Last week, George R.R. Martin announced that a new companion book, Rise of the Dragon: An Illustrated History of the Targaryen Dynasty, Volume One, would be released this month for anyone who wants to go even deeper into the Targaryen dynasty and their complex world of dragons. While this isn’t surprising considering the fact that Martin is busy doing everything besides actually finishing Winds of Winter, fans are upset with the book’s co-authors, Linda Antonsson and Elio M. García Jr.
In response to Martin’s tweet linking the book, many fans piled on with various examples of “racist” statements from Antonsson over the years. The two authors have been working with Martin since 1999 when they began an online lexicon of A Song Of Ice And Fire knowledge before Game of Thrones even existed on HBO. She and her husband García have been working as fact-checkers for Martin for over two decades.
Antonsson has a history of criticizing diverse casting choices in the series, which has angered fans who refuse to support her writing or works. Most recently, she was angered when House of the Dragon cast Steve Toussaint as Corlys. “There are no Black Valyrians and there should not be any in the show,” Antonsson blogged at the time. Obviously, this was not well-received!
Dropping this thread again.
At the end of the day, if Linda respected YOU or the rest of YOUR team she wouldn’t be dragging you down with her bigotry. If YOU and the rest of your team respected US, the association with her and Elio would have ended OVER A DECADE AGO. https://t.co/SHAOVCPbXy
— Margo | a shame bat they/them (@MargoshatheKing) September 26, 2022
I support George in all of his endeavors. However, I would not (will not) buy this book. And you should not either. https://t.co/pkLRiC9mys
— KW Dentgaryen II (@KWDent2) September 27, 2022
— Laena said Bye, Felicia. (@CakesPom) September 29, 2022
Gonna pass on buying this, as I do not want to support Elio and Linda. Aside from their history of racist and TERFy comments, they also are happy to claim George contributed nothing to this book. I’ll find ways to support fandom artists without funneling money to bigots, thanks. https://t.co/ILGuwTN3uB pic.twitter.com/MvLobEl56V
— emily of the eerie (@emilyoftheeyrie) September 26, 2022
I’m a huge ASOIAF fan George, but I’m gonna pass on this one. Your co-author (who literally tweeted that the only thing you contributed to this book was your name on the contract) has made it pretty clear how she feels abt ppl like me. So I’ll pass on her take on the story. https://t.co/N45wHDX2NZ
— Grand Maester Flash (@Castle6lack) September 26, 2022
Address the Linda situations, George.
Also, friendly reminder to not buy this book. https://t.co/N7OhEUr6q9
— Black Abby Blackwood – HotD Spoilers (@QueenSansasFury) September 26, 2022
Sorry George. All love and respect to you but nothing Linda touches will ever see a dime from me. Not about to fund someone with so much hate for people who look like me. See you when TWOW is released. https://t.co/FbI1Lx8XlO
— A Knight of Ice and Fire (@KnightOfIceFire) September 26, 2022
DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK! According to Linda’s well known & publicly well documented racist vitriol to not only fans but actors from Hotd will be directly benefiting from this project which she claims GRRM only put his name of the contract.With no additional info not in F&B or WOIAF https://t.co/wWMvIB5N4c
— arah velaryon (@ieatzebra) September 26, 2022
In a statement to Variety, Antonsson said that it bothers her to be “labeled a racist, when my focus has been solely on the world building,” and that “diversity should not trump story” when it comes to the show’s casting. Antonsson also confirmed that Martin is “aware” of the backlash, though he has not made a public comment. According to the author, Martin “doesn’t see the point in engaging with people” on social media, and “he has not suggested we should stop sharing our opinions.”
Martin is no stranger to controversy and backlash, though he has consciously made the effort to avoid the “f*cking toxic internet” altogether after Game of Thrones ended. Instead, he will spend the next three decades working on Winds Of Winter, maybe.