Welcome back to The Wheel of Time Casting Call. We’re in week 3 of our Tier 1, or primary characters, and we’re coming back to Team Light this week (yay!).

As a note on the art: For most of the art I use for characters, I am getting it from the amazing Seamas Gallagher gallery, who does some of the best WoT art out there. Some of the other I’ve used is from the equally amazing Jeremy Saliba. A lot of the art I use is cropped, so that I can fit the most character on the screen without having to deal with fancy borders and such, so you guys should definitely check these guys’ sites out (where you will find the full, beautiful pictures) and support them if at all possible. Some characters, no matter how important(ish) they are, do not have art though.

Oh, and there will be spoilers, up to and including Towers of Midnight. You have been warned.

So next up on our list come two of the characters that, in my opinion, are very similar – both characters seem psychologically invested in other people not seeing their interior, or their core character. Nynaeve comes about it from needing people to accept her – first as a Wisdom, then as an Aes Sedai – in situations where she would not typically be accepted as those. She was considered by many to be too young to be a Wisdom, and then she skipped novice training, and didn’t get to pass the Aes Sedai tests, so constantly had to battle people not believing she was who she said she was. This put up some pretty serious walls. Mat’s is a little different, but it comes from the same place – he fears being an important person, and fears being responsible for the lives (and deaths) of people around him, so he runs from his responsibilities for many books, before finally shouldering the burden of being a general and a hero. These psychologies are very important for the characters’ Castings.

Mat and Nynaeve, by Seamas Gallagher

Anyone who’s made it through three chapters of the series knows who these characters are, and they are two of the most important in the series. Mat, of course, is a ta’veren, and one of Our Heroes who will be leading the ranks of Light into the final battle (presumably?), while Nynaeve has been extremely important for the Light in a bit more of a background role. She is, as Masema once said, “like a mother” to Rand, and without her, Saidin would likely not be cleansed. She is also (once again, presumably), heading to Shayol Ghul with Rand to do the final deed, whenever that is. Possibly will even be the one to bring back Rand from death. So yeah, kinda important.

So what do I have in mind for them?

Nynaeve, from The Path of Daggers e-book cover
Well, the actress to play Nynaeve al’Meara has to be someone who can play a temper-tantrum-prone lady. The main characteristic we know about Nynaeve, all the way from back in The Eye of the World, is that she gets angry. And you wouldn’t like her when she’s angry, nosiree. She screeches like a cat, yanks her braid out of her head, crosses arms under her breasts, and starts calling people “woolheads.” Of course, there’s another characteristic of her that is worth mentioning – that is, she’s very pretty.

She has (up until the latest book, anyway) long, dark hair, tied in a braid that she likes to keep drawn over her shoulder (the better to yank it with). She has dark eyes, and is often drawn looking pouty (or angry), but is said by many to be very pretty, or even beautiful. She is often described to be on the shorter side as well, but I’m going to have to bypass that one, unfortunately.

So, a lot of people really like Evangeline Lilly or Beckinsale for this role. As for Beckinsale, I don’t see it at all. I honestly believe that someone, somewhere, saw that one picture of her looking pretty with a long braid, and said, “Hey, that looks like Nynaeve.” For Lilly, I think there’s a possibility she could do the role, but my main problem with her (other than some minor, nit-picky acting issues I have with her based on her performances as Kate) is that she just looks too . . . cute. I don’t know how else to describe it. She looks like someone that you could hug in place of your teddy bear when you’re having a bad day, not like someone who could thump you with a stout stick.

Therefore, I will be going with Laura Mennell. Mennell is a beautiful young actress, with long, dark hair, and the perfect shape to her face to play the angry/pouty look we see in so many Nynaeve portraits. She hasn’t been in a ton of films yet, but I’ve been suitably impressed by what I’ve seen of her. She also looks to be exactly the right age to still look young and girly (and thus, not be taken as seriously as she may should be), while actually being old enough to be the Wisdom and Aes Sedai she becomes.

Laura Mennell as Nynaeve

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Flight 93
Various TV Shows

Mat, from The Fires of Heaven e-book Cover
And now we come to many peoples’ favorite character in the series, Mat Cauthon. While he is not my personal favorite (though he is one of them), I can certainly see his appeal. He’s smart, witty, funny, clever, and apparently pretty good-looking to boot. He is the best general on the planet right now, due to all those memories shoved into his head, and he has a very strong moral and ethical code by which he lives, which should lead to some interesting conversations with his wife in the very near future.

Physically, he is not as tall as the other heroes (I’ve seen his height listed as between 5’9″ and 5’11”), but is wiry and long-limbed. He has brown hair and eye(s), a bit of a permanent smirk on his face, and walks with a “confident slouch.” I’m assuming that means he walks in a manner that would put off would-be attackers? Make-up-wise, he has a pretty gruesome scar around his neck from being hanged, and is currently sans one eyeball.

Mat is another of those characters who there seems to be very little consensus on who should play him, though Sean William Scott (ugh) h as come up a few times. I don’t know what I think about that other than, “wha-huh?” You can quote me on that.

So I’m going with Emile Hirsch, a very fine actor who has gotten more popular in recent years. Quite frankly, he looks to me exactly how I picture Mat in my head, so I’m not going to spend a ton of time and energy justifying this choice. He has the right hair and eye color, I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard for him to have the right build (he’d need to lose a few pounds), and he’s even not that old – he’s the youngest of the actors I’ve cast for Our Heroes. Plus, look at that picture of him in a hat. Just look at it! That’s frakkin Mat bloody Cauthon right there!

Emile Hirsch as Mat Bloody Cauthon

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
The Girl Next Door
Into the Wild

Well, that’s it for this week. Hope you’ve enjoyed. Next week will finally get to one of the characters that people have been asking me about since I first started this blog. Maybe I’ll stir up some trouble.

-Brandon Daggerhart

So, no Casting today. I just wanted to let you know how Tier 1 would work.

Basically, there are ten characters to cast:

Elayne Trakand
Nynaeve al’Meara
Egwene al’Vere
Moraine Damodred
Lanfear / Mierin Eronaile
Ishamael / Elan Morin Tedronai
Perrin Aybara
Mat Cauthon
Rand al’Thor

I will be pairing up the characters two at a time (not releasing order yet, since I’m not 100% sure myself), so it will take five weeks to cast the remaining characters. After the final Casting Call (which, really, is going to include Rand, so set your calendar), I will do a Roundup post where I talk about changes I would make, differences in how I would make the posts, etcetera.

Anyway, hope you guys are looking forward to it – I know I am.

See you next week!

Well, this is it. The finale to the Tier 2 Wheel of Time Casting Call. Most of the pseudo-main characters are done, and next time you see a Casting Call after today, we will be focusing on the really BIG PICTURE characters – the SuperGuys, SuperGals, and a couple other important peepz. But for now, let’s talk about this week.

There are only six this week, as that fills out the remainder of my arbitrarily-assigned Tier 2 Cast, and if I were to guess, I would say that most of the castings this week should go by with very little hitch. It’s not to say I’m perfect (I can talk about that in another blog sometime if you’d like), but I believe these last six are just not going to cause a lot of grief. I could be wrong (it’s happened before – rarely), but I think this will be a pretty smooth-sailing week.

As a note on the art: For most of the art I use for characters, I am getting it from the amazing Seamas Gallagher gallery, who does some of the best WoT art out there. Some of the other I’ve used is from the equally amazing Jeremy Saliba. A lot of the art I use is cropped, so that I can fit the most character on the screen without having to deal with fancy borders and such, so you guys should definitely check these guys’ sites out (where you will find the full, beautiful pictures) and support them if at all possible. Some characters, no matter how important(ish) they are, do not have art though. There will likely be no squids this week, though I was awfully tempted to throw up a few fish pictures in one character’s introduction. Stupid fish.

As a note on the continuity of this project – next week, I will not be posting (or if I am, it will just be a bit of a round-up of Tier 2), and will get back to posting the actual list on Friday, May 20. As a note on spoilers – they will exist (likely). Read on!

Tier 2 Casting

First up this week is everyone’s favorite Wise One, Sevanna. Sevanna was known throughout pretty much the entire series (books 4 – . . . 11?) as one of the biggest Toolz (TM) to ever walk through Randland. But man, she caused a lot of strife. She, along with Couladin (and with no little help from Asmodean) help set into motion the massive Shaido-OtherAiel War that never really ended. Perrin stomped out most of it in Knife of Dreams, but as far as we know, they could still be around. Sevanna received her well-deserved uppance, but unfortunately, her head has not decorated a pike yet, which is really about the best fate that she could get at this point.

She is known to be a bit of a slut . . . well, slut, flashing herself all across the place. She is also very beautiful, with golden hair, green eyes, and a “considerable bosom,” which is often lavishly covered with sparklies – likely only there for the sole purpose of drawing the eyes to said bosom.

I’m going Tricia Helfer for this role, who pretty much played the same character through the first season of the new Battlestar Galactica. She has all the attributes needed to meet our Sevanna criteria, and she’s just plain awesome. I considered her for Graendal as well, but she wasn’t quite curvy enough for that. Oh, she’s also very tall, so that fits the whole “really tall Aiel” thing that we like to fit when possible.

Tricia Helfer as Sevanna

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Battlestar Galactica
Burn Notice (for half a season)
Plenty of other TV shows

Shaidar Haran, by Jeremy Saliba
Next up is everyone’s favorite SuperFade, Shaidar Haran. Shaidar first showed up in his current incarnation during Demandred’s meeting with the Dark One in Lord of Chaos, and has shown up at various (in)convenient parties since then. He is the Hand of the Dark One, and as far as most people are concerned, he’s pretty much Shai’tan’s avatar on the planet.

He looks like most Myrddraal, but is tall, even for one of them. He is also described by many as the only Myrddraal to be seen smiling (though Rand sees one smile at him in tEotW – we’ll ignore that as an EotW-ishm). Basically, he’s a big, bad-ass brute. Not much more to go on.

Stab out his eyes, and Robert Maillet is a spittin’ image of Jeremy Saliba’s art up above. In fact, in his role in 300, he actually looks very much like the art. Even loses an eye to Leonidas. Maillet is a wrestler first, but he’s been getting in to movies, and he’s currently one of my favorite tough-man actors running amok in Hollywood.

Robert Maillet as Shaidar Haran

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Sherlock Holmes
err… WWF? Several movies coming out soon, too!

Siuan Sanche, by Seamas Gallagher
Caught like a fish in a net in The Shadow Rising, Siuan Sanche spends the remainder of the series making odd proverbs about her time boating and fishing as a young girl. Amyrlin first, once in Salidar, she quickly becomes a tiny fish in a big pond, trying to bait a bunch of bigger fish to kill the shark. Or something. Fish metaphors are stupid.

he is nearly a hand taller than Moiraine and is pretty, if not quite beautiful, with blue eyes and a delicate mouth. She is fair skinned with dark glossy hair to her shoulders. After being Stilled, she has lost about twenty years and looks very young now. The artwork above shows her looking bitchy while (presumably) tending to Gareth Bryne’s underwear. I like that picture.

Gemma Arterton is getting this one. I didn’t really know about her until the newest James Bond movie, but I thought she played a saucy character pretty well there. She is tall(ish), with naturally dark hair, and very fair-skinned. I would think she would need to get her voice a bit deeper to sound like how I imagine Siuan, but all actors have to do some voice training every now and then, right?

Gemma Arterton as Siuan Sanche

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
James Bond: Quantum of Solace
Clash of the Titans
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Thom Merrilin, by Seamas Gallagher
Thom Merrilin dances onto the scene within three chapters of the first book, and immediately captures our hearts with his humorous and surly outlook on the quaint little Two Rivers. Turns out he’s a bit more than just a simple gleeman, but we should have known that anyway, being involved in an epic fantasy series and all. Always filled with wisdom (and snark), he’s been hanging with Mat for a long time now, and finally got his girl in the latest book.

He is fairly old, has a gnarled face, shaggy, snowy hair and blue eyes. He is tall, with stooped shoulders, but his white hair and long mustaches make him appear older than he probably is, given his spryness. He is frequently portrayed as smoking a pipe. He limps nowadays due to a never-Healed wound (time for Nynaeve to come take care of that), and his mustaches are the most recognizable features on him, other than his patched cloak.

I did not go with Sam Elliott for Thom, though everyone in the world seems to want him, and he’s usually the pick on the other Casting blogs. Quite frankly, I just don’t like Elliot’s voice – it’s too low and . . . ‘country’ to do what I want with Thom (this coming from the guy who just said all actors do voice training every now and then – consistent, I ain’t). I did, however, find another awesome old spry guy, named Bill Nighy, that I think will do perfectly fine. He may need to wear a weave, and grow out that fine ‘stache, but on the other hand, he’s played characters recently who had an entire squid for a face, so I don’t think it would be too much work just to give him some facial hair.

Bill Nighy as Thom Merrilin

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Verin Mathwin
Verin Mathwin was a theory-favorite enigma for about . . . oh, twelve books (and continues to be even after her death. See: Nakomi). We finally learned her deal in The Gathering Storm, where she pretty much single-handedly brought down the Black Ajah (thus making Pevara unfortunately irrelevant – let’s hope Pev & Co. get to kick Taim’s ass next book!). She is known as a rambler, but she is very, very sneaky, and has used her seemingly absent-mindedness to accomplish all sorts of sneaky, sneaky things throughout the series.

Verin is often described as plump, and a bit on the short side. She has dark eyes and brown hair, with a touch of gray (making her pretty old by Aes Sedai standards). She smiles often, sometimes to disarm people, sometimes to get what she wants, and sometimes because she’s just a pleasant person. She also has a bird-like stare that can be very intimidating.

Most of you probably don’t know who Kathy Najimy is. I think you should go back and watch Sister Act, and tell me that Sister Mary Patrick isn’t basically just Verin in disguise. I started reading this series in 1995(ish?) and immediately thought of Sister Mary Patrick for Verin – and I had no inkling back then of spending way too many hours of my life Casting the Wheel of Time on the intrawebz. She’s got the look, she’s got a very intense stare, and she has an awesome smile that will suit Verin when she’s properly happy about something.

Kathy Najimy as Verin Mathwin

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Sister Act 1 & 2
Hope Floats

Faile Bashere, by Seamas Gallagher
And finally, we come to Zarine (Faile) Bashere. Likely, I should have had her in the “F’s,” since everyone knows her by her chosen name, but ah well, hind-sight, 20-20, all that jazz. Faile starts nuisancing her way into the series during The Dragon Reborn, always up in Perrin’s bidnez and shizzle. Eventually we find out she’s cousin to a king, and maybe she’s not all that bad, though she is a major contributor to the Story Line That Never Ends (TM), being the person Perrin is chasing after. I guess she gets a bit of a Moment of Awesome in The Gathering Storm, getting rid of Masema, but I still don’t really like her.

Perrin think she’s beautiful, but at first, kept thinking her nose was just slightly too large. She has black hair falling to her shoulders, and a “generous mouth” (does that mean a “kind and giving mouth,” or a “large mouth?”). She has high cheek bones, slightly tilted dark eyes, and is tall and slim with a high voice and a flat way of speaking. According to Perrin, she has an herbal scent. That may be important in the Casting, so I’m leaving that in there.

I thought about Zooey Deschanel for awhile – not that Zoey has a big nose, but she does have a kind of funny-looking nose. However, at the end of the day, I just don’t like the Deschanel sisters – they’re boring. So I went with Idina Menzel, who does have a big nose, and she even has the tilted eyes we need. Idina is a singer and songwriter first, but has been doing stage work, and recent movie work, and does a good job at them. She meets all our physical criteria, and in Rescue Me, she played a bit of a bitch, so there’s that.

Idina Menzel as Faile Bashere

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Various Broadway Shows
Various TV Shows

Aaaaaand, that’s a wrap, folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed Tier 2. Next week, if anything, I’ll likely just post a follow-up to this tier (or maybe not, I kind of want a break from thinking about The Wheel of Time for a bit). Anyway, see you on Friday, May 20 for the beginnings of Tier 1 characters. Rand will not be first.

-Brandon Daggerhart

Hello! (Told you I’d have it up by 5:00. I think)

Here we are yet another week with yet another Wheel of Time Casting Call, with yet another batch of unfortunate characters being forced into the bodies of actors that I think they are most reminiscent of. It’s like a wacky science experiment gone all horribly wrong. It’s like I’m taking itty bitty mice, who all have certain ways they like to be thought of, and forcing their minds into the bodies of other mice, who may or may not look quite like what the original mice always thought they looked like, and also don’t necessarily look quite like what everyone else thinks the mice should look like. And it depresses the mice. And depressed mice are sad. They just sit around all day eating cheese. 😦 I digress (<—- Understatement).

A note on the art: For most of the art I use for characters, I am getting it from the amazing Seamas Gallagher gallery, who does some of the best WoT art out there. Some of the other I’ve used is from the equally amazing Jeremy Saliba. A lot of the art I use is cropped, so that I can fit the most character on the screen without having to deal with fancy borders and such, so you guys should definitely check these guys’ sites out (where you will find the full, beautiful pictures) and support them if at all possible. Some characters, no matter how important(ish) they are, do not have art though. In which case, I will insert a picture of a friendly squid.

Oh, and apparently my blog has gotten popular enough that another WoT Casting blog has mostly copied it, including the format of the posts, the actors I use, and even some of the little quips and humor I put in it. Sincerest form of flattery, right? Right!

Spoilers may exist, read at your own risk.

Tier 2 Casting

Modhedien, by Seamas Gallagher
Let’s talk about Moghedien. Moggy has essentially become Nynaeve’s nemesis over the course of the series, and has done some pretty terrible things. In fact, she has possibly done some of the worse things in the series, including the Dream Ripping (TM) of Birgitte and the balefire of all the boat crew just to get at Nynaeve. Seriously, think about what some of the other Forsaken have done, and she’s up there in the top tier of “Most EVAHL!” whether or not she gets any awards for Most Competent. Then again, she’s done some pretty cool things too, such as tying Liandrin’s shield in infinite little knots so that our resident Ms. Petulant can’t really cause anyone any harm. The enemy of my enemy . . . well, she’s not my friend, but it does grant her a couple cool points.

Moghedien has taken on a couple different personas in the series, such as Gyldin and Marigan, but when she is forced by the a’dam to reveal her true appearance to Egwene, she appears sturdily handsome with shoulder-length hair worn loose. She has large, dark eyes and smooth cheeks. I’m pretty sure she has dark hair, but I can’t find much about that. I know Gyldin and Marigan both had dark hair, so I’ll assume Moghedien does too.

For some reason, I kept wanting to put Elisabeth Shue in this role, but I think it was I couldn’t come up with anyone better. But then I remembered Jeanne Tripplehorn, who kind of rocks. I don’t watch Big Love, but my wife does, and everytime I see her on screen, I have to stop what I’m doing and enjoy her splendidness. She has all the criteria we need, and she can look mad and mean like the bestworst of them.

Jeanne Tripplehorn as Moghedien

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Basic Instinct
Big Love
Very Bad Things

Morgase, by Seamas Gallagher
From there, we move on to Morgase Trakand. Morgase, Blessed of the Light, Rose of Andor, yadda yadda yadda, gave us a good first impression with her very reasonable and moral decision of how to handle Rand’s whole “falling into a castle courtyard” debacle. She used good logic and strong ethics to make a very good judgment of Rand, and thus, she was a very likable monarch right from the get-go. Then she got all Rahvin’ed, which was extremely unfortunate (those words, lightly they are used), and all that goodness got all turned around and upside down. Then, perhaps even more unfortunately, she became a huge bore, and I now find myself often skipping over her chapters in the series. Let’s talk about her appearance.

First of all, I’m only using the above picture because there isn’t much art to choose from of Queen Morgase, but this is probably some of my least favorite art depicting WoT characters. I don’t know why, but I find her to be ugly (instead of the beautiful she should be), and the dress just doesn’t fit my mind of what she should look like. Anyway, we know she has red-gold hair, and has “Elayne’s looks, ripened to maturity.” We also know she still appears relatively young, and that comes from her Slowing.

Many people probably don’t even know who Amy Yasbeck is. She played Maid Marian in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and she absolutely looks the part I’ve always pictured for Morgase. She is beautiful, she is mature, but she has a young-ish appearance. Plus, she looks very much like the person I have chosen for Elayne, so the whole mother-daughter thing works out. See, I plan this shit out!

Amy Yasbeck as Morgase

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Robin Hood: Men in Tights
Various TV Shows and
TV Movies

Khalamari Kid as Osan'Gar
Osan’Gar comes next, who was masquerading as an Asha’Man for awhile. He begins his existence in Lord of Chaos as the reincarnated Aginor, but doesn’t show up as a character until introduced to us as Dashiva in A Crown of Swords. As far as I’m concerned, he’s gone down in the history of the series as possibly the most useless Forsaken we’ve met (though I’m willing to let him eek that out with Demandred depending on how awesome (or not) Demmy’s appearance is in AMoL).

He has an “ordinary face,” and is in his middle years. He acts like he’s already insane, he is a daydreamer, and he walks hesitantly, and tilts his head in a curious way when he speaks to people. He has untrimmed hair.

Well, he’d have to grow his hair out a bit, but I love Michael Keaton for this role. Keaton plays funny and crazy with the best of them, and he could basically play Beetlejuice and he’d be in character. There was one other person I considered having Keaton play, after it was brought to my attention by Terez that he’d make a good Fain. But I needed a bit more crazy in my Fain. And ugly. And Michael Keaton is not ugly (by most standards).

Michael Keaton as Osan'Gar

Places you’ve possibly seen him (Keaton):
White Noise

Padan Fain, by Seamas Gallagher
Padan effing Fain. Possibly the most horribly evil and insane character we’ve met in the series, one who has done nothing but harass, pursue, and attack Our Heroes from the very first time we see him. Seriously, the first time we see him, he’s planning a Trolloc attack. And apparently he’s got some major parts to play coming up – there’s otherwise no reason for him to have been around as long as he has. I have a pet theory – one that involves Fain being locked in an eternal battle with the Dark One (since he hates the Dark One as much as he hates the good guys) as Mashadar – but I have no evidence, or even any real logic, to support it. Just something I think would be “cool.” Anyway, he is utterly filled with Wrath towards both the Dark One, and Rand, and his story ain’t quite done yet.

So, he’s a pale, gangly, skinny dude, with a “massive beak” of a nose. Most of the recent art, including that above, shows him looking pretty disheveled, unkempt, and missing teeth, soaking himself in blood, whathaveyou. Oh, big ears too. I always liked the art for him in the Big White Book (though that book nowadays gets a lot of flack for its depictions of the characters). Oh, and he’s bat-shit insane. Like, Über-Insane, even.

So, not a real shocker here, Steve Buscemi wins this round. He can play “bat-shit insane” very well (watch him on The Sopranos), and has most of the not-quite-very-handsome facial features that would be needed for Fain. Big ears? Check. Big nose? Check. Presumably missing teeth (from chewing on his Shadar Logath dagger)? Check. I don’t think he even cleans up well (not that I’ve ever seen him in a business suit that I can recall, unless you count Reservoir Dogs, and he was pretty bedraggled-looking through most of that as well).

(As a side note, I strongly considered Gary Busey for this role as well. And it would have been AWESOME)

Steve Buscemi as Padan Fain

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
The Sopranos
Reservoir Dogs
The Big Lebowski

Rahvin, by Seamas Gallagher
Our resident rapist, Rahvin is up next. Maybe that’s not fair to introduce him as such. I mean, he’s not known for only raping (mentally and physically) Morgase, right? I mean, he did other things. Like put Trolloc guards in Caemlyn. And killing entire cities during the War of Power. And forcing Morgase to send away all her friends, family, loved ones, and anyone she trusts, and then making a public fool of her. So he’s got other things goes for him, I guess.

He’s a stud though. Tall, dark, and handsome, making women who aren’t even Compulsed swoon over him. He has black hair, which is white at the temples, and is dark and slender with nearly black eyes. He supposedly has an “insatiable” appetite for women – one may even say he Lusts after them. Sometimes, in other Castings, he is cast as a black man, because of that “dark” part up above. I don’t get the feeling that’s the case, so I haven’t done that. However, if anyone has anything to prove me wrong on that, I do know a good black actor I would put here for the role.

So, I’m going with Benjamin Bratt for this. I don’t remember when I first saw him – I do remember I didn’t like him the first time, wherever that was (maybe Demolition Man? Which, i guess I can’t really blame him for that movie, right?). Anyway, he’s made a very favorable impression on me in recent years, and I actually really like him nowadays. And when he cleans up, he looks exactly like I picture Rahvin to look. So there. And he was HIGH-larious in the episode of Modern Family he showed up in.

Benjamin Bratt as Rahvin

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Miss Congeniality
Law & Order
The Cleaner (TV series)

Sammael, by Seamas Gallagher
The Forsaken most represented by Pride (maybe I should do a series on the Forsaken and the Seven Deadly Sins?), Sammael is next. Sammy (I like mocking the Chosen by shortening their name into a little pet name – it makes me feel powerful over them, almost like proclaiming “Ba’alzamon is a Fool!”) was known as a great general. Once out of the prison, he set up shop in Illian, consolidating power for quite some time, and even tried to set up a truce (though I seem to remember that was a trick?) with Rand to not attack each other until the Last Battle.

He is taller than average (slightly), with golden, closely-cropped hair, blue eyes, and a square trimmed beard. He is described as “solid and compact,” so I picture he works out (or at least looks like he does), and also picture him always standing straight-backed with his hands clasped behind his back, like a good soldier. Oh, and he has a nasty scar across most of his face, something that could have been Healed, but he left it as a constant reminder of why he hates Lews Therin so very, very much.

Viggo Mortensen was in plenty of films before The Lord of the Rings, but that’s what made him famous (and brought him to my attention, which may be more important for this particular blog series). He gets to be Sammael, though he’ll need a bit of dye (I didn’t know he was starting to gray so much). Otherwise, he’s exactly as I picture that Forsaken – solid, compact, stern-no-nonsense-looking, well-disciplined. I guess someone will have to cut up on his pretty face a bit to get that scar, which is a bit unfortunate, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to get in the Big Flicks, right?

Viggo Mortensen as Sammael

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
The Lord of the Rings (duh)
The Road

Semirhage, by Seamas Gallagher
And we go from Good Little Soldier Boy to Creepy as All Effing Get-Out-Of-My-Fantasy-Series Semirhage (I’m told that was her official name before RJ got tired of typing it). Semirhage was built up quite a bit before we really got to see much of her – but man, she made an impression on us. Apparently, even the Forsaken were wary of her (which should really tell you something right there), and no other villains in the series have come anywhere close to the purely sadistically evil things Semmy has done in the name of the Dark. And she blew off Rand’s hand. 😦

She is slender and taller then most men. She has a dark face with large dark eyes and full lips. She has short wavy hair. She is said to always dress in black because Lanfear dresses in white, though not even the other Forsaken dare to call her on it. And she’s creepy. That’s pretty important, I’d say.

Well, without the proper make-up, I wouldn’t call her creepy, but otherwise, Gina Torres is absolutely perfect for this role. She is an awesome actress, and she can play a real bad-ass when needed. She’s also tall – look up pictures of her standing next to her husband, Larry Fishburne. She’s supposedly one of the friendliest, most down-to-earth actresses around, so I hate to put her through the necessary torture to get her to play the role properly, but once again, gotta do whatcha gotta do for the serious roles.

Gina Torres as Semirhage

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions
Various TV Shows

And that ends this week. Come back next week for the final six of Tier 2. I guess that means Tier 1 is coming up soon, eh?

-Brandon Daggerhart

Hello! Well Met!

Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Casting Call, in which I force my own dreams about WoT Casting into the unsuspecting minds of all my readers. Uwahahahah! Hey, this week finally gets to Lan (who people have been asking about forever now), and I imagine there will be some griping with it. Oh, and Logain, too.

For most of the art I use for characters, I am getting it from the amazing Seamas Gallagher gallery, who does some of the best WoT art out there. Some of the other I’ve used is from the equally amazing Jeremy Saliba. A lot of the art I use is cropped, so that I can fit the most character on the screen without having to deal with fancy borders and such, so you guys should definitely check these guys’ sites out (where you will find the full, beautiful pictures) and support them if at all possible. I know a couple of prints that have my name on them.

Spoilers and all beware, they may exist. And partial nudity. The post, it is now? It is!

Tier 2 Casting

Our sultriest and sluttiest Forsaken award goes to none other than Graendal, who, when not killing other Forsaken, spends her time lounging about in decadence and perversion. She is described as the craftiest of the Forsaken, and is extremely talented in psychology and psychiatry (or whatever Age-of-Legend-ers called the study of mind diseases and such). Her perversions are likely extremely appreciated by Shadar Haran.

Graendal, by Gallagher

She is beautiful and plump, and has absolutely no problem showing off her goods – in fact, she uses that as a strength to distract people from her machinations. We know this because she is apparently always naked(ish). Probably really good for job interviews. She has curly, red-gold hair and a very curvaceous figure.

Christina Hendricks is all that and more. I first saw her on Firefly and fell in love with her – and in the same episodes, you get to see her also play the ruthless (and beautiful) villain. And she’s got all the physical necessities . . . necessary . . . for a Graendal role (in fact, one could argue she is very well known for those attributes). Dye her hair a bit and put her in a transparent dress and you’ll have a spittin’ image of Graendal.

Christina Hendricks as Graendal

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Mad Men
Various other TV Shows

Al’Lan (Lan) Mandragoran, Lord of the Seven Towers, has been with us since literally the beginning of the story, and though he had exactly ZERO POVs in the series until very recently, he is someone that WoT fans absolutely adore. He is a poet, a king, a deadly warrior, and a lover, and covers all aspects of the Knight trope. And he’s the only person cable of putting up with Nynaeve’s bullshit for an extended period of time.

Lan, by Gallagher

We know that he’s not extraordinarily handsome (though I don’t think he’s supposed to be ugly either), and is very rugged, with scars and haunted, cold eyes. He is graying, and keeps his gray hair long and pulled back by a hadori. He is also very tall and imposing, and is one of the – if not the – finest warrior(s) in all the lands.

There are a couple of fan-favorites for being cast as Lan, but I didn’t go with any of them (neener!). Those of you who have been reading this blog series for awhile now may recall that I chose my Isam very carefully, because I wanted these relatives to look related. And thus, we have Liam Neeson! (Woohoo!) He is a bit of a dark horse for this role, but no one can deny that few actors can badass their way through a movie like Neeson. He's a bit older, but that can be fixed, he's ridiculously tall, and he looks like Eric Bana's older brother. There you go.

Liam Neeson as Lan

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Batman Begins
The Phantom Menace (sorry, but he is the only redeeming factor in this movie)

Lews Therin

Lews Therin was added to my list after my initial line-up of characters was worked out (so you won’t find him on the original list), because I figured we need a face for Rand’s insanity. And the Dragonmount prologue (which will be filmed in my movie) really needs a good actor. Lews Therin, the Dragon, the Kinslayer, is only described as tall, with dark hair (turning white), and tired-looking. Not much more than that. Did I mention he’s crazy? Cuz that’s important.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Clive Owens, an actor more capable of looking worn out and bedraggled than Danny Glover on the day before his retirement, finding out he has to work “one last job.” Clive is an awesome actor (one of my favorites), and I do not doubt he can play crazy with the best of them.

Cline Owens as Lews Therin

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Children of Men
Inside Man

Next up, Logain Ablar is a pitiable antagonist(ish?) in the first book, but becomes much more important later on. He is a powerful channeller, and once he joins the LightSide, is a powerful force in Rand’s Asha’Man. He is the first false Dragon we ever hear about, and the first person to be Healed of severing EVAH, so that’s important. Plus, Min sees “glory like no man has seen” when she views him, so he’s likely to stay pretty important, despite his missingness in the last book. My pet theory: after Rand dies, Logain will somehow claim the glory of defeating the Dark One. Or at least he will be the person remembered as having done so (see: Thom’s thoughts on stories changing through the ages).

Logain, by Gallagher

Anyway, tall, dark, and handsome is Logain. He has long, dark (curling) hair, a powerful stare, and according to every piece of art I’ve been able to find on him, a permanent five o’clock shadow. He is dark for a Ghealdanin, and short of his middle years.

Go Patrick Dempsey! You heard me. I said it, it’s out there, no takesies backsies. Look at him, he looks just like Gallagher’s art, five o’clock shadow and all. Even found a pic of him in a black coat! Seriously, the guy’s got chops – he sat with me as one of the only decent actors during the first season of Grey’s Anatomy (shit, I guess I’ve finally admitted I used to watch that stupid show), until the rest of the crew learned how to talk in character. He’s got the right height, coloring, and demeanor, and I just flat like him. So there. And I may have a bit of a man crush on him. My wife thinks so.

As a side note, I know a lot of people like Hugh Jackman for this role, and while I like Jackman as well, I just don’t want him in this movie. Nothing against him, I think he makes a great mutant . . . I just don’t think he’s had a lot of success over the years in speaking without a very obvious Australian accent, is all.

Patrick Dempsey as Logain

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Grey’s Anatomy
Made of Honor

Another Asha’Man comes up next, none other than Mazrim Taim. This guy has had “bad news” stamped on his forehead since the first time we met him – hell, before that, since we knew the Black Ajah was interested in him as well. He oozes insincerity, creepiness, and general evil, and Rand has him teaching hundreds of new Dreadlords. Whoops!

Mazrim Taim, by Gallagher

Physically, he’s got enough in common with Demandred that RJ used him as a red herring for a few books, before apparently getting tired of it and telling everyone in no uncertain terms, “Taim is not Demandred, shut up already!” Tall, dark hair, hooked nose, rarely smiles. And he may have a bit of an ego problem. Most narcissists do, but the dude literally told Rand, “Hey, we’ll be equal partners, you being the savior of the world and all, and I’m just a schmuck who started a war.” Cool, huh?

Not breaking any new ground here, I never had anyone other than Jason Isaacs in mind for this role. He’s got the hook nose, he looks evil, plays an evil character in literally everything he plays, and those characters literally never smile, unless it’s to intimidate someone (and usually looks more like a grimace). Ever. Not once. Find me a picture of him smiling (in character) in general delight, and not to be menacing, and I’ll send you an ice cream sundae. With extra sprinkles. And a cherry.

Jason Isaacs as Mazrim Taim

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Harry Potter movies
Green Zone
The Patriot

Mesaana seemed to be one of those Forsaken that never really did anything, until you look at the big picture – she broke the White Tower. Well, maybe not directly, but I guarantee she was the one behind it all. And that’s serious, yo. The beacon of Light that people were depending on to save them from Pure Evil (TM) was broken, crumpled, and tossed aside. And Mesaana did it. She sure taught them all.

Mesaana, by both Gallagher and Saliba

She is tall, just short of her middle years with big watery blue eyes and chin-length dark hair. She has a voice that sounds like chimes. She occasionally changes her appearance to that of a shadowy being, wreathed in light, wearing blacks and whites and having eyes and lips of silver. And she’s blurry. The first part of the description is probably the more important part.

Do you know how hard it is to find a picture of Catherine Keener looking even remotely intimidating? She’s all smiles! Even the one non-smiling picture I found (below) looks like she’s having to try not to smile. Anyway, I love this woman. And she looks the part. So I’m not going to write up a long defense of her. She’s there. And awesome. Too bad she’ll have to bow to Egwene (that turd).

Catherine Keener as Mesaana

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Being John Malkovich
Death to Smoochy

Min Farshaw, the lover o’ Rand, is finally getting cast. We’ve known her since book one, though we had no idea she’d be as important as she is until recently – she may be the one who figures out how to save Rand from eternal death. She reads glimpses of the Pattern, and there is a little bit of weirdness in that, especially when she tells people what she sees, and they can predict how to live based on it, thus creating self-fulfilling prophecies and all – but hey, it’s fantasy.

Min Farshaw, by Gallagher

She has short, boyish hair, though she’s grown it out recently. She used to wear only man clothes, but now she wears man-styled clothes that are shaped for women. She is slender with short hair that curls about her neck, and large, dark eyes. I like Gallagher’s art for her, it’s basically exactly what I’ve always pictured.

Emma Roberts gets the cup cake this time. She is relatively young on the scene, but then again, Min’s a young character, so that works. She hasn’t been in a ton of stuff, but what she has been in, she usually gets some good positive reviews out of. She has brown hair (most of the time), and has some of the features I think work with Min. And she’s cute. That’s important, we wouldn’t want Rand falling for someone not attractive, right?

Emma Roberts as Min

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Scream 4
Hotel for Dogs (kids’ movie, still cute)
Several TV Shows

There you have it. Part 3 done. Come back next week, we may have some exciting new stuff going on! Please send all hate mail to


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
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
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 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 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

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.


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 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

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:

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

-Brandon Daggerhart

Welcome to the Tier 2 Casting of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. This week starts a new segment of the Casting, where we will break down details a bit further, since we’re dealing with (arguably) more important characters now.

As mentioned last week, the format has changed slightly. I will introduce each character with a picture and discussion of their physical looks and attributes, and then go into the various reasons why I’ve chosen the actor or actress I’ve chosen. Occasionally, on certain very popular characters that others have casted, I will explain why I have not chosen the actor or actress that many believe the role should go to (this applies particularly to Lanfear and Moraine, but others as well).

As a slight change to what I mentioned last week about using art to picture characters, it should be worth mentioning that unless the Forsaken was very important, we generally don’t have a lot of descriptions about their physical looks before they returned and started masquerading as other people here during the Third Age. So, I may post up some of the art just to keep things equal between the characters, but I may not necessarily use the art of all the Forsaken as an end-all.

Before we start Tier 2, here are the results of the poll from last week to Cast Berelain. The poll included the choices of Taylor Cole, Cindy Sampson, and Emmanuelle Vaugier to be voted on for Berelain. Here are the results (in pretty pie-graph form):

Berelain Pie Graph

I am pleased to announce that Cindy Sampson (who was my first choice of the three) won the vote barely. I voted for her once, but since she won by three votes, I’m not concerned that I tipped the boat in any way that matters. So now, without further adieu, I announce Cindy Sampson as Berelain.

Check here for previous entries to the Casting Call. Oh, and yeah, there may be spoilers, up to Towers of Midnight.

So yeah, let’s move on. Here are the first seven of Tier 2.

Tier 2 Casting

Aginor does not get a ton of screen time, but that doesn’t make him unimportant, since it is through him that Rand finally discovers his true nature in The Eye of the World. And really, no matter how little screen time they receive, I don’t think any of the Forsaken can be considered unimportant. I picture possibilities in movies (especially once Rand becomes integrated with Lews Therin properly) where there are flashbacks of the Forsaken before they turned, or even after they had turned, but while still during the Age of Legends, so these actors still need to fit certain criteria.

Forsaken Aginor
Aginor’s description in the book is given as almost zombie-like in appearance – he is “older than old,” and parts of his skin is rotting off or missing. Most of the art of him shows him to be dead-looking. We don’t know much about his Age of Legends appearance, so I’m going to go here with acting ability and character motivations instead of specific appearance. Besides, any actor can have costume and make-up make him look much older (almost dead).

So I have gone with Alan Rickman. I’ve chosen him for two reasons. First of all, he has such a history in cinema of playing evil characters that as soon as he shows up on-screen in The Eye of the World, people will know he is a bad guy (as if the flesh falling off his face wouldn’t do that). Secondly, I think it is appropriate for him to have the kind of voice that Alan Rickman has – his talk with the ta’veren and Moraine at the Eye is all menacing and monologuing in nature, and I just don’t think anyone does that quite as well as Rickman.

Alan Rickman as Aginor

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Die Hard
Quigley, Down Under
Harry Potter movies

Alviarin Freidhen is the first of two, what I like to call, pseudo-Forsaken (the other being Mazrim Taim) – she is extremely capable as an evil character for the first little while that we know her, though she starts to flounder once Elaida begins retaking control of the Tower (around book 10 or so). She is extremely wicked in her control of Elaida, and is very manipulative and clever in her searching for the identity of Mesaana. She was raised to the Head of the Black Ajah by none other than Ishamael himself, so you know she means business. Alviarin has a swan neck, and is tall and slim, with smooth, unblemished skin. I cannot find mention of her hair color, but I picture dark-haired.

Elaida and Alviarin by Richard Boye
The only art I can find anywhere of Alviarin is a 1996 drawing by Richard Boye of her standing next to Elaida. She does have dark hair in the art, so either Boye saw the same thing in her that I saw, or he found some text that I couldn’t find.

I think Famke Janssen fits the tall, evil-looking brunette actress that we need for this role. She just has the look to me of someone who means me harm. I will say however, that I am not a huge fan of her voice – I picture Alviarin’s voice to be very deep (for a woman) and menacing, and Janssen would definitely need to do some vocal lessons for this role. I have found, for your viewing pleasure, pictures of her garbed in both her white ajah and black ajah attire. You’re welcome.

Famke Janssen as Alviarin

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
X-men movies
Taken (Liam Neeson!)

Next on our list, we have Aran’gar / Halima, everyone’s favorite trans-gendered ex-Forsaken. Aran’gar is introduced in Lord of Chaos as a new player in the game, revived by the Dark One to continue his evil plans. Though the details are subtle the first time we meet her, it eventually becomes apparent that Aran’gar is none other than Balthamel, reincarnated by the Dark One into a woman’s body.

Halima / Aran'gar
She begins her plans with the Salidar Aes Sedai, making quick friends with Egwene as she is seemingly the only person who can soothe the Amyrlin’s headaches. She is described as quite beautiful, with glossy black hair, big green eyes, and :ahem: firm, full bosom. She also has an outspoken manner which Egwene seems to like. So, what we’ve got here is essentially a supermodel. Unfortunately, the only art I can find of Halima done by any of the “official” artists depicts her with blond hair, so we won’t be using that. I did find this picture, though (source unknown).

Looking for super-model-esque actresses, I came across Jacqueline MacInnes Wood pretty often. I am honestly not very familiar with her, though I have seen Skyrunners. This is going to be one of the only times I do this, but I have chosen her based almost solely on her looks, and not on anything I really know about her as an actress. She may be awesome – I won’t be watching Final Destination 5 to find out – but whether or not she is, she sure as hell looks the part.

Jacqueline Wood as Aran'gar / Halima

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Final Destination 5
The Bold and the Beautiful

Now we come to our favorite gleeman . . . wait for it . . . Asmodean, or Jasin Natael, gleeman for the Dragon Reborn! Asmodean is all throughout The Shadow Rising, though we do not know it is him until the end when he battles Rand for the Choedan Kal. We do know that he is the weakest of the Forsaken, and only turned to the Dark One for the chance at immortality. I don’t recall ever even really hearing about anything evil he actually did.

Asmodean by Seamas Gallagher
We know him only as a gleeman for the entire time he is alive, and he is reasonably tall and handsome, with dark hair and eyes. He apparently has a funny way of tilting his head to the side while listening, which is a huge part of what inspired me to cast the person I cast for this role. He also appears to be in his middle years, which is very interesting – most of the Forsaken who set themselves up in any sort of ruling position also took on a middle-aged person (except Be’lal, who went full-on old-man). It seems to me it would make more sense to take on a young persona, so that you don’t have to fictionalize as much time. Of course, with Compulsion at your beck and call, I guess it doesn’t matter how good you have your story. Here is some art by Seamas Gallagher of Asmodean.

The best head-tiltingest actor I know is Kevin Spacey, boo yeah! Spacey used to be one of my all-time favorite actors, but lately, I feel like he “Spaceys” up his roles too often. However, he is still very good, and has a good, strong presence, which is useful for a handsome gleeman. He is also an extremely gifted impressionist, as well as a talented singer,both of which I’m certain would come in handy as a gleeman.

Kevin Spacey as Asmodean

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Superman Returns
The Usual Suspects
American Beauty

Now we come to casting the first of Rand’s love trio, Aviendha. It is always interesting to me that the first time we meet Aviendha, it is during a scene that seems to have little significance to the story, and thus, she seems to be a throwaway character. There was no indication on our first meeting that she would become as important a character as she is now – then again, there was no indication that Fain would be that important either, so what do I know?

Aviendha by Seamas GallagherShe is a beautiful woman, with short red hair (though I believe it’s growing longer now as a Wise One apprentice), and blue-green eyes. Rand likes to call her skin creamy, and while I’m not objecting to this, I will say that he’s at least a little biased. She is strong too, being a former Maiden of the Spear, and Mat once said she could “kill you with a look.” Here is some more Gallagher art of Aviendha.

Now, a lot of people really seem to like Milla Jovovich for this role. While I normally wouldn’t take much time out of my day to bother defending the reasons why Jovovich is no good for any role (that doesn’t involve zombies), much less this particular role, today, I shall. Here are two. She’s too old, and she sucks at doing the one thing she’s supposed to be good at doing: acting. So that’s all I have to say about that. πŸ™‚

You know who doesn’t suck, though? Karen Gillan, that’s who! She’s made a name for herself recently playing Amy Pond in Doctor Who, and she is Awesome. She looks the part, she is tall (so, good for an Aiel), and young enough to look naive and innocent. And very, very pretty. Rand will dig.

Karen Gillan as Aviendha

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Doctor Who
Harley Street and other TV shows

Balthamel shows up next, and he is another, like Aginor, who doesn’t really get a lot of screen-time in his original incarnation. We do know that he was quite the womanizer in the day, which makes it pretty ironic when he ends up in Aran’gar’s body. Of course, that doesn’t stop him/her from womanizing anyway.

Balthamel from the Dabel Brothers
At his first appearance, he has rotted away so much (being close to the edge of Lews Therin’s prison) that he must wear a mask. So we’re basically just dealing with someone who is a good enough actor to wear a mask. But the voice is important for this on. I picture a sarcastically humorous voice, possibly with quirkiness in it. For Balthamel’s original Age of Legend appearance, we once again don’t have a lot to go on. Here is some Dabel Brothers art of him that I like (can’t find exact artist name).

Quirky actors that aren’t Johnny Depp are hard to find, but one of my favorites (who also happens to get a lot of flack for his acting style) is Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum has an awesome voice that would sound great coming from behind a mask, he’s a good height to be menacing, and seriously, look at him – you can picture him as a womanizer, I know you can. Hell, looking at the picture on the left below, he wouldn’t even need a mask – his face looks creepy enough!

Jeff Goldblum as Balthamel

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Independence Day
Law and Order: Criminal Intent
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Little is known of Be’lal before he turned to the Shadow, although his skills indicate that he was a powerful force for the Light. After breaking free from his prison, he took up residence in Tear and quickly worked his way up to become one of the High Lords. His plan was to lure Rand into taking Callandor, and then taking the Sword that Ain’t from Our Hero. Needless to say, he failed, once he (quite properly) got his ass balefired by Moiraine.

Be'lal by Seamas Gallagher
He is a blademaster, and quite formidable at it. He is described as older looking, but must obviously still be in shape to practice swordplay the way he does. He has white hair and a thin mustache. Here’s, yet again, another Seamas Gallagher piece for your viewing pleasure.

Grow him a mustache, and there are few older actors who look more manipulative (and eeeeeeevil) than Malcolm McDowell. Whether he’s blowing up planets and killing billions just for his own personal gain, or beating women to death with a giant ceramic penis, he always very effectively and scarily plays the ruthless villain.

Malcolm McDowell as Be'lal

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Halloween remakes
A Clockwork Orange

So that’s it for this week. Hope you’ve enjoyed. I’ll see you soon!

-Brandon Daggerhart

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