Friday, February 22, 2013

Supporting "Good" Characters

Zarine Bashere, aka Faile, the name she's mostly known by, is...well, a polarizing character, to say the least, but she's aligned with the good guys and thus belongs on this list. A lot of fans apparently think she's supposed to look Chinese or something, based on how it says her eyes are slightly slanted, but I don't think she is, myself. She fits in too well, looks-wise, in placed that a noticeably different-looking face would be commented on. So, I chose a white actress for her (although I certainly would not object to a TV series making Saldaeans oriental in appearance; I just chose not to go that way). Eleanor Tomlinson (left) could soften the annoyingness of the character somewhat.

Queen Morgase Trakand is a "good" character who makes bad choices and gets humbled somewhat during the storyline. I wanted an actress who was the right age to have a child as old as Elayne but who didn't look middle-aged, and I think I found her in Frances O'Connor (right). She's 45 but looks ten years younger. Her coloring is also appropriate. She's a recognizable face (she's on Mr. Selfridge at the moment) but won't be required to be in every episode, so she can balance the two.

Gareth Bryne is one of those characters that I feel will probably appear more often in the series than he did in the books, because fans seem to really like him. He's a genuinely good man, and more the classic definition of the hero. The books are light on description for him, continually mentioning his "bluff" face (whatever that means), but Steven Waddington (left) just has that look of strong, don't-screw-with-him battle leader that I feel Bryne needs.

Another fan favorite is Elyas Machera, former Aes Sedai Warder turned wild Wolfbrother. He's described as "older" but I always pictured him looking kind of "wolfish" himself, and I wanted an actor that could portray that look. I'm not familiar with the work of David Sterne (right), but I like his look.

I actually went with an actor I'm pretty familiar with for Bayle Domon, the Illianer ship captain. As the most major character from Illian we meet, his way of speaking could get annoying in the wrong actor's hands, so I picked Vincent Regan (left) as a way of softening the impact. He's a good actor and looks like a world-weary hero, so viewers should take him seriously.

For Martyn Tallanvor, I picked Ben Price (right), another young-looking middle-aged man (41) who looks appropriate to be a guardsman and appropriate to be a love-interest for Morgase. Once again, I don't really know much about his work, but he looks right.

Juilin Sandar is another character who's around a lot, does a lot, is a pretty popular supporting character, and yet he's kinda flat. Also no one can agree one what he looks like. He's described as being the color of teakwood, but again, considering the Mediterranean nature of Tear, I'm gonna go with Pierfrancesco Favino (left) because he has that look. He also is old enough without being too old, and looks like a nice guy who could also be a badass.

And now we come to Faile's parents, Lord Davram Bashere and his lady wife, Deira. Again, I don't think Saldaeans look Chinese, but you're free to disagree with me. Lord Bashere is shorter than his wife (apparently short men and taller women is a common thing in Saldaea), so that's really mainly what I had to go on. I picked Jonathan Ryan (right) for Lord Bashere and Isabelle Champeau (left) for Lady Deira, mainly because I know Ryan is short (at least he looked it on The Tudors) and Champeau is of average height. They also look believable as Eleanor Tomlinson's parents.

Patricia Hodge
David Calder
Kirsty Mitchell
Paul Wight
The next group of actors I selected for what I refer to as "the Caemlyn Club", as that's where we meet all of them for the first time and they later group together. To be honest, I think at least two of them will probably not feature heavily in the TV series (though I could be wrong). But the first of them, Lini Eltring, will probably be a fan favorite, because the character is a lot of fun. I chose Patricia Hodge to play her, again, based mostly on her look. I didn't want the actress to look too old, but she shouldn't look young, either. Innkeeper Basel Gill is more minor, but as he later ends up in Perrin's entourage, I figured I'd better cast him. I chose David Calder even though I'm not all that familiar with him. For his bodyguard, Lamgwin Dorn, I searched for a huge guy and finally came back to my initial choice of Paul Wight. A former wrestler (Big Show), Wight doesn't really do acting jobs that require much range or skill, but Lamgwin, let's face it, just requires him to be huge. You don't even have to give him much dialogue; it's not a dialogue-heavy part. I'll also include Breane Taborwin in this group, even though she's not from Caemlyn and isn't introduced with this group, but she does end up with them later, and even falls for Lamgwin, of all people. I picked Kirsty Mitchell for the part.

Daniel Ansleigh
Later in the books, when Mat re-forms the Band of the Red Hand, he gets two lieutenants that are pretty much always present around him; the Cairheinin Talmanes Delovinde and the Tairen Nalesean Aldiaya. They don't have much character; they're basically there to be the right and left hand for Mat, so I wonder if they'll even be given that much character in the series. Probably not much. So, I picked a couple of guys who match the look; Daniel Ansleigh for Talmanes and David Bark-Jones for Nalesean. I know what I said about Mediterranean looks, but I think Bark-Jones looks fine, plus his home country may not even be mentioned.

James Greene
David Bark-Jones

Juan Chioran
I went ahead and cast Herid Fel because even though he's only around for one book, he has an important role. James Greene (right) looks appropriate enough. This is another part where the looks aren't that important, as long as he can convey the right character, and he can.

Finally, based on the fact that Rodel Ituralde apparently becomes an important character in the last three books, I decided to cast him, despite the fact that in the books I've read he doesn't do much. Juan Chioran looks appropriate, but honestly I kinda blanked on this one.

Next Up: The Aiel!

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