What they do for love……the different faces of passion in Outlander.

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It is said that love makes the world go round.  It seems to me that everyone involved in the Outlander phenomenon from cast to crew to producers and from characters to author to fans are motivated by this sentiment.  I read a recent interview with Terry Dresbach Outlander Costume Designer and wife of Outlander Executive Producer Ron Moore, in which she discusses the fact that she has some influence on her husband’s decisions in regards to the show.  What follows is a pretty amusing, but comfortingly familiar domestic scene.  They are in bed arguing into the wee hours of the night about how best to tell the story of Claire and Jamie! Pretty sure I’ve had the same experience, maybe not about Outlander, but the scene she painted felt very real to me and very telling of their relationship and shared passion for what they do. They are motivated by love and respect for each other’s talents and opinions.

The cast appears to be motivated by a passion for the craft of acting. They love what they do as evidenced by the sacrifices and discomforts they are willing to suffer to bring Outlander’s characters to life.  Hours in the make-up chair to make scars look real, filming for hours in a shift in the bitter cold and at least a week of rehearsing sex scenes with an extremely good-looking co-star <g> are just a few examples of what these actors have to endure for love.

Seeing the relationship blossoming. between our two main characters has been wonderful, but today I find myself thinking of the others.  I’ve been thinking about Murtaugh, Gellis, the MacKenzie brothers, Father Bain, Loaghaire and Black Jack.  I’ve been thinking about what they all have in common.  They are all motivated by the same thing….love.  Now, what they love varies significantly, as does how they react to their desires, but love it is!  The song lyrics, “what I’d do for love” keep running through my head. Definite ear worm.

So, what is it they “do” for love:

The MacKenzie brothers:

The brothers share a love, they love the clan MacKenzie.  What they’ll do to protect the clan, and their place in it,  falls nothing short of murder.  Ron Moore and his crew are doing a great job of developing this part of the story-line. Claire wouldn’t be let go until the brothers could be sure she was no threat and if they could make use of her healing skills along the way, so be it.  Lucky, for them Claire is a healer and a kind person.  If I was being held prisoner I’m not sure I’d be as generous with my skills. But, …then Colum did almost knife a tailor and Dougal promised to slit her throat….so maybe I wouldn’t poison anybody either.  She didn’t score any points with the Hamish thing either.  The viewer KNOWS something’s up with that!  Thanks to the awkward silence and significant looks between everyone in the hall!  And, Jamie? That boy better watch his back! Even my Dear  husband, a devout non-reader, could pick up on the strain between those three.  The marriage may keep Claire safe from Black Jack Randall, but Dougal and Colum?  What will the brothers do for love? Anything they need to!

Murtaugh:

The viewer really doesn’t know much about Murtaugh except that he’s on Jamie’s side.  What the reader knows is that Murtaugh is motivated by love too.  Murtaugh loved Ellen, Jamie’s mother.  That love of course was unrequited because Ellen loved Brian, Jamie’s father.  Instead of feeling bitter, Murtaugh chose to continue to love Ellen and serve her the only way he could and that was by loving and protecting her child.  I’m not sure Jamie even knows, but eventually Claire figures it out.  What will Murtaugh do for love? Serve.

Loghaire:

Currently, what the viewer sees is a pretty young girl with a crush throwing herself at a man’s head.  Not unusual or terribly threatening. Or, is it? (Said in an ominous tone, with accompaniment of way foreshadowy music) Be leery of Loaghaire she’s green with envy. What will “Leery” do for love? Hmmmm, for Jamie? I know whàt I’d do (wink wink).

Gellis:

This is a tough one to talk about without giving away a major story point.  Suffice it to say that “the witch” has a lot of secrets and a love she is willing to sacrifice a normal life to obtain.  Complicated and convoluted is our Gellis.  I believe she said her husband had, “no notion of guile”.  Well, she sure does. In fact, she could probably teach a master’s level course, Gellis’ Guide to Mastering Guile. What would she do for love? More than you can imagine. Girls a freak!

Father Bain:

I’ve heard stories from friends who were Catholic school children that make me believe that Father Bain’s zeal is not unusual.  My friends may not have had an ear nailed to a pillory in an effort to save their souls, but they have nursed a few ruler rapped and bleeding knuckles.  Father Bain’s love for God is very real which makes him all the more frightening and threatening. His extremely legalistic faith stresses the idea that nothing is more important than loving people enough to save their souls.  And, if that means chopping off a hand or two so be it!  Father Bain’s love compels him to destroy any perceived threat to his parish.

Black Jack Randall:

It is difficult to imagine that BJR is motivated by love.  I don’t think we can easily place our selves in his mind set.  Finding beauty in Jamie’s mutilated back doesn’t make sense to us and signals that Jack may have crossed a line from which there is no return.  People make sense of their experiences as best they can.  Jack copes with his disappointing life by choosing to embrace anarchy.  His version of love is a black twisted mutilated thing.  He now lives and loves to hate the “very world itself”.

If Outlander is the example, then it appears that love is all that really matters. If that is the case, then I am rich because my life is full of things to love…including Outlander.

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7 thoughts on “What they do for love……the different faces of passion in Outlander.

  1. jodykc

    Another well thought out & well written blog post. I can tell you are a great lover of the books. Love, everything in the world of Outlander revolves around love. You are absolutely right. So frankly I was taken aback by your lack of love for the show. Is it different? Sure. Does it leave out many of our favorite moments? Sure. Does it move past what you’ve read as the relationship of Jaime & Claire build? Sure. As your hubby remarked, the movie is never as good as the book. But really, should it be the same? I say no. We get another conceptual view, perhaps something we never thought about. As a fellow book lover, I never really did like Frank at all, but with Ron & Maril’s vision, Frank really comes off as the scorned husband, I feel bad for him, and I really, really like him in the show. The vision of the show is thought out as a long term project I’m sure, and there will be links to that odd stuff we see that don’t quite fit. (I have my ideas on the Frank stuff that’ll come up, was it in Voyager? I forget) I learned my lesson years back as a Harry Potter book lover who watched the movies. I just had to enjoy the movie experience just as that, a visual feast that contain the essence of the books, but is different and enjoyable. Enjoy the ride Beth, forget what you know is in the books. When those aha moments do pop-up, savor them. Live in the moment of the series. Thanks for allowing me to yadda-yadda on. I love Outlander.

    • I don’t want to leave you with impression that I don’t like the series because I do like it! Better than I ever dreamed. The fact that we can even have serious discussion about character portrayal tells me this a show worth watching. I’m TRYING to let go and enjoy. I’m just sucky at it!

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