The Dark Fantastic: Emancipating the Imagination

Julie Dillon

"My name is Julie Dillon and I’m the creator of Imagined Realms: Book 1, which is the first in a series of annual art books that I am illustrating and self-publishing. Each book contains 10 all-new illustrations made exclusively for each book!

I got into art because I love to create, to see the world in new ways, and to stir the imagination of others. I have long wanted to start putting together my own books and work on more personal projects. “Imagined Realms” gives me the opportunity to spend more time creating my own illustrations and projects, and also gives me the chance to create more illustrations that feature positive and diverse representations of women.

Each book will have it’s own theme. The art in Book 1 is all fantasy themed, and Book 2 (which is currently in development) will be science fiction themed.

I am launching this Kickstarter to pay for the cost of getting the books printed. It will also give me the ability to create the content for Book 2. Currently, the print book will be available exclusively through kickstarter.”

- Julie Dillon

Imagined Realms: Book 1 - New Fantasy Art by Julie Dillon

(Source: le0night)

“If I told you that a flower bloomed in a dark room, would you trust it?”

Kendrick Lamar

This line encapsulates the concept of a good kid in a bad city, and it cuts into one of the most moral questions in human existence: Can good come from evil? The best part about the line, as is true of the best poetry, is that it doesn’t answer the question it asks. For Kendrick’s immediate purposes, he’s the flower and the city is the dark room. The question is: Can you trust him?

(via navinkoke)

Not trying to be a buzzkill…


I have to say that while I am excited to see Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell, I am kind of hoping that means that we are going to see more brown and black people now that we’ll get to see Dorne.  

Dorne is based off of Moorish Spain, so to me, they need to start showing people who we know the term “Moor” stands for.  I want to see Salty and Sandy Dornishmen with the dark (and very dark) skin they were described within the source material.  I want to see people of actual African descent also existing as Dornishmen, because I am not too into the idea that we always just stop at “anything but black” with this stuff, especially when you are basing a major setting off of a period and location where black people pretty much made their mark on an entire region. Especially since, again, we have yet to have any black people in powerful positions (or just…I don’t know existing in roles outside of serving Dany, the only ones we have seen*in the show* like that are Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xhoan Daxos).  And I want to see brown and dark skinned PoC (black or no) there in general, and i’m tired of only seeing us all as slaves.  

Don’t get me wrong; I am more than willing to admit that while I wasn’t pleased with all of the racism and backtracking thrown at fans of color by both other fans and by show runners, and while I wasn’t happy with making Oberyn very light skinned, Pedro Pascal was the highlight of Season 4 for me.  And I am more than happy about the fact that we have such a great choice for Doran Martell.  I just refuse to settle for just that now that I know that they’re capable of casting right when they want to.  

Now they have no excuse if they pop up with white girls as Sand Snakes.  


Ceramic Shakespeare mugs by Taos Gargirl on Etsy.

(via yahighway)

Anonymous said: Yeah but GRRM always tries to get a copout and describes peoples and characters as olive. The Dothraki are badly modeled after the Mongols, the Dornishmen are like Spaniards, barely anyone is darker than someone from the Levant. He's like, afraid of dark skinned people existing in his European fantasy utopia. Notice how he has a super inflated Europe next to a West Asia in his world. No African expy, no Indian expy. Just White people and light skinned PoC at best.


grrm’s idea of good representation is a summer islander who might pop up every now and then to say one line and never be mentioned again. 

Anonymous said: The Dornishmen are supposed to be dark. Supposed being the key word. But Elia Martell is described as pale, with olive skin. You'd think on such a large continent, that people would be darker as soon as you hit the Reach. And Melisandre is somehow pale. Everyone is pale. There are barely any cultures described as non-white, and essentially no PoV characters that aren't pale, or at most olive skinned. GRRM literally refuses to envision a world with less than 90% white people.


There are more in Essos, like the Ghiscari, the Summer Islanders (idk if they class as being from Westeros or Essos or Sothoryos or just on its own), the Dothraki etc but they get hardly any character development and fall upon racist tropes. Like for example pretty much all the Dothraki khals are the same and interchangeable with each other, nothing separating them out from each other 

but yes, you’re completely right. Westeros is absolutely huge. I have a map on it on my wall and you’d think a continent that size would have more diversity, but no just a bunch of pale, white people. And while Westeros may be based off Europe, it’s still a made-up fantasy land, so no excuses (not that Europe is 100% white anyway)

The only time we get non-white narrators is in the later books with the Dornish but they don’t get half as much screen time as everyone else (when they should- Arianne and Quentyn are two of my favourite characters, I love them to bits)

Anonymous said: hey what do you think about show!Oberyn? (if you've watched Game Of Thrones season 4 that is)


ughhh there was  so much wrong with his portrayal like oberyn was one of my favourite characters in the series despite being in it for such a short amount of time

  • ridiculously hypersexualised. the majority of his scenes took place in a brothel and in the scenes where he wasn’t, most of them involved him talking about sex and brothels. this is really racist and biphobic. just because he’s bisexual doesnt mean he’s obsessed with sex. yes book oberyn was very sexual, but that wasn’t the only thing about him
  • downplayed most of oberyn’s intelligence. like oberyn is really smart and has an immense knowledge of poisons, like it’s even implied he poisoned tywin. he studied at the citadel for a whole and got six maesters chains fgs. he’s traveled the free citiesand fought wih free copanies.
  • he is a great dad. he has 8 bastard daughters, but loves all of them and teaches them and takes responsibility for them. i think they were only mentioned once in season 4.
  • as much as i love pedro pascal, he played him really well, oberyn is  a ‘salty dornishman’, who are quite dark-skinned
  • although there were things they did get right like his thirst for vengeance, how close he was to his sister and his incredible fighting skills

there’s a really good post called ‘not your exotic, not your erotic’ about the martells but i cant find it

House Martell: Not your erotic, not your exotic


(title taken from the poem of the same name by Suheir Hammad)

I’m crawling out of my little fandom hole because three episodes in, I’m becoming increasingly irritated at how Oberyn Martell and the Dornish on a whole are being portrayed in Game of Thrones. 

Apparently, when not attending weddings, Oberyn and Ellaria can be found exclusively in a brothel inciting an orgy of some sort. Even when they do attend outside events, they are drawn to the scantily clad contortionist or to propositioning fellow guests by suggestively eating food. Yes, Dorne is more sexually permissive than other areas of Westeros. Paramours are common, noble-born women have sex before and outside of marriage, and bastards are not scorned and hidden away. For the writers of Game of Thrones, this means one thing: more sex scenes.

Instead of highlighting how racist the Westerosi attitudes towards Dorne are, the show buys into them, reducing the Dornish so far to a few men in turbans and over sexed characters with quick tempers. So far, Oberyn Martell has spent his time having sex, issuing threats and hotheadedly killing stray Lannister soldiers. Gone is any subtlety he had in the book, where he patiently bided his time with his brother to seek justice for his sister, Elia. Instead show!Oberyn is the orientalist archetype of a highly sexed, overly passionate non-white male, unable to keep either his libido or temper in check.

Coming on top of Essos and how the characters there are PoC who are either cruel, barbaric, avaricious slave owners or slaves who need to be saved by the white saviour character (and this is without mentioning the cringe worthy end of season 3 where Daenerys crowd surfs a purely brown crowd), this portrayal of Oberyn Martell and Dorne is particularly galling. 

For David Benioff and Dan Weiss it seems Oberyn Martell and Dorne is very much their erotic and their exotic. 


Somebody out there must ship this, right? From Captain America #194 by Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia.


Somebody out there must ship this, right? From Captain America #194 by Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia.


Like fiery eyeball thing, no problem. But don’t even try to imagine a Samoan elf. (x)