George R.R. Martin says he does have some "characters of color" who will have larger roles in Winds of Winter, but admitted these are secondary characters.
If you're a fan of either HBO's Game of Thrones or the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, you might have noticed that there's not a lot of color and racial diversity when it comes to the characters George R.R. Martin has concocted. In a post on his blog, Martin answered a fan who said that the lack of diversity in Game of Thrones "really hurts," and asked if " must all black people in the series be servants, guards, or charlatans?"
Here's Martin's response in full:
Westeros around 300 AC is nowhere near as diverse as 21st century America, of course... but with that being said, I do have some 'characters of color' who will have somewhat larger roles in WINDS OF WINTER. Admittedly, these are secondary and tertiary characters, though not without importance.
Of course, I am talking about the books here, and you are talking about the show, which is a thing apart. I do think HBO and David and Dan are doing what they can to promote diversity as well, as witness the casting of Areo Hotah, which you mention. Of course, Hotah IS a guard... but he is also a viewpoint character in the novels, a brave and loyal warrior.
At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that actor DeObia Oparei (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) has been cast as Areo Hotah for Season 5.
It's been a rather busy start of the month for Game of Thrones info. Last week, we had Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) say she's "so sick" of snobby book readers, next we had Martin admit that the pressure from fans and HBO to finish the books do affect him. Lastly, Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) teased that a "big change" will be coming to her character in Season 5.
Does Martin have a point or should HBO make more effort in ensuring that races of all colors are represented in one of TV's most popular shows on air?