They are content that a dragon is flying, he claims. They are content with their white hair and violet eyes, but a wealthy Black man? That is unacceptable.
In a recent interview with Men’s Health, Steve Toussaint, a British actor who presently portrays a cunning military leader on HBO’s House of the Dragon, discussed the casting of the show and the criticism that his character, Lord Corlys Velaryon, shouldn’t be Black.
That criticism, which was made as soon as Toussaint’s hiring as Corlys was revealed, focused on the “authenticity” of using a Black actor to play the part. (George R.R. Martin’s novels, however, never make reference to the skin tone of the sea snake.)
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Lord Corlys is the head of the biggest navy in Westeros and the patriarch of one of the oldest families. Since he married Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), the rightful heir (by birth) of the previous King, who picked her younger cousin as successor, he is portrayed in the series more as a power-hungry in-law. He’s a bit of an outsider in the larger Targaryen family, which is how some viewers also interpret Toussaint’s casting in a series that has typically featured largely white performers.
When questioned about this inaccurate period of drama criticism, which objects to the presence of people of color in settings that appear to be dominated by white people (Game of Thrones is based on medieval England), Toussaint clarifies that such diversity is not unhistorical but rather a “very hard pill” for viewers to accept.
Regarding the willingness of the audience to embrace the magical aspects of the show’s world, he remarks, “They are okay with a dragon flying.” They are content with their white hair and violet eyes, but a wealthy Black man? That is unacceptable.
Class is a factor in Toussaint’s hard pill in addition to existence. Lord Corlys Velaryon is one of the richest and most powerful men in the Seven Kingdoms; he does not just exist in Westeros.
According to Toussaint, his early discussions about the part focused more on his relationship with his daughter than Corlys’ race. He believes that the character is driven by aspiration and upward mobility.
He understands the significance of his presence on set, though.
What has been amazing, he says, “is that for every toxic person who has somehow found their way into my timeline, there have been so many others that have been so supportive and been like, Oh my god, I can’t wait, this is going to be awesome!”
It’s amazing to have this representation, even when supporting artists would come and go when we were filming particular scenes.
Is there a release date for House of the Dragon?
21 August 2022
How many episodes will House of the Dragon have?
Will House of the Dragon return for a second season?
HBO has already given “House of the Dragon” a second season renewal following a hugely successful series premiere last week. Less than a week after the premiere of the first episode of season one, Warner Bros. Discovery revealed on Friday that a second season of the “Game of Thrones” prequel spin-off is on the way.
Can I access Hulu to watch House of Dragons?
Online streaming of House of the Dragon is available. Hulu (Free Trial)