The Wheel of Time Casting Call, Tier 1 – Egwene and Rand

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

28 thoughts on “The Wheel of Time Casting Call, Tier 1 – Egwene and Rand

  1. Oh man, you’re done.. I wish I had discovered your blog earlier!

    I like Alexander for Rand and LOVE Rachel Cook for Egwene. She is Perfect. I think she is the best choice you have made so far and I bow down to your choice.. Believe me, I have seen many many of these casting calls!!

    Congratulations. How does it feel?!

  2. Yeah, I’m a big fan for RLC on Egwene as well – she was actually a pretty tough one, though I didn’t talk about it much, but I really needed a strong, pretty actress for her, and feel I really hit the nail on the head with Cook.

    Thanks so much for reading and following!

  3. We can roll with this. Much, much better choices than anything else we’ve seen, and these actors could definitely pull it off-admittedly we did have to stop in the middle and look up de-ontologically, which I’m assuming has to do with Rand’s excessive use of Balefire…=) Overall, it’s been a great ride and thanks for putting in all the effort you have with this casting call. This is, without a doubt, the best we’ve seen.

  4. sigh 🙂 both are good, and thank you so much for putting my mind at rest on the subject of Rand, some real Viking blood is what was needed, and you’ve done that! woooooh!

  5. I was sure that I would NOT like this casting call (online, they usually all disagree with my taste), but I can honestly say that I love this! Some of the actors I had never even considered playing this or that character until now… but they are perfect!

  6. Thank you! I agree with you that, online, have rarely found a casting call that fit my tastes and needs, which is why I did one myself. Thanks for reading!

  7. Thank you for a well-thought out, well-presented list. Whether I’ve agreed or disagreed with your choices along the way, It’s really shown your devotion to the series. I especially appreciated your original ideas, as I get tired of the same ineffectual people being regurgitated just because they saw it on another list.
    It’s been a fun read!

  8. I have just come upon this site for your casting and looked them over completely and disagree with most of them…..sorry… it seems with most your going strictly with looks or big names… I personally don’t want an ensemble cast to do these movies…oh maybe a few but not the majority like you have asked for. To me it would be distracting to the story. I see no real racial diversity in any of the actors you have chosen. (they don’t have to match the look or match the characters race they need to be good actors first and foremost)…

  9. Also, based on your comments, I can’t help but feel that you didn’t read this post. Not that you had to or that it was required, but it does explain some of my thoughts behind most of the exact points you brought up.

  10. Great great pick for Egwene. She looks exactly like i pictured her. On the other hand, Alexander Skarsgård cannot play Rand. First off, he looks much too old and second, I will always see a vampire when I look at hiim. My suggestion would be Jared Padalecki from Supernatural. He not only looks the part but he’s already playing the role of someone filled with inner conflict and living with a voice in his head. Plus, he would complete the Winchester boys in your cast. 🙂

  11. My problem with Jared is that I just think he’s a horrible actor. Don’t get me wrong, I love Supernatural, it’s one of my favorite shows, but I just feel like he eats scenes with his over-the-top facial expressions and weird, forced “manly” voice (if you listen to him in interviews, he actually has a much nicer voice, kind of like he did in the first few episodes of the show, before I guess some producer said he needed to sound more manly).

    Also, they’re *almost* the same age anyway, Jared is about 30, and Alexader is 35, but I feel that he looks young enough. Plus, he’s kind of a badass.

  12. I agree, Padalecki is my choice. Despite being thirty, he looks convincing enough for it – Skarsgård does look too old to me. I see TankSpill dislikes his acting though, but maybe the big guy would respond to different direction 🙂

  13. No. Absolutely not. Egwene has much more depth and strength than this actress you’ve picked could possibly show. Especially as we move farther into the series. Jodie Foster would be perfect for Egwene. She has all the attributes evident, and the skills necessary to play the character adequately.

    And, for Rand, a young Jerry O’Connel would have been perfect. He has the looks, the attitude, the build and height. But, now, it’s just too late for the poor guy. Age is a terrible thing.

  14. I am happy to entertain anyone’s ideas on this, but you have got to be kidding about Jodie Foster… she’s 50 years old and looks absolutely nothing like how Egwene is described!

    And O’Connell is what, at best, 6’1″? 6’2″ in thick shoes? When the main character of the series’ defining physical attribute is his extraordinary height, you can’t have someone of barely ordinary height play him – it simply wouldn’t work.

    I appreciate your comments and you reading, but I don’t see either of those choices as being even remotely close to these two characters.

  15. egwene was perfect, been reading it since forever and ive always wondered how i would pictire egwene.. damn! i tell shes perfect… the rand guy is ok. ?

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