Is Arya Stark The Only White Person With A 100% Black Approval Rating?

HBO screenshot
HBO screenshot

The answer, of course — and by "of course" I mean "according to my timelines and text messages whenever Game of Thrones is on" — is yes.

Now, there have been white people, real and fictional, as beloved by Black people as Arya Stark. Meryl Streep. Batman. Thisbe, from Pyramus and Thisbe. The list isn't very long. But there is a list. Still, each person on this list has detractors, placing their Black people approval ratings in the ninety-two to ninety-eight percentile. (Joe Biden, for instance, has people who remember some of the things he did and said before he was everyone's favorite septuagenarian white homeslice.) 98% is great! But 98% still isn't 100%.

And for good reason. She’s had a uniquely terrible stretch of years for a show that has given everyone not named Littlefinger some serious fuckshit to deal with at some point. But instead of getting all #allwesteroslivesmatter and blaming the seven Black people in the seven kingdoms for her fate, she went and found the real sources of her pain — privileged and problematic White people — and has devoted her life to ending theirs. Her entire existence is Black Person’s Wish Fulfillment. She’s basically the caucasian John Shaft.


Of course, she can fuck things up tomorrow by going on Westeros Twitter to talk shit about Beyonce's baby announcements. But for now, Arya's approval rating remains unblemished.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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People I don't trust:

1. People who've never watched Breaking Bad
2. People who've never watched Game of Thrones
3. People who've never watched the Walking Dead
4. People who drink decaf coffee