Session 5-23: Casting Criteria - *special broadcast time*

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I made a mashup of your lists and added a few names, mostly just for fun. This is what it looks like, tell me what you think:

House of Bëor
Bëor (Age 67-93) (3 pisodes)
Adanel (Age 4, 19 & 29, 74)
Andreth (Age 26-28, 60, 71) (6-7 episodes)
Barahir (Age 5-7, 31, 55) (5 episodes plus a few next season)

Maybe: Bregolas. Emeldir. Beren.

House of Haleth
Haleth (16, 30-41, 55, 81) (4-5 episodes)
Haldad (49, 63)

Maybe: Haldar. Haldan. Haldir. Hareth. Haleth’s Friend (past and present)
Handir son of Haldir


House of Hador
Hador (Age 18-21, 58)
Galdor
Amlach
Maybe: Bereg. Gildis. Gloredhel. Gundor. Hurin. Huor.


Elves
Maeglin
Maybe: Penlod (Present in earlier episodes). Pengolodh (Consistent Supporting Presence for multiple seasons). Finduilas (Chekhov’s Gunman). Gil-galad (Chekhov’s Gunman). Elrhûn (Supporting Presence). Voronwë. Elemmakil.

Enemies

Maybe: Gorgol. Orcabal.


Frame
Queen (Azrâindil)
Older Son (Abrazân) - Age 21
Younger Son (Arnubên) - Age 19
First Mouth of Sauron
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
What have we said on the matter of the look of the different houses of Men? Are any firm decisions made?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
What have we said on the matter of the look of the different houses of Men? Are any firm decisions made?
Nothing definite outside of the House of Hador being blond and fair (they’re said to resemble the Vanyar unless you’re Turin). There was a suggestion that Beren be of African descent on the House of Beor thread a week or so ago.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I have to say, I am uncertain about the status of some of these characters. Are these characters that have been subject to discussion in sessions by the execs or in script discussions?
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I have to say, I am uncertain about the status of some of these characters. Are these characters that have been subject to discussion in sessions by the execs or in script discussions?
Bregolas was briefly discussed in one of the sessions in regards to the dissolute youths of Nargothrond. His role was theorized as being Barahir's Big Brother Mentor (also created a thread on him in the Casting sub-forum). Haldan's death date was mulled over but not fully agreed on. Haleth's friend (the one in the past) is in the Season 5, Episode 4 outline. Beren is trending towards not being cast (one of the Hosts referred to him as "Sir-Not-Appearing").
 

MithLuin

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Staff member
I do not foresee any role for a new named villain character this season. Sure, there will be 'random orc guard' roles, some of whom may have lines or take actions, but we aren't yet ready for an orc leader separate from Boldog, I don't think. That will change next season, when we will have opportunities for bands of orcs roaming far from Angband, etc. As it is, we barely have a role for Glaurung this season, and had to squeeze in Tevildo's role. Sauron appears in only a handful of episodes. Despite that, we are managing to introduce warg riders, and all the villains will play a role in the Dagor Bragollach (even Morgoth!)

What have we said on the matter of the look of the different houses of Men? Are any firm decisions made?
No, few firm decisions yet, and that is in fact one of the main topics to sort out in this session. Naturally, there are the descriptions in the books as a starting point. And we did say back in Season 2 that while the Elves ought to be mostly homogeneous (as we were showing their origins), the Houses of the Edain could have distinct physical appearances (ie, could be of different races). At another time, the emphasis was placed on showing the differences between their cultures with costumes and other choices (ie, not relying too heavily on physical traits to differentiate them). So now is the time to decide how to depict them. The Execs have discussed the appearance of Haleth a bit, but other than that, little discussion of what Men would look like.

I have to say, I am uncertain about the status of some of these characters. Are these characters that have been subject to discussion in sessions by the execs or in script discussions?
Yes, we're working in parallel this season, which invites confusion! Any names in particular I can help clarify for you?

The podcast has discussed Episodes 1-3 thus far. The Script Team has discussed Episodes 1-6. So, we are a bit ahead of them, and thus there are aspects of what we have discussed that they have not yet seen nor reviewed.

For the Frame, the Execs have approved a female leader of the Haradrim, a female Mouth of Sauron, and two adult sons. They've also agreed that the characters in this 'Hobbiton of the South' can have Adûnaic names. Rhiannon has proposed names, and that is what I listed on my character list, but this session will be the first time the Exec team has seen those name suggestions. So, we are seeking approval there, rather than already having approval.

Some characters have only minor roles, or may not even appear much at all in the season, but I think most of those are on your 'maybe' list, so that should be fine. A character such as 'Haleth's friend' appears in 2 episodes, but is not necessarily a role we'd decide to cast. Whereas a character like Bereg has a name and definite role...but only appears in the one episode, as a supporting role. So, it's the type of situation where, if we're casting Bereg, then we should probably also cast the random Haladin girl whom we're calling "Haleth's friend" here...but we don't have to. Whereas with Gundor, he's going to appear in this season because his death scene is significant during the Dagor Bragollach.

"Elrhûn" is Annael's son, and was introduced in Season 4. He has become one of Fingon's followers, so is onscreen a bit to give Fingon someone to talk to. We will likely have a significant scene involving him when Annael's treachery is revealed in Season 6, and Elrhûn has to (essentially) disown his father - Annael goes into exile for the good of the realm. Elrhûn will likely die in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, fighting alongside Fingon. As a minor supporting character, we might not *need* to cast him, but if we wanted to, we could. "Penlod" is similarly a lord of Gondolin who has a supporting role as a minor character in a few episodes. I'm not sure we're planning any particular story for him, so the need to cast him isn't very strong. Pengolodh, on the other hand, is a character like Rúmil - we can draw attention to him, because he's one of the sources of this story.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Do you have any thoughts about how to deal with the various characters that go through ageing? Personally I’d suggest that the same actor plays Bëor all the way, but Andreth and Haleth give us more problems (but they don’t necessarily need several casting decisions).
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Do you have any thoughts about how to deal with the various characters that go through ageing? Personally I’d suggest that the same actor plays Bëor all the way, but Andreth and Haleth give us more problems (but they don’t necessarily need several casting decisions).
I've envisioned one or two actors, one to play the character through most of their adulthood and the other in their elder years. Adanel and Haldan are two other characters shown at multiple stages (Haldan is a young child at the Battle of the Stockade, a young adult in Haleth's middle years, and early middle-aged when Haleth is old).
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
Do you think we should cast two different actors for most adulthood and later years, or just keep one?
I don’t know if there’s a general rule we should follow. It’s probably something that’s best resolved by case by case discussion.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
My inclination is to choose one age to focus the casting on. Realistically, this will not be the 'child' stage, so one of the adult years - basically, if we choose an episode/age for the casting focus, it's then presumed that we will either be recasting at different ages, or using some really creative makeup to get through.

Adanel is a different age every time we see her, and the audience is meant to notice how much she's aged as a clue that time has passed. We don't want there to be any confusion that she has aged significantly between episodes. So, when she first appears, she's a 4 year old girl. In the next episode, she's 19 with some responsibilities. And then in the episode after that, she's 30 years old (now a wife and a mother) and assuming a leadership position among her people. And then when we return to the House of Bëor in Nargothrond after leaving their story for several episodes, she is now in her 70's, and preparing to pass the baton to her successor Andreth. So...I would say that we pick one, rather than cast her 4 times. The implication being that if you pick what she looks like at one age, that is at least a bit of a guide to also cast (or do makeup/CGI) for the other ages.

Haldan also ages over the course of the season, but the audience will not be relying on his age markers to determine how much time has passed. Honestly at this point, beyond existing, I'm not sure that Haldan will have any sort of story of his own. He'll be a child throughout the main Haladin-centric stories. Haleth will carry the story of the Haladin through the entire season. Haleth will be easier to choose, too - we will want an actress in the 30-35 year old range to play Haleth in Episodes 4, 5, and 6. Time passes there, but less than 10 years total. And yes, Haleth will also appear as 16 and an aged lady on our show, but...those three episodes are the main ones that focus on her and thus would be our casting focus as well.

I agree that Bëor will be the same actor across the first three episodes. He is meant to age from 67 (and a healthy/hale/spry 67 at that) to 93 (at which point he is on his death bed). I think that can be handled with hair and makeup choices, and the actor being careful to move as an unsteady old guy for the later scenes. There are certainly plenty of shows where someone is 'aged up' in that way. How believable that is varies from Star Trek: The Original Series (ie, not realistic or believable at all!) to Marvel's take on old and young versions of their characters (I found that impressive, anyway). A Beautiful Mind ages up its main character without recasting as well.

I also am a bit torn over Andreth. We need her at two distinct stages of life: in her late 20's for the move to Ladros and her romance with Aegnor, and then as an older woman (60-70) for the Athrabeth and as a refugee during the Dagor Bragollach. So, my inclination is to cast a 25-30 year old actress, but maybe it would be good to do two castings here? I know you *can* use makeup to change someone's appearance that drastically, I'm just not sure how easy it is to act through all that makeup.


And...because you knew I was gonna go there....
Supernatural has handled this issue in both ways. Typically, if they have a younger version of a main character making an appearance (flash backs, time travel, magic), they cast a new actor. So, we get new actors to play 'young John and Mary Winchester' from before the boys were born, and child actors to play Sam and Dean for any scenes requiring a child version of them. There haven't been too many cases where an older version of a character was needed, so you can see both choices.

In Season 5, Dean is aged up 30 years due to magic (actor was recast):

Sam ages roughly the same amount of time during a montage, and is *not* recast:
(scene from the series finale, so definitely counts as spoilers if anyone cares about that)

Obviously, the recast was a more believable example of aging, and certainly more sustainable for an entire episode. But also it was necessary to have enough time to 'introduce' the new actor as the established character, so we can see from the dialogue/mannerisms/choices etc that this is the same character. If you don't give that breathing room, the audience might not be fully convinced by the recast. For a series finale, the couple minutes of a montage was not the time to recast a main character, so...
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
What about for someone like Barahir, for example? We’re going to be seeing him in his thirties (what events are happening around that time, by the way?) and later in his fifties at the Dagor Bragollach. I had started out a thread with a concept with Barahir by casting with an actor in his early fifties (in this case Eric Bana) circa Dagor Bragollach to accommodate the Hosts’ parameters, but perhaps more discussion is needed?
 
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Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
What about for someone like Barahir, for example? We’re going to be seeing him in his thirties (what events are happening around that time, by the way?) and later in his fifties at the Dagor Bragollach. I had started out a thread with a concept with Barahir by casting with an actor in his early fifties (in this case Eric Bana) circa Dagor Bragollach to accommodate the Hosts’ parameters, but perhaps more discussion is needed?
Yes I think that we started the Barahir casting thread a little too early. I’m leaning towards casting a 35-year old actor who can be made to look older. It’s not a big change and it’s been done a number of times. Take a look at Vikings, for example (even though they didn’t always do it convincingly).
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
So for the ages, we'll have to pick and choose? For example, I started a thread or two with the Dagor Bragollach ages in mind (in Hador's case before we decided he had died prior to the Dagor Bragollach).
 
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