During a recent segment on TheGrill and interview series from TheWrap, House of the Dragon co-creator Ryan Condal revealed the decision to make a traditionally white character in the book Black was not done for progressive reasoning.
“I think it was not that simple,” Condal said. “I think the reason that it’s been a successful choice … is because it was thought out. It wasn’t just done perfunctorily or wasn’t just done to tick a box or … to be seen as progressive.”
But, in the same breath, Condal, who also serves as the showrunner for the GOT prequel series, seemingly contradicted his initial statement.
Condal Reveals His Reasoning On House of the Dragon’s Switch Up
In the show, Steve Toussaint, a British actor of Barbadian descent, takes on the role of Corlys Velaryon, also known as the Sea Snake, and is the leader of House Velaryon, House Targaryen’s most loyal ally.
Because of the change, House Velaryon, known for their white skin, ghostly pale hair, and purple eyes in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood book, has darker skin to accompany their silvery-white dreadlocked hair.
Condal further revealed their decision to change their skin color was made because of the family’s place in the franchise, and it was a decision Martin flirted with years ago.
The Decision To Make The Velaryons Black Was Met With Criticism
House of the Dragon is a critical success for HBO, drawing in millions of viewers each week, but initially, Toussaint’s casting did cause the racist trolls to come out.Toussaint shut them down epically during a panel discussion at San Diego Comic-Con.
“As I said, there are people outside who find it a little hard to stomach that someone who looks like me would play this part. But that’s an issue they have to deal with, and I don’t have to. The issue is always the same I just have to say the lines convincingly and avoid bumping into the furniture.”
House of the Dragon is roaring on Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.
Photo: Ollie Upton / HBO
‘House of the Dragon’ Showrunner Explains Why There Is Melanin In His Version of Westeros was originally published on hiphopwired.com