Fantasy’s “Othering” Fetish

300_immortalsA minor kerfuffle on race and representation was kicked up following last Sunday’s season finale of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Most noticeably, the barely restrained tilt towards Orientalism and the “great white emancipator” finally crossed the red line with the episode “Mhysa.” By week’s end, more than a few articles appeared in criticism, most noticeably comedian Aamer Rahman who pointed out why the Khaleesi’s entire storyline has been “messed up” from the jump. The reactions to this were typical: Denials. Charges of political correctness run amok. And of course, lots’ o’ geek-splainin’. But anyone barely acquainted with modern fantasy literature knows that from black-veiled Haradrim to the Ever Victorious Seanchan to the slavers of Yunkai, the genre has had a long love affair with exotic and dangerous “others.”

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GOT- “Mhysa”

MhysaAnother Sunday, and it’s the last episode of Game of Thrones for the season–wherein we see the aftermath of the Red Wedding, plots-a-plenty take place in Westeros, and in some far-off swarthy land, Daenerys does her “great white emancipator” thing.

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GOT- “The Rains of Castamere”

Robb-Stark-robb-stark-33984985-1083-1000And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that Lord of Castamere, But now the rains weep o’er his hall, with no one there to hear.–The Rains of Castamere

So last night, Game of Thrones happened… I know. I know. It’s hard to get up and deal with life this morning after that episode. People are gnashing their teeth. Walking around in a daze. Asking WTFu-Schnickens just happened!? You wanna know what just happened? George RR Martin just happened! That’s what! The old man giveth, and he taketh away! So c’mon, let’s talk about it already…before someone puts up one of those inappropriate “Hitler Reacts” memes. Oooh, too late.

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Doctor Who(?)- Racey-Wacey-Timey-Wimey

doctorwho50thSo it’s happened. Matt Smith, the latest incarnation of everyone’s favorite Time Lord, will be leaving Doctor Who at the end of the year. Goodbye to the Fezes and Stetsons. Oh, and did you hear there’s a book coming out that calls the series “thunderously racist?” Ruh-roh! Get ready for some Racey-Wacey-Timey-Wimey stuff.

Art courtesy of Geek News Network.

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