“We didn't want another group of white people on screen,” the showrunners explain of House Velaryon.
Diversity was not the watchword of the cast of Game of Thrones. But House of the Dragonwill make the effort. House Velaryon, a legendary medieval family as old as the Targaryen Dragon Riders, will feature prominently in the new series. While the books described its members as people with pale skin, silver hair, and purple eyes, showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik decided to update to include more people of color among the cast. cast:
“The world is very different today than it was 10 years ago when Game of Thronesbegan. It's different than it was 20 years ago when Peter Jackson created The Lord of the Rings. These fantasy stories need to be more inclusive than they traditionally were. So it was very important for Miguel and me to create a more diverse series. We didn't want another bunch of white people onscreen, to put it bluntly,” Condal and Sapochnik tell EW.
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Thus was decided to make House Velaryon a house of noble black sailors, and to make them the wealthiest family in Westeros outside of the crown. Like those of House Targaryen, the Velaryon have the blood of Old Valyria running through their veins. Although they don't care about riding dragons, they command the oceans on ships. It was their fleet that helped Aegon “The Conqueror” Targaryen take over Westeros years earlier. Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), nicknamed the Sea Serpent, is the most famous of them, having traveled further than any other person in Westeros.
According to Condal, George R.R. Martin had been tempted to toy with the idea of making Velaryon a house of black nobles in his books. “A long, long time ago, when he was designing this world, [Martin] himself envisioned making the Velaryons a black-colored, silver-haired family. I figured we could do that now< /em>.” Lord Corlys will therefore be part of the Dance of the Dragons which will play out in the series. “We didn't want him to just be there as a symbolic gesture. We wanted a black character with power and to avoid the recurring image of the pirate, the slave or the mercenary… We didn't is not in there at all here.”
And for good reason, Lord Corlys will be, in a way, the Tywin Lannister of House of the Dragon: ” He is the second richest and second most powerful man in the 7 Kingdoms. Everyone wants to marry his children, everyone wants to be in cahoots with him, everyone wants to sit at his table.” em>
House of the Dragon will be broadcast on August 21 on HBO and in France on OCS in US+24.