After screening War Room at Historicon 2015, I found a note left for me in my booth that asked several questions about the film. As I still don’t know who left the note, I figured I’d answer one of the questions in a blog. (I’d been meaning to write about this anyway.)
The particular question read, “Why does the toymaker have a German accent, the tax collector a British one, and it’s all set in a Roman/Latin army?”
I’m so glad you asked.
First of all, it’s important to know that all human kingdoms of Chaldea are inspired by some historical reference point—a particular culture in a particular time. War Room takes place in Hesse, which is inspired by the real-world Teutonic knights of the 13th century AD. Because the film takes place there, the most common accent in the film is Germanic. Now we don’t really know what Hessens of the 12th century actually sounded like, so we picked a German accent. And since I didn’t want Chaldea to sound like a WWII movie, we chose a pretty mild accent for the Hessens. Another reason to be wary of German accents is the way it serves as the harsh “mad scientist” accent often found in comedy. I want accents that complement the scene, accents that subtly create a mood, not accents that dominate, distract, or, God forbid, insult.
The recently assassinated God-Emperor Kordaava attended military school in the kingdom of Latium. Latium is inspired by the real-world Roman Empire around the time of Caesar. Impressed with the efficiency and prowess of the Latium legions, Kordaava later used the Latium military as a model for his own worldwide empire. So there are roughly 20 Imperial Army legions (inspired by real-world Roman legions) stationed around Chaldea. In these legions, we’ll see the armor, weapons, organization, and terminology of the real-world Romans. But the ethnicities of the soldiers and officers will vary from region to region. In the live-action portion of War Room, Hellwig, Reiswitz, and Duke are Hessen, so they have German accents, while Teper is from Perrin, a British-inspired kingdom, so he has a British accent.
Sarva is from Akkadia, which was inspired by real-world Babylon but with a twist: it’s a female-dominated society ruled by priestesses of Ishtar. That’s why Sarva has an Arab accent. The reason she’s in Hesse is … well, if I told you, that would be what they officially call a “spoiler.” But stay tuned—Sarva is one of our principal characters, and the story of how she ends up in Hesse will be told in due time!
Oh, to the person who left me the note, regarding your other questions: No, won’t be any Panzer Kamphgroupen IV tanks in our future films, and, no, we’re not looking for someone to play the part of Napoleon Bonaparte. But thanks for volunteering.