Wheel of Time Casting News: The Gleeman and an Ogier Join The Party
Casting news for The Wheel of Time show on Amazon Prime has been steadily rolling out. The first season is currently filming in Prague, but fans have been wondering who was going to play certain major roles. This week’s #WOTWednesday brought us the actors who will play the the gleeman Thom and the loveable Ogier named Loial. There were also several other new faces to join the cast this week as well. Let’s take a look at these actors, and the roles they will play in The Wheel of Time.
The Wheel of Time Casting News: A Gleeman Joins The Party
First up we have a major role in the series, the gleeman Thomdril Merrilin. Danish actor Alexandre Willaume (Tomb Raider) will play this role. The gleeman is an important character over the book series. Thom is a bard who aids and mentors several of the young men from Emond’s Field. He also has a mysterious past, and is vital to the development of several major characters.
The casting for The Wheel of Time has made several departures from the physical appearance of characters as described by Robert Jordan. However most of these differences are usually related to the skin color of the actor involved (such as casting women of color for both Nynaeve and Egwene). I think it is safe to say that no one anticipated this casting for Thom. Physically, Willaume does not at all resemble the character he is meant to play. However if he can grow a long white mustache and hair, maybe fans will feel differently.
As it stands, showrunner Rafe Judkins is highly confident in the casting choice and has taken to Twitter to express his feelings on the subject. I am personally less concerned about the appearance of the gleeman, and more concerned with whether or not he can sing. A few scattered videos of Willaume online give an idea of his rich speaking voice, so my hopes are high.
Ye of little faith 🙂 Sometimes it takes a minute to find someone who’s absolutely perfect to play a character as important as Thom. I was actually in an old Inn with him this afternoon to witness a gleeman performance and let me tell you he is something special. https://t.co/rHYbOxZsm6
— Rafe Judkins (@rafejudkins) December 4, 2019
The First Non-Human Character Is Cast In The Wheel of Time
Hammed Animashaun | Image via Amazon
Next up we have our first non-human character for the series! Actor Hammed Animashaun (Black Mirror) will play the Loial the Ogier. The Ogier are a long-lived and peaceful race, the character of Loial is still an impetuous youth (at the age of 90) when he enters the story. They are a race of architects and stonemasons who have a great love for knowledge. Loial encounters several of the main characters after he runs away from home (to escape a marriage contract) and joins up with several of the characters from Emond’s Field.
Loial is described as a 10 feet tall, with a snout-like nose and long tufted ears. It will be interesting to see how the show plans to portray this character. Will the Ogier be CGI? Or will Amazon rely on makeup and prosthetics to portray the non-human characteristics? Animashaun is certainly tall (although definitely not 10 feet tall) so some liberties will certainly be taken with this role.
Art by Andrew Michael Methven Skinner | Image via Wheel of Time Wiki
A False Dragon and A Sneaky Peddler Round Out The Cast
Next up we have Alvaro Morte (Mirage) playing the role of Logain Ablar. This character only pops up briefly in the first book, but the show may be expanding his role since he becomes important later on. Logain is a man who can channel the One Power. He is extremely dangerous in a world where only women can channel. The male half of the magical source known as the One Power was tainted long ago, and any man who has the ability to use it will eventually go insane.
If the physical appearance of Thom is questionable, that is made up for with the casting of Morte as Logain. This casting is spot-on and matches the book description of the character precisely. Logain is tall, dark, and handsome with long curling hair and broad shoulders. He is also a powerful figure throughout the series, and it will be interesting to see Morte step into this role.
Alvaro Morte | Image via Amazon
Finally we come to the role of Padan Fain, who will be played by Johann Myers (The Lost City of Z). Fain is another integral character to the overall Wheel of Time series. He starts off as a simple peddler who often travels to Emond’s Field, but develops into something much more. Fain is described as skinny and gangly, with a beaked nose and wide ears. Based on the photo of Myers that has been released by Amazon, this is another casting that is pretty close to the book description. Myers is a prolific actor who has played many small roles in film and television since the 80’s. The role of Padan Fain may be his chance to make a lasting impression on a generation of fantasy fans.
Johann Myers | Image via Amazon
Who Should Be Cast Next For The Wheel of Time?
What do you think about The Wheel of Time casting news? Who do you want to see cast next? Personally I think after getting four male actors announced this time, the next #WOTWednesday should give us more ladies. I’m anxious to see who will play Elayne, Elaida, Min, and Morgase. Let us know your thoughts by joining the conversation with Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today!
The Wheel of Time is due to air on Amazon Prime in 2021.
(Featured image via Amazon)
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.