The Wheel of Time Series On Amazon Just Recast A Major Role For Season 2
As we get closer to the premiere of The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime in November, anticipation is building. We finally have a trailer for the epic fantasy adaptation. And we know that the show has already been picked up for a second season, with filming underway. However, only a few months into production on season 2 we have learned that a major role has been recast for the next season of The Wheel of Time. Actor Barney Harris – who plays Mat Cauthon – has departed the series for unknown reasons. He will be replaced by Irish actor Dónal Finn in season 2 of The Wheel of Time.
Dónal Finn To Replace Barney Harris As Mat In Season 2 of The Wheel of Time
Barney Harris | Image via Amazon Prime
The announcement was announced by Deadline and confirmed by both Amazon, and Dragonmount – the leading fansite for Wheel of Time. It is a highly surprising move, given how rare it is to recast a major role like this well before a series airs. Barney Harris was one of the few casting choices that was uncontroversial, since the actor’s physical appearance and personality seemed perfect for the role.
Harris was extremely active on social media during the filming and post-production portions of The Wheel of Time. He appears to have developed close friendships with the other actors, reflecting their on-screen relationships. Which makes it all the more surprising that he would depart the series after one season. Curiously, Harris also recently deleted his social media accounts and went radio silent. He has yet to comment on the recasting.
It is unlikely that Harris was recast due to bad acting, as there would have been plenty of time to find a new actor for the role during the many production shutdowns. It is more likely that personal reasons or scheduling conflicts prevent Harris from returning to the fantasy series. But we won’t know for sure until we get an official statement from Amazon Studios, or showrunner Rafe Judkins.
Is There An In-World Reason For The Recasting?
Cover Art for The Shadow RIsing by Sam Weber | Image via Tor/Forge
There may be a valid continuity explanation for Mat’s sudden shift in physical appearance. Without getting into too many book spoilers, I will say that Mat goes through a few extreme experiences in the first couple of books that change his character significantly. Perhaps this will be utilized as the in-world explanation for the change. After all, in the book Mat says that after his experiences he feels ‘like a brand new man’ and in this case that will be literal.
The character of Mat Cauthon is one of the youths from Emond’s Field in the Two Rivers. He is close friends with Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski) and Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford). These three young men are part of the group of young people that venture away from home with Moiraine – the Aes Sedai played by Rosamund Pike. Other members of this group include Egwene al’Vere (Madeline Madden) and Nynaeve al’Meara (Zoë Robins).
Image via Amazon Studios/Dragonmount
Actor Dónal Finn will take over the role of Mat Cauthon in season 2 of The Wheel of Time. He has a bit of genre experience under his belt already, having appeared in episodes of The Witcher, and Cursed. Although we are puzzled by this recasting news, we are sure Dónal Finn will be excellent in the role of Matrim Cauthon.
The Wheel of Time will air its first three episodes on Amazon Prime on November 19, 2021. A new episode will be released every week until December 24, 2021. For all of the latest genre news and reviews, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today!
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.