Friday, February 24, 2012

Roger Zelazny Casting Call: Dalt

It's been a while since I've posted my casting choice for a character in the Merlin books, so to keep that interval from growing any longer; he's my choice for Merlin's uncle Dalt, whom Merlin describes thusly:

His hair looked golden, or even coppery,  by what light there was upon it, but I remembered it as a kind of dirty blond by natural light. His eyes, I recalled, were green, though there was no way I could see that now. I did begin to realize for the first time, however,  that  he  was pretty big-either that or he had chosen fairly short torchbearers. He had been alone that one time I'd seen him, and I had had no standard for comparison. As the light from our torches reached him I saw that he had on a heavy, green sleeveless doublet without a collar, over something black and also heavy, with sleeves that extended down his arms to vanish within green gauntlets. His trousers were black, as were the high boots they entered; his cloak was black and lined with an emerald green that caught our light as the cloak furled about him in shifting, oily landscapes of yellow and red. He wore a heavy circular medallion, which looked to be gold, on a chain about his neck; and though I could not make out the details of its device, I was certain that it bore a Lion rending a Unicorn.

That's probably as long a description as we get of any character in either series. I like Dalt. Green and Black happen to be my favorite colors, so I even like his outfit on an aesthetic level. He's the son of Deela the Desecratrix, who was raped by Oberon when she was his prisoner. Thus his hated of Amber is somewhat justifiable. His device is a lion rending a unicorn, and that's the kind of memorable detail I've come to love from Zelazny.

Dalt comes to terms with Amber, and again, there's that pragmatism I love from Zelazny's characters. He goes toe to toe with a Pattern Ghost of Eric, and though he loses, he makes a respectable showing.

And for the Amber series in my mind (One season per book, a la the Game of Thrones. We'll even show it on HBO so they can film Corwin's deleted sex scene with Dara) I think I'd like to see a young Dolph Lundgren in the role. 

He was a big, blond-haired son of a bitch, and he had on a yellow shirt and black trousers, black boots, lots of cutlery. The medallion of the Lion rending the Unicorn bounced upon his broad chest. Every time I'd seen or heard of the man, he'd been about something nasty, damn near killing Luke on one occasion. He was a mercenary, a Robin Hood figure out of Eregnor, and a sworn enemy of Amber-illegitimate son of her late liege Oberon. I believed there was a price on his head within the Golden Circle. On the other hand, he and Luke had been buddies for years, and Luke swore he wasn't all that bad. He was my uncle Dalt, and I'd a feeling that if he moved too quickly the flexing of his muscles would shred his shirt.

He's big (about 6'5" and 250 pounds at his peak), he's athletic (European champion in Kyokushin Karate in 1980 and 1981), he's smart (speaks Swedish, English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, and Italian, was a Fulbright Scholar and holds a master's degree in chemical engineering). I hate to say, but of the accomplishments for which he's known, the thing he probably does least well is acting.

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