Wait, why was Mat re-cast in The Wheel of Time?

the wheel of time mat recast
Why was Mat recast in The Wheel of Time? Amazon Prime

After what has felt like an eternity (ok so like two years) season two of The Wheel of Time has finally dropped on Prime Video, bringing us more adventures from Moiraine, Lan, Nynaeve, Egwene, Perrin, and Mat.

And speaking of Mat, many viewers may have noticed one of the group who has the potential to be the Dragon Reborn, looks a little different this season. Ok, actually he looks very different as the role of Mat has been recast this season, with Dònal Finn taking over the role from Barney Harris.

Er, so why exactly has Mat been recast in season two of The Wheel of Time? Here's everything you need to know.

Why was Mat recast in The Wheel of Time season two?

Mat is one of the main characters in The Wheel of Time, he's a gambler and a villager from Emond's Field, and alongside Egwene, Perrin, and Rand, has the potential to be the Dragon Reborn. The Dragon Reborn is said to one day save the world from an evil known as the Dark One or break it once again.

In season one Mat was played by 26-year-old Barney Harris, however in season two 28-year-old Dònal Finn took over the role.

the wheel of time mat recast
Amazon Prime

Before the Covid-19 pandemic Harris filmed half of the season, but when production resumed after the pandemic he did not return for filming of the final episodes, meaning he was not featured in the last few episodes. However, it has not been confirmed exactly why Harris did not return.

Finn was then cast to take over the role for season two, with series writer Rafe Judkins saying how glad he was Finn was in the series.

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

"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."

Harris has not commented on his departure from the series.

Finn said he "mindlessly" agreed to taking on the role of Mat in an interview with Geek Ireland prior to the SAG-AFRA strikes, saying: "I mean, there could have been nerves if I actually had the mindfulness to stop and think about it, but I was acting mindlessly when I said yes."

Well, we're so glad he did say yes.

The Wheel of Time season 2 is available on Prime Video now

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