‘Bran and Jaden Are the Same Person’— Corin Wells Invites The Root to Her Black Game of Thrones Casting Couch

(L-R): Isaac Hempstead Wright in Season 8 of Game of Thrones ; Corin Wells ; Jaden Smith attends the Louis Vuitton show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 05, 2019 in Paris, France.
Photo: Helen Sloan (Courtesy of HBO), Courtesy of Corin Wells, Pascal Le Segretain (Getty Images)

A song of Black Twitter.

The series finale night for HBO’s Games of Thrones (GoT) has come and gone, but the passion behind it still burns like Drogon’s hot morning breath. Which brings me to Black Twitter.

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Black Twitter has pretty much become its own media network of creative ideas. We don’t just tweet about the movement, we are the movement. Sure, GoT is popular in and of itself, but there’s a reason why hashtags such as #DemThrones or #ThronesYall have taken social media commentary to another level.

So, while we have come to know, love, and hate the characters, it makes sense for its very black viewers to imagine what it would be like to have a black-ass GoT. Well, one person actually took the time to corral a public document of those imagined dream roles—actor, comedian and writer Corin Wells. And it blew the fuck up!

I wanted to chat with Wells about what inspired her, her thoughts about GoT’s ending, and the possibility of an epic black-led fantasy television show so I hit her up.

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“I did this as a sort of self-care for me,” Wells told The Root. “There are few things that I fangirl about and GoT is one of them so with the show ending and the new books being non-existent, I thought this would be a fun thing for my friends and I to do instead of work. GoT obviously lacked diversity and as an actor, it’s kind of disheartening knowing that there really isn’t room for me in one of my favorite shows so I wanted to imagine a melanated Westeros. Next thing I knew, I had a full Google Doc of casting.”

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Some of the choices especially stuck out to me as particularly inspired (imagine Tessa Thompson cutting her eyes at those crusty oppressors and yelling, “Dracarys” or Chiwetel Ejiofor reciting one of Tyrion’s brilliant monologues), so I had to get into Wells’ head. What made her choose the people she did in her imagined black-resident-filled Westeros?

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Wells, walking us through her internal “casting” couch process:

When “casting” it, I just thought about the main traits of each character and thought about their most iconic scenes. I chose which actor I thought would do scenes justice and possibly elevate it based on other roles they’ve played. Like Littlefinger. He’s a hot creep who gives lengthy bone chilling monologues like Gus from Breaking Bad. And so Giancarlo Esposito. They’re both DILFs.

Bran and Jaden are the same person. They’re also always half sleep.

And then with Tywin, who is an evil ruthless charismatic father figure. Keith David was the ONLY choice. Truly the role he was born to play. There were some choices I made that I’m like ... I could’ve done better but overall I’m pretty proud of it. Plus, Black Twitter has given some amazing suggestions including Leslie Jones as Brienne and Tony Cox as Tyrion.

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Speaking of characters, I had to ask Wells her favorite. It’s an important question for any fan since GoT is a true ensemble series.

“My favorite character in the show would have to be Tywin [Lannister],” Wells noted. “My dude has songs written about him. In the book its Jaime Lannister. In my heart, it’s Rhaegar Targaryen.”

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Y’all see how she broke it down so it can forever be broken, right? Wells ain’t new to this; she true to this.

Corin Wells, at a Game of Thrones fan event sponsored by Airbnb and Xfinity.
Photo: Courtesy of Corin Wells
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Of course, it’s always fun to reimagine your favorite show with people of color (and specifically black folks), given that we still have a long way to go in mainstream representation. In an ideal world, though, we are finally provided with the access, opportunity and privilege to create our own stories on major platforms—stories so rich and popular that our shit becomes the default standard. We certainly have the capacity to construct our own epic fantasies, not only starring black talent but a black creator’s brainchild, as well.

“My spirit is ready for a black-led fantasy and I think the popularity of GoT amongst black fans proves that we all are,” Wells said. “Fantasy and Magic aren’t reserved for white middle aged former nerds, ya know. I’m personally hoping for an adaptation of the Legacy of Orisha series [by Tomi Adeyemi].”

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Finally—everybody and their mama had a brolic reaction to the much-anticipated GoT series finale. Naturally, I had to ask Wells’ opinion.

“The finale was TRASH. But, I still love the show. It’s a cultural phenomenon,” Wells noted.

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About the author

Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.