If there’s one thing we can say about Of Kings and Prophets, it’s that the series will focus quite a bit on the family of King Saul. They’ve already cast actors to play Saul himself, his wife Ahinoam, his son Ish-Bosheth, his daughter Michal and possibly his son Jonathan. And now Elodie Yung is set to play Saul’s concubine Rizpah.
Rizpah is mentioned twice in the Bible, both times after Saul’s death — and both times in tragic or less than fortunate circumstances.
In II Samuel 3, Ish-Bosheth is in the middle of a war against David when he accuses his general Abner (who was also Saul’s cousin, and is thus one of Ish-Bosheth’s relatives) of sleeping with Rizpah as part of a power grab within Saul’s dynasty. This accusation prompts Abner to throw his support to David’s side.
And then, in II Samuel 21, David allows the Gibeonites to kill both of Rizpah’s sons, along with five of Saul’s grandsons, in order to lift a curse off of the land:
He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed them and exposed their bodies on a hill before the Lord. All seven of them fell together; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning.
Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies, she did not let the birds touch them by day or the wild animals by night.
Eventually David responded by burying Rizpah’s sons with Saul and Jonathan.
So, the Bible says nothing about Rizpah’s activities during the life of Saul himself. But The Wrap says the role will be a “major recurring” one. Could be interesting!