The HBO show Game of Thrones (Thrones) is one of the biggest phenomenon’s in cable television. From incredible storytelling, compelling characters, and outstanding battle scenes, Thrones has captivated audiences despite its lack of diversity. But is this an issue really?
As a reader of the books, I’ve noticed that the show is MUCH more diverse than the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. Many characters were changed in an effort to cater to a diverse audience. While, some characters were changed from white to black, others were made much older in an effort to appeal to modern viewers. If you compare the cast of the TV show to the books, than HBO’s Thrones is a trailblazer in diversity. Unfortunately for the casting director, some people don’t take that into account.
Here’s the truth: Thrones’ takes place in a European Medieval time-frame heavily influenced by European history and traditions. In the novels, George RR Martin makes it clear that there are other more diverse countries in the world (for example the Summer Isles is a location where most of the black characters in the series originate from). In the future, a novel series could always be completed on that country alone, but since that is separate from the current series many do not take that into account. There are other parts as well, including the Sand Kingdom with the Sand Sisters which has a middle eastern influence and the Free Cities are made up of a mixture of people. The main cast, similar to Lord of the Rings, are white, and that makes sense.
As a promoter of diversity, I am realistic. For Game of Thrones the main cast should be white, based on its influence and author. It honestly makes sense. If an Asian person had written a similar novel with heavy Japanese influence, I would expect the main cast to be Asian. For this, I am not as much of a supporter on changing the main characters. It’s a fantasy novel written by a George RR Martin and if his vision is Medieval Europe…well…then Medieval Europe it is.