Wheel of Time

Welcome back to the Very Last Week of The Wheel of Time Casting Call! It’s been a fun (and occasionally bumpy) ride, but after this week, there is no more to cast (assuming A Memory of Light doesn’t add any new and super-important characters). This last casting call brings us back fully to Team Light, and to the characters who most tend to agree are the most important protagonists in the series.

First though, 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.

I had no art controversies this week – there is no shortage of Egwene and Rand art, so the big deal was choosing the art I find to be most representative of the actual characters.

And finally, for the last time, there will be spoilers up to and including Towers of Midnight. You have been warned.

So let’s see what happens.

This last week, we go to (arguably) the two most important characters in the series – Egwene al’Vere, the Amyrlin who saved and united the White Tower in time for the Last Battle, and Rand al’Thor, The Dragon Reborn, destined to die to save the world from the Dark One. I say arguably because, as ta’veren, Mat and Perrin are likely going to be more important in the actual Last Battle than Egwene, but Egwene’s actions have made it safe for Rand to trust the Aes Sedai to do what they need to do, and she’s also much more likely to (quite frankly) end up in the history books than the other two guys. Just sayin.’

Egwene and Rand, by Seamas Gallagher

We’ve been following these two characters since the very beginning – Rand was the first character we were ever introduced to, and Egwene was basically the first person Rand thought about, then was introduced very shortly thereafter. Egwene, as stated above, was one of the main contributors to getting the Aes Sedai – likely the most powerful force in Randland that was hobbled by arrogance, stupidity, and unbeneficial rules and regulations – whipped back into shape, to perform at the Last Battle. Rand is, of course, the main Hero and protagonist of the story, and the person who the entire book is written for and about – he is The Wheel of Time‘s Jesus, Buddha, Tyr, and various other mythological parallels all wrapped up into one tragic hero, and if the last book is any evidence, he is going to make sure, if nothing else, he goes out with a bang.

So let’s find out who will play them.

Egwene al'Vere
Egwene al’Vere started off as Rand’s . . . uh, I guess girlfriend? . . . promised wife? . . . whatever, but had to move on with her life once Rand came into his power. By dint of fate, she was not destined to be with him, and eventually came into some pretty serious power of her own. As explained up above, Egwene, as the new Amyrlin, pretty much single-handedly beat the rebel Aes Sedai into submission, and ended the White Tower schism. It wasn’t an easy road for her, but she was up to the task.

She is a favorite character of many people. I don’t dislike her, but I don’t particularly like her either. I find her methods to be disingenuous – she has bullied and lied to her friends and allies, just to get what she wanted, often while hypocritically preaching about how bullying and lying doesn’t work. I do see though, that she has accomplished some great things for herself and the Aes Sedai, and she may be pretty much the only reason we will have a good force of Aes Sedai in the last battle.

Egwene is described as beautiful, with large brown eyes and long dark hair. She briefly wore her hair in a braid, the Two Rivers symbol that a woman has come of age, but once she began taking lessons from Moiraine she decided to take it down because “Aes Sedai don’t braid their hair. At least, not unless they want to.” Her height is often commented on, as she is pretty short. Rand thinks about her large, dark eyes that he “could drown in,” so I guess they’re important, too.

There doesn’t seem to be a huge internet consensus on who should play Egwene, so that makes my job a bit easier. I will say, though, for all you people who think Kristen Kreuk would make a good Egwene, well you, sirs and ladies, can go to hell. And I say that with the utmost good intentions. Seriously, KK couldn’t act her way into Clark Kent’s pants, so don’t feed me that BS for The Wheel of Time!

I’m going with Rachael Leigh Cook on this one. Yup, like all my other main peoplez, she’s older than Egwene, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to put some decent actors in this thing. Rachael is a very pretty (natural) brunette, and she definitely has those large eyes Rand can dream about. Plus, at the end of the day, she seems to really be into the sci-fi/fantasy thing, doing a ton of voice acting for shows and video games, which means she’ll respect the material. So I’m down with this.

Rachael Leigh Cook as Egwene

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
She’s All That
Various other TV Shows and Video Games

Rand al'Thor
And here we are, to Mr. Rand al’Thor, The Dragon Reborn, the Savior of the World, he who will die for our sins and be resurrected in three da . . . oh, wrong savior (though it may happen anyway!). Rand al’Thor, who the entire series is about, he is the climax of the Third Age, he is the dénouement to our Wheel of Time drama, and he is awesome. I’m not going to lie – Rand is my favorite character in the books. Sure, sure, he’s not funny like Mat, and sure, he’s not all emofuzzy like Perrin (wait, is that a good thing, or what?), but at the end of the day, Rand is solid. He was thrust into destiny without being asked, and while he makes mistakes, he (very deontologically, I may add) goes on about his duties, because that is what is needed for the world to survive. He may have been on some shaky ground for awhile after Moiraine went bye-bye, but he still kept going, because he knew he was the last, true hope. And I just kinda like that kind of hero, the one who doesn’t wine about it, but just sucks it up, takes his nasty chest and hand wounds, and keeps on trucking.

The most important features about Rand have always been his height, and his hair coloring. Both of these get him into some risky situations, with people thinking he’s an Aiel (guess what!?!). He is very tall, taller than even most Aiel, he has broad shoulders, and is pretty muscular. His hair is red, his eyes are gray, and nowadays, he seems all carved from wood and rock, as he has forced himself to be hard. Now that he’s finally smiling again, I imagine people find him handsome as well, but that’s not what’s important. He is super charismatic – when he stands in a room, people look up to him even before he becomes the Dragon Reborn.

I just don’t know what people are thinking when they throw actors like Josh Hartnett, Garret Hedlund, and ::shiver:: Hayden Christensen up for Rand. Not only are they not even remotely like Our Hero in physicality, they don’t even embody the charisma needed to be someone like Rand. Someone I’ve not seen cast often for him is Chris Hemsworth, and if I weren’t using the person I’m using, he would be a pretty reasonable choice, I believe.

So who did I go with? Who is meant to save the world from the Dark One, and inspire thousands and millions of other little boys to take up the sword, learn about duty, and fight Trollocs? None other than Alexander Skarsgård could fill those shoes for me. He is everything Rand is (minus 18 years old, of course – though I definitely believe he looks young enough to pull off Rand with no problem) – he is tall and broad, he has the right hair and eye colorings. He is extremely charismatic – just go watch some interviews with him, he dominates any conversation he’s in. And he’s one of the finest actors that no one knows about right now. He’s close enough to an “unknown actor,” that people would probably be able to look positively on him if he were in the movie. Which, in my mind he is. The photos I chose below look like he’s even ready for it – he’s in some black Asha’Man garb in one of them, and in the other, he looks like he’s holding a sword. He is Rand al’Thor.

Alexander Skarsgard as Rand al'Thor

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
True Blood
The Last Drop

And that’s a wrap, folks. I am officially done with The Wheel of Time Casting Call. I’m not going to get all ego-maniacal and say “my casting call is the best one out there,” but I will tell you, I have put a literal shit-ton of work into this project. I’ve gone and watched movies to check out actors and actresses, I’ve spent hours and hours debating various actors with my brothers and friends (who also read the series), and I’ve really put my mind into this project at a deep . . . philosophical . . . level to make sure I did the best job I could possibly do.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I hope you’ve liked my Cast. I hope Tor, Harriet, Brandon, Universal Pictures, and Red Eagle have caught glimpses of this along the way, and know that if they ever do this thing, they need to do it right. And I hope that if Mr. Jordan was looking down every now and then to check up on this crazy world, he would be pleased with this project as well, and realize that this whole thing comes from the love of a fantastic series.

Please keep an eye out here for other projects in the future.

-Brandon Daggerhart

Welcome back to the NEXT-TO-LAST The Wheel of Time Casting Call. We’re in week 4 of our Tier 1, or primary characters, and we’re going to do a little bit of a Yin Yang thing in this week’s episode.

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.

Speaking of the art, I’m not going to mince words here – there is literally no art of Moridin out on the webz. Seriously. Google it. You’ll come up with a fake CCG where someone used some art that only barely looks like Moridin, you’ll find some weird boy-love fanart of Moridin and Voldemort, and you’ll come up with a lot of pictures of Jude Law and Ishamael. That’s it. It’s stupid – he’s one of the most important characters in the series, and no one’s done any serious art of him. I even tried to find art that looked close enough to what I imagined Moridin to look like, all to no avail. DeviantArt, Google Images, and ConceptArt all failed me. So yeah, I had very little to go with here, as you will see. I promise, if anyone can send me some actual Moridin art, I will put it in this post.

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

The penultimate Casting Call goes to two characters who were very much behind the scenes, super important characters for the second half of the series. Moridin shows up around A Crown of Swords, and though Rand doesn’t know it, Moridin begins gathering up and putting in line the Dark One’s key players – the other Forsaken, and various other evil peoplez. Rand finally pulls back this curtain (accidentally) in The Gathering Storm, but it leads to Rand walking down the darkest path he’s yet walked. Moiraine Damodred, on the other hand, only became “behind the scenes,” when we realized, as readers, that she had to be alive (due to Min’s Viewings of her). It became so important, because we knew she was the first name on Rand’s list of dead women, and she was going to be one of the keys to Rand’s triumph. Her rescue was one of the most anticipated arcs for the last half of the series, and now we can only wonder at what her importance will be (though I’m hoping and betting that the keywords “Rand getting his ass balefired by Moraine to prevent him from turning to the Dark in a 13/13 move” are involved in some way ;)).

M&M are, as far as we can tell, going to be two key players in the upcoming Last Battle. Most people seem to agree (though some don’t like it) that Moridin will be who Rand has to fight, as the avatar of the Dark One versus the avatar of the Creator (or something like that). Of course, Our Hero still has to seal the Bore after that, but as sneaky, sneaky Verin said, the Dark One is not fighting this battle like the Heroes think, so there are likely to be some major surprises to be had. As for Moiraine, on the other hand, we have no idea why she is so important that Min literally had a Viewing to the effect of “Rand has no chance without Moraine.” There are theories, many of them involving Moraine being the second of the two woman Rand will take with him (along with Nynaeve) to seal the Bore. We’ll see.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

We met Moridin as simply “the Wanderer” in Shadar Logath, who helped Rand during his battle with Sammael. Despite all of Egon Spengler’s warnings, Moridin and Rand crossed their balefire streams, and shit got seriously frakked up. Somehow, seemingly due to this event, the two of them have begun merging in some weird, metaphysical way – Rand can’t channel saidin without feeling nauseous, and Moridin begins feeling some of Rand’s physical pain, including our poor boy’s arm getting blown off.

Moridin seems to play a bit of that “calm, cool, and collected” villain, where little gets under his skin, but he definitely has a temper. Physically, he is strikingly handsome, with blue eyes and black hair. He has a deep voice and a square chin, and looks to be in his mid twenties. We also know him to be very tall now, with broad shoulders.

I’ve seen a lot of people calling for Jude Law for the role, and while I don’t disagree with that choice (and would even support it should the movie/TV show be made without my input!), I think we can do better. My ideal choice would be David Boreanaz from the Buffy/Angel days, back when he was younger and . . . ahem . . . thinner.

I know he’s going to have to grow some of his hair back, but I like Wentworth Miller for this role. Miller has an aura about him that just seems to ooze malicious intentions. He always looks like he’s planning for two steps ahead of everyone else around him, and quite frankly, he looks like a bit of a dick. Which I think Moridin should be. Granted, he’s only a couple years younger than Boreanaz, but he’s aged a bit better. And in other news, he’s thinner.

Wentworth Miller as Moridin

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Prison Break
Various TV Shows

Moiraine e-Book cover

And then we come up to Moiraine Damodred, who is possibly going to give me the largest headache I’ve had since starting this project, due to the unwavering fanboy/girl-ism of using a specific actress for her part. We’ll get to that in a bit. In the meantime, here’s what we know. Moiraine was held prisoner by the Snakes and Foxes after she supposedly killed Lanfear at the docks of Cairhein, in one of the most awesome and heroic scenes in the series. She has lost a lot of power since then, but has become a bit of a legend amongst the Aes Sedai. There’s even the possibility that she will get a spanking from Cadsuane – Cadsuane promised in New Spring, and being bound to the Oaths, that technically must happen, right? 🙂 Even before her heroics, she was one of the most important characters, being the person who found and trained Rand to become the person he is.


She is a short woman, which is talked about often. She has large, dark eyes, and long, dark hair that hangs in ringlets, and is very pretty, with a smooth, ageless face of an Aes Sedai. She is often noted for her very pale Cairheinen skin tones. She has a lot of charisma, and her face and eyes seem to demand attention. She has a melodious voice and laugh, and pretty smile.

So let’s get this out of the way. I just don’t like Rachel Weisz. Believe me, I’ve tried. As it has become apparent over the years that everyone things she should play Moiraine, I have tried to fit her into the mold in my mind, and I just can’t do it. I’m not entirely sure what it’s about. It’s not that I think she’s a bad actress (though I think she sucked in The Mummy – but then again, everyone sucked in The Mummy), and it’s certainly not that I think she doesn’t look the part. I think it’s her voice. For whatever reason, her voice just doesn’t do it for me. Moiraine’s voice is constantly called “melodious,” “chiming,” or some other metaphor for “musical.” Granted, this is very subjective, but I just don’t see Weisz doing what I want her to do. Maybe I’m just nit-picking.

So, I’m going with Mary Louise Parker, who has easily become one of my favorite actresses in the last five years or so. She has pale, creamy skin, naturally long, dark hair, and big, dark eyes. She is gorgeous, and I really like how her voice sounds, especially thinking of Moiraine. She also has an appearance that, to me, demands attention, which I believe would be necessary for Moiraine. I do admit that there is a bit of a height issue – Moiraine is very short, while Parker is pretty tall for a lady, but I figure in scenes where it really matters, they could use LotR-style camera tricks to make her appear shorter. So there you have it – one of the most-asked-about casting choices in the entire series (which is why I left it for next-to-last). Feel free to disagree!

Mary Louise Parker as Moiraine Damodred

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Red Dragon

That’s it. We can agree to disagree if you have problems with Mary Louise Parker. You ain’t changing my mind on that one.

So tune in next week for the very last Casting Call. I feel there may be some (hopefully pleasantly) surprised faces once I reveal Rand and Egwene. We’ll see what happens.

-Brandon Daggerhart

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

Welcome back to The Wheel of Time Casting Call. We’re in week 2 of our Tier 1, or primary characters, and we’ll be flipping sides to Team Dark this week.

This week deals with another “beautiful” character, and I imagine there will be criticism, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just going to mostly ignore that particular criticism. People who think that “most beautiful woman in the world” titles should go to people like Angelina Jolie and Natalie Portman, I personally think don’t have their heads screwed on right. 🙂

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.

Two of the primary antagonists of the series (at least through the first five books or so) are also the two most powerful Forsaken to exist – Ishamael, and Lanfear. And both of them are fuckin’ nuts. Not like the kind of nuts that is fun to read about because they build flux capacitors and scream “Great Scott” while catching various buildings on fire, but the kind of nuts where you really wish they would stop entering your dreams and torturing you in your sleep. Ishamael was never quite sealed by Lews Therin, so he lived for three thousand years and went by one of the Dark One’s own names – some of the Forsaken whisper that he thinks he is the Dark One. We know that not to be true now (by several Moridin POVs we’ve had), but that doesn’t change the fact that if your own . . . allies? can we call the Forsaken allies with each other? . . . think you’ve fallen off the rocker, chances are, they’re right. And Lanfear. Wow. I don’t even know what to say. “Lews Therin is mine,” is her mantra, and boy does she stick to it. Her . . . I’m going to call it a “collapse” . . . in Fires of Heaven was some of the most psychotic-sounding writing in the series.

These two characters were essentially the primary antagonists in one way or another for the first few books, so they’re in the top tier. Ishamael is the person who sends Rand running, constantly haunts his dreams, and is his physical foe for the first three books. Lanfear is the one who manipulates much of what happens to him through books 2, 4, and 5. They are both very important in the villain sense, and they are both back with a vengeance now (though physically looking different) to play through the end-game.

So who can handle these two important characters?

We aren’t given the most clear descriptions of Ishamael / Elan Morin Tedronai through the series. His most notable features are the burning holes where his eyes and mouth used to be, so that probably distracts Rand from seeing his true face during most of their encounters. Being a philosopher, he is prone to monologuing about how awesome he is, and how he and the Dark One will DESTROY ALL TIME AND CREATION and yadda, yadda, yadda. Typical megalomaniacal and nihilistic bad-guy stuff.

Physically, Ishamael is considered good-looking, and in his prime (so 40’s? 50’s?). He has dark hair, is tall, with a powerful jawline. He seems to exude power and terror, and is very charismatic. A lot of the art of him makes him look like Lestat or something, but I think he is meant to look more physically imposing than that.

I’ve seen a lot of actors cast as Ishamael at other fansites, and unlike many other characters, there seems to be no very general consensus as to who should play him. Ralph Fiennes comes up every now and then, but I’m pretty sure it’s just because Ralph already plays one Dark Lord.

Thus, I’m happy to present Mark Strong as my candidate for Ishamael. The guys just looks mean – not the pure evil that Jason Isaacs looks, but like he’s just tired of effing around and it’s time to kick some ass. Physically, he is tall, broad, and strong-looking, and his natural hair color is dark (though he often shaves it). Plus, he is known for playing villains. I particularly like his voice for all the menace it has – we’ll need that when he’s haunting Rand’s dreams!

Mark Strong as Ishamael

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Sherlock Holmes
Robin Hood

Then comes Lanfear / Mierin Eronaile. Someone once asked on Theoryland, “With Lanfear being the strongest female channeler and most beautiful person in the world during the Third Age, what exactly did it take for one to gain their third name?” The clever response I saw was, “Something other than hunger for sex and power, presumably.” This explains Lanfear pretty well to me. All she ever talks about is how she and Rand can dethrone the Dark One and Creator, and they can have power and glory beyond imagining – she even offers these same things to Perrin and Mat during some of her creepy visits to them. We know she’s narcissistic, and by nature of the many conversations she has with Our Heroes, we can conclude pretty . . . conclusively . . . that she’s also a nutjob.

On the other hand, she is literally the “most beautiful woman in the world.” Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but when even Loial starts falling for her, you start to think “maybe there’s something to this perfect beauty thing.” She is tall, with fair skin and dark hair. As Selene, she looks to be about the age of Nynaeve, though once she dispels the One Power disguise, she looks more mature.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. I did NOT choose Angelina Jolie or Catherine Zeta Jones for this role. I don’t find Jolie to be particularly beautiful – I know, eye of the beholder and all, but this is my casting, and my rules (which I will soon break). I think she has a funny face, and I don’t like her lips. For Zeta-Jones, don’t get me wrong, I think she would have been absolutely perfect for the role . . . ten years ago. I just don’t find that she’s aged in a way that she can still look young enough to portray the character we need. I know Lanfear is older than Rand (by at least 3000 years), but she just doesn’t fit it for me. I honestly tried my damndest to make Morena Baccarin work for this role. I’m in love with that woman, but she just didn’t fit what I wanted either.

So here we go. Aishwarya Rai gets this role, and while I wish I could have gone another route, I feel good enough about this choice to stick with it. Rai has been called “the most beautiful woman in the world” so many times that it’s become a cliché. She is tall, dark-haired, and absolutely stunning. And what I find to be particularly important is that her eyes have just the right down-turn to them that I think she could go from looking happy-smiley-beautiful to downright-evil in a heartbeat. I did break a criteria though – Rai is definitely not fair-skinned or ivory-pale, or whatever else metaphors are used to describe Lanfear’s very, very white skin. Oh well, we’ll have to look past that – it won’t be the worst of my rule-breaking in the upcoming chapters.

Aishwarya Rai as Lanfear

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
Note – She hasn’t been in a ton of English movies, but she has been in a few. She is considered to be quite good in her native Hindi movies, but most of the English ones have not been rated very highly. oh well…
The Last Legion
Dhoom 2

Well, there you go. I am 100% behind Mark Strong, and mostly behind Aishwarya, but I fully admit that I could be convinced of other actresses (though not Jolie or Zeta-Jones) if someone can point me to someone I’ve never seen before. Anyway, we’ll get back to some good guys next week!

-Brandon Daggerhart

Yup, didn’t have time to get the WOT Casting done before leaving for NYC. So we’ll be delayed a week. Sorry.

Welcome back to The Wheel of Time Casting Call! We’re down to the end-game here, crunching the big numbers for the stars of our movie, and it’s going to be a fun, exciting, and likely controversial last five weeks!

Before I jump in, I would like to say that for this last Tier, I have necessarily had to let age go as a strong determining factor. The problem is that all the main characters are young. And not just young, but literally teenagers. And I’m sorry guys, and I mean no offense if you are really into these teeny-bopper actors right now, but most of these young actors in Hollywood right now simply don’t fit my needs. They’re either too fake-looking (for the women), or they just simply can’t act. I don’t care how much you like One Tree Hill, or the 90210 remake, the actors suck. Sorry if that bothers you. Now, for my Casting, for any of the characters where I can fit the age criteria, I certainly will, but I’m pretty sure that only one of the main characters I’m casting is going to fall in the actual age of the actor I use. However, I will be using actors that can (and have been known to) play younger roles than their age, and I hope you all find this to be a forgivable offense.

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.

The first part of Tier 1 will be casting a couple major characters that get a ton of flack throughout the series for having some rather boring and unfortunately long-winded storylines. Elayne (and her ‘Queening’) and Perrin (and his ‘Faile-ing/ – no double entendres there, nosiree!) are often lumped in a category of main characters that people get tired of reading about, due to some stupid decisions they make (I’m looking at you all the time, Elayne!) or some really long ‘quests’ they take. These two storylines I’m referring to are also unfortunately thrown into the portion of the series that are often argued as the worst books written – Path of Daggers through Crossroads of Twlight (though neither ends there, they take up a lot of time through those books), which doesn’t help redeem these story arcs in most readers’ eyes.

Perrin Aybara and Elayne Trakand, by Seamas Gallagher

However, when you take them on the whole, both storylines are not only necessary for the character development of Elayne and Perrin, but they’re kinda fun – if they were shortened anyway. I mean, Perrin chasing through the wilderness, then pretty much single-handedly ending the Shaido threat is nothing to be laughed at – it just should have been condensed down to one book (at the most, two), each in ten-to-twelve-chapter-lumps, instead of spread out through five frakkin books. And Elayne’s was important, and we always knew it was coming, because it finally puts her in a place where she can have importance in the Last Battle.

So let’s talk about them and what we need to cast them.

For most of the series, Elayne Trakand is the strong-willed princess Daughter-Heir to the throne of Andor. She eventually takes said throne, but even with all the political maneuverings, her pregnancy, and all the shiz-nit she’s been through, we still have to remember, she’s a young woman. At nineteen years old (and 17 or 18 when the series starts), she should, in all honestly, be expected to make rash, impulsive, and quite frankly stupid decisions. Which she does with great aplomb. So we have a young woman, prone to making decisions that may not be the wisest in the world, and she’s young.

Physically, she is strikingly beautiful, with red-gold curly hair, and sapphire-like blue eyes. She is tall-ish for a woman, and has long limbs and good form. She is mentioned to have a “perfect oval face,” and full red lips. So we’re looking at someone here who fits a very traditional and classic sense of beauty.

A couple favorites for Elayne seem to be Amanda Seyfried and Amber Heard. Amanda Seyfried is a full-on dismissal for me – it’s not that she doesn’t fit some of the criteria, I just think she has a quirky look to her beauty that doesn’t fit that near-perfection we need. As for Heard, sure she’s pretty (hot?), but I don’t particularly find her acting all that suitable. Granted, I’ve only seen her in Pineapple Express, but I just wasn’t impressed. That doesn’t mean she couldn’t make a good Elayne, I just don’t particularly see it. So who would I choose?

Ladies and gents, I give you Anna Camp. Many will not know who this lovely lady is, but I assure you, after seeing her pictures and checking out some of her acting, you should have no problem accepting her for Elayne. She is absolutely gorgeous in the traditional sense, and has almost all the features necessary – height, oval face, gold hair (possibly a little dye to add some red-ish-ness to it), and beauty. We would have to give her some blue contacts, but I’m not too terribly concerned about that, since we’ve always known we’ll have to make sacrifices here and there. The point is, she is beautiful, fits most of the physical criteria, and is a great actor on top of it all. Plus, she looks like Amy Yasbeck, who is my Morgase pick. Enjoy!

Anna Camp as Elayne Trakand

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
True Blood
Mad Men
Various other TV shows

Perrin ebook cover
Next up on the list is our favorite EMO, Perrin Aybara. Known for, amongst other things, whining his way through many of the books, Perrin is one of the ta’veren, which means he (likely) has a major role to play in the Last Battle. He is the mopiest of Our Heroes, but he is also possibly the most logical and rational as well, making decisions based on long contemplation and thought, instead of just jumping into the mix and hoping for the best. He became the leader he needed to be in Tower, and is likely to be at the head of Rand’s forces beside Mat in the upcoming battle.

Perrin is very large – not tall, and certainly not “thick.” He is pound for pound muscle, having worked for years at the blacksmith’s forge, and he shows it. Everyone that comes in contact with him for the first time notes his size. He is of average height, has curly brown hair, and has been sporting a full beard since The Shadow Rising. His eyes used to be brown, but are now golden like a wolf’s.

A lot of people like Ryan Reynolds for this role. I am actually a big fan of Reynolds as an actor – I was uber-excited to see him playing Hal Jordan (though I would have rather seen him play Barry Allen), I really liked him in the new Amityville, and he’s just all-around a funny and charismatic actor. Unfortunately, I just don’t think he fits what I’m looking for. I know he can get buff (there’s a great picture of him holding an axe for Amityville that I think most people get their Ryan=Perrin inspiration from), but he overall has a very slender frame, and I just don’t see his voice working for Perrin. However, were I to not use the actor I’ve chosen, Ryan would be in strong contention for this role.

So who did I go with? Scottish actor Paul Telfer, that’s who. When looking for actors for Perrin, I originally just googled “strong young actors,” and started filtering through pictures. One picture in particular (top-left below) caught my eye, so I started looking up Paul. And it turns out that I actually knew who he was, having watched NCIS and Hotel Babylon. So I rewatched the episodes necessary and found myself really liking his abilities. Then to top it all off, he has (or can have) a great build to play Perrin. He is, of course, older than Perrin, but I think he looks young enough so as not to cause any major concerns.

Paul Telfer as Perrin Aybara

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Hotel Babylon
Various other TV Shows

So there you have it. Tier 1 is going strong, and next week, we’ll take a look at a few rather important villains, and see if you guys can stand behind my choice for the most beautiful woman in the world.

-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!

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