George R.R. Martin’s Co-authors Are Not Fit to Post

George R.R. Martin. Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Coinciding with the success of HBO’s new series House of the Dragon, George R.R. Martin is releasing a book on October 25 called The Rise of the Dragon: An Illustrated History of the Targaryen Dynasty, Volume One. The fans are upset by this, and not just because this is yet another project that isn’t A Dream of Spring. It’s because Martin’s Rise co-authors have a history of making racist and offensive posts about the series and the fandom.

Married couple Linda Antonsson and Elio M. García Jr., who founded the fansite Westeros.org and have worked as fact-checkers on Martin’s novels, have decried the casting of people of color in Game of Thrones for over a decade. In 2011 and 2012, Antonsson made numerous Tumblr posts saying that most of Westeros, including Dorne, and many of the overseas lands, should be considered “very white indeed,” and getting angry and defensive at any suggestions from “whiny social justice crusaders” to the contrary. Antonsson insists that the only correct interpretation of the books is that “Unremarked skin colour=>white.”

“If you start talking about there being a need — a need outside of what is in the text — to cast actors of certain ethnicites [sic] even if their appearance doesn’t match at all what’s in the text … well, fuck that, plain and simple,” she wrote in May 2012. “I don’t respect that approach, never have and never will, and that is a perfectly valid decision. It has nothing to do with racism, so kindly go fuck yourself with something sharp and pointy.” She disapproved of the casting of a Black actor as Xaro Xhoan Daxos because that character was described as “pale” in the books, and celebrated the casting of a white actor to play Daario Naharis because of his race. In 2021, after the casting of Steve Touissant as Corlys Velaryon, Antonsson wrote on Twitter, “Take your woke fucking stupidity and shove it up you ass. Corlys is miscast, there are no black Valyrians and there should not be any in the show.”

In addition to making racist comments, Antonsson frequently calls her detractors “feminazis” and “cunts,” and when someone called her a TERF on Twitter, she seemed to only take umbrage at the “F” part of the label, writing, “Now I am insulted. I am most certainly not a feminist, yuck.”

Antonsson tells Variety that she feels that these statements have been “cherry-picked” by fans, defending her stances and that they are acceptable because “my focus has been solely on the world building.” García says he feels “under attack for sticking to his views about Martin’s original works.”

George R.R. Martin’s Co-authors Are Not Fit to Post