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Thoughts on Outlander season 2 Finale

Before I take the somewhat risky journey back into the often volatile world of Outlander, I just want to share a few other thoughts and update you on my absence. As many of you know, I have taken a break from posting in order to focus on my family history research. Because of my work schedule, family commitments and events, I currently have little time to devote to my personal passions such as the family history, history in general, and this blog. 

Many of you are also aware that this spring, I took a much needed vacation to Britain in order to explore some of that history I am so passionate about. The journey was not without it’s moments of frustration and even panic. It was a journey of self discovery and soul searching. During the trip, there was a point when in the middle of that soul searching and panic, I reached out to who ever might be listening above or beyond this plane and asked for some guidance. It was in those moments of silent conversation with myself and those I could feel around me that I was reminded of my ties, my connections to all of those ancestors who came before me. It was an odd moment of reflection or revelation that I should take some time to refocus on what was truly important to me, take time to pause and change my direction or my path. It’s been a few months since that trip and I have found myself more driven and determined to work on my family history. That research has pretty much taken over what little free time I have. The direction of the research also changed in that I am no longer quite so interested in the far distant and ancient past- though I am still intrigued by it. Now the focus of that research is more one of a slightly more recent past in which my ancestors all made the choices and decisions to make the journey to a new land and a new beginning in America. They came from England, Wales, the Netherlands and Germany in search of that freedom that this new country would offer them. Some came for religious freedom but others came because there was little left for them in their homeland. I find myself now interested even more in those individual stories of survival in this new land. I have come to a point in the research where I feel like I can rest a bit from it and now sort through their stories and their journies to eventually share them here.

Some of you are probably wondering what on earth this all has to do with Outlander? Well, quite simply, it has everything to do with Outlander because in reality, Outlander is just such a story- an ongoing story of how and why a family came to be in this new America. It is an epic saga of one family’s journey, of their life, of the choices they make along the way and the reasons for those choices, of the people who become a part of their world and influence the paths they each take in life. It is in some ways a reflection of our own family histories. We each have stories of the past locked away within our family histories… granted, hopefully ours do not include time travel, standing stones and other such intriguing fantasies, but if we search through our family histories, we will all most likely find some of those well kept, well guarded secret skeletons in our closets that me may or may not be comfortable in the discovery of.  

My recent research has inspired more of an interest in the Colonial history of America, from the earliest times when my Puritan ancestors made the difficult decision to immigrate, the later years of industrial upheaval in England when other ancestors lost their economic livelihoods and made the journey out of economic necessity, through the period of the Revolution for independence here when those ancestors had to choose sides- you might think or assume that should have been an obvious no question about it decision but if you look deeper into those lives you will find that it was truly a difficult decision for many of them. As I learned more about my own ancestors and their lives, I was drawn back to the stories that Diana Gabaldon tells of that time period through the lives of Jamie and Claire Fraser and their family legacy.

For the most part, I have tried to remain outside of the realm of Outlanderia after the first season’s debut. I did this for a few reasons. First of all, while I did enjoy the first book of the series, I would not say that I was all that much of die hard obsessed fan in the beginning. In fact, in retrospect, had I read it when it originally came out and had to wait years for the next installment, I probably would not have bothered picking up the next book. Because I read it more recently and the next book was available on sale, I went ahead and read the second one just to find out what happened… I was not overly impressed or enthused with that one either but by then I was intrigued and getting a bit sucked into the overall story and people in it. So, of course since the third book was readily available, I thought I might as well just read it. I can honestly say that while I was not all that enthused with the Pirate aspect of Voyager, the rest of that book totally sucked me into the world of Outlander. From then on I admit I became somewhat of an obsessed fan of the books. I will say that my obsession in tame compared to that of many other fans.

When Starz took on the challenge of presenting this saga to us, I was as excited as anyone at the prospect of seeing the story come to life. I did enjoy that initial introduction to the story but as it progressed, I found myself struggling with some aspects of it. One of those aspects I struggled with was the overwhelming tide of Outlander fandom and storms of aggressive heated and sometimes confrontational debate over show versus books, readers versus non-readers. Then there is the continuous ongoing flood of debate, controversy and intrusion into actors’ personal lives- which in my personal opinion takes away from being immersed in the character they are portraying. Another issue for me was of course the fact that I was not as interested or invested in the first story or even the second story other than in how they lead up to the rest of the stories.

One added issue for me with the first season was that I can honestly say that I am probably one of the minority of fans who does not look at this series as a romance/love story of Claire and Jamie. For me, that is really almost secondary compared to the rest of what is involved in this saga. As I watched season one, I had the feeling that it was becoming or would become more of a romance story and I really was just not interested in seeing it go that route. As a result, I stepped back out of the raging storms of Outlander and chose to remain for the most part, a silent observer.

I did not impatiently await or endure any typical droughtlander in anticipation of season 2 because well, because as I’ve already mentioned, it was not one of my favorite books anyway so I had no real emotional investment in how it would be presented other than in how it would be presented in relation to future seasons. I was happy to see that it did not go the route of being the “breathtaking” romance of Jamie and Claire. It was a fairly realistic representation of what they went through during that time and I for one appreciate that! I am not going to go into all of my thoughts on the entire season here but I do have to say that I think I enjoyed it more than season one. I am also not going to address the changes and deviations made from the book to the show. They have already been hashed over and debated to no end by everyone. I understand why the changes were made and personally I am looking forward to seeing what differences the future brings between the two stories. I’ve tried hard to separate the show from the books but find that having read the books, it is almost impossible not to make comparisons between the two. I am enjoying the differences that the show is presenting and I look forward to seeing how it takes the story along  possible alternative paths. I am looking forward to seeing how the story plays out with some changes.

****Spoilers, Yes there are spoilers! This is your warning!”

season2 finale3

Through the Stones or not... One must stay, one must go for the sake of innocents

Through the Stones or not… One must stay, one must go for the sake of innocents

For now, I am just going to give my personal thoughts on the finale and the introduction of my two favorite people- Roger and Bree! I will readily admit that I was and am emotionally invested in the story from this point on and I was concerned about how these two characters would be represented. I also admit that I do have some  initial reservations about Sophie Skelton and whether she can fully portray Bree as I know her in my head… Then again, I have to remind myself that I had these same reservations about Catriona Balfe in the beginning and she has completely won me over! So, with that in mind, I am giving Sophie benefit of doubt and going with a feeling that she will eventually find her footing and capture that essence of Bree that Ron D Moore and others must believe she’s capable of doing. I did find that I was more comfortable with her performance and portrayal after watching the episode a second time with a more open mind and a thought towards that overall awkward situation that she finds herself in.

Bree on better terms with Claire

Bree on better terms with Claire

Roger and Bree at Fort William

Roger and Bree at Fort William

Don't be dragging him into this fantasy!

Don’t be dragging him into this fantasy!

I did see some glimmers of that inner Bree so I am going to assume that Sophie has actually managed to give us a fairly accurate portrayal of that younger Bree caught in the difficult and awkward situation that she was placed in at the time… As I’ve said, I’ve liked Bree from the beginning. I never saw her a spoiled brat who treated her Mother so awful. She was a young woman who as Claire mentioned, was just like her Father- stubborn to no end with a fiery temper. She is also a young woman who suddenly discovers one of those skeletons in the closet, discovers that her parents have lied to her for her entire life. Put yourself in Bree’s shoes for a few moments and imagine that your own Mother told you such a story? Would your reaction really be so much different than hers was? Would you have immediately just have accepted such a story and said, “Ohhh this is all so exciting and wonderful for all of us!”  My one thought while watching this all play out on screen was actually that I wished Bree had shown more of that temper! I was waiting for her to completely explode and destroy the room in that fit of uncontrolled rage and frustration over the entire situation.

If it hadn't been for the battle of Culloden OMG Stop just stop... I was not bored

While so many others are venting and bashing on spoiled Bree, I’m sitting here enjoying her outbursts and her evolving sarcastic humor. I watched it all play out and had the same thought as I did with the book.  I thoroughly enjoyed the way they managed to merge the book events with the limits of the show with Bree’s thought and suspicion that something was not exactly right with her parents’ relationship and that there was something, some incident that they had kept secret. When people stay in a bad relationship “for the children” and assume that their children do not know something is wrong, they are not giving their children enough credit…Children sense things and usually know far more than we are willing to admit. Bree loves both her parents but she knew instinctively that there was something not quite right with their relationship.

Bree: Sometimes it seems like you didn't really love him.

Bree: Sometimes it seems like you didn’t really love him.

Bree My Mother lives in another world2

As to the character of my dear Roger Mac… I initially had a few doubts about Richard Rankin portraying him but that is due to the image I have stuck in my mind of him from the books. After the first few moments of watching Richard’s performance, I was already seeing that other image merge with the new image of Roger- so well done Richard Rankin! You’ve managed in one episode to assure me of your ability to transform yourself into my Roger Mac. I need to add here that I put off watching the finale because I was in the middle of re-reading the Fiery Cross which involves some very serious life struggles for Roger.  I knew I was going to have a difficult time regrouping from those events that have such a profound life altering affect on Roger so I waited until I was finished with the book before watching. I have to say that seeing Roger in the show helped ease my left over sadness. To see him awkwardly trying to impress Bree, to watch the beginnings of his and Bree’s story made me smile! An added reminder here for others who had some difficulty with this portrayal of Roger… I’m not really sure what you may have been expecting but Richard Rankin presented us with just exactly what Roger is at this point in his life, a university history professor, a rather reserved and quiet young man who was raised by a minister. Roger is a work in progress and Richard Rankin shows us that. He stumbles, he falls, he fails, he is not some perfect Highland Warrior type and he knows this. Richard Rankin gives us that somewhat imperfect guy who is immediately infatuated with Bree and can not hide it very well. He has also captured that quirky sense of humor and dry wit that he and Bree will share as time goes on. 

We meet Roger and Fiona

We meet Roger and Fiona

Roger's rat satire

Roger’s rat satire

roger describing frank he was a snappy dresser wore his hat down over one eye

roger describing frank he was a snappy dresser wore his hat down over one eye

I think we found your incident

No stay it's your house after all

No stay it’s your house after all

Roger Ummm what don't look at me like that cause really I think you're crazy too I'm just trying to be polite about it So you're saying my ancestors are a war chief and a witch..2. Roger it's not important if I believe it or not she believes i2t

My Mother's insane Hmmm a sentiment echoed by daughters everywhere.... no mine really is

One other performance I want to give my highest praise and appreciation of is that of Catriona Balfe in her transition to a much older, wearier and somewhat wiser Claire. My only comment to this older and wiser Claire would be to those watching the situation with her daughter play out… Really, what did you think Bree’s reaction would be to such a story? Did any of you honestly think or assume that on being told such a story, anyone would react any differently than Bree… or for that matter Roger. Of course their immediate reaction is that the woman is insane. Bree is horrified that her Mother has apparently went off the deep end while Roger is a bit more restrained in his reaction but is trying to hold it together for benefit of Bree. 

 

Claire raises her glass to the Reverend

Claire raises her glass to the Reverend

Claire on her own mission to remember that other world Claire visits Culloden and adds her own thoughts

Yes, Claire’s visit to Lallybroch left me in tears

visions of Jamie at Lallybroch

But, I did have one other thought when I saw the condition of Lallybroch… please not the very small for sale sign by the steps. 

lallybroch circa 1968

sending Fergus to Lallybroch for two purposes...

How do I explain that I traveled through time and got pregnant without making myself sound like a lunatic

Really what did you think the reaction would be?

Really what did you think the reaction would be?

 

 

I was moved to tears by Claire’s haunted memories of the past, and the other thing I was personally moved by was the narration of the events at Culloden… that was Tobias Menzies/Frank’s voice was it not?

Claire walking through Culloden field while what sounds like Frank's voice narrates the event

Claire visits Culloden while Franks voice narrates the events that took place

Clan Fraser

 The remaining events of the past played out as I expected- Claire was not at the battle, she could only recall events leading up to that point- we should see the actual event unfold in bits and pieces in future seasons. I did cry as she remembered sending Fergus off to Lallybroch with the deed and for his own safety. And in my mind, I was saying my own goodbye to Murtaugh with much sadness. I was even moved to some tears over the demise of Dougal and his gut wrenching feeling of ultimate betrayal from Jamie. Yes, Jamie was acting in self defense and protecting Claire, and yes Dougal made more than his own share of bad decisions that led to this action, but his loyalty to the cause was indisputable and Jamie knew that. 

I'll guide the men to safety but ken this then I'll return to die with you

You've betrayed us all of us

You’ve betrayed us all of us

Dougal: I'd rather be hung drawn and quartered than be known as a traitor to the cause and my king

Dougal: I’d rather be hung drawn and quartered than be known as a traitor to the cause and my king

Dougal's despair

Now, having this book and season finished, I have to admit that I am suffering a bit of droughtlander if only for the fact that I am so looking forward to Voyager and, to Drums of Autumn. I am thrilled that we’re assured of seeing at least these next two seasons because for me this where the adventure of their life truly begins to unfold. I even look forward to that nasty encounter with a much changed Geillie Duncan. Speaking of Geillie…

Gillian Edgars future psychopath

Geilli of course believes you need a human sacrifice...

Geilli of course believes you need a human sacrifice…

And she's off to make history...

A few last thoughts to keep in the back of your mind while waiting for the future… I’ve always believed that Frank knows far more than we think, and hopefully the show will give us some that- at least in flashback form. 

letter from Frank asking rev to quit searching for Jack He's not the man I thought he was

letter from Frank asking rev to quit searching for Jack He’s not the man I thought he was

Frank knows more than we think and some of it has to do with Roger’s story…

roger's plane again

 

 

 

Some miscellaneous news and updates!

Ok, first of all, there seems to be a huge renewed interest in Frank Randall of Outlander fame! I want to say Thank You to everyone who has visited recently while searching for information on him and on Diana’s thoughts on his character! I just want to let you all know that I do have a three part series on him that includes his history through all of the books and the novella that he is in!  The page that everyone is so interested in right now is a copy of Diana’s reasons and her explanation of  her creation of Frank Randall. The articles I’ve written are my personal opinions, thoughts and observations on his character! I hope that while you’re here you take some time to read this series as well as Diana’s words.

Frank haunted by Jack

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-on-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-one/

You may notice that I have not kept up with continuing reviews and commentaries for the second half the season. I do have a few reasons for this. First of all, there are already so many excellent fan sites for the show that I do not feel a need to add to it.  While I enjoy the show and appreciate all that the show brings to us, my first fascination and loyalty is to the books, to the world and the characters that Diana has so vividly created and set into my mind. I appreciate the show and what Ron Moore had done with it in order to capture the essence of the story and bring it to life.  I understand the reasons for changes in the story completely and I can easily enjoy the show as something different than the books. In fact, I look forward to next season and seeing what those differences might be! As I already mentioned, my fascination is with the books and the story that Diana has given us, and I feel that I have covered much of  that wealth of information already. As we get closer to season two, I will probably return to a few articles that I did not get to earlier. I am completely sucked in by the mystery and the history of Master Raymond, who will be showing up next season! I absolutely can not wait to see this part of the story play out and I will be working on an article devoted to him at some point down the road.  My other reason for not continuing with an ongoing commentary and review is that of time constraints… If you look at my blog now, you will see that I am deeply involved in much earlier history- namely Viking and medieval history! I believe that I have found a little niche for myself within this early history, where my heart is so much closer to anyway.

I do owe a profound amount of gratitude to Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander Saga, as well as all of the followers and fans of her work. What she did was inspire me to express myself, to create and to take myself seriously. What all of you followers and fans have done is to encourage and support me in this endeavor. For that, I am forever grateful to all of you as you have given me that encouragement to branch out and explore all of the history that I am so passionate about!  Hopefully, all of you Outlander fans will continue to stop by and find bits of historical information that you didn’t realize you might be interested in! If you search through my archives, you will find a wealth of information on the history of Scotland, going back so much further than what Outlander touches on right now. The history of Scotland stretches all the way back through the Vikings times to pre-history with such places as Skara Brae where Master Raymond may have his earliest beginnings at!

 

Now on to other news… For all of you fans and followers of Bernard Cornwell’s Warrior Chronicles and Uhtred of Bebbanburg, I know you have been waiting impatiently for the next book. At one time it was not scheduled for release until some time in 2016, but never fear, your wait will soon be over! It is now scheduled for release on October 8, 2015! My amazon listing states you can pre-order now and get it on October 8.

Warriors of the Storm by bernard cornwell

October 8, 2015

The new novel in Bernard Cornwell’s number one bestselling series The Warrior Chronicles, on the making of England and the fate of his great hero, Uhtred of Bebbanburg.

A fragile peace governs the kingdoms of Wessex, East Anglia, under the rule of the late King Alfred’s son, King Edward, and Mercia, under his daughter Aethelflaed.

Uhtred, her formidable champion and greatest warrior, controls the northern parts from the strongly fortified city of Chester. But no one can prepare them for the storm that is about to descend…

The Northmen, allied to the Irish, come in force under the cover of night, up the Mersey, perhaps to attack Chester, perhaps to rage and pillage through Mercia, perhaps to take the troubled kingdom of Northumbria. They are led by the terrifying Viking warrior, Ragnall Iverson, a fierce fighter and ruthless leader.

He and his army are formidable enough but worse still, his brother is married to Uhtred’s daughter. With his passionate determination, Uhtred will stop at nothing to take back his corner of Northumbria and secure the future of Bebbanburg. But for Aethelflaed and the Mercians, doubt must arise to where his loyalty lies.

In the struggle between family and loyalty, between oaths given and political demands, there is no easy solution. And the clash between the Vikings and the Saxons will resound across the land.

That bit of news has made my week! I am so impatient to see Uhtred again… I also find this release date gift interesting and wonder if it has to do with promotion of the upcoming Last Kingdom series for BBC that is currently in production? Hopefully we will hear more news on that soon!

Last kingdom promo2

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/temporary-cure-for-viking-withdrawals-last-kingdom-update/

While you’re waiting for Uhtred’s return, you might want to check out some of Bernard’s other works? Because I am so steeped in Viking and Saxon history right now, I decided to go all the way back in time… all the way back to when the Saxons first arrived in a place called Britannia by the Romans. I have been researching that time period for an upcoming article on Saxon Rulers and how they came to claim their right to rule. So, in keeping with that research I am giving Mr. Cornwell a chance to present me with his version of events during that time. His series on King Arthur strips away the magic and the myth to tell a story much closer to what might have happened… though, I have to state ahead of time that my current research has shown me a different side to the Saxon migration. I will address that in my future article on their history! For now, I am going to enjoy Bernard Cornwell’s version of King Arthur!

Winter King by Bernard Cornwell

April 15, 1997

It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it. With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write: the mythic saga of King Arthur.
The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.
As Arthur fights to keep a flicker of civilization alive in a barbaric world, Bernard Cornwell makes a familiar tale into a legend all over again.

 

Now, just one last bit of update, news and appreciation…. This blog did not start with my voyage into Outlander land, it began as a place to share my stories and my creations for Sims 3! That has gotten set aside for quite some time but I do still get a number of views and visits from simmers. I need to say Thank You to all them for their initial support and encouragement as I began this venture of blogging and writing. Just recently I had a comment and question about one of my historical Castle projects, Dunvegan Castle. I put a great deal of time, energy, research and creative process into the project but it has sat tucked away in my Sims 3 game library for quite some time, only half finished. Because Dunvegan Castle is so interesting – one of my favorite Castles in Scotland,  and it has ties all the way back to the Viking era or possibly earlier, I am going to find some time to go back, revisit it and hopefully finish it!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/?s=history+of+dunvegan+castle

Photos of Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye

Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye

dunvegan castle

A few photos of my work on a representation of Dunvegan Castle. These were beginning photos of the work- I have taken some creative license in the representation and have had to fight constantly with limits of the building constraints in the game but I think I have captured the essence of it.

Arial view of front of lot overview of front with windows, towers and turrets Screenshot-2 (3) view of back side entrances

 

Ohhhh and for you Outlander fans, when last I visited my inhabitants of Dunvegan Castle, they were in the 1700s and had received a rather curious invitation to a small, secret wedding…

Dunvegan recieves a wedding invitationwedding-invitation1

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/dunvegan-castle-recieves-an-odd-correspondance-and-invitation/

Alright, that is it for my updates and my news of the day… Be off with you now, Enjoy your visit to my realm!

 

 

Outlander: Sassenach, Ode to Claire

Every once in a while you hear something that moves you so much that you feel a need to share it with others. Many of us Outlander fans feel this way about the Outlander experience? We are so moved and inspired by the timeless and unending story that herself, Diana Gabaldon has created. It touches us in many ways and it makes us want to share the experience and the legend with the world around us. What I find so interesting about all of it too, is that it gives many of us the courage, and the confidence to step out of that fantasy world and explore our own world more in a variety of ways from learning more about history, other cultures and countries, to experiencing life in ways we might never have thought of before. Her fantasy story of Claire, the Sassenach, traveling through the Stones and time to experience and embrace a new life is one that many of us can relate to on so many different levels. I look at those Stones as a metaphor for facing our own fears, taking a leap of faith at times, closing our eyes and going through to a whole new world.

There are so many fans out there who have used the books as their inspiration to create in order to share the legendary experience that Outlander has become. From blogs filled with writing and artwork, to crafters of beautiful and meaningful representations of the rich history presented throughout the books, to fun and whimsical creations. Recently I was so touched by a piece of music that I felt I had to help the artist share it with others! Like many of us, this talented artist was just trying to share her thoughts with us, and I don’t think she had any idea of what a really wonderful thing she had accomplished in just a short time.  She posted her video clip on our facebook group and many of there were so touched by it that we wanted her to share it somewhere so it could be shared by more people.

She has finally posted it on youtube for us! Here is the video, Ode to Claire by Belinda Apps!

Outlander 2014

 

 

What I found so truly amazing about this video is the fact that Belinda wrote the song, sang it, and put together the video montage in just a few short hours! Belinda is not a professional singer, has had no formal voice training or writing courses. As she puts it, she is a novice at all of it, including the Outlander experience and obsession. Where some have been true fans and fanatics for as long as Diana has been writing them- over twenty years, Belinda admits to being somewhat of a new comer to it. “I’ve been obsessed with Outlander for almost two years now, so I am a novice really. When you think about how long some people have been on the Outlander Train I’m still in the back carriage, I haven’t made it to First Class yet!”

Another thing I found so moving about this video and Belinda’s voice is the fact that her voice and the song so quickly immersed me in a feeling of the eastern U.S. mountain folk music which includes the area where Claire and Jamie eventually settled on Fraser’s Ridge. I could easily imagine this song being written back then by one who knew them and their legendary love story, such as Roger…imagine it being sung by those so close to them and being passed down through generations as most folk songs are. Belinda has captured that all so uniquely and so well without ever having been near that place or being that familiar with Early American Folk music. Belinda has never been to the U.S.  “I’m from Australia and, no I’ve never been to Eastern Us or anywhere else overseas! 🙂  I didn’t do it intentionally but I don’t mind that I sound like I come from the US mountains at all, some of the best music in the world came/comes from places like that!”

 

When I asked Belinda about other hobbies, she shared, “I love art too and paint and draw whenever I can. And I’ve now added amateur writer to the list!  I’ve been working on my very first attempt to write a book for a few months now and I think its going ok. Only time will tell I guess!”

Here is another sample of her writing!

 

Outlander Rap, Lol!
There was a hot scot and his name was Jamie,
Claire was his Sassenach, his leading lady.
She fell through the stones and became his wife,
And now they live together in his crazy life.

Brown curly hair and eyes like whisky,
(If you don’t like my rap, please don’t diss me!)
Claire was a beauty, Jamie couldna resist,
 Fell head over heels with the verra first kiss!

Sexy blue eyes and hair of red,
Now Jamie is the hottie sleepin’ in Claire’s bed!
Now I know what your thinkin, lucky lady, lucky gent?
But they were whisky bound and ‘Jackie’ hell bent!

Yes Black Jack Randall tried to make their life hell,
But their love for each other was like a magic spell.
No matter what he did, no matter what he tried,
He couldn’t break the spell they were wrapped inside!

Then the sad day came when they had to part,
Twas  for her  own safety,  Jamie broke  Claire’s  heart.
Yes he sent her back through to save her life,
Back to the future – and to be Frank’s wife.

Now Claire’s hubby Frank, back in 1945,
Had no idea that his wife was still alive!
When she came back it was quite a shock,
To find the baby bump hidden under her frock!

At Culloden Jamie died, or so Claire thought,
But he lived after all coz he bravely fought.
20 years passed by and then Claire came back,
She was older and wiser- still had a good rack!

In the meantime Jamie’s life had changed a lot,
Claire didn’t care- he was still a smoking hot Scot!
So they went to America, yeah that’s what they did,
Then they claimed a piece of land and they called it Frasers Ridge!

Then along came Bree and Roger Mac,
They came through the stones and then they went back!
Now Rogers gone and Bree’s still there,
And Jemmy’s been taken, and she don’t know where!

And Jamie’s nephew Ian, well he met himself a Quaker,
She dressed real plain but she’s still a heartbreaker,
With his Indian tatt’s and a dog named Rollo,
I Guess Ian’s had enough of ridin’ solo!

There’s Lord John Grey, he’s a little bit queer,
Got the hots for Jamie and tried to keep him near,
But Jamie’s into Claire, won’t be buggered again,
Coz he’s been there before, you see, Black Jack was also into men!

Right about now you’re thinking ‘what the hell!?’
What’s gunna happen next? With Diana you can never tell!
Well it all a mystery and we’ll wait impatiently,
To see what happens when we get to MOBY!

By
Belinda Apps

 
I hope you enjoy Belinda’s creativity and talent as much as I do! Thank you so much Belinda for allowing me to share this with everyone! I think you were a Bard and a story teller in some past life and Diana has brought it back to your memory and your heart!

Frank Randall The Final Chapter

previous post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-2/

Just a reminder, this does contain many spoilers for all of the books right up to Written in My Own Heart’s Blood!

Okay, Frank and I both had far too much Whiskey last night and the discussion got rather more personal than was intended! We decided that perhaps it might be better to continue it at some other time? We’re both suffering  from a bit of a headache this morning!

Frank with a headache

Maybe some fresh air would do us some good? I casually suggest this to Frank, adding that I would love a tour of  the area being that I am not from around here. Frank agrees, not seeing what the harm could be in a drive through the countryside.

Of course, being the workaholic that he is and ever the well prepared and proper Englishman, he brings along his notes and his hat!

Frank on the way to crag na dun

Outlander 2014

And, we’re off  on a lovely outing to spend the day wandering the sights of  Frank’s Scotland… Yes, he does assume that this is just a spur of the moment idea of mine. Little does he realize that I recovered fully from my over indulgence of the previous night, and am now determined to keep this fact seeking mission under my control!  I woke up early and set myself a clear agenda of what I must find out today, whether Frank cooperates is of  course an entirely different matter? Hopefully though, we can get through this and come out with more information than his usual non-committed evasive answers.

 

We start the day with an early morning stop to enjoy the water side view and get some strong coffee. Frank looks and acts like he may be in dire need of it before heading out on the road with me! I try to keep the conversation light and avoid any mention of my true intentions for this trip. He is quite polite and thoughtful as he inquires as to what I might like to see?  Perhaps as long as we’re in the city already, he suggests that I might like a tour of some of the museums or such?  Well, yes I guess that might be interesting but could he give me more of a personalized tour based on his expertise and background as a History Professor? I’ve heard that his lectures were always quite interesting and often contained items and ideas of the personal history that helps us all to relate more to the past…

tobias frank

Frank is as most times, well guarded and cautious, wondering what I am referring to?

tobias frank6

“Ohhhh I’ve just heard how you manage to bring history to such life with your lectures on the more common items of use and décor from the past?”  I  watch his face for clues as I mention a lecture where he presented some objects from his personal collection… a bottle of perfume, and small miniatures that so closely resembled Claire.

Guerlain Bleue, Frank's favorite scent and one that Claire often wore

Guerlain Bleue, Frank’s favorite scent and one that Claire often wore http://perfumesmellinthings.blogspot.com/2014/05/coup-de-foudre-guerlains-lheure-bleue.html

          

L’Heure Bleue / L’Heure Bleu – the perfume Claire was using to smooth down her hair the night Frank saw the ghost staring at her in her window.  Claire notes it is Frank’s favourite.  L’Heure Bleue is an actual perfume by Guerlain. It is spelt without an ‘e’ at the end of ‘bleu’ in Outlander which is incorrect both in terms of French grammar and as a misspelling of the actual perfume. (Outlander, chapter 1). In the dream that Claire has of Frank giving a lecture, Frank again states that L’Heure Bleu is  his favourite perfume (DIA, chapter 10)

“A Lady,” he said softly, cradling the last of the portraits in his palm, shielding it for the moment. “With brown hair curling luxuriantly to her shoulders, and a necklace of pearls. Undated. The artist unknown.”

 It was a mirror, not a miniature.  My cheeks were flushed, and my lips trembled as Frank’s finger gently traced the edge of my jaw, the graceful line of my neck.  The tears welled in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks as I heard his voice, still lecturing, as he laid down the miniature, and I stared upward at the timbered ceiling.

 “Undated. Unknown. But once…once, she was real.”

 (DRAGONFLY Chapter 10, “A Lady, With Brown Hair Curling Luxuriantly”, p. 152 in the hardcover)

 

miniature of woman

Credit and thanks to Outlandish Observations for the imagery and the information! http://outlandishobservations.blogspot.com/2012/08/repost-dragonfly-imagery.html

frank's lecture3

Frank gives away nothing but remains thoughtful as he ponders my comments. “So, what you’re saying is you would prefer to see my personal history collection than that of the generic museum pieces? Unfortunately, I do not have the collection available right now, otherwise I would be more than happy to oblige you on that!”

tobias frank3

Ohhhhh smooth, Frank, very smooth on that evasion! Well, Let’s forgo the museums, shall we, and just head out to the country! Frank laughs and points to the car, “Well, let us just do that then, I am sure that you have some particular spot in mind? I can see that you are quite as devious and determined in your thoughts as even I might be and it’s obvious that you have not given up on your goal!”

As we drive out to the more rural area and enjoy the beautiful scenery, Frank asks a bit warily where I would like to go first? He is resigned to the fact that I do have an agenda which includes grilling him on any number of rather touchy subjects. So, when I glance over at him and respond with my destination, he just nods his head and sighs. “I thought perhaps we could head up to an ancient kirk I’ve heard much about, you might know of it? St. Kilda’s kirk, I believe it’s called?”

He softly answers while driving through the winding roads, “Yes, I am well acquainted with the place as I know you are well aware of, so no need to play games about it.” As he drives one handed, easily managing the country roads, I look over and notice that the wedding ring on his finger. I can not help but feel some compassion for this man who has been accused and suspected of so much… yes, even by me, but in reality has done little to warrant those harsh thoughts other than be the man of a time he was born to? In fact, he has done far more positives than many men of his time would have done.  He accepted a wife’s return from the grave and another man’s arms, tried to make a life together with her and the daughter that he came to love as his own, did his utmost to protect them both from what ever secrets the past and the future might use to destroy them… all the while knowing full well that his wife did not truly love him as she loved someone else. He spent countless year of marriage competing with that ghost from the past. Knowing from personal experience, I can relate well to the fact that it is almost impossible to compete with a dead loved one. I close my eyes during the drive and think my own silent thoughts on how he must feel in this situation. I have been in a similar situation to both Claire and Frank, and can feel the pains of both their hearts. That, however does not dissuade me from this mission of wanting to know more. I can not let it interfere with today’s journey!

frank's wedding ring

We ride on in silence for a time, each of us lost in our own thoughts.  I quiet my mind by looking out at the views. The past come alive as we drive and I see the landscape surrounding me.

Scottish-Countryside4 Scottish-Countryside2 scottish farm house3 scottish countryside3 scottish countryside

Frank turns off on to a side road, then explains that we will have a bit of hiking to get to the old kirk.

road to logie kirk logie kirk path

(Excerpts from Dragonfly in Amber in which St Kilda’s kirk is described)

St kilda kirk1 st kilda2 st kilda3

I assure Frank that I’m fine with a hike, in fact I’m looking forward to it. I am excited to see this ancient old kirk with it’s important history!

*Please note that St. Kilda’s Kirk as mentioned in the books is a fictional creation of Diana Gabaldon’s. For our representation here, I am using Logie Kirk located outside of Stirlingshire.

http://www.instirling.com/walks/logmap.htm

http://www.visitscotland.com/en-us/info/see-do/logie-old-kirk-p669361

 

As we hike up the path, I take time to reassure Frank that I understand what a difficult this visit probably is for him. I want him to know that what ever else may be speculated on by others, I believe his reasons for placing the gravestone here were well intentioned.  We arrive at the site and I am overwhelmed with the view of such history in front of me. After spending a little time exploring the old kirk, we head over to the cemetery.

Logie Kirk

Logie kirk2 Logie kirk3 Logie kirk4

The walk through the cemetery is haunting, eerie and yes, a little unsettling for both of us.

logie kirk13 Old logie kirk3 logie kirk10

 

Upon finding the graves we came here in search of, we are both at a loss for speech at the moment. There is no need for words in this quiet of reflection.

Old Logie kirk2 logie kirk9

 

 

tobias frank5

Finally, he turns to me, gives me a look of determination and says stoically, “Well then, go on with your questions. What ever it is you think you need to know, I’ll try to answer as best I can.”

I sigh sadly, I am rather at a loss for words still… I truly do feel for him, my heart hurts along with his right now and I feel guilty for dredging this all up again but, will carry on as I think it’s important for him to talk about it to someone? I am quite sure that he’s never been able to talk much about it to anyone, save maybe the Reverend Wakefield? Fine then, that’s where I’ll start, with the Reverend! That seems a middle ground and safe point for the time being…

“Some of the accounts and references mention the fact that you and the Reverend Wakefield became very close friends. In fact, Roger mentioned that Reverend often brought his church group up here to maintain the grave yard and the graves.  When Claire returned and everyone thought she was delusional and possibly crazy…including you, I might add? But, you didn’t really believe she was, did you? Because you quickly and quietly asked the Reverend to research all of it and see what he could find out.  I have to wonder too, about that odd Mrs. Graham? She is the one who told you about the Stones, and she was one of those Druid Dancers…

Mrs Graham tries to tell Frank

outlander-premiere-stone-circle-dancers-starz

“When Claire disappeared, you scoffed at Mrs. Graham’s suggestion and probably thought she was a crazy old crone? But, you did have second thoughts on the idea because we know you made that trip back to the Stones. I think you already had your own suspicions even then, but couldn’t say them out loud because of course then you would look crazy as well! No one has ever made mention of your years while Claire was gone. That is all just coming to light now. I have to wonder, did you go back and talk to Mrs. Graham again, possibly taking her more seriously the next time? Did she happen to tell you about her visit with Claire and the reading of her fortune?

Mrs Graham and Claire

“It just seems to me that maybe during those years while she was gone, you did do a lot more research in secret and knew far more than you could say or admit when she returned? I really wonder now how much all of you knew? You, the Reverend, and Mrs. Graham, how many secrets did you keep to protect those you all cared about?”

Frank and Reverend Wakefield Frank and Reverend Wakefield2

 

Frank doesn’t answer me right away, just sits there with head in hands. After a time he responds quietly, “Yes, we kept secrets to protect those we cared about. Is that so wrong?”

I nod my head and sigh, “No, we all keep secrets whether we admit it or not, whether small or large, to protect those others, or to avoid hurting them in some way. I understand that Frank, and I certainly don’t judge you for them. I would imagine that when you discovered some of your information, you realized just how much more there was going on and what a danger there was to your family. I also do understand that you can’t share all of it even now, the danger still exists, doesn’t it, for those you care so much about?”

Frank nods in agreement, “I did my best to prepare them for it, but I couldn’t come right out and tell them everything, could I? Who would have believed me… I don’t think even Claire would have believed me then, she would have assumed I was even crazier than people assumed she was! No, the key to keeping everyone as safe as possible was, I believed, to prepare them but not let them know? I thought it was one of those situations where the less one knows, the safer one is?” He shrugged in frustration, “Maybe I was wrong… but, as I said, I did what I felt was right at the time and I stand by my decision.”

I feel I have to ask him another question about secrets and mysteries while we’re on that subject. “Frank, do any of these secrets that you felt you had to keep have to do with the Fraser prophecy and the Brahan Seer? As a historian, I’m sure you know about the myths and legends of the Brahan Seer, so what I am asking is, do you believe in any of it and how much do you know about it?” I pause a moment and watch his face turn grim.

We know that Bree eventually found a letter from you warning of some grave danger that she could be in. I have to think that this is all tied to that prophecy somehow?

Frank shows his frustration and comes close to losing his temper with me. “Of course it’s all tied together! Why the Bloody Hell do you think I am worried about my family? I can’t tell you any more right now because I just do not know a lot more about it but yes they are all in danger due to that Damnable Prophecy, whether I believe in it or not is irrelevant, someone believes in it and is out to harm my family because of it!”

Additional information on the Brahan Seer and his prophecies, along with more discussion on Fraser Prophecy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahan_Seer

http://outlanderbookclub.freeforums.org/ol-series-fraser-prophecy-t896.html

 

 

 

Some time later we walk back through the grave yard, stopping at the grave of  Jonathon Wolverton Randall. Both of us stare down at it and shake with some invisible chill still hanging in the air. “After all of your research on him, do you know how or why he came to be here in this cemetery?” I ask and then add, “And, why on Earth would you think it appropriate to place the stone for Jamie and Claire here in the same place? Excuse me if I sound a little harsh, but really, don’t you think that was more than a little cruel to do to Claire? I mean, I could understand your frustration and even some resentment with her but if you wanted to get back at her in some way, I just think this was carrying a grudge way too far!”

Frank at the Stones

Frank’s reaction is one of  long lingering frustration and pain, “First of all, I have no idea how or why he ended up here! Second, excuse my language but in the words of my wife…Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! If the woman had chosen to tell me all of the disgusting and gory details rather than keep silent in her attempt to forget the whole thing and go on with her life, Do you honestly think I would have put it here? Damn it all to Hell, I am not a Bloody Time Traveler. Even in my extensive research, I can only find what is actually written down about people.” Frank is angry now and begins to voice his long held frustration over much of the situation. “All I ever knew of the man was that he was a well respected British officer who died doing his duty to his Country .  Culloden was indeed a tragic event for the Scottish people, but one can not forget that many of those British Soldiers were only carrying out orders in time of war? I could only assume that this ancestor of mine was doing that since I was not privy to those most important details like Claire was!” 

frank3

Frank goes on and admits grudgingly, “Yes, I was angry with Claire, I resented that love and that life she had with her Jamie… But, do you know what I was most resentful and bitter about? It wasn’t even about her and Jamie… it was that I felt like the gift of  Time Travel was rather wasted on her? She never did care much about the importance or the details of History, never really understood the great gift she held in her soul, to be able to travel through time, experience and witness all of it? When she returned, she just wanted to forget all of it, didn’t want to be reminded of it. She was never interested in my life’s work, my passion and didn’t want to share it with me. Maybe if she had shared more of it with me, I would have shared more with her?  I know it’s all water under the bridge now, but it still hurts, the way things turned out…”

 

“Bloody Hell, Damn her for not telling me all of it… And, Damn him for constantly haunting me! Do you have any idea what it is like to discover and realize that some ancestor that you admired and held in such high esteem was in reality a cruel, sadistic and Hellish sort of Bastard? Then to wonder, even though his blood is not directly yours, whether that capability or trait runs deep within you… or God help us, in one of your family. To constantly fight a battle within yourself to maintain complete control of your emotions, for to let go in any way might signal that he does exist somewhere in you? To live with that constant fear now…” He shudders and tries to shake off the presence of Jack Randall. “I guess, perhaps Claire was right in not mentioning it to me? Now, I wonder too how she managed it herself, all of those years of knowing, of being with me and seeing some reflection of him?”

haunted at the grave

 

We walk away from the stone and breathe much easier. Soon we find ourselves back at the stone for Claire and Jamie.

logie kirk9

 

“Okay, Why… Why put it up here in an out of the way place where no one would ever see it, save you and of course… the Reverend?  Of course you did it for a reason, but people want to know, Frank? People want to know why you kept it hidden from Claire? And, from Bree… but, you knew they would find it one day, didn’t you, otherwise why put it up anywhere in the first place?”

At the mention of  daughter Bree, Frank reached out and ran a hand slowly over the Stone. “I did it for her, for Bree… Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for her and her future, what ever she decides to do with it.  Everything that each of us comes down to that. We keep our secrets, we change our lives, give up our dreams and our lives if we have to in order to give our children a life, a future. Hopefully, they will remember us fondly with love, know that we loved them beyond all else, they will remember what we’ve taught them and they will carry that with them to pass it to their children? In the end, we are the history- the past, they are the future and we do what we must to ensure that future for them.” He brushes a tear out of his eye as he continues. “All of our lives and our stories are connected, woven into each other’s, the past, the present and the unknown future. Our children, whether they be of our blood or our heart keep us connected for better or for worse… I would hope that it would always be for the better, but that does not always happen. In our case, despite all of our differences and our resentments of each other, despite the secrets we kept, we all did what we thought was best for Bree? Jamie gave her and Claire up to ensure that safety and future for them, Claire gave up Jamie for the same reason… and what did I give up? My loss of a devoted and “happy” wife who would love me as much as she loved that other person seems quite insignificant when compared to what they gave up?  I gained the most of the situation. I received the greatest gift of all, a child whom I loved with all of my heart, whom I never wanted to see hurt in any way. I would lay down my life to protect her and keep her from harm, but as every parent knows, you can not protect them from life completely?  I knew that one day, Bree would search for answers, I hoped her path would lead her here and she would see this. Claire and I agreed, whether it’s right or wrong is really not up for debate… we agreed to keep the secret, thinking it was best at the time for Bree. I think we knew in our hearts that she deserved the truth and this was my way of starting that process. I knew that Claire would one day go back to her ghost that has haunted us from the beginning.”

the highland ghost frank-in-rain-by-kath-powell

 

“That ghost of James Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser has been with me since the first night I saw him! I know that he is not going away until he is sure that his family is safe, his honor and his legacy is shared? Claire is a part of that, as is Bree and her children… For what ever reasons, I am a part of it as well? It  was and is my destiny to protect them into the future… I owe him an unending gratitude for the gift of Bree.

 

Frank’s  heart wrenching cry this time was not for his long lost wife, but for his daughter and all of the pain that he could not protect her from? “It started here in the Highlands for all of us, the hurts, the haunts, the ghosts and the  Demons within… but where will  it end?”

Frank yelling more

Claire and Culloden

Photo credit to Daniela Lippke via twitter!

 

 

I gently lead Frank away from all of it.  “Frank, for you, it has all ended… You have done your part, what you needed to do, and whether it was right or wrong is not for any of us to judge? You need to go on and rest at ease with the fact that while Claire might not have loved you the way you loved her, she did love you? And, Bree will always love you, carry your memory and heart within her, and she knows that you loved her. That is all anyone can wish for upon their passing, the knowledge that they were loved and they made a difference in someone’s life. All of the rest is of no consequence in the end!

frank-leaving-the-stones2

Excerpt from Fiery Cross in which Bree thinks of Frank

Frank in Fiery Cross pg 209

frank's letter in Fiery Cross

 

As we walk away together into the mists, I touch his hand and smile, “If it’s any consolation, Frank, I didn’t bother with another  rather minor little detail that people seem so insistent on debating and bickering over?”

Frank in the mist

He gives me a half hearted pondering look and asks, “Ohhh and what would that be?”

“Ahhhh, that would be that age old question of whether you cheated on Claire? I am not going to delve into it because really, it makes little difference whether you did or not? If you want to talk about it before we leave… if it seems to be some matter on which you feel a need to clear your conscience, then by all means feel free to clear the air? I am of the personal opinion that perhaps you did but, as I said, it makes little difference. I have a document  from herself, Diana Gabaldon in which she clearly comes to your defense on this matter.  There are many, though, who dispute her theory and explanation on this subject and they insist that you treated Claire so badly as to cheat on her?  My response to that is, she did cheat on you as well didn’t she, even though she had a Priest’s atonement and absolvement for any such sin. I understand that you and she did not have a perfect relationship in your years together after her return and you may have turned elsewhere seeking some sort of physical or emotion that she couldn’t give you. I am not condoning it or approving it… that is a highly personal matter for you and Claire to work out someday? I will provide Diana’s transcript for anyone interested in her view on the situation. And, as I mentioned, if you choose to divulge anything now, it will not be held against you later!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/diana-gabaldons-defense-of-frank-randall/

 

Frank’s response… No words, no heartfelt explanation of denial or excuses…

tobias frank2 Frank admits to three

Well… I guess we’ll just leave it at that then and wonder if that means what we think it does?

 

Ahhhh and that concludes our visit with Frank Randall… if anyone should need him, he will be on that other side,  involved in what might be a rather lengthy air clearing discussion with his wife and their other spouse, James Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser otherwise known as the ghost in the night! Hopefully, they can all avoid any discussion with the spirit of Jonathon Wolverton Randall!

the highland ghost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander: The Matter of Frank Randall part 2

Previous post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-on-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-one/

You don't know frank

Ahhhh Well, then after our sojourn at the local pub, Frank and I are both a bit more relaxed and… yes, slightly tipsy but we shall endeavor to continue this discussion? I have explained to Frank all of the rumors about him flying around and have assured him that I really just want to set the record straight and get his side of the story… or at least as much as he is able to share? I, being of a military background myself, completely understand the protocol of  keeping classified information classified until such time as it is set down as unclassified. I respect Frank’s loyalty and his honor to his code of  professional ethics, if not so much in the way of his personal ones… that is between him and his conscience! Now, as to when such additional information might be deemed unclassified and open to public perusal, that would be entirely up to Diana Gabaldon! We may have to wait quite some years before we are allowed to access the private files of Frank Randall!

Anyway, Frank and I retired to a quieter location where he agreed to shed some light on his life. I decided to once again start back at the beginning and asked him about his early relationship with Claire- nothing to personal yet… just the usual like how he met her and such.

Frank first met Claire when he came to consult her uncle, Quentin Beauchamp, an archaeologist and historian, about a point of French philosophy as it related to Egyptian religious practice. After a period of time, they were married, and spent a brief two-day honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, followed by a year together before the outbreak of World War II.  Hmmm, my mind ponders “Uncle Lam”…. I casually ask, “So tell me a bit more about Quentin Lambert Beauchamp?”

Frank4

Frank shrugs and comments in a tight lipped way… I know he is hiding something! “Well, there’s really not much to tell? He was an historian and archaeologist working in Egypt for a long time. He was interested in a point of French philosophy as it related to Egyptian religious practice and I did some work with him on the subject. He was Claire’s uncle and raised her after her parents died in an accident when she was a child.”

Prentis Hancock as Uncle Lam

Lambert Quentin Beauchamp Claire's uncle

Young Claire, growing up with Uncle Lam…

young Claire

I hide my curiosity and my inner suspicions… “Ohhh, that is a rather obscure and odd subject, don’t you think? Are you much of an expert in either of those fields, Frank? I assumed your expertise laid more in terms of British and Scottish history, such as the subject you are so passionate about- the Jacobite years, and maybe military history…”

Once again we seem to have hit a touchy subject for Frank… he would rather not comment on it at this time, if I don’t mind? No not all, I assure him, all the while filing this piece of information in the back of my mind for future consideration!

 

I continue in a hopefully non-threatening or suspicious manner, “So, you were working on a French historical matter with Mr. Beauchamp… Ahhh yes, they are of French descent aren’t they? I believe that Claire has mentioned this a number of times. You met Claire through him and were immediately taken with her?”

Frank Randall2

Photo edited from original fan art by Isa!

At this comment, frank softens and smiles, “Well, yes, yes I was immediately drawn to her. She was so full of life, free spirited and independent… not like so many other young women back then. She was vibrant, alive, cared so deeply and wanted to help others even back then. The thought of her back then still brings a smile to me even now, such energy and that infectious laugh of hers… Yes, I was smitten as some might say from the first meeting of her even though I was some years older than her and I probably should have known better than to think or assume that she could love me as I loved her?” He seems lost in his thoughts now and I feel a bit guilty for bringing back these memories.  He goes on quietly, “I felt deeply for her from the beginning… I loved her, wanted to give her all those things she felt like she missed? She never had a home or a real family with Lam and she always had a feeling that she didn’t quite fit but she wanted to? I wanted those things for myself and for her, for us together?” His smile was sad now, “In retrospect, I think I wanted to capture some of that wild free spirit she had for myself?” He sighed and thought before going on, “I admit that I come off as quite the conservative, straight laced and as you put it earlier, the bit of cold fish? I often did wonder what she saw in me?”

frank today

“Ohhhh come now Frank, you are not nearly such a “cold fish” as many would accuse you of! I don’t know whether you’re aware of it, but you are a quite fine looking man and there are a great many women out there who would agree on that!” I do blush a little at this admission but, what the hell… I’ve had my share of whiskey and he is a fine looking man! Claire and others, even Roger would attest to that fact?
Frank Randall Tobias Frank2

Roger's description of Frank Randall

At my admission, Frank laughs and smiles at me so charmingly that I forget for a moment what we were talking about! Ohhh ummm what was I going to ask again…

 

Ohhhh yes, I did have another thought that I wanted to bring up now as long as we’re on the subject of him and Claire, their relationship, and him not being disconnected or a “cold fish”? Heavens, it’s a good thing I’m more than bit sloshed now otherwise I couldn’t bring myself to broach this rather intimate topic! I cough, clear my throat, and blush again before forging ahead, “So, ummm Frank, on that topic of you being not so much of a “cold fish” and being much more than you appear… I was uhhh just wondering about something?

Frank gives me a quirky and curious look, “Go on then, what is it you’re wanting to know?

frank6

Drunkness aside, this is of a highly personal nature, but I really can’t help bring it up and ask about it… “So, ummm on yours and Claire’s more intimate relationship, we have seen some rather graphic displays of your affections for each other, and of some of your activities together?” I cough again… Frank is smirking at me silently, Ohhh My God, I can not believe I am going to bring this up! “Ummm anyway, not to get into the most intimate of details… but uhhhh I am sure others are wondering as well…

Outlander-Frank-Claire-Castle-Leoch

“Well, okay then there is that extremely intimate moment between the two of you there at the Castle? Then there are the shaving scenes which Claire seemed to remember with such fondness?

claire and frank11

“You both seem to have a rather great fondness for the razor, although Claire, probably not so much now that she knows who’s razor  it was and what he did with it… but that has nothing to do with what I am getting to here? What I am leading up to is actually a comment on the differences between your personal details and those of that other as yet un-mentioned man?” I am only bringing him into this discussion because of something I came across recently that reminded me of those differences between your relationships with Claire? I am going to say here that there are probably some things that you and Claire might have enjoyed and indulged in which that other man did not find quite so interesting or erotic?”

Frank and Jamie today

“I am only bringing this up because I find it rather interesting on some levels and I believe it weighs in on your side Frank, for the fact that as Claire mentions, some men and women do find it erotic… perhaps, you and Claire shared this but it was not something that Jamie found in the least bit to his liking?”

Jamie’s reactions to Claire shaving any parts of her body hair in Dragonfly in Amber!

Claire shaves and Jamie is not impressed 1 Claire shaves2

 

Uhhhhh I think I went too far… Frank has no answer but seems lost in his own memories and thoughts again!

claire and frank8 claire and frank10

 

 

 

 

Outlander: On the matter of Frank Randall part one

The matter of Frank Randall  part one

 

The matter of Frank Randall… namely, the matter that this once almost forgotten about, rather seemingly insignificant minor character has somehow managed to create such an enormous amount of attention? From those who absolutely hate the man, to the mildly indifferent all the way to those who are defending him so ferociously.  This mysterious man has become the subject of wild controversies, conspiracies, accusations and any number of other debates. How did one man with such a limited story line and few public appearances such as in the ongoing Starz series become such a hot topic all of a sudden?  I have not been all that much of a Frank fan (realistically, there was not all that much to base a judgement on in the earlier stories!) until recently. I began to change my opinions of him after reading A Leaf on the Wind of all Hallows. Then after viewing the last episode of the show, Both Sides now, which took a new direction with Frank’s character, I started to seriously rethink my entire opinion and assumptions of this man.  Is it because Tobias Menzies, fine actor that he is, has breathed such additional life into this man? Well, that could be a partial reason!

Tobias menzies as frank

Is it because of the turn the show took, leading us down a new direction with Frank, or is it the combination of all these factors that have added to my suspicions about Frank Randall knowing far more than we think he did. To be honest, I want to think that I would have come to these suspicions on my own without the show and Tobias. Since they have left an indelible impression, I can not leave them out of the mix so I must go with the thought that it was the combination of all three leading me on my quest to find out more about this man!

I set off on my own search for answers from the often elusive and not quite forthright Frank Randall. I have questions and Dammit, I want a bit more than “That is classified, Do you have a need to know?” the usual standard and pat answers that the military- past or present tend to give out.

Frank on the way to crag na dun

After a tremendous amount of searching, I finally caught up with him and managed to corner him long enough to ask a few pertinent questions…

Frank4

 

So, Frank, are you aware of what a heated debate there is over your actions and your inner character?

frank6

frank gives me a wary look and mumbles something about having been quite busy of late with demanding research and such. He then adds, “Why would there be any question of my character? I have excellent credentials and my work speaks for itself.”

 

Ahhhh ummm yes, Frank I am aware of that. I am not questioning your work… well, not yet anyway? You are aware that people are questioning not your professional work, but your personal life, your history and your behaviors on family matters?

 

Tobias Menzies

Frank strikes a rather defensive pose and replies, “I fail to see where my personal family life is anyone’s business but my own and my family’s!”

Well, Frank seeing that your wife’s life and yours now as well have been splashed across the world in books and television, people are asking questions and wanting answers… If you would agree to sitting down with me and answering a few of those questions, it might help in squashing some of the rumors that are rampantly flying about?

Hmmm I seem to have hit a nerve, Frank has gone a bit frosty on me and I am feeling a slight chill in the air around us. His answer to my suggestion, “And, what sort of rumors would those be, might I ask?” He’s glaring at me now and I’m not really sure I want to go on with this?

tobias-menzies_ian-fleming_any-human-heart

He quickly resumes control, sighs and apologizes for his minor lapse. “I am quite sorry, I fear I am a bit over worked lately and not handling my stress well. I do have some serious family matters to attend to. Please do go on and explain these rumors?”

frank1

 

Well, now I am a bit off kilter as well and wishing for a spot of tea or some good whiskey… and I don’t even drink whiskey! “Ahhh Well, you do know Frank that because of the book’s and the show’s popularity you are quite suddenly in the lime light and are the topic of much speculation over who you are, what you’ve done, what you’ve said and how you’ve treated your wife, that darling of the media who can do no wrong in many eyes. Now that the show has aired you in a new light, there is even a huge debate over that. You are everything from a forlorn tragic figure to a philandering husband and possibly even a racist on top of everything else. In addition some have compared you to your ancestor, Black Jack Randall saying you have the same dark demons within? Others accuse you of being rather cold and unemotional towards Claire, not affectionate to her… ummm being a sort of Cold fish so to say in the bedroom? Now, to be honest with you, I do not see you as that cold fish! And, I am reasonably sure that Claire did not either!

Frank with Claire2 Frank with Claire

claire and frank10

Frank clears his throat, gives a strangled cough and mutters, “Well that is a relief, I suppose even though she still chose that other chap over me!”

14_frank_frogs

Frank digest my comments and then reluctantly agrees to discuss some of his life with me.

Tired Frank

 

In light of the difficult conversation ahead, we retire to the bar to discuss it over many drinks!

Frank needs something stronger than tea

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? These simple questions should be easy enough for you to answer…such as your full name, date and place of birth…

But, sadly Frank can not get through even these! Other than his name, Frank Wolverton Randall, he replies that those other two are classified? He did supply his parents names though,  Jonathan Randall & Nora Sheffield. He very calmly states his profession as History Professor/Historian. I bring up his military profession and he slams down another shot of the whiskey as though wanting to avoid this portion. “Yes, during the war I was attached to MI6 working with the British Intelligence unit.”  His face suddenly takes on that cooler distant and somewhat harder look… one I assume he thinks will still my prodding about that time. After having had a few of my own shots though, I am not deterred!

Tobias Frank2

I choose to confront Frank with this head on, knowing full well that military connections and networks such he was involved in at the time do not just fade away and disappear because one retires from the military. His comment was as I expected, “That’s classified and of course I would not be at liberty to discuss any of that even I were so still involved.” I nod my understanding but bring up one other fact that is now known.

“So, Frank, tell me a bit about the event with Jeremiah MacKenzie? That event is out in the open now people are speculating about your involvement and what you might now know about any of it. This time, I have the upper hand, Frank chokes on his drink and becomes very slightly flustered at the mention of Jeremiah MacKenzie. 

 

Introduction to Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows

excerpt from Leaf on Wind of All Hallows 1

excerpt from Wind of  All Hallows, meeting between Frank and Jeremiah MacKenzie.

wind of all hallows6

 

Frank supplies his standard pat answer of  that being a classified mission and how he was of course not at liberty to discuss any of the specific details. Yes, I was expecting that… but I needed to remind him of something else quite important, or perhaps enlighten him if by some odd chance he was not aware of it? I chat for a bit about minor unimportant things such as his friendship with Reverend Wakefield.

Frank and Reverend Wakefield2 Frank and Reverend Wakefield

While in Inverness, Frank visits a Mr. Bainbridge, a solicitor with an interest in local history, and the Rev. Dr. Reginald Wakefield, a vicar who also has an interest in history. Frank is particularly interested in records concerning his ancestor Jonathan Randall, who was a captain of dragoons in the 18th century. While we’re chatting about the Reverend, I casually mention that little nephew of the Reverend’s… Roger isn’t it?

Wee Roger arrives Wee Roger sing

 

Frank nods his head trying to seem nonchalant about it, “Ummm yes, I believe that was his name, Roger… quite charming young lad he was.”

“hmmmm, Roger… wasn’t that the name of poor Jeremiah MacKenzie’s young son?” I offer offhandedly as though it’s of no real importance…

wind of all hallows excerpt 2

wind of all hallows3 roger

Frank can not hide the bit of discomfort he is suddenly feeling at this line of conversation… I am a bit smug at having caught him in this? “Ohhhh, that little lad, Roger must certainly have left an impression on you as well as your pants… Come now, I am sure you recognized him when you met him at Reverend Wakefield’s home, how could you not have?”

14_frank_frogs

Frank has to admit that yes, he did recognize the boy but did not want to bring up bad memories for anyone so kept his silence on the matter.  Ahhhh what a gentleman you are Mr. Randall, I wonder what other secrets you might be hiding?

The matter of Frank Randall part 2: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/outlander-the-matter-of-frank-randall-part-2/

 

 

 

 

Outlander: Both Sides and back to the Stones

Ahhhhh Where to start?  Such an excellent Cliff hanger, leave taking and window waiting finale! First of all, I just want to share this poster that sums a lot up for so many of us who have read the books!

leaving Jamie ing the window

Yes, Jamie will be hanging out in the window until April… and Jack Randall will be excitedly and impatiently awaiting his entrance!

Jack is thrilled to see Jamie

 

Okay, back to the beginning and my thoughts on all of it. The episode went pretty much as I expected it to with some major changes that, while I was not expecting them, worked so well! I know there has been a lot of discussion, debate and some outright disgust at the changes.  There are a number of viewers, who having read the books, think that any changes made to Diana Gabaldon’s words are blasphemy and close to sacri-religious? They can not seem to wrap their minds around the fact that sometimes, change is good! I feel somewhat like the broken record in repeating once again that,  There is absolutely no way that the show can cover every single detail of what is written in the books. This is why I so highly recommend that if you have not read the books, you should! This brings us to the next point… The books are the starting point and the guideline for the show, it does not mean that the show can not make it’s own deviations and turns at times from the hallowed writings of herself, Diana Gabaldon.  Some of the deviations and turns are needed to fit the book to viewing format, and others such as this episode take us down another path that Diana has not taken us on as yet. I am quite happy with this route and seeing a fuller side of Frank Randall!

The title of this episode was very appropriately labeled Both Sides. We got to see a more in depth look at the situation from Frank’s perspective and we got to see that other darker side of Frank come to the surface as he fought with traces of what his supposed ancestor, Jack Randall has passed down to future generations… I say supposed here because I have read the books and know the secret, but I will not divulge it here. We also see some other sides of Jamie and Claire emerge, the sides that cause them so many problems when they are unable to control them.

Yes, Jamie and Claire are meant to be together, they quickly discover that intense and fiery physical chemistry that initially draws them to each other and are over come by it. It’s that physical desire and passion that often gets them into trouble in the beginning because they act without thinking. Claire realized that last week when she uttered the comment of “Well there it is.. I’m not only a bigamist, I enjoyed it!”  She continues along this theme this week as she enjoys what little private romantic time she and Jamie can manage. She goes right along with his newly discovered enjoyment of sex and it gets them both in serious trouble!

 

Episode8Preview

Jamie forgets to watch his back

This is what happens when one forgets the number one Cardinal rule of survival… Always be aware of your surroundings and watch your back! Jamie was so intoxicated with the passion of Claire that he paid no attention to that rule, thereby putting Claire and himself in mortal danger.

Unbridled passion interrupted Jamie at gunpoint The results of not watching one's back

 

Not only had he put them in danger, he caused Claire to have to do something that went completely against her deepest beliefs and principles… she had to kill the English Soldier in order to save herself and Jamie. This tore at both of them and would begin the first of their many disagreements but would eventually teach them so much more about their own and each other’s beliefs and values. No, this was not so evident in the show, this is a portion that you should read about in the book to see how deeply this truly affected them both!  For Jamie it was a blow to his pride as a man that he had been so careless and unthinking and unable to protect Claire. I personally think this is the start of his life long need to protect her? He felt he failed her so badly in this instance and he would never let such a thing happen again.  Fortunately for them, this even happened after Claire’s knife lessons!

Jamie tries to comfort Claire 12_lady_lallybroch_00001

 

Before this event we did see some more tender moments between the two and we met Hugh Munroe, who one could not help but like!  He had news of an English deserter by the name of Horrocks who might or maybe not prove Jamie’s innocence? Could Horrocks be trusted? Probably not, but it would be worth a try.  Hugh gave Claire a Wedding present, a beautiful piece of amber with a dragonfly imbedded in it.

OUT_108-20140430-ND_0777.jpg Outlander 2014

 

Dragonfly in Amber… Which of course we all know is the clue to the next book and the next season?!

11_dragonfly_in_amber_00001 Dragon Fly in Amber

 

And, with that clue to the next season came another delightful arrival on the scene! On the other side of time while Frank was struggling with his fear and his inner demons, this precious little lad showed up to make everyone smile. And, Goodness knows by that time we needed a smile!  Many of us who have read the books probably had the same thoughts as I did upon seeing him and being introduced. A gleeful squeal of delight!  This could be one of those moments that actors are warned about… never work with children or animals, they will immediately steal the scene without even trying!  My most immediate thought on seeing him was wanting to reach into the screen, pinch his cheeks and utter this:

Wee Roger sing

Wee Roger arrives

Yes, little Roger made his first appearance as he was introduced to Frank Randall as Reverend Wakefield’s nephew. Of course if you’ve read the Leaf in the Wind of all Hallows, you would know that actually Frank has met the lad before and it was not a momentous occasion for either of them.  Perhaps Roger has some deeply hidden memory of that meeting, hence the look on his face when meeting Frank again?  Roger will show up as an adult in season 2, Dragonfly in Amber, where he will become an important part of the continuing story.  I do just want to add here a thought running through my mind. As we read the books we develop an image of the characters in our minds and it’s difficult to get that set image out of our head when the casting directors begin their process of choosing a person to play each part. I do applaud and appreciate the excellent decisions and choices they have made so far and I will trust their judgement on the casting of Roger… as long as he comes close in some way to the image I already have of the man, which is similar to this?  I know everyone has their own version of characters stuck in their minds, I am just sharing what my version of Roger is! Ohhhh, and the lad does need to be able to sing us a tune or two or three… or more!

Cat-Stevens

 

Now, as long as we’re on that other side of time with Frank, let’s talk about Frank Randall! This is where the episode made the biggest deviation from the book. When you think about it, it makes sense in approaching it in this way. The book is told from Claire’s first person narration of the events and mentions little or nothing of Frank’s actions during this time. Of course it doesn’t, she had no idea what was going on with Frank at that time! I was intrigued with this addition and now want to know so much more about Frank? He has never played a big role in the books and most of what we get even in later are Claire’s somewhat biased thoughts, memories and opinions on Frank and her relationship with him good or bad depending on her frame of mind at the moment she’s thinking of him. In later books we do get glimpses of his inner character and feelings from daughter Bree’s perspective. We also get some of Bree’s thoughts on Claire as well, which are not always in a positive light. Those revelations however are far down the line and do not play into what is going on right now in the show. For now we have to go with what we are being presented with and try not make too many assumptions… extremely difficult for many of us!

What is important in viewing Frank here, and his actions, is to know that he is not just a mild mannered gentle history professor as Claire glosses over and portrays him to be. Frank spent his military years as a part of the British Intellegence Agency as a leader of covert spy operations.   This is a key factor that comes out as he reacts to his wife’s disappearance and how the local police department is treating it. They have had no luck in their search. Having been given a description of some odd looking Scottish highlander roaming about the vicinity during this time, they sum up the disappearance as a runaway wife scenario?

missing posters

Frank is none too happy about this assumption and his anger shows as he insists to the Officer that his wife has not run off with some other man!

F

An angry, frustrated and very emotionally exhausted Frank returns to the Wakefield residence only to hear more highly improbable theories from the Reverend who, grasping at any straws he can dream up imagines his own scenario of what could have happened, involving tumbling downhill into the river and encounters with frogs and such? Frank is not any more amused or agreeable to this notion than he was with the idea that she ran off with a Scottish highlander!

13_wakefield_frogs_00001 14_frank_frogs

Just when he thought things couldn’t get much more bizarre, Mrs. Graham decided that she must in all good faith share her own theory on what happened to Claire? Her theory went so far as to suggest that Claire had somehow been transported through the Stones of crag na dun to some other time!  Really?  Ahhhh he does make some attempt to be polite to her crazed idea but, isn’t this going just a touch too far, he thinks?

Mrs Graham tries to tell Frank Frank is dubious as to Mrs Graham's sanity

 

Well, Mrs. Graham can tell that the man is obviously too overwrought to digest her theory properly so she tries to make amends by offering him tea?

Frank trying to be nice

Hmmmm and perhaps he should have a bite to eat as well? We have some dinner left… a bit of rarebit and some pork sides? Maybe a bite of raspberry tart as well and a nice glass of wine would sooth ye, No?

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https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/outlanderday-cooking-a-bit-of-rarebit/

 

Frank has had enough of this now… he’s not in a mood for tea, or dinner for that matter, and he in desperate need of something much stronger than tea or wine! He heads off to the local pub to drink his frustrations away in peace…

Frank needs something stronger than tea

Unfortunately he can find no peace there either and his drinking is interrupted by a mysterious young woman named Sally who had just made a grevious error in judgement!

Sally meets Frank

Sally and some friends seem to think Frank an easy mark? She suggests to Frank that she has knowledge of what happened and can take him to those who know? Well, already having heard the most unlikely of theories and not thinking quite as clearly as he should be at the time, Frank agrees and goes along with her? Yes, Frank has been set up by those looking to cash in on the reward…

Frank is set up

Their mistake was in thinking Frank some mild mannered, easy target?

 

A fight ensues and Frank does not fight quite fair?

Frank fights back

Mild mannered history professor Frank Randall keeps black jacks in his pocket!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baton_(law_enforcement)#Blackjack

lethal-blunt-self-defense-weapons-blackjack-billy-club black jack

 

Frank loses his tight control and visions of that ancestor, Black Jack Randall begin to surface as he confronts Miss Sally with a choke hold that is definitely Jack Randall worthy!

Sally is sorry she met Frank Sally gets choked

 

Later, back in the past on the other side, Claire will  encounter  Jack Randall once again. This encounter is entirely her own fault and would not have happened had she listened to Jamie sound advice for her to stay put in the woods where he leaves her to go off to his meeting with Horrocks.

 

Before that encounter with the infamous Black Jack Randall though, there is another very important encounter for both Claire and Frank?

As I mentioned, Jamie finds a safe place to leave Claire while he goes to meet Horrocks. He specifically tells her to stay put and not leave… Claire is still quite shaken by the previous events, so may not be thinking too clearly? But, what that previous event should have burned into her brain was how dangerous it was out there! She was thinking though only of herself, and was angry… more with herself than with Jamie, but she was mad at him too for leaving her. This is another spot where the show varied from the book, but played out just well the way it was presented!  what it came down to was, Jamie and Claire were both on edge and a little angered about their present circumstances.

OUT_108-20140509-ND_0185_900x506_595_slogo outlander-midseason-finale-clip Claire angry

Jamie left Claire with young Willie to stand guard… probably not the best choice? Where were Rupert, Angus or Murtagh when they were really needed! Claire easily escapes Willie’s less than observant watch and starts to wander about. She then realizes just where they are. She spies crag na dun in the distance and she is reminded of her vow to get home to Frank no matter the cost!

Claire realizes where they are craigh na dun

 

All thoughts of Jamie have left her for the moment and her only thought is to reach the stones, and get home to where she thinks she belongs.

zap-outlander-season-1-episode-8-both-sides-no-007

At the same time on the other side of time, Frank recovered from his encounter with Sally and friends… regained control of his dark side, and having no other sound theories to go on, he was compelled to follow Mrs. Graham’s thoughts on the Stones. He makes his way to the Stones and there is a moment frozen in time where it seems that he and Claire meet on each side of the Stones calling to each other and vaguely hearing the other’s callings?  It was moving, chilling and heart wrenching!

Frank at the Stones Frank yelling more

Frank yelling more Frank yelling at the Stones Claire yelling at the Stones Claire reaching out for the stones

 

And in that heart stopping moment where Claire is reaching for the Stones, she is suddenly stopped by English soldiers once more! She is captured and dragged away from the Stones to meet a fateful encounter with Jack Randall…

Claire gets captured Claire captured Claire in the wagon

 

Leaving a deeply disturbed Frank standing on that other side of time and the Stones, unsure of what he heard… was it real or was it just his imagination, his depth of loss playing tricks on his mind?

Frank at the Stones Frank leaving the Stones

 

What we were left with was a brutal meeting with Jack Randall where Claire attempted to out think him and lost the battle royally!

Jack leads her on a bit Jack plays his hand

 

Jack once again led her on, spun his web and caught her in it. He won the hand with a rope in the drawer and Claire came close to losing much more than just her dagger or her clothes.

Jack wins the hand with a rope in the drawer Claire loses the round and her dagger Jack holds all the cards and the dagger Claire in danger of losing even more

So, until April we are left with Jamie waiting in the window announcing to Jack, “I’ll thank you to take your hands off my wife” and Jack being supremely happy to see young Jamie so nicely served up to him!

leaving Jamie ing the window Jack is thrilled to see Jamie