Aaaaaaaand, we’re back! Sorry about the delay in posting, I’ve been working ’round the clock for the last month or so to prepare for a new job, and I should be done with that now. So let’s get on to the fun stuff!

This post continues Tier 2 Casting of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. The seven characters casted today were pretty tough, especially Galad (who I assume will still be a very controversial choice, but I’m not going to let that stop me, am I? The shit, it is a’rollin’!), but possibly Elaida and Cyndane as well.

But really, this is just stalling. Let’s move on.

Tier 2 Casting

We begin with Cadsuane Melaidhrin, who, depending on your particular inclinations, most consider to be an extremely annoying bully, or a particularly strong (and awesome) character who pushes Rand to do what needs to be done. I tend to fall in the latter camp more often than not, partly because Rand does need some serious ‘pushing’ in the later part of the series, and partly because . . . well, just because she’s awesome.

We know that Cadsuane is old – possibly (and probably) the oldest living Aes Sedai today, but not remotely feeble like some older AS (Adeleas and Vandene) – she is always described as having a very strong personality, and gliding around like she owns the place. I picture her relatively tall for a woman, and she has fully gray hair in a bun. Skinny or wide, I don’t know, so I figure somewhere in the middle. None of the pseudo-official artists have drawn her, though she is in the Dabel Bros. New Spring comic, so we can get a bit from there.

Really, it is doubtful that I have ever imagined anyone other than Meryl Streep in this role. The woman has an aura of power and command about her, and she exudes self-confidence (which is arguably Cadsuane’s most notable trait). She is still smooth-faced, so even as an older lady, she will fit that particular Aes Sedai necessity.

Meryl Streep as Cadsuane

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Julie & Julia
Rendition
The Devil Wears Prada


Next we go to Couladin, who was not in the series for an extremely long time, but while he was, he cause all sorts of problems (including most of Rand’s plot through The Fires of Heaven). He is duped and manipulated by Asmodean, Lanfear, and Sevanna into claiming to be the Car’a’carn, and ends up with his head on a spike because of it. (Go Mat!)

Couladin, an Aielman

Apparently he is literally ALWAYS angry – everyone that sees him either mentions how much the guy glowers, or now much Rand should look out for him. We know he’s tall (he’s Aiel), and he is described with “fiery red hair,” so I picture bright orange-ish hair. BTW, there are literally no pictures of Couladin anywhere on the intrawebz, so this generic Aiel pic will have to do (without even a showing of red hair – seriously artists, do none of you care about Aiel?).

Damian Lewis is who I’ve gone with for Couladin. I saw him first in Band of Brothers (go watch this NOW if you haven’t seen it yet), and he’s awesome. I figure he can put on some sort of permanent sneer so he always looks mad.

Damian Lewis as Couladin

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Band of Brothers
Dreamcatcher
Much Ado About Nothing


Next up is Lanfear Cyndane, the beautiful ex-brunette-now-blond-psycho in charge of creeping Rand the fuck out for several books, now simply relegated to following Moridin around. Cyndane (re?)-appeared around book (mumble)eight?(mumble) and immediately picked up where she had left off – that is, psychoing around all over the place, grumbling about how Lews Therin would be hers, All Hers!

Cyndane

Cyndane is constantly described as having “silver” hair, but since the only person I can think of with silver hair (and I’m relatively sure she dyes it) is Christina Aguilera (and I’m not putting her in my movie), we’re going with blond – which should be easy enough to dye properly. She is also described as having an impressive bosom, very pretty (but not as pretty as Lanfear), and a low, sultry voice. She is apparently short as well, and tries to make up for it by standing straight (if only that worked). (Another relatively major character with almost no art available on the webz. All I have to go by is this anime-ish art, whazzup wi’dat, yo?)

So, I’m finally putting Scarlett Johansson in my movie. Some people think she’s nothing more than a pretty face, but I actually really like her as a young, mostly-beginning actress, and think she will grow to be very strong in Hollywood eventually. And seriously, look at her – match the criteria much, no? Pretty? Check. Blond (to be dyed silver)? Check. Sultry-ish voice? Check. Impressive bosom? . . . you get the idea.

Scarlett Johansson as Cyndane

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Lost in Translation
Iron Man 2
The Prestige


Demandred, our Man-in-the-Shadows, who we have still not seen his alter ego all the way into book thirteen now. Seriously dude, you’d best make one hell of a grand entrance now so as not to let down everyone who’s been waiting since Lord of Chaos for you to start kicking ass. All we really know about Demandred is that he is very envious of Lews Therin, and would have not turned to the Dark except for that envy. Seems like a pretty crappy reason to me.

Demandred

Demandred has two defining characteristics that are always mentioned – his lack of a smile, and his hooked nose. Which, going by the first of those, should we also assume he has no smile lines? We also know he has dark hair, is not quite as tall as Lews Therin / Rand, and he is considered handsome.

May I present Daniel Day Lewis? (Some of you may notice by now that I am putting some of the strongest actors in the entire series as Forsaken, because I do believe it takes very real acting talent to portray the ruthless evil we see in most of these baddies). DDL barrels his way through any role you give him, often scaring those around him by his intense performances. He is a bit older than I imagine Demandred is masquerading as, but that can be fixed with make-up. Plus, look at that profile shot I got of him. Hooked nose!

Daniel Day Lewis as Demandred

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Gangs of New York
There Will Be Blood
The Crucible


Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan, our Tool of the Day (TM), made it a point throughout the series (up until her extremely (non)unfortunate departure from the series-proper) of pissing off every single person with whom she came into contact. I still have hopes that Siuan is going to somehow be the one to get her vengeance on Elaida, but that seems much less likely at this point.

We know that she has dark hair, she is handsome rather than beautiful, and that she has a very stern face. This whole “handsome rather than beautiful” thing that Jordan likes to say can be a bit confusing. I mean, I’m assuming he doesn’t mean she looks manly, because he has said flat-out before when a woman looked manly. So I tend to translate it in my head that Elaida does not meet the most common criterion for traditional beauty. Also, I picture as only a bit older than Siuan and Moraine, so I’m not going with Anjelica Huston (who seems to be a fan-favorite for her).

Instead, I’m going with Minnie Driver, who Family Guy tells us her head is too big, but I think it’s just right. She tends to have a bit of a stern demeaner about her in most things I’ve seen her in, and I think she just looks the part. I thought of Andie MacDowell as well, but dammit, Andie just looks too friendly and cheerful! Minnie has enough of a not-quite-so-traditional-beauty look to her that I think she fits, plus I found her in a red dress. Important, you know?

Minnie Driver as Elaida

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Grosse Pointe Blank
The Phantom of the Opera
Conviction


Mat’s love-of-his-life, Tuon (Fortuona) comes next, and she was a doozy for me to cast. What it ended up coming down to was just finding a black actress that I liked, who could then be made to look like Tuon is described. Because guess what, ya’ll, there aren’t a lot of black actresses in Hollywood right now that look like Tuon’s description. But that can be worked around, as long as someone is willing to shave her head.

Tuon

So yeah, shaved head (when we meet her), Tuon is twenty years old and “boyishly slim” and could be mistaken for a child at first glance. She is short and dark with large liquid brown eyes and a heart-shaped, almost child-like face and “does not possess a full bosom.” I guess since that last bit needed pointing out, we know a little bit about where Mat’s head lies.

If you’ve seen the new-ish Battlestar Galactica, you may know where I’m going with this. Kandyse McClure was one of the supporting characters who was there almost until the very end of the series. She is a strong actress, and I think physically fits what we need – slim, heart-shaped face, etcetera. Now, she’s not short (at least, not for a lady), but I don’t suppose that’s something that would be too hard to work around (see: Fellowship of the Ring, The, hobbits). I tried to find a picture of her with shorter-looking hair so we could get a general idea of what she looks like bald as an egg.

Kandyse McClure as Tuon

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Battlestar Galactica
Children of the Corn
Various other TV shows and TV movies


And then we come to Galad Damodred, the pretty boy of the series, the over-the-top-do-gooder who gets on literally everyone’s nerves, and has very few redeeming qualities (until the prologue of Knife of Dreams, where he starts kicking a lot of ass). He is noted for, if nothing else, literally the only person in the entire series to give a serious crap about, and then take some action for, what happened to Morgase. And boy does he take some action for it. And now because of him, we have a leader of the Whitecloaks that can possibly actually make them useful for the upcoming Last Battle.

Galad

Galad is very often described as “too pretty for masculinity,” and “beautiful.” I’ve not known men in my personal life who I can characterize as such, but I can picture them. I have one friend who’s fiance is always talking about how other girls, waitresses, etcetera are are always fawning over him, but I don’t see it personally, so maybe I’m just not looking in the right way. He is slender and tall, with movements speaking of whipcord strength and confidence. His eyes are dark, as is his hair.

So let’s talk about my choices in this. I know my actor is going to be a dark horse for this role, but I want to go over a few things. I won’t be changing my choice, but hopefully I can help those of you who will at first be very against the idea to at least see why I chose him.

I started with the obvious criteria of “too beautiful for masculinity.” I asked all my female friends (and some males as well) to start naming young actors they found particularly gorgeous or beautiful. A lot of standards came up, Bradley Cooper, Orlando Bloom (don’t like him, sorry), Jensen Ackles (too late!), Toby Hemingway, Ian Somerhalder, Jake Gyllenhaal (one of my personal current favorite actors), Jared Padalecki (yuck?), Daniel Radcliffe, David Boreanaz (maybe younger and thinner), and others. Even Russell Brand came up (which I kind of liked, but didn’t think it would fly over well). One name that came up on the list though, really caught my eye, and I started thinking about him. He has played a superhero before, so I know he can get in the necessary shape, he’s definitely someone I would consider a “pretty-boy” actor, and I just out-right like him. The more I thought about him, the more I became determined to use him. And that’s what I’ve done.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you James Marsden (who, now that I think about it, looks a lot like the friend of mine I mentioned up above). James is not quite as tall as I picture Galad to be, but that is something that be corrected – I mean, seriously, Tom Cruise is like 5’4″, but always looks taller than everyone else in his movies. Camera angles, thick shoes, whatever. Plus, he’s got the right body shape – lithe and muscular, and on top of it all, he’s kinda pretty. So there you have it. There will be disagreement. If it’s too much for you to handle, I kindly welcome you to start your own WoT Casting blog and show me how it should be done!

James Marsden as Galad

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
X-Men movies
Enchanted
Hairspray


And finally for this week, we move on to Gawyn Trakand, who has been a pretty lame character most of the series (but has twu luv for Egwene). He seemed like he would be pretty cool at first, but seriously, he needs to hire someone to hang around with him and just be a fact-checker – there’s a reason why people who believe literally every rumor they hear usually wind up living alone in a house filled to the brim with A – cats, B – empty cardboard boxes, or C – all of the above (along with a closet filled with tinfoil hats). So anyway, let’s talk about how we cast him.

(Yes, this is seriously the only picture I can find on the netz of Gawyn) Gawyn is older than Elayne by several years. The two of them look very much alike, sharing the same oval face and reddish-gold hair. He is approximately a head taller than his sister. So we’re looking for traditional royal-line-of-Andor-reddish-hair, and someone who has similar looks to who I’ve cast as Elayne, which is . . . whoops, that would be telling! So he’s somewhat tall, since we know Elayne is tall for a woman. And, I guess that’s about it.

Garrett Hedlund is another actor who came up in my search for someone to play Galad, and while I can see that he has that pretty-boy thing going on for him as well, it’s not over the top. He has the hair coloring necessary (wouldn’t even need to dye it). As a side note, I almost cast that one guy from that stupid TV show about stupid people in a stupid little town, but thought it would destroy my soul to do so. So there you have it. Here’s a couple pictures of him looking all mopey and emo – he’ll make a fanTASTic Gawyn.

Garrett Hedlund as Gawyn

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Tron
Troy
Eragon


And that’s a wrap! Come join me next week for another seven.

Cheers!
-Brandon Daggerhart

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