Grip your shields, fasten your helmets and mount the horses: war is coming. Specifically, the war portrayed in Troy: Fall of a City, the new BBC drama retelling of classic Greek myth The Iliad.
Over the course of eight episodes, the series is set to bring to life the tale of Helen of Troy, Achilles’ heel, the judgement of Paris and that famous wooden horse – all with some Game of Thrones-style brutality thrown in for good measure.
But who exactly are the characters of this sprawling tale? What is their role in the story? And who plays them?
Here’s everything you need to know about the Trojans of the show…
Louis Hunter plays Paris
When Trojan prince Paris falls in love and takes Helen from her husband, King Menelaus of Sparta, he returns to Troy, triggering a ten-year war. “Paris has never been in love before, he’s just a boy who’s grown up in the fields,” says Hunter. “To get into Paris’s mindset, I tried to think about when I was 16, and believed I would move heaven and earth to make a relationship work. Is Paris and Helen’s love worth all this? They think it must be.”
Who is Louis Hunter?
There’s not much UK viewers might recognise the Australian actor from, with most of his acting CV filled with Down Under dramas (The Secret Circle, The Woodlies, Out of the Blue). However, video game fans might find him familiar: Hunter voiced Jack Foster in Battlefield 1 and Robert Slaughter in Wolfenstein II.
Bella Dayne plays Helen of Troy
The face that launched a thousand ships, Helen — a daughter of Zeus, king of the gods — is married to Menelaus of Sparta until she elopes with Paris. “There’s no specific description of what she looked like,” says German actress Dayne. “Men projected their own idea of beauty onto her. Imprisoned during her marriage by her husband, she’s dead inside — but Paris grabs the tiny flame that is left.”
Who is Bella Dayne?
As well as starring as Astrid (Niska’s girlfriend) in Humans, Dayne has also enjoyed roles in ITV roman sitcom Plebs (as Delphine) and as Eliette in Idris Elba’s Guerrilla.
Frances O’Connor plays Hecuba
The Queen of Troy is the wife of Priam and mother of Hector and Paris. When Paris returns to the city he left as a baby, Hecuba is going through a “psychological dilemma”, says O’Connor. “Hecuba has opinions about the war. She doesn’t just sit quietly listening to her husband, looking amazing. Hecuba is proud of her kingdom and protective of her children.”
Who is Frances O’Connor?
Remember Rose Selfridge from ITV’s Mr Selfridge? That was O’Connor. And you might recognise her from quite a few other screen roles too: she’s starred in Mansfield Park, Bedazzled, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, The Importance of Being Earnest, Timeline and as James Nesbitt’s wife in The Missing series one.
David Threlfall plays Priam
The King of Troy is the father of 50 Trojan warriors, including Paris and Hector. Too old to fight, he entrusts all his hopes on the prowess of his eldest son, Hector. In preparation for his role, Threlfall watched Michael Wood’s 1985 series, In Search of the Trojan War, and started to ask himself, “Was it real? Was it a myth? In 1200 BC, the gods were on the battlefield. That’s what I was particularly impressed by — the world of belief they lived in at the time.”
Who is David Threlfall?
Look past that bushy beard and you’ll find a very familiar face, specifically that belonging to Shameless’ Frank Gallagher. Threlfall has also appeared in Hot Fuzz, Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This (where he played the titular comedian), Black Sea and Ripper Street.
Chloe Pirrie plays Andromache
A princess in her own right, Andromache is married to Trojan prince Hector. “Andromache doesn’t have any issues with expressing her opinions,” says Chloe Pirrie. “She stands up to Hector. It shouldn’t be remarkable that there are three-dimensional female characters from this time, but it is. There’s a contrast in cultures between the Greeks and the Trojans and their treatment of women — Troy was a more equal society.”
Who is Chloe Pirrie?
Black Mirror, Death In Paradise, War and Peace: Pirrie has starred in them all. However, you might know her best as Eileen Parker from The Crown’s second season or as Emily Brontë in To Walk Invisible.
Tom Weston-Jones plays Hector
The Prince of Troy, the first-born son of Hecuba and Priam, brother of Paris and husband of Andromache, is played by Tom Weston-Jones. Hector may be the mightiest warrior in the Trojan army, but he doesn’t approve of the war, and resents his younger brother for bringing it upon their family and the city of Troy.
Who is Tom Weston-Jones?
There are a few entries in the list of Weston-Jones’ acting credits you might know: he played Meriwether Compeyson in Dickensian and Anthony in Not Safe for Work. He also starred as Detective Kevin Corcoran in US series Copper.
Alfred Enoch plays Aeneas
Aeneas – son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite, and cousin of King Priam – is firmly on Team Trojan. He is a fierce warrior who leads a group of armies against the Greeks.
Who is Alfred Enoch?
Yes, that is Dean Thomas from the Harry Potter films. And as well as starring in the wizarding film franchise, Enoch has played Wes Gibbins in the US legal drama How to Get Away with Murder and the Royal Guard who was stabbed in Sherlock’s The Sign of Three.
Aimee-Ffion Edwards plays Cassandra
Another Trojan, Cassandra is the daughter of King Priam and of Queen Hecuba. And she’s certainly a character to watch out for: she’s been gifted the power of foresight. However, Cassandra has also been cursed (by Apollo spitting in her mouth – it’s a long and kind of gross story) meaning nobody believes her true prophecies.
Who is Aimee-Ffion Edwards?
Edwards has played Sophie in Detectorists, Esme in Peaky Blinders and Sketch in Skins series 2 (the one who’s obsessed with Maxxie). This is her second time playing a ‘prophet’ too, having appeared as religious mystic Elizabeth Barton in BBC’s Wolf Hall.
Go on to the next page to read everything you need to know about the show’s Greek characters…
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