It was a Beginning…….

Today is the 12th anniversary of the death of Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time, but it is also a special day for fans because it is the first day of principal photography for the upcoming Wheel of Time television series on Amazon Prime.  While this new beginning fills the fandom with mixed emotions on this day one thing is for sure. September 16th will always be a special day in the WoT Community.

Rafe Judkins the Wheel of Time Series Showrunner shared a special message on his Twitter account this morning. You can see Rafe’s message HERE

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Wheel of Time Amazon Series Casting as of Sept. 5th

As many of you know by now the Wheel of Time is in the process of being turned into a series for Amazon Prime.  With the impending series, we have been getting casting news form the WoT On Prime twitter (https://twitter.com/WoTonPrime) So far we have castings for Moiraine, The Emond’s Five and Lan.

Below you will find pictures and information for each of the actors. You can check the Wheel of Time IMBD page – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7462410/.  The WoT on Prime Twitter page makes announcements every Wednesday with the hashtag #wotwednesdays.  Follow https://twitter.com/WoTonPrime to stay up to date with all the Wheel of Time Amazon Series news.


Rosamund Pike as Moiraine Damodred

Pike appeared in a number of UK television series, including Wives and Daughters (1999), before scoring an auspicious feature film debut as the glacial beauty “Miranda Frost” in the James Bond film, Die Another Day (2002); when the film was released, she was only 23. Though her debut was a big-budget action film, the film work that followed was primarily in smaller, independent films, including Promised Land (2004), The Libertine(2004), (for which she won the Best Supporting Actress award at The British Independent Film Awards), and Pride & Prejudice (2005), as one of the Bennet daughters. A brief foray into Hollywood film followed with the action flick, Doom (2005), and the thriller, Fracture(2007), but she returned to smaller films with exceptional performances in three films: An Education (2009), Made in Dagenham (2010), and the lead opposite Paul Giamatti in Barney’s Version (2010).

As she continued her stage work in England, Pike appeared in the spy spoof, Johnny English Reborn (2011), and inhabited the role of “Andromeda” in the sci-fi epic, Wrath of the Titans (2012). She returned to action films with the female lead opposite Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher (2012).

She returned to acting and landed the coveted title role in Gone Girl (2014). The film became a critical and box-office hit, with Pike earning the film’s sole Academy Award nomination as Best Actress. She also earned nominations as Best Actress from Screen Actor’s Guild, Golden Globes, and BAFTA.  (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0683253/bio)


Madeleine Madden as Egwene al’Vere

Madden starred in Australia’s first indigenous teen drama, Ready for This, and in the critically applauded Redfern NowShe has also starred in The MoodysJack IrishMy Placeand The Code. In 2016 she starred in the miniseries Tomorrow, When the War Began which is based on the John Marsden series of young adult books. In 2018 she played Marion Quade in the miniseries Picnic at Hanging Rock,Crystal Swan in the TV miniseries Mystery Road and Immy DuPain in the series Pine Gap. She has been cast as Egwene al’Vere in Amazon’s upcoming adaptation of The Wheel of Time series.

Madden has starred in short films by Deborah Mailman, and Meryl Tankard and co-starred with Christina Ricci and Jack Thompson in Around the Block. Her first film acting job was at eight years old. She aims to become a director in the future.

Madden made her big Hollywood debut as Sammy in the 2019 film Dora and the Lost City of Gold. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_Madden)


Josha Stradowski as Rand al’Thor

Josha Stradowski started acting as a kid in musicals like The Sound of Music and Ciske de Rat and began playing roles in television as a teenager. He graduated from the AHK theatre school in Amsterdam and worked on multiple plays such as Oedipus directed by Robert Icke at Ivo van Hove’s theater company ITA in 2018. He recently completed filming on a new series. He also played the lead role in an indie feature film, Just Friends, for which he and the film received a number of awards on the international film festival circuit.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Favor Talents


Zoë Robins as Nynaeve al’ Meara

Zoë Robins was born on February 19, 1993 in Wellington, New Zealand. She is an actress, known for Power Rangers Ninja Steel (2017), The New Tomorrow (2005) and The Shannara Chronicles (2016).


Daniel Henney as Lan Mandragoran

He is an actor, known for X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Big Hero 6(2014) and The Last Stand (2013). (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2024644/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm)


Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon

Barney Harris is an actor, known for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016), Billionaire Boys Club (2018) and All Roads Lead to Rome (2015). (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6905444/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm)


Marcus Rutherford as Perrin Aybara

Marcus Rutherford is an actor, known for Obey (2018), County Lines (2019) and Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators (2018). (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8519744/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm)

 

To Cast A Villain: Liandrin Guirale

I originally posted this on http://www.wheeloftime.tv/

Last week I told you guys that I had an actress picked out to play the Liandrin and that actress is Margot Robbie. She definitely has the acting chops and, with the exception of eye color, she is exactly how I picture Liandrin.

Margot Robbie

Now there are two reasons I don’t think this is feasible. The first reason is not a huge deal, she has blue eyes while Liandrin has dark brown eyes. Not a big a deal and easily fixed or even ignored. The second one is far more important, the budget. Liandrin is not an important enough character to spend the money we would need to spend to get Margot Robbie. So while I think she would perfect, it is an unrealistic casting.

Now that we are past that let’s talk about Liandrin. While we don’t get much of a description for her, but we do know she has dark brown eyes and honey-colored hair. She is pretty and has a doll’s face and a rosebud mouth. She is taller than Moiraine by a hand (TGH, Ch. 4). She is slightly taller than Nynaeve (TDR, Ch. 49). She has the ageless face of an Aes Sedai (TPoD, Ch. 24). While her eye color may be negotiable the multitude of braids. I am on the fence about the “rosebud mouth”. While it is a defining aspect of her appearance, I think it could be sacrificed and not missed. I do think it is important for her to look sweet. I always felt like her looks were in contrast to her personality and that it was done on purpose.

As far as her personality, she is mean and conniving, though she doesn’t quite look it. I don’t think the actress that is chosen to play her will need a wide acting range, though she will have to act afraid at one point. So we need someone with a rosebud mouth (maybe) who is pretty, but mean and conniving or at least can act mean and conniving.

Sharon Leal is an actress that I think would do well in this role. Some of you may remember her from my To Cast a Villian:Semirhage post. I like her for this part more than I do for Semirhage. She has a strong acting resume and I think she can play “bad” very well. We would have to lighten her hair (which is not a big deal). Most of her experience is in TV series, which I think bodes well for anyone that gets a part in this venture.

Sharon Leal

Now I know some people may disagree with this casting because the envision Liandrin as Caucasian. But we do not have a skin color for Taraboners in general and we don’t have a description of skin color for Liandrin. We know some of them to have yellow-honey hair colored and dark eyes. With the knowledge that the Breaking shifted the landscape and the country lines it is completely feasible (in my opinion) that most nations have a bit of a diverse population, like Seanchan. That being said I am standing by this casting.

I also really like Lily Collins for this role. She actually may be too talented for it (and unattainable) but based on what I have seen of her acting skill and her look I think she would make a good Liandrin. I actually can think of a few other roles she would do well, but none of them are villains. We would have to lighten her hair and maybe give her contacts. But I think her acting ability would make up for any think her look “lacked”.

Lily Collins

Another actress I like for this role is Rose Byrne. You may remember her from X-Men: First Class (2011) or Annie (2014). Rose is a more experienced actress so I do not know if the idea of an Amazon Prime Series would appeal to her. I have no doubts about her acting ability, and while she is older I don’t think it will matter because “movie magic” is going to make the all look Ageless, right? (I really hope that get that right)

Rose Bryne

My last suggestion is Eliza Dushku. Honestly, I think she is the most realistic fit, based on budget and the availablity of the actress. You may recognize as Arnold and Jamie Lee’s daughter in True Lies(1994) or as Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1998 -2003), but she has been busy since then. She has both movies and television series on her resume. I think she would do well in the role of Liandrin, she has the look and I think she has an excellent “mean girl face”, but is still pretty. She looks like she is always up to something, but could totally talk her way out of it.

Eliza Dushku

Now after doing all this casting, I will say, I think Liandrin will probably be one of the characters that get cut. He character arc is not impressive or that important. She is one of the Thirteen Black Sisters that stole several ter’angreal from the Tower storerooms and then fled Tar Valon.(TDR, Ch. 13). And while the number 13 is important in the series, I think it is one of those nuances that will be sacrificed for the sake of time and budget.

I would love for them to put every single thing in the books into the television series, but I am realistic. There is money involved in this venture and some hard decisions (or not so hard depending on who you ask) need to be made. And think Liandrin’s role can be folded into another character or dropped altogether. But I will not go too deeply into that here since this is about casting.

But there you have it. My three picks for Liandrin. Next week we will be casting Alviarin Freidhen (a Black Sister I hope they don’t cut out)

To Cast a Villain: The Musician Edition

I originally posted this on the www.wheeloftime.tv blog

Asmodean by Shorelle on Deviant Art

Joar Addam Nessosin, a noted composer of music and child prodigy during the Age Of Legends that never seemed to quite reached his full potential in adulthood. Apparently, this was something that caused him a great deal of shame and anger.

So what does this great artist do?

He turns to the Shadow. That is right, he throws his lot in with the Dark One, himself.  

(Talk about a temperamental artist, sheesh)

His logic?

He would become immortal and have time to reach fame and glory through his music.

(Y’all can’t see the face I am making but it is totally the face that Jim from The Office Television Series makes when he looks into the camera after someone does or says something stupid)

But he was not remembered as Joar Addam Nessosin, great composer. He was remembered as Asmodean, one of the Forsaken that was trapped in the Bore.

And to be honest, he wasn’t even the scariest or craziest or most evil. Despite all that he is my favorite male Forsaken. He really did just want to play his music and be remembered for his talent. He just picked the worse possible way to do it.
Another reason he might be my favorite is that I always pictured him as a middle-aged Johnny Depp.

Johnny Depp in all his past glory

But I digress. Today we are casting Asmodean, the Musician (that is what his name means in the Old Tongue, see not scary).

We don’t get much information about his physical appearance. The descriptions we do have of him are as Jasin Natael, but I think we can assume that he appeared as himself and did not use the Mask of Mirrors to alter his appearance. He was in his middle years, tall and handsome. He had dark hair and dark, deep-set eyes. It is noted that women would find him attractive.

While he does spend a lot of time with Rand, there is only one (maybe two) time the story is from his POV. Everything we learn about him is from his interactions with Rand and Lanfear. His character does not really display a wide range of emotions. I think whoever plays him will need to make the audience like him, maybe even feel sorry for him, but not completely trust him.

This was actually a little difficult for me because that image of Johnny has been set in my head as Asmodean for so long. When I actually started thinking about who could play Asmodean the first person that popped into my head was Adam Driver. I don’t find him particularly attractive but some ladies, so it could work.

Adam Driver

Now, I really think he is out of reach, and pretty busy. But I think he has the look and the acting ability. I mean I kind of feel bad Kylo Ren, but I also think he is a whiney, little b!#&h. Luke Evans would be good too, but not gonna happen.

Now for my picks:

Penn Badgley

Penn Badgley’s look is close (something about the eyes is off for me) and based on his IMBD he seems to have the experience. I do not recall seeing him in anything, but I would be willing to take a chance on him. The majority of his work does seem to have been in several different television series, so that is a good thing.

Karan Kundra

Karan Kundra is an Indian television actor best known for playing the role of Arjun Punj in Ekta Kapoor’s Indian soap opera Kitani Mohabbat Hai that aired on NDTV Imagine. Now, of course, I have not seen this, but I do like his look and I did watch some stuff on YouTube. He would do the role justice. And I mean look at him, it would work. I also think Asomdean with an accent would be believable. Actually, I think all the Forsaken should have a slight accent since their native language is Old Tongue and what is spoken in the books is a bastardized version of that. But I will save that for another post.

Adrian Brody

Adrian Brody is my last pick. He has the look, and I have seen him in things, and I think he could play Asmodean just fine. But is this a realistic casting? I am going to say yes and this is why. What is the last thing you saw Adrian Brody in? ….. Exactly. I am not taking anything away from his talent, and he has been busy. I mean, he has been working pretty consistently since 1988, but I honestly don’t think his asking price would be as high as Adam Driver (his dance card is very full). So I think, if approached the right way, Brody would be on board.

And there you have it, my casting choices for Asmodean. I won’t lie, this one was difficult, not only because of my own biases, but school just started and I had to go back to work. Basically, I had to be a responsible adult and couldn’t spend my time looking at cute guys on the internet.

Anyway, I am going to shake things up a little and cast a member of the Black Ajah. We will be looking who could at who could play Liandrin. Honestly, I think they may cut her out of the story, but I have some actresses in mind for her already so we are going to cast her.

Don’t forget to let me know who you think would make a good Asmodean! Emai me at ebonysedai@gmail.com

To Cast Villian: Semirhage, The Mistress of Pain

*I originally posted this on the Wheeloftime.tv blog at the request of Narg Trolloc.

Namene Damendar Boann,

Mistress of Pain,

The Forsaken that actually scares the other Forsaken,

Semirhage!

Semirhage by Ariel Burgess

She is my favorite female Forsaken (Mesaana is a close second). As such, I am going to go ahead and tell y’all that my fantasy casting pic for Semi is Angela Bassett.

 

But we don’t have “Bassett Bucks” so we are just going to continue on with a more realistic casting. And for the record Viola Davis would be my second pick and she would kill the role. But we don’t have “Davis Dollars”, either, so….

Let’s start with Semirahge’s physical appearance. From the book we know:

  • She is taller than most men, with a smooth dark face and dark eyes (LOC prologue)
  • She is slender and very tall. Her charcoal black face is beautiful and she has large black eyes and full lips (WH, CH 14)
  • She has short, wavy, black hair. (WH, CH17)

The WoT Companion gives us a bit more detail. She is 6’1 ½ “. With skin a dark as one of the Sea Folk with large dark brown eyes and short, wavy black hair she is considered beautiful by many. She is also described as being slender, graceful and having delicate hands.

The biggest issue I think we will have when trying to find an actress to match Semirhage’s height AND being slender with delicate hands so I am not going to worry about height so much. I would still like to see an actress on the taller side in this role, but I am not holding my breath for someone 6’1 1/2″. Anyway, I am sure they can create the illusion of height if necessary.

 

Semirhage by Michael Komarck

Whoever is cast for the role of Semirhage she will have to have an imposing screen presence. The WoT companion says Semi had a “cool, even cold, and imperious air” but when she was in her sadist glory she was ruthless, cruel and a vicious killer. So we are going to need an actress that looks cool, calm, and collected one minute and terrifyingly cruel the next. However, she will also need to have an almost clinical way about here when talking or performing her sadist acts. I mean, she was a Healer during the Age of Legends.

If you look back at her torturing of Cabriana Mecandes in Chapter 6 of Lord of Chaos you can see an example of her calculated cruelty.


These picks aren’t in any specific order. I actually don’t favor one actress over the other, but from the pool of known actresses, these are the three I think would do the role justice in both appearance and acting. And they won’t blow the budget. (I really wish we had “Basset Bucks” though)

Tika Sumpter


Tika Sumpter
 is the closest when it comes to Semirhage’s look. She seems delicate at first glance but I think she would be able to pull off cold and calculating, as well as, scary as hell. She has a few movies under her belt but has done more TV work. Her career does seem to be taking off as she is currently working on or finishing up 5 projects, so she may not be as realistic of a choice as I like, but I think she would do well in the role.

Sharon Leal

Next, we have Sharon Leal. Leal has been working in “the biz” since the late 90’s. She had a recurring role on Guiding Light as Dahlia Crede from 1996 – 99. She also had recurring roles on Boston Public and Private Practice. More recently she has appeared on Instinct (TV series) as Lt. Jasmine Gooden and on the Supergirl TV series as M’gann M’orzz. I will

be honest, I don’t think her look is quite Semirhage. There is a softness to her face that I don’t imagine Semi has, BUT if her acting skills are up to par that softness wouldn’t matter

Anna Diop

And, finally, we have Anna Diop. You may have heard about the controversy surrounding her playing of Starfire in the new Titans streaming series.  The majority of Diop’s experience is in television. Most recently she has appeared on the series Bosch as Desiree Zealy and as Nicole Carter on 24 Legacy. I think given the chance to play Semirhage she would us noteworthy performance. As far as “the look” I don’t think she has the delicacy Semirhage is described as having. That aside, she is fully capable cool, calm and crazy vibe.

So that is it for this week’s To Cast a Villian. Who would you pick to play the Mistress of Pain? Email me at Ebonysedia@gmail.com.

Next week we will be casting Asmodean!

Padan Fain: Not Your Average Villain

Here it is! The first in my To Cast a Villain blog series. I hope you enjoy and please, feel free to send me any feedback or suggestions you may have.  Let’s begin with Padan Fain.

Wot_padan_fain_by_reddera-d507pr0

Padan Fain by Ariel Burgess

When we first meet Padan Fain, he is a simple peddler that brings goods and news to the Two Rivers from the outside world. In the Eye of the World Rand’s internal dialogue lets us know that last year Padan Fain finally started acknowledging the boys and seeing them as “men.” Of course, we later find that Fain’s attention to the boys had a nefarious purpose.

Padan Fain is from Lugard in Murandy. We don’t have a general physical description ofhqdefault people from Murandy, but Fain is described as being pale, skinny, has gangly arms, and a massive beak of a nose (TEotW, Ch. 3). Personally, I have always envisioned the Disney animated version of Ichabod Crane.

 

Knowing Fain is from Lugard gives us a bit of insight into his personality. Lugard also has a reputation for thievery and licentiousness. Residents consider any outsider to be a fair mark for theft or con (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 30). So, it is not surprising that he went the route of Dark Friend.

Aside from having a very distinct look, the actor that plays Fain will need to be able to convey a condescending attitude, vengeance and just plain crazy. A popular fan choice

serkis-vnutr2

Andy Serkis

for Fain is Andy Serkis, you know Gollum from The Lord of the Rings movies. Most recently, he played Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther. Now, as far as acting chops I absolutely think Serkis could handle the part. But for me, he doesn’t fit the physical description. Now for some characters, the physical description doesn’t matter, but I do think it is essential for Fain to have an almost rat-like appearance and to seem physically fragile.
Another suggestion I have seen is Steve Buscemi. While Buscemi is a closer fit physically,

220px-Steve_Buscemi_2009_portrait
Steve Buscemi

I still don’t think he is a good choice for this role. He is an established, well-known actor and while he can play villains, I don’t know how well he can do vengeful and crazy.

So, where does that leave us? I don’t think Fain’s character arc warrants the hiring of a well-known actor. He actually does not get that much screen time and I would rather they (the studio) use their budget on good effects, an excellent narrator and maybe a big name to play Moiraine or Thom.

 

 

 


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Larry Hankin

My top pick for Padan Fain is Larry Hankin. Now I am going to guess that you most of you don’t recognize that name, but you will know his face. He has had numerous TV and movie roles, and he is one of those actors that we all recognize on sight, but we have no idea what his name is. I think he has a look and the acting range to play Fain, my only concern is his age. He is 77, and while that is probably around the age, Fain is I am not sure that bodes well for a casting suggestion. Since we don’t really know the timeline of the actual production, there is a good chance Mr. Hankin would be retired before the tv adaption ever hit the small screen.

 

My second choice for Fain is John Hawkes. He has the look and an impressive acting

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John Hawkes

resume. He is another one of those actors that you know, but don’t know. A plus to this pick is that he is 58, and while that is a younger than Fain I think it will give us more leeway as Fain transforms to Mordeth as far as visuals. I think it is easier to make a younger person look old and haggard than to make an older person look younger. And Fain should definitely look haggard at some point.

So, there you have it, my casting picks for Padan Fain. Let me know what you think. You can comment on this post or email me at Ebonysedai@gmail.com.
Next week we will be casting Semirhage.

See you then!

 

A New Blog Series “To Cast A Villain”

Hey, Y’all!! So I haven’t posted anything since Jordancon back in April. That is because pesky things like kids, and work, and adulting keep getting in the way. As a result, I don’t always have as much time to dedicate to Wheel of Time as I would like. However, I am changing that starting with this.

By now most of you have heard that the Wheel of Time TV series is a go. This is what we know so far:

If that name sounds familiar it may be because he has worked on “Agents of SHIELD and “Chuck”. He was also on Survivor: Guatemala (2005).

Even more exciting the following was tweeted on his account:

Rafe Tweet 1            Rafe Tweet 2

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As you can imagine, this information has set the fandom all “a twitter” (no pun intended). Especially those of us that enjoy casting the characters. I mean, some of us have been doing this for years, decades even.

Now I was thinking about the new show and who I would cast, which led me to think about the casting panel at Jordancon (I am pretty sure I will be on it again next year), and that made me think about the theme for Jordancon 11. The theme is Shai’Con, you know, like Shai’tan…..Jennifer and Aubree really like puns. giphy1

Anyway, all that thinking hatched the following idea:

A blog series about casting the villains in The Wheel of Time!!!

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Brillant, right?!?!

Often, (at least in my experience) when fans discuss casting they focus on the Fab Five (Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve) Moiraine, Thom and Faile.  You may get a Lanfear or Moridin or Ishamael.

With this blog series, I want to focus on the “bad guys”; the Forsaken, Darkfriends, the just plain mean characters and of course Padan Fain.

Each post will include the physical description (of course) from the books and the Companion. It will also have my opinion on what traits and abilities an actor would need to be successful in the role. Lastly, it will include some of my picks for each character.

The series will be weekly starting August 1st.  The first villain I am going to focus on is Padan Fain (since we meet him first)

Do you have an actor in mind that you think would fit the role of Padan Fain?

Email me at EbonySedai@gmail.com with suggestion and the reason why you think the actor would be a perfect fit. I will include a few suggestions from the fandom.

Check back in a couple weeks for the first post in the “To Cast a Villain: The Forsaken, Darkfriends and More” series.

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