Okay, I was thinking about the series of Game of Thrones and all the battles and stuff, and I thought why aren't there any characters beside White/English characters that have main/important roles? Can you name any that are alive that are anything else beside White/English?

This is a short list of some of the main characters (all White/English):

  • Cersei - Queen and important political Lannister.
  • Jaime - Guy who is father to the late king and is King slayer.
  • Tyrion - Short guy in politics who is currently on the run(that's what the wikia told me).
  • Daenerys - Queen who is freeing people and dragon owner.

And the list goes on and on, why aren't there any characters other than Caucasian characters that are in the series?

I've read a lot of articles on the internet about this after Googling around, and none of the articles I read had any scientific evidence or research - it was just conjecture.

So, are there any actors/characters from racially diverse backgrounds? I'm hoping for canon evidence (pictures, links, quotes) from the book and/or TV show. In the case of actors, can you also list their role?

This is not intended as a racist question. I just want to know why, since the story takes place over a large area, there doesn't seem to be any diversity.

  • 11
    I wonder why there is a vtc going on. Jimmy Shelter gave a good in-canon answer, proving that it can be answered. So it's not opinion based. The requested "list" of non-caucasian characters will be short. So this is not to broad. Is it unclear what op's asking? I'm no big fan of this questions, but why vtc if there is a good in-canon answer?
    – Einer
    Jun 17, 2014 at 9:48
  • 6
    Oh my goodness, I just realised this question was closed as being too opinion based...? Come on guys, it is not an opinion that Robert Baratheon is English and Oberyn Martell is Asian.
    – TLP
    Jun 17, 2014 at 10:26
  • 8
    <Mod deletes comments> Keep comments relevant to the discussion. If you want to discuss who's being racist or not, do it in chat -- but be civil, I'm watching there too.
    – Kevin
    Jun 17, 2014 at 14:55
  • 13
    One reason why Cersei, Jamie, and Tyrion are all the same race is that they are siblings. Kind of hard to explain mixed races in that case...
    – Trenin
    Jun 17, 2014 at 16:20
  • 6
    They're not Caucasian - they're Westerosi. This question seems utterly fatuous. Why isn't Anne of Green Gables a blonde? Why isn't Bilbo Baggins a giant? Jun 18, 2014 at 9:49

5 Answers 5


The reason most of the main characters -- those who come from Westeros -- are "caucasian" is that A Song of Ice and Fire is inspired by the English War of the Roses (Stark vs Lannister -- York vs Lancaster) and Hadrian's Wall in northern England.

Caucasian is a rather silly thing to call white people, though, since it does not only refer to white people. A more accurate term here is to ask why the main characters seem to be English, which is what they are.

As you may have noted, several things in the novels are traditionally English (well, not all of them are entirely English), like knights, lords, heraldry, jousting. And in the TV-show, they have taken it one step further and given a lot of different British accents to a lot of different people.

In southern Westeros you have Dorne, whose people are described somewhat like arabian/african and definitely not English. Dorne is ruled by house Martell, a key house in the ASOIAF story. There is a great description in one of the books, I seem to recall it was A Clash of Kings, but I might be wrong.

The people of Westeros are not all of the people in ASOIAF, however. You have the other continents: Essos (asia/middle east), Sothoryos (africa?) and Ulthos. And islands like the Summer Islands (african), Naath and Ibben. And I guess we can add the Iron Islands (vikings/nordic) to this list, though they are formally a part of Westeros. All of these place contain lots of people who are not British.

And then of course we have Valyria, whose sole surviving people are the Targaryens -- a race all of their own, that have light coloured hair (silver, platinum blond, etc) and eyes in strange colours (lilac, indigo, purple).

I could list the specifics of those places, but you have the links and the information, so go there and read instead. I will however list a few people who are not from Westeros who have roles in ASOIAF:

  • 12
    I like this answer; it highlights the fact that the question is effectively equivalent to: "why are all the main characters in a medieval drama about England English?"
    – user8719
    Jun 17, 2014 at 13:28
  • 13
    Good answer, but IMO the Free Cities (Braavos, Pentos, Lys, Myr, etc.) are more similar to Italy than the Middle East/North Africa. They are roughly equivalent to the medieval Italian city-states, with Valyria taking the place of the Roman Empire. IIRC their people, such as Syrio Forel, are described as somewhat "Italian" in appearance. Jun 17, 2014 at 14:58
  • 7
    The climate and culture of Dorne is partially inspired by Moorish Spain, which is why they have the Arab vibe. Jun 18, 2014 at 12:09
  • 2
    “Caucasian is a rather silly thing to call white people, though” — that’s as may be, but it’s common and well-established. Apr 8, 2015 at 7:56
  • 5
    @PaulD.Waite So are a lot of silly words, but that doesn't make them less silly. If you want to be silly, then by all means go ahead. Why not just say "white"?
    – TLP
    Apr 8, 2015 at 15:07

It's not uncommon that a population in a spacial restricted enviroment has a rather uniform phenotype. Being placed in an medieval setting caucasian is not uncommon for this continent.

Leaving the continent Martin introduced different non caucasian characters. The Dothraki are copper skinned, the summer islanders are black, etc ...

  • I guess this is the best answer I will get, I was hoping for a more researched answer, because my question really addressed the tv show as well.
    – Pobrecita
    Jun 17, 2014 at 6:17
  • @itlookslikeimaqueen: do you think this answer doesn’t address the TV show? Apr 8, 2015 at 7:56

The Andal Invasion

The Andals were the first new invaders after the First Men had made their Pact with the children of the forest and lived in harmony with them for four thousand years. They came from the hills of Andalos in Essos. They were tall and fair-haired warriors who carried steel weapons and the seven-pointed star of their gods painted on their bodies. They eventually swept across Westeros much as the First Men did thousands of years before.

Part of the imagined history of Westeros is that it was populated by successive waves of human "invasions", with the most recent major one being that of the Andals.

It's therefore only natural that most of the characters you meet in Westeros are of common ethnic descent, and that this ethnicity is a mixture of those invading peoples.

It's well known that a major influence on GRRM's work in this series was the historical War of the Roses, and parallels can also been seen with the peopling of Westeros. The First Men may be seen as broadly equivalent to the Celtic inhabitants of the British Isles, and the Andals as broadly equivalent to the Anglo-Saxons who entered England.


Because Westeros is based on Europe, which (during a similar era of knights and lords) was also mostly caucasian.

Additionally, 3 of the 4 people you listed are family brothers & sisters (and lovers), so obviously they are going to be white. Daenerys's forefathers lived in Westeros for a very long time so even if they were darker skinned before coming to westeros, their skin would change to a more caucasian look as they married and had families with Westerosi.


Quite simple: that's the people the creators of the TV series recruited. Period.

In the books no race is mentioned. BUT it's set mostly in a sub-arctic region, in medieval times. Translated to earth that'd be mostly exclusively fair skinned people.
Nothing racist about it, just historical fact.

Stop seeking racism where none is intended (and yes, questions like this always boil down to "it is racist because the heroes aren't black".

  • 3
    Given what bastards (literally and figuratively) most characters are in GOT, other races might well count themselves well out of it.
    – Oldcat
    Jun 17, 2014 at 20:57
  • 7
    -1 for the last paragraph. You’re putting words into the mouth of the asker that were explicitly not there. The question does not ask in any way whether racism is involved, but why a story that takes place over a very large geographical area seems to depict little to no racial variation. Comparable mediaeval stories that took place over large geographical areas do in fact frequently describe people from faraway lands as being racially different. Aug 24, 2015 at 10:54
  • Races are mentioned in the books. Dornish men are divided into three sub groups due to the racial features i.e. Stone, Sandy and Salty with the Stone having most "White" ethnic features. Andals are described as fair haired and fair skinned warriors, Summer Islanders are descibed as Black, Ghiscari are also given racial characteristics along with Valyrians etc.
    – Aegon
    Jun 27, 2016 at 12:22

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