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spikebrennan

Opportunities to cast non-white actors

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I just don't understand why people want African actors cast in what would be a European part and not just want it seems as though your hearts are caught up in getting just one black man that is not from the Summer Isles. Will it make it more enjoyable for you to see a little bit a flavor in the show? That question is posed to anyone who wants Sam Jackson as Davos, because he was poor and born of low birth. I just do not understand, why people feel the need to be have such an inclusive cast. Does it help you look into the mirror or feel as though that HBO has decided to make you feel more apart of the broader white world? I am being partially funny but also honestly asking a question. London and Paris and Madrid are all very diverse cities now, however in the Middle Ages they were not, especially not the common folk. There might have been a few Moorish nobles or traders, and they would be of a more north african appearnce, a few not many and that is it. It is clear, black skinned people come from the Summer Isles. Martin is clear, that is what make the Summer Isles sound so cool, because there are not a lot of them in Westeros and people notice them, because they are rare in Westeros. So honestly why are some of your hearts so set on having African actors playing these parts? When there will be Africans cast as Summer Islanders.

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As somebody said Davos is scorned because of his ancestry and low birth. Noble people around Stanis think that Davos shouldn't be given tasks he is given because of his origins. What we need now is that his low-birth/ancestry/origins are visually represented as »dark skin«. And everybody is happy. Noblemen in Stanis court are offended by Davos' presence, now we could all see visually why, as obviously being black means being of low birth, means being unworthy of taking noblemen duties.

That's why I think people promoting idea of casting Davos as a black man are white supremacist in disguise. They may have fooled most of you, but didn't fool me. I want Davos as white as white trash from Flea Bottom are. And I want you all to keep your ideas of how lowlife of low birth should look like a black man to yourself.

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As somebody said Davos is scorned because of his ancestry and low birth. Noble people around Stanis think that Davos shouldn't be given tasks he is given because of his origins. What we need now is that his low-birth/ancestry/origins are visually represented as »dark skin«. And everybody is happy. Noblemen in Stanis court are offended by Davos' presence, now we could all see visually why, as obviously being black means being of low birth, means being unworthy of taking noblemen duties.

That's why I think people promoting idea of casting Davos as a black man are white supremacist in disguise. They may have fooled most of you, but didn't fool me. I want Davos as white as white trash from Flea Bottom are. And I want you all to keep your ideas of how lowlife of low birth should look like a black man to yourself.

That is the best, I agree with Snow he has made a better arguement than me!!! Well said.

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I just don't understand why people want African actors cast in what would be a European part and not just want it seems as though your hearts are caught up in getting just one black man that is not from the Summer Isles. Will it make it more enjoyable for you to see a little bit a flavor in the show? That question is posed to anyone who wants Sam Jackson as Davos, because he was poor and born of low birth. I just do not understand, why people feel the need to be have such an inclusive cast. Does it help you look into the mirror or feel as though that HBO has decided to make you feel more apart of the broader white world? I am being partially funny but also honestly asking a question. London and Paris and Madrid are all very diverse cities now, however in the Middle Ages they were not, especially not the common folk. There might have been a few Moorish nobles or traders, and they would be of a more north african appearnce, a few not many and that is it. It is clear, black skinned people come from the Summer Isles. Martin is clear, that is what make the Summer Isles sound so cool, because there are not a lot of them in Westeros and people notice them, because they are rare in Westeros. So honestly why are some of your hearts so set on having African actors playing these parts? When there will be Africans cast as Summer Islanders.

You are wrong on the diversity front. Port towns have always had foreign communities, even in the middle ages. There are people from all over living in Kings Landing.

Davos doesn't have to be black, but nor does he have to be white, which is the point people are making. I say just pick the best actor. He could be yellow, black, brown, white, green, whatever. Davos is a character where you can be inventive with his ethnicity.

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I'm not sure if this is a typo or not, but either way it's hilarious. :lol:

If only I meant to be that witty. :P

So honestly why are some of your hearts so set on having African actors playing these parts?

Whose heart is set on having African actors play these parts? You are arguing against something that nobody has asked for (recently anyhow).

And we know KL is someway diverse. That's already in the books. Chataya?

And I want you all to keep your ideas of how lowlife of low birth should look like a black man to yourself.

Hilarious. :lol:

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You are wrong on the diversity front. Port towns have always had foreign communities, even in the middle ages. There are people from all over living in Kings Landing.

Davos doesn't have to be black, but nor does he have to be white, which is the point people are making. I say just pick the best actor. He could be yellow, black, brown, white, green, whatever. Davos is a character where you can be inventive with his ethnicity.

You are right foreign communties that had some access to ships and trading ships. No African or Asian ships made it to London for trades in the High Middle Ages to my knowlege. In the case of Kings Landing however there is some diversity, but it is well noted and always mentioned as being interesting, because the characters always think about seeing a person with skin so black, or what have you. Also people interbreed with eachother, so unless there was a mass immigration from the Summer Isles how on earth did they remain black after so many generations of being in Kings Landing? So unless they are foreigners, they would all look about the same.

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You are right foreign communties that had some access to ships and trading ships. No African or Asian ships made it to London for trades in the High Middle Ages to my knowlege. In the case of Kings Landing however there is some diversity, but it is well noted and always mentioned as being interesting, because the characters always think about seeing a person with skin so black, or what have you. Also people interbreed with eachother, so unless there was a mass immigration from the Summer Isles how on earth did they remain black after so many generations of being in Kings Landing? So unless they are foreigners, they would all look about the same.

The suggestion about Davos was precisely that he could be mixed-race, so that one falls down immediately. And again with the London thing? Firstly, you are just making assertions about this: people have disagreed with those assertions but you haven't bothered to back them up, just reiterate them. And second and more importantly, it's irrelevant anyway. Medieval London is not King's Landing. Whatever the truth about medieval London, we know for a fact that traders from all over the world stop at King's Landing, including Summer Islanders. Indeed, we are shown that for some such traders it's a regular stop (Quhuru Mo, for example). Not to mention that King's Landing has several Dornish nobles around, either visiting or resident (Ser Aron Santagar, for example).

Under these circumstances, your other unsupported assertion - that a skin tone of any other shade than white is considered remarkable in King's Landing - looks to be shaky. It seems more likely that there are a number of mixed-race kids running around in Flea Bottom - a small number, maybe, but enough that the idea isn't outlandish.

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There are quite a lot I think. So many that we export them to America (Idris Elba, Archie Panjabi, Parminder Nagra, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Naveen Andrews etc).

Does Delroy Lindo count?

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The suggestion about Davos was precisely that he could be mixed-race, so that one falls down immediately. And again with the London thing? Firstly, you are just making assertions about this: people have disagreed with those assertions but you haven't bothered to back them up, just reiterate them. And second and more importantly, it's irrelevant anyway. Medieval London is not King's Landing. Whatever the truth about medieval London, we know for a fact that traders from all over the world stop at King's Landing, including Summer Islanders. Indeed, we are shown that for some such traders it's a regular stop (Quhuru Mo, for example). Not to mention that King's Landing has several Dornish nobles around, either visiting or resident (Ser Aron Santagar, for example).

Under these circumstances, your other unsupported assertion - that a skin tone of any other shade than white is considered remarkable in King's Landing - looks to be shaky. It seems more likely that there are a number of mixed-race kids running around in Flea Bottom - a small number, maybe, but enough that the idea isn't outlandish.

The idea that London was not visited by North Africans prior to 1600 is perhaps one of the more absurd thoughts of this whole thread. They were among the best sailors (and at times the most dangerous pirates) in the Mediterranean. London is not that far away. There were North Africans occupying much of Iberia. Of course, some trade (and diplomatic exchanges) must have happened in London. But as Mormont points out, ultimately irrelevant. This is about Westeros, not Earth.

We know there is regular trade in Kings Landing from the Summer Islands, Ibben and the Free Cities. Melisandre makes the voyage by some route from distant Asshai to Dragonstone (from which it would be trivially easy to go on to KL). It is frankly more difficult to construct a reasonable case whereby Flea Bottom does not have more than a few ragamuffins of mixed race than to assert they are present.

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The London thing is pretty much immediately debunkable anyway - there were long-standing trade routes to the Eastern Mediterranean, further east to India and China, and down into parts of Africa. Although much was routed through now-Italy, I personally find it very implausible that not one single Englishman made some of these journeys, nor that not a single trader from outside England (or Europe) went the other direction. There was even a skeleton discovered (1990s) / dated (last year) which are of an African man who died in medieval Ipswich.

And as mormont points out, King's Landing is known to have all of this going on, so this idea that everyone has to be not only "pureblood"* but "pure Westerosi"*... (BTW, now that I write it out, how can we say what that even means? Look at just within Dorne, never mind across the rest of the continent.)

Plus, well, nobody also either said it had to be Davos who was "changed" from your mental image, but that he could reasonably be. Hot Pie could be. Tobho Mott. Some of the Sparrows. Some of the BwB. Some of the Black Brothers. Guardsmen, gold cloaks, maesters, etc, not just the "exotic" or standout characters.

*My summarisation, not an actual quote, AFAIK.

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The idea that London was not visited by North Africans prior to 1600 is perhaps one of the more absurd thoughts of this whole thread. They were among the best sailors (and at times the most dangerous pirates) in the Mediterranean. London is not that far away. There were North Africans occupying much of Iberia. Of course, some trade (and diplomatic exchanges) must have happened in London. But as Mormont points out, ultimately irrelevant. This is about Westeros, not Earth.

We know there is regular trade in Kings Landing from the Summer Islands, Ibben and the Free Cities. Melisandre makes the voyage by some route from distant Asshai to Dragonstone (from which it would be trivially easy to go on to KL). It is frankly more difficult to construct a reasonable case whereby Flea Bottom does not have more than a few ragamuffins of mixed race than to assert they are present.

Of course there were long standing trade routes, however to say that people made it all the way to London and stayed there is something else entierly. There may have been a few Africans in London during the last 2,000 years, but not many. North African BTW are not black Africans, if you were not aware. And if they did they would have bred into the existing population, thus no longer looking like they were from elsewhere.

The same can be said of Kings Landing, if there are people of non-European appearence living there they are of mixed race, and would continued to have been mixed to the point of not noticing their non-white feautures, think Jews in the Middle Ages, and there was large scale migration from the Mid-East and they remained seperate from society, yet they bred into European bloodlines. So there can be a random half something running around in King's Landing, but honestly how many? The rest would be 1/4 or 1/8 or 1/16 to the point that they would just look Greek or something. So unless thousands of Summer Islanders just migrated to Westeros and they remained in segragated communities they would breed into the gene pool and look like everyone else.

BTW I think it is pretty clear that the people of Dorne are of Caucasion appearnce, just some have darker shades of skin. They are fiesty, its pretty obvious they are supposed to resemble the Spanish, or Southern Italians.

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So unless thousands of Summer Islanders just migrated to Westeros and they remained in segragated communities they would breed into the gene pool and look like everyone else.

No, they'd still look like Summer Islanders. Their descendants might look similar to everyone else, but they and their children would still be noticeably darker than average.

You seem to be very vocal about requiring Davos to be white. Have you considered that this may cause people to make unpleasant assumptions about you?

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Of course there were long standing trade routes, however to say that people made it all the way to London and stayed there is something else entierly. There may have been a few Africans in London during the last 2,000 years, but not many. North African BTW are not black Africans, if you were not aware. And if they did they would have bred into the existing population, thus no longer looking like they were from elsewhere.

The same can be said of Kings Landing, if there are people of non-European appearence living there they are of mixed race, and would continued to have been mixed to the point of not noticing their non-white feautures, think Jews in the Middle Ages, and there was large scale migration from the Mid-East and they remained seperate from society, yet they bred into European bloodlines. So there can be a random half something running around in King's Landing, but honestly how many? The rest would be 1/4 or 1/8 or 1/16 to the point that they would just look Greek or something. So unless thousands of Summer Islanders just migrated to Westeros and they remained in segragated communities they would breed into the gene pool and look like everyone else.

But the reasons you give for London and Earth totally break down when applied to Kings Landing and Westeros. London (and England) was (and is) a boggy dreary place populated by proto-Spice Girls and the ancestors of football hooligans. Trade was limited at least somewhat by the fact that there isn't a whole lot there worth trading for. Physical distances between racial groups on Earth were great. Whereas Essos is just across the sea. Please remember the name of that sea, as it gives a hint as to why there is considerably more traffic between Essos and Westeros than say between Africa and England (hint: name= Narrow Sea, which comes about because it is both a sea and narrow).

Kings Landing is a gateway to a huge continent with varied resources, such as the abundant silver of the North, the gold of Lannisport, the bounteous produce of Highgarden and the exotic spices (huge value in the past) of Dorne. There are compelling reasons for trading ships from all sorts of distant ports to come before the Throne of the great Empire that is Westeros. Europe didn't have a Medieval empire on the scale of the Seven Kingdoms. Westeros does. And Kings Landing is its Rome, its Byzantium, its Istanbul. Westeros is easily reached across generally tranquil waters (the stormy seas are to the North). The Broken Arm makes travel easy enough for all but the flimsiest of crafts. The geography enables considerably more traffic. Three hundred years of general peace (a civil war or three aside) make travel much more tempting.

But none of this really matters. The premise I offered (which was dismissed as the equivalent of turning Davos Seaworth into Aunt Jemima - an argument of Ravanesque stupidity) was that Davos Seaworth, low-born smuggler born in Flea Bottom, could easily have been the son of a Kings Landing whore and a visiting sailor. None of this requires huge communities of foreigners. Simply the fact that visiting sailors leave gifts. The books themselves show that Kings Landing has numerous visitors from across the planet.

I really don't see your case.

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Yes, Kings Landing is more comparable to say Venice than London really.

Incidentily, Henry VIII had a black trumpeter.

Must have been hired to fulfill some quota.

Sarcasm, by the way.

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Must have been hired to fulfill some quota.

Sarcasm, by the way.

Lol, Henry sounded like a fun dude to be around though. Loved his extravagance. Unless you're his wife, or friends with Rome. Mirror image of Robert really.

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Incidentily, Henry VIII had a black trumpeter.

Huh. Interesting.

In the case of Kings Landing however there is some diversity, but it is well noted and always mentioned as being interesting, because the characters always think about seeing a person with skin so black, or what have you.

I'm still not sure what you are arguing about. Nobody is saying that half the population is black or Asian. We are just saying that 1 or 2 featured characters can be (but don't have to be). The production are free to choose based on ability and story logic.

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No, they'd still look like Summer Islanders. Their descendants might look similar to everyone else, but they and their children would still be noticeably darker than average.

You seem to be very vocal about requiring Davos to be white. Have you considered that this may cause people to make unpleasant assumptions about you?

There should be no unpleasent assumptions about me, other than the fact that Davos Seaworth could be swarthy, but if Martin had intended him to look, say like a Sumnmer Islander don't you think that he would have mentioned it? Say Davos sure does look like a Summer Islander with his black skin? Something along those lines.Or if he had an asian appearnce he would have mentioned the almond shaped eyes like he does for the Dorthraki? Everytime a character sees a Summer Islander they notice it, or at least when we are introduced to one, they think what black skin they have. So that means, one may assume that they are rare. And yes there direct decednents very well may look like Summer Islanders, however after a generation or two they will become part of the regular pool of people. And I have never read anything about a vast migration of Summer Islanders moving to Kings Landing, and the sailors that would have children with the whores is very possible, but we are talking about a small quanity of people here. And within a generation or two the bastards would look like the rest of the population. Also of note is accross the narrow sea, there are still people of European appearnce, so given that there are sailors from all over in Kings Landing does not mean they are all non-white.

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But that's just it - if they're not described, they're not described. It's an assumption that they're all therefore the Martinworld equivalent of Caucasians. (Sometimes supported, other times not at all.)

- Nobody's saying a large percentage of the population should be people of colour.

- Nobody's saying all of the sailors in KL are people of colour.

- People are suggesting that it would not be unreasonable to have *some* Westerosi characters of varying prominence be portrayed by actors of colour.

- I personally would love to see HBO not feed into the idea that this is some lily-white fantasy land, where only the exotic and unusual aren't pale Westerosi. This is why I'd love to see some of the KL-ers etc portrayed this way, so that we don't end up with always the exotic Dothraki and the evil MMD/warlocks and the mysterious Qaithe and the untrustworthy Tyroshi (especially Daario) and the <adjective implying something other than normal> characters of colour. This is a big world with a lot of crossover; it'd be wonderful for that to be reflected in the visual representation.

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But that's just it - if they're not described, they're not described. It's an assumption that they're all therefore the Martinworld equivalent of Caucasians. (Sometimes supported, other times not at all.)

- Nobody's saying a large percentage of the population should be people of colour.

- Nobody's saying all of the sailors in KL are people of colour.

- People are suggesting that it would not be unreasonable to have *some* Westerosi characters of varying prominence be portrayed by actors of colour.

- I personally would love to see HBO not feed into the idea that this is some lily-white fantasy land, where only the exotic and unusual aren't pale Westerosi. This is why I'd love to see some of the KL-ers etc portrayed this way, so that we don't end up with always the exotic Dothraki and the evil MMD/warlocks and the mysterious Qaithe and the untrustworthy Tyroshi (especially Daario) and the <adjective implying something other than normal> characters of colour. This is a big world with a lot of crossover; it'd be wonderful for that to be reflected in the visual representation.

No but considering that this story is so realistic, for there to be distinct seperate looking populations there would have to be somewhere for them to devolop. Which is the Summer Isles or Westeros or other locations. Once they arrive in a place the interbreed, there are indegnous Afrcan people today in Italy although at one time there were Africans that interbred with the gene pool. So it is unrealistic to have a serving wench that is black or asian in Westeros if her parents were not foreign. And besides, the stories are written about white people, if you don't like that then take that up with Martin, but 99 percent the characters are lily white people, and if they are not they have origins outside of Westeros, and there will be non-white people in the show, people from non-white areas of the world, but they should just not appear out of thin air to be commoners or farmers or peasents or soliders, it would make no sense. They would be foriegn born or directly decended if they were non-white. If you want realism. That is an accurate and faithful to the books. Why even mention all of the Summer Islanders if there were random black people everywhere or just sporadically placed? It takes away some of the mystery behind the Summer Islanders if they just include a few blacks in the crowd. They are supposed to be in stark contrast to the rest of the poeple around them.

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