With Light of the Radiant’s release only a fortnight away – and if you didn’t know that, you haven’t been reading this blog – it seems apropos to do another round of fantasy casting. This time? Shadow of the Raven.
As I mentioned back when I did this for Queen of Eventide, I play a little loose with my fantasy casting. Before we get underway, let’s revisit what that means. For the rest of the whys and wherefores, please check out the article linked above. No one likes a writer who copies and pastes just to fill space.
First up, death is no barrier (oddly fitting for this book). Let’s be honest, when you’re plugging famous types into your story, why hold back at the edge of mortality? We’re already skating out into the realm of wishful thinking, so why not throw your arms back, lean forward and enjoy the ride to its fullest?
Second, age is no more a barrier than death. If an actor/actress was once the right age for the part, then they can be again. In fact, given CGI Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War this doesn’t seem like a stretch any longer. Fun, eh?
With that necessary bookkeeping out of the way, let’s get into the fantasy casting for Shadow of the Raven. As usual, this will be spoiler-free, so you’re safe to indulge before delving into the book (which you’re going to, naturally).
Oded Fehr as Edric Saran
Fehr’s no stranger to action roles, and also has the ability to carry off spirituality and understated snark in a way that makes him ideal for Edric. As a bonus, he has an accent that sits pretty-much dead-on where I imagine Edric’s to lie. It’s all to easy to imagine him staring with a mixture of contempt and bewilderment as the bureaucracy of the Tressian Republic grinds away all around him, then spring into a necessary burst of derring-do…
Rachel Weisz as Arianwyn
As the picture above suggests, we’re looking at The Mummy-era Weisz, complete with waspish tone and no-nonsense approach to troublesome situations. That said, Weisz in Oz the Great and Powerful is probably a pretty good representation of what Arianwyn fears she might become, so there’s that too. Overall, cool, collected and not averse to delivering a withering dressing-down? Yep, I can definitely see this one working.
Tom Hiddleston as Constans
Something of a left-handed compliment, this one, but I can’t picture an actor better at giving the impression he’s up to no good even when he probably isn’t. Constans’ devil-may-care outlook covers tightly-wound emotion, just as his seeming improvisations underpin a series of very, very deliberate actions. Collected, careful and one to watch? Hiddleston’s the man for that, I reckon.
Brian Cox as Captain Quintus
Whether you want a bluff, honest soul who speaks as he finds, a layered antihero or a scheming ne’er do well, it’s harder to do better than Brian Cox. He’s a man who brings charm to even the most dubious character, and a sheen of suspicion to those as virtuous as a saint. Either way, Cox always dominates the scene, and that’s exactly what Quintus has to do.
Ian Richardson as Lord Solomon
A storied veteran of stage and screen, Ian Richardson portrayed perhaps the original man-you-love-to-hate as Francis Urquhart in the original House of Cards. Should you ‘love to hate’ Solomon? I couldn’t possibly comment, but plenty of folk definitely do. I think it’s the ability to remain polite, candid and measured while discussing actions that are anything but.
Wynn Everett as Zorya
I’ve never seen anyone put so much emotion behind an emotionless visage as Wynn Everett during her time in Agent Carter, and that’s exactly what Zorya needs. That, and the ability to break someone in half, but if Everett can’t quite manage that, we’ll lean on special effects. I’m sure it’ll be fine.
Alexander Siddig as Jamar
Hate to say it, but Julian Bashir wound me up something dreadful on Deep Space Nine. Not so, every role I’ve seen Siddig in since. Jamar requires an actor capable of conveying stillness, quiet wisdom and unflinching determination. A man of few words, but whose words fall with the weight of tombstones. It’s a perfect match for the Siddig of today.
John Hurt as Malgyne
This is one of two roles where the voice is everything. Malgyne is by turns querulous and knowing, threatening and conspiratorial. Who better for such a mercurial character than John Hurt, a man who can make you love the unlovable with a twitch of an eyebrow or a softly-spoken word? I for one welcome our new gravelly-voiced overlord. As should we all.
Mark Hamill as Jack
Another character whose voice is key. Mark Hamill’s perfect for this one. Famous as Luke Skywalker, Hamill’s true calling (in my opinion, anyway) is embodying truly larger than life characters that you kinda want to have on your side, but not nearly as much as you’d like them to be somewhere very far away, right now. That’s Jack in a nutshell, and I can’t think of anyone whose voice would match better.
So there we are – my fantasy casting for Shadow of the Raven. Agree? Disagree? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.
Not read Shadow of the Raven? Want some more from Aradane to tide you over until Light of the Radiant arrives?
Check out the links below.