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spikebrennan

Opportunities to cast non-white actors

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Because non-whites in a European-ish medieval setting is inherently unrealistic?

I didn't mean it that way. I was talking about highborn people. Lords and ladies, It wouldn't make much sense to have them as a completely different race as other Westerosy people. Also, there are some people in Westeros that aren't white like Chataya and her daughter. Casting lords from the Stormlands or the Vale as Asian or whatever would seem strange to me.

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Fair enough. Because of the arranged marriage system in Westeros I would expect the vast majority of aristocrats to marry within the kingdom. On the other hand we've seen nothing to suggest there's any taboo against nobles marrying a well-heeled Braavosi, or Lyseni, or Summer Islander. I think portraying that would make the world more interesting and believable, not less.

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Fair enough. Because of the arranged marriage system in Westeros I would expect the vast majority of aristocrats to marry within the kingdom. On the other hand we've seen nothing to suggest there's any taboo against nobles marrying a well-heeled Braavosi, or Lyseni, or Summer Islander. I think portraying that would make the world more interesting and believable, not less.

Quite the reverse. There are a few examples of nobles marrying or at least looking for a bride from overseas. Lady Taena Merryweather and Lady Mellario Martell spring to mind. These are well-established noble families, too - it's not as if they would lack for options. So I think a few non-white faces at court would be completely congruent with the books.

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GRRM did comment on this himself recently. His point was that he writes very descriptively but that doesn't mean he thinks much of his description is in any way vital to the story. Its just the way he writes. If he wrote a page one day perhaps a city would be made of granite but he happened to write it the day before, when sandstone crossed his mind.

His point is that changing background stuff is no big deal. Since he was involved in TV before, that probably helps his viewpoint. There are a lot of creative people involved in a production and if one dictates to them every little detail then things would lack inspiration. And somethings that work on the page just don't work on TV. Spending time trying to make them work would be wasteful.

Well, sure, I said I wouldn't mind if there was a reason to change something, like if it would be wasteful to make something work, or in the topic of the thread, if the most talented actor they audition is non-white, and it doesn't raise any logic issues, I have no problem with making changes. But seeking to make changes for its own sake I don't like, whether in descriptions of characters or places or whatever, and I don't particularly mind having a different opinion from GRRM on this - he might not think the details are important, and of course in one sense they aren't. But still the way he's described it is the way I've imagined it, and so it's the way (all other things being equal) I'd ideally like to see it in the series. So if they cast non-white actors because they're good, or bacause it makes sense within the world as Mormont was talking about, brilliant. I just don't want them to start out thinking how can we get diversity into this production? let the diversity come from the most natural way of telling the story.

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Well, sure, I said I wouldn't mind if there was a reason to change something, like if it would be wasteful to make something work, or in the topic of the thread, if the most talented actor they audition is non-white, and it doesn't raise any logic issues, I have no problem with making changes.

Then we are probably in agreement. OTOH we are never going to know if they do make a change on a whim. Somethings may seem surprising but i'm sure somebody here will be able to justify any change. :)

Anyhow, I don't think they will just make random changes. Been open to changing some character's skin colour depending on auditions is fine.

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Then we are probably in agreement. OTOH we are never going to know if they do make a change on a whim. Somethings may seem surprising but i'm sure somebody here will be able to justify any change. :)

Anyhow, I don't think they will just make random changes. Been open to changing some character's skin colour depending on auditions is fine.

Yeah this whole discussion has been weird because I basically believe the same thing as everyone else, I've just somehow made an argument out of it. I think just the thread title raised my hackles because I do want talent to be paramount and therefore I don't want the producers to look for 'opportunities to cast non-white actors' I just want them to cast the best actor for each part without raising logic issues. But yeh, I think we're in agreement.

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Yes sort of like that, though harsher and bearded sort of him combined with that shitty caricature of the guard from Aladdin. (FYI that's not the Buddha, this is the usual depiction of the original Buddha that's Budai the "laughing Buddha". Though some consider Budai to have obtained the status of Buddha)

This is the picture of the young Buddha. There are young (thin) Buddhas and fat (older and laughing) Buddhas, it's a part of his history...

since westeros has a vaguely medieval european setting it would annoy me to see people being cast just for the sake of :grouphug: and the general rule of modern TV entertainment that everybody should be represented.

we will get very cool ethnic/ non white characters anyway (summer islanders sam is on the hip with, the east, danaerys' menagerie of sellswords, oberyns sandsnakes, and so on.) so why force them into the series just for the sake of them being there in season one?

if we follow this way of racial roles to its stereotypical (and mostly slightly racist) end we end up with a black medieval jester /fool type of character who raps the bear and the maiden fair. or imagine patchface saying "hey yo I've been to tha deeps and seen mermaids, yo!" :stunned:

not that this will hapen with HBO (99% sure ;) ) , but it could be an outcome in the entertainment industry. :stillsick:

Medieval Europe was mostly Caucasian, but not only Caucasian... People seem to forget (or aren't aware) that there were immigrants and transplants, same as the Roman era, same as today.

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This is the picture of the young Buddha. There are young (thin) Buddhas and fat (older and laughing) Buddhas, it's a part of his history...

Budai Buddha They lived hundreds of years apart. The Buddha gets fat thing doesn't make sense as Buddha was supposed to practice neither self-indulgence nor self-mortification.

Though for clarification are you just talking Buhhda's in general which Buddai may have been? Because I'm talking about Siddhārtha Gautama the founder.

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Medieval Europe was mostly Caucasian, but not only Caucasian... People seem to forget (or aren't aware) that there were immigrants and transplants, same as the Roman era, same as today.

In some ways though, people's general perceptions are more important than historical fact, since it's not a historical series. If it looks odd to most people that will hinder suspension of disbelief, regardless of whether it's historically justifiable. On the other hand though, being a fantasy series, they could cast whoever they want and justify it within the world somehow, so it doesn't really matter

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If it looks odd to most people that will hinder suspension of disbelief, regardless of whether it's historically justifiable.

I doubt it will be that confusing. It'll actually be a simple way to differentiate some foreigners in Westeros. For those that are actually Westerosi, they might have to spend a litle time explaining how character x's father/mother was foreign but people are familiar enough with the idea of migration flows in the modern world. They shouldn't get confused with the idea of a little in a medieval world also.

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I doubt it will be that confusing. It'll actually be a simple way to differentiate some foreigners in Westeros. For those that are actually Westerosi, they might have to spend a litle time explaining how character x's father/mother was foreign but people are familiar enough with the idea of migration flows in the modern world. They shouldn't get confused with the idea of a little in a medieval world also.

Oh yeh I agree. I was just making the general point that people's perceptions of what a mediaeval world looks like are probably more important than what was actually the case. But it's fantasy setting anyway, so neither matters very much.

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I'm of non-European origin and... I dunno I just find this kind of sad/hilarious... scanning down a list looking for eligible characters for "turning brown"...

I'd personally be pretty bummed out if they start catering to the PC sitcom crowd to that degree. Globalism is obviously in vogue but it doesn't need to defecate on every aspect of life including fantasy.

GRRM used really nice historical ethno-cultural allusions for each faction, like the dothraki being a generic for turkic steppe hordes and dornish being a generic for greco-italian mediterraneans (which im aware probably isn't quite brown enough for the race quota types).

I'd rather the actors just be cast based on how well they fit the setting.

The same way he avoided having magic everywhere digging him out of plot holes, he exercised rare self control (by fantasy standards) in creating factions that actually make sense in an age so centered on inheritance and romantic nationalism; which equates to lots of diversity OF factions but not much diversity WITHIN each faction. It's a refreshing and builds tension and mystery when you think about them coming into contact with each other.. where as scattering everyone all over every corner of everywhere is just kind of meh, mundane reality.

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I'm of non-European origin and... I dunno I just find this kind of sad/hilarious... scanning down a list looking for eligible characters for "turning brown"...

It probably does sound silly. But I don't think anyone said that they want all logic removed. GRRM has foreigners in Westeros. The ethnic origin of those people aren't particularly important to the story, so the producers are free to do whatever they want when it comes to their appearance. And nothing wrong with some diversity. Furthermore, an odd character or two could see a change in their background. If somebody could be younger/older/prettier/uglier why not allow skin colour to change also? As long as the background doesn't matter story wise. And if they find the right actor of course.

So yes, doesn't make sense to have huge diversity in factions but a little bit is fine. :)

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It might be the Black Goat standard, but I envisioned the Three Thousand of Qohor (Unsullied) as being quite dark-skinned, like black Spartans.

Salladhor Saan absolutely seems a Mediterranean merchant of some extraction, Persian would fit well.

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I hate it when shows add non-white characters just so that they don't turn out racist.

We have the Dornish, the Dothraki, Summer Islanders, and some fellas from the free cities who are not white. No need to deviate from that.

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I hate it when shows add non-white characters just so that they don't turn out racist.

We have the Dornish, the Dothraki, Summer Islanders, and some fellas from the free cities who are not white. No need to deviate from that.

I don't see why it would matter if some characters in the TV show have different backgrounds (as long as it doesn't mess up the logic). Getting the best actor is the main thing. That can cause an actor to be younger or older than the books. Or prettier or uglier. Or different shade of skin. *shrug*

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