A GAME OF QUEENS:↳ Nymeria was a warrior queen and a Princess of the Rhoynar. After the Rhoyne was conquered by Valyria, Nymeria led the Rhoynar to Dorne, where she took Lord Mors Martell as her husband. House Nymeros Martell has ruled Dorne since.
“white privilege” does have some context within Westeros, although class privilege is far stronger. As a few examples:
- dismissal of the Dothraki as “barbarians” and “savages”
- Kevan Lannister ignoring betrothal requests from the Westerlings because the family had “doubtful blood” (through their great-grandmother, a maegi from Essos)
- Taena Merryweather, an olive-skinned native of Myr, is exotified and sexualized. It’s unknown if her son has had to face any overt racism, but I believe her husband was considered unusual for his choice of wife.
- Summer Islanders within Westeros are also exotified and sexualized. (Note their culture promotes sexual freedom, but nevertheless.) A Summer Islander prince was even described as looking “frightening” in his native costume.
- The Dornish, especially the olive-skinned “salty Dornish” and darker-skinned “sandy Dornish”, are (again) exotified and sexualized. (Their spicy food gives them hot tempers and increases sexual appetite, for example.) In Westeros history, racism against the Dornish was even one of the causes of a civil war, the Blackfyre Rebellion.
Now, some of this may or may not be problematic on GRRM’s own part, especially the exotification of Taena et al. But presuming he’s just narrating what the characters themselves believe, it is a somewhat telling thing within Westerosi society.
Mind you, class privilege within Westeros and Essos is much, much stronger — for example, Taena, as the wife of a nobleman, is far better off than some random servant within the Red Keep or some poor Riverlands peasant. And it’s likely there was racial/religious tension between the First Men and the Andals thousands of years back (some of this survives in such things as the Blackwood/Bracken feud), but that’s much less like modern white privilege and more similar to the culture clash between Gaels and Saxons and Normans in British history.
Nevertheless, white privilege or racial bias within ASOIAF is something that should not be dismissed. Especially in fandom, where you have actual living human beings (not fictional characters!) describing Elia Martell as “ugly” and “unworthy” and raving about Lyanna Stark’s porcelain skin. Or fanwriters saying that Robb Stark would certainly prefer Myrcella Baratheon’s “Aryan looks” to Jeyne Westerling’s drabness. (I wish I was making up those two examples, I really do.)
A cloud of ravens was pouring from the cave, and he saw a little girl with torch in hand, darting this way and that. For a moment Bran thought it was his sister Arya… madly, for he knew his little sister was a thousand leagues away or dead. And yet there she was, whirling, a scrawny thing, ragged, wild, her hair atangle. Tears filled [his] eyes and froze there.
♚ She pushed upon both doors at once with the flat of her gloved hands, but neither one would budge. Locked and barred. “Let me in, you stupid,” she said. “I crossed the narrow sea.” She made a fist and pounded. “Jaqen told me to come. I have the iron coin.” She pulled it from her pouch and held it up. “See? V a l a r m o r g h u l i s.” The doors made no reply, except to open.
I should not be dreaming wolf dreams, the girl told herself. I am a cat now, not a wolf. I am Cat of the Canals. The wolf dreams belonged to Arya of House Stark. Try as she might, though, she could not rid herself of Arya. It made no difference whether she slept beneath the temple or in the little room beneath the eaves with Brusco’s daughters, the wolf dreams still haunted her by night.
Stannis, my lord, my sad, sullen boy, son I never had, you must not do this, don’t you know how I have cared for you, lived for you, loved you despite it all? Yes, loved you, better than Robert even, or Renly, for you were the one unloved, the one who needed me most.