As 'Game of Thrones' races towards the final season many have wondered what the creators and showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would do next.
On Thursday, HBO announced their new project and... well... it's interesting.
According to the official announcement, 'Confederate' takes places in an alternate historical timeline, one where the southern states had successfully seceded from the Union, and the country is headed for a Third American Civil War.
Because of these changes in history, the show would take place in a world which "in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution".
Benioff and Weiss said they had toyed with the idea of 'Confederate' for years, originally planing to make it as a feature film, but after the success of 'GoT' saw a series as the way to go.
The 'GoT' helmers are joined by 'Empire' writer and producer Malcolm Spellman, and Nichelle Tramble who has written and produced 'The Good Wife' as well as working on 'Justified'.
"There won't be dragons or White Walkers in this series," Benioff and Weiss commented, "but we are creating a world, and we couldn't imagine better partners in world-building than Nichelle and Malcolm".
Obviously it's early days, but many weren't entirely sold on the idea, especially when it came to the idea of how they plan to represent slavery.
The showrunners have faced criticism for their representation of people of colour on 'Game of Thrones' before. Even 'Star Wars' star John Boyega called them out in a recent 'GQ' feature.
"There are no black people on 'Game of Thrones'," Boyega said. "I ain't paying money to always see one type of person on-screen... you see different people from different backgrounds, different cultures, every day. Even if you're a racist, you have to live with that. We can ruffle up some feathers."
On his blog, author George R. R. Martin has addressed the issue of race and representation several times, citing the show's setting as being based on medieval England.
Westeros around 300 AC is nowhere near as diverse as 21st century America, of course... but with that being said, I do have some 'characters of color' who will have somewhat larger roles in WINDS OF WINTER. Admittedly, these are secondary and tertiary characters, though not without importance.
- George R. R. Martin
Still, in a show full of dragons and Ed Sheeran cameos, why is more racial diversity less realistic? The show's constant defence of their lack of diversity has led many to believe a show based around racial politics and slavery is a misstep for the network and Benioff and Weiss.
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