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Why Queen Calanthe From Netflix's The Witcher Looks So Familiar

With its savvy mix of sword and sorcery-centered action, combined with character-driven drama, Netflix's "The Witcher" remains one of the biggest hits the streamer has delivered to date. And just given the mind-boggling amount of time fans of the series have already devoted to binge-watching it, it's safe to assume Henry Cavill's beastly Geralt will be slaying magical monsters on the Continent for many years to come.

Thankfully, there's still loads of source material to draw from for new seasons of "The Witcher," as the series has barely scratched the surface of what's available in the novels which inspired the show. Yes, there's a veritable treasure trove of new characters waiting to populate the film's fantastical realm too. That said, the series has already featured dozens of characters from those books in its run on Netflix — and yes, some of them were portrayed by actors you've likely seen in other projects over the years.

That includes Jodhi May, who portrayed the ferocious, tragically fallen Queen Calanthe in the first two seasons of the show. Here's why Queen Calanthe from "The Witcher" looks so familiar. 

Jodhi May's breakout role came in The Last of the Mohicans

You may not know it, but Jodhi May has been a working actor since the late 1980s, though most non-UK audiences likely didn't get their first look at her until 1992. It's safe to say, however, May made a lasting impression with her scene-stealing turn in Michael Mann's revered (per Cinephelia and Beyond) historical drama "The Last of the Mohicans." Adapted from the James Fennimore Cooper story, "The Last of the Mohicans" found Daniel Day-Lewis portraying Hawkeye, a white man raised by a Native American who agrees to help the British survivors of brutal attack to a nearby safe haven. En route, Hawkeye and his brother Uncas (Eric Schweig) fall in love with Cora and Alice, the two women they are escorting to safety.

Cora and Alice were portrayed by Madeleine Stowe, and Jodhi May respectively. And even as Stowe's and Day-Lewis' simmering relationship is front and center for much of the film, the largely non-verbal romance that blossoms between Alice and Uncas is no less torrid. It indeed leads to one of the film's most unforgettable moments, too, when — in the wake of Uncas being slain by the fearsome Huron warrior Magua (Wes Studi) — Alice throws herself off a cliff rather than carry on as Magua's slave-mate. And yes, in the moment, May says more with just her eyes than Stowe and Day-Lewis say in so many overblown declarations of love. 

The House of Mirth found May trading lines with a seriously impressive cast

Jodhi May turned her "The Last of the Mohicans" moment into a legit breakout, and proceeded to book several projects of note in the years thereafter. That includes landing a major role in Terence Davies' 2000 period drama "The House of Mirth." That film was adapted from Edith Wharton's iconic novel of the same name which follows a beautiful socialite named Lily Bart as she navigates the New York aristocracy at the turn of the century.

As fans of the film might recall, Lily was portrayed by "The X-Files" star Gillian Anderson, whose against-type performance Washington Post reviewer Michael O'Sullivan and several others heaped high praise upon. Ditto for Davies, whose staid work behind the camera helped earn "The House of Mirth" a four star review from Slant critic Ed Gonzalez. 

As for May, her decidedly more understated turn as Grace in the film is almost easy to overlook amid the showier work of cast mates like Eric Stoltz, Laura Linney, Anthony LaPaglia, Elizabeth McGovern, and Dan Aykroyd. Still, May positively shines as the more conservative cousin to Anderson's Lily. And her scenes with the great Eleanor Bron undoubtedly rank among the film's low-key best.

May had a small, but vital role on Game of Thrones

Jodhi May's appearance in "The Witcher" was far from her first in a medieval fantasy epic. In fact, just a few years back, May played a small but vital role in a series whose blockbuster success likely helped pave the way for "The Witcher" to get made. HBO's smash hit fantasy saga "Game of Thrones" is indeed the series in question.

May only appeared in a single episode of the show, but she still made a massive impact on one of the central players' overarching narrative — with the character in question being Lena Headey's vilest of the vile royals, Cersei Lannister, who fans no doubt recall got some very bad news in the opening episode of Season 5. 

In that very episode, May played a fortune telling witch named Maggy the Frog. While Season 5 was heavy on setup and frustratingly light on payoff, May's opening moment as Maggy was undoubtedly among the show's highlights, and that's because her Maggy was the one who spitefully laid bare to the smarmy, teenaged Cersei (Nell Williams) the utter misery that would eventually befall her. To her credit, May absolutely burned the screen up in the little time she had, making of Maggy a fully-formed character that most "Game of Thrones" fans would probably liked to have seen a bit more of.