‘Game of Thrones’ Is Whiter Than It Should Be, Historian Argues

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“I’d go further in saying that, by not including people of color in major roles, author George R. R. Martin is creating a whiter medieval world than our own ever was,” she writes in a Vice essay.

“Though medieval ideas about race differ from modern definitions, medieval European history and literature are full of what we would today call people of color.”

George R. R. Martin defended the relative whiteness of his world in a 2014 weblog remark, saying “Westeros around 300 AC [after Aegon’s Conquest] is nowhere near as diverse as 21st century America.”

But Westeros nonetheless bears a placing resemblance to medieval Europe, besides medieval Europe has by no means been portrayed so whitely, as Kathleen says.

George R. R. Martin at Premiere Of HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” Season 3

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For instance, St. Maurice and Balthazar had been depicted as black Africans in medieval European non secular literature, Kathleen factors out, and the latter was even named the Holy Roman Empire’s patron saint.

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Meanwhile, Arthurian literature extolls the virtues of courageous black Berber, and Arabic knights — together with the chivalrous (and Muslim) Sir Palomides.