The second season of the fantasy TV show The Wheel of Time is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. If you’ve watched any of the new episodes yet, then you’ve probably noticed that the character Mat Cauthon looks very different from season one. That’s because the original actor Barney Harris left the show, citing personal reasons, and was replaced by Dónal Finn.
The change was a surprising recast that was announced on Deadline before the first season even aired.
Barney Harris left the cast of The Wheel of Time, citing personal reasons, and has been replaced by Dónal Finn.
The Wheel of Time, which premiered in 2021, takes place in a fantasy world where magic exists, though not everyone can use it. One person who can use the magic is Moiraine, a powerful woman who recruits five young villagers (including Mat Cauthon) to figure out which one is the Dragon Reborn, a being who could either save or destroy their world. The TV show is based on the novel series of the same name by Robert Jordan with Brandon Sanderson.
The first season of The Wheel of Time was filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic which caused production to pause after six episodes. At the time, Barney Harris had played Mat Cauthon, the young man who could potentially be the Dragon Reborn. When the production began again for the final two episodes of the season, Barney Harris did not return to set, which explains why he is hardly in the last two episodes.
Dónal Finn has taken on the role of Mat Cauthon in The Wheel of Time, leading many to believe that his character will play a pivotal role throughout the rest of the series.
While many fans speculated over why Barney Harris left the production, he came forward to explain that he left due to personal reasons. Despite the actor’s absence, the creative team kept his character in the show, recasting him with Irish actor Dónal Finn. The two share a surprising likeness, with their brown eyes, curly dark hair, and similar facial hair, so some viewers may not even notice the change.
Dónal Finn has taken on the role of Mat Cauthon in The Wheel of Time, leading many to believe that his character will play a pivotal role throughout the rest of the series. Otherwise, the production team could have simply written his character out of the show, much like Netflix’s Wednesday is doing with actor Percy Hynes White amidst allegations.
The young Irish actor is fairly new to the Hollywood scene, having made his acting debut in 2019’s How to Build a Girl alongside Bernie Feldstein. Since then, he has appeared in one episode of The Witcher and Cursed as well as three episodes of Rogue Heroes. His upcoming film Four Letters of Love is currently in post-production, but does not have a release date yet, likely because of the ongoing actors and writers strikes.
Barney Harris’ Future
After leaving his role as Mat Cauthon in The Wheel of Time, Barney Harris has only been in one film, a horror movie called Magpie. It is currently in post-production, but the film from Dean Puckett will center around a young girl named Magpie who lives in a church community run by her father. The isolated townsfolk start to become paranoid when a man gets murdered and then rumors start to spread about a mysterious beast nearby.
Check out the new season of The Wheel of Time that’s now available on Amazon Prime Video.