House of the Dragon creator Ryan Condal explains House Velaryon race change from the source books. Condal spoke to EW back in December in a recently published interview. Condal went in to detail about why he felt there needed to be more diversity, and why House Velaryon became the perfect opportunity to add some to Westeros.
In the books, House Velaryon is described very similarly to how you would describe a Targaryen. Unsurprising since Velaryon are of Old Valyria blood also. However Condal explains why the decision was made to add some color into that old bloodline.
“The world is very different now than it was 10 years ago when [Game of Thrones] all started. It’s different than 20 years ago when Peter Jackson made The Lord of the Rings. These types of stories need to be more inclusive than they traditionally have been,” Condal tells EW on the set of House of the Dragon in December. “It was very important for Miguel and I to create a show that was not another bunch of white people on the screen, just to put it very bluntly.”
Condal, who was hired by the ASOIAF creator George R. R. Martin to develop House of the Dragon, says the idea actually came from an early idea Martin himself had.
“Long, long ago when he was conceiving of this world, [Martin] himself had considered the idea of making Velaryons a race of Black people with silver hair that essentially came from the other side of the ocean and conquered Westeros,” he says. “That’s a fascinating idea and that always really stuck with me because it’s such a stark image. I just thought, ‘Well, why couldn’t we do a version of that now?'”
However, Condal says this was not a change made for the sake of ‘tokenism’.
“It’s not any of that at all,” Condal says. “I’ve seen people that look like myself on screen in these types of high-fantasy stories since I was born because I’m a white guy. What’s it like for everybody else? … We went back and just looked at the story and said, ‘How do we do this in a way that can feel like it’s done integrally with the story?'”
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I actually like the idea, and I think it makes a lot of sense. After all, Valyria was a very southern realm, Therefore, to me it makes sense there would be a mixed racial heritage given its history. Using Velaryon is also a convenient way to explain why there are less people of color around in the Game of Thrones series. You’ll notice there is no mention whatsoever of House Velaryon in the Game of Thrones series, and I will leave it at that.
House of the Dragon creator Ryan Condal explains House Velaryon race change. What do you think of Condal’s reasoning, and do you agree it works well like I do? Thoughts below as always.