War of the Fancasts: The Wheel of Time

The news that The Wheel of Time series had been optioned for TV produced some epic fan freak-outs, not least between myself and Preeti. (You might remember our recaps?) While there is no guarantee that the series will actually make it to our screens, there was no way we weren’t going to immediately start selecting our dream casts. Rather than spending a week fighting over who most perfectly captures our favorite characters, we decided to do separate castings, compare notes, and then let you decide. Let the games begin!

Nota bene: the baseline descriptions we used for the characters can be found on The Wheel of Time Wiki. Jenn would also like to thank Bryan Dunn, who spent a whole day on Twitter brainstorming this with her.

Jenn: What order are we going in?

Preeti: Let’s do our Two Rivers crew first.
J: Soooo Rand first?
P: Yup! I’m weirdly nervous!
J: SAME. Ok, ready set PASTE.
Matthew Lewis
P: Bradley James

rand al thor fancast

Our choices for Rand al’Thor: Matthew Lewis v. Bradley James

J: I mean, not bad. Not bad. But I like mine better.
P: I like yours better, too. Damn.
J: Hahaha ok Matt or Perrin next?
P: Let’s do Perrin.
J: I am so excited about this one.
P: OMG yours is gonna better again I bet, haha. OK.
J: Rahul Kohli. MIC DROP.
P: Kellan Lutz ORRRRR Daniel M. Durant (but would have to beef up).

perrin aybara fancast

Our choices for Perrin Aybara: Rahul Kohli v. Kellan Lutz or Daniel M. Durant

P: OH F$#@ I THOUGHT OF HIM TOO. But I was worried he’d be too tall.
J: Perrin is tall! Perrin is ginormous!
P: For some reason, in my head, Perrin has always been, like, short and stocky. Like REALLY broad, but not very tall??? Even if that’s how Jordan describe him, hahahaha.
J: HAH. Also no one in Hollywood is actually their height ever. Kellan Lutz is not a bad call, though.
P: Very very true. I still like Rahul.
J: I also considered Liam Hemsworth.
P: Yes I would agree there.
J: But Rahul.
P: Daniel Durant, he’s not big enough (though could totally beef up for the role). He’s a deaf actor.
J: If I can’t have Rahul I would take that.
P: Right?? He’s so cute. I saw him in the Deaf West Spring Awakening and he’s AMAZE.
J: AAHHH I knew I had seen him in a gif! Now I remember.
P: Yeah!
J: Very nice.
P: OK. I have three for Mat. But I like them all. OMG, ok.
P: Harry Shum, Jr
Dylan O’Brien
Rami Malek
J: Dylan O’Brien

matrim cauthon fancast

Our choices for Matrim Cauthon: Dylan O’Brien vs. Harry Shum Jr. or Rami Malek or Dylan O’Brien

P: a;ldfjnaosidfna;lsfjasdf !!!!!! I KNEW IT.
J: How is it anyone but Dylan O’Brien?!?!? He is PERFECT.
P: He is SO PERF, but also, Harry Shum Jr., because.
J: Well yes. Harry is excellent.
P: Rami Malek, because I thought he’d just be really great when Mat is all angsty and shiz tbh.
J: Eh, yeah I can see it. I don’t know, you had me at Harry.
P: Definitely D O’Brien first though. Harry would be A+++, and he’s taller than Dylan I think. I could be wrong, maybe he just seems taller.
J: WHO CAN SAY. I hear the heights on IMDB are all lies.
P: OK. Egwene?
J: Yes. Kat Graham
P: Sonam Kapoor

egwene al'vere fancast

Our choices for Egwene al’Vere: Kat Graham v. Sonam Kapoor


P: Right???
J: HMMMMMM. I mean, I really love Kat Graham for Egwene though.
P: Yeah, I do like her too. Though I feel like she’d be great at later-Egwene, who is so put together and crafty. She almost seems too coy for early Egwene.
J: Bonnie, coy?? Not in early Vampire Diaries days.
P: Oh well yeah, that’s fair.
J: Like, she is very sweet but also stompy.
P: I’d forgotten how far we’ve come.
J: In the very beginning, before she got made a ghost etc.
P: True!
J: Which one of Sonam Kapoor’s movies should I watch first
OK Nynaeve!
J: Lindsey Morgan
P: I picked Diane Guerrero.

nynaeve almeara fancast

Our choices for Nynaeve al’Meara: Lyndsey Morgan v. Diane Guerrero

J: Yeah, OK. if we can’t get Lindsey Morgan I would accept that, but LINDSEY MORGANNNNN. Ugh, Diane Guerrero also though.
P: I know I know, but Dianeeeee.
J: I don’t even know, that’s too close to call.
P: Agreed.
J: Well I guess we should do Moiraine now.
P: So yes, my picks for Moiraine are Eva Longoria
Salma Hayek
Lisa Haydon
J: Lucy Liu

moiraine damodred fancast

Our choices for Moiraine Damodred: Lucy Liu v. Salma Hayek or Eva Longoria or Lisa Haydon

P: Salma might be too old.
Ooh, yes.
J: I think age is irrelevant for Moiraine, and I accept all these possibilities.
P: I liked Salma because she totally does seem ageless.
J: What if it’s a different actress in every scene?
Same with Liu.
P: OMG yes.
J: That woman’s skin, I cannot.
P: Ugh, right? OK LAN. I have 2:
Jason Momoa
Idris Elba
J: AHAHAH, I HAD Idris Elba, and changed it to:
Naveen Andrews.

al lan mandragoran fancast

Our choices for Al’Lan Mandragoran: Naveen Andrews v. Idris Elba or Jason Momoa

P: HAHAHAHA, oooooh yes. I also like that.
J: Jason Momoa = too young, Lan has to be old and grizzly. Or not old but, weathered.
P: IDK, he’s 36.
J: I mean far be it from me to protest any inclusion of Jason Momoa.
P: But think about Jason as Khal Drogo.
J: Believe me, I remember. I almost cast him as Perrin, but then I thought he was too old for that.
P: Like gurrl
J: UGH STOP, TOO MUCH. Alright, alright, headcanon accepted.
P: And Jason Momoa and Diane, like, can you imagine?
J: Or Lindsey. Either way. Yes, this pleases me.
P: OK, who next. Rand’s ladies?
J: Yes ok. Aviendha?
P: Sure – I’m not super into my choice. This was hard.
J: Holland Roden
P: Adrianne Palicki

aviendha fancast

Our choices for Aviendha: Holland Roden v. Adrianne Palicki

J: HMM, interesting. Holland is too short but I love her so much!
P: Right! I wanted her!
J: And she’s curvy and we know she can do some martial arts.
P: But I was like, agh, you’re only 5’2.
J: I just don’t even care, put her on stilts or something. Adrianne Palicki is good though? I think?
P: Hahaha, I think so!
J: Really what we need is young Milla Jovovich.
P: She’s kick-ass as Mockingbird.
J: I believe that one.
P: OK.
J: Marie Avgeropoulos
P: Zendaya

elmindreda farshaw fancast

Our choices for Elmindreda Farshaw: Marie Avgeropoulos v. Zendaya

J: I retract mine.
P: Although Marie would also be excellent, but ZENDAYA.
J: YUP. Marie can be the understudy.
You win that round, Chhibber
P: Bahahahaha. OK, Elayne.
Ashley Benson
J: Candice King

elayne trakand fancast

Our choices for Elayne Trakand: Candice King v. Ashley Benson

J: You know I considered Holland for Elayne also. Ashley works, I think I still like Candice better though.
P: I also considered Holland! I like both.
J: Holland Roden for everything, really.
P: Agreed. OK, royal family.
J: Morgase:
Rachel Weisz
P: Michelle Williams

morgase trakand fancast

Our choices for Morgase Trakand: Rachel Weisz v. Michelle Williams

P: Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, Rachel Weisz is good. I know Michelle Williams is a tad young, but I think she’d be interesting.
J: I’m sticking with Weisz.
P: Yeah, I like Weisz.
J: Colton! Haynes!
P: Bob Morley

galadedrid damodred fancast

Our choices for Galadedrid Damodred: Colton Haynes v. Bob Morley

J: NOT BOB! I mean, yes obviously, but he’s so sweet. And Galad has to be beautiful and cold.
J: I don’t know.
P: I think he could.
J: When I think of Galad I think of icy perfection, and no one embodies that more than Colton Haynes. Who, I am convinced, was built in a lab by people who don’t think models are pretty enough.
P: If you think back to cold-ass Bellamy in the first, like, five eps of The 100, idkkkk.
J: I love Bob Morley, it is physically painful to be arguing against him. I don’t know. We will have to let the internet decide.
I had a hard time with Gawyn but I like my choice:
Devon Bostick
P: Joshua Sasse, from Galavant.

gawyn trakand fancast

Our choices for Gawyn Trakand: Devon Bostick v. Joshua Sasse

J: Awww, I don’t know him but he has a nice face.
P: OMG you have to watch Galavant, it’s amazing.
J: I thought Devon Bostick because he’s kind of doofy but still good-looking, and so earnest.
But I am fine with your choice, although he looks a little old? To be playing Colton’s younger brother.
P: Yeah, I like Devon Bostick, but I think Joshua Sasse might make a better knight.
P: 28? He’s a year younger; half bro!
J: What ev errrrr, details details.
P: Aaaahahaha
J: JK obviously I know that Galad is their half-brother.
J: And has dark hair as opposed to the red/gold of the Trakands. I KNOW THESE THINGS.
J: I just selectively remember. Ok anyway.
P: Nasim Pedrad
J: Summer Bishil

faile zarine ni bashere fancast

Our choices for Zarine ni’Bashere, aka Faile: Summer Bishil v. Nasim Pedrad

P: Ooh that’s good.
J: Man I cannot choose on that one, they are both too good. I would also accept Sonam Kapoor for this role.
P: Oooh yeah. Ok internet.
J: Yes yes, we leave it to the internets.
P: Lupita N’yongo
Samira Wiley
J:Lupita N’yongo

fortuona athaem devi paendrag fancast

Our choices for Fortuona Athaem Devi Paendrag: Lupita Nyong’o v. Samira Wiley

J: I thought about Samira Wiley! But Lupita. Like, who else can it be? No one.
P: Yeah Lupita was my first choice, for sure.
J: I know there is no way in hell that will happen, but I can dream.
P: DREAMcast brah.
J: Truth. What about Thom?
Ken Watanabe
P: Ian McKellan
J: YEAH. Also I wanted a dude under the age of 60, because Morgase/Elayne. Like, let’s do those ladies right.
P: Oh fuck, you’re right.
because man can GET IT.

thom merrilin fancast

Our choices for Thom Merrilin: Ken Watanabe v. Jeremy Irons

J: I’ll allow it. But still, Ken Watanabe.
P: Yes, definitely.
J: That man would make one hell of a gleeman.
OK, where are we. Oh yes, some Forsaken.
Natalie Dormer
P: Priyanka Chopra, easy.

lanfear fancast

Our choices for Lanfear: Natalie Dormer v. Priyanka Chopra

J: DAMMIT I knew I was forgetting someone. Priyanka would be excellent, but also Natalie Dormer?? Ice Queen Extraordinaire.
P: Oh totally.
J: Tiny and terrifying, a la S2 Sherlock.
P: Though I feel like Natalie is more a Graendal almost?? Or maybe vice versa, idk. They’re both so hot and great.
J: I am going to be honest, I have forgotten pretty much everything about all the Forsaken. Except they’re all smokin’.
P: LOL, both are good.
J: Ok and Sammael.
P: Jason Isaacs
J: Ian Somerhalder

sammael fancast

Our choices for Sammael: Ian Somerhalder v. Jason Isaacs

J: INTERESTING. Yeah ok, I can see that. I just wanted Ian to get a chance to play another evil demigod, because why not.
P: Ooooooooooh. Ian Somerhalder is good, but Jason Isaacs is so GOOD at being evil. And his voice, oof. I love it.
Is that everyone?
J: I cannot believe we cast 18 characters and we have BARELY scratched the surface.
P: Seriously, I was like, omg so many more.
J: Like, this could actually be the hottest show on television if you consider the sheer number of main & minor characters you need to cast, who will all naturally be gorgeous.
P: Obvi. But I do hope they throw some color in there, and it’s not just like YO WHITE PPL.
J: And it’s canon that they are not all white.
P: 100%!
J: The Wheel of Time is a problematic fave for me because even tho it does have some variation in the main cast, there is a lot of “sexy othering” that goes on. Like the Sea Folk, do not even get me started on the Sea Folk.
P: Oh ferreal. FERREAL.
J: But it does also manage to avoid a lot of sexual violence despite being all about war, which I appreciate a lot. There are instances, but there are not a lot. It’s not grimdark, and I have had quite enough grimdark. AND in the rewrites of the scripts for the show you could take out the worst bits of gendering; it would be so easy, would need so little nudging.
P: Agreed!
J: Nynaeve doesn’t have to call men “goats” all the time or whatever, and Mat doesn’t have to constantly be wondering why bitches be cray (or olde-times version thereof).
P: Yeah, seriously.
J: There are a lot of good opportunities here, for sure. I am afraid to get too excited about it for so many reasons, but! I feel like a solid fancast is the least we can do.
P: And it is S O L I D.

Still with us? ROUND OF APPLAUSE and many high-fives, you made it all the way to the end of our epic fancast war! Please do let us know your votes, thoughts, and alternate choices.