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We're Number One...

... in graphic novels.

The second volume of the GAME OF THRONES graphic novel debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list:


(And, hey, the following week's list is out, and we're still number one).

My thanks and congratulations to Daniel Abraham (who wrote the script) and Tommy Patterson (who drew the pictures) and Mike S. Miller (who did the covers). They do all the real work on this one. This is their triumph, much more than mine.

I'm glad so many of you are enjoying the funny book.


Jul. 14th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
Re: House Martell Casting
I hope I made it clear in my earlier comments that I was not trying to satisfy any personal need for representation (as I would never be seen as Dornish no matter how you slice it). I also tried to make it clear that I can't argue with the "creativity and workings" of GRRM's mind and I that I'm not in the business of tainting it--though I don't consider including people of color to be "tainting."

I do think it is important to address the notion of "historical reality" and how our exposure to media can impact (taint?) our assumptions about "historical reality." This is is why I noted the Saracen knights, Moors of al-Andalus, etc. The truth is that the ancient world was less white than is traditionally depicted in literature and TV. The Mediterranean Sea easily facilitated trade interactions between Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. Carthage was in northern Africa and they had a huge war with Rome. The Roman Empire spanned past Judea. (As for Cleopatra, it's rather nebulous...the race of her mother is unknown and Cleo was the only member of her entire family to bother to learn Egyptian. As a Ptolemy she was at least half Egyptian Greek, but we will probably never know how exactly she looked, so I don't fault people for wondering why she's always alabaster white.)

Still, to me, the distinction should be "tradition," not "historical accuracy." (After all, Mr. Martin notes there are no direct parallels to culture/history in his story.) Our notions of historical accuracy are often driven by our storytelling traditions.

Part of what I love about ASOIAF is it's willingness to subvert fantasy traditions. I guess I just thought that also extended to including brown people as major players in the Game of Thrones. I don't think it is at all unreasonable for fans to look at what we know about history in the Mediterranean region, to read the books (and see characters described as having darker features, from a desert region, where blondes are apparently hard for a guy like Oberyn to find) and assume and even expect that these characters would be represented by nonwhite people. Or unreasonable to expect for Dorne to be represented visually by groups we don't see often in traditional fantasy, since these groups did engage with Europeans historically. (When I saw Tyrion on the show exoticize Dornish girls as the "strangest thing he's ever eaten," I didn't think Tyrion was just referring to brunettes.)

I do want to say though--if people of color, if women, if LGBT people, were unable to feel represented in "the ideas" and not in the color of skin or other trappings of social identity, then there wouldn't be much for us to enjoy in mainstream media at all. So of course people from underrepresented groups are able to feel represented in "the ideas." We're great at it! We have to be, if we want to have as much fun as everyone else.

People relate to "the ideas" for these characters or there wouldn't be such a diverse fandom. What we lack, where there is a disparity, is representation in those other ways. Gender. Skin Tone. Sexual orientation. and so on. It is so easy, for example, for men to find relatable examples of strong protagonists in fantasy lit who share their gender. It is much harder for women--which is part of the reason why ASOIAF is so respected. Telling a woman fan of The Avengers who wants a Miss Marvel movie "You just need to feel represented by the ideas of Iron Man and Thor, perhaps then we can overcome sexism and serious problems" would not address or overcome the gendered issues in Marvel movies at all. These fans are not the reason why the world can't overcome systemic inequalities.

I'd also hazard to say that telling readers of color--particularly the segment that was invested in seeing the Martells as PoC--that they should feel represented by "the ideas"--when white readers are represented both by "the ideas" and by the all-white PoV characters--doesn't tell us to do anything different from what we were already doing. Sometimes it's nice to have a little more than just "the ideas." With the Martells, before this week, a lot of fans thought we had that.

You don't have to agree, but please try to understand.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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