HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is one of the most favorite television shows of all time, but it hasn’t been without its considerable amount of criticism. One of fans’ most longstanding critiques is the show’s lack of diversity, which reemerged with a reprisal when Nathalie Emmanuel’s Missandei, one of the show’s only famous women of color, was cruelly executed on the final season.
A Black Casting for @GameOfThrones: A Thread
— Duchess of No Sex (@charity_corin) May 21, 2019
Two days after the disruptive series finale, the actor and comedian Corin Wells launched a trend on Twitter that tackled this matter in a artistic and interesting way. Wells created a thread called “A Black Casting for @GameOfThrones,” reimagining the show with a cast of black actors.
“I made this to cope with the death of my favorite show,” Wells told INSIDER. “It’s weird because in making it, it didn’t even occur to me that other people aside from my friends would join in.“
Soon, other Twitter users were adding their own suggestions.
“I think it resonated with people because ‘GoT’ obviously lacked diversity,” Wells continued. “Having a strong connection to a show that doesn’t have anyone that looks like you is a weird feeling. It’s like ‘Friends’ and ‘Seinfeld’ — I love these shows, but this wasn’t made for me or with people like me in mind. So I wanted to imagine a Westeros with more melanin … or all melanin.“
Here are our favorite casting suggestions from the popular thread.
Denzel Washington as Ned Stark
Wells would cast Washington, the “Malcolm X” actor and onetime “Sexiest Man Alive,” as the noble head of House Stark.
Angela Bassett as Catelyn Stark
Bassett presently stars on Fox’s drama series “9-1-1.”
Lakeith Stanfield as Robb Stark
Stanfield is best known for his roles in “Get Out” and on FX’s “Atlanta.”
Yara Shahidi as Sansa Stark
Shahidi is an actress, style icon, and activist, best known for her role as Zoey Johnson on ABC’s “Black-ish” and its spin-off, “Grown-ish.”
Amandla Stenberg as Arya Stark
Stenberg’s breakout role in “The Hunger Games” helped her land leading roles in revolutionary movies like “The Hate U Give.”
Jaden Smith as Bran Stark
Smith has been in the limelight since he starred alongside his renowned father in “The Pursuit of Happyness.”
Chadwick Boseman as Jon Snow
Boseman depicted James Brown in “Get on Up” and Jackie Robinson in “42” but found a new height of reputation as the titular hero in “Black Panther.”
Zendaya as Ygritte
@thatreenagirl proposed that Zendaya should play Ygritte, a fiery and self-confident wildling woman. Zendaya, who rose to fame on Disney Channel, plays Peter Parker’s love interest in the forthcoming movie “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and will star on HBO’s new teen drama “Euphoria.”
Tessa Thompson as Daenerys Targaryen
Thompson played Valkyrie, a powerful Asgardian warrior, in “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Avengers: Endgame.“
Winston Duke as Khal Drogo
Wells originally cast the “Us” actor as the endearing wildling Tormund Giantsbane, but other fans opposed. The New York Times bestselling writer Luvvie Ajayi thought Duke would be absolutely fitted to play Khal Drogo, the powerful Dothraki warlord.
Mahershala Ali as Ser Jorah Mormont
Ali recently starred on season three of “True Detective” and in the Oscar-winning film “Green Book.”
Marsai Martin as Lyanna Mormont
Martin plays Diane Johnson on ABC’s “Black-ish” and recently starred in the comedy movie “Little,” which she also executive-produced.
Jeffrey Wright as Lord Varys
Wright portrays Bernard Lowe and Arnold Weber on HBO’s “Westworld.”
Giancarlo Esposito as Littlefinger
You’ll perhaps recognize Esposito from his star-making turn as Gus Fring on AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”
Keith David as Tywin Lannister
David has starred in Oscar-winning dramas like “Crash” and beloved comedies like “There’s Something About Mary.”
Kerry Washington as Cersei Lannister
Washington is best known for her starring role on ABC’s “Scandal.”
Idris Elba as Jaime Lannister
Elba was named People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in late 2018, directed a thriller called “Yardie,” and is reportedly in talks to replace Will Smith as Deadshot in the next “Suicide Squad” film.
Danai Gurira as Brienne of Tarth
@buffalosouljah1 recommended Gurira, the “Avengers” actress, to play Brienne of Tarth, the newest Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. Ajayi also suggested the “Saturday Night Live” comedian Leslie Jones, but Jones herself disagreed. “I would be the dragon,” she joked.
Cicely Tyson as Olenna Tyrell
Tyson, 94, suggested by Ajayi to play the powerful role of Olenna, recently graced the cover of Time magazine as one of 34 people “changing how we see our world.”
Zoë Kravitz as Margaery Tyrell
Kravitz will reprise her role as Bonnie Carlson on the upcoming second season of HBO’s “Big Little Lies.“
Daniel Kaluuya as Theon Greyjoy
Kaluuya has starred in dearly loved movies like “Black Panther” and “Get Out,” as well as an episode of “Black Mirror.”
Lena Waithe as Yara Greyjoy
Waithe, suggested by @KenneDibner, has regular roles on two Netflix series, “Master of None” and “Dear White People.” She’s also an activist and outspoken supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.
John Boyega as Gendry
Boyega rose to prominence as a rebellious Stormtrooper in the modern “Star Wars” trilogy.
Tracee Ellis Ross as Lysa Arryn
Ross is best known for her roles on the CW sitcom “Girlfriends” and ABC’s “Black-ish.”
Lupita Nyong’o as Melisandre
Nyong’o recently starred in Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us.”
Michael Kenneth Williams as Ser Bronn of the Blackwater
Williams is already an HBO darling, having portrayed Omar Little on “The Wire” and Albert “Chalky” White on “Boardwalk Empire.”
Billy Porter as Oberyn Martell
@clintw recommended Porter, the “Pose” actor and style icon, for the unforgettable role of Oberyn Martell.
Rihanna as Ellaria Sand
Rihanna was suggested by @jazzymsjasmine to play the rebellious, passionate mother of Dorne’s dangerous Sand Snakes. The “Work” singer and Fenty Beauty creator has experimented in acting, having starred in “Ocean’s 8,” “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” and “Battleship.”
Morgan Freeman as Aemon Targaryen
@mataiono would cast Freeman as Maester Aemon, a voice of reason and source of wisdom for the brothers of the Night’s Watch. The “Shawshank Redemption” actor is famous for his deep voice and cool poise.
Djimon Hounsou as Jaqen H’ghar
@Samukhele recommended Hounsou, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor, to play Jaqen H’ghar, the mysterious Faceless Man assassin.
Michael Ealy as Ramsay Bolton
@Va2nG suggested that Ealy, who previously depicted a twisted stalker in “The Perfect Guy,” should play the sadistic Ramsay Bolton.