Damn You, Outlander!

Sam Heughan plays the beloved Jamie Fraser on Outlander.

Curse you, Sam Heughan and Diana Gabaldon, for making love this guy.

Have you ever loved a story so much it hurts?  You feel so passionately, you get a hole in your gut and it feels like your heart is being ripped in two.

That’s how deeply Outlander has affected me.  I’ve been fanatical about various shows, characters, couples and the like in the recent past, but I can’t remember the last time something pierced my soul the way this show does.

Outlander actually debuted early last fall, but having never read the books, nor being a regular Starz watcher,  it passed under my radar.  I didn’t discover it until mid-December.  The upside was being able to watch the first eight episodes in quick succession, without having to wait a full seven days for the next episode.  The downside is that most of the fervent online activity has subsided.

I had read that Outlander‘s leading man was one of the most beloved romantic heroes in print.  I’m not a huge fan of romance novels (even though one of my favorite people writes them for a living), and my heart has hardened over the years, so I was skeptical going in.

And now?  No character has fascinated me as much as Jamie… MacTavish?  No.  MacKenzie?  Nope.  Fraser.  See?  He’s so fascinating we don’t know his real name until the seventh episode.  And even now, those of us who haven’t read the entire series of books don’t know much of his history and are yearning for more.

I want this coat!

I want this coat!

I hate getting pulled in like that.

In an effort to alleviate the suspense of the first half-season’s cliffhanger ending, I bought the first book.  Chronologically I’m only on chapter 2 (Claire is still in post-WWII Britain), but I can’t stop skimming ahead.

Therein lies another problem:  the sweeping saga.  Throughout such a story, the characters, the locations and circumstances change.  The youth, innocence, and beauty that initially drew us in mature and evolve into something else, making us long for those early days.

[The best analogy comes, surprisingly from Arrow.  Even more surprisingly, fromTommy Merlyn.  He quotes a movie critic who says, if he could do one thing over, it’d be to watch his favorite movie for the first time.]

Dougal proposes the change Claire from Englishwoman to Scot.

Dougal proposes the change Claire from Englishwoman to Scot.

It looks like there’s some good stuff coming when Outlander returns in April.  The final scene of the opening credits, of Jamie and Claire riding together across a lush, green plain symbolized their beautiful relationship.  The actual scene hasn’t aired yet, but I’m fairly sure which event is being depicted.  It truly is the most wonderful of moments, and it captures the feeling completely.   But it occurs in the middle of the first book.

There’s much more to come, and that part isn’t pretty.  In fact, it’s so disturbing, I’m worried it will affect my love for the show.  So far the producers have done a superb job of adapting the book to television, and one has to have faith that these scenes will be treated with care.

At least I have to wait only three months for the second half of the first season.  That’s a bit more tolerable than the five months original fans have had to wait.

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10 responses to “Damn You, Outlander!

  1. I kind of envy everyone who has had such love for Outlander. As you said, that kind of intensity and love is rare. I haven’t tried to join in because I don’t want to fail to share it. Like you don’t read romances, I don’t read historicals. And I know a little too much about the story just because of the world I hang out in.

    But I’m really excited for you for discovering it. 🙂 I got to see Diana Gabaldon speak at a conference a few years ago, and she didn’t write it as a romance, or a saga, or anything like that. She didn’t give a thought to genre at all. So even though romance is at it’s core, it kind of transcends genre.

    • Not sure what you’re saying. ::embarrassed:: Should I assume you’ve never read the books? Or that you think you wouldn’t like it? Or maybe that because you know so much of the story, you know it’s not your cup of tea? Just like it’s more than a romance, it’s also more than a historical. (I’d write more but I’m on my tablet with a Romeo on my lap.)

      • Sorry, I tried to be briefer than normal and that made me confusing. LOL No, I’ve never read the books. Even back when I did enjoy reading historicals, it never appealed to me for some reason. And you’re right, of course it’s more than a historical, but it still has a historical setting. I never used to be a “rigid” reader, but historicals, vamps and shifters, and secret babies are on my “no thank you” list. LOL

        And what I meant but you could never “get” from the little I said, was that because I hear about the story all the time, from both those who love the series and those who don’t, it won’t have the same magic for me as it does for those to whom it’s completely fresh.

        *However.* That probably won’t stop me from getting it on DVD to watch with my husband, who is pretty bummed we don’t have Starz. LOL

        • Never try to be brief! It’s one of the (many) reasons I love to hear your thoughts. It’s one of the reasons I was hoping you’d know about it.) At least there no vamps, shifters or secret babies in Outlander. Oops, I take that back. I think there secret babies yet to come.

          I’d love to know what those who don’t like it have to say. Not to change their minds (you know I don’t do that), but just to hear their perspective.

          I got Starz when a “free preview” of The White Queen got me hooked. (Plus, it had Rory Williams er, Arthur Darvill in it.) Then I totally forgot about it. I was quite happy to see I still had it.

        • You are so sweet to me. 🙂 I’ll try to be less self-conscious about my wordiness. LOL

          The only criticism I specifically remember (because it was recent) was about future books and I don’t want to spoil it. I have a feeling the show won’t handle it the same way.

          We had Starz for a while for the last season of Torchwood but didn’t keep it. If this show didn’t coincide with Number One’s tuition cloud (as in, it hangs over every financial decision we make LOL), we’d have gotten it for Outlander.

    • (Actually replying to your last comment).:
      “The only criticism I specifically remember (because it was recent) was about future books and I don’t want to spoil it. I have a feeling the show won’t handle it the same way.”

      I’ve read synopses of the follow-on novels, and they don’t interest me one bit. I think that’s one of the reasons the show currently makes my heart ache. The scope of the books expands. New characters and new locations are introduced, and it just won’t feel the same as what I fell in love with. But I’ll put faith in the producers. Ron Moore has a proven track record.

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