'Game of Thrones' fans are recasting the show with all black actors, and their suggestions are spot-on

HBOMaisie Williams as Arya Stark, Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark, and Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark on the ‘Game of Thrones’ series finale.

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is one of the most beloved TV shows of all time, but it hasn’t been without its fair share of criticism.

One of fans’ most longstanding critiques is the show’s lack of diversity, which resurfaced with a vengeance when Nathalie Emmanuel’s Missandei, one of the show’s only prominent women of colour, was brutally executed on the final season.

Read more:
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On Tuesday, two days after the divisive series finale, the actor and comedian Corin Wells launched a trend on Twitter that addressed this issue in a creative and intriguing way. Wells created a thread called “A Black Casting for @GameOfThrones,” reimagining the show with a cast of black actors.

“I made this to cope with the death of my favourite show,” Wells told INSIDER. “It’s weird because in making it, it didn’t even occur to me that other people aside from my friends would join in.”

Soon, other Twitter users were adding their own suggestions.

“I think it resonated with people because ‘GoT’ obviously lacked diversity,” Wells continued. “Having a strong connection to a show that doesn’t have anyone that looks like you is a weird feeling. It’s like ‘Friends’ and ‘Seinfeld’ – I love these shows, but this wasn’t made for me or with people like me in mind. So I wanted to imagine a Westeros with more melanin … or all melanin.”

Here are our favourite casting suggestions from the popular thread, which had over 1,000 replies and 40,000 likes on Friday.

Denzel Washington as Ned Stark

Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic / HBONed Stark (Sean Bean) was killed off on season one.

Wells would cast Washington, the “Malcolm X” actor and onetime “Sexiest Man Alive,” as the noble head of House Stark.

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Angela Bassett as Catelyn Stark

John Shearer/Getty Images for People Magazine / HBOThe fearless matriarch Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) was killed at the Red Wedding.

Bassett currently stars on Fox’s drama series “9-1-1.”

Lakeith Stanfield as Robb Stark

Arnold Turner/Getty Images for Freedom Road Productions / HBORobb Stark (Richard Madden) was the eldest Stark sibling.

Stanfield is best known for his roles in “Get Out” and on FX’s “Atlanta.”

Yara Shahidi as Sansa Stark

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images / HBOSansa Stark (Sophie Turner) became Queen in the North on the finale.

Shahidi is an actress, style icon, and activist, best known for her role as Zoey Johnson on ABC’s “Black-ish” and its spin-off, “Grown-ish.”

Amandla Stenberg as Arya Stark

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter / HBOArya Stark (Maisie Williams) is a master assassin.

Stenberg’s breakout role in “The Hunger Games” helped her land leading roles in groundbreaking films like “The Hate U Give.”

Jaden Smith as Bran Stark

Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images / HBOBran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was chosen as Westeros’ newest king on the finale.

Smith has been in the spotlight since he starred alongside his famous father in “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

Chadwick Boseman as Jon Snow

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic / HBOJon Snow (Kit Harington) was actually named Aegon Targaryen.

Boseman portrayed James Brown in “Get on Up” and Jackie Robinson in “42” but found a new level of fame as the titular hero in “Black Panther.”

Zendaya as Ygritte

Dia Dipasupil/WireImage / HBOYgritte (Rose Leslie) was Jon Snow’s first love.

@thatreenagirl proposed that Zendaya should play Ygritte, a fiery and self-assured wildling woman.

Zendaya, who rose to prominence on Disney Channel, plays Peter Parker’s love interest in the upcoming film “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and will star on HBO’s new teen drama “Euphoria.”

Tessa Thompson as Daenerys Targaryen

Rich Fury/Getty Images / HBODaenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) had a tragic downfall on the final season.

Thompson played Valkyrie, a powerful Asgardian warrior, in “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Avengers: Endgame.”

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Winston Duke as Khal Drogo

Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images / HBOKhal Drogo (Jason Momoa) was killed by blood magic on season one.

Wells originally cast the “Us” actor as the loveable wildling Tormund Giantsbane, but other fans disagreed.

The New York Times bestselling author Luvvie Ajayi thought Duke would be perfectly suited to play Khal Drogo, the powerful Dothraki warlord.

Mahershala Ali as Ser Jorah Mormont

Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic / HBOJorah Mormont (Iain Glen) was Daenerys Targaryen’s most loyal adviser.

Ali recently starred on season three of “True Detective” and in the Oscar-winning film “Green Book.”

Marsai Martin as Lyanna Mormont

Paras Griffin/Getty Images for NAACP / HBOLyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) was the fierce Lady of Bear Island.

Martin plays Diane Johnson on ABC’s “Black-ish” and recently starred in the comedy film “Little,” which she also executive-produced.

Jeffrey Wright as Lord Varys

Michael Tran/FilmMagic / HBOVarys (Conleth Hill) served as the Master of Whispers for multiple rulers.

Wright portrays Bernard Lowe and Arnold Weber on HBO’s “Westworld.”

Giancarlo Esposito as Littlefinger

Samuel de Roman/Getty Images / HBOLittlefinger (Aidan Gillen) was a master manipulator.

You’ll probably recognise Esposito from his star-making turn as Gus Fring on AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”

Keith David as Tywin Lannister

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic / HBOTywin Lannister (Charles Dance) was obsessed with his family legacy.

David has starred in Oscar-winning dramas like “Crash” and beloved comedies like “There’s Something About Mary.”

Kerry Washington as Cersei Lannister

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images / HBOCersei Lannister (Lena Headey) became queen after the deaths of her three children.

Washington is best known for her starring role on ABC’s “Scandal.”

Idris Elba as Jaime Lannister

Karwai Tang/WireImage / HBOJaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was morally conflicted throughout the series.

Elba was named People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in late 2018, directed a thriller called “Yardie,” and is reportedly in talks to replace Will Smith as Deadshot in the next “Suicide Squad” movie.

Danai Gurira as Brienne of Tarth

Mike Coppola/VF19/Getty Images for VF / HBOBrienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) is known for keeping her word.

@buffalosouljah1 suggested Gurira, the “Avengers” actress, to play Brienne of Tarth, the newest Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.

Ajayi also suggested the “Saturday Night Live” comedian Leslie Jones, but Jones herself disagreed. “I would be the dragon,” she joked.

Cicely Tyson as Olenna Tyrell

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images / HBOOlenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) was one of the most politically savvy people in Westeros.

Tyson, 94, suggested by Ajayi to play the powerful role of Olenna, recently graced the cover of Time magazine as one of 34 people “changing how we see our world.”

Zoƫ Kravitz as Margaery Tyrell

JB Lacroix/ Getty Images / HBOMargaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) briefly reigned as Tommen Baratheon’s queen.

Kravitz will reprise her role as Bonnie Carlson on the upcoming second season of HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”

Daniel Kaluuya as Theon Greyjoy

Presley Ann/WireImage / HBOTheon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) became a villain but died a hero.

Kaluuya has starred in beloved films like “Black Panther” and “Get Out,” as well as an episode of “Black Mirror.”

Lena Waithe as Yara Greyjoy

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic / HBOYara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) is the Queen of the Iron Islands.

Waithe, suggested by @KenneDibner, has regular roles on two Netflix series, “Master of None” and “Dear White People.” She’s also an activist and outspoken supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.

John Boyega as Gendry

Mike Marsland/WireImage / HBOGendry (Joe Dempsie) was legitimized as a Baratheon on the final season.

Boyega rose to fame as a rebellious Stormtrooper in the modern “Star Wars” trilogy.

Tracee Ellis Ross as Lysa Arryn

Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for NAACP / HBOLysa Arryn (Kate Dickie), the Lady Regent of the Vale, was slightly unhinged.

Ross is best known for her roles on the CW sitcom “Girlfriends” and ABC’s “Black-ish.”

Lupita Nyong’o as Melisandre

Rich Fury/FilmMagic / HBOMelisandre (Carice van Houten) was a loyal follower of the Lord of Light.

Nyong’o recently starred in Jordan Peele’s horror film “Us.”

Michael Kenneth Williams as Ser Bronn of the Blackwater

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images / HBOBronn (Jerome Flynn) went from being a sellsword to Lord of Highgarden.

Williams is already an HBO darling, having portrayed Omar Little on “The Wire” and Albert “Chalky” White on “Boardwalk Empire.”

Billy Porter as Oberyn Martell

HBOOberyn (Pedro Pascal) was known as ‘The Red Viper.’

@clintw suggested Porter, the “Pose” actor and style icon, for the memorable role of Oberyn Martell.

Rihanna as Ellaria Sand

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images / HBOWe last saw Ellaria (Indira Varma) locked in the dungeon of the Red Keep.

Rihanna was suggested by @jazzymsjasmine to play the defiant, passionate mother of Dorne’s dangerous Sand Snakes.

The “Work” singer and Fenty Beauty creator has dabbled in acting, having starred in “Ocean’s 8,” “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” and “Battleship.”

Morgan Freeman as Aemon Targaryen

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic / HBOAemon (Peter Vaughan) was the maester at Castle Black.

@mataiono would cast Freeman as Maester Aemon, a voice of reason and source of wisdom for the brothers of the Night’s Watch.

The “Shawshank Redemption” actor is renowned for his deep voice and cool composure.

Djimon Hounsou as Jaqen H’ghar

Andrew H. Walker/WireImage / HBOJaqen H’ghar was portrayed on ‘Game of Thrones’ by Tom Wlaschiha.

@Samukhele suggested Hounsou, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” actor, to play Jaqen H’ghar, the mysterious Faceless Man assassin.

Michael Ealy as Ramsay Bolton

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images / HBORamsay Bolton was portrayed on ‘Game of Thrones’ by Iwan Rheon.

@Va2nG proposed that Ealy, who previously portrayed a twisted stalker in “The Perfect Guy,” should play the sadistic Ramsay Bolton.

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