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George R.R. Martin’s Next Book Is Already Receiving Backlash Over His Co-Authors’ Pushback Against Inclusive Casting In ‘House Of The Dragon’

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!

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.

(Via Variety)