Friday, February 22, 2013

The Tinkers and the Sheinarans

The Tinkers, or the Tuatha'an, are a pacifistic people loosely based on gypsies. They are described as dark skinned but probably look less like Arabs or Moores and more like Isreali's. Hard to say. Either way, Aram, the central-most Tuatha'an, should be played by David Alpay.

His father, Raen, the Mahdi of his tribe, as far as I know appears only twice, but he has a lot to say both times, so I went ahead and cast him with Manuel Cauchi.

Moving on now to the Sheinarans. The residents of Sheinar mostly only appear in the first two books (but a few of them show up later), and strangely enough, there are actually quite a few of them. The most visible one is easily the half-mad "Prophet of the Dragon" Masema Dagar. We want a guy who can look handsome but completely nuts, and Mark Ryder can do that.

Violence-Sniffer Hurin is one of the more prominent entirely heroic Sheinarans in the story. He is described as lean with grey hair. Somehow Jed Brophy from the Peter Jackson Tolkien movies makes me think of him.

Repentant Darkfriend Ingtar Shinowa should have a kind of handsome, but dour look, like Matt Devere's. He's another guy whose work I'm not all that familiar with, but his look is right.

Foul-mouthed, one-eyed lieutenant Uno Nomesta is a fun but badass role, and I can see Dylan Smith having a great time with it. Too bad he's only a major character for one book.

Finally, guardsman Ragan is a somewhat minor character, but shows up a few times, so I figured I'd cast him. Aaron Jackson looks appropriate enough.

And that's my cast, ladies and germs. Questions and comments are welcome.

Legends from Ages Past

Birgitte Trahelion Silverbow will appear the most often out of this group, after being pulled into the real "present" world. I like Biddie Hodson for the role, because she looks strong and statuesque, like a Valkyrie. She actually looks very close to how I pictured Birgitte from the beginning.

Lews Therin Telamon, the man who led the assault against the Dark One, sealed the Bore, trapping him and most of the Foresaken, and was the first to be driven mad by the taint, will appear in the first episode prologue, and later show up as a ghost that only Rand can see. He will be played by David Hall Page.

Noal Charin, aka: Jain Farstrider, will show up late, already an old man, but he has a fair bit to do.  George Innes is a good fit for this character.

Although he'll only appear the once (as far as I know) I had to cast Artur "Hawkwing" Paendrag because he's such a well-known figure in this world. However, I didn't want to pick a super-well-known dude, so I went with Richard Trinder, who fits the description well enough.

Finally, I know Gaidal Cain only appears once, and I know that he's supposed to be short, but Matthew Willig looks so much like I always imagined him that I simply had to cast him.

Next Up: The Tinkers and the Sheinarans!


Honestly, as not the world's biggest Seanchan fan, I kinda don't want to spend too long on this entry. They're important, but kind of annoying. So in this entry, it's gonna be just pictures, no write-ups.

Miranda Raison as Egeanin Tamarath
Amber Rose Revah as Tuon Paendrag

Zoe Boyle as Selucia

Sarah Parrish as High Lady Suroth

Cara Horgan as Alwyn

Duncan Meadows as High Lord Turak
Next Up: Legends!

Two Rivers Folk

They are unquestionably going to be used only as guest stars, and very rarely, but a lot of people like these characters, so I thought I'd make sure they were included.

Mark Mitchinson, who I am unfamiliar with, looks to have the strength combined with everyman feel that is necessary for Tam al'Thor. Tam may not be used much, but he's a very important character, and it will be important for this role to have the right-looking man in it. He looks like Tam to me.

Cenn Buie, the elderly thatcher/trouble-maker, is a memorable role so I decided to cast a somewhat recognizable face in it. Karl Johnson is mostly known for his work on Rome but he's a character actor that can acclimate well to this character.

Other than being fat, friendly and somewhat wise (for a Two Rivers man), Bran al'Vere isn't really fleshed out much. However, he will show up in at least the first two episodes, so I'm casting him with David Verrey, who I mostly know through his role on Doctor Who as one of the Slitheen.

Finally, Abell Cauthon fights alongside Tam al'Thor against the Trolloc invasion of Emond's fields in Book Four, so really he needs to be included. I chose Joseph Rye because he looks like he could be Augustus Prew's father.

Next Up:  Seanchan!

The Asha'man

I gotta say, this choice may change if this guy's star rises as high as I'm thinking it will, but Aiden Turner just looks so close to how I always pictured Mazrim Taim that I'm sticking with him for now. Plus, he's a huge part; the anti-hero turned open villain is one of the more interesting characters on the show, and would be a joy for any actor, I hope.

Logain Ablar, the first man to declare himself the Dragon Reborn in this story (the other being Taim himself), is described as being a powerful-looking man in his middle years. I like the idea of Steve Bacic (another Canadian!) taking this role. It's smallish at first, but becomes very important later.

Gerry O'Brien
Damer Flinn, Jur Grady and Jahar Narishma can kind of be the "face" of the Asha'man; the old timer, the muscle and Rand's yes-man. They're not really important apart from being Asha'man, but they do have some distinct personality traits (Damer's the better healer, Grady and Narishma the young talented ones).

Liam Garrigan
I've got Gerry O'Brien set to play Damer, while Liam Garrigan is my Grady and Christian Antidormi is my Narishma.
Christian Antidormi

Neal Campbell
Initially, I wasn't going to cast Fedwin Morr, because he really is a kind of minor character. However, the scene where he loses his mind and has to be "put down", more or less, is touching, and necessary, I think, since it reminds us what all Asha'man fear happening to them. I think some time should be spent building up Fedwin before he dies, in order to emotionally invest the viewers. I found an unknown actor named Neal Campbell to play him, based mainly on his look.

Meanwhile, the character of Fager Neald always makes me think of that guy who thinks he's hot stuff but it really a hot mess. Grow a moustache on him, and Kyle Summercorn will do nicely.
Kyle Summercorn
Finally, I've got Daman Malone as Androl Genhald. The character is kind of flat, and is mostly a means of transportation, but he's used a lot, so I cast him.

Next Up:  Two Rivers Folk!

Daman Malone

Non-Aligned Characters

This is just going to be a general list of characters I felt were important enough to pick actors for, even though they can't really be sorted into any other category...yet.

Berelain sur Paendrag Paeron is probably more good than bad, but she's also a seductress and entirely out for her own purposes. She needs to be, to cop an annoying popular meme "sexy and know it" (Oh, god, I can already see the "I'm Berelain and I know it" memes). I chose Gwendoline Taylor, who, judging from pictures of her, can pull this off.

I like Max Benitz as Prince Gawyn Trakand, Elayne's brother and conflicted Youngling leader. Gawyn is a supporting character, but could be an interesting one as he is Egwene's primary love interest despite technically working for the wrong side. Benitz is mostly familiar to me thanks to Master & Commander but he's grown a bit and looks tougher and ready for a role like this one.

Circus master Valan Luca is a fan favorite, and one of those classic unaligned characters who acts as an obstacle but not because he's genuinely bad. He's a fun character and I'd love to cast my first choice, Oded Fehr, but Fehr is more of a leading man, at least on TV, and probably wouldn't take this supporting role. So, I went with Aaron Jakubenko.

Then there's Sebban Balwer, who starts off as Pedron Niall's secretary but isn't really "aligned" with the Whitecloaks per se, and later becomes part of Perrin's entourage. But I'm not sure if we can call him "good". I always got the feeling something was "up" with him. He's repeatedly described as older, shrunken and "dried up", like a bird. So I picked Rome's Alan Williams.

Alliandre Kigarin, the queen of Ghealdan, probably should be in the "good" column due to how she's pretty much the definition of "broken bird". I'm putting her here because I'm not sure where Jordan was headed with this character. I also don't know what nationality she's really supposed to resemble, but being beautiful, having dark hair and kind of a long nose made me think Soraya Radford would work in this part.

Another broken bird, this one by the Seanchan instead of the Shaido, Amathera Lounalt could easily be played by the lovely Kaniehtiio Horn, who is Canadian. This is a smaller, nondescript role so really it's not a big deal who is cast here.

One role that could be a lot of fun is the idiot High Lord Weiramon of Tear. Of course, he's actually a Darkfriend, but one of the few that is surprising because his idiocy is frequently used as comic relief. Keeping the Mediterranean look of the Tairens in mind, I chose Declan Conlon.

For the smaller but long-term role of Dyeline Taravin, I chose Joanne Farrell, again, mostly for her look.

Alivia, the three-century old former damane, is fierce and hates the Seanchan with every fibre of her being. I'm still not ready to call her "good" but at least she's on Rand's side, for the moment. Penny Downie will play her.

Else Grinwell, an incidental character from the first two books, shows up a few times to cause trouble, mostly by being a silly, boy-crazy idiot. I wasn't going to cast her at all, but then I saw Amber Beattie, who looks so much like the character that I just couldn't resist.

The Illuminators only show up incidentially, but Mistress Aludra's quest to invent the cannon must mean she plays an important part. Really, she isn't described much besides being black, being middle-aged but still pretty, and having dreds. Anyone can play her, but Ayisha Issa looks pretty close to how I pictured her.

Now we come to a few characters that I'm not certain need to be included, but I cast anyway because I figured maybe they could feature in one or two episodes, and the fans would ask where they are if I didn't cast them. First is the Queen of Altara, Tylin Mitsobar, played by Liz May Brice, who is the right age and is still a handsome woman despite her age, which is also true of Tylin.

Next we have her son, Beslan. As he won't appear often, I chose Golden Boy's Theo James to play him, but I chiefly know James thanks to Downton Abbey. He's got the olive skin and good looks.

Setalle Anan, the innkeeper who secretly works for the Kin, could be played by Frances Barber.

Meanwhile Reanne Corley, leader of the Kin, could be played by Annette Crosby.

Next Up: Asha'man!


The most prominent Whitecloak (although that's not who he's first introduced as) is Rand's own half-brother, Galadedrid "Galad" Damodred. He's repeatedly described as being "perfectly beautiful" for a man, but it's hard to know what everyone would consider "perfect" male beauty. Warren Christie, who was in the recently cancelled Alphas, seems like he'd fit the part, though.

The Lord Captain Commander of the Whitecloaks, Pedron Niall, needs to look like he's constantly ready to chew iron and spit nails. I was reminded of Tim Pigott-Smith's iron face from V for Vendetta, and I think he'd do well in this part.

Michael Kitchen
Richard Dillane
The father and son team of Geoffram and Dain Bornhald should look like they're father and son and both look very stern. So, Michael Kitchen is now the father of Richard Dillane.

Jaichim Carridin, aka: Bors, is a fairly prominent Whitecloak/Darkfriend character for the first several books, so having a recognizable actor wouldn't be a bad thing. I went with Diarmaid Murtagh. He's tall, has a stern, dour face and looks pretty tough.

The master torturer, ahem, questioner, Rhadam Asunawa, is described as tall with iron grey hair and (surprise) a stern expression. Craig Walsh-Wrightson looks pretty good to me.

Gaunt, skeletal, creepy. That's dedicated Whitecloak Jaret Byar for you, and who looks creepier (and more gaunt and skeletal, for that matter) than German actor Anatole Taubman? Sure, he's not British, but he didn't stick out any in the mini-series The Pillars of the Earth.
Finally, I picked Johnnie Lyne-Pirkis as Lord Captain Eamon Valda, mainly because he looks stern and unflinching. I admit, casting the Whitecloaks (except Galad) was basically a task in finding stern-looking men.

Next Up: Non-Aligned Characters!