Whether you’ve watched it or not, the chances are that you have heard of the hit TV show Homeland. The high energy drama focuses around Carrie Mathison, a brilliant but troubled CIA agent who suffers with bi-polar disorder. She works for the Counter Terrorism Centre in Iraq, where she meets Nicholas Brody, who she suspects of working undercover for al-Qaeda. Now, in order to celebrate the success of Homeland, Ladbrokes has commissioned a series of playing cards, featuring key characters from the show.
Nicholas Brody represents the King card. His character was originally only supposed to last one series, and ended up dominating the plotlines for three series. This compelling character was held in captivity by al-Qaeda for eight years. When rescued, he is suspected of being an al-Qaeda agent by Carrie Mathison, with whom he eventually has a relationship. He is killed off at the end of series three, leaving us wondering if he was a triple agent, a double agent, or whether he was an agent at all.
Without Carrie Mathison, there is no Homeland, so it’s only right that she should represent the Queen card. Carrie was an Arabic language student who was recruited by the CIA. She is working in Iraq at the time of Brody’s rescue. She is a deep character, and the saxophone on the card represents her love of bebop jazz, which she developed at university. She has bi-polar disorder, which can cause her to behave erratically, especially when she doesn’t take her medication.
Saul Berenson could have been a candidate for the King card, if he were not such a subtle character. Having worked for the CIA for 35 years, he recruited and later trained Carrie Matthison before placing her in the field. He spends a lot of time sticking up for her, and often covers up for her when she breaks the rules. At the start of the show, he is Division Chief for the Middle East, although he is promoted to Director of the CIA, before being fired. He always put his work first, and has a great deal of knowledge and influence, which is why he is represented by the two connected USB sticks.
The thing that binds all the characters together is the CIA. Although the characters appear to be working alone at times, they are all answerable to the Central Intelligence Agency – even Nick Brody. The CIA’s logo is an eagle behind a shield, and this is reflected in the Ace card. The shield on this card is a version of the United States’ shield, although the eagles’ peaceful facial expression is open to interpretation. For an agency tasked with keeping America safe, it is a curiously ‘safe’ looking emblem – all of the characters’ lives are frequently endangered due to their work for the agency.
Ladbrokes have created this deck to celebrate the amazing characters in Homeland. All the other cards in the deck can be viewed on the Ladbrokes Poker website, where you can also see some of the other commemorative card decks that Ladbrokes have helped to create.