'House Of The Dragon' Co-Creator On Making The Velaryons Black: 'Wasn't Done To Just Tick A Box'
Photo Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO
Television

'House Of The Dragon' Co-Creator On Making The Velaryons Black: 'Wasn't Done To Just Tick A Box'

Game of Thrones prequel series House Of The Dragon has made waves for having a Black family in the mix of the major goings-on of House Targaryen. The Velaryons, a seafaring people, have married into the family, and it’s no accident they were Black, according to co-creator Ryan Condal.

“I think it was not that simple,” said Condal to The Wrap’s podcast The Grill. “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.”

"It's 2022," he continued.

“It’s a different era than these shows used to be made in. We have an incredibly diverse audience that’s not only across America, but in multiple countries that speak all sorts of different languages, that represent…all the colors under the sun. And it was really important to see some of that reflected up on screen.”

Since the story is a fantasy, Condal found no reason to think that people of color can't be represented.

“This is a fantasy world. I think if this was a historical fiction piece, it would be a more nuanced discussion,” he said. “But I think simply because this is a fantasy world, if we believe in dragons, and shape-shifters and [the fictional canines] direwolves, we can believe everybody in the story is not white.”

Steve Toussaint, who stars in the series as Lord Corlys Velaryon, told 'Men's Health' in August that he felt that people were basing their ideas on what fantasy could be on media from the '50s, '60s and '70s, which featured only white people in ancient times.

“There was a point when the ruler of his country, ‘the Caesar,’ was an African man,” she said. “The street names that tell you there were people who looked like us in this country even then, but for some reason, it seems to be very hard for people to swallow. And as you said, they are happy with a dragon flying. They’re happy with white hair and violet-colored eyes, but a rich Black guy? That’s beyond the pale.”

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