[highlight]David Perry:[/highlight] [W]hen you start to create fantasy races and then you make the argument “Oh no people of color, we have to be realistic,” you’ve revealed your cards. You’ve shown that you just don’t want to have a diverse world, that you want to promote this myth of homogeneity, that you want to use historical reality to justify making a choice that makes other people upset. […]
[highlight]Arthur Chu:[/highlight] And it seems recently we have this appetite for “old-fashioned” narratives that center the West and reduce the rest of the world to antagonists or scary foreigners, even if it’s in a winking, ironic way. You’ve got the Lord of the Rings films that started the revival of high fantasy in film hewing close to Tolkien’s depictions of the Southrons and the Easterlings as sort of flat enemy races, and then you’ve got Game of Thrones using the Dothraki to bring back the trope of the barbaric Mongols. What do you think is driving this trend of the past ten years or so?
Yes. What could possibly be driving such a trend? I wonder… (Although, to be fair, Perry draws a longer bow than that, talking about the centuries-long history of western Orientalism.)
Either way, the whole interview is both, a) very interesting, and b) talks about how all y’all lilly white medieval fantasies are exactly that, fantasies, and have no basis whatsoever in how the Really Real World worked in ages past. Also, Perry specifically talks about the Vikings and their integration into Russia and the Islamic world, which is one of my favourite, “Har har fuck you racists!” talking points. (As well as Icelandic Viking anarchic democracy, which is the “Har har fuck you authoritarians!” equivalent.)1
- Basically, people don’t know shit about the Vikings. [↩]