I’ve been reading the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan slowly but surely, taking long pauses to read for the podcast and my dissertation (which also feels slow but sure). I’ve written about what parts of Jordan’s epic fantasy I enjoy, but I admit that it’s hard for me to picture what’s happening in the novel. With so many unfamiliar worlds (that are different than other fantasy novels I’ve read) and words (seriously, how do you pronounce ter’angreal or sa’angreal?), my brain protects itself by blipping over the unfamiliar. Sure, I know what certain words look like, and I know the emotions and motivations of characters, but the details sometimes get lost. I don’t have a reference.
Amazon Studios obtained the rights to adapt the series, and plans to release season one of their hour long Wheel of Time drama, helmed by Rafe Judkins (of Agents of SHIELD fame, and also the campy Netflix show Hemlock Grove), doesn’t have many details yet--no release date, no cast, no nothing. I’m here to give us the fan cast we deserve. So without further deliberation, I give you...Mary’s dream Wheel of Time Cast! [Some spoilers for the Wheel of Time series to follow, but TBH the books came out in the early 90s and I am just now reading them myself, soooooo consider the spoilers light at best]
KJ Apa has done the absolute best he can with what he’s been given in Riverdale, and I think it’s likely he’s a better actor than we think under all the iffy writing on my favorite teen trash show. Rand is supposed to be tall and athletic with red hair--no really, the books talk a LOT about his height. While Apa is not unusually tall, I think he does have the stature of a heroic lead, and camerawork can hide any height differences that might come up. Besides, does height matter, really?
Rand is reckless and unsure of himself simultaneously, and as the “chosen one” of the novel, he does a lot of contemplating his own destiny and mourning the loss of his normality. We know from Riverdale that Apa can look incredulous, and contemplative (CW shows do love their staring off into the distance, don’t they?), and we also know that he has the ripped body of an Aielman. He’s a good fit.
Follow me here. Perrin is a Wolfbrother and can talk to wolves. He’s also a quiet blacksmith who struggles with how different he is from his friends. Perrin’s not a funny guy, really.
Beanie Feldstein is funny, but I think she also has the capacity for drama just like her brother Jonah Hill.
You may be thinking, but Mary, Perrin is a boy. Well, sure he is, but ever since Sylas Barrett mentioned the possibility of a woman ta’veren in his readthrough of the series, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It just makes sense that one of the ta’veren three would be a woman, doesn’t it? Plus, this opens up the show to all sorts of gender dynamics that don’t exist in the books.
You might recognize Perdomo from his role as the catty, loving Ambrose on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix. Perdomo’s frantic energy, as well as his ability to deliver truly heartfelt lines with great emotion, makes him a perfect fit for Mat, the lucky trickster of the three ta’veren.
Mat spends the first two novels of the series under the influence of an evil dagger, so we don’t really get to know the true Mat until The Dragon Reborn. What we do know about Mat, we mostly learn from other characters, who believe he is tricksome, stubborn, and in many ways, a coward. Mat complains a lot, and he constantly suggests going home, or leaving danger. And he is the best boy, my favorite. Perdomo would bring Mat’s wild energy to life, while also capturing the emotional depth necessary for the party’s trickster.
Moiraine—Shaunette Renée Wilson
Moiraine is the first Aes Sedai woman we meet, and she sets the tone for the way the entire group feels about these magical women. We don’t really know Moiraine’s age--just as we don’t know any Aes Sedai’s age due to the way magic works within them. I imagine Moiraine to be imposing, capable of shutting someone up with an icy stare, but she also is a healer. She ultimately wants to help people. Shaunette Renée Wilson is wonderful as Dora Milaje in Black Panther, and I think she can command a room just like Moiraine does. Intimidating, yet warm. Beautiful, yet sort of ageless. She’d be great at guiding the ta’veren on their journey.
Jamie Dornan is more than Christian Grey; to seem him be especially intense, check out his serial killer role on The Fall. Lan is Moiraine’s rugged and serious protector, a Warder bonded to her and reinforced with Aes Sedai magics. Lan also has a bit of a secret relationship with Nynaeve. Jamie Dornan has proven he can do steamy, and he can also do serious--and seriously scary. Plus, he can grow a killer beard.
Admittedly, I don’t know a whole lot about Eve Hewson. I do know that she’s been in some fantasy-like stuff (Robin Hood), and she has the look of Egwene. While I wouldn’t consider Hewson to be unknown per se, but she’s not so famous an actress that this role couldn’t boost her to a larger fanbase.
Egwene is a simple girl who grew up with the three main boys, and she’s touted as Rand’s “all but betrothed” throughout the first couple of novels. But Egwene wants more from life, and has capabilities that no one else in the series does. She’s a powerful force, and she needs an equally capable actress to play her. Hewson can manage the intensity of Egwene’s power while also being a sweet young girl from the Two Rivers.
AnnaSophia Robb has grown up a little since she was Carrie in The Carrie Diaries. Now playing a significant role in Hulu’s The Act, Robb is showing a wider depth of emotions in her acting--and proving she’s capable of main character status. Nynaeve may be the Wisdom of her village, but she’s still incredibly young--younger than most people realize throughout the series. She’s not naive, but she does hold a soft spot for Lan, who she has a troubled relationship with. As long as Robb can master pulling on her braid, she can be a great Nynaeve.
Min plays an increasingly important role as the series progresses, but for the first few books she’s just a pants-wearing girl who can see the future--sort of. Lana Condor has made a name for herself in Netflix’s adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, but she’s also recently starred in Deadly Class. I’d like to see her spread her acting talent to a fantasy series, and think she’d portray the cute, tough, blunt Min well.
Elayne is beautiful and haughty while also being innocent and gullible. She’s the daughter-heir of Queen Morgase and she’s used to getting what she wants. This isn’t to say that Elayne is mean--she’s actually very sensitive and is wrapped up in the ta’veren life through her attraction to Rand, who just stumbled into the castle one day.
Kiernan Shipka can be innocent and sweet, but she also has the capability to he incredibly bratty when she needs to be (hello, Sally Draper). Plus, she just LOOKS royal.
Thom Merrilin—Daniel Stern
It’s true, Daniel Stern was one of the Wet Bandits in Home Alone, but he’s also done his fair share of dramatic acting. Recently, he played funny and dramatic in Hulu’s Shrill, and that sort of energy would serve Thom Merrilin well. Thom is a bard, more or less (or gleeman in the WoT universe), but he also has a sada story and history of being a loner who must paste a smile on his face to entertain a crowd. Stern is an actor who can do both, plus, doesn’t he just LOOK like a bard here?
Agree? Disagree? Don’t care? Let us know in the comments or on social media!