This was previously titled “Fourth Tier Characters, but since I only did one post, I have included it in the Third Tier for the purposes of organization.
Casting The Wheel of Time is something that a lot of people try to do. I’m not saying I can do it better, but my thoughts are that ::ahem:: I can do it better 🙂 (Please allow your minds to accept some facetiousness, sent your way, courtesy Yours Truly). One thing I will not be doing though, is casting major actors in the roles of major characters. I’ll probably put some pretty awesome actors in supporting-character roles, but I want faces and names that don’t have a lot of baggage attached to them for major characters.
The casting of The Eye of the World is a very serious thing, with a lot of work to go into it. There are a ton of characters, and most of them are extremely important to not only this first book, but the entire series. And many of them have roles to play in later books, even if they’re not important. I have tried to rank these characters in some sort of Order of Importance and Priority. The First Tier includes Rand, Mat, Perrin, Egwene, Nynaeve, Min, and Elayne (and there would be others introduced in later books), so because I’m a tease, I’ll do them last. Feel free to mention in the comments if you have suggestions, I promise to at least read them. The Second Tier are other characters who are important through both this first book and the entire series as a whole, and have plenty of POVs in the series. The Third Tier includes characters who are extremely important throughout the series as a whole, but may not have major roles to play in The Eye of the World, other than just being introduced. The last and Fourth Tier are characters who have some sort of importance in the series, either as recurring roles in the whole “Conservation of Characters” trope, or they give some sort of important information. I have ranked these characters by my own criteria, so they may not conform to some sort of arbitrary criteria of your own. I’m just not going to worry about that. Aaaaaaand, naturally, I’ll be starting with Tier Four. Enjoy!
(PS – I have no idea if I’ll actually do the other books in the series, so assuming laziness, I have casted these characters as if it would be a one-shot movie. The reason I mention it is because, should I do the entire series, some of these actors may be better suited elsewhere. But that’s neither here nor now.)
Bran and Marin al’Vere – Bran and Marin are Egwene’s parents, and the innkeepers of the Winespring Inn. Bran is the mayor of Emond’s Field, and he’s often described as pretty portly, and not having a lot of hair. The hair he has is grayish. Bran and Marin’s ages are never mentioned explicitly, but knowing that Egwene is sixteen years old when the series starts, and is the youngest of five children, I put the al’Veres to being about fifty-ish years old. For Bran, I’m leaning towards Michael McShane. Michael is large-ish, balding, and a pretty good actor. Though he has mostly done comedic roles, I feel pretty confident he could pull it off. For some reason, while I was thinking of Marin, I was thinking that she, too, was overweight like her husband. However, according to the Encyclopaedia Wheel of Time, she is a slender woman with graying hair, tied into a braid. I think Blythe Danner would be perfect for the role.
Haral and Alsbet Luhhan – The blacksmith of Emond’s field and his wife, Haral and Alsbet are the two largest people in town. Alsbet is often described as “nearly as wide and as tall as her husband.” I don’t recall their ages ever being mentioned, so I’m going for the mid-to-late forties. If anyone can correct me on that with text from the book(s), I may change this selection. For Haral, I’m going with Stephen Lang, who has been seen most recently in Avatar, and the over-muscled general. For Alsbet, though she’s not as large or tall as made out to be, I believe Frances Conroy has a strong enough personality and has enough broader shape to her to pull off the role. Sigourney Weaver was another option, and could really be a toss-up as far as I’m concerned.
Floran Gelb – Gelb only serves the roll of being a human punching bag in this first book, but he do be one of those characters that keeps showing up in later books, so thus needs a named actor. He’s scrawny, and has a long nose, and a “greedy smile.” If I was going by that description alone, I would almost have to put Adrien Brody as him, but Adrien is such a fine and strong actor that, like Sigourney above, I have another idea in mind for him. I’ve decided to go with Mackenzie Crook, who is known as “that eyeball guy” in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He’s thin as a rake, and looks untrustworthy enough to be an… errr… untrustworthy sailor. Plus, he has experience on ships already from Pirates. Win, win all around.
Raen and Ila – The grandparents of Aram. Raen is skinny and gray-haired, and Ila is a bit taller than Raen. I feel as though their roles in the books are to provide a comforting presence to Egwene and Perrin. I pretty much just want to go with Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson, or probably much better known nowadays as Aunt May and Uncle Ben from the Spiderman movies.
Aram – The dark-haired, dark-eyed Tinker boy who “dances like a bird” and is apparently very attractive. His age is never given, so I assume him to be no older than Perrin when they meet (18), and no younger than Egwene, based on their interactions. There are a lot of attractive and good young actors out and about right now, and some of them need to definitely be saved for more important characters, but I think Aaron Johnson of recent Kick-Ass fame would do a great job. Sure he’s a little old, but they’ve been putting people who are too old for the role in movies for eons and it’s worked out fine (::cough cough:: Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future and Ralph Macchio in Karate Kid). He looks like a pretty boy, and has some decent chops about him.
Geofram Bornhald – The wise, grandfatherly Lord Captain of the Children of the Light. Dark eyes and gray hair are all the descriptors really ever given of him. I can think of no one better for this role than Geoffrey Rush, who famously played Captain Barbosa in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (but many other awesome roles as well). The man may be one of the finest actors of our time, and he seriously needs to go out with a bang (like, say in, fighting the Seanchan).
Else Grinwell – Plump and pretty Else, who serves no purpose other than to give Rand a bit of “tight pants” while he and Mat are out on the road, and shows up again later in the White Tower. She doesn’t have to be gorgeous, just pretty. Dark hair and “big eyes.” I think Alyson Stoner, a young actress who has been in several comedies and TV shows would do a good job for this relatively unimportant part.
Howal Gode – Another person who isn’t given a lot of screen time or description, but important enough in the first book to warrant a casting. All that is said about him is that he is plump, and has “soft looking hands,” (why are so many people in the WoT “plump?”) so we don’t have a lot to go by. I also picture him looking pretty sleazy, so will go with that. I think Chris Elliot would nail this role – he looks like a slimeball and has a pretty soft look to him. Would need to shave the beard though.
Paitr Conel – Our last Fourth Tier character from tEofW goes to Paitr, the darkfriend who accosts Mat and Rand in Market Sheran. He reappears later in A Crown of Swords, in some character-conservation, and has some relatively minor-major-ish roles to play. He has curly hair, and is older than Rand. He needs to look like he would be pretty easy to beat up, so a lot of the pretty-boy actors of nowadays could handle that aspect, but I don’t get the impression he’s extremely attractive. Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter movies, would do perfectly, I believe.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this. Hopefully Tier Four was a good enough tease to get you back to look at my casting for some much more important characters.
Until next time.