‘Game of Thrones’ Author George R.R. Martin Comments on Red Viper Casting

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Author of the Game of Thrones series, George R.R. Martin, has written a blog post addressing the news that Pedro Pascal will be playing the Red Viper in Game of Thrones season 4.

It was recently revealed that actor Pedro Pascal has been chosen to play the significant role of the Red Viper, more formally known as Prince Oberyn Martell, in the next season of Game of Thrones.

Answering a question on his blog, author George R.R. Martin comments on the casting choice, admitting that while he was not present for Pascal’s audition, he believes the actor will do an excellent job:

“I’ve always pictured the ‘salty Dornish’ as being more Mediterranean than African in appearance,” he writes. “Dark hair and eyes, olive skin.”

Martin goes on to discuss the ways in which Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff work to diversify the cast, pointing out that while several characters of colour have been killed off, the characters Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Salladhor Saan (who are white in the book series) are portrayed by black actors.

Finally, Martin shares his hope that this trend will continue in future seasons, “when and if” Oberyn’s bastard daughters (who are known as the Sand Snakes) are cast.

“I expect we will see the same diversity as in the books, ranging from Tyene (blond and blue-eyed) to Sarella (light brown skin, as her mother was a Summer Islander),” he writes.

The full comment from Martin can be read below (Beware of mild book spoilers):

I wasn’t present for Pedro Pascal’s audition, but I understand that he really killed it with his reading. And since his casting was announced, the producer of another TV show on which he appeared recently has written me to say how terrific Pascal is, and to congratulate us on the casting. So I suspect that he will turn out to be a wonderful Red Viper.

I do know that David and Dan and HBO do favor having a racially and ethnically diverse cast on the series. It is true that we’ve lost several black characters who appear in the novels (Chataya and Alayaya, Jalabhar Xho, Strong Belwas), but to balance that, characters like Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xhoan Daxos, both white in the books, have been played by black actors. Missandei as well, though in the books the Naathi are golden-skinned, not white.

As for the Dornishmen, well, though by and large I reject one to one analogies, I’ve always pictured the “salty Dornish” as being more Mediterranean than African in appearance; Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, etc. Dark hair and eyes, olive skin. Pedro Pascal is Chilean. (Check out Amok’s version of the Red Viper, that’s how I saw him. Or Magali Villenueve’s beautiful and sexy portrait of Princess Arianne).

When and if the show introduces Prince Oberyn’s daughters, the Sand Snakes, I expect we will see the same diversity as in the books, ranging from Tyene (blond and blue-eyed) to Sarella (light brown skin, as her mother was a Summer Islander). And I expect that the crew of the CINNAMON WIND will all be cast with black actors… assuming, of course, that Sam’s voyage remains in the story.

If you’re a Game of Thrones book fan check out all the news we know so far on Martin’s upcoming The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

If you’re a TV show fan only, read this spoiler-free post about all the things that have been publicly released about Season 4 of Game of Thrones!

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About Josephine Hardy

A 26-year-old writer from Melbourne, Australia currently living with her husband in Fayetteville, Arkansas (USA). Content Marketing Producer at Simply Measured, hobby genealogist, cat lover, and world traveler.

Posted on July 4, 2013, in TV Show News and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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