The Wheel of Time Casting Call, Tier 3, Part 5

Another Friday means another day of Casting The Wheel of Time, and today is a special day, because it has four of my favorite characters (really, in a cast of 1800+ characters, each day will likely have some favorites, four out of eight ain’t so bad). Here we go.

Elyas Macheras

Elyas is a very important character in the series, as he is the person who introduces Perrin to his path as a Wolfbrother. He is also one of my favorites. He’s portrayed in the first book as half mentor, half cranky old man, and has a lot of good things to say. His conversation with Perrin about tossing away the axe is something that became important to the entire series, and led us to several pivotal moments in Perrin’s storyline. He is an older character, being mentioned as having gray hair and beard. This is the first of my favs in this week.

Kris Kristofferson as Elyas Macheras
I never had any doubt in my head that Kris Kristofferson would be the actor of choice for this role. Kris has played the “gruff, old, cranky” mentor already before in the Blade movies, so knows the part. I can totally picture him sneaking up behind Whitecloaks and hamstringing them in the dark of night.

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
The Blade Trilogy
Pharoah’s Army
Lords of the Street (go see this movie :))

Elza Penfell

You black-hearted, soulless, conniving . . . bitch! Sorry, I was talking about the Black Ajah member who has quite possibly done the most damage to Rand as Black Ajah, behind only really Galina. For the longest time, she really didn’t do anything useful, partially I believe because of Verin’s Compulsion Lite (TM), and partially because she was being saved for something else. Then, The Gathering Storm happened. Luckily, she received her uppance soon enough. Elza has “a pleasant face,” and is “handsome,” with brown eyes.

Maria Doyle Kennedy as Elza Penfell
Maria Doyle Kennedy doesn’t have a lot of screen history, but where she has it, she has done a superb job. I recently finished watching The Tudors, where she plays Catherine of Aragon very well. She is a great actress, and definitely has what I would call a “pleasant” face. Since we don’t know Elza’s age, I went with young-ish.

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
The Tudors
Tara Road

Fager Neald

Normally just called by his last name, Neald is one of the Asha’Man we can be pretty sure is loyal to Rand. He stood with Rand at Dumai’s, became Rand’s bodyguard afterward, and then has helped Perrin for the last three thousand books . . . ahem . . . six books. He is pretty young, and is often mentioned as having a very thin mustache.

I decided on this one to go with the “poor man’s” Orlando Bloom, which is to say, Hans Matheson. Seriously, I thought Hans was Orlando the entire time through the new Sherlock Holmes movie. Anyway, he’s young enough, thin enough, and has just the right amount of facial hair (meaning, “thin” mustache”) to do this right. Oh, and he’s in an Asha’Man coat – always a bonus.

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Sherlock Holmes
The Tudors
Clash of the Titans

Faolain Orande

One of the Accepted who gets the honor of guarding the Supergirls when they are brought back by Verin, Faolain was portrayed as a pretty unlikeable character for awhile. Then she became awesome in A Crown of Swords by helping Egwene get things moving properly in Salidar. She may have some unfortunate-ness going on right now, being stuck at the Black Tower with all its ickiness, except that Min had a viewing of her that looks like she may have a pleasant future ahead of her. Dark complexion, dark curly hair, and round face are all we really have to go by. And presumably young, being Accepted.

Melina Kanakaredes as Faolain
Melina Kanakaredes is not by any means “young,” but she has the right look to pull off being young-ish, I believe. She fits the other criteria as well. I only really know her from CSI:NY, and haven’t watched that show in a couple years now, but she was one of the two characters I liked, so I’m happy to go with her on this. Plus, she’s a bit of a bitch in the show, Faolain kind of a bitch, it all equals out.

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
CSI:New York
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Providence (the TV show)

Galina Casban

Two horrible people in one post, luckily balanced out by my four favs. Galina is that woman who stuck Rand in a chest, crimped in two all hours of the day, only to release him in the evenings to beat him, and did this for five frakkin days. You might say she got what she deserved by being forced to be Therava’s slave for the last six books, but that’s you. I have no problems with anything could happen to her at this point. Take her to the Waste, bind her to you with an Oath Rod, and never let her out of your sight again, for all I care. Oh right, casting. She has dark hair, a round face, demanding mouth, and hard eyes.

Moira Kelly as Galina Casban
You may not have seen her in awhile, but you know who Moira Kelly is. I almost feel bad putting her in a role like this, but she played the spoiled brat once, so can probably translate that to evil and ruthless. She has that pouty, “demanding” mouth, and is I believe the proper age (since I’m sure Galina isn’t “young,” but not old either, since she isn’t mentioned having gray hair). I could even imagine her voice, as Rand sees all the light leaving from being shut in a chest, smirking and saying, “Toe pick!”

Places you’ve possibly seen her:
The Cutting Edge
The West Wing
One Tree Hill

Gareth Bryne

The second of my favs this week, Bryne is the kind of person I’d really like to have on my side in a fight (as Egwene realized pretty quickly). He’s “formidable,” strong, smart, and seems to know the difference between being strong, and being a bully (which is something that other mentor-like characters in the series cannot necessarily claim). Thick with gray hair, bluff, and as immovable as a rock are his physical characteristics.

Tom Selleck as Gareth Bryne
Though it’s not mentioned Gareth is very tall, I have no problem putting Tom Selleck in this role. The dude is a man’s man, and looks like someone who could intimidate you just be straightening up a bit while glaring at you. Plus, he’s very stoic (typically), and has pulled off the warrior type many times in the past. He’d nail this role.

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
Magnum PI
Quigley, Down Under
Boston Legal


Another fav (they’re all in a row now), and the third part of the best love triangle in the series, Gaul is an Aiel with more than bit of poet to his warrior. He owes Perrin his life, and has been with Perrin since The Shadow Rising at this point, so we know he’s dedicated to it (unless he turns out to be one of those infamous Aiel Darkfriends we’ve never seen, but heard about). He’s tall, as Aielmen are, and has red hair, as Aielmen do.

Paul Bettany as Gaul
I like Paul Bettany for this role, and not just because Bettany is one of the better red-haired and mature actors in the field right now (though he is). I think he has a good, strong personality, and most of what I’ve seen him him, he has a good temperament to play an Aiel.

Places you’ve possibly seen him:
A Beautiful Mind
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Bonus: The Voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. in the new Iron Man Movies!

Geoffram Bornhald

A lot of people give me a funny look when I mention that Bornhald the Elder and Pedron Niall are two of my favorite characters, to whit I say, “Funny look yourself, jerk!” Well, I don’t really say that… but seriously, they’re two of the most morally-interesting characters in the story. Anyway, Bornhald reminds me of a grandfather, and the kind that I would like to hear stories from. He is described as kindly and wise, but very obviously dedicated to the Light (though in the perverse way that many Whitecloaks are), and even knew he was being used in The Great Hunt, which is a bit more insightful than most Whitecloaks we’ve seen. He is gray-haired, dark-eyed and bluff with a grandfatherly face.

Geoffrey Rush as Geoffram Bornhald
Geoffrey Rush wins this one. The man is rock solid. Long before he was Barbossa-ing his way to true fame in the Pirates franchise, he was winning Tony, Emmy, and Academy Awards like it was nobody’s business. He plays crazy, he plays sophisticated, he plays strong, he plays elderly, he plays it all. My favorite role of his is actually one he’s not famous for, as Peter Sellers.

Paces you’ve possibly seen him:
Pirates of the Caribbean (all 3 movies)
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers

That’s all this week. See you next Friday.

9 thoughts on “The Wheel of Time Casting Call, Tier 3, Part 5

  1. i’m not hundred percent taken with your Elyas suggestion, but it could work… perhaps… i find your choice’s face is too ‘kindly’ whereas Elyas is hard and rough and animal-like

    i LOVE your Galina Casban suggestion, her almost cuteness just makes her that much worse and more perfect!

  2. Thanks for your recent comments.

    Berelain was, and Lanfear, Galad, and Graendal are, the most difficult characters in this entire story to cast. Even moreso than the SuperBoys or the SuperGirls, simply because everyone’s personal opinions on beauty are so different. I tried to set up specific criteria for these characters to meet, but undoubtedly, many will disagree with my particular aesthetic choices.

    It is worth mentioning that I look at this project as more of a “What Could Happen if the Wheel of Time had unlimited resources in casting and creating a movie,” and less of a, “which characters are the absolute most perfect for each given role.” The difference (to me, anyway) lies in that the first option gives specific rules for a(n) (albeit impractical) possible movie, and the second option is nothing more than a subject to debate amongst the various message boards. In every movie, directors and producers make choices that people do not like, and often, those decisions turn out just fine (think of Daniel Craig as the new James Bond, or Heath Ledger as the Joker – people HATED those actors for those roles until the movie came out and showed how great they were).

    Anyway, I appreciate you reading, and your comments about Galina are spot-on – it almost makes it worse that she is so damned cute. As for Kris Kristofferson playing Elyas, here is a google image search of his character in Blade that may possibly help you see him in a different light.

    Thanks for reading, and hopefully you’ll also like some of my choices in the future as well. 🙂

  3. Paul Bettany – one of our favorite actors, would love to see him as Gaul
    however, we think Sam Neill would make a better Gareth Bryne, Neill just seems like the kind of actor that could portray a man who’s seen it all and will continue to outlive the rest of us without too much sophistication. Dunno, just like him a touch more than Selleck

  4. I am confused by your Faolain, you’ve included her description but it does not describe your actress. The character is obviously a black woman, and Kanakaredes does not have a ‘dark complexion’. Nor does she have a round face, and being in her forties is unlikely to manage a young Aes Sedai.
    I hope I don’t sound rude, that’s not my intention, but I really don’t understand how you reached this actress.

    I don’t want to be a buzzkill, so to lighten the mood, may I say that I really like Selleck for Bryne; the description is spot on and he exudes and dependable aura.

  5. I don’t agree that Faolain is obviously a “black woman,” because there are no characters throughout WoT that are not Sea Folk, Sharan, or various Seanchan that are obviously black (as far as I can tell). I could be wrong in this, but RJ makes it extremely obvious when a character is, by our definitions, black (talking about “coal black skin,” or the like), and he only ever uses those kinds of descriptions with the people I mentioned up above.

    With that being said, however, I did recently re-read through most of my blog, and Faolain was one of the characters I would probably do over if I cared to devote the time to it, so I do agree that the actress is not the best fit, despite the skin coloring issue. 🙂

    And thanks for the Selleck for Bryne vote, I’ve never really had any other actor in mind for him!

  6. I guess it’s just obvious to me then, when I read ‘dark complexion’ I assume dark skin, as in properly dark. Jordan uses ‘olive-skinned’ or ‘coppery’ when describing the medium shades alike to Mediterranean or Indian, as I read it.

    I would’ve liked Martin Sheen for Bryne some years ago, he has that dependable almost fatherly gruffness about him, but he’s too old now. Selleck is a better match for the description though, and feels right too 🙂

  7. Kris Kristoferson certainly looks like Elyas but Melina Kanakeredes looks to old to be an Accepted/just raised to Aes Sedai. Moira Kelly as Galina? NOOOOOOOO! I love her and I hate Galina! Please don’t!

    Rush as Bornhald? Not bad but I always thought of him more of a stocky white haired father figure type, maybe Brian Cox with a beard?

    Byrne and Gaul, inspired!

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