Latest Wheel of Time news

I saw today that there have been a few more casting choices for the Wheel of Time TV series. They’ve cast Loial, Logain, Thom and Padan Fain (and no, they didnae cast Sean Bean as Logain, ach).

Loial, obviously, seems like a good fit from what the showrunners said about his performance, and I suppose his size and appearance don’t really matter anyway due to the likely makeup and CGI that will go into creating an Ogier on-screen. Animashaun seems to have a kind, warm presence that I think will translate well.

Morte seems like a good fit. I mean, kind of generic but with a bit of an edge, which is always how I thought of Logain anyway. He will definitely be able to pull off the sadness of the gentled False Dragon, and when he regains his power and starts kicking arse and taking names, I guess we’ll see. Should be interesting.

Willaume as Thom Merrilin, who knows? He looks vaguely familiar but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him before, and I definitely don’t get a Thom off him. But add a snowy moustache he can puff out angrily, and a cloak of multicoloured patches, and it could work. I am prepared to be pleasantly surprised on this one.

But the casting of Padan Fain was the one I was most excited about. Myers was definitely not the way I pictured Fain as looking (I generally thought of him as somewhere between Mackenzie Crook and David Bradley), but as soon as I saw him I changed my mind. What a fascinating choice. I think he has just what it takes to carry off the creepy energy of Padan Fain, as well as the grandeur of Ordieth (and assorted other mental facets). I wouldn’t have called it myself, but that’s why I’m not a casting director. Very curious to see if the showrunner’s enthusiasm is justified here. My gut feeling is that yes, it is.

Mackenzie Crook is my latest favourite choice if anyone were ever to cast The Final Fall of Man, by the way. After seeing him in Britannia, I realised he was more than his amusing Pirates of the Caribbean role, and would make a chilling Glomulus Cratch. Somebody call me.

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36 Responses to Latest Wheel of Time news

  1. Fascinating. *Spock eyebrow*

    I’m a little sad/concerned, because I thought they were already filming into Season 2. I thought Daniel Greene made a video about that, but maybe I’m remembering incorrectly. They’d need all but Logain for Season 1, and man, we meet Logain pretty late so either they’re casting him early for hype, or they’re going to significantly change the narrative perspective from the get-go.

    That might be wise, actually. tEotW had a narrow focus on the main-main-main characters even though all the other false dragon and White Tower intrigue etc. was already afoot. So perhaps that’s fine. Just unexpected to me.

    I gotta say, I’m worried about the Fain casting. This time for the OPPOSITE reason I have been worried in the past. Of all the places to, arguably (and please let’s not argue) do a “race swap” when going from book to video, I wouldn’t think it’s a good idea to make the black guy the bad guy in such a move. I mean, casting minorities as the criminals and bad guys in movies has kind of been a long-running issue with Hollywood, affecting American culture in many well-documented ways.

    Immediately this was a “WTF” moment for me. I think he does look intense and capable of the vibe. I just question the wisdom of this one in particular. The false stereotype of black criminality is already embedded and hard to shake. I don’t like to see it fed, even with good intentions.

    • stchucky says:

      I think it’s fine, considering the “race swap” they’ve done with a lot of the main good characters as well. It renders the question of colour and race irrelevant, as it should be.

      • Note I didn’t complain about any of the main good characters. Only the hated Padan Fain.

        At least, I hate him.

      • stchucky says:

        I thought he was a magnificent bad guy. I think … well, not gonna repeat myself.

      • “I thought he was a magnificent bad guy.”

        Well, I never did. That probably plays a part in how I view just what a “great deal” it is to be the actor cast as him.

        At the same time, thinking on this more, there’s no reason the tv series has to portray Fain the same as the books. Maybe all the reasons you like him will remain, and the reasons I was irritated at him will be gone! That refutes part of my concern at least.

      • Ilya Popov says:

        I was about to say much the same thing.

        The casting is excellent. And in keeping with the racially diverse world that Jordan set out in his books.

    • stchucky says:

      As for the casting of Logain vs. which season they’re filming vs. what the book narrative has, I think it’s probably like you say – they’re going to add some more wider-world stuff about Logain’s False Dragonhood and the wars and bloodshed he and Mazrim Taim started. You know, to provide more worldbuilding than maybe Jordan managed (or felt he needed to manage) in the possibly-intended-to-be-stand-alone The Eye of the World novel.

      • Ilya Popov says:

        For whatever reason, I recall some throw-away passage about him (Logain) having vaguely curly hair in one passage, which I’m sure was some throw-away passage.

        And for whatever reason, my brain copy-pasted a picture of SF/F writer R. Scott Bakker onto Logain.

        Seriously. Look up Bakker. The hair. The mad, crazy, Motley Crue-level curly hair.

      • stchucky says:

        Yeah I’m with you on that one. I think Logain is looks-wise pretty well cast. Don’t know anything about the actor though.

    • aaronthepatriot says:

      So, circling back to this, and after getting farther in my reread and really thinking about why I hate book-Padan, I think this is going to work really well. In Lord of Chaos, Padan is fully into the mode that made him impressive, to me, even though these moments were never enough to balance out the rest. I agree with your visuals of Padan above, although throw a little Smeagol in there, too, to balance out the mix. And combine that with the wheedling and cringing that he does initially, to see why I was considering him a bad casting. For the first several books, as he is coming into his gifts, he does quite a lot of that, and to me that doesn’t make for a role I’d want to be cast in.

      And then of course the scene where he gets Rand is so BS it really pissed me off (and I think a lot of others too), although I haven’t reread that yet, and the end of him is too unsatisfying, as has been said many times over. All of these things can be changed, though. He can come into his power without the groveling, and spend more time as the villain at the height of his powers. And I doubt the 6’3″ Myers is going to be doing a lot of cringing! I’m going to take the physical change and hope for similar characterization changes.

      I was also thinking, the topic of feminism and the Aiel comes up a lot, and after a few solid books with the Aiel I couldn’t shake the thought that it was a bit of a failure on RJ’s part. The society is structured in a way that is far more equal to the sexes, but there is no culture in tWoT that speaks MORE of the differences between men and women than the Aiel! LOL. And I don’t mean physically…which is one of the actual main differences. That one never gets mention, but they’re constantly talking about the mental, psychological, and emotional differences between men and women. Stereotypically!

      Whoosh. Daniel Greene made a video about how to trim the books for the series and he thought the Aiel were an area that could not be trimmed, much. I’d rather have them excised completely, somehow. Overall they’re annoying, and specifically the Shaido and Sevanna are far more hated for me than Fain. In fact, the part in LoC where Sevanna is with the “good” Aiel shows, more than any other scene, how ridiculous the Aiel are. To pretend she is a Wise One, to refuse to consider the concept of spying, to honor her above your own people. GTFO.

      And finally, I’m just amused all over again at the borrowed clothing for the main women characters that are always “too tight in the bosom and loose in the hips”. Oh RJ you pervert. Love you man, but stop telling me how out-of-proportion big Egwene’s or Nynaeve’s tits are, eh?

      Or don’t…..

      • stchucky says:

        I always paid far more attention to the Ordieth side of Fain, because it was original. The whiney cringey stuff was pure Tolkien Gollum rip-off, so I did my best to not let it into my headcanon.

        And the Aiel ought to be fine. I’m happy cutting the Shaido and Sevanna and Couladin from the show. As you know, I already mostly cut them from my parody.

  2. I mean FFS man, this is a REAL ISSUE in America, in Hollywood, cited by activists. This is a different context because at the same time it casts a minority as a (debatably) “white” character. So there are positives in that. But the core issue of minorities as criminals is not one I’m making up here.

    Ilya I see you commented as well. Surely you are aware of the concerns activists have had in the past that I’m citing here.

      • Clever, to not admit I’m stating facts here. You can’t refute, so you don’t care.

        If the black community complained about this, you’d care.

      • stchucky says:

        Let’s see if they do.

        Last I checked, it was the black guy being cast as someone who dies immediately that was a trope. Not a black guy being the villain. Black people were never accorded the respect of being villains. That went to the British.

      • Shit, I can’t fight against Deadpool memes.

        I searched to see what’s being said about this issue recently. There is a divide I was not appreciating.

        Minorities are opposed to the traditional thug or bad guy castings we have had in America for DECADES, in particular if they are one-note characters. Completely understandable, and these were the only views I had seen to-date.

        However there does seem to be a different view if the villain is a truly interesting character. Which I do agree, Fain is interesting. I just resented most of the moments he had, on balance.

        So if they make Fain excellent, it will be fine.

        https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-11-14/tropes-iconic-villains-have-bad-guy-roles-played-people-color-evolved

        Just one article for reference, there are quite a few in Google search. I searched since I do care.

      • stchucky says:

        It’s a difficult one. I think as forty-something-year-old white men, it’s not really up to us to make noise about whether we like a minority casting or not, except of course that we all get one opinion each and I get two.

        The best thing we can do is make encouraging sounds and let the chips fall.

        Or, you know, eat the chips. I’m really looking forward to this show.

      • “It’s a difficult one. I think as forty-something-year-old white men, it’s not really up to us to make noise about whether we like a minority casting or not, except of course that we all get one opinion each and I get two.”

        LOL well, I thought I was spotting a genuine issue, and since the community in question doesn’t tend to speak up on your blog (no offense, dude), I voiced my opinion in their stead. Turns out it probably won’t be an issue, which is different than not giving a fuck, I must add.

        “The best thing we can do is make encouraging sounds and let the chips fall.”

        This show is going to be awesome even if it is poorly written and acted. I just want SOMEONE to act it. Is that encouraging enough? XD

        “Or, you know, eat the chips. I’m really looking forward to this show.”

        Yeah and to that point, when the fuck will we get it? It already seems like years since the announcement but that’s because we’ve been teased for a decade, I guess.

      • stchucky says:

        A decade and then some!

    • stchucky says:

      I don’t think there’s going to be much concern about casting a black guy as a villain when they’re clearly working hard to make all the characters diverse and interesting.

      I personally wouldn’t have thought the Two Rivers people would have been that diverse (re: casting Will Smith as Mat back in the day) because the Sea Folk are specifically mentioned as being dark-skinned and if locals of the Shire (or whatever) were the same way it would probably be a thing. Same as Rand being a ginger.

      But they’re not making that an issue, so how about we don’t?

      • Agreed about the Two Rivers, and yes there are contextual clues someone who didn’t want the diverse cast could cite, as you demonstrated. I’m not, nor have I ever, made that an issue.

        Actually Daniel Greene made a great case about how it’s counterfactual to think that racial uniformity is a defining trait of small villages/towns. I mean in the real world.

      • stchucky says:

        Yeah, that’s pretty much what I came around to. I like that it’s not a thing.

        I honestly don’t think it’s a problem that they cast a bad guy as well as heroes this way. Like Deadpool might say, is it more racist if I don’t cast you…?

  3. In a side point, “Let’s see if they do” got me wondering, how big is this series going to be, do we think? Is it just us fanboys who are paying attention, or is this potentially going to be more GOT-like in viewership? I really have no idea, have had no time to see how hyped it is.

    I do know I’m only seeing things about it when I search for them.

    • stchucky says:

      Amazon Prime Video isn’t getting much traction, so I guess it remains to be seen. Everything I’ve seen on there so far has been excellent, and has not gotten anywhere near the love it deserved. Good Omens, for example. And of course The Boys.

  4. ohilya says:

    I’m under no obligation to give a toss about the plight of someone in East Jesus Nowhere, USA who has an issue with casting choices for a fantasy television series.

    Go call someone who cares, Aaron.

    • It’s not MY plight, Ilya. As I’m sure you’re aware, I’m not in the black community. A bad casting of a black character does not create harmful stereotypes of ME.

      I see your plight remains poor reading comprehension and reasoning ability.

      • stchucky says:

        I think the two of you should just not bother talking to each other. That’s a good low-effort solution.

      • I know that ignoring one another is, repeatedly, shown to be the best path for us. I just can’t understand why. I know Ilya has a good heart, and I know I do, and you can vouch for both those statements.

        And I also know we’re both “on the left” or whatever you want to say. We probably share so many political views, at least one of us would be shocked. You can probably confirm that, too.

        You’re probably also exhausted at being referee as we squabble. You can prob…lol. Getting repetitive, but intentionally.

        It’s a constant disappointment to me that like people[1] can be such antagonists for so long. I know I contribute, but I’m not TRYING to.

        [1] I mean, obviously our personalities are quite different. I’m not saying anything to the contrary on that one.

        I suppose first impressions are hard to overcome. And when we met, I was a brainwashed military dude who had no idea how hoodwinked he was. True confessions.

        But you, Hatboy, have seen me change. Actually a lot of people have IRL as well.

      • ohilya says:

        Aah, input from Aaron, the Coors Lite of humans.

    • stchucky says:

      But for the record Ilya, you’re being unnecessarily belligerent and shitty here. It’s a difficult issue to discuss and Aaron’s trying. I personally think his thought process was a little unnecessarily sensitive and maybe even misguided, but his heart was good. He didn’t deserve for you to dick-punch him like this.

      • Well, it is a large target, hard not to punch it, to be fair.

      • ohilya says:

        I was aiming for that tiny peapod of a brain of his. Clearly he’s replaced it with something equally small.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        LMAO how insecure can you be, Ilya? At least come over here so I can shove the olive branch I held out to you right into your wimpy ass.

        I remember all the whinging you did on the newsgroup about how the awful Americans picked on you in school, and I saw how much resentment it created in your behavior on the NG.

        You didn’t deserve it at the time, I’m sure. No child does.

        But you’ve done your best to grow into deserving it. Just like Donald Trump. His daddy picked on him all the time, and he turned out to be an insecure piece of shit, too. It’s a funny, sad world.

      • ohilya says:

        Stubdick, caution signs to keep clear of moving doors invite more thought than your “posts”.

      • stchucky says:

        Ilya, if you’re just going to be a stupid prick, I’d prefer it if you fucked off. I don’t want your negativity and hate on my blog.

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