When Terry Goodkind‘s Sword of Truth books were made into last season’s new hit fantasy series Legend of the Seeker, fans of the books both cringed and rejoiced. I know I struggled with it at first because I really liked the show but found myself over and over again yelling “NO NO NO NO” at the screen when they changed major events and characters. Eventually, though, I was able to separate (for the most part) the television series from the books in my mind and now less frequently find myself yelling NO. I really love the show and the actors on it and believe that the essence of the primary characters (Richard, Kahlan, Zedd, Chase, etc.) has remained intact while less prominent characters suffer the most personality slaughter (i.e. Jenssen, Denna, Michael and particularly Adie).
I’m especially fond of Bridget Regan as Kahlan Amnell and feel the only thing missing is the famous green eyes (but Bridget’s beautiful blue eyes are just as dramatic as Kahlan’s were in the books). While the gorgeous Craig Horner doesn’t physically match the description of Richard Cypher in the books (in fact, the D’Haran racial traits are completely absent in the series), he portrays the nature of Richard very well and he and Bridget have a fabulous on (and off) screen chemistry. I think Bruce Spence was born to play Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander and Jay Laga’aia captures the very essence of Chase. While the plot of Season 1 only loosely followed the story of Wizard’s First Rule, from the sneak peek above and comments made by the cast and crew at Comic-Con and on Twitter, Season 2 seems to more closely follow the events of the second Sword of Truth book, Stone of Tears.
While the late last-season introduction of the Mord Sith Cara (arguably one of the most important characters in the series) was considerably different than in the books, hopefully Season 2 will bring her closer in line with the important role she played in the books. It looks promising since the actress who plays her, newcomer Tabrett Bethell, has signed a six year contract with the show. I must say that the casting for Cara is perfect. When Mord Sith Denna was introduced in Legend of the Seeker, her character and behavior were so out of line with the cool and in control, seething and simmering Denna of the books that those episodes featuring her still make me cringe. With Cara, however, even though the events have changed, I think they nailed the persona. I look forward to seeing more of her in Season 2 even though I know they are taking liberties with her character as well.
My biggest concern for the series now is, will they introduce one of my personal favorite characters, Nicci? I believe that her story is very important and, if told by the series, should be told as closely in line with the books as possible since her role is important not only in Richard and Kahlan’s life but in the overall message of The Sword of Truth. If this season follows Stone of Tears closely, she should be showing up at some point this season and I am curious about who they might cast as the woman who is described as “a vision of the good spirits, though they themselves would fear her”.
In other casting news, Charisma Carpenter, best known for playing the character Cordelia Chase in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel, has been cast as Triana in the Season 2 opener while writer, director and actor Michael Hurst, best known as Iolaus in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Amfortas in the Legend of the Seeker episode Revenant, will be returning to direct several episodes this season.
Season 2 is currently filming in New Zealand and will premiere November 7th. Can’t wait for November? Pre-order the DVDs (available October 13th) and pick up the books to get your Richard and Kahlan fix!
Order now at Amazon.com:
Legend of the Seeker: The Complete First Season
The Sword of Truth, Books 1-3: Wizard’s First Rule, Stone of Tears, Blood of the Fold
The Sword of Truth, Books 4-6: Temple of the Winds, Soul of the Fire, Faith of the Fallen
The Sword of Truth, Books 7-9: The Pillars of Creation, Naked Empire, Chainfire
Phantom: Chainfire Trilogy, Part 2 (The Sword of Truth, Book 10)
Confessor: Chainfire Trilogy, Part 3 (The Sword Of Truth, Book 11)
Debt of Bones (The Sword of Truth Prequel Novel)