Lion of the Blogosphere

Is Game of Thrones (the HBO series) racist?

Short answer: based on the SJW definition of “racist,” then most certainly yes.

Long answer: it’s the awareness of race on the part of the creators of this series which adds greatly to its visual and cultural effectiveness. Unlike many TV series, where actors and actresses are haphazardly cast without regard to their physical appearance, and you tend to wind up with characters who are black or some other minority for no apparent reason (like the black kid in the otherwise excellent Netflix series Stranger Things which takes place in an all-white [except for one nerdy black kid] suburban neighborhood in the 1980s), much thought was given to ethnicity of the actors and actresses in Game of Thrones.

The Lannisters all have blonde hair and they are very good looking and evil. Except for Tyrion, the dwarf, who is not good looking and not as evil as the rest of his family (although he is willing to commit evil acts in order to win their affection). The blondeness of Cersei’s Lannister’s children is a key plot point in the first season of the show.

Even blonder than the Lannisters are the Targaryens. Their hair is so lightly colored it’s almost white. There seems to be a lot of evil in the Targaryen family, such as the Mad King who wanted to unleash wildfire on the city of King’s Landing (almost like nuking the city and killing everyone). Viserys Targaryen seems pretty evil because he marries his sister Daenerys to a barbarian ruler, who will probably abuse her and rape her. That would be under the modern definition of rape, because in the world of Westeros and Essos, as well as the real world prior to the 20th century, it’s not rape for a man to force his wife to have sex with him. Nevertheless, in Game of Thrones, rape of one’s spouse is still suggested as something evil, so the series isn’t actually as “misogynist” as SJWs think it is.

The barbarian Dothraki who live on the continent of Essos are modeled after the Mongols, and they have appropriately dark skin and act uncouth compared to the more civilized people of Westeros which is modeled after medieval England. Would the Dothraki have appeared as barbaric if they looked like white Europeans? I think not. What the Dothraki need is a silver-haired Germanic-looking girl to bring them to a higher level of civilization than just riding around the desert on their horses and looting and pillaging non-Dothraki villages. Better to put them on some ships, sail across the sea, and fight a real war.

They only good family are the Starks, who look Scottish with their dark hair and blue/green eyes. However, they do live in the North which is the least civilized area of Westeros. And there are also some pretty evil houses in the North, such as the Boltons who like to flay their enemies.

Anyway, no need to go on. You get the idea. Racist racist racist. But so much fun to watch.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 2, 2016 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Television

53 Responses

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  1. The bigger media brouhaha has been over “sexism.” Even Claire McCaskill said she stopped watching after the Sansaa got rapes. It’s funny that liberals think that rape scenes go too far but are unbothered by other forms of torture and mutilation.


    September 2, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    • It’s not considered “rape” for a man to force his wife to have sex with him.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 2, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      • That’s not the way liberals see it. What’s your point?


        September 2, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      • You have two law degrees and don’t know about this?

        David Pinsen

        September 3, 2016 at 4:39 am

      • DP, he does know about it; in his post he writes: “That would be under the modern definition of rape, because in the world of Westeros and Essos, as well as the real world prior to the 20th century, it’s not rape for a man to force his wife to have sex with him.”


        September 3, 2016 at 9:34 am

      • Thank you Garr.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 3, 2016 at 10:59 am

      • Talmud prohibits it, but it’s not actionable. It’s kind of common sense that the intercourse should take place with mutual consent.


        September 4, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    • *raped


      September 2, 2016 at 9:53 pm

  2. Also, one thing that’s weird is although different races are on different continents, the characters don’t notice race. Like no one in Westeros has seen a black person before, but when they run into one they find no reason to mention it or be surprised in any way.


    September 2, 2016 at 9:50 pm

  3. “Physical appearance” isn’t there a midget in TGOT? Never watch a single episode but I’m sure of this.

    K.l. Asher

    September 2, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    • A dwarf, not a midget. There’s a difference.


      September 3, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      • In my day (long before political correctness came on the scene) we used to bowl with midgets and/or dwarfs.

        Lewis Medlock

        September 6, 2016 at 11:48 am

  4. A lot of TV shows and movies that understand human flaws and the permanence of behavioral traits fail miserably at showing heredity – by failing to establish that traits run in families. Example: Breaking Bad.


    September 2, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    • I don’t think I get the Breaking Bad reference. Is it that Walt Jr. is too much unlike Walt? But his son has some sort of mental problem. Just seems weird to call out BB for that.

      Game of Thrones goes the other direction, exaggerating heritability of certain traits far beyond our world, especially hair color.


      September 3, 2016 at 11:49 pm

  5. Haven’t seen it yet. All I really know is that it’s supposed to be some sort of Lord of the Rings/Medieval Europe type thing. Also that there’s a midget in it, who I was surprised to learn is a lead character. How did a midget end up as one of the main characters? I thought he was supposed to be a court jester or freak for entertainment type deal, like they used to have in the old days.

    Also, there are actual different races in this thing? I thought it was a Lord of the Rings/Medieval Europe type scenario i.e. all white.

    I like historical and Middle Ages type stuff, but it’s hard to get into the fantasy stuff. When grown men on the screen start talking about elves and dragons or whatever, my eyes start glazing over.

    It’s not soap opera-y at all, is it? A lot of these Netflix and HBO shows that are longer than a season or two end up turning into soap operas.


    September 2, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    • Elves are just aristocratic aesthetes without the moral baggage of servants and tradesmen they’d have to rely upon, order around, and exploit. They’re not actually pagan; they have no religious sensibility at all; they just like Beautiful Stuff. They don’t have pointy ears; they have luminous eyes, though.
      Dragons are gigantic talking cats.
      (Hobbits are rabbit-people. Hence the “…bbit.” They have long furry feet, live in burrows, and are timid, like rabbits.)


      September 3, 2016 at 9:50 am

    • -The midget is the son of one of the most powerful Lords and the sister of the Queen.

      -The racial dynamics are similar to Europe. Most of the story takes place in “Western Europe/England” but there is also a Spain and across the sea there is a Eurasia/Middle East type continent. There is also an “Africa” on an island to the South that is mentioned in the books but which plays no real role in the story. The books have used the existence of this place to introduce three minor black characters. One is a pirate, one is an immigrant to the “Eurasia/Middle East” continent, and one is a bodyguard to the guy that rules the “Spain” type area. So it really isn’t that bad in terms of trying to shoehorn “diversity” in to things but it should be noted that in the books all three of these characters are white.

      -The fantasy elements are there but not too pronounced. One of the fantasy elements is almost more of a horror story element. And it should be noted that besides the Dragons (which have gone extinct by the time the story starts) nobody actually believes in any of the other fantasy elements. They are dismissed as myths and old wives tales. The bulk of the story is a straight fictional Medieval political drama.

      -I wouldn’t consider it soapy at all. Far less soapy than the HBO/BBC series Rome.


      September 3, 2016 at 11:08 am

      • Isn’t “dwarf” just the PC word for midget?

        It’s a made up fantasy story, so I guess the characters can be whatever the author chooses, but generally speaking, in a Medieval Europe setting, people described as “dark” and “black” and “Africans” were generally dark haired and swarthy whites or Caucasians, not black Africans.


        September 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      • No, dwarfism is a recognized medical issue, and it’s completely different from being a midget. Midgets are just short people. Dwarves have different proportions: usually large heads, normal body size, and stumpy legs. For a whilel dwarfs insisted on being called “little people” — that was their PC designation — but that fell out of favor. I think they practice a form of dwarf pride now.

        I think Peter Dinklage is married to a normal woman.


        September 3, 2016 at 10:31 pm

      • There is also a pigmay. These are proportionate, but stupid. How come nobody is talking about them? This is racism.

        Are there any midget or dwarf pigmays? Those would be extra small.


        September 4, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    • It’s not a midget – the character is played by Peter Dinklage, who is a dwarf. There’s some sort of medical difference.

      Well, look what I started. I really was curious as to whether anyone would be obsessed enough to worry about race w/r/t GoF. And I wasn’t wrong. My feeling about it is, if it pisses off SJWs, it can’t be all bad. I’m in favor of putting black characters in parts where they are plausible. But I experienced intense white backlash when they criticized LoTR for being racist. Why shouldn’t I? I’m so white, I’d fool an alt-righter!! (Dirty blonde hair, light blue eyes, pale skin.) LOL.

      Meanwhile they are coming out with a movie about black women “computers” for NACA, NASA’s predecessor, which predictably portrays the black women as saints/saviors of the John Glenn mission. No Old Negro Space Program fuh dem!


      September 3, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    • Again, a dwarf, not a midget. There’s almost no fantasy in GOT, which is why I stopped reading it after one book. I would say it is NOT soap opera-y.


      September 3, 2016 at 2:25 pm

  6. As racist as the NHL. Not enough dark folk…


    September 2, 2016 at 11:48 pm

  7. What do you think about Mr. Robot? Your fans demand a Mr. Robot review.

    Otis the Sweaty

    September 3, 2016 at 12:19 am

  8. The blonds are evil except for one girl who plays white savior to the savages in Essos. I never noticed until you pointed it out. But it’s a liberal fantasy that fits the racist social justice narrative to a T.


    September 3, 2016 at 4:49 am

    • I play the world’s smallest violin.

      No one will ever get tired of looking at gorgeous blonde people. The blonder, the better.


      September 3, 2016 at 10:33 pm

  9. The problem with game of thrones is that it is unrealistic. The real world has balance between great evil and great good that Game of Thrones fails to establish. It’s almost like a some medieval fantasy adaptation of some cutthroat business environment.


    September 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    • I’ve never seen it, but if there’s so much war, murder and backstabbing how is an economy able to sustain itself? The few bits and pieces I’ve seen present a lavish society with big castles and rich finery, which seems incongruous with the social instability that apparently is the series’ theme.


      September 3, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      • The aristocracy has big castles and nice things, but no indication that the common people have any luxury. Their lives seem quite miserable.


        September 4, 2016 at 12:18 am

    • Well, the show is depicting probably the most chaotic period in its world’s recorded history. Compare it to something like the Crisis of the Third Century in our world. The Red Wedding is brutal, but it’s also an unthinkable event that violates all the old taboos (and is nonetheless loosely based on a real-world event).


      September 4, 2016 at 12:12 am

    • Really? You don’t think the forces of evil are crushing the forces of good in the West?

      Try going up against the entrenched power structure and see how you fair.


      September 4, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    • Is it any more cut throat and evil than the real life England during the War of the Roses up until the end of Henry VIII’s reign? Or the murder and intrigue within the Julio-Claudian dynasty after Augustus?


      September 4, 2016 at 9:40 pm

  10. PC ruined that show too.
    The last two seasons (who weren’t as good as the previous four)
    had a feminist twist where all the powerful men are dead and almost all
    the key players are now women –
    Cersei , Daenerys, Yara Greyjoy, Ellaria Sand,
    Sansa Stark, Olenna Tyrell and brienne of tarth,


    September 3, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    • Yes, this.

      The more the TV show moves away from the books, the more feminist it gets. The books allowed for an elevated role for women, but still not too far beyond plausibility. Brienne is noteworthy in the books for being a woman who is as good at fighting as many men (and indeed, we should expect that there will be women who are 3-4 S.D.’s above the mean in upper body strength), but in the show, she might be the greatest warrior in the realm. In the books, the Sand Snakes were political schemers, but in the show, they are 100 lb. women who trivially kill men 2-3 times their size in hand-to-hand combat.

      Of course, George R.R. Martin is reportedly a big fan of Jimmy Carter, but I think he’s also interested in plausibility and not a 100% subscriber to the current Hollywood trend of women outperforming men at unarmed combat.


      September 4, 2016 at 12:06 am

    • Yes, they certainly are forcing the feminism down the viewer’s throats. Book versions of some of those strong women below (and SPOILERS, if you haven’t read them):

      -Cersei makes one stupid decision after another. In the show, she’s cruel and clever; in the literature, she’s cruel and stupid.

      -Danaerys in the show appears to be the epitome of a SJW in charge; in the literature, she’s a weak, indecisive appeaser

      -“Bad ass” Yara is defeated and captured by Stannis (yep, he’s still alive).

      -Sansa is living a cloistered, safe and boring life in the Eyrie, babysitting her creepy little cousin.

      -Brienne in the show simply looks plain, but in the books she’s a hideous woman with obviously high T levels. When Catelyn first meets Brienne, Catelyn’s thoughts to herself are “Is there any creature on earth as unfortunate as an ugly woman? ” Despite her fighting prowess and large size, she barely defeated a starved, out-of-practice, and manacled Jaime in a sword fight.

      -Olenna is a relatively minor character and simply goes back to Highgarden after Margaery marries Tommen

      While there are elements of fantasy in his books, GRRM places a more realistic approach to medieval society, including gender roles.


      September 4, 2016 at 2:19 pm

  11. Other short answer:

    Most accusations of racism in the US are trivial are not worth talking about.

    Jason Liu

    September 4, 2016 at 6:26 am

  12. Notice how the parts of the world where slavery exists are brown/Asiatic while in white Westeros there appears to be some type of serfdom.


    September 4, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    • It’s explicitly mentioned that westeros eliminated slavery, then afterwards became richer than essos.


      September 6, 2016 at 10:26 am

  13. There’s also some red pill anti-feminism in GOT if you know where to look. Like how Danaerys Targaryen is married off to a brutal super-alpha male Dothraki warlord and she proceeds to fall head over heels in love with him and probably still has wet dreams about him. Or the whole question of whether Lyanna Stark was really kidnapped and raped by Rhaegar Targaryen or was it all consensual (female hypergamy at work – Rheagar was the elder son and heir of King Aerys II Targaryen, her betrothed Robert Baratheon was a Lord but lower ranking than the Crown Prince-also less handsome).


    September 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    • ‘…and probably still has wet dreams about him’

      Yes, she does. She compares her lover and her second husband (two different guys, BTW) to Drogo. The books are very red pill and replete with examples of female hypergamy, alpha males, and beta white knights.


      September 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    • Yes , also jorah mormont is the beta male that shows Danaerys nothing
      but love and respect , but she ignores him .


      September 4, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      • Even worse, she keeps banishing him.

        And there’s a 26-year age difference, so his fawning over her comes off as kind of creepy.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        September 4, 2016 at 9:24 pm

  14. Heh, this idea was raised at Slate several years ago. Razib Khan responded.

    “There’s an easy way to even out the problem of Eurocentrism in fantasy fiction: more colored people should write. David Anthony Durham is a black fantasy writer. I don’t think his race influences his Acacia series too much. He does utilize the Evil Bonde Guy trope, but so do fantasy authors in general (see David Coe). One might suggest though that he gives a little more detailed description to the African equivalent populations in his secondary world than one might usually find in epic fantasy, which I found interesting even if it was marginal to the main story arc. Black science fiction writer Steven Barnes wrote an alternative history duology starting with Lion’s Blood which could, it is argued, be an Afrocentric “what-if.”

    Much of fantasy literature draws from epic myths. J. R. R. Tolkien’s own work was an attempt to create an epic myth for the English people, because their own had been lost, unlike the Scandinavians or Irish (rather like the Kalevala). Most “high cultures” have an extensive epic myth tradition which can be mined, so authors who want a non-Northern European milieu have a lot they could work with. David Drake used a hybrid of Sumerian and medieval European motifs in Lord of the Isles.

    Less criticism. More creation!”


    September 5, 2016 at 7:22 pm

  15. And Salon had a crack also ‘Is “Game of Thrones” too white? – Fantasy fiction might have racial problems, but they’re just a reflection of America’s broader battles.’ Again, Razib Khan responds.

    “The fact that Ahmed could write something as unhinged from reality as the concluding paragraph to his Salon piece tells us more about his own educational-cultural milieu than it does about the literature and the authors of the literature in question itself. The real pre-modern period was soaked in xenophobia and racism. Ahmed is likely well read enough to have encountered the works of Ibn Battuta, the great Arab Muslim ethnographer and travel writer of the medieval period. Ibn Battuta’s work bleeds with unexamined parochialism, prejudice, and xenophobia against other races and non-Muslims. But he was frankly a man of his time…

    My standard response to people who complain about “racism” in X works of literature is that you should write yourself! But Ahmed has done us the favor of doing so, his Throne of the Crescent Moon has been well reviewed. If you want to invert the standard Eurocentric narrative in fantasy fiction, where white is implicitly or explicit right, then you can immerse yourself in Judith Tarr’s Avaryan Rising, or if you prefer it done more subtly, David Anthony Durham’s Acacia…


    September 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    • This kind of pitter patter back and forth is getting boring. It’s like a women’s tennis match from the 1950s. You know damn well that the whiners are not going to write their own fantasy because nobody would buy it. It’s much more fun to sit back and b**** and moan at whitey.

      Me, I absolutely adore looking at fantasy blonds doing fantasy things. I was a total simp for Lord of the Rings. But maybe that’s because I really don’t look that much different from the people on the screen. I have blue eyes, fair skin, and light brown/ dirty blonde hair. Perhaps if I were black or Asian I would think differently. But I’m not, so bring on the blonds!

      The irony! The more racially conscious blacks and S JW’s make us, the prouder I am of my whiteness. This is ironic since the alt right wouldn’t think of me as white at all!


      September 7, 2016 at 8:19 am

  16. Game of Thrones lost me with various obviously leftwing departures from (or unnecessary additions to) the books. Off the top of my head…

    They totally fag up Renley Baratheon in order to have the homo thread with the Loras Tyrell prince(***see further item below***). In the book Renley is a tall, longhaired, charismatic figure. There are one or two very vague hints (jokes really) that he might like men.

    There is a really obvious gun-grabber imagined scene involving Joffrey where he is obsessing over his crossbow to Margery Tyrell.

    And then, once they’d fagged up Loras(***) they were able to use him as the sympathetic piece in their homophobia play, wherein he is the entire focus of the High Sparrow’s actions. In the books, Loras is off fighting somewhere else entirely, and the whole case more or less revolves around the woman (Margery and Cersei) simply being sluts.

    Finally, they had Stannis burning his daughter alive. Technically, I guess, that could still happen in a book, but I kind of doubt it. I’m guessing they had him do it because they knew that Stannis was the character who ballers like me were rooting for.

    I still watch it for the production quality and to remind myself how much I hate it.

    Liberals ruin everything.

    not my name

    September 6, 2016 at 2:10 am

    • “Liberals ruin everything.”

      So true. I really can’t think of a great liberal work of art. Maybe The Grapes of Wrath but that’s not really liberal it’s more like humane. In The Grapes of Wrath the family is depicted as a source of strength.


      September 7, 2016 at 8:22 am

  17. Does Game of Thrones pass the infallible and utterly necessary litmus test for “racism”?

    I don’t see any numinous negros in the series, hence it must be racist, by definition.


    September 6, 2016 at 9:29 am

  18. Lion, aren’t you going to watch season 2 of ‘Dark matter’? I remember you liked the first season. Season 2 is great so far.


    September 11, 2016 at 9:15 am

    • I’ve been watching it. Thanks for reminding me that I forgot to watch Friday’s episode.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      September 11, 2016 at 10:14 am

      • Episodes (plural). Two came out on Friday.


        September 11, 2016 at 11:59 am

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