The controversy comes weeks after Black actors in ‘House of the Dragon’ dealt with an onslaught of hateful rhetoric from fans online.
The co-authors of a new “Game of Thrones” book are in some hot water. Fans of the sprawling fantasy series are boycotting the new book out this month, “The Rise of the Dragon: An Illustrated History of the Targaryen Dynasty, Volume One,” because of what they perceive as a “history of racism” from co-authors Linda Antonsson and Elio M. García Jr.
Fans’ dismay with Antonsson and Garcia dates to well before George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic was adapted for HBO. The husband-and-wife writing team has collaborated with Martin for years, serving as fact-checkers for some of his latest works, according to Variety. Together, Antonsson and García created Westeros.org together, an online blog dedicated to the series.
Many of the controversial posts and opinions the couple holds are related to their dislike of the diverse casting in both of HBO’s adaptation of “Game of Thrones” and its new prequel, “House of the Dragon.”
Speaking of Steve Toussaint, who plays Corlys in the latter series, Antonsson said, “There are no Black Valyrians and there should not be any in the show.” This seems to be a pattern for Antonsson, who previously complained about Nonso Anozie in 2012 (the actor cast in the original “Game of Thrones” series as Xaro Xhoan Daxos, who is described as pale in the book series).
Antonsson defended her posts and stances to Variety, telling the outlet she is upset at being “labeled a racist, when my focus has been solely on the world building.” She said “diversity should not trump story.”
Continued Antonsson, “If George had indeed made the Valyrians Black instead of white, as he mused on his ‘Not a Blog’ in 2013, and this new show proposed to make the Velaryons anything other than Black, we would have had the same issue with it and would have shared the same opinion.”
Martin himself did not comment on the story when Variety reached out, but fans have continued to call out Antonsson on social media, even after the magazine’s story was published. One writer and fan wrote in a tweet, “Black [Valyrians] do not break any lore of ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ especially when its own creator signed off on them. Linda Antonsson is wrong. The casting of House Velaryon has been perfect.”
As theGrio recently reported, Toussaint addressed racist fans who took issue with his role in the “Game of Thrones” saga. “They are happy with a dragon flying,” he told Men’s Health earlier this year. “They’re happy with white hair and violet-colored eyes, but a rich Black guy? That’s beyond the pale.”
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