“We wanted to find a way to put diversity on the show,” said co-showrunner Ryan Condal, “but we didn’t want to do it in a way that would feel like it was an afterthought or , worse, a symbolic gesture.”
‘House of the Dragon’ already corrects a misstep in ‘Game of Thrones’.
The upcoming spin-off prequel series has a more racially diverse cast, including an elite black family comprising the House of Velaryon, a central ruling family with deep political ties to Westeros.
Co-showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik embarked on a “reimagining” of the original George RR Martin books when they brought them to the screen. The spin-off will air on August 21.
“It was very important for Miguel and me to create a show that wasn’t just another bunch of white people on screen,” Condal told Entertainment Weekly. “We wanted to find a way to put diversity into the show, but we didn’t want to do it in a way that felt like it was an afterthought or, worse, a token gesture.”
“Game of Thrones” has previously been criticized for its lack of POC actors and depictions of slavery.
As the EW article reported, author Martin “played early on with the idea of portraying the Velaryons as black conquerors who came from the west to Westeros,” which Condal immediately saw as the future of the series.
“Once we had that idea, it felt like everything fell into place,” Condal explained.
House Velaryon’s claim to the throne is rooted in Rhaenys Targaryen’s marriage to Corlys Velaryon aka the Sea Serpent (Steve Toussaint), with the Targaryens ruling the skies and the Velaryons the seas. According to EW, the ruler of Driftmark, the ancestral seat of House Velaryon, inherits the name Lord of the Tides and is often granted a place on the small council of the ruling Targaryen King.
“House of the Dragon” chronicles how House Targaryen fell from grace following a civil war 200 years before Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) came to power in “Game of Thrones.”
Martin took to his blog in June to rave about the upcoming series adapted from his novel “Fire & Blood.”
“Yes, for all the book fans, this is my story. Of course, there are some changes from ‘Fire & Blood’ – we couldn’t feature three alternate versions of every major event, not and keep our right – but I think Ryan Condal and his writers made good choices. Even some improvements. (Heresy, I know, but being the author, I have a right to say it),” Martin wrote.
Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith, Milly Alcock, Olivia Cooke, Paddy Considine, Maggie Q, Bethany Antonia and Rhys Ifans are among the cast of the series.