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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Dónal Finn to Replace Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon for Season 2


Jason Denzel
  • Actor Dónal Finn will replace Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon for season 2 of Amazon Prime's upcoming Wheel of Time TV show. 


Deadline Hollywood reported today that actor Dónal Finn, known for various acting roles including in The Witcher, will replace Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon for season 2 and beyond of Amazon Prime's upcoming Wheel of Time TV show. This news has been confirmed by Amazon Studios.

 

tv-casting-square-Mat2.png 

 

This is a major surprise because it's almost unheard of to re-cast a main character before season 1 of the show even airs. As of this time, there's no reason given for Harris' departure. It's highly unlikely that it was due to a poor acting performance. If that were the case, then that would've likely been identified very early on during the production of Season 1 and corrected. Harris finished the entirely of season 1. The acting performances of the entire cast were highly praised by showrunner Rafe Judkins and the rest of the team.  

 

In situations like this, it would probably take a major reason for the young actor to be unavailable for season 2. We will not speculate at this time, but overall, the thoughts and well-wishes of the entire Dragonmount community go out to Barney. We hope he is healthy and well. 

 

This re-casting likely caused major headaches for the production of Season 2, which is currently being filmed in the Czech Republic and other European countries. 

 

For more thoughts on this re-casting, check out our TV blogger Adam Whitehead's article on this topic




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Huge freaking blow to the show. I dont even want to watch season 1 now, it will remind me of Starz Spartacus. I never could get used to the "new" Spartacus, and wished I had skipped it.

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Uh oh.  This doesn't bode well.  Has Harris said anything publicly yet?

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16 minutes ago, Harldin said:

Will be interesting to see how they do the changeover, maybe tie it into the Dagger in some way. 

Seems like the most logical way to do it.  Depends how they adapted the story around the dagger I guess. 

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Wow! That's surprising. I would guess that perhaps Barney wasn't available, and they needed to get the show in the can, but who knows.

@HarldinI like that idea. Reminds me of Luke Skywalker getting mauled in Empire Strikes Back to explain the scars on Mark Hamell's face after his car accident.

Edited by Jaim Meiker

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10 minutes ago, Jaim Meiker said:

Wow! That's surprising. I would guess that perhaps Barney wasn't available, and they needed to get the show in the can, but who knows.

Highly unlikely that he wasn't available, he would've been signed for a least a few seasons and been well aware of the time requirements. Scheduling issues generally only occur with smaller roles where no one cares if they get recast.

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Does anyone know when Barney Harris got off Twitter?  I keep trying to find him and it seems he's gone.  Is it possible he breached contract or something?  I thought I remember hearing that he had been posting about him and the cast mates and whatnot.  Now I can't find him anywhere on there or Instagram.

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17 minutes ago, thehumantrashcan said:

Does anyone know when Barney Harris got off Twitter?

It was at least a year ago but no one really thought much about it at the time because it was around that time Rafe had been talking about how excited people would be to see Barney on screen.

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This is so concerning. I’m even more worried about this show than I was when I saw Nynaeve smiling… ruining my favorite series and characters 

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Adrian2401

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Austinbooklover said:

 when I saw Nynaeve smiling… ruining my favorite series and characters 

Why should Nynaeve never smile? She has a perpetually short temper, it's her personality, and she's rough to get along with. But good in heart, as we see ultimately. I've come across similar people irl, and I can tell you one thing: most of them smiled at some point or another, even if one of them a lot more infrequently than most individuals. Heck, these people, and especially Nynaeve should be able to smile when putting someone down in their temper, thinking they taught a sly lesson. And I'd be 100% fine with that. It's only if she is introduced to us as a perpetually smiling easy going woman that I'd have a hard time with. But this is way too early to make that judgment. 

Edited by Adrian2401
fixing a grammatical error that bugged me upon reread.

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I honestly liked the mirth that Barney brought to the table. His eyes naturally look mischievous and the trailer shots of him he looked every part as mat as I remember him in my imagination. This Donal fin guy might be a good actor but I'm not sure if he will be able to bring that carefree attitude that Barney had. I hate cast changes.. but I reckon Harris probably did something he wasn't supposed to, is my best guess. Breach of contract was mentioned above and I can attest that keeping things under wraps digitally can be a pretty tough task for younger/newer actors. 

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templar7

Posted

3 hours ago, Austinbooklover said:

This is so concerning. I’m even more worried about this show than I was when I saw Nynaeve smiling… ruining my favorite series and characters 

Agreed!

Ive been cautiously optimistic about the show despite some early concerns. As a fan of over 20 years the casting of Mat was one saving grace to me. Like "Ok, they definitely got Mat right"

Now a recast? My confidence is slipping.

And as far as your Nynaeve opinion that got you some heat, I agree with you here also. Yes, there is no reason that Nynaeve cant smile. HOWEVER it's the book fans that will ultimately fuel the initial viewership here and Nyneave has one of the most carved out personality profiles of all the opening characters. If you have read the books, many times over, I agree that having a warm smile as her first teaser is a weak presentation based on familiar expectations. A happy Nyneave off the hop is a major divergence from her character progression. 

 

I will say however that I'm not ready to throw in the towel and suggest that anything has been ruined yet.... Yet.

I'm very curious to know the reason for this. While not impossible, It's unlikely it has anything to do with scheduling as his contract would undoubtedly include more than one season.

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templar7

Posted

2 hours ago, Adrian2401 said:

Nynaeve should be able to smile when putting someone down in their temper, thinking they taught a sly lesson. And I'd be 100% fine with that. It's only if she is introduced to us as a perpetually smiling easy going woman that I'd have a hard time with. But this is way too early to make that judgment. 

Your point here does make sense in the narrative overall. I just have a problem leading with what seems to be a warm and fuzzy Two Rivers Wisdom.

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Cigma

Posted (edited)

I actually thought the guy they picked to play Mat was too Gq, in the books himself admitting he wasn't that pretty. So huzzah!

 

From the first scene of the 3 boys in the Tavern, I felt Rand was too much of a gosh aw shucks puppy dog, not someone who would one day forge himself into the Dragon. He might have been good for Gwayne Trankand.

 

And Perrin was too small and sort of reminded me of Eyeore from Winnie the Pooh... didn't even look like he knew his was around a smithy.

 

Funnily enough Mat was the one I was least enthused about, he wasnt rough around the edges enough, and he looked more sly and slick, rather than loveable rascal. This Barney guy seems the type to frequent an upscale night spot, moreso than be found dicing in a "hell."

 

This recast of Mat, seems more on the spot for me, someone who relies more on his charisma and wit to get of a tight spot, instead of his button chin. 

Edited by Cigma
Spelling

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11 minutes ago, templar7 said:

Your point here does make sense in the narrative overall. I just have a problem leading with what seems to be a warm and fuzzy Two Rivers Wisdom.

This exactly.

 

First impressions of her from the books, was someone trying to be extra fierce so she could be respected because she was so young for her position. Someone with a chip on her shoulder and something to prove, and who had to prove it on a daily basis.

 

That smile in the trailer was the exact opposite. Like it's good to be home! 

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templar7

Posted

5 minutes ago, Cigma said:

This exactly.

 

First impressions of her from the books, was someone trying to be extra fierce so she could be respected because she was so young for her position. Someone with a chip on her shoulder and something to prove, and who had to prove it on a daily basis.

 

That smile in the trailer was the exact opposite. Like it's good to be home! 

Couldn't have said it better myself

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17 minutes ago, Cigma said:

I felt Rand was too much of a gosh aw shucks puppy dog, not someone who would one day forge himself into the Dragon.

But that's great! He's supposed to be an "innocent", pretty farmboy at the beginning.

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templar7

Posted

3 minutes ago, DaddyFinn said:

I felt Rand was too much of a gosh aw shucks puppy dog, not someone who would one day forge himself into the Dragon.

 

4 minutes ago, DaddyFinn said:

But that's great! He's supposed to be an "innocent", pretty farmboy at the beginning.

I do agree here. This IS Rand... At this point anyhow. I understand the character he becomes but his beginnings are hobbit like country bumpkin innocence.

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I guess to be more specific,

this guy might give off the innocence of Rand, from a quiet place where adventures don't happen,

But he looks like he lives in velvet sheets,

Not someone used to waking up at 4 am to do chores on the farm, before spending the morning mucking out the pig pens, feeding chickens, then spending the afternoon tending sheep, and then the rest of the day doing whatever ever mending needs to be done.

 

His skin his too nice to be about that life. I get it, it's for TV, but not accurate in my minds eye or as a fan of the series. 

They could have found someone with the same sort of sparkly face and grin, but with an underlying grit and determination... someone you could see fighting a Trolloc and somehow surviving, then dragging his wounded dad through the cold winter night on the verge of exhaustion, with only the void, and his feverish father as his companions, against the terror filled terrain on the desperate trek back to the Two Rivers.

 

I'd bet a gold crown this guy would have ended up in a cooking pot.

 

I stand by my comment of how he would have been a great cast as Gwayne Trakand though.

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templar7

Posted

25 minutes ago, Cigma said:

I guess to be more specific,

this guy might give off the innocence of Rand, from a quiet place where adventures don't happen,

But he looks like he lives in velvet sheets,

Not someone used to waking up at 4 am to do chores on the farm, before spending the morning mucking out the pig pens, feeding chickens, then spending the afternoon tending sheep, and then the rest of the day doing whatever ever mending needs to be done.

 

His skin his too nice to be about that life. I get it, it's for TV, but not accurate in my minds eye or as a fan of the series. 

They could have found someone with the same sort of sparkly face and grin, but with an underlying grit and determination... someone you could see fighting a Trolloc and somehow surviving, then dragging his wounded dad through the cold winter night on the verge of exhaustion, with only the void, and his feverish father as his companions, against the terror filled terrain on the desperate trek back to the Two Rivers.

 

I'd bet a gold crown this guy would have ended up in a cooking pot.

 

I stand by my comment of how he would have been a great cast as Gwayne Trakand though.

I must admit that I do share some of your Rand concerns. While I don't necessarily think he looks fragile or spoiled, I certainly expected him to be taller and stronger looking.. especially given his heritage and blood.

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10 hours ago, flinn said:

Huge freaking blow to the show. I dont even want to watch season 1 now, it will remind me of Starz Spartacus. I never could get used to the "new" Spartacus, and wished I had skipped it.

Yea unfortunately Andy Whitfield died of cancer. I loved the Spartacus show but he was a far superior Spartacus compared to Liam McIntyre.

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DaddyFinn

Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, templar7 said:

I certainly expected him to be taller and stronger looking.. especially given his heritage and blood.

It's unrealistic to assume that the Aiel in the show will be on average as tall as in the books. I guess tall and good actors don't grow on trees. Josha is reasonably muscular on the pics we have seen. Lean and strong.

 

His Instagram has few pics

https://www.instagram.com/p/CIHa_odpwR2/?utm_medium=copy_link

 

Fan account with last year's shirtless photos

https://instagram.com/joshastradowskiig?utm_medium=copy_link

Edited by DaddyFinn

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templar7

Posted

18 minutes ago, DaddyFinn said:

It's unrealistic to assume that the Aiel in the show will be on average as tall as in the books.

apparently so...

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35 minutes ago, templar7 said:

apparently so...

Where do you find so many tall people who can also act?

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