You can apologize now. Many of you thought I was reaching a bit when we first started this series, but as each episode has progressed, it’s become clearer that Game of Thrones really is basically an entertaining, fantastical primer on dealing with white America. After episode 4, there should be no doubt.
There were explicit conversations about white economic power, freedom and slavery. (Missandei: “Well, I was a slave before Daenerys rescued me, but now I choose to serve her. If I wanted to leave, she’d let me go, right? Right?”) Jon Snow even had an entire monologue for black leaders about responsibility to your community and the people you represent. They even had a whole scene about the blue-eyed devils who came from the caves to destroy the “first men.” Come on, man. Don’t tell me you can’t see it!
Even though the show is rife with racial overtones, I sometimes wish it had more black characters. However, after Sunday night’s episode, I fully understand why they can’t have people of color on “Dem Thrones,” because it would ultimately change the trajectory of the show. Here are a few ways things would be different if there were black characters on Game of Thrones:
The Lannisters Would Be Broke
It has been proved time and time again that financial institutions prey on minority customers with unfair lending practices, higher interest rates and exorbitant lending fees, and the Lannisters are perfect examples of the difference. This week’s episode showed Cersei talking to a loan officer from the Iron Bank about the prepayment penalty for paying off the Lannister family’s loan.
Since Tywin died on the toilet with no life insurance policy, House Lannister has somehow kept itself afloat with the privilege of its familiar refrain: “A Lannister always pays his debts”—which is the whitest thing ever. Part of the advantage of whiteness is not only the passing down of generational wealth but also inheriting the knowledge of how to keep it.
Had they been a black family, they would have a 480 FICO score, and the Iron Bank would have foreclosed on Casterly Rock and tricked the family into refinancing the Red Keep with a subprime mortgage. But as the great poet and philosopher Shawn Carter once said: “Do you know what’s better than riding dragons, rising from the dead or seeing the future?”
Daenerys Wouldn’t Be Blinded by Her White Privilege
Although she is one of my favorite characters, like most white women, Daenerys Targaryen’s unwillingness to see her own privilege has also left her blind to the fact that she is just an average white girl who happens to have a couple of dragons and was born into the right family.
That’s why she needs some real black people around her. I love Missandei, especially what she did with Dany’s hair. Oh, you thought I wasn’t going to mention the fact that Daenerys is basically wearing cornrows now? I don’t think there’s an African braiding shop in Dragonstone, so I can only assume that Missandei is the one giving the Mother of Dragons basket braids and twist-outs. But if there were some real black people in Daenerys’ Cabinet, they would’ve definitely told her to listen to smart people like Tyrion “Lil Tee” Lannister. He seems to know a lot about white people.
I know the Caucasian gene makes people do dumb shit like skydiving, swimming with sharks and dragon riding, but if Daenerys had more black friends, maybe they would’ve told her to at least get a bulletproof vest for the dragons. It’s not as if she’s not sitting on an entire mountain containing the chief ingredient to Valyrian steel.
And stop with this bend-the-knee begging! You’re coming off kinda thirsty, Dany. It’s obvious this nigga is not going to bend the knee! Jon Snow might not even have knees, he’s standing so strong. Let that shit go.
Jaime Wouldn’t Be in So Much Trouble
More than any other character, Jaime Lannister needs a black friend. A black friend could have given him valuable advice like:
- You have sex with your sister? You know that’s nasty, right?
- When you hear people screaming “Eee-Yip,” either the Dothraki are coming, or the Sigma Gamma Rhos are about to probate.
- Bruh, don’t you think you should carry a spare arm?
- Since you only have one hand, how do you apply lotion?
- Nigga, you can stay and fight a dragon if you want to, but I don’t fuck with any flying-object animal other than a mosquito. I’m out!
- Seriously, man. That sister-fucking thing is creepy as hell.
Someone Would Have Cooked at Winterfell by Now
I’m tired of this bullshit at the Stark family home. Sansa should be ashamed of herself. So far, Bran and Arya have come home from long, harrowing journeys and Sansa hasn’t fixed one motherfucking plate!
I know the Starks are our cousins, but if there were one, single black face at Winterfell, someone would have fired up the grill as soon as Arya appeared at the front gate. I know they’re running low on food, but I’m sure Littlefinger knows where to get some ground beef and hamburger buns for the low-low. I thought the North “remembers.”
Plus, Bran has a perpetual case of the munchies because all he does is get high. To be fair, I haven’t seen him using any drugs, but all he wants to do is sit outside and hallucinate all day. Just like weed heads, he’s always saying weird shit he thinks sounds deep. And he’s always talking about trees. I honestly stopped listening when he said something about playing for the Ravens, but I bet if Sansa cooked some macaroni or fried some chicken, he’d come right out of it.
Ned and Catelyn didn’t raise her like that.
But now I understand why there aren’t more people of color on Game of Thrones:
Because we don’t want to rule. We don’t need a throne. The willingness to do the unthinkable in a futile quest for power and supremacy is not our shit. It’s theirs. That’s probably why we can never fully assimilate.
It’s why we are like the Starks. They think they’ve murdered us, but we rise again. They think we are too small to fight, but they don’t know what we’ve been through. They don’t know what we’ve seen. They can only hope we don’t all get back together and unite under one roof. Because we have a list. Because we can fight. Because we can transform. Because we’re smart. Because we remember.
They just want us to bend the knee.