I don't have to convince any fans of the Selection series to run to the bookstore for The Heir — I know we have all already been lining up since Kiera Cass announced two more Selection books. But with the books taking place two decades later and centering on America Singer's daughter, we all started to scramble wondering if and how our favorite characters would appear in the two new books. Don't worry, I have a guide to the fan favorites — mine was always brave sidekick Marlee — keeping you posted on where they are when The Heir begins.
If you haven't finished the original three books of the Selection series, this is your official spoiler alert. America's daughter Eadlyn is the star of The Heir, and you can't talk about a daughter without talking about the other parent in the equation: At the end of The One, America chose to marry Prince Maxon and live happily ever after as the future queen of Illea. But even after the dissolution of the caste system — America's major political platform point — unrest is alive and well among citizens. Former members of lowly castes are still being discriminated against, can't find jobs, and revolt to have the royal family step in.
Instead, the royal family decides to lighten the mood by bringing back the Selection, and putting their daughter and future queen in as the bachelorette. Eadlyn is fiercely independent and never intended to marry; she wants to rule Illea entirely on her own, seeing a husband as only baggage. But let's be real: growing up in the palace waited on hand and foot has also made her a bit stuck-up and entitled, and so she's told that acquiescing to the Selection process can mean sacrificing for her land. Not that she intends to actually pick a king.
It's been a big year for Cass, especially now that The Selection series movie rights were optioned. As an added bit of fun, each of the fan favorite Selection characters will be accompanied not only by a "where are they now?" update, but by my choice of who should play them in the (cross your fingers) upcoming movie.
America Singer is now Queen America Schreave, and she's as beloved as Queen Amberly before her. America is now the proud mother of four (!!) children, including the titular heir, Eadlyn. America takes a backseat in The Heir, but she's on hand to tell some of her more feisty stories from her time as a Selection candidate and dole out advice to the next in line for the throne. And don't worry, she's still madly in love with the former Prince Maxon.
Who should play her in The Selection movie: Sophie Turner, because her character Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones shows that she can be both stunning and cunning (and I seriously didn't even mean to rhyme, it's just true). And duh, the red hair.
Prince Maxon Schreave
Maxon's horrible father is now out of the way, and he's taken control as King Maxon. (A step up for sure.) However, some of the pressure of his duties are wearing on him, and maybe he's not that fun loving prince that once wooed the charismatic America. It's Maxon that presents the idea of pushing Eadlyn into the Selection to boost morale in his kingdom, which (still!) is bubbling with revolts and protests. Not a cool move, but he gives his daughter an "out," saying that if she can't find love in three months, he's willing to let her remove herself from the process. So some of that fair-minded ruler is still lurking in our king.
Who should play him: Alexander Ludwig because even his real name sounds royal. And after playing The Hunger Games' Cato, he needs to be the good guy.
"The most attractive guy in town," as America once says, Aspen is still living in the palace and is still married to his (OK, fine, kind of weird pairing) wife Lucy. (More on her later!) The two hang on the outskirts of the story, and no doubt the handsome guard has caught the eye of young Eadlyn, who he protects. I wonder how much it would freak her out to know that Aspen once had secret make-out sessions with her mother in that same palace?
Who should play him: Dean Geyer (aka the controversial Brody from Glee) because... hello.
Thank goodness BFF and major risk-taker Marlee is still living in the palace. She and her forbidden love husband Carter Woodwork are happy and healthy under America and Maxon's care, though Eadlyn hasn't been told yet just why. Now the Woodworks are parents to two children who grew up alongside Eadlyn: Josie, who frankly is a bit of a pest, and Kile, who is chosen to be one of the Selected vying for Eadlyn's affection. Please let Marlee and America be family.
Who should play her: Bridgit Mendler, because the Wizards of Waverly Place and Undateable actress has the infectious smile and spirit that would perfectly represent Marlee.
Queen Amberly Shreave
Unfortunately, Queen Amberly is absent from the The Heir, though memories of her presence are alive and well. It's hard not to compare every queen to the most beautiful, kind, and hard-working the land has ever seen. Her rise from a factory worker in Honduragua to Queen of Illea is one that will live on in the storybooks and that America is trying to live up to.
Who should play her: Penelope Cruz because are you telling me she can't pull off a rough-and-tumble woman coming from an impoverished family who turned into the greatest queen in history? She could do it with her eyes closed.
Magnetic little May Singer is now cool Aunt May, and basically I'm jealous of Eadlyn. She helps her niece run through the list of potential husbands, calling out the ones that she thinks are the most handsome. May hasn't married herself, which means she's living the single dream as the Pippa Middleton of the royal family.
Who should play her: Shameless actress Morgan Lily because 1) she's adorable and 2) she has that energy radiating right out of her, just as May does. Now we just have to make her hair a little redder.
Lucy is the only one of America's three maids that was sold to the palace as a servant. Before America arrived at the palace, you remember, she was taken by one of the rebels attacking the palace and we think maybe sexually assaulted, though it's not really spoken clearly of in the book. Either way, after a palace guard shot the rebel, she had blood all over her and it haunted her every time rebels came to attack.
This is important to recall because — while yes, she has come out of her shell a bit and married the most handsome man in the land, Aspen — she's still suffering from personal problems in a slightly different vein. (No spoilers!) Things are never quite easy for Lucy.
Who should play her: Willow Shields has already proven her YA prowess as Primrose Everdeen in The Hunger Games , and her quiet exterior and eyes that tell of earlier tragedies make her right at home in Lucy.
Elise Whisks, Kriss Ambers, & Celeste Newsome
Sadly none of the other Selection candidates (save for Marlee) appear personally in The Heir, but Elise, Kriss, and even Celeste are definitely alluded to by America as Eadlyn sees her potential candidates for a husband. There's the men that would make a great strategic alliance with another land, like Elise, and America remembers Maxon's runner-up Kriss as well as the bad girl-turned-good Celeste as her daughter looks for her king. The Selection series fans will eat up all of these shout-outs to fan favorite (yes, even Celeste) characters.
Who should play them: Pretty Little Liars' Shay Mitchell would slay as Elise; Eye Candy's Victoria Justice has that fun-loving but cool girl spirit that would make Prince Maxon swoon as Kriss; and who else can play the ditzy, boy-crazy, fashionista Celeste like Modern Family's Sarah Hyland?
Images: Sophie Turner, Alexander Ludwig/Facebook; Giphy; Bridgit Mendler/Facebook; Wikimedia Commons; Morgan Lily, Willow Shields/Facebook; Creative Commons; Victoria Justice, Sarah Hyland/Facebook