Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Reposado

[Book Spoilers] Saan

Recommended Posts

I think the guy they pegged is absolutely fantastic. Great choice.

The inconsistencies with the books don't bother much on a minor character like this.

It does make me wonder though...how are racial issues handled in the industry? Is it totally up to the show's creators?

That is to say, would Dave and Dan be like "Yeah, we have no choice but to have Bran Stark be a white kid, but with SS we're willing to interview all comers?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

South America and Caribbean have people with a lot of different skin tones, but until recently the upper classes were all light skinned,

So this is bullshit immediately. Not true. There were TONS of well off non light skinned. Fuck even my family from Portugal are much more what you would call "darker skinned" and they were wine merchants. You realize that Spain and Portugal is like a stones throw from Africa right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked him. LOL, some reviewer didn't catch his name, said it sounded something like 'Salad or Sandwich' so that's what he's going to call him from now on. Me, too! I'll never be able to look at the character the same way again--it'll be like 'Oh, look, here comes the Salad or Sandwich pirate!'

Onion & Salad lol

The actor did great, but they thought of Saan as a minor character that's why they didnt bother with the ethnicity anymore. :dunno: Doreah was also from Lys but doesnt look near Valyrian at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found the focus on Saan's obsession with ravishing Cersei to be a definite deviation from the books. If you're a female viewer of the show, the way he was horse trading over Cerseis private parts would actually generate sympathy for Cersei against your own better judgement.

In the books, Saan's reference to wanting the Queen always appeared to be an off-hand comment made partly in jest, kind of like that one gateguard telling Arya that he wanted to screw the Queen.

Saan was always motivated by the gold, and I doubt whether he ever realistically thought Stannis would allow him to have his way with Cersei should King's Landing fall. Stannis it too honorable for that.

So I found myself liking the TV Saan considerably less than the charming book Saan, and he came across as more of a sex obsessed maniac than the witty, world wise rogue he is portrayed as in the books.

Bad move from the TV show writers in my view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's a great actor and has his speech down to a tee, I just imagined him much more elaborately dressed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lyseni are always noted in the books by their fair hair and blue eyes -- they are quite Valyrian, apparently. The old blood of Volantis are even more Valyrian in appearance. The Braavosi are much more mixed, being descended from all sorts of refugees and escaped slaves from Valyria. The Myrish are described as being dark-haired and dark-eyed, with olive skin -- more a Mediterranean look, basically, not terribly disimiliar to the salty Dornish.

So there's a bit of a mix. Saan in the novel is a fair-haired, bright-eyed Lyseni of Valyrian descent. Saan in the show is a Summer Islander that has, somehow or other, settled in Lys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the books, Saan's reference to wanting the Queen always appeared to be an off-hand comment made partly in jest, kind of like that one gateguard telling Arya that he wanted to screw the Queen.

While it was more flippant in the books than in the show, I think he was very serious about it in both versions. Everything about his personality tells me he is the kind of man that would demand a queen as his prize.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the books, Saan's reference to wanting the Queen always appeared to be an off-hand comment made partly in jest, kind of like that one gateguard telling Arya that he wanted to screw the Queen.

That's just gonna happen with a lot of minor characters in the show. We're not gonna see that much of them. The few lines they get will seem magnified since they're not mixed in among dozens of other lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a quote or page number to support this description?

You dare ask Ran for sources? GRRM is the one that asks Ran about character descriptions/appearances. (No, seriously.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The source for the description is the fact that he's Lyseni and every Lyseni ever described is fair-haired and pale eyed. Indeed, people are identified as Lyseni because they're fair-haired and pale eyed.

Every. Single. One.

Including ones who call their ship Valyrian, who is related to a guy (father, grandfather, uncle, or some such) who was known as "the Old Valyrian". They've got a bit of the blood of Valyria, and they're from Lys, ergo ... fair.

Lyseni=fair and pale in ASoIaF. If he was an unusual Lyseni in appearance, away from the norm, it would have been noted. As his foppish, flamboyant clothing is particularly noted, for example, because it's unusual and worth mentioning.

I don't really understand the resistance to this point, other than the fact that people failed to remember how Lyseni are described in every other instance and decided for some reason that this one man would somehow conform to an ethnic appearance out of the norm because he's... what, flamboyant and talks funny? Is that really the association one wants to make between behavior and ethnicity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really understand the resistance to this point, other than the fact that people failed to remember how Lyseni are described in every other instance and decided for some reason that this one man would somehow conform to an ethnic appearance out of the norm because he's... what, flamboyant and talks funny? Is that really the association one wants to make between behavior and ethnicity?

I can see why you'd pre-emptively play the stereotype card, since you didn't have a quote to back up your assertion, but even in your strawman argument you're the one making unfounded associations with regards to ethnicity. You are the one associating "talks funny" with ethnicity. Nothing is stopping a Lyseni from having dark skin, just as nothing is stopping an African from having light skin. Nativity != Ethnicity.

Salladhor Saan on the show is from the Summer Isles in origin. ;)

It becomes clearer in episode 4, when you realize we're hearing a similar accent again on another character.

If D&D changed his origin to the Summer Islands, fine; we'd then have something else to complain about. I just want you to realize that you made the association that you're implying is stereotyping (at best - at worst you're accusing people of racism).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So this is bullshit immediately. Not true. There were TONS of well off non light skinned. Fuck even my family from Portugal are much more what you would call "darker skinned" and they were wine merchants. You realize that Spain and Portugal is like a stones throw from Africa right?

The spanish and portuguese colonialist society was very racist, only in a different way that the north-american one. The north-americans divided their society into black or white and nothing in between, while the latins had a several levels of gradations in between: mulatos, cuarterones, zambos, cambujos...etc., and they were expected to fit a place in society according to their origins. Less attention was given to your skin tone per se, and more to how it indicated that you were descended from somebody who was a pagan or muslim slave.

Yes, sometimes a black skinned person could rise in society above what was expected of him, but that was not the norm, and he/she would have to fight social pressure and prejudice. If you take a look to the portraits of the famous politicians and intelectuals from South-America, they were overwhelmingly european-looking until recently; the leaders of the War of Independence during the XIX century were all white people of spanish ascentry, the leaders of the Cuban revolution during the XX century were all white people too, Castro is the grandson of spaniards and Che Guevara are descendants of spaniard colonists (they even claimed to be descendants of a spanish viceroy). There was a lot of racism, only it was less overt than in other places of the world.

Portuguese are darker-skinned than other european ethnities (partly because Portugal was conquered by african muslims during the Middle Ages, and partly because during the Modern Age up to a 13 % of Portugal´s population were black slaves who eventually intermarried and mixed with the rest until getting completely assimilated), but they are still recognizable as europeans.

Maybe you and me aren´t meaning the same when we say dark-skinned. When I spoke of prejudice against dark-skinned people I was referring to people dark as Lucian Msamati, not dark as Antonio Banderas.

And anyway we are speaking of Westeros and Essos here, which are medieval societies (maybe renaissancentist, for the Free Cities), not XX century societies; we should look to how society was back then, not to modern examples. Do you know any example of somebody like a black Xaro or a black Saan?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The history lesson is nice and you are right in that this is a medieval setting.

I still think you are puting too much weight on historical race relations when referring to possible race relations in a fictitious world.

One of the reasons black Africa was colonized and raped was because in our own history black Africa was at a disadvantage, especially in the field of warfare.

In the world of ASOIAF there is no reason to believe that the advancements of Summer Islanders was not on par with the rest of the fictitious world. It is also a bit asinine to assume that the cultures of this world are necessarily as racist as ours has been. In a world where there are races like Children of the Forest and White Walkers the whites of ASOIAF might recognize the humanity in black members of the ASOIAF.

Ser Lepus, you just need to think outside the box a bit as there are all sorts of situations where maybe Summer Islanders could strive. It is also to be considered that Essos as a whole seems to be more pragmatic than Westeros and skin colour might not be considered as valuable as your economic value. Even Westeros doesn't seem completely white-washed if you interpret the Dornish to be a "middle-eastern looking" type of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The history lesson is nice and you are right in that this is a medieval setting.

I still think you are puting too much weight on historical race relations when referring to possible race relations in a fictitious world.

One of the reasons black Africa was colonized and raped was because in our own history black Africa was at a disadvantage, especially in the field of warfare.

In the world of ASOIAF there is no reason to believe that the advancements of Summer Islanders was not on par with the rest of the fictitious world. It is also a bit asinine to assume that the cultures of this world are necessarily as racist as ours has been. In a world where there are races like Children of the Forest and White Walkers the whites of ASOIAF might recognize the humanity in black members of the ASOIAF.

Ser Lepus, you just need to think outside the box a bit as there are all sorts of situations where maybe Summer Islanders could strive. It is also to be considered that Essos as a whole seems to be more pragmatic than Westeros and skin colour might not be considered as valuable as your economic value. Even Westeros doesn't seem completely white-washed if you interpret the Dornish to be a "middle-eastern looking" type of people.

I was just answering to @Towel about what he said about racism in Latin America.

You are right: The Summer Islander seem a technologicaly and economically developed people, and they probably command quite a lot of respect. There are also the corsairs of the Basilisk Islands, who are a seapower on themselves.

But if you look at the world of ASOIAF, and to the society of the Free Cities, it´s obvious than volantene and lysene still keep to a extent the valyrians looks, while the pentoshi and myroshi have lost them (I´m not sure about Tyrosh). That points, I think, to the volantene and lysene not mixing with or taking in other peoples (at least not their upper class), while the myroshi and pentoshi do.

Think of that: the volantene have 5 slaves per free person, and most of these slaves come from Slaver´s Bay and half of those are of lhazarene or dothraki origin (Storm of Swords, Daenerys chapter), the original inhabitants of the area were the Rhoynar, they are visited by hundred of merchants from Slaver´s Bay, Summer Islands, Ibben, Myr, Pentos...etc. None of those people share their valyrian looks; if they were intermixing with OR taking in foreigners as part of their society, they would have lost those valyrian looks long ago...but at least the upper classes keep them. Lys is very similar to Volantis.

I think that Pentos and Myr are likely to take in foreigners, but Volantis and Lys are not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did notice that salla differed in appearance from the books, but the most jarring thing was I thought his costume would be more remarkable. I think it is impossible to separate racial concepts i'm fiction from racial concepts in our culture because, for the most part the whole concept of race is a product of culture as much as language is. Genetically speaking there are more differences amongst black Africans than between Chinese and Swedes. They should have just made the dornish black in the show which would have allowed the use of black actors in major roles and not caused accusations of racism in the way the ethnic look of the dothraki did. Atleast all the evil blondes helps balance things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×