Before the first season of Wheel of Time premiered on Amazon, there was news that co-star Barney Harris had left the show, and his role had been recast.
Barney Harris was initially cast as Mat Cauthon, one of the books’ primary characters, in The Wheel of Time. The Amazon series was renewed for a second season before its 19 November premiere. Matt Cauthon is set to play a very important part in season 2 of the Wheel of Time, and the show moved quickly to find a replacement for Barney Harris.
Dónal Finn, who played Nettly in the first season of The Witcher, will replace Harris in season two.
Why was Barney Harris replaced?
There was no official statement for why Barney Harris was recast but in an interview with Deadline, Wheel of Time Boss Rafe Judkins assured fans that the transition would be seamless. He declined to comment on the reason for the swap but 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.”
This hasn’t stopped fans from speculating as to the reason Barney was let go. Personal reasons seem to be a fair and reasonable answer, but there are those who aren’t satisfied with that.
According to Small Screen, Barney Harris was allegedly fired because he didn’t want to get vaccinated against Covid-19. If this is the case, Barney wouldn’t be the first actor fired for refusing to get vaccinated. Ice Cube walked away from a Sony film because he didn’t want to get vaccinated, and for a time, there was speculation around whether Letitia Wright would return to the Black Panther set.
Many film and TV companies have vaccine mandates requiring staff to be vaccinated, and Amazon is no exception.