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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

By Dragonmount.com, in Video News,

The latest episode of The WoT Community Show is now online.     Visit the YouTube channel     SHOW NOTES Episode published January 28, 2020.   In this week’s episode Kitty discusses the 30th Anniversary of The Eye of the World, which occurred on January 15th.   EotW info page: https://dragonmount.com/Books/Eye_of_the_World/ 30th Anniversary news: https://dragonmount.com/news/book-news/eotw30/    * She also read an exclusive memory that Harriet shared with the fans.    * Ebony discusses fan reactions to how they found the series.   * And Thom discussed the latest cast news from the WoT TV series.  Here’s a complete list of names of all confirmed actors on the show, and their roles.    Speculation on the unknwn roles: https://dragonmount.com/news/tv-show/adams-wheel-of-television-who-are-the-new-cast-members-playing-r1085/    More info and photos: https://dragonmount.com/tv/s1/cast/   ************** Love, Lanfear   Do you  want the Daughter of the Night to help solve your troublesome relationship issues? Email us: Show@dragonmount.com, or leave a comment in the comments or on our social media with #LoveLanfear   ************** The WoT Community show is released bi-weekly and covers the Wheel of Time franchise and fan community.  Since 1998, Dragonmount has been a top destination for anything related to Robert Jordan’s masterpiece. With Amazon Prime’s forthcoming adaptation, we’ll keep you up to date.   The WoT Community Show is sponsored by Tor Books and our generous Patreon Subscribers. For more info on becoming a Patron, visit: http://Patreon.com/dragonmount   Please leave comments and suggestions below. We love hearing from you!  

By Werthead, in TV Show,

Adam Whitehead is Dragonmount's TV blogger. Adam has been writing about film and television, The Wheel of Time, and other genre fiction for over fifteen years. Be sure to check out his websites, The Wertzone and Atlas of Ice and Fire (including The Wheel of Time Atlas!) as well as his Patreon. Please note this article contains very mild spoilers for The Wheel of Time novels.   We have some new Wheel of Time cast members! And, as is becoming par for the course with this project, we don’t know who they’re playing!   Maria Doyle Kennedy, Katy Fleetwood, Jennifer Cheon Garcia, Daryl McCormack and Peter Franzén have all been announced as joining the cast through a social media blitz of them posing with pictures of their scripts for the Episode 5/6 table read. Of the group, only one confirmed her role: Katy Fleetwood will be playing Liandrin, an Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah who plays a major role in the second novel in the series, The Great Hunt. Jennifer Garcia also added the hashtag “#aessedai” and a blue square to her post, suggesting that she will be playing a member of the Blue Ajah.   The rest of the actors have not disclosed their roles, so it may be fun to speculate on whom they might be playing. The big coup of the announcements is Maria Doyle Kennedy. A veteran Irish singer and actress, Kennedy is probably best-known for playing Catherine of Aragon on Showtime’s The Tudors and Mrs. S. on Orphan Black. She’s also had recurring roles on Dexter and Outlander. As arguably the highest-profile casting since Rosamund Pike, she’ll presumably be playing a relatively major role. She’s actually been my personal favourite fancast for about a decade for the role of Elaida do Avriny a’Roihan, Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah and Court Advisor to Queen Morgase of Andor. Kennedy has mostly played positive characters, so seeing her as a villain would be an interesting change of pace.   An alternative is Siuan Sanche, the Amyrlin Seat, the leader of the Aes Sedai. Again, Kennedy would be excellent in this role but I think it would be a shame if they lost the idea of Siuan and Moiraine as contemporaries. Kennedy is fifteen years older than Rosamund Pike, but it’s possible they may be considering a change so it’s more of a mentor relationship, which could work.   The final possibility to my mind is Verin Mathwin, Aes Sedai of the Brown Ajah and a font of information about the world. I think this is somewhat less likely due to the fact that Verin’s importance in the series tends to ebb and flow and she’d likely vanish for long periods of the story, which would risk losing Kennedy from the series in later seasons (although again this could be changed). Siuan and Elaida remain fairly important throughout the duration of the series and would be meatier roles for Kennedy, although there’s no arguing she’d play the hell of the culmination of Verin’s arc in The Gathering Storm.   Jennifer Garcia has done a lot of work in the Arrowverse for The CW and has also appeared in Fringe, Lucifer and The 100. Assuming she’s playing an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah, there are several strong possibilities. The most obvious is, if Maria Kennedy is not playing her, Siuan Sanche. Garcia is much closer to Rosamund Pike’s age which works for them being contemporaries. Other alternatives would be Leane Sharif, Siuan’s second-in-command as Keeper of the Chronicles; Anaiya Carel, a senior Blue Ajah sister (and the rumoured secret leader of the Blue Ajah); or Sheriam Bayanar, the Mistress of Novices.   Daryl McCormack is an up-and-coming Irish actor who recently starred in the fifth season of Peaky Blinders. His other credits include Vikings and Fair City. McCormack’s casting was actually leaked several months ago, suggesting that he may actually be appearing in the series before the fifth or sixth episode and they just chose to announce him at this point. His potential roles are fairly numerous but could include Galadedrid Damodred, the adopted eldest son of Queen Morgase of Andor; Aram of the Tinkers (given credence by reports that the Tinker wagon scenes have already been filmed); Dain Bornhald of the Children of the Light; or one of the Aes Sedai Warders for the previously announced actresses (Verin’s Tomas has the most story material, but Anaiya’s Setagana or Siuan’s Alric are other possibilities). Another possibility is that they’ve decided to cast unusually young for the roles of Elyas Machera (McCormack’s piercing eyes would be useful in this role), Lord Ingtar Shinowa of Shienar; or Captain Bayle Domon.   Peter Franzén is a Finnish actor best-known for his long-running role as King Harald Finehair on Vikings. There are quite a few possibilities for him, including the aforementioned Elyas Machera, Lord Ingtar Shinowa or Captain Bayle Domon. A fan-favourite suggestion seems to be Lord Gareth Bryne, the Captain-General of the armies of Andor. Lord Geofram Bornhald of the Children of the Light is another solid possibility. Raen of the Tinkers is another, although given that Franzén is much closer in age to McCormack (if he’s picked for Aram), they could change the relationship to father and son rather than grandfather. Mordeth could be another possibility, since we know the production is visiting Shadar Logoth. Lord Agelmar Jagad of Shienar is also a reasonable possibility.   For both McCormack and Franzén there is also the possibility of one of the Forsaken: Ba’alzamon, Aginor and Balthamel are all potential candidates.   Of course, guessing is difficult when we don’t know how many episodes there are in the first season (there are unconfirmed reports of eight, but Amazon have not yet confirmed) and how many books will be tackled per season, which is something we can speculate about another time.   As usual, we’ll bring you further news as it appears.

By Jason Denzel, in TV Show,

Four actors announced their involvement in the upcoming Wheel of Time TV show via social media today.    As of this time, Amazon hasn't officially confirmed their involvement, although Rafe Judkins, the showrunner, "liked" each of their social media posts. That, combined with the coordinated timing, and the obvious scripts visible in each of their hands, ensures that this is more than a rumor.   Kate Fleetwood will play Liandrin Guirale of the Red Ajah. Jennifer Cheon Garcia will play an unspecified Aes Sedai. Daryl McCormack has an unspecified role. Maria Doyle Kennedy will play an unspecified role (most likely an Aes Sedai).         These actors all posted photos of themselves holding copies of the scripts for episodes 105 and 106. The cast had gathered together for a table read.   In addition to those four actors, other previously-confirmed actors Madeleine Madden (Egwene), Hammed Animashaun (Lioal), and Priyanka Bose (Allana Sedai) also posted photos of themselves holding copies of the script for those episodes.      Tell us what you think of these casting announcements in the comments! Which characters do you think the 3 actors with unspecified roles will play?    

By Jason Denzel, in Books and eBooks,

January 15, 2020 marks the 30-year anniversary of the publication of The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.  Although there are neither beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time, this date does mark the official beginning of the book franchise.    After leaving a career as a nuclear engineer, Robert Jordan (a pen name for James Rigney Jr, who went by "Jim" to his friends and family) began a prolific writing career. He wrote in a variety of genres, using a different pen name for each one, eventually making a name for himself in the fantasy publishing industry primarily on the strength of his Conan novels. (Robert Jordan did not create the Conan character or write the original novels. He wrote later ones in the series over 50 years after the original author, Robert E. Howard died).    Originally pitched to Tor Books as a 3-book series, Tor publisher Tom Doherty laughed at the sheer scope of The Wheel of Time and instead offered Jim a 6-book contract.  Tor believed in the first book so much that they did a heavy marketing push, going so far as to commission an alternative book cover and creating 5,000 advance reader copies, which was unheard of now, or then.    To celebrate this 30-year anniversary occasion, we asked Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan's wife and editor, what her memories were of that time in 1990.  Here's what she sent us:   We're also asking YOU to share your memories of how you found this special book. You can reply here to this article, or you can reply on our social media: Facebook Instagram Be sure to check out our Eye of the World info page, as well as our Book Summary and Chapter Recaps.    

By JenniferL, in Community & Events,

The 2020 Hugo Nomination period is now open. If you are a registered WorldCon member, you may be eligible to nominate notable written and dramatic works, as well as notable editors and other contributors in the field of science-fiction and fantasy.    About the Hugos Awards The Hugos are the premier awards for science fiction & fantasy literature. Each year, awards are given in multiple categories such as Best Novel, Best Short Story, Best Series, and more.   Written and dramatic works are awarded at the annual World Science Fiction Convention (“WorldCon”) by its members. Anybody can become a member whether you attend the convention or not.    There are some notable benefits to becoming a WorldCon member, even if you don’t attend the actual convention.  Not only will you have the chance to nominate your favorite written and dramatic works from the past year, but with your membership, you’ll also receive most of (if not all) of the nominated works.  ie, You’ll get free books. (Good ones, too!)  (NOTE: The Hugo Voters packet is entirely dependent on the generosity of the finalists (and their publishers).  Some provide the entire work, others provide a sample, and some choose not to participate at all.  To give you an idea, here's a breakdown of what was provided in the 2019 packet. Thanks to ElleKayEm for this info.)   The Process There are several notable milestones for participating in the Hugos:   Register by December 31, 2019 in order to nominate works. (Deadline past to nominate) Submit nominations (now through March 31) Nominees announced (early April) Voting begins (register now to become a voting member) Voting Ends Winners announced at the 2020 WorldCon in Wellington, New Zealand. (July 29 - August 2)   It costs money to become a member, but remember that you will not only become of a proud tradition, but you’ll be able to nominate, vote, and participate in the 2020 and 2021’s awards, and you also receive all of the nominated books and stories in ebook format. That value alone pays for your membership.    For Your Consideration Here, for your consideration, are eligible works related to The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan, Dragonmount.com, and some of our associates. You should only nominate works and individuals if you feel they are notable and worthy of a prestigious Hugo Award. if you're not familiar with our recommendations, links are provided to where you can acquire them or learn more.    Best Series:  The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson This is probably the last opportunity for The Wheel of Time to win a Hugo Award. The entire Best Series award was created in large part due to the impact of this series. Read more about how WoT is eligible this year. Best Novel:  Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan Robert Jordan's "first and last" novel was published this past year and is eligible for awards. Read more about this book here.  It's available as an ebook through our online store, and also available on Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, and your local independent bookseller.  Best Related Work:  Dragonmount.com (website, online community) For over 21 years, Dragonmount has provided news and community for WoT fans across the globe. This past year was one of our finest, where we dramatically increased our social media presence, increased our news coverage, crafted full book summaries and chapter recaps, brought on notable bloggers such as Adam Whitehead, launched a YouTube channel, and overall have helped prepared as many fans as possible for Amazon Prime's upcoming Wheel of Time TV show.   Best Fan Writer: Adam Whitehead Adam Whitehead is a prolific fan writer and WoT TV show blogger.  His bi-weekly column here on Drgonmount, Adam's Wheel of Television, has quickly become a notable blog providing insight into Amazon Prime's Wheel of Time TV show. In addition, Adam has been covering the Science-Fiction & Fantasy genre for years through his websites The Wertzone, and the Atlas of Ice and Fire.   Best Fan Writer: Sylas K. Barrett Sylas K. Barrett is a Tor.com blogger writing a blog series called "Reading the Wheel of Time" where he recaps each chapter in the series and gives his first-time-reader impressions of the series as it goes.    Best Editor (Short Form): Shawn Speakman Shawn is the mastermind behind multiple anthologies including Unfettered III, the collection of short stories that includes "A Fire Within the Ways", the latest (and perhaps last) written WoT content. You can get the anthology on Amazon (print or ebook), on audio as an Audible.com exclusive, Barnes & Noble (print and ebook), or The Book Depository (for international readers).   Best Novelette: "The Stone Golem of Qual'Jom" by Jason Denzel Dragonmount founder Jason Denzel's story about a lonely stone creature that lives outside of time is available as part of the Unfettered III anthology. (Note: at 8,800 words long, this story is considered a novelette and not a short story). You can get the Unfettered III anthology on Amazon (print or ebook), on audio as an Audible.com exclusive, Barnes & Noble (print and ebook), or The Book Depository (for international readers).     Thank you for your consideration. Just a reminder: only nominate works or people if you think they are top-notch and worthy of a Hugo Award.  

By Dragonmount.com, in Video News,

The latest episode of The WoT Community Show is now online.  If you're not familiar with it, WoTCS is a variety-show style program featuring a handful of hosts who recaps the most recent Wheel of Time book, TV show, and community news.     Visit the YouTube channel. Episode 7: "Interview with Clare Grant"   SHOW NOTES Happy New Year!   Our intrepid team kicks 2020 off with the following:   * Kitty interviews actress, producer, and WoT super-fan Clare Grant. IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1740127/ http://www.claregrant.com   * Thom discusses the new Wheel of Time cast members for Amazon Prime’s upcoming TV show:   Alanna Mosvani will be played by Priyanka Bose.  Ihvon will be played by Emmanuel Imani.  Maksim will be played by Taylor Napier.    More info:  https://dragonmount.com/news/tv-show/alannawarders/   * Ebony discusses JordanCon early-bird registration and the new merchandise license issued to Valyrian Steel.    https://www.jordancon.org http://www.valyriansteel.com/   ************** Love, Lanfear   Do you  want the Daughter of the Night to help solve your troublesome relationship issues? Email us: Show@dragonmount.com, or leave a comment in the comments or on our social media with #LoveLanfear   ************** The WoT Community show is released bi-weekly and covers the Wheel of Time franchise and fan community.  Since 1998, Dragonmount has been a top destination for anything related to Robert Jordan’s masterpiece. With Amazon Prime’s forthcoming adaptation, we’ll keep you up to date.   The WoT Community Show is sponsored by Tor Books and our generous Patreon Subscribers. For more info on becoming a Patron, visit: http://Patreon.com/dragonmount   Please leave comments and suggestions below. We love hearing from you!  

By JenniferL, in Community & Events,

Today, December 31, 2019, is an important deadline for the 2020 Hugo Awards. You can have a unique impact in being part of its tradition, and also potentially help The Wheel of Time and other worthy stories, earn a prestigious award.    About the Hugos Awards The Hugos are the premier awards for science fiction & fantasy literature. Each year, awards are given in multiple categories such as Best Novel, Best Short Story, Best Series, and more.   Written and dramatic works are awarded at the annual World Science Fiction Convention (“WorldCon”) by its members. Anybody can become a member whether you attend the convention or not.    There are some notable benefits to becoming a WorldCon member, even if you don’t attend the actual convention.  Not only will you have the chance to nominate your favorite written and dramatic works from the past year, but with your membership you’ll also receive most of (if not all) of the nominated works.  ie, You’ll get free books. (Good ones, too!)   The Process There are several notable milestones for participating in the Hugos:   Register by December 31, 2019 in order to nominate works. (TODAY) Submit nominations. (Sometime in January 2020) Nominees announced (Spring) Voting begins (Spring) Voting Ends Winners announced at the 2020 WorldCon in Wellington, New Zealand. (Summer)   If you plan on nominating for the 2020 Hugo Awards, today is the last day to register for WorldCon and be eligible to vote.   Wheel of Time’s last chance Despite its popularity and far-reaching impact on the fantasy genre, Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time have never won a Hugo Award.    In 2014 the entire WoT series was nominated for (but did not win) the “Best Novel” award. The "Best Series" category did not exist at the time. WoT’s nomination caused a controversial stir, as some people didn’t feel it was appropriate to consider the entire 15-book Wheel of Time series as one single work. This helped prompt the World Science Fiction Society, which awards the Hugos, to add a new category in 2017, the “Best Series” award.    At the time, it didn’t mean much for The Wheel of Time, but it did enable several other long-running and popular series (including Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive) to be recognized with nominations and awards.    And now The Wheel of Time will have one more chance to potentially earn a Hugo Award.    Earlier this year, in 2019, Brandon Sanderson published “A Fire Within the Ways”, a short story that was included in the Unfettered III anthology from Grim Oaks Press. This written sequence contained a lng set of “deleted scenes” from A Memory of Light. With Harriet’s permission, the scenes were lightly edited and submitted for publication in the Unfettered III anthology, with proceeds going to support health care needs for writers in need.  According to the WSFS bylaws, any new installment to a written series, regardless of length, makes The Wheel of Time eligible for the Best Series award. Therefore, A Fire Within the Ways makes WoT eligible for the first--and likely only--time.   It’s unlikely that Harriet will ever authorize the publication of any further Wheel of Time stories. This could be our last opportunity to ensure that Robert Jordan’s work receives the recognition it’s due with one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a fantasy series.    To nominate WoT, and any other work of eligible fiction from the past year, you need to become a member of the 2020 WorldCon to be held in Wellington, New Zealand this summer. While many of us will not be able to attend due to the distance and expense, but you can purchase a Supporting Membership. This gives you the right to participate in the Hugos, to nominated, vote, and receive convention publications. It also helps support WorldCon, which has a proud tradition of being one of the longest running fan conventions.    It costs money to become a member, but remember that you will not only become of a proud tradition, but you’ll be able to nominate, vote, and participate in the 2020 and 2021’s awards, ad you also receive all of the nominated books and stories in ebook format. That value alone pays for your membership.    What To Do Next  If you want to be a part of this, here’s what you need to do:   Register to become a WorldCon Member by the end of today, December 31, 2019. This will allow you to nominate WoT and other eligible works.  Tell a friend! (Send them to this article for info) Submit your nominations when the submission windows open (sometime in January 2020).  Vote! Optional: fly to New Zealand and attend the convention. Meet lots of amazing people and writers.   What if I missed the December 31 deadline? No problem! You can still register for a membership and vote for the nominated works. You just won’t be able to submit nominations.    If you’re a fan of The Wheel of Time, you know how big of an impact the series has had on the genre and on people’s lives. By becoming a Hugo Member, you can help WoT receive a special place in history, and also become part of a long-running tradition and receive some great books in return. 

By Dragonmount.com, in TV Show,

Deadline.com announced today, via an exclusive article that Amazon Studios confirmed to us, that the roles of Alanna Mosvani and two of her warders, Ihvon and Maksim, have been cast for the upcoming Wheel of Time TV show.    Alanna Mosvani will be played by Priyanka Bose.  Ihvon will be played by Emmanuel Imani.  Maksim will be played by Taylor Napier.    In the books, Alanna is an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah who has a significant, and sometimes controversial, role in the story. She's first introduced at the beginning of book 2, The Great Hunt. Interestingly, in the books, Alanna has two warders, Ihvon and Owein.  Of those warders, Owein has the lesser role and is only mentioned a few time before dying.  It seems he's been replaced by a character named Maksim. It's unknown if these are intended to be the same character, or if Maksim is a replacement for Owein with the intention of having a larger role.    From the Deadline article:     Priyanka Bose IMDB entry Emmanuel Imani IMDB entry Taylor Napier IMDB entry

By Dragonmount.com, in Video News,

For the last couple of months, Dragonmount has produced a bi-weekly YouTube program called The WoT Community Show.  It's a variety-show style program featuring a handful of hosts who recaps the most recent Wheel of Time book, TV show, and community news.   Visit the YouTube channel. Episode 6: "New Actors & Pronunciations"   SHOW NOTES Happy Holidays! In this week’s episode:   * Kitty recaps each of the 12 actors that’ve been officially announced for Amazon Prime’s upcoming Wheel of Time TV series.    * Thom and Kitty discuss the 4 newest cast additions:  Alvaro Morte as Logain. Hammed Animashaun as Loial. Alexandre Willaume as Thom Merrilin. Johann Myers as Padan Fain.   More info:  https://dragonmount.com/news/tv-show/castinglltp/   * Ebony goes over the proper pronunciation of some common WoT names.   * Special Guest:  Graendal! The Chosen sits in for Lanfear, who got in trouble with the Greatd Lord of the Dark after her breakdown in the previous episode.  Graendal answers a couple of fan-submitted questions.    ************** Love, Lanfear   Do you want the Daughter of the Night to help solve your troublesome relationship issues? Email us: Show@dragonmount.com, or leave a comment in the comments or on our social media with #LoveLanfear   ************** The WoT Community show is released bi-weekly and covers the Wheel of Time franchise and fan community.  Since 1998, Dragonmount has been a top destination for anything related to Robert Jordan’s masterpiece. With Amazon Prime’s forthcoming adaptation, we’ll keep you up to date.   The WoT Community Show is sponsored by Tor Books and our generous Patreon Subscribers. For more info on becoming a Patron, visit: http://Patreon.com/dragonmount   **************   Show Hosts: Thom DeSimone Kitty Rallo Ebony Adomanis   Guest (Graendal) Amanda   Producer & Editor: Kathy Campbell   Executive Producer: Jason Denzel   Social Media FB: http://facebook.com/dragonmount  Twitter: http://twitter.com/dragonmount  IG: http://instagram.com/dragonmount_    **************   Please leave comments and suggestions below. We love hearing from you!  

By Werthead, in TV Show,

Adam Whitehead is Dragonmount's TV blogger. Adam has been writing about film and television, The Wheel of Time, and other genre fiction for over fifteen years. Be sure to check out his websites, The Wertzone and Atlas of Ice and Fire (including The Wheel of Time Atlas!) as well as his Patreon. Please note this article contains very mild spoilers for The Wheel of Time novels.   To everyone’s relief, Amazon have confirmed that four important characters from the Wheel of Time novels will be in the TV series: Loial, Logain, Padan Fain and Thom Merrilin have made the cut!   The actors playing them will probably be not hugely familiar to audiences. Alvaro Morte (Logain) has appeared primarily in Spanish film and television whilst Hammad Animashaun (Loial) is a relative newcomer. Johann Myers, who is playing Padan Fain, has had a longer career and will be familiar to British viewers from series such as State of Play, Black Mirror and Luther.   Most of the casting speculation for the last few weeks – including our own – has focused on Thom Merrilin. Some fans and commentators even mused if Thom could be cut from the show altogether, or perhaps introduced later on in a different context. Happily, it seems that Rafe Judkins and his team decided they needed the gleeman up front and center, and cast Danish actor Alexandre Willaume in the role. Willaume has appeared in films such as Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and last year’s Tomb Raider, but is best known for playing Kjartan, one of the main antagonists in the first two seasons of the excellent historical drama The Last Kingdom (well worth catching on Netflix if you haven’t seen it yet). This is appropriate because some twenty years pass between Kjartan’s appearance in the first episode and his last appearance (note: both videos have violence and some strong language) in Season 2, and he is aged up for the role.   This leads to an interesting and wider question about adaptations of the written work. Fans of all franchises appear to be constantly bemused that producers don’t cast actors more precisely based on their book descriptions, sometimes choosing actors of a radically different height, age, appearance or, in some cases, gender. This leads to frustration that the producers “don’t get it” or are “changing things for the sake of it,” and to be fair unsuccessful adaptations like The Shannara Chronicles or Earthsea show that this sometimes happens. In other cases – such as the currently shooting TV series based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, The Watch – the producers have taken the view that the source material is something they can mix and match to produce something new. This sometimes works (as with Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency) but sometimes doesn’t (like SyFy’s Dresden Files).   Fans of Game of Thrones, particularly fans of the books who kept abreast of the casting news in early and mid-2009 as the show prepared to shoot its pilot, will remember this well. There was widespread dismay when it was announced that Mark Addy had been cast as King Robert Baratheon. Addy was a good ten years older than the character and, whilst Robert was six foot five and a giant of a man, Addy was almost a clear foot shorter. These concerns were eventually alleviated when the show hit the air: Addy received widespread praise for his dramatic, gruff performance. He made you believe he’d once been a powerful, formidable warrior now gone to seed.   The reason for not casting strictly according to the books is mainly practical: if you get down to five or six on an audition shortlist, do you go with the actor who gave the better, more convincing performance or the actor who is exactly the same height as the character in the book but was a less convincing performer? Producers and casting directors will always follow the performance first, the details later. In some cases, they know these details can be taken care of through costuming, or getting the actor some bigger shoes, or (in extremis) they can stand on a box in some takes. In some other cases the author may give a description of a character in a book without fully thinking through the details: Tyrion Lannister is described as quite ugly in the Song of Ice and Fire novels, but he is also charming, charismatic, witty and good at talking to people and winning them over, all of which would be less convincing on screen if he was actively hideous to look at. The producers decided to the cast the decidedly handsome Peter Dinklage rather than staying true to the books.   In the case of Thom Merrilin, the producers had to balance practical issues with storytelling ones with faithfulness to the book. They were also helped by Robert Jordan’s vagueness over Thom’s age. We are told that Thom has white hair and people express surprise at his spryness “for his age.” Morgase also muses that Thom was “twice her age” at one point in their relationship (The Fires of Heaven), probably – from context – during the year between Taringail’s death and Thom’s departure to help Owyn (984-85 NE). Morgase was 27-28 during that year, so Thom would have been around 54, and thus 70 when the events of The Eye of the World begin in spring 998 NE.   However, The Eye of the World contradicts this by saying that Thom “was in his prime,” which I would submit would not be a descriptor for someone in their mid-to-late fifties. Robert Jordan’s voluminous notes, which he began developing in earnest around the time of A Crown of Swords, also show a later change of heart, noting instead that Thom is 19-20 years older than Morgase. This would have made Thom around 46 during their relationship and about 60 during the events of The Eye of the World.   It may even be that Robert Jordan considered making Thom younger. Thom is physically very capable, still doing tumbling tricks and more than holding his own in battle. Rather memorably, he takes on a Myrddraal in hand-to-hand combat and survives, something not even Lan can boast off (true, the Myrddraal was in a hurry and had no time to stay and fight, but still a notable achievement). Thom is also a big hit with the ladies, having relationships with women not only in their forties, but, in the case of Dena in The Great Hunt, in their twenties. Are there charismatic, handsome men in their sixties who can pull those things off? Sure, but making him even a few years younger does make all of those accomplishments more plausible. It's notable that Team Jordan did not canonise the information in Jordan's notes in The Wheel of Time Companion, perhaps preferring to keep things vague and up to the reader's interpretation.   In this case, the choice of actor is a good one. Willaume turns 47 this month and, as we saw in The Last Kingdom, can be aged up pretty well as required. More importantly, he’s a good actor and I’m sure will bring the required skills and more: he plays guitar and has been a musician in multiple bands. He’s also sung on stage in the Danish musical version of Shrek (he played Donkey), so he has those skills down as well.   Until next time, peace.

By Dragonmount.com, in TV Show,

Amazon Prime's @WoTonPrime Twitter account announced today that actors have been cast for The Wheel of Time TV show.    Alvaro Morte as Logain. Hammed Animashaun as Loial. Alexandre Willaume as Thom Merrilin. Johann Myers as Padan Fain.   ALVARO MORTE  (Logain) Originally from Andalucía, Spain, Álvaro graduated from the Superior School of Dramatic Arts of Córdoba and ECAM (Madrid Film School) with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts. After finishing his studies in Spain, UTA's Actor Training Department awarded him a scholarship to research interpretation techniques at the University of Tampere (Finland), where he worked as an assistant professor of stage management. Álvaro is an actor with a long resume of experience, but has most recently appeared in La Casa de Papel, Durante la Tormenta El Embarcadero and The Head. He also served as Theater Director for his own company, 300 Pistolas, which was founded in 2012 and brings Spanish classics, such as El Perro del Hortelano, Tres Sombreros de Copa, La Casa de Bernarda Alba and El Lazarillo de Tormes to high school students in the region. His work on El Lazarillo de Tormes was awarded at the Almagro International Classical Theater Festival in 2018.      HAMMED ANIMASHAUN (Loial) Hammed recently starred in Fudge Park's feature film The Festival How to Build a Girl. His past television credits include Netflix's critically-acclaimed series Black Mirror as well as BBC's black comedy Flowers. Hammed is currently starring in Master Harold... and the Boys alongside Lucian Msamati at the National Theatre. Other notable theatre credits include the critically-acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre and the National Theatre's sell-out production of Barber Shop Chronicles. Hammed is represented by Lucy Middleweek at Middleweek Newton Talent Management.         ALEXANDRE WILLAUME (Thom Merrilin) Alexandre Willaume trained at The Danish School of Theatre and has since enjoyed a varied career both on stage and screen. Alexandre’s most recent film credits include Tomb Raider, Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets, as well as lead roles in both Good Favour and Where Have All the Good Men Gone. Alexandre has played numerous roles in Danish television, including a supporting role in the award-winning show Rita (Series 2 & 3), a guest lead in Those Who Kill and roles in Follow The Money (Series 3) and Below The Surface (Series 1 & 2). Alexandre played series regular Kjartan in The Last Kingdom for two seasons. He has also had roles in Hidden, Deep State and Home Fires. Alexandre has provided voice over work on cartoons such as Batman, Megamind and The Lorax.     JOHANN MYERS (Padan Fain) Myers’ recent TV roles include Small Axe, Temple, Man Like Mobeen, Guerilla, Snatch, In the Dark, Neil Gaiman's Likely Stories, National Treasure and Murder. His most recent film work includes Undergods, Yardie, The World We Knew, Mary Magdalene and The Lost City of Z. Johann also recently played Elwood in Small Island at the National Theatre. He is represented by Michelle Braidman Associates (UK).                  These actors appear to be talented and well-cast by the KVH Casting Agency in London. Fore more information on The Wheel of Time TV show and cast, visit our TV section.   Tell us what you think of these casting announcements in the comments!    

By Jason Denzel, in Merchandise,

Tor Books launched a holiday sweepstakes today where fans from the U.S. and Canada can win some new and familiar books. Here are the details:   Enter the contest at this link.   Be sure to check out our review of Fate of the Fallen. 

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