Muslim Contributions to Game of Thrones

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Major Production Roles

Djawadi on stage with Isaac Hempstead (Bran Stark).
Ramin Djawadi (b. July 19th, 1974, in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[1][2]) is an Iranian[3] music creator, composer and original soundtrack artist of Muslim heritage. He is most famed for his role in creating and writing the music in George R. R. Martin's television series, Game of Thrones, which was commissioned by HBO in 2011 and is due for completion in 2018,[4] or 2019.[5] He is the son of Ghafur Djawadi,[6] an immigrant to Germany; and who's Muslim ancestry is evident from his name, "Ghafur", which is one of the ninety-nine names of Allah, meaning "forgiveness".[7][8][9][10] Under Islamic law, Ramin Djawadi is considered a Muslim as one of his parents descends from Muslim ancestry.[11] He has 54 musical score soundtracks credited to him, including 73 episodes of Game of Thrones (2011—Present), 20 episodes of Westworld (2016—Present) and 89 episodes of Prison Break (2005—2017).[12] He's also worked on successful films, including Iron Man (2008),[13] Batman Begins (2005),[14] Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)[14] and Pacific Rim (2013).[15] Additionally, Djawadi has performed twenty-four Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience shows in 2017,[n. 1] which generated on average $500,000 dollars per show. He was very lucky that he was able to get into Hollywood; recalling meeting his friend—Uli Kurtinat—in the winter of 1999, who knew someone who knew a film and video-game composer (Hans Zimmer), who could mentor him.[16] Djawadi was still at university in Boston, in the United States, when he got in contact with him, and within two weeks had moved to Los Angeles in order to start his job at Remote Control Productions.[17] It is notable that Djawadi didn't even audition for Game of Thrones,[17] D. B. Weiss and David Benioff—both of whom are Jews[18]—actively sought him out. Given the Islamophobia in the United States however,[19] Djawadi—rather understandably—hasn't ever revealed his Muslim ancestry publicly.

Djawadi on stage with Isaac Hempstead (Bran Stark).
Ramin Djawadi (b. July 19th, 1974, in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany[1][2]) is an Iranian[3] music creator, composer and original soundtrack artist of Muslim heritage. He is most famed for his role in creating and writing the music in George R. R. Martin's television series, Game of Thrones, which was commissioned by HBO in 2011 and is due for completion in 2018,[4] or 2019.[5] He is the son of Ghafur Djawadi,[6] an immigrant to Germany; and who's Muslim ancestry is evident from his name, "Ghafur", which is one of the ninety-nine names of Allah, meaning "forgiveness".[7][8][9][10] Under Islamic law, Ramin Djawadi is considered a Muslim as one of his parents descends from Muslim ancestry.[11] He has 54 musical score soundtracks credited to him, including 73 episodes of Game of Thrones (2011—Present), 20 episodes of Westworld (2016—Present) and 89 episodes of Prison Break (2005—2017).[12] He's also worked on successful films, including Iron Man (2008),[13] Batman Begins (2005),[14] Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)[14] and Pacific Rim (2013).[15] Additionally, Djawadi has performed twenty-four Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience shows in 2017,[n. 2] which generated on average $500,000 dollars per show. He was very lucky that he was able to get into Hollywood; recalling meeting his friend—Uli Kurtinat—in the winter of 1999, who knew someone who knew a film and video-game composer (Hans Zimmer), who could mentor him.[16] Djawadi was still at university in Boston, in the United States, when he got in contact with him, and within two weeks had moved to Los Angeles in order to start his job at Remote Control Productions.[17] It is notable that Djawadi didn't even audition for Game of Thrones,[17] D. B. Weiss and David Benioff—both of whom are Jews[18]—actively sought him out. Given the Islamophobia in the United States however,[19] Djawadi—rather understandably—hasn't ever revealed his Muslim ancestry publicly.

Major Acting Roles

Sibil Kekilli (b. June 16th, 1980) is a Turkish-German actress, most famed for her role as Shae in Game of Thrones, the love interest Tyrion Lannister, brother of Queen Cercei.[20] She held the role of twenty episodes, which lasted from 2011 to 2014.[21] Kekilli was sought out by Weiss and Benioff, who had seen her in 2004 in the film "Head On" (2004); and had left such an impression that she was called in to audition for the role, despite being unable to speak English fluently.[22] Even though her role in Game of Thrones ended in 2014, she was recalled back to the set at least one more time, where she was hired in order to throw off the press who have previously attempted to leak details of the plot—and where leaks have occurred in the past—which the producers have felt ruined some mysteries of the show. Kekilli was spotted on the set of season six, where fans had speculated she was part of a flashback scene.[23] Outside of her role, Kekilli is quite outspoken about feminist rights within Muslim society and what she describes as Muslim culture. She has even expressed these feelings in front of George R. R. Martin, who at one point looked visibly uncomfortable by her views.[24] As a result she has been misquoted by anti-Muslim propaganda websites and conservative news sources hostile towards Muslims in Europe and the USA. Turkish men responded by sending her pornographic images on Instagram, which drove her to set her profile to private.[25] Kekilli has also criticised the lack of male nudity on Game of Thrones too.[26] Contrary to the many misquotes attributed to her she does not hate Islam; her actual words have been "I know that violence is part of the Muslim culture. Most of the violence is against women. It’s a shame that some people are using it as an excuse to beat or even kill out of religious purposes. Every religion can be peaceful if you really understand it".[27] She started out in pornography,[28][29] which she was publicly shamed for,[28] but managed to work hard enough to star in many critically acclaimed films.[30]
Sibel Kekilli with George R. R. Martin.
King of Dorne, Doran Martell.
Alexander Siddig (b. November 21st, 1965), who is well known for having starred in 173 episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993—1999),[31] is an American actor that played Prince Doran Martell,[32] the ruler of Dorne; and older brother of Oberyn Martell (the Red Viper).[32] He played the character for a total of six episodes, although he was contracted to fulfil ten.[33] His role is notable in that he is one of the most important characters, and is still alive in the last book George R. R. Martin released (A Dance of Dragons, 2011). He was a fan favourite choice to play the role. However after having been on the set of Game of Thrones, Siddig became disillusioned with the shows producers (even speculating "[M]aybe I just screwed up. Maybe I said the wrong thing to the wrong person"), and even felt scorned at having had his character killed off so soon. He isn't the only one however, as the actor that played Ser Barristan Selmy similarly felt irritated at his character's premature, albeit surprising death.[34] On the other hand the producers were courteous enough to give him ample warning (as they do to all the characters they kill off), and made it extremely memorable—so much so that Siddig was happy about the outcome of his time on set, saying "your schedule gets kind of messed up. You don’t earn as much as you would if you were doing another show, because they’re Game of Thrones, and they don’t have to pay anyone. So it’s kind of a blessing in disguise!...Being on it at all sticks, and everyone goes, ‘Oh, the guy from Game of Thrones!’ It doesn’t really matter that you weren’t on it very long".[34] He was also brutally honest about how actors are treated on the show, saying; "I know that, from an actor’s point of view, professionally you don’t want to be on a show like that for too long, unless you are one of the top leads who originated the show, because your schedule gets kind of messed up".[34] Another actor, Ed Skrein, however parted ways even more brutally; he was fired and recast for what he said were down to the shows (and presumably the producers) "politics".[35] Regardless, as a result of the publicity from the show, both Siddig and Skrein went on to greater things.
Sibel Kekilli with George R. R. Martin.
Sibil Kekilli (b. June 16th, 1980) is a Turkish-German actress, most famed for her role as Shae in Game of Thrones, the love interest Tyrion Lannister, brother of Queen Cercei.[20] She held the role of twenty episodes, which lasted from 2011 to 2014.[21] Kekilli was sought out by Weiss and Benioff, who had seen her in 2004 in the film "Head On" (2004); and had left such an impression that she was called in to audition for the role, despite being unable to speak English fluently.[22] Even though her role in Game of Thrones ended in 2014, she was recalled back to the set at least one more time, where she was hired in order to throw off the press who have previously attempted to leak details of the plot—and where leaks have occurred in the past—which the producers have felt ruined some mysteries of the show. Kekilli was spotted on the set of season six, where fans had speculated she was part of a flashback scene.[23] Outside of her role, Kekilli is quite outspoken about feminist rights within Muslim society and what she describes as Muslim culture. She has even expressed these feelings in front of George R. R. Martin, who at one point looked visibly uncomfortable by her views.[24] As a result she has been misquoted by anti-Muslim propaganda websites and conservative news sources hostile towards Muslims in Europe and the USA. Turkish men responded by sending her pornographic images on Instagram, which drove her to set her profile to private.[25] Kekilli has also criticised the lack of male nudity on Game of Thrones too.[26] Contrary to the many misquotes attributed to her she does not hate Islam; her actual words have been "I know that violence is part of the Muslim culture. Most of the violence is against women. It’s a shame that some people are using it as an excuse to beat or even kill out of religious purposes. Every religion can be peaceful if you really understand it".[27] She started out in pornography,[28][29] which she was publicly shamed for,[28] but managed to work hard enough to star in many critically acclaimed films.[30]
King of Dorne, Doran Martell.
Alexander Siddig (b. November 21st, 1965), who is well known for having starred in 173 episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993—1999),[31] is an American actor that played Prince Doran Martell,[32] the ruler of Dorne; and older brother of Oberyn Martell (the Red Viper).[32] He played the character for a total of six episodes, although he was contracted to fulfil ten.[33] His role is notable in that he is one of the most important characters, and is still alive in the last book George R. R. Martin released (A Dance of Dragons, 2011). He was a fan favourite choice to play the role. However after having been on the set of Game of Thrones, Siddig became disillusioned with the shows producers (even speculating "[M]aybe I just screwed up. Maybe I said the wrong thing to the wrong person"), and even felt scorned at having had his character killed off so soon. He isn't the only one however, as the actor that played Ser Barristan Selmy similarly felt irritated at his character's premature, albeit surprising death.[34] On the other hand the producers were courteous enough to give him ample warning (as they do to all the characters they kill off), and made it extremely memorable—so much so that Siddig was happy about the outcome of his time on set, saying "your schedule gets kind of messed up. You don’t earn as much as you would if you were doing another show, because they’re Game of Thrones, and they don’t have to pay anyone. So it’s kind of a blessing in disguise!...Being on it at all sticks, and everyone goes, ‘Oh, the guy from Game of Thrones!’ It doesn’t really matter that you weren’t on it very long".[34] He was also brutally honest about how actors are treated on the show, saying; "I know that, from an actor’s point of view, professionally you don’t want to be on a show like that for too long, unless you are one of the top leads who originated the show, because your schedule gets kind of messed up".[34] Another actor, Ed Skrein, however parted ways even more brutally; he was fired and recast for what he said were down to the shows (and presumably the producers) "politics".[35] Regardless, as a result of the publicity from the show, both Siddig and Skrein went on to greater things.

Minor Roles

Saeeda Vorajee (b. February 4th, 1975), who is also known under the pseudonym Sahara Knite, is a pornographic actress and professional escort of Gujurati Indian Muslim descent, who played Armeca in seasons one and two. Her scenes were infamous for their candid sexual scenery, and although her role did not contain any dialogue (as she cannot "speak the common tongue" to entice clients who favour exotic women[36]) although she did get to speak more in Season 2. Her character was one of Petyr Baelish's high class escorts; who's clientele included Jerome Flynn (who plays Bronn, Tyrion's sellsword). Esme Bianco (who played Rose, another of Baelish's escorts) and Vorajee participated in one of the most controversial scenes, which involved both of them having lesbian sexual intercourse, with Baelish simultaneously training them in the art of heightened sexual pleasure for his high class clientele, whilst at the same time explaining his own history. The scene was so offensive to some, that it offended newspapers such as The Telegraph, who called it "preposterous",[37] however, the Metro contrasted this by calling it "pretty memorable".[36] Outside of her escorting and pornographic career she professionally practices martial arts and wrestling, namely "Brazilian jujitsu, non-competitive grappling/wrestling, fantasy wrestling, one-sided boxing, and two-girl beat downs".[36] According to reports, her career in the adult industry stretches back to 2004; and she's also been featured in a documentary for the UK's Channel 4, "Diary of a Porn Virgin" (2005).[38] Prior to her career, she worked in the textile industry, before moving onto her current careerpath. She has said that isn't ashamed of what she does or who she is, because she doesn't harm anyone; "Being a porn star doesn’t make me less of a human being, daughter or friend. I'm not hurting anyone. Is it fair to target me just because I’m a porn star?".[38] Virtually all stories about her claim she had had a "strict Islamic upbringing" but this hasn't been corroborated by her (she prefers to answer this by saying "no comment"[39][n. 3]). Her IMDB profile shows she is credited in 83 appearances as an actress.[40]
Saeeda Vorajee appeared in Game of Thrones Season 1 & 2.
Saeeda Vorajee appeared in Game of Thrones Season 1 & 2.
Saeeda Vorajee (b. February 4th, 1975), who is also known under the pseudonym Sahara Knite, is a pornographic actress and professional escort of Gujurati Indian Muslim descent, who played Armeca in seasons one and two. Her scenes were infamous for their candid sexual scenery, and although her role did not contain any dialogue (as she cannot "speak the common tongue" to entice clients who favour exotic women[36]) although she did get to speak more in Season 2. Her character was one of Petyr Baelish's high class escorts; who's clientele included Jerome Flynn (who plays Bronn, Tyrion's sellsword). Esme Bianco (who played Rose, another of Baelish's escorts) and Vorajee participated in one of the most controversial scenes, which involved both of them having lesbian sexual intercourse, with Baelish simultaneously training them in the art of heightened sexual pleasure for his high class clientele, whilst at the same time explaining his own history. The scene was so offensive to some, that it offended newspapers such as The Telegraph, who called it "preposterous",[37] however, the Metro contrasted this by calling it "pretty memorable".[36] Outside of her escorting and pornographic career she professionally practices martial arts and wrestling, namely "Brazilian jujitsu, non-competitive grappling/wrestling, fantasy wrestling, one-sided boxing, and two-girl beat downs".[36] According to reports, her career in the adult industry stretches back to 2004; and she's also been featured in a documentary for the UK's Channel 4, "Diary of a Porn Virgin" (2005).[38] Prior to her career, she worked in the textile industry, before moving onto her current careerpath. She has said that isn't ashamed of what she does or who she is, because she doesn't harm anyone; "Being a porn star doesn’t make me less of a human being, daughter or friend. I'm not hurting anyone. Is it fair to target me just because I’m a porn star?".[38] Virtually all stories about her claim she had had a "strict Islamic upbringing" but this hasn't been corroborated by her (she prefers to answer this by saying "no comment"[39][n. 4]). Her IMDB profile shows she is credited in 83 appearances as an actress.[40]

Sources

Footnotes

  1. ^ The shows were performed at
    • February 20th, 2017, Monday at 8pm; Xcel Energy Center; Saint Paul, Minnesota
    • February 22nd, 2017, Wednesday at 8pm; United Center; Chicago, Illinois
    • February 23rd, 2017, Thursday at 8pm; Nationwide Arena; Columbus, Ohio
    • February 25th, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; Mohegan Sun Arena; Uncasville, Connecticut
    • February 26th, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Wells Fargo Center; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • March 1st, 2017, Wednesday at 8pm; Capital One Arena (formerly Verizon Center); Washington, District of Columbia
    • March 3rd, 2017, Friday at 8pm; Sièges PlatineCentre Bell; Montréal, Quebec
    • March 4th, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; Air Canada Centre; Toronto, Ontario
    • March 6th, 2017, Monday at 8pm; TD Garden; Boston, Massachusetts
    • March 7th, 2017, Tuesday at 8pm; Madison Square Garden; New York, New York
    • March 9th, 2017, Thursday at 8pm; Spectrum Center; Charlotte, North Carolina
    • March 11th, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; BB&T Center; Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    • March 12th, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Amalie Arena; Tampa, Florida
    • March 14th, 2017, Tuesday at 8pm; Philips Arena; Atlanta, Georgia
    • March 16th, 2017, Thursday at 8pm; AT&T Center; San Antonio, Texas
    • March 17th, 2017, Friday at 8pm; Toyota Center; Houston, Texas
    • March 19th, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Pepsi Center; Denver, Colorado
    • March 23rd, 2017, Thursday at 8pm; The Forum; Inglewood, California
    • March 25th, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; MGM Grand Garden Arena; Las Vegas, Nevada
    • March 26th, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Talking Stick Resort Arena; Phoenix, Arizona
    • March 29th, 2017, Wednesday at 8pm; SAP Center At San Jose; San Jose, California
    • March 31st, 2017, Friday at 8pm; KeyArena; Seattle, Washington
    • April 1st, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; Rogers Arena; Vancouver, British Columbia
    • April 2nd, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Moda Center; Portland, Oregon
    1. Game of Thrones (Past Shows). Live Nation. Retrieved October 3rd, 2017.
  2. ^ The shows were performed at
    • February 20th, 2017, Monday at 8pm; Xcel Energy Center; Saint Paul, Minnesota
    • February 22nd, 2017, Wednesday at 8pm; United Center; Chicago, Illinois
    • February 23rd, 2017, Thursday at 8pm; Nationwide Arena; Columbus, Ohio
    • February 25th, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; Mohegan Sun Arena; Uncasville, Connecticut
    • February 26th, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Wells Fargo Center; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • March 1st, 2017, Wednesday at 8pm; Capital One Arena (formerly Verizon Center); Washington, District of Columbia
    • March 3rd, 2017, Friday at 8pm; Sièges PlatineCentre Bell; Montréal, Quebec
    • March 4th, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; Air Canada Centre; Toronto, Ontario
    • March 6th, 2017, Monday at 8pm; TD Garden; Boston, Massachusetts
    • March 7th, 2017, Tuesday at 8pm; Madison Square Garden; New York, New York
    • March 9th, 2017, Thursday at 8pm; Spectrum Center; Charlotte, North Carolina
    • March 11th, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; BB&T Center; Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    • March 12th, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Amalie Arena; Tampa, Florida
    • March 14th, 2017, Tuesday at 8pm; Philips Arena; Atlanta, Georgia
    • March 16th, 2017, Thursday at 8pm; AT&T Center; San Antonio, Texas
    • March 17th, 2017, Friday at 8pm; Toyota Center; Houston, Texas
    • March 19th, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Pepsi Center; Denver, Colorado
    • March 23rd, 2017, Thursday at 8pm; The Forum; Inglewood, California
    • March 25th, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; MGM Grand Garden Arena; Las Vegas, Nevada
    • March 26th, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Talking Stick Resort Arena; Phoenix, Arizona
    • March 29th, 2017, Wednesday at 8pm; SAP Center At San Jose; San Jose, California
    • March 31st, 2017, Friday at 8pm; KeyArena; Seattle, Washington
    • April 1st, 2017, Saturday at 8pm; Rogers Arena; Vancouver, British Columbia
    • April 2nd, 2017, Sunday at 8pm; Moda Center; Portland, Oregon
    1. Game of Thrones (Past Shows). Live Nation. Retrieved October 3rd, 2017.
  3. ^ An important thing to note is that she hasn't actually spoken officially about her background publicly; it's whatever story she has told them behind closed doors, given that the journalists who have found out this information have actually hired her for her time only, in the usual way her clients pick her up and in the usual way she would tell them about her background (which could include fantasy elements to make her sound more exotic to them, or highly prized). Vorajee has made the following comment; however it is contradictory in that she calls the article "rubbish" (which may necessitate that the information from the journalists that reported about may not actually be true) but also states stories about her are "old new[s] that everyone already knows" (which may insinuate the journalists reporting is actually correct).
    Quote: "Please can someone keep an eye on that trashy newspaper called the " sun" for me for the next few days...Sanjivpatel99i I guess they have no new to sell so they r rehashing old new that everyone already knows...Adult industry workers are not news worthy stories..Papers need to do some proper journalistic reporting instead of writing rubbish articles...To the person who stooped really low to sell a story that was of no relevance 2 no one, hope you got paid a lot of money!!!! #jackass...2day is not a good day!...A newspaper decides to write some worthless junk and another newspaper decides they have to follow suit! @SimonKeegan...looks like it was a very slow news day so they had to report on a non story! @DailyMailUK @TheSun @DailyMirror"
    1. DNA Web Team (June 13th, 2016) 'Game of Thrones' actress Sahara Knite lashes out at UK tabloid. DNA India. WayBackMachine Link. Retrieved November 15th, 2017.
  4. ^ An important thing to note is that she hasn't actually spoken officially about her background publicly; it's whatever story she has told them behind closed doors, given that the journalists who have found out this information have actually hired her for her time only, in the usual way her clients pick her up and in the usual way she would tell them about her background (which could include fantasy elements to make her sound more exotic to them, or highly prized). Vorajee has made the following comment; however it is contradictory in that she calls the article "rubbish" (which may necessitate that the information from the journalists that reported about may not actually be true) but also states stories about her are "old new[s] that everyone already knows" (which may insinuate the journalists reporting is actually correct).
    Quote: "Please can someone keep an eye on that trashy newspaper called the " sun" for me for the next few days...Sanjivpatel99i I guess they have no new to sell so they r rehashing old new that everyone already knows...Adult industry workers are not news worthy stories..Papers need to do some proper journalistic reporting instead of writing rubbish articles...To the person who stooped really low to sell a story that was of no relevance 2 no one, hope you got paid a lot of money!!!! #jackass...2day is not a good day!...A newspaper decides to write some worthless junk and another newspaper decides they have to follow suit! @SimonKeegan...looks like it was a very slow news day so they had to report on a non story! @DailyMailUK @TheSun @DailyMirror"
    1. DNA Web Team (June 13th, 2016) 'Game of Thrones' actress Sahara Knite lashes out at UK tabloid. DNA India. WayBackMachine Link. Retrieved November 15th, 2017.

References

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