to explain to you how you’re being oppressive.
fictional constructions of the foreign "other" and problems w/the martells in grrm's asoiaf series
This post has been at the back of my mind for a while but I resisted writing it partly because I appreciate that a lot of readers of Martin’s ASOIAF adore the Martells because they feel starved for POC representation in fiction, particularly fantasy fiction, and there didn’t seem to be an urgently pressing reason to address the problematic aspects of a cast of characters widely loved throughout fandom. (In other words, I didn’t want to shit on anyone’s good time). The reason I wrote it now however is because there’s been an uptick of criticism regarding the attitudes of both the readership and characters within the series towards race. Something that’s disconcerted me about a lot of this criticism is that it’s been targeted at specific ASOIAF characters (and by extension, their fans) which implies that the racial commentary within the text itself is entirely on-point and needs neither criticism nor analysis. Seeing as I don’t think that’s case and that a lot of the individually problematic aspects of the characters’ bigotry is conflated with wider race issues in the series, I thought it might be constructive to (try and) have a bit more of a nuanced dialogue about ASOIAF’s race problem(s), rather than just letting the discussion degenerate into fandom mudslinging. I’ll add that this post is by no means definitive and is solely focused on race problems with the Martells (and subsequently, Dorne) even though there are other race-related issues within the series. Book spoiler-ish points behind the cut, out of courtesy to everyone’s dashes.