Diversity in Fantasy

Guild Of Dreams

by A.M. Justice

Over the past year or so, I’ve had several conversations about diversity—or the lack thereof—in fantasy. Opinions on this issue can be roughly divided into two camps:

  1. There’s a lack of diversity because authors “write what they know” and naturally create characters who resemble themselves
  2. There is plenty of diversity in fantasy; you just have to read the right authors

Diversity in fantasy falls along a spectrum.

Diversity

I love every series shown here, with the two on the ends vying for all-time favorite. Nevertheless, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings sits pretty far to the left on my scale: all the protagonists in LOTR are white and all but Eowyn are male. George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire and Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series fall in the middle of the spectrum. Both series include roughly equal numbers of male and female protagonists as well as supporting…

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