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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

 

 

 

Historical fiction vs Historical fantasy

historical fiction

As we wait through the long off time for another raiding season of Vikings, we are offered various glimpses, previews and rumors of what’s to come in the future. We also must find other ways to entertain, amuse, and enlighten ourselves.  For some that consists of re-watching past seasons and catching up on what me might have missed or re-watching in some attempt to understand portions that have left us confused about the ongoing story.  For others, the off season provides time to learn more about the actual history or legends behind the creation of this story. And for many other fans it provides time to indulge in other shows or books.  I try to provide some of that more factual history and or legend here and hopefully, I inspire you to do more of your own research on what ever parts of the story intrigue or interest you the most.

bjorn and aslaug

I am a loyal, devoted fan of the Vikings series and what Michael Hirst has created so far but that does not mean that I do not have some concerns, reservation or criticisms of the story and where he might be headed with it.  These thoughts do not mean that I will not watch it in the future or that I do not enjoy it for it’s story telling purpose. I am going to share my thoughts today because I know that there are any number of other viewers, or non-viewers any longer, who share my feelings on this subject. I also think it is an important subject to consider in light of the upcoming alternative version of the Vikings vs English story, The Last Kingdom based on the series by Bernard Cornwell.  If this new series closely follows the books, it will present a slightly different version of  the events that took place around the same general time period.  Both of these stories are considered historical fiction and both Cornwell and Hirst take some creative license and liberty in playing with the events and the timelines. This creative license is to be expected when telling any story of the past since none of us were there to actually give our own personal accounting of what did or did not happen. This is why it is called historical fiction, I think we all understand and accept that!

My personal theory or thought on the difference between historical fiction and historical fantasy is this… When I read or view something as historical fiction, the actual factual event or historical figures included within the story remain intact and recognizable as who and what they were as much as possible. The creator does not change the actual outcome of the event or the factual outcome of the historical figure involved. The timeline might be adjusted to fit into a writer’s storyline and various personal perceptions of the historical figure might come into play but the real event along with those real figures involved in such an event  remains relatively unaltered. In historical fantasy, the timeline may be completely manipulated, historical figures may also be so played with and manipulated that they may no longer be recognizable as the figure they are representing. Historical fantasy would also include the mixing of myths, legends, folk tales into the story that you are creating. In historical fantasy, you may start with a basis or premise of some  historical event or person but what you choose to do with the event or person is completely up to your imagination for the purpose of telling a story.

King-Arthur-2004-king-arthur-875455_1254_940

King-Arthur-tournage-Charlie-Hunman

King-Arthur-tournage-Charlie-Hunman

My current thought and question for debate is as follows.  When does something no longer fit as just historical fiction, but cross over into historical fantasy, or is every piece of historical fiction just a form of historical fantasy? Is there a point when one has bent or twisted the events and the timeline so much that there is little or no relevance or foundation left for the actual historical even being presented? Is Michael Hirst going toward this route, has he already crossed this invisible line, and if so does it really even make any difference as long as he is telling us a good story?  In some respects, I have to say, No it makes no difference at all as long as he continues to tell us the excellent story and we all understand that it is just that- a good story with no need for historical accuracy. The result though, with that reasoning for me personally, is that the story then moves out of the realm of historical fiction into that of historical fantasy. Now, that is not such a bad thing either as long as everyone clearly understands that difference, including the creator!  Take for example the various books and legends about King Arthur… most of which would be considered the stuff of historical fantasy rather than just historical fiction. We all know for the most part before we even read such a book or watch such a movie that it is going to be more fantasy than reality so we don’t really expect much as far as historical accuracy in such works.

Outlander 2014 Outlander 2014

Another example of historical fantasy would be any book or movie that deals with time travel. These books and shows usually fall into the category of sci-fy or paranormal no matter how they attempt to deal with the subject matter. When we decide to read or watch one of these, we’re generally not focused on any sort of historical accuracy, though I am probably an exception in that department because I feel that if an author is going to sweep me into the past in any such way, I still expect them to maintain some level of historical accuracy or authenticity regarding the time period or event that they have place me in the middle of!  The idea of time travel may be far fetched and full of fantasy but beneath all of that, I want some level of believability about the events taking place, and our reason for being there. These books and shows are difficult to pin down to any one particular category and often suffer some because of that. There are of course a few exceptions to that, one of them being Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series that has achieved a great deal of success despite not being able to put it into one specific genre. Much of that success is due to Diana Gabaldon’s ability to tell the story so well and pay such close attention to those historically accurate details that are so much a part of the story! She does such an excellent job of weaving the events, the people and the history into the story that you are never really sure which parts are factual and which are her story telling. What she does not do however, is stray too far away from the actual facts of any well known or well documented event within the history. She maintains the integrity and accuracy of each historical person and event as much as possible.  This is what, on some levels, makes her saga more believable even though she is dealing with a fantasy type genre. As you read the saga, you become immersed in that history that she is presenting and the time travel becomes less of a focus factor. She also uses enough historical legends and such to create more of an interest in the fantasy of the time travel itself.  That all being said, it is still of the fantasy realm and we know full well that is what it is, so it is falls into that historical fantasy realm. Even Ron Moore’s great re-creation of this epic time travel/history saga has some difficulties in being taken seriously and in my estimation, suffers some because promoters, critics, and potential viewers are still not quite sure which category this show fits into. To be fair, the book series also has had this ongoing problem as well.  Diana herself has made comments in the past about not wanting it labeled as any one particular genre and does not see it as a romance novel- which it often ends up being categorized as.  The problem for this series is that those who want to see it as just a grand romance are often disappointed further into the series when it becomes much more than that one specific romantic tale. Those who might appreciate the historical content often get tired of wading through the romance and vice versa… Then comes the time travel, the paranormal side to it, and that  causes the entire series not to be looked at seriously by some critics. All of this comes into play when attempting to gain a bigger audience, and receive critical credit that is necessary for a show to reach that higher level, be taken more seriously and thus warrant a larger budget and reason for being continued.  My personal belief  for this show in particular, they need to find a way to break through the genres to reach a larger audience. They need to work seriously on promoting it as more than a timeless fantasy romance and focus on that history that it so richly encompasses.  Does that mean that fans of the Jamie and Claire erotic romance will be disappointed, yes some of them probably will be. Many of the book readers stopped reading the books after about book 3 when the series shifts the focus from their romance to the realities of the history they were involved. But, by shifting that promotion and focus towards the incredible detailed history, I think they will gain more fans who want to see the historical accuracy of the events taking place during that time. In order to reach that wider audience, it needs to be seen and promoted as more than just the Jamie and Claire show.  I think it is definitely a series that combine those differing genres and hold a wide viewing audience if it is promoted for those other aspects rather than just the romantic fantasy.

 

As I’ve have mentioned many times, I have no problem with an author taking some creative license with events and timelines of actual historical people and events… especially when the facts are limited and timelines are not quite so clear surrounding given events or people. I understand that, accept it and relish the differing perspectives of each author who attempts to tell the story.  My problem or concern comes when well documented events, people and timelines become so altered  that they may as well not be included in the story. I also have the personal view that in many instances, the true history is just as interesting or more so than anything an author could make up, so why not include that truer accounting rather than create some other version of it? A few examples of this in the case of the Vikings Saga are the characters of Judith and Kweni. The truer version of Judith’s history involves her being the second wife of Athelwulf, then marrying her stepson when Athelwulf dies. After the son dies, she then returns home to Flanders and marries again rather than retreat to a nunnery- she would become the ancestor of William the Conqueror’s wife, Matilda. Not that I don’t appreciate Hirst’s version of Judith, because I do- she has become one of my favorite characters! As for Kweni, there are a few real life women of that time frame who could have been Kweni- all of whom had just as interesting back stories as our Kweni. One of those women was tied closely to Ecbert’s bid for power… you can read their  stories here.

Judith the daughter Judith the wife Judith the pawn

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/viking-saga-judiths-story/

Kweni is back but looking a bit rattled

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/vikings-trivia-who-is-princess-kwenthrith/

I don’t mind that an author alters a timeline to fit into their particular story but I do mind when an entire event is altered and the historically documented actions of people are altered so much that the outcome of said event is changed. That is the point for me when it truly becomes fantasy rather than any sort of historical tale. In my opinion, if one is going to go that route then that’s fine but if you choose to go that path in your story, really why bother to use real events or historical figures at all in your story? I guess that is the biggest issue for me, the biggest difference between historical fiction and historical fantasy.  If I am going to read or view something that references real people and real events then I expect those specific events and people to reflect or portray the actual event or person being referred to, at least in some basic recognizable way. If not, then leave them out of the story and give me pure fantasy, I am fine with that as well!

Michael Hirst has chosen to tell us a Viking story based on both mythical legendary characters and real history. I understand his intent and his concept to somehow integrate the myths and legends with the real history. I appreciate his attempt to draw us into that time period and present both the legends and the history together but I am at the point where I feel like he has gone too far over that vague line between plausible, acceptable historical fiction and outright historical fantasy. He has blurred the lines of historical accuracy, played with historical figures and timelines so much that it becomes difficult for those wanting some historical basis and foundation to a story to watch it as it continues to unfold. I find myself often trying to figure out what is true history, what is legend and what is purely his imagination. To his credit, he has woven the story so well that it becomes difficult to tell the differences, but in some ways it becomes frustrating and confusing as well!  I believe he has stretched the boundaries of the fantasy/imagined portions almost to their limits and needs to return in this next season to some of the more factual history basis of what happened.  While the show is enjoying an upswing in ratings and fans, it does still draw much criticism for it’s representation and portrayal of history. It gets much promotion for it’s depiction of the events and people of the Viking era and there is such a great emphasis on it’s being close to historically accurate. This has a tendency to disappoint  a lot of potential viewers interested in the historical content and value who watch for a while but then drift away as the story takes so many off twists and turns, and does so much playing with those events and characters in history. Many viewers give up when they have too much difficulty following such a varied and altered timeline of events. To the show’s and Michael Hirst’s credit, this show is a first, a ground breaker in it’s attempt at such an epic depiction of overall history. That attempt has been a major success and brought much more attention and interest in this early medieval time period so I applaud them for that. With that success and added interest though comes the fact that those fans become interested enough to go off to do some of their own research, and return to their viewing with a desire for more accuracy in the details of that history.

 

Hirst continuously reminds us, assures us that many of the events he presents are rooted in and based on historical accounts, and accounts taken from the Norse Sagas. The problem with Hirst’s depiction or representation of those accounts is that he often buries them so deeply within the  many storylines that they are not easily picked up on or apparent to the general viewer. Finding those factual events or accounts becomes a search for buried treasure… one which most people are not inclined to search for. Another result of his assurances is than many viewers will then take his word, his version of the story or event as the factual one. With historical fiction books, the authors will most often give some notes on the factual history, some evidence or reasoning for why they chose to go a certain direction with an event or historical figure. Unfortunately, with movies or television stories, this option or explanation is never readily available to the viewers. I do give Hirst credit for pointing out some of his reasons or his historical evidences in various interviews but it does still feel like he is stretching some of those historical boundaries.

 The show is promoted as having that historical value and I would hope that this next season reflects more of the historical accuracies that become more documented as they move into the next generation.  He has made assurances that stories such that of Rollo will reflect more of an accurate history… I really want to believe him and trust him on this but I am not sure how that will play out or how it will be based on well documented events of the time.  Along those lines of history are how he will deal with the events in England which are fairly well documented even though greatly biased on the side of the English. The question arises for me in that aspect is how much he will play with those events to suit his version of the story more than he already has? Will his version of events have that basis or root of accuracy once he moves on to the next generation of Ragnar’s sons and the Great Heathen Armies fighting against Alfred the Great for control of England? How much more will he have to alter the time line and the events to tell us the story of the Viking era?  Now, he is also bringing in the stories of Norway and King Harald Fairhair or Finehair as Hirst has labeled him… how will his story be altered to fit into Hirst’s story?  One mistake that I feel Hirst had made with this story is one that he as commented on as well. He has emphasized a number of times that this not the Ragnar Lothbrok story but a story of the entire Viking era. He has admitted that initially, his intent was to be finished with Ragnar’s portion after season one and then move on to the other stories. Instead, given the increased popularity of Travis Fimmel and the character of Ragnar, he has chosen to keep Ragnar’s personal story alive for what will be four seasons. He has invested so much time in telling Ragnar’s story that yes in some sense, it has become the adventures of Ragnar rather than the story of the Vikings. Fans are now so invested in that particular story that it will be extremely difficult for Hirst to make the transition needed to tell the rest of the stories.

Last Kingdom official artwork

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/last-kingdom-update/

I know that Hirst is trying to present us with an overall story of the Viking era and so far he has done well with it. I just feel like he may be stretching the limits and the story too far beyond the realms of plausibility, thereby removing the historical accuracy context and putting it into the realm of fantasy.  This move could result in many of those who watch it for it’s historical value to give up on it. Those who want something with a bit more of historical context or accuracy may find themselves drawn into the BBC America production of Last Kingdom. As I already suggested, if the production sticks close to Cornwell’s story, they will see what might be a more historically accurate portrayal of the events taking place in England during the battle between the Great Heathen armies and Alfred. They will also see a more condensed story of just one area, England, during that time frame rather than Hirst’s epic attempt to cover the entire scope of what was happening. For many viewers this may be preferable to  keep track of than the many stories that Hirst is trying to tell with the Vikings saga.

Cornwell’s version of the events of that time frame also have an advantage for those who want more historical accuracy in that he presents us with a fictional character from the start and weaves this character Uhtred of Bebbanberg into the events unfolding during that time. He does alter some timelines as necessary to fit Uhtred into the events but overall he makes every attempt to present the events and historical figures in ways that do not change or alter the actual history so much. He remains for the most part, well within the boundaries of historical fiction and does not veer off nearly so much into the alternate version of history that becomes more fantasy than history. And, to Cornwell’s credit, he gives excellent historical references in the author’s notes that are included in his books. Granted, you will not get those notes when watching the show but my suggestion would be… Read his books! Once the show begins in October, I will also attempt to sort it all out for you.  I am a huge fan of Cornwell’s version of this history so I am already drawn to it, looking forward to seeing it and praying that will not disappoint me!

As for our Vikings, as I’ve stated, I am a loyal fan with some concerns about the future. I will be waiting along with everyone else to see how this next season plays out as to it’s historical content and accuracy. Here is a list of things that I am hoping to see in this next season as far as it pertains to that history.

Rollo's destiny

Yes, Rollo will have to betray his Viking roots in some way in order to succeed at his goal of a great destiny in Normandy. Hirst and others have mentioned numerous times a final confrontation between him and Ragnar, along with another possible conquest of Paris where Bjorn may be put in a position of having to negotiate terms with Rollo despite his feelings that Rollo has betrayed them. My hope is that this negotiation includes some reflection or representation of  how Normandy eventually came to be on the side of the Vikings allowing them access to the Seine waterway to England, thereby eliminating their need to continuously raid Frankish settlements. Normandy and the Vikings benefited from this arrangement as Normandy received a share of the profits that those Vikings carried out of England. I want to see Rollo’s story of success and his legacy passed on to his two children.

you betrayed my love of you

you betrayed my love of you

Ragnar needs to return to England yes, he eventually needs to die there one way or another whether it be by the more traditional well known version of a snake pit and King Aelle, or by some other means. Most accounts would suggest it is by Aelle’s hand and as he already has his snake pit prepared, I can not see any other reason to include that snake pit other than as a pre-cursor to Ragnar’s death.  I think too that in order to get to the next generation some time soon, there will need to be another time jump somewhere in the next season… possibly toward the end as the finale? I can see that finale including Ragnar’s death and leading into the next season as being that of the next generation. With that in mind, Hirst needs to focus on tying up many of these current storylines in order to move on to that next generation!

Bjorn:  I order the arrest of Floki

Bjorn: I order the arrest of Floki

Bjorn needs to come fully into his own identity and his own story during this next season… One that does not necessarily involve him remaining connected to Ragnar or Kattegat. Historically, Bjorn Ironside seemed to have followed a separate path to his destiny as a King that was not tied to Ragnar.

kalf and lagertha

I want to know more about Kalf, what his back story is, what his future is… it feels to me like he is bound for some greatness of his own. Whether that greatness includes Lagertha remains to be seen. Since these both are more or less fictional/ legendary characters, Hirst should feel free to tell their story as he sees fit- I don’t have a problem with doing what you choose to or for fictional creations! It would be interesting to see if he in any way represents or has a character foundation based on some real historical figure…

no tears from torvi she is resolute she is viking

I want to know more about Torvi’s past, her back story. For some reason, I think it will become an important factor somewhere in the future? She may be a fictional character but I feel like she represents or may be based on someone of importance in Viking history. I want to know more of her story and that of the deceased Jarl Borg.  I think their son is more important than we realize yet.  As for her current husband, Erlandeur, my only thought is as always…why the Hell is he even still alive? Why has someone not killed him in secret already???

athelstan's punishment begins

Floki, ahhh Floki needs to escape, find his own safety and what ever destiny awaits him far far away from Ragnar… I’ll just leave it at that.

judith holds her own in this game of power

That pretty much leaves us with the events in England. Hirst needs to tie up all of the loose ends here and prepare the kingdoms and their residents for the future onslaught that will come from the Viking armies. Loose ends such as Kweni in Mercia with her son, Magnus who Hirst hints will be so important to the future storyline, loose ends such as Ecbert and his desire to take control of Mercia and then Northumbria allowing him to be supreme ruler of all the kingdoms, loose ends such as his son Athelwulf who is beginning to have plans of his own that may not include listening to Daddy Dearest, loose ends such as Judith who is caught in the middle right now between Father and son.  Hirst needs to put this all together, and wrap it up with some slight nod to actual history if that’s possible so that we can move on to next chapters of this Saga and begin to see more history without having to dig quite so hard for it.  I do not mind the treasure hunt for those factual bits, but at some point I would like to see it much closer to the surface rather than buried beneath so many layers of the story.

So, after all of these thoughts and commentary, the question remains… Is the Vikings Saga historical fiction or historical fantasy and does it really make a difference as long as it’s a good story? My personal thought is that at this point in it’s evolution, it falls more into the historical fantasy realm than into historical fiction. Despite all of Hirst’s assurances to the contrary and his insistence on it’s historical accuracies, I feel that he has taken too many liberties with the timeline and the historical characters involved for it to be taken too seriously in the historical context. He may have used historical documents and accounts as a starting point or basis but he has taken so much creative license with them that they are no longer clearly recognizable which takes away from the historical validity of the events. The only difference this makes is in the way we as viewers should watch it. It is an excellent story and for that reason, you should watch it for the story it tells- you should not take it at face value for any of it’s historical value but perhaps rather watch it as enjoyable historical fantasy… then please take some time to do your own research on the history of that time period! I will as always make my own attempt to help in that regard by sharing the results of my historical treasure hunting for well hidden or buried details!

 

 

 

 

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: People’s Choice Awards

 

Sam and Cait for people's choice awardBefore I take off on my Viking adventure, I just want to add my Congrats to Outlander on their win of the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable  Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Show!!! THE hit Scottish-set US show beat The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and American Horror Story to win the fan voted award. Wow! What a huge accomplishment for this show, to beat out Walking Dead and Game of Thrones along with Doctor Who, all in their first half season on the air! Of course, all of  the dedicated fans of the show made this win possible, so a huge round of applause and gratitude to all of those who so diligently kept up with the voting process to get the show this recognition and credit it well deserves!

Hopefully this award will bring the show an even broader audience than it already has! I hope too that the recognition will spur more interest in reading the Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon that the show is based on. I have already sung my praises and appreciation for Diana’s work in all of my posts here regarding the book and the show so I am not going to repeat it… If you follow and read this blog, you already know what a huge fan I am of  Outlander!

What I do want to mention here is the continuing on going debate over the category of Diana’s work? I also want to address once again, the debate on the criticisms of  historical fiction and it’s worthiness of acceptance or acclaim as far as history in accuracy and authenticity go. 

First of all, let’s review quickly the debate over what category Diana’s work should be placed in. Some people were and are upset, annoyed or confused about where her books and of course, the show, fits into various categories?  I know that we have discussed all of this previously so this is basically a repeat of that early discussion.  Diana herself has often repeated and clarified that she does not consider her work as “historical romance” and does not want that label attached to it.  It was not intended to be a romance in those terms, and anyone who reads or watches for that specific reason may be disappointed or dissatisfied with the outcomes.  Yes, there is a love story involved, a difficult and turbulent love and life story of two people… but it so much more than that. To label it as a love story- a romance, I feel, discredits the importance and value of the overall story. The story  involves an in depth and intense walk through history and all of it’s harshest realities. There is nothing left sugar coated or softened for our sensibilities in this work, and hopefully the show will continue on that route. There are times when it is an incredibly dark and difficult read, and I believe that Ron Moore will continue to reflect this with the show. Some readers never get past book 3 or 4 because of this highly detailed and graphic portrayal of the past, and the fact that it becomes more about life in general during those times than just a love story between Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall Fraser. Already, many viewers of the show are complaining that they want more of  Jamie and Claire… they want this epic love story, I think, without all of the other integral parts that encompass that story.  It is my personal opinion that you can not have one without the other! It is all of those harsh details of life that make up the fabric of Jamie and Claire, that define their character and their identities as well as their choices in the future.  So, it’s not really a romance, nor is it just historical in it’s content. It twists and bends from past to future and back again, and it does involve the aspect of time travel in order to do that. That puts it right into the Sci-fi fantasy realm!

Now, as to it’s worthiness or credibility in reference to historical accuracy. Diana Gabaldon has woven so much historical accuracy into this series that it is often hard to tell the accurate history from her well woven imaginative bending of that accuracy! One of the criticisms from readers of her books is that she provides too much in depth detail of those historical events! As I mentioned previously, they often times just want the epic and grand story of Jamie and Claire- they want nothing else to distract or sway from that one portion of the story. Once again, I make the point that this is so much more and so far beyond just a love story of Jamie and Claire! As I became involved in this series, Jamie and Claire became almost secondary to the larger scope of the story. They became simply, the vehicles, mechanisms or tools that Diana uses to tell this story of history and all that it encompasses. I did not pick up the book originally for it’s romance value, but for it’s historical value, what ever that might be. I do not watch the show for it’s romance value either and in both cases, I am not disappointed. I am thoroughly impressed with the historical content, with it’s ability to lead me down paths that were previously unknown. The series leads you down those paths and yet leaves you with an intense curiosity to find out more about those events and time periods which are covered in it! Does Diana at times bend the facts or adjust them to fit her story?  Yes, of course she does, that is why it is called historical fiction! It is up to the reader to discern those facts or inaccuracies and search for more information on their own. In my personal opinion, that is the mark of a quality historical fiction novel! One that gives you an excellent story, provides you with enough accurate and authentic history but yet leaves you with a feeling of wanting to know so much more about the person, the event or the time that you head off on your own search for knowledge. Diana has done this in such an excellent manner, as many of her fans will attest to. I believe that Ron Moore is doing for and with the show, what Diana has accomplished with the books, spurring an interest in the real history of that time period. For that, they both deserve a huge round of applause and appreciation from historians and academics as well as the general viewing audience and fans of the books!

http://www.scotlandnow.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/outlander-wins-favorite-cable-sci-fifantasy-4940894

Ohhhh  just one more thought and personal opinion from me before I leave… Yes, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan looked  wonderful! They deserve their fair share of credit and applause for bringing the characters of Jamie and Claire to life so well. For me though, it is not so much about Sam and Cait, their personal lives or their oft mentioned celebrity status, it is about the characters they portray in such well done performances that I do not see Sam and Cait at all in them while they are on screen! In fact, when I see Sam in Cait in real life, I feel like I am seeing two completely different people with whom I have difficulty connecting? This comment and observation includes most or all of the cast members, which is a high praise indeed, when you think about it. The fact that they are so capable of totally immersing themselves in the characters says a great deal about their acting abilities as well as the quality of writing and directing on the show!

 

 

2014 in review, A good year for Outlander!

 

The WordPress helper Monkeys have helped me out, crunched my numbers and provided us with an end of year review. I just thought I would share with all of you who have helped make it a great year here!

If you’ve missed some of the posts, I’ll give you a quick run down of our greatest highlights…

The winner for the year is Rhenish Wine!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/outlander-why-is-their-rhenish-wine-not-white/

In second place came Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser and her history! Well done Claire, you’ve come in second only to alcohol… you should be please with yourself!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/history-of-claire-elizabeth-beauchamp/

Claire Elizabeth BeauchampClaire a lady2

Coming in third…Ahhh  Frank, you should be used it by now?

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/frank-randall-3-mysteries-and-secrets/

Fourth place went to the Sims4 content which was highly anticipated, debated and discussed but led to much let down, at least on my part…

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/sims4-mods-and-custom-content/

 

As you might be noticing, it was pretty much a clean sweep in the ratings by the Outlander group? Not one to be outdone or left out, the witchly Geillis Duncan took the number 5 spot!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/geillis-duncan-the-beginnings-of-madness/

gillian and the stones3

I want to give a huge round of praise and applause to the number 6 spot for the year because it goes to one of our Outlander fans.  Belinda Apps and her original song, Sassenach Ode to Claire made to number 6 on our highlights!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/outlander-sassenach-ode-to-claire/

 

 

 

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

history of Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp!

Spoiler Alert: Please be advised that as with all of my Outlander articles, this article contains information  from all of the books!

 

I was going to wait with this case but a number of people have recently brought up the question and the puzzle of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser’s history and ancestry, so I have decided to provide some sort of answer. I am not going to delve into any of her recent history, her character analysis or anything like that. That information is all readily available if one reads all of the Outlander books and or watches the Outlander series! What I will try to do is piece together various bits of information provided by Diana Gabaldon in her Outlandish Companion 1 book. I will use that information to go a bit further back in tracing Claire’s known ancestry. Hopefully by the time we are finished, we might have a better understanding…or not…of her history. What we will probably end up with is even more questions!

Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp

 

 

  When I read through the Outlandish Companion, I found it fascinating how Diana wove her characters so deftly into real family lineages and ancestries, finding some small window of  opportunity to fit them seamlessly into the fabric of each line.  For more information on her detailed research on this aspect, I highly suggest that you read her Companion book! This first edition contains information on the books up through Drums of Autumn.

Outlandish Companion

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/the-outlandish-companion-vol-1/

I am so happy to share too that she is working on  a Companion II which is rumored to be available some time next spring.

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/the-outlandish-companion-vol-ii/

 

Now, back to Claire’s history and what I found so interesting about it? Without reading Outlandish Companion, most of us would assume that Claire’s ancestry or lineage is unknown but that is really not the case. Claire is most likely unaware of it because she was raised by her mysterious uncle Lamb, who died before he could share her ancestry with her.  As I read through her short family lineage, I was struck by two things in particular. first of course, was the fact that she had a detailed family history at all and that it was more English than French? I assumed that there would be more of  an obvious French connection or tie in because of the surname and because of events in the books that seem to tie her in some way to a French history. That may indeed come at some point in the future, but for now, I must work with the information available to me.  The second thing that sparked my personal interest was a reference in the Companion’s history of her to Richard III, King of England.

Excerpt from Diana Gabaldon's Outlandish Companion

Excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlandish Companion

 

 

For those of you who do not know anything about Richard III, You can find basic information on him here

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

He is probably most famous for the way in which he managed to become King after his brother Edward’s death, and of course his involvement in the disappearance of the Princes in the tower.  Much of  the earlier portions of my ongoing story revolve around this mystery and those involved in it. I used it as a taking off point for part of my time travels with the early Royals.

There is a great little book about the mystery and the suspects, which you can read a preview of here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19055218-cold-case-reopened

Cold case Princes of the tower

It is one of the most famous or infamous unsolved mysteries still waiting for some answer!  I was so intrigued by it that I could not resist weaving it and all of the suspects into my story line. Now, in my story Richard made a secret pact with the Vampyre faction, who knew of a way to spirit the boys away but not kill them outright. In this way, Richard was able to honestly say that he had no hand in killing the boys and had no idea what happened to them. You can read some of my story about the Tower mystery starting here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/eleanors-journal-entries-46-the-tower-mystery-part-2/

 

Now, you might see why I was so intrigued by the mention of Richard III and the boys in the tower in Claire’s family history!

 

As I mentioned previously, we assume that Claire’s past family history is unremarkable, mundane and not all that interesting or worthy of comment… We also assume that Claire is just plain Claire Beauchamp with no ties or connections to nobility or rank.  Whereas Jamie can trace his family ancestry far back, holds a title of Laird in his own right, Claire is just Claire, an average everyday commoner from the 20th century. She has no idea and probably doesn’t really care about what her Uncle Quentin Lambert Beauchamp was working on at the time of his death.  Now, from what little we know about Uncle Lamb, I find it a bit odd that he would care about this ancestry and title either? For some reason though, he was interested in seeing it restored, maybe it was his way of  giving Claire her family identity and rightful title. Perhaps he thought that with her marriage to Frank Randall, this history and title would have some meaning, value and importance in her future or the future of her offspring.

Quentin Lambert Beauchamp was a noted archaeologist and historian who spent much of his time traveling the world at various ancient locations. His interests were more of ancient ruins and history than in more recent things such as British Peerage and lost titles? He raised Claire after her parents’ deaths in a car accident and did not share any important family history or information with Claire while she was growing up. Maybe he thought, as many of us do, that there was plenty of time ahead for that.

Lambert Quentin Beauchamp Claire's uncle young Claire

Growing up with Uncle Lamb, Claire lived a highly unconventional life that would hardly suit her for the blue blooded life of nobility or landed gentry even of the 1940s. When she met and married Frank Randall, a well respected Historian with an interest in the more recent British history, her unconventional bohemian lifestyle would have to change. He was a part of that more upper class refined gentry and would have found Claire’s ancestry and lineage of great interest. Claire met Frank while he was working with Uncle Lamb on some ancient French Philosophy work, so apparently Uncle Lamb and Frank were colleagues and probably friends. As far as we know, Lamb did not share Claire’s family ancestry with Frank- if he did, it has never been mentioned.

Let us get back to Claire and that mysterious family ancestry… We can assume at this time that, at the time of his death Uncle Lamb was working on having the extinct title of Lord St. Amand restored and as his heir, Claire would thereby be heir presumptive to the title, making her Lady St. Amand. So, unbeknownst to Claire or anyone else at the time, she really was a Noble Lady of high rank and standing! Will this fact ever come into play at some later point, and is there any significance to it? We will have to wait and see if this has any importance at a much later time.

This is a copy of the very basic family tree for Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp.

Beauchamp family tree

excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlandish Companion

Claire Beauchamp was born to Henry Beauchamp and Julia Moriston on 20 October 1918. Her parents died in a car accident when she was only five, and Claire was adopted by her uncle, Quentin Lambert Beauchamp, an archaeologist and historian whose work took him all over the globe. He attempted to enroll her at an English boarding school, but she stubbornly refused to attend.

“Faced with the necessity of prying my chubby fingers off the car’s door handle and dragging me by the
heels up the steps of the school, Uncle Lamb, who hated personal conflict of any kind, had sighed in
exasperation, then finally shrugged and tossed his better judgment out the window along with my newly purchased round straw boater.” – Claire, Outlander (Chapter One)

Claire consequently spent her childhood traveling the world with her uncle while he worked, becoming accustomed to fairly primitive conditions. She later claims that her first kiss was at the age of eight, in Egypt with the dragoman’s nine-year-old son.

Claire’s Marriage to Frank

Claire met Frank Randall, a historian, when he came to consult her uncle about his work. They were soon married, and spent a brief two-day honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, followed by only a few months together before the outbreak of World War II. Claire and Frank were separated for most of the war. Frank trained as an officer in MI-6, and Claire as a nurse. Both served their country in their respective roles for the duration of the war. Once the war was over, Claire and Frank, reunited, decided to go on a second honeymoon in Scotland to reestablish their marriage in 1946. They stayed at Mrs. Baird’s bed-and-breakfast in Inverness, a city in the Scottish Highlands situated near an ancient stone circle called Craigh na Dun.

These are the basics of Claire’s ancestry that we are aware of right now. I mentioned earlier, and Claire had thoughts on it as well, that her family lineage must go back to France in some way due to her surname? Well, yes it does… but it is extremely far back!

Claire Beauchamp1

excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlandish Companion

Her earliest documented ancestor was one Hugh De Beauchamp, who was originally from Normandy, arrived in England with William the Conqueror, was of course loyal to William and was well rewarded for it.

http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Beauchamp-115

Biography

Amongst the most eminent Normal families in the train of the Conqueror was that of Beauchamp, and amongst those that shared most liberally in the spoils of the conquest was Hugh de Beauchamp, the companion in arms of the victorious Norman, who obtained grants to a very great extent from his triumphant chief, as he appears at the general survey to be possessed of large estates in Hertford, Buckingham, and Bedfordshires, was the founder of this illustrious house in England. This Hugh had issue, Simon, who d. s. p.; Payne, ancestor of the Beauchamps of Bedford, that barony having been conferred upon him by William Rufus; Walter, but some doubts have been thrown upon the question of his having been son of Hugh, Sir H Nicholas stating him to have been “supposed of the same family”; Milo, of Eaton, co. Bedford; Adeline, m. to Walter le Espec, Lord of Kirkham and Helmesley, co. of York.

So, in the beginnings of Outlander when Claire used her maiden name and came up with the “plausible” story that she was on her way to relatives in France…She may have had some but it would have required quite a jump through the Stones to go far enough back to find them!

You can follow the descendant branches of Hugh De Beauchamp on the above link if you are interested in tracing the genealogy further- as with all family trees it gets highly confusing at times!

For our purposes, we are going to jump ahead in the genealogy to  Richard Beauchamp/St. Amand 1453-1508. He went by St. Amand as that title was bestowed upon his Father, William Beauchamp when he married Elizabeth de Braybrook St. Amand.

Richard St. Amand

http://www.geni.com/people/Richard-St-Amand/6000000011687004545

William Beauchamp St. Amand

http://www.geni.com/people/William-Beauchamp-St-Amand/6000000011686883011

Elizabeth de Braybrook St. Amand

http://www.geni.com/people/Elizabeth-St-Amand/6000000011687307453

Richard St. Amand had only one child, and illegitimate son, Anthony St. Amand.

Richard, 6th Baron Beauchamp De Saint-Amand of Wilts, England was 3 1/2 when his father William died and 38 when his mother died. He was convicted by the “Act of 1484”, but soon pardoned. He was made a Knight of King Henry VII about 1485, perhaps during the coronation. He received a grant of property forfeited by his stepfather, Roger in March of 1485. Richard was appointed Keeper of Blackmore Forest, Wilts, as “Sir Richard Beauchamp” in 1486. In 1488, he was commissioner of Musters in Wilts and in 1501 he was an officer supervising the official welcome of Katherine of Aragon. In 1504 “Richard Beauchamp, Knight, Lord St-Amand” served as Steward of Malborough, Wilts. he had no children by Dame Anne but did have a “natural son”, Anthony, by his lover, Mary Wroughton about 1470. He made his last will and testament on June 14, 1508 and died in July 1508. Some probate papers spell his name “Lord Seynatamand”. He was interred in the Black Friers’ Church near Ludgate, within the City of London.

With Richard’s death the Amand title would be extinct as he had no legal heirs to it? His son, Anthony St. Amand was illegitimate so would not be in line to inherit the title or the lands that went with it.

http://www.geni.com/people/Anthony-St-Amand/6000000011687256217

Uncle Lamb however was able to prove however that an heir or heiress did exist but was covered up by the family in their attempts to avoid much unwanted scandal at the time. He found some long hidden evidence of Anthony having married a relative of the family.

Excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlandish Companion

 

What is interesting to note here is Anthony’s biography? It states that eventually after his death, the family left for France… So, in reality or retrospect, Claire did have more recent family connections in France but she would not necessarily have found them by searching for Beauchamps, but rather St. Amands!

Are you thoroughly bewildered and confused yet? Yes, researching one’s genealogy does have a way doing that! This small portion Claire’s genealogy does not even touch on what possible other connections she has to say, far more ancient times in France, or how the Beauchamp name might link her to others in the story? Then, of course there is the mysterious link or genetically inherited connection she has to other time travelers through out the story. 

Outlander ship

One of those is the strange Master Raymond, whom she meets when she and Jamie are living in France. A more in depth investigation of Master Raymond and his mysteries will be coming in the future!

Another one is the “Witch” Geillis Duncan, who mistakenly believes she is a witch because of her ability to travel through the Stones.

gillian and the stones3

For an in depth look at Geillis Duncan, you can read the following articles

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/geillis-duncan-the-beginnings-of-madness/

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/geillis-duncan-the-witch-within-comes-out/

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/geillis-duncan-unraveling-her-web/

 

Besides these two key time travelers, there are a number of others who are interconnected in some way by their inherited abilities which is directly dependent on their genealogy. Some of those of course are Claire’s daughter, Bree and Bree’s husband Roger. Roger is a descendent of Geillis Duncan so we would assume that is where he inherited the genetic trait from? But, as many of us are well aware of… Never assume anything with Diana Gabaldon.  Diana creates so many twists and turns that all we can really do is make a half educated guess as to the direction she might go!

Two remaining people of interest in all of this web of genealogy and connections are the Comte St. Germain and one other suspicious and rather obscure person of interest. We have previously touched on St. Germain’s connections in our investigation of Geillis Duncan, and he will most likely come up again in our future investigation of Master Raymond. 

It  might interest you to know that as with so many of Diana’s characters, the Comte St. Germain was a real person with interests in the Occult?

le_comte_de_saint_germain

comte st. germain2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Count_of_St._Germain

 

You can find additional information concerning him and his connection in the Novella, The Space Between. The other person of some suspicion is a man by the name of Percy Beauchamp. He comes into the forefront in My Own Heart’s Blood with his own secretive agenda, of which we are still not quite certain of other than his search for Fergus. His story and connections are not exactly clear. He was a step brother to Lord John Grey, as well as having a more personal relationship with him. Beauchamp is the surname of his wife’s family in France? He is in search of Fergus because he believes that Fergus is a missing heir to that family… So, that would put Fergus with some sort of hypothetical connection to Claire?  At this point we have always considered Fergus as an orphaned waif that Jamie rescued, raised and treated as a son. There is as yet no connection or mention of Fergus knowing anything about the secrets of Claire’s identity or her abilities.  As far as we know, Fergus displays none of his own abilities in such a way but then again, as far as we’re aware, he’s most likely never been near to any Stone Circles or ancient places that might trigger his ability?  One clue about his genealogy or his genetics and their connection to any of these travelers comes with the birth of his younger son. His younger son, Henri-Christian is a dwarf. Now, while this may not appear on the surface as anything significant, we need to look at some evidence or facts surrounding dwarfism. In many cases, it is an inherited gene.

Types

  • Not all forms of dwarfism are caused by genetic disorders. Dwarfism can result from insufficient growth-hormone production, a low-functioning pituitary gland or other deficiencies in the endocrine system. One of the most common forms of dwarfism is achondroplasia: This is an inheritable disorder that affects the formation of cartilage in the long bones of the body. About 70 percent of dwarfism is achondroplastic. A person with achondroplastic dwarfism has a normal-sized head and trunk but disproportionately sized limbs.

Inheritance

  • There are 46 chromosomes in the human genome. Chromosomes are arranged in 23 pairs; each pair contains duplicate genes or alleles that code for a specific trait, like eye color or hair texture. The first 22 pairs of chromosomes are called autosomes. The last pair contains the sex chromosomes—X or Y—and determines the sex of the individual. Achondroplastic dwarfism is inherited in an autosomal-dominant pattern; in this case, “dominance” is just a term that describes a pattern of inheritance in which one gene can suppress the expression of the other in the allelic pair. This means that one achondroplastic dwarfism gene is enough to cause the disorder

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/about_6322434_inheritance-dwarfism_.html

 

There is much mention of Master Raymond being a dwarf, and if you read the Space Between, there is much discussion there of Dwarf families or sects in Paris during the times when Master Raymond and Comte St. Germain  were living there.  Once you put these bits and pieces together, it seems quite plausible or possible that although Fergus himself did show any sign of dwarfism, he may have carried the gene for it, passing it down to his son. If you follow along those lines, it also gives you cause to hypothesize or guess that there is some possible genetic link between Fergus and Master Raymond or his many descendents.  Those thoughts and speculations, however will be followed up at some later point in our investigation of Master Raymond.

 

For now, we are only concerning ourselves with Claire’s ancestry and genealogy as we know of it.  With that being said, I think we have covered as much of it as we can at this time!

 

So, in conclusion to our study of Claire’s ancestry and lineage, I would like to now introduce her with the title which her Uncle Lamb was working so hard to restore for her?

Claire Baroness St Amand Claire a lady2

 

 

The Title that he was working on having restored was the Baron of St. Amand. After his death, Claire would become Baroness or Lady St. Amand. You may feel free to address her as either, but please do remember that she is indeed a Lady in her own right, rank and blood!

Ohhhhh, one last small detail or question…. In my search of all things Beauchamp, I ran across this Grimoire, labeled the Beauchamp Grimoire?  Just a random musing on which of her ancestors might have owned such a thing? 

A grimoire /ɡrɪmˈwɑr/ is a textbook of magic. Such books typically include instructions on how to create magical objects like talismans and amulets, how to perform magical spells, charms and divination and also how to summon or invoke supernatural entities such as angels, spirits, and demons.  In many cases, the books themselves are also believed to be imbued with magical powers, though in many cultures, other sacred texts that are not grimoires, such as the Bible, have also been believed to have supernatural properties intrinsically; in this manner while all books on magic could be thought of as grimoires, not all magical books should.

While the term grimoire is originally European and many Europeans throughout history, particularly ceremonial magicians and cunning folk, have made use of grimoires, the historian Owen Davies noted that similar books can be found all across the world, ranging from Jamaica to Sumatra, and he also noted that the first grimoires could be found not only in Europe but in the Ancient Near East.

Beauchamp grimoire

Beauchamp grimoire

Ohhhhh My Goodness, I forgot to include another piece of Claire’s Ancestry!

Some of Claire's ancestors, Thoma De Beauchamp Earl of Warwick with wife Katherine Mortimer.

Some of Claire’s ancestors, Thoma De Beauchamp Earl of Warwick with wife Katherine Mortimer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geillis Duncan: Unraveling her web

My usual warning: This article contains spoilers from all of the Outlander series books including the novella, The Space Between! I have tried to limit all information to that which specifically pertains to Gillian Edgars or Geillis Duncan.  I have also included my own personal speculations and thoughts which may or may not be accurate. They are only my personal thoughts on direction of story, characters or still unanswered questions about events and people!

 

Previous Geillis post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/geillis-duncan-the-witch-within-comes-out/

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You may have noticed that I have chosen not to sit down with Geillis/Gillian and do this interview on a one to one basis as I did with Frank Randall… Can you really blame me?  I am sorry but I  could not bring myself to sit down with the woman, even though I’ve heard that she can be perfectly charming and quite friendly.  I just did not feel comfortable with the idea and the possibility that she might perceive my inquiries as some sort of threat. As we’ve noted previously, she does not kill or curse indiscriminately and if she feels you pose no potential threat to her agenda, she most likely would not bother with you. But, if she felt for some reason that I might present her in a bad light…really, what other light is there to present her in? Anyway, if she felt that my interview or questions would cast any doubt or suspicion upon her, I am reasonably sure that she would have no qualms about harming me!

lottie verbeek

So, because of this I have decided instead, to continue on my investigation of her from a distance! It has taken a great deal of  detective work to trace her activities and her trail but I believe I have finally managed to piece together her travels, her various victims and her ultimate demise. In previous posts, we’ve mentioned some of her early travel and arrival into the past briefly. In this post, we will examine that again as part of documenting her trail, her behaviors and the unfortunate results of her actions. 

Geillis has been referred to by some as a Black Widow… as in the spider that kills her mates- The prevalence of sexual cannibalism, a behaviour in which the female eats the male after mating, in some species of Latrodectus has inspired the common name  “widow spiders”.   Research at the University of Hamburg  in Germany suggests this ultimate sacrifice strategy has evolved to promote the survival odds of the offspring; however females of some species only rarely show this behavior, and much of the documented evidence for mate cannibalism has been observed in laboratory cages where the males could not escape. I have to conclude after my thorough investigation of Geillis, that she would indeed fall into that rare category of one who kills their mates!

Geillis black widow

Let’s start back at the beginning again as a bit of a refresher? We know that she went through the Standing Stones at crag na dun at Beltaine in 1968. She was observed setting her husband, Greg Edgars, on fire and going through the Stones by Claire, Bree and Roger.

standing stonesgillian goes through the stones

She arrived some time shortly before 1739, and the first trace of her we find is her arrival in the rural area outside of Cranesmuir, where she was presumably already married to a man by the name of Isbister? She went by the name of Geillis Isbister.  Her husband quickly and suspiciously died around Samhain of  1739, shortly before Roger and his ancestor relative Buck arrived in the area. They were staying with the MacClaren family at the time and Mr. MacClaren told them the story of how this odd couple had shown up and taken residence in a remote croft on the hill. She was a healer and people did go to her. For some reason though, women stopped going to her and her clientele was only men? After Samhain, her husband’s body was found hanging near the burned out croft and Geillis had disappeared. Naturally, the neighbors were suspicious of some evil there? It was at this time that one Dougal MacKenzie showed up at the MacClaren residence during his quarterly rent collection. He was told of the event at the croft and the mysterious disappearance of the woman? Dougal assured the MacClarens that he would look into the situation. He was gracious and thoughtful enough to provide Buck and Roger with horses to continue their search for Jem.

 

38ea6309de30d6c3e54f890e1f7d28b5

Roger’s thoughts on meeting his ancestor, Dougal MacKenzie in My Own Heart’s Blood.

Roger and Buck meet Dougal2 moby

During this time Buck was very ill and a healer was sent to tend to him. This healer was another time traveler by the name of  Hectar McKewan, it was discovered, knew Geillis Isbister quite well!  He took Roger and Buck to Cranesmuir to find her. There was some discussion between Roger and McKewan about the time traveling and Geillis being one of them. Well, certainly she was a time traveler but McKewan stated that she was not the same as him. Yes, she was a an exceptional healer, but she could not heal in the way that he could with the blue aura and such?

McEwan talks of Geillis being one of us2

 

Now, some important things to note here: Geillis obviously moves very quickly to replace her dead husbands…probably having the next ones lined up ahead of time?  She seemed to find Mr. Isbister quickly after arriving in that time, and must have immediately moved on to Arthur Duncan because she was already married to him by the time that Roger and Buck found her in Cranesmuir. 

Outlander-103-Exclusive-Lotte-Verbeek-as-Geillis-Duncan-and-John-Sessions-as-Arthur-Duncan-

Another interesting note: It has been questioned whether Geillis knew of Claire Randall before Claire showed up at Castle Leoch… The supposition has been that she did not? At least she never made any admission or acted like she did. Her only reaction was that of wondering what Claire was at the time. We have, however,  found evidence contrary to this. In going through Geillis’ extensive notes and case studies on disappearances and deaths near Stones, we found her reference to one Claire Randall.  Geillis did know of Claire’s disappearance through the Stones at Crag na dun but Claire was going by the name of Claire Beauchamp when Geillis met her so possibly she would not have been suspicious at first? But, after knowing Claire for a while, she was more curious and suspicious of her behaviors. Might she have been making her own hypothesis in her mind? She knew of the theory of time travel approximation of about 200 years, knew that Claire Randall had went through at Crag na dun in 1945, so she would have expected to maybe hear of some odd person showing up in this local area around that time… This brings us to another pondering thought? Could she have went back with some thought or assumption that she might one Claire Randall? Now, I know that is a long shot assumption with no real definitive proof to back it up but it is something to think about?

 

Geillis did know of Claire Randall disappearing

The last important thing to note here is Geillis’ strange power of attracting men to her? Hectar McKewan makes mention of how men seem to be entranced and attracted to her.

McEwan comments on men being attracted to Geillis

Her own son, Buck is oddly attracted and tempted by her even with knowing she is his Mother! And, knowing full well what she is and is capable of, both McKewan and Buck conveniently make excuses to be away one evening. This leads Bree and Roger have a rather disturbing and disgusting thought of them both going to find Geillis?

Bree reminds Roger of how Geillis husband dies

Buck had another thought about the whole situation as well. He did ponder the idea of having been responsible for his own conception?

Buck ponders what if

 

We have examined Geillis’  arrival and her early days at Cranesmuir. We already know about her meeting Claire and her eventually being accused of witchcraft.  You can refresh your memory here:

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/geillis-duncan-the-witch-within-comes-out/

Before we move on to her life in France, we should address an interesting and intriguing fact that connects her to France prior to Dougal’s taking her there?

On one of Claire’s visits to Geillis, she finds a book that ties Geillis directly to Witchcraft and to one other person?

Grimoire D'le  Comte St. Germain

Grimoire D’le
Comte St. Germain

Claire knows exactly what a Grimoire is and confronts Geillis on it.

geillis had grimoire of Comte St. Germaine

                                                                                              ——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Life in France

Now, we move on to what little we know of Geillis’ life in France? Details of that time are limited and sketchy at best. The details we do know of were told after the fact by both Geillis and by the Comte St. Germain. To find out more about Comte St. Gemain, and about Master Raymond, you would be well advised to read The Space Between, a novella by Diana Gabaldon.

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/short-fiction/the-space-between/

We know that she threatened Dougal into helping her escape to France after the Witch trial. We also know that at some point while there, she had a relationship with Comte St Germain. She also mentions at a later point that she has had five husbands? We know of Edgars,  Arthur Duncan, and her last one- Barnabus Abarnathy. That would make three- we can not be sure whether that first man was actually her husband- so I suppose we should leave him out of the count for the time being. None the less, that would leave at two husbands who met their untimely demise at her hands, presumably in France?

Our questions concerning her time in France revolve around how much Dougal might have actually knew about  her acquaintances and her activities,  her relationship with St. Germain and when it started, and what on going  involvement she may have had with events surrounding Culloden and afterwards?

When Dougal meets Claire in Paris, he knows of the Comte St Germain and his questionable activities… he insists that he’s heard about the man in local taverns? Given his involvement with Geillis, I find that story a bit lame even for Dougal! Geillis explains to Claire when they meet later that she took the name of Melisande Robicheaux and kept it because Dougal had given it to her and she was fond of it!  Claire mentions knowing of Melisande Robicheaux and her somewhat iffy reputation but makes no reference to St. Germain…  Apparently, she had forgotten about seeing his Grimoire in Geillis’ possession all those years before? But, to Claire’s credit, she did have a lot other pressing things on her mind at the time!

geillis recalls melisande

  For me, the nagging question now is when did he give her this name? She had been siphoning off Arthur’s money for some time to put towards the cause… What else might she have been doing to aid the cause?  The fact that she was in possession of Comte St. Germain’s Grimoire before ever going to France leads us to assume that she did know of him, had some contact with him prior to France? So, her decision to escape to France apparently was for more than one reason.   She must have had some reason or plan for choosing France as her destination.

This brings us to Comte St. Germain’s recollections of his involvement with one Melisande Robicheaux. In 1779, he is Paris on some other mission and remembering his relationship with Melisande.

Comte St Germain mentions Melisande and Master Raymond

He also speaks of a physical relationship with Melisande and was suddenly panic sticken, slightly revolted then relieved that he had not  had sex with his own daughter? Another thought did come to him, that possibly he did have sex with his grand daughter?

Germain relieved that he has not had incest with his daughter

As he recalls his relationship with Geillis, it becomes clear that she knew much more about witchcraft and other things than he did? That would lead us to ponder the thought that he was just as much caught in her web and under her control as other men were!   St. Germain really knew little about witchcraft, or about what they were?  It seemed that he relied on Melisande for his information so it seems strange that he would have had a Grimoire which she would relied on for any real or useful information? In fact, after his experience with Master Raymond in the Star room, it was Melisande who later sent him a package of  powder which she thought Master Raymond may have used?  In the attached note, she mentioned the Frog (Master Raymond) so it could be possible that she was acquainted with him or at least knew of him? It becomes apparent later that neither Geillis or St. Germain were aware of what they might really be, they just assume themselves to be some sort of Witches.

Melisande sent Germain Afile powder from Rose Hall Jamaica

In another reference to Melisande and the West Indies, St Germain’s associate, Fabienne tells of her snake leopold and west indies

python revered by voodooists

We know little else about her time in France or what else she might have been doing during that time. All we know is that some time after Culloden, she made her way to the West Indies and took up residence on the Island of Jamaica at Rose Hall.

Geillis mentions Culloden

Witch of Rose Hallhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Witch_of_Rose_Hall

White Witch of Rose Hall- Coven

It was at Rose Hall that her truest reign of terror began and ended.  You might say that Geillis had finally found her niche in the world as a Witch and possible Voodoo practitioner?  She also dealt in some Piracy, kidnapping of young boys and any number of other activities that we have no idea about and probably do not want to know? Her last husband Barnabas Abernathy died of mysterious circumstances, thereby leaving her in control of the plantation and the slaves there. She took full advantage of all it and immersed herself in continuing her “research” of  various forms of Witchcraft. By this time, she was delving deeply into the darker aspects of it such as some of the African dark magic practices and Voodoo… And, if all of that were not enough, she spent the remainder of her spare time researching such things as the Brahan Prophecy and the lineage of the Fraser Clan!

Jamie and Claire find her residing there in all of her “Glory” in the middle of her reign of terror. Her “research” includes the use of Virgin boys? She believes that certain ones  have some sort of hidden secret stone within them, one which she deems most powerful and is need of? In all honesty, I am not really certain exactly what her plans were- at that point, she was going over the edge into her madness so I don’t think even she was quite sure! She did know she needed the stones and was not successful in finding them…so she kept kidnapping boys, torturing them and killing them in the end. Jamie’s young nephew Ian was one of these boys but, fortunately for him, he was not a virgin… so she just kept him around for her own amusement and entertainment?  When Jamie and Claire went to Rose Hall, they were shocked to see that it was Geillis who was Mrs. Abarnathy, but no less surprised than she was to see them!

 They attempt to make some casual conversation with Geillis and find out how she came to be there, while also trying determine what else she knows? She rambles on about a variety of things and tells them of how Dougal helped her escape, her time in France and eventually ending up inheriting the plantation from her poor deceased husband.  She also keeps referring to an important visitor coming so she must be ready for him? There is some added discussion, Jamie offers to help with some maintenance outside so that he can search the grounds. Claire offers to assist Geillis with some things, ends up doctoring some slaves and returns to Geillis who is rummaging through papers and a box of stones. Claire realizes that the box of Stones is the Silkie treasure while Geillis goes on a long rambling discussion of  the Stone Circles and Gems Stones.

Geillis talks of stones and witchcraft

It is during this discussion that Geillis questions Claire and wants to know what they are?

geillis asks claire what are we

In Geillis’ discussion of the Stones, she mentions their properties and how the male stones are stronger. 

Male & Female Energy Crystals

The following stones are said to vibrate with male, also known as projective, energy, and are magickally appropriate for spells and rituals that repel, as well as for workings that involve God energy, males and masculinity, virility, power, success, exorcism, protection, and things of a physical or intellectual nature:

Agate (banded, black, brown or red), amber, Apache tear, aventurine, bloodstone, calcite (orange), carnelian, cat’s eye, citrine, diamond, flint, fluorite, garnet, hematite, jasper (mottled or red), lava rock, mica, obsidian, onyx, opal (black or fire), pipestone, pumice, quartz crystal ( rutilated or tourmalated), rhodochrosite, rhodonite, ruby, sard, sardonyx, serpentine, sphene, spinel, sunstone, tigers eye, topaz, tourmaline (red), and zircon.

The following gemstones are said to vibrate with female, also known as receptive, energy. They are magickally appeopriate for spells and rituals that attract, as well as for workings that involve Goddess energy, females and femininity, fertility, growth, nurturing, and things of an emotional, spiritual, or psychic nature:

Agate (blue lace, green or moss), amethyst, aquamarine, azurite, beryl, calcite (blue, green or pink), celestite, chalcedony, chrysocolla, chrysophase, coral, emerald, jade, jasper (brown or green), jet, kunzite, lapis lazuli, malachite,  marble, moonstone, mother-of-pearl, olivine, opal, pearl, peridot, quartz crystal (blue, green, rose or smoky), sapphire, selenite, sodalite, sugilite, tourmaline (black, blue, green or pink), and turquoise.

crystal%20chart

white-witch-of-rose-hall 1309072024004187-jamaica-witchcraft-part-11

By the end of their discussion, Claire is realizing how far gone Geillis is and she anxiously waits for Jamie to come back in so they can get the Hell out of there! They’re quite sure that Ian is probably there somewhere but there is too much going on to search for him right then? And, besides, Geillis has some very big, very dangerous slaves completely under her control… as in zombie like due to some drug she has been giving them? Yes, she is truly embracing the Dark Arts and the Voodoo realms… what she does not quite realize though is that her slaves have their own plans? What ensues later is the discovery of the other dead boys, but no Ian? 

Later on, while waiting for Jamie, Claire as usual can not stay put as told… and returns to the house. She finds the plantation deserted, Geillis long gone and the Reverend Archie Cambell waiting at the house for his meeting with Geillis? It turned out that the Reverend was doing some research on the Fraser genealogy for Geillis in relation to the Brahan Prophecy…

Geillis and the Brahan prophecy

At some point during the discussion, matters deteriorated into another murder, one that Geillis had nothing to do with! In the aftermath, Claire decided to take one last look in Geillis’ work room and found a startling sight along with odd notes … a pentacle drawn on the table, stones around it, an a picture of Bree inside the Pentacle. Horrified, she realized what Geillis was planning to do!  She eventually gets back to Jamie and they head off to search for where Geillis might have went to accomplish this time travel?

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stone circles on Jamaica

They found nothing at the ancient circle but did end up finding a cave nearby?

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Claire is drawn to the cave and they head into the darkness of it where Claire can feel the Cave and can feel Geillis?

Claire feels the cave

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They stumble their way deeper into the cavern and do eventually find Geillis and young Ian. Geillis has him tied up and plans to use him as her blood and fire sacrifice to get through the Stones to Bree?

Geillis in the cave1

There is  confusion and chaos, a battle for their lives and when Jamie is injured, Claire snaps. She thinks of nothing else but saving them and stopping Geillis!

Geillis meets her end

Now, one would think that should be the last of Geillis Duncan? They leave her body in the cave and eventually make their way to America, where they begin to start a new life and help young Ian recover from the trauma of Geillis that will haunt him for years to come.

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No, unfortunately, that is not the last we see or hear of Geillis Duncan! Even in death, she reaches out to touch the Frasers and MacKenzies, while haunting them with her secrets and her mysteries. At some point in the future, she manages to show up again… or at least part of her does?

In an odd twist of fate and time paradoxes or whatever one would like to call it…Claire is visiting with her friend Joe Abarnathy before she decides to go back through the Stones in search of Jamie. During their visit, Joe receives a box and is asked to give his medical opinion on it?  The box is a box of bones?

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Joe suggests that Claire give her own reading and diagnosis on the bones.

 

joe and Claire examine the bones

Claire reads the bones

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Claire reads the bones2

Geillis haunts the cave

Dead woman not a slave

death by beheading

Now, of course, at that time, Claire had no idea of who this skeleton might be? That connection did not come to her until years later! And, the bones of Geillis as far we know are still out there somewhere waiting to be identified because Claire remained in the past…

skeletons in the closet

Besides her bones, her notes and her Grimoire are still around as well? Those, though are mostly accounted for and were suppose to be locked away for safe keeping… Well, we know how that usually goes? Someone always seems to leave things out and naturally they fall into the wrong hands!  This would be the case with some of those notes. Before we get into that, let’s take a few moments to examine who was in possession of some those items before they came into Roger and Bree’s “safekeeping”. It’s interesting and does bring up some other thoughts on who knew what and even who might appear somewhat suspicious. At one point, everyone appeared suspicious on some level…. even the easy going and domestic housewife, Fiona!

In 1968,  Fiona is the infatuated housekeeper of Roger Wakefield. Coincidentally, she is the previous housekeeper, Mrs. Graham’s grand daughter? We all remember Mrs. Graham don’t we? The housekeeper with a secret life as a Druid Caller and Dancer…ohhh and don’t forget her sideline career as fortune teller!  Now, whatever could possibly be suspicious about them?  Fiona sets aside her infatuation and even helps Roger go through the Stones to find Bree, even goes so far as to donate her engagement ring as needed stones for Roger to carry with him.

outlander-premiere-stone-circle-dancers-starz Mrs Graham and Claire

Of course, Fiona does have a bit of explaining to do? She admits to Roger that Grannie Graham was the leader/Caller of the Dancers, and that Gillian Edgars was one of the dancers for a while? She also admits somewhat warily that now Grannie was gone, she was the leader/Caller? Hmmm one can only wonder what sort of lineage or ancestry this family has and what they could be hiding?

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Fiona admits that Gillian was one of them

Fiona has something else to admit to Roger? She is in possession of Geillis’ Grimoire!

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Fiona show Roger geillis grimoire

The grimoire is filled with Geillis’ notes, research and spells

Geillis and her grimoire drums of autumn

Geillis writes of sacrifice required

Years later when Roger and Bree return to Lallybroch in the future, Fiona is happily  married with a family… but could she still be hiding something or some involvement? Does she know something more that has put them all in danger? It’s just a lingering thought in my mind… there is the incident at her home, where Bree had taken the children thinking they would be safe there…. it’s one of those odd pieces that I keep pondering over and will remain unanswered for some time to come!

Now, on to the other notes of interest… the ones which Roger and Bree were keeping in preparation of some sort of guideline for future generations, the ones which Rob Cameron happen to get his hands on?

Did Geillis know Rob

grimoire11 grimoire2

That brings us to the last piece of puzzle in the web that Gillian Edgars/Geillis Duncan began weaving in the future, wove all through the past right back to her starting point!  She may be a box of bones now but she is certainly not gone or forgotten. Who knows what other plans she set in motion both in her present time before leaving, and in the past?  As far as we can tell so far, her plans included some probable involvement with Rob Cameron, who could be the key to carrying out whatever instructions she might have left him?  Her mysteries include her ancestry, her connection to Comte St Germain and missing years unaccounted for in France, her interest and possible involvement in the research at Orkney Island… and that leaves us with the mystery of her connection to Master Raymond?

This concludes our in depth investigation of one Geillis Duncan. I believe that we have covered every possible connection and thread that she left throughout time. Any remaining questions on her will have to wait until a much later date when more information on the infamous Witch known as Geillis Duncan becomes available!