When you look at the similarities between Game of Thrones and The Force Awakens, there isn’t much. They’re both loved by fans and critics alike, hold some nominations and awards, they’re set in a time unlike our own, and have some work done by casting director Nina Gold. She’s the driving force behind the surge in diversity in both franchises, though Game of Thrones has had some criticisms in that department. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has done markedly better, with the trio from the film being a woman, a Latino and a black man. Before they were cast though, it was a decision that was a bit hard to get done.
“Casting the new people in The Force Awakens was a pretty big risk. Star Wars has this huge following, and already has all these stars in it. We had to find young people to take the story forward, and we thought they were great, but it’s not until you’ve got it out there in front of 300 million people that you know whether the risks paid off.”
With Game of Thrones, it’s different in the sense that the stories are based off of people who have been already written and described by the author. That made Gold stop for a bit, and she hesitated as to whether she wanted the job or not.
“…it wasn’t really my cup of tea. [But] it’s important to remember the series is based on books that are very descriptive and specific about the appearance of its characters.”
In other words, the lack of diversity is on George R. R. Martin, not her. Martin is a white man, writing from a white man’s perspective, so it’s understandable as to why everyone is white except for the savages, people who are considered ‘different/weird’ and slaves. Grey Worm and Missandei are people of color’s standout characters, and they were former slaves themselves, and are eternally loyal to Daenerys. Gold says that Hollywood is slowly “shifting towards greater diversity”
“We are more aware that to not take diverse casting seriously is uncreative and silly. We’re all trying to do castings that reflect real life, and real life is full of all sorts of different people. We’ve got to have them all.”
Hopefully, we will see more representation for everyone in the coming years, and with Nina Gold at the helm, maybe it will happen.
Game of Thrones returns Summer 2017, and Star Wars: Episode VIII will come to a theater near you next December 15th.