‘Barkskins’ Cast: Who’s Who on the National Geographic Show

National Geographic might be the channel you turn to when you’re in the mood for a documentary series about space (Cosmos: Possible Worlds) or a reality show about tuna-fishing (Wicked Tuna) or life at the zoo (Secrets of the Zoo). But while it’s best known for its science and nature-themed content, Nat Geo is also home to a handful of scripted dramas, including the new series Barkskins.

Barkskins, which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Annie Proulx, is about a group of colonists who have settled in the region known as New France (present-day Quebec) in the late 17th century. When some settlers are massacred under mysterious circumstances, it threatens to plunge the region into an all-out war. The eight-part limited series premiered on Memorial Day, and it features a lot of characters. Here’s a rundown of who’s who. 

Claude Trepagny (David Thewlis) 

Trepagny (David Thewlis) taps Duquet (James Bloor) with his walking stick as Sel (Christian Cooke) looks on
Trepagny (David Thewlis) taps Duquet (James Bloor) with his walking stick as Sel (Christian Cooke) looks on. | National Geographic/Peter H. Stranks

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Claude Trepagny is a wealthy landowner who has a grand vision for New France. But his controversial religious beliefs and romantic entanglements could stand in the way of him achieving his dreams. 

Mathilde Geffard (Marcia Gay Harden) 

Innkeeper Mathilde Geffard is an up-and-coming power player who knows the secrets of everyone in Wobik, the settlement where Barkskins is set. After the massacre, she takes in a mysterious orphan girl (Lola Reid).

Hamish Goames (Aneurin Barnard) 

Goames and Yvon in a Canoe
Hamish Goames (Aneurin Barnard) and Yvon (Zahn McClarnon) arrive in New France. | National Geographic/Peter H. Stranks

Hamish Goames works for the Hudson’s Bay Company. He’s investigating the massacre but also has a hidden personal agenda.  

Charles Duquet (James Bloor) 

Charles Duquet comes to Wobik as an indentured servant for Trepagny, but quickly realizes that back-breaking labor doesn’t suit him. Soon he’s plotting his escape and developing plans to reinvent himself in the new world.  

Rene Sel (Christian Cooke) 

Like Duquet, Rene Sel is an indentured servant and a new arrival in Wobik. Unlike Duquet, Set is morally upright and is eager to work hard and build a life in New France.  

Constable Bouchard (David Wilmot) 

Barkskins Character Tree Graphic
Barkskins character tree | National Geographic

Constable Bouchard is the official representative of King Louis XIV in Wobik. He has the thankless job of trying to keep order in the lawless frontier town. 

Elisha Cooke (Thomas M. Wright)

Elisha Cooke is an ambitious English barrel maker and smuggler who clashes with the French residents of Wobik.  

Melissande (Tallulah Haddon) 

Melissande is a calculating young French woman recently arrived in New France. She’s a “Filles du Roi” — a woman sent to Wobik to marry a French man and have children to populate the region. 

Mari (Kaniehtiio Horn)

Of mixed French and Wendat Nation ancestry, Mari lives with Trepagny. But when she begins to suspect that he plans to marry one of the Filles du Roi, she refuses to step aside without a fight. 

Delphine (Lily Sullivan) 

Melissande (Tallulah Haddon), Delphine (Lily Sullivan), and the other Filles Du Roi arrive in Wobik.
Melissande (Tallulah Haddon), Delphine (Lily Sullivan), and the other Filles Du Roi arrive in Wobik. | National Geographic/Peter H. Stranks

Like Melissande, Delphine is a Filles du Roi who has journeyed to New France to find a husband. But the innocent young woman is harboring a terrible secret. 

Yvon (Zahn McClarnon) 

Yvon is a Harvard-educated Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) man who works for the Hudson’s Bay Company. 

Barkskins airs Mondays at 9/8c on National Geographic. Episodes stream the next day on Hulu. 

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