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The Wheel of Time Wiki
The Wheel of Time Wiki

Matrim "Mat" Cauthon is one of the main characters in The Wheel of Time. He is portrayed by Barney Harris in the first season and Dónal Finn from the second season onwards.[1]


Early life[]

Mat was born and raised in Emond's Field in the Two Rivers to Abell and Natti Cauthon. He has two younger sisters, Bode and Eldrin. Both his parents ended up being neglectful, with his mother becoming a drunkard and his father becoming a lecher, and he often had to support his younger sisters. Mat has been close friends with Perrin Aybara and Rand al'Thor since childhood. He is well-liked in his village, but has always looked for his ticket to a better life. Growing up poor, he learned how to make a little coin go a long way through gambling and finesse, though sometimes his gambling and carousing got him into more trouble than it was worth.[2]

Season 1[]

On Winternight, Mat is in the Winespring Inn dicing with Rand, Perrin, and Danya, though loses a gamble. He talks to Danya after the game, and steals her bracelet. In the evening, he finds his drunken mother outside the inn, furious when she sees Abell openly flirting with another woman in front of the town. Mat is forced to drag her home into bed when he learns that nobody is with his sisters, and takes care of Eldrin and Bode for the rest of the night. On Bel Tine, he meets the Murandian peddler Padan Fain and tries to sell him the stolen bracelet, though the other man discerns that the gold is fake and that the jewelry is stolen, and gives him three lanterns in exchange for the trinket. He meets Perrin and Rand outside the inn, and learns that there is tension between Rand and Egwene. Rand and Perrin try to give money to Mat for lanterns, and he refuses at first, before embarrassedly accepting. In the evening, Mat, Bode and Eldrin light three lanterns.

Trollocs begin to attack the Two Rivers, and Mat rushes home to find that Bode and Eldrin are missing. He rushes out even while the attack rages on, and finds them hiding, taking them to an oak in the woods where they can wait until the battle is over. When the fighting is done, Mat returns to the Two Rivers and sees his sisters return to their mother, and discovers that Laila is dead. Moiraine Damodred, a mysterious Aes Sedai visitor, approaches Mat, Rand, Perrin, and Egwene, telling them that one of them is the Dragon Reborn, and that they must leave the Two Rivers at once, or an even greater horde of Trollocs will come for the village. Mat accepts his fate for the time being, and mounts up to leave the Two Rivers.[3] The party makes it to Taren Ferry, and crosses the river before the Shadowspawn can catch up to them.[4]

On the road to Whitebridge, Mat muses what may happen if one of them is truly the Dragon Reborn. As they camp for the night, Mat and the other youths begin to have nightmares involving bats and a man with embers for eyes. When tension erupts in the group, Mat does begin Moiraine's side, believing that her channeling can protect them. While on the road, Mat begins to sing an old song, and Moiraine tells them the history of Manetheren. Moiraine, wounded from Trolloc poison, does not wake during an attack one night, and her Warder Lan is forced to take the group into Shadar Logoth, warning them not to touch anything or eat any food in the city. Mat snarks that Lan has been more talkative than ever when he explains the history of Aridhol, and gives Perrin a dagger that Laila made in the city. Perrin also comforts Mat about his sisters, saying that all his friends' parents will be checking on them. While in the city streets, Mat is led to a room in which he finds an elaborate box containing an ornate ruby-hilted dagger, and takes it for himself. Not long after, Mashadar encroaches on the city and separates Rand and Mat from the rest, and they hurriedly escape via an underground passageway.[4]

The pair cannot find the others, and Mat wants to return home after they leave the ruins, though Rand is determined to go to Tar Valon where he believes Perrin and Egwene will be waiting. Mat and Rand head east across the Andoran countryside, eventually making it to the mining village of Breen's Spring. They enter the Four Kings Inn, where they listen to the gleeman Thom Merrilin; Mat has his coin purse taken by a thief, but Thom robs it back, refusing to give it back to Mat. They begin to talk to the innkeeper, Dana, who agrees to give them a room if they do work for her, but Mat refuses to chop wood, turning sour and remarking that Perrin and Egwene are probably dead. He heads back in and begins to flirt with Dana, proposing that he find another job, but Dana mocks him when he tells her he is a horse trader when he has no horses. She makes him wait tables in the inn, and the patrons laugh at him. Mat decides to go home alone, but Dana tells him that the money he has earned will not be enough for him to buy passage back to the west. He goes to the cage corpse of an Aielman on display outside town, intending to rob it, but is stopped by Thom. Though initially hostile at first, Thom recognizes Mat's desperation, and lets him rob the man before respectfully burying him in the custom of his people. Mat returns to town to find Dana chasing Rand with his father's sword. She corners the two young men and reveals that she is a Darkfriend, and that she has called a Fade in hopes of delivering the Dragon to the Shadow. However, Thom kills Dana with a throwing knife, and the pair agree to travel with him.[5]

The trio ride through the Braem Wood, and plan to sleep in a barn. However, the farmer catches them on his property, but Rand manages to negotiate them staying in exchange for work. Mat mucks out the stables for the rest of the day. He grows increasingly paranoid, but appears to be moved when the farmer's daughter approaches him and offers him her doll for his sisters. In the night, Mat leaves the barn for the house, and is found with the dagger standing over the corpses of the entire family by Thom and Rand. However, a Fade reveals himself, and Thom orders Rand to take Mat and go as he holds off the Shadowspawn.[6]

Over the following month, Mat and Rand travel to Tar Valon together, with Mat's sense of paranoia increasing more and more, and he begins to lash out at his fellow travelers. He believes that Thom is dead, and begins to doubt himself more; after arriving at the Light's Blessing Inn, he makes Rand assure him that he was not the one who killed the little girl at the farm. When they see the False Dragon Logain Ablar paraded through the city, Mat sees him laughing at him maniacally, and asks Rand to promise him to never let him end up like that if he is the Dragon, which he also promises in turn. His affliction grows worse, and although Nynaeve makes her way to the inn and reunites with Rand and Mat, she is surprised to see Mat's condition, telling him to rest.[7] Moiraine and Lan make their way to the inn, and Mat is scared when the Aes Sedai approaches, fearing that he is a male channeler about to be gentled. However, Moiraine discovers that the affliction is related to the dagger he took from Shadar Logoth, and chides Mat for his idiocy. She has him held down as she channels to Heal Mat of his affliction, warning that he may be lost forever if he touches the dagger again, and remarking that he survived for an extraordinary amount of time as is. Later, Mat is taken to the Waygate outside the city, where he reunites with Perrin and Egwene for the first time since Shadar Logoth. Moiraine tells the five from the Two Rivers that they must enter the Ways to head to the Eye of the World, or else the Dark One's victory is certain. However, his friends realize that Mat has not entered the Waygate, and they call out for him before it closes, leaving him behind.[8] Moiraine refuses to open the Waygate to return for him, as otherwise it will attract Machin Shin, but after reaching Fal Dara, she tells Lady Amalisa Jagad to send a message to the Red Ajah to look for Mat.[9] Mat eventually makes it back to Tar Valon.[10]


Mat is a snarky, witty young man with a sharp tongue and rouge attitude. He's always down for a good time, no matter the circumstances. He loves to make people laugh. However, his witty and sarcastic exterior is a mask used to his deep-seated worries that he will become his lecherous father or drunken mother. He cares deeply for his loved ones, especially his younger sisters, often thinking of their needs before his own. When Moiraine arrives, Mat is forced to leave his sisters behind to keep them safe. While he has little interest in the responsibility that being the Dragon Reborn entails, but does wonder if it can be his ticket to a better life.



Physical appearance[]

Mat is a lanky man of twenty with curly black hair, brown eyes, and prominent facial features. He often sports stubble or trimmed facial hair, with a brown leather satchel around his shoulders.


Mat is ta'veren, and is a focal point of the Wheel of Time.[10] This allows him to survive the corruption of the ruby-hilted dagger for far longer than would usually be possible.[8]


Mat appears in the following episodes:

The Wheel of Time appearances 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Season 1 episodes f
Season 2 episodes tbd


"Alright, let's make a deal." - Mat in the ruby-hilted dagger video.

Changes from the book series[]

Mat Cauthon is an adaptation of the character of the same name Booklink.svg (book spoilers!) from the book series.

  • Age & Appearance - Unlike his book character, Mat sports a beard in the television series. Rafe Judkins explained that the five friends from Two Rivers were aged up slightly, as they did not want to make the show come across as being part of the Young Adult genre.[11]
  • Background - In the book series, Mat's family is not dysfunctional or neglectful.
  • Season 1 - Mat did enter the Waygate and came to Fal Dara in the first book. It has been reported that this change is likely due to the unexpected departure of Barney Harris.[12]


See Mat Cauthon/Gallery.

Promotional images[]



Liandrin GuiraleAlanna MosvaniMin FarshawLoialTam al'ThorThom MerrilinLogain AblarPadan FainSiuan Sanchesee all