Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Aes Sedai and other Tar Valon Residents

To start off with, there are just so many Aes Sedai that it was nearly impossible to come up with even this many actors for all of them. I mean, holy crap are there a ton of Aes Sedai! So, I'll just come out with it and say that I've decided right now that the only ones who will be focused on regularly (aside from the ones listed under the "heroes" entry) will be Siuan, Leane, Elaida, Verin, Alanna, Liandrin, Sheriam, Alviarin, Galina and later Cadsuane. The reason is that each of them serve a real role in the series, rather than just being mentioned a lot. And even then, that list sounds long!

The rest of those that I've cast I suggest should be mostly featured extras with the odd episode here and there where they contribute to the plot. Some will be revealed as Black Ajah, but I decided they would each have their time in the sun, so that when they are exposed, it will actually come as a shock.

First up is Siuan Sanche. She is Tairean, which is like a mix between Greece and Spain, despite being described as having honey-blonde hair. She's also described as being tanned and tough-looking. I decided to go with an actress who looks like she could pass for Mediterranean and has played a legendary leader before: Lyndsey Marshall (left). Yes, I know she doesn't look "sturdy" like Suian, but I would rather focus on her heritage and the fact that Marshall has the "ageless" look, plus she's got talent. Also, when she and Leane are stilled, I would rather keep the same actresses in the roles.

Leane, Siuan's right-hand woman, is described as dark-skinned, but to be honest, other than the fact that she later changes Ajah's her character is kinda flat. She's just there to support Siuan. I wasn't sure who'd fit best, but she is a prominent character even if she is kinda flat, so I picked an actress from The Borgias; Emanuelle Chriqui (right).

Then there's Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan. Yeesh, that's a lotta names. She's one of the series' major villains who isn't actually a Darkfriend (that I know of; there's more proof that she's not than that she is) and one that viewers are gonna love to hate. Michelle Forbes (left) has that stern, haughty face and has played two amazing villains on Battlestar Galactica and True Blood in recent years. She'll make a great Elaida.

Verin Mathwin will be a very popular character, I can just tell. Viewers will have a fun time just trying to figure out what is up with her. Is she good? Bad? Annoying? Funny? I can just see her catch phrase "Interesting..." entering the public vernacular. However, she's not one of the more major characters; just a prominent supporting role, so I chose Lucy Cohu (right) to play her, based mostly on her look being very close to Verin's (plump but not fat, middle years but not elderly). She seems to have a well-traveled career so she must have some talent. I chose Gary Oliver (also right) to play her loyal, omnipresent Warder, Tomas.

Alanna Mosvani isn't a very rounded role; she's mainly there to be a temptation for Rand as she keeps wanting to bind him and he's having none of it. To be honest, I'm not sure how major a role she'll have on the show, but she's around for a majority of the major action scenes in the novels, so I'm gonna call her a prominent supporting character. I chose Emma Raine Walker (left) to play her, again based mostly on her look.

Sheriam Bayanar will actually be a fairly large role, as she is kind of a sympathetic antagonist for the main female characters, especially once she starts holding court in Salidar. Jemma Redgrave (right) is a recognizable actress who fits quite well into a large, but still recurring, role.

Liandrin is Black Ajah (not really a spoiler; it's one of the first things we know about her) and a haughty bitch with a pretty face and blonde hair. The first time I read the books I pictured her as Claire Kramer (from Buffy) but she'd be too old now, and I'd prefer someone who looks like they belong in a period piece, which Kramer doesn't. Annika Hammerton (left) looks enough like her, and is English, so she should fit pretty well.

Alviarin Friedhin, another Black Ajah and the most prominent one, as she becomes the true power in Tar Valon with Elaida as her puppet, is cold-eyed, cruel and beautiful in an evil way. There are a lot of people who swear she's blonde, but I can't find that anywhere in the text. Jo Marriott (right) looks good for this role.

Galina Casban is another early-revealed Black Ajah who spends a majority of her time a captive of the Aiel. She is generally described as "round-faced", while still beautiful. Sounds like Laurie Hagen (left) to me.

Finally, Cadsuane Melaidhrin more or less takes over for Moiraine as Rand's primary Aes Sedai counselor after Moiraine's disappearance. She is very old, even for an Aes Sedai, condescending and a character I think viewers will have a great time with. Initially I pictured her as Maggie Smith, but Smith is just too old (and too busy), but Samantha Bond (right) can pull this off no sweat.

I'm not doing a write-up for the others. Now we've reached "featured extra" territory, and while I felt the roles needed actresses in them, I don't feel like I should explain why I chose whom. Each of them I just tried to get as close as possible to the way the books describe them.

Jill Baker as Adeleas and Vandene Namelle
Sarah Smart as Andaya Forae

Sarah Beck Mather as Beonin Marinye
Sara Stewart as Carlinya

Anna Chancellor as Chesmal Emry

Michelle Bonnard as Faolain Orande
Elizabeth Healey as Katerine Alruddin
Patricia Routledge as Laras
Sophie Winkleman as Lelaine Akashi

Ayesha Dharker as Myrelle Berengari
Genevieve O'Reilly as Romanda Cassin

Claire Cooper as Seaine Herimon
Gina McKee as Anaiya
Melia Kreiling as Serafelle
Ania Sowinski as Takima

Meera Syal as Silviana Brehon

Abby Francis as Tarna Feir

Lucie Jones as Theodrin Dabei
Sinead Keenan as Pevara Tazanovni

Next up: Supporting Heroes!

No comments:

Post a Comment