The Wheel of Time season 2 is upon us and fans are already loving the continuation of the story.


Season 1 of the show, based on the popular novels, ended with a dramatic twist, when Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) revealed that, despite Rand's (Josha Stradowski) sacrifice, the last battle hadn't actually been fought - and that it was only the beginning.

Season 2, which has received rave reviews, kicks off with our heroes torn apart and flung to the corners of the world - but one of them may look a little unfamiliar.

We're re-introduced to Mat Cauthon, originally played by Barney Harris in season 1, locked up in the White Tower at the beginning of season 2.

So, if you're a little confused by his appearance, here's everything you need to know about that re-casting, which saw Harris replaced by new actor Dónal Finn.

What happened with Mat Cauthon's recasting in The Wheel of Time?

Harris departed The Wheel of Time during season 1 but an official reason has not been given.

He filmed the first six episodes of the show before production was shut down amid the Covid-19 pandemic. When production resumed, he did not return.

His exit from the show meant he was absent from one of the later episodes and, in the final episode, only old footage of the character could be used.

Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon in The Wheel of Time season 1 wearing an all brown outfit
Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon in The Wheel of Time season 1. Amazon Studios

For season 2, he was replaced by Finn, with writer Rafe Judkins promising the transition would be "seamless".

"It’s always hard but we’re really lucky that Barney is so great in the first season; I love him in the show," he told told Deadline in 2021.

"And Dónal Finn, who is playing Mat in Season 2, is amazing. I have seen him up on set doing his scenes now and they’re incredible and they fully capture the character. I think it’s a testament to this character and how great the character of Mat is that it really feels seamless between the two actors."

Finn has since opened up about the experience of replacing Harris, telling TV Line: "I kind of put my head in the sand, because I knew that if I allowed myself some time to stop and think about it, I could get very overwhelmed.

"But ultimately, knowing how much the fans love this character motivated me to make sure that I was starting it in the right place, and that process involved kind of gathering up all of the written work of season 1 and taking all those scripts and mining them to create a backstory for Mat."

Harris has not publicly commented on the re-casting.

Who is Mat Cauthon season 1 actor Barney Harris?

Josha Stradowski (Rand al’Thor), Marcus Rutherford (Perrin Aybara), Barney Harris (Mat Cauthon) in The Wheel of Time season 1 sitting around a wooden bench
Josha Stradowski (Rand al’Thor), Marcus Rutherford (Perrin Aybara), Barney Harris (Mat Cauthon) in The Wheel of Time season 1. Jan Thijs/ Prime Video

Barney Harris played Mat Cauthon in season 1.

He had previously appeared in series like Clique, and films including Billionaire Boys Club and A Brixton Tale. He also has an upcoming role in the indie film Magpie.

Harris' portrayal saw Mat become a fan favourite character but, as the character continues into season 2, he's even more troubled than ever, wracked by guilt after abandoning his friends at the final battle.

Who is Mat Cauthon season 2 actor Dónal Finn?

Dónal Finn as Mat Cauthon in The Wheel of Time season 2 wearing an all brown outfit
Dónal Finn as Mat Cauthon in The Wheel of Time season 2. Jan Thijs/Prime Video

Mat Cauthon is played by Dónal Finn in season 2.

He's no stranger to the world of fantasy, having appeared in The Witcher, and the film Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Finn has also appeared in TV series like How to Build a Girl and SAS: Rogue Heroes.

The actor has said he "mindlessly" said yes to the role and fans are sure to be intrigued as to what he'll offer as the new Mat.

Read more about The Wheel of Time season 2

The Wheel of Time season 2 is available to stream now on Prime Video with new episodes dropping weekly.

Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide or Streaming Guide to find out what to watch tonight.

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