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Fans’ dismay with Antonsson and Garcia

The co-authors of a new “Game of Thrones” book “The Rise of the Dragon: An Illustrated History of the Targaryen Dynasty, Volume One,” Linda Antonsson and her husband Elio M. García Jr. are responding to allegations that they are racist for speaking out on the diverse “House of the Dragon” casting. Fans are boycotting the new book because of what they perceive as a “history of racism” from co-authors Linda Antonsson and Elio M. García Jr. Fans’ dismay with Antonsson and Garcia dates to well before George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic was adapted for HBO. The husband-and-wife writing team has collaborated with Martin for years, serving as fact-checkers for some of his latest works, according to Variety. Together, Antonsson and García created together, an online blog dedicated to the series. Fans responded in outrage, many calling out the problematic behavior and “history of racism” of his coauthors, “I will not be buying anything with Linda and Elio attached to it,” one wrote, while others urged Martin to sever ties with the pair. Antonsson and García founded the online forum in 1999, leading author Martin to bring the duo on as “fact-checkers” for his novel “A Feast for Crows.” In 2014, Antonsson and García served as co-authors on the illustrated “The World of Ice & Fire.” Antonsson’s blog posts over the past decade have criticized the TV adaptations of Martin’s works with expletive-filled rants about the accuracy of skin color and depictions of sexual violence. Most recently, Antonsson wrote that the casting of Steve Toussaint as Corlys on “House of the Dragon” was unacceptable because “there are no Black Valyrians and there should not be any in the show.” Actor Toussaint spoke out about being “racially abused on social media” ahead of the series premiere. The superfans have been collaborating with Martin since before HBO’s hit adaptation of his “A Song of Ice and Fire” books. Soon after Antonsson and García created online forum in 1999, Martin recruited them as fact-checkers for his book “A Feast for Crows.” In 2014, they served as coauthors on “The World of Ice & Fire,” an illustrated companion book for the series of novels. Antonsson addressed the claims and fan backlash to her involvement in Martin’s “The Rise of the Dragon” book, telling Variety that fans are only criticizing “cherry-picked statements stripped of context.” Antonsson said it is bothersome to be “labeled a racist, when my focus has been solely on the world building.” She noted that “diversity should not trump story” when adapting Martin’s works for the screen. “If George had indeed made the Valyrians Black instead of white, as he mused on his ‘Not a Blog’ in 2013, and this new show proposed to make the Velaryons anything other than Black, we would have had the same issue with it and would have shared the same opinion,” Antonsson said, while adding that changing the ethnicity or race of fictional characters “raises all sorts of logical questions.”

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