Tag Archive | Geillis Duncan

Thoughts on Outlander season 2 Finale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

season2 finale3

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

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

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

Bree on better terms with Claire

Bree on better terms with Claire

Roger and Bree at Fort William

Roger and Bree at Fort William

Don't be dragging him into this fantasy!

Don’t be dragging him into this fantasy!

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

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

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

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

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

Bree My Mother lives in another world2

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

We meet Roger and Fiona

We meet Roger and Fiona

Roger's rat satire

Roger’s rat satire

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

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

I think we found your incident

No stay it's your house after all

No stay it’s your house after all

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

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

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

 

Claire raises her glass to the Reverend

Claire raises her glass to the Reverend

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

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

visions of Jamie at Lallybroch

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

lallybroch circa 1968

sending Fergus to Lallybroch for two purposes...

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

Really what did you think the reaction would be?

Really what did you think the reaction would be?

 

 

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

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

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

Clan Fraser

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

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

You've betrayed us all of us

You’ve betrayed us all of us

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

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

Dougal's despair

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

Gillian Edgars future psychopath

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

Geilli of course believes you need a human sacrifice…

And she's off to make history...

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

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

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

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

roger's plane again

 

 

 

Some much needed comedy relief!

Ok, I am almost finished chasing Geillis Duncan through Paris, back to Scotland, and on to the wilds of the Jamaican jungles… I’ve scared myself countless times during the process, my head hurts and my heart is still racing! I have no fondness for snakes, crocodiles or voodoo and I am deathly afraid of caves! Her trail has included all of these things?

Skara bra orkney crocoadile python revered by voodooists jamaica4 suswa-cave-entrance dark cave2 Dark_Cave_by_Cronec

Before I present the end of this investigation of the Witch, Geillis Duncan, I had to take a much needed break and immerse myself in some much more light hearted entertainment and amusement?  You should seek that out as well before continuing with this series on Geillis, as well as after you finish reading it. Believe me, once you’ve read the rest of her trail, you will be in serious need of some amusement, some cheering, and most probably some strong Scotch Whisky!

Keeping that comic relief in mind, I would highly suggest that you head over to Fauxlander.com http://fauxlander.com/

Your drunk

It is one of the most original, creative and funny blogs I’ve seen! Everything from weekly news updates to advice from Rupert and Angus, to hilarious memes and a bit of smut as well! It will definitely take your mind off  from the horrors of Geillis Duncan for a while! My highest praise goes out to these creators, Go enjoy it and then come back when you’re ready to face the Witch again!

 

Interview with a Geillis…  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/interview-with-a-geillis-part-one/

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

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

Geillis Duncan: The Witch within comes out!

 I guess Jack was just not up to the task of  facing another beautiful Witch that would likely turn on him… and, I must say, he was rather rude about the parting too! He mumbled something about if Dougal MacKenzie couldn’t handle her, he didn’t feel like trying it either? His last flippant comment was, “You’re on your own kid!”

reverse-1361469896_jack_nicholson_deal_with_it

 

Well, fine then… I will deal with it on my own, you coward!

Getting ready to face Geillis Duncan in her natural habitat,  her Witchly lair at Cranesmuir…

mirror banner

Until Claire’s untimely arrival at Castle Leoch, Geillis was actually enjoying a fairly comfortable existence in the past. She had carved out a little niche for herself in more ways than one, and her plans seemed to be going rather well.  She had a somewhat clueless and gullible husband of good standing and wealth- which she was quietly helping herself to and stashing it aside for the Cause. She put up the appearance of being a devoted, doting wife who saw to her husband’s every need and eased his many ailments and pains… most of which she caused herself by slowly poisoning him with Arsenic. Yes, things were going well for her… a slow dying husband whose death no one would suspect her of, a goodly secreted sum of money to contribute to the rebellion of Bonnie Prince Charlie. 

geillis in witch lair Geillis at home

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

Ohhhh and let us not forget the lover on the side! She was the mistress of another wealthy and powerful man who shared her political views in supporting the Jacobite cause. That man was none other than one Dougal MacKenzie

OUT_107-20140522-EM_0050.jpg

 

Of course as with any sticky situation and spider web, there were a few slight glitches to her plan? There was the small problem of an unplanned pregnancy with Dougal being the Father. Though, in reality, was it really so unplanned? Geillis was a healer, she knew full well what to do to prevent such an occurrence and it was mentioned by another time traveling acquaintance  and previous lover of hers, Dr. Hector McEwan that she was knowledgeable about abortions and had gotten rid of other unwanted fetuses. So, then, we must assume that her plan was to kill off her husband and line Dougal up as the next one. Naturally, she would be in a much better position on all fronts with Dougal and having his child. The fact that Dougal was already married would not have bothered her in the least…that situation could be easily remedied.  And, even if he didn’t marry her, just the fact that she had his child would give her some added power and control over him.

The other glitch in her plans was of course, Claire! She had to determine whether Claire was indeed any sort of threat to her scheme. Please keep in mind that Geillis was not a random homicidal maniac. No, she usually killed for specific reasons known only to her warped mind.  I believe that once she befriended Claire and probed her mind a bit, she was curious about Claire’s appearance but deemed her as not really a threat to her personal agenda. In fact doing away with her would increase suspicions on Geillis, so she kept her around for some much needed company.

ep103_claire_w_geillis

After Arthur’s sudden and rather untimely death at Castle Leoch in the middle of dinner… how could anyone blame Geillis, they all saw his attack and watched him die? Claire was however, quite suspicious after trying to save the man and smelling/tasting the arsenic on him.  She finally realized that maybe Geillis was not so innocent as she seemed? Hmmm maybe all of those people warning her had been right. Claire made every effort to distance herself from Geillis after that. Geillie’s plan was not going quite so well as she had intended though.  Aside from Claire’s suspicions, she had another snag… Having quickly done away with husband number three, she told Dougal about her pregnancy, probably in the hopes of swaying him to her side forever more? Another odd death had recently taken place as well?  Dougal’s wife had conveniently died, though Geillis insisted she had no hand in any of that, it was just a matter of sheer coincidence that should have worked in her favor. Dougal, being unsure of how to handle the whole mess went to Colum for some brotherly advice.

Outlander 2014

Well, this was when Geillie’s plans really went awry?  Colum was having none of it, and was determined that Geillis Duncan and her evil bastard spawn were not going be any part of the MacKenzie Clan. He sets in motion the plan to have her tried and burned as a Witch. Claire’s involvement in the Witch trial was really no fault of Colum or Geillie for that matter. No, Claire’s ordeal was brought about by a jealous teenager by the name of laoghaire MacKenzie, who simply wanted Claire out of the way so she could have her heart’s desire, Jamie Fraser! No one at the Castle even realized that Claire had gone into the village until it was too late and she was already thrown into the thieve’s pit with Geillis.

Claire and Geillie spent a length of time together in this cold, dark hole and Geillie, obviously figuring at the time that she had little to lose, told Claire about her plans to support the Jacobites, about stealing the money from Arthur, and about her affair with Dougal. Eventually they were put to trial by water, which is essentially a lose/lose event… if you drown, you were innocent and God will open his doors for your soul, if you survive you’re a witch and they’ll burn you anyway!  During this trial, Jamie did manage to save Claire and escape with her. But, at the last moment, Geillie showed her compassion for Claire as well? She pronounced herself a Witch and declared that Claire had nothing to do with it. In doing so, she stripped herself showing her advanced state of pregnancy along with her unusual small pox scar which Claire immediately recognized. This one act of compassion towards Claire goes along with the theory that Geillis was not an indiscriminate killer. In her mind, Claire had done nothing to warrant her death and had been friend to Geillis. Her last ditch effort did one other thing… it bought her some much needed time to re-think her plans and re-group so to speak? No one was going to kill an unborn child, so she was given some slight reprieve and would not be burned at the stake until after her child was born.

During this time, she used the baby to blackmail Dougal. Dougal may have been taken in by the witchly charms of Geillis Duncan, may have cursed the day he ever met her and may have been happy to see her burn in the flames of Hell, but he was in his own way an honorable man who would not wish harm upon his own child? Geillis used this as her bargaining chip… she agreed not to harm the child if Dougal would see that she was somehow rescued from this Witch burning. Now that all sounds well and good on the surface… Dougal receives the son, and places him with a family that has recently lost their infant. Alright, he has managed to secure the safety of his illegitimate son,  now he could have easily went back on his word to Geillis and let her be burned at the stake anyway. But, he did not do that, no, he kept his word to Geillis. He found a way to help her escape to France and start a new life as Melisande Robicheaux. So, why did he save her? Was it because maybe he really did care about her? Did he envision some point in the future meeting his son and having to admit that he had a hand in killing his Mother, witch or not, that would be a difficult thing for a son to accept? One last detail of interest in this situation is that when he showed up in France later and helped Claire with her problem of the Comte St. Germaine, he knew of the man and his less than pristine morals and associations. He claimed that he heard talk of it in the taverns… but did he really know much more than he was admitting to? If he was still involved with Geillie. now Melisande in some way, he would have known something more about the man and the activities than he could say to anyone without implicating himself?

Dougal the hero Geillis in flames

 

Luckily for Dougal MacKenzie, he did manage to escape the spider web of Geillis Duncan and her future embodiment of Melisande Robicheaux! While we’re on the subject of Geillis and her webs in which to catch unsuspecting husbands, let’s address the means by which she is most fond of in disposing of said husbands when they have outlasted their usefulness? She does seem to prefer poison as her method of doing away with them. Much less messy that way, and being an accomplished herbalist, she usually has the required ingredients on hand.  When I look at Geillis, I keep getting the vague feeling that I’ve seen her somewhere before? Could she have done even more time traveling than any of us are aware of? I’m sure it’s possible… I have to wonder just where she learned her finely tuned arts of poisoning? Hmmmm there was another such woman in history who is said to have had a propensity for poison? Could it be possible that at one time or another, Geillis travelled further back in time and spent some time with this woman?

There are rumors and stories about a woman… I believe her name was Lucrezia? Lucrezia Borgia…Several rumours have persisted throughout the years, primarily speculating as to the nature of the extravagant parties thrown by the Borgia family. Many of these concern allegations of incest, poisoning, and murder on her part; however, no historical basis for these rumours has ever been brought forward beyond allegations made by rival parties.  It is rumoured that Lucrezia was in possession of a hollow ring that she used frequently to poison drinks. Well, if these rumors have any shred of truth to them, it would certainly put her in a close running to Geillis?  Now, I could be wrong but it seems to me that Geillis Duncan bears a striking resemblance to one Giulia Farnese of equally unstable Borgia family!  Could Geillie have picked up her penchant for poisoning here?

Lucrezia Borgia and Giulia Farnese

Lucrezia Borgia and Giulia Farnese

lottie verbeek from borgias3 lottie verbeek from borgias2

Lucrezia Borgia

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

 

House of Borgia

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

 

Giulia Farnese

The ravishing temptress who came to the Pope seeking redemption and ended up in his bed, Giulia quickly uses her new elevated position to amass power and influence of her own. She befriends Lucrezia and ultimately even Vanozza. She uses these alliances to help establish and strengthen the church’s charitable works, a deed that will secure the Pope’s legacy.

http://www.sho.com/sho/the-borgias/cast/7431/giulia-farnese

 

 

 

Geillis Duncan: The Beginnings of Madness

 

Warning! If you have not read all of the books including the novella, The Space Between, this article will contain numerous spoilers!

gillian and the stones3

Before we start our visit with Geillis Duncan and get to know her better…that is if you are brave enough to want to know her better? As scary as she is though, she is a very important part of the ongoing legend of Outlander. There are still a number of secrets and mysteries about this woman and her life. For those of you who are not familiar with her, I will try to give you a bit of background information on her.

In trying to wrap one’s mind around Geillis Duncan, and the number of other aliases she assumes over the years, I think it’s important to start with who she was originally and the time she started out in?  We know very little about her early years growing up and what might have caused her to become the obsessed and crazed woman that she ended up as. When one is investigating and profiling someone such as Geillis, it is important to attempt to fill in those blanks as much as possible? She is one of those cases where we have to ask ourselves, Was she born with some emotional or mental instability or did something in her past cause her to snap? Now, very few people are actually born with a mental instability that would cause such behaviors and actions as Geillis exhibits, so we might normally rule that possibility out? In the case of Geillis, however, we will leave that possibility open because we know nothing of her ancestral lineage at this time other than one very important fact. She is capable of travelling through the stones, so something in her blood line and her genes has produced that ability…Could there be some mutation along those lines that would also pre-dispose her for madness?

first let us look at who she started life as and when she lived…Geillis Duncan is simply an alias that one troubled (yes, that’s putting it nicely and mildly) young woman, Gillian Edgars assumed when she decided to escape her life in 1960’s Scotland. Gillian Edgars was not having such a great life during that time!  She was a highly intelligent and strong willed woman. Gillian was driven, determined, passionate and focused on her studies and on the current events surrounding her in the 1960’s. Unfortunately, she was also stuck in what she must have assumed was a dead end marriage to a lazy and worthless drunk who did not understand or care about the things she thought were so important. Now, we do not know whether her husband, Greg Edgars was always that way, or whether the times, the general turbulence and living with Gillian drove him to it? We’ll probably never know that because Gillian took care of the situation in what was the beginning of her madness.

Gillian Edgars was passionate, intense and obsessed with the things she believed in and studied. Those things included history-mainly that of the Scottish Jacobite risings and Bonnie Prince Charlie, archeology-namely standing stones and circles, and of  course, Witchcraft! Her husband, Greg also mentioned her involvement with the Scottish Nationalists and the Society of the White Rose, two organizations working toward Scottish independence. He tells Roger that Gillian is obsessed with Bonnie Prince Charlie and often has others around to talk about what if his rebellion had succeeded.

http://www.scotland.org.uk/history/devolution 

Claire eventually came to believe that Geillis/Gillian was suffering from insanity caused by syphilis? My personal take on her is that she was already bordering on insanity as a young woman when she took her first trip through the stones. What else would explain her doing away with her first husband, and future ones even before Arthur Duncan in the ways that she did. Gillian Edgars firmly believed in the cause of the Scottish National Party and Society of White Rose and was obsessed enough with it to go to any length in order to see it succeed. She also believed so fully in the powers of Witchcraft that she assumed those powers could guide her through time, through the Stones in order to change history. In her all consuming determination towards that end, she obviously felt that her husband was expendable? Why wouldn’t he be… at the time, she didn’t plan on coming back so no one could place any blame on her for the action. It would be the ultimate unsolvable murder!  There were a few things that Gillian did not get quite right in her research and her subsequent travels. Her research of the Stones, and the “spells” led her to the belief that she must have a human/blood sacrifice? In that requirement, she used her unsuspecting husband?  In reality, if she were one of the  “Auld” Ones but didn’t know it, she would have been able to travel back anyway, no “witchcraft” involved! She also, of course did not count on any witnesses to her crime or her travel. 

Gillian did do a great deal of in depth research on the Stones and the rituals that pertained to traveling through them. She kept a notebook filled with her research notes, which Claire eventually found and kept to show Roger and Bree.

gillian's notebook1 gillian's notebook2

Claire steals Gillian’s notebook from the institute and learns Gillian’s plans. The three of them go to Craigh na Dun on Beltaine eve to stop her, but by the time they reach the stones, Gillian has set her husband on fire as a sacrifice. They watch as Geillis, dressed in 18th century clothing, disappears into the cleft in the stones. Roger is nearly pulled into the stones and Claire is knocked unconscious. Even Brianna hears the stones and realizes that her mother’s story was true.

 

standing stones gillian goes through the stones

 

It’s obvious that Gillian had been planning her trip for some time.  What is not so clear is why she chose to leave when she did? Of course, she did plan the trip according to when she assumed the Stones would be open, but she could have gone at some earlier or later point in the year? According to the legends, the time passages through the Stones would be most open to travel at specific times of the year that coincided with ancient Pagan holidays relating to sun and moon phases, solstices and equinoxes.

http://www.catanna.com/paganholidays.htm

 

Yule/Winter Solstice around December 21st / Winter Solstice on or near December 21st Yule / Winter Solstice on or near December 21st
Here in the northern hemisphere, nights get longer and days get shorter until the day of the Winter Solstice when the cycle reverses. The word Yule comes from the Norse Jul meaning wheel. On this darkest of nights, the Goddess becomes the Great Mother and once again gives birth to the Sun God. This is a fire festival so celebrate with a Yule log in the fireplace, candles on the table and lights on the tree. Evergreens, holly, ivy and mistletoe, symbols of fertility and everlasting life, remind us that the cold darkness of winter will eventually give way to the warmth & new growth of spring.

Imbolc / Imbolg / Candlemas – February 2nd
Imbolc means, literally, ‘in the belly’ (of the Mother) and in the womb of Mother Earth new life is truly stirring. The young Sun God is growing and his strength is beginning to be noticeable. If you look closely, you may notice a snowdrop or a crocus pushing its way out of the still-cold earth. This is traditionally a day of purification, of sweeping out the old to make room for the new… both physically and emotionally. Celebrate by lighting LOTS of candles to encourage the young Sun; if you like to make them yourself, this is an auspicious day to do it. As nuts and seeds symbolize new beginnings, enjoy some sesame cookies or nutbread while visualizing yourself co-creating a loving, joyous & prosperous future.

Ostara – Spring Equinox – on or near March 21st
Named for Eostre the Teutonic Goddess of New Life, Ostara is the first day of Spring. Light and darkness are in balance, but the light is growing stronger as days continue to grow longer. The Young Sun God continues to mature and grow; small tender leaves appear on the trees, young buds are swelling and, here in New York, cheerful white and yellow daffodils are already in full bloom. The Life Energies are building quickly now and the very air seems to vibrate with promise. Celebrate by coloring eggs, an ancient symbol of fertility.

Beltaine / Beltane / May Day – May 1
From the Irish Gaelic Bealtaine meaning Bel-fire (the fire of Bel, Celtic God of light) Beltaine is primarily a fertility festival; the Land represented by the Goddess is now ripe and fertile and the Sun God expresses His Love for Her. Celebrate by establishing a woodland or garden shrine and gathering flowers to adorn your living space… and yourself!

Midsummer / Summer Solstice – on or near June 21st
Midsummer is the longest day of the year. It’s not harvest time yet, but Mother Nature is impressively lush. The veil between the Faerie realm and our world is thin so don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of an otherworldly someone on Midsummer’s Eve! Celebrate with a bonfire and if you’re into herb magick, any plants gathered at this time are particularly powerful. Or just stroll through a park or woodland area and bask in the glory of our natural world.

Lughnasadh / Lammas – August 1
Even though Lughnasadh occurs at the warmest time of the year, it marks the time at which days become noticeably shorter and so is considered the starting point of the autumn quarter of the year. The autumn season contains three harvests, and Lughnasadh is the first of these, the time when the first corn harvest is cut. The name is derived from Lugh (pronounced ‘loo’), a Celtic deity of light and wisdom. At Lughnasadh, bread from the first harvest was eaten in thanks. Baking, sharing& eating bread is a wonderful way to celebrate this holiday and if you can, attend a Renaissance Faire, Medieval Festival or Highland Games competition. The jousting matches and caber & sheaf tosses were no doubt inspired by that aggressive war god Lugh.

 

MMabon/Autumn Equinox around September 21st – or near September 21
Mabon is the time of the second harvest, when fruits are ready for collection. The land is showing clear signs of the journey towards winter – leaves are beginning to turn and birds are gathering for migration. Mabon is a time to consider which aspects of your life you wish to preserve and which you would prefer to discard. This is the Pagan Thanksgiving, a time to appreciate and enjoy the fruits of your labors. Commemmorate Mabon by making wine, feasting with friends, planting bulbs to bloom in the spring and put out feeders to help those brave birds who don’t migrate get through the long winter ahead.

Samhain, All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowe’en – October 31
This is the Last Harvest and New Year’s Eve to the ancient Celts. Being “between years,” it is considered a very magical time, a day when the veil separating the the physical plane and spiritual realms is most permeable. This is a good day to practice divination: scrying, Tarot readings and Rune casting are all particularly effective. The practice of donning costumes… especially scary ones… grew out of the ancient fear of evil spirits passing through the veil along with the benevolent ones and pumpkin carving evolved from the practice of painting hideous faces on gourds to keep “gouls and goblins” away from the home. Samhain is also a day for honoring our ancestors and one of my favorite rituals is the Dumb Supper… laying an extra place at the dinner table for those who have passed over to the Summerlands.

witches calander wheel1

Gillian made her trip at Beltane, May 1st. Had her intent always been to go on this particular date, or did she rush into her trip for some other reason? We know that she was asking questions about the Stones. Fiona, Mrs. Graham’s grand daughter and Roger’s housekeeper mentioned that other young woman who reminded her of someone… Roger with his green eyes that so resembled Gillian’s, asking for information. Was Gillian aware that someone, such as Claire, was suspicious of her? Did she rush her preparations because of this? Or was there some other reason that she left in a bit of a rush as she seemed to? And, why did she feel the need to use her husband Greg as a sacrifice in such a horrific way? We know little of their relationship other than Greg was a drunk and didn’t agree much with her radical ideas and friends.  Yes, possibly she just chose him out of convenience at the time. Perhaps she came home to find him drunk and passed out as usual, and decided with no care, concern or remorse to use him as her needed sacrifice? Or was there something deeper within their relationship that caused her to use him and destroy him in such a vengeful way? Was he abusive towards her, did he pose a threat to her in some way? Did he know something of her activities or plans with her revolutionary radical group of  friends, did he at some point threaten to tell of  what ever plans they might have been coming up with? Of course, we’ll probably never know those answers but they are plausible explanations or theories which we can not really rule out? If she was cold, calculating and unconcerned enough as to casually use him as her torch, then she was certainly already well on her way to the rather depraved and insane soul that she became later.  Gillian was generally a thorough researcher and planner, and it just seems to me that while she was somewhat prepared for the trip, her leaving when and how she did felt somewhat rushed?

 

Now, as to why she chose the place she did, after having researched any number of other places… It is speculated at some much later time that she was part of an archeological project at one of the most ancient of all and perhaps most powerful circles, on Orkney Isle. It was there that she might have met one of the other Scottish Nationalists and revolutionaries, Rob Cameron?  One would think that she would have preferred to use those Stones as her portal instead? I believe she might have if she were not stuck where she was at the time? So, she chose the closest, most convenient sight that she could find and hoped for success.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140808-outlander-scotland-orkney-islands-stonehenge-neolithic/

Standing Stones of Stennes on mainland of Orkney, Scotland

 

There are two other puzzles concerning Gillian’s planned trip to the past via the Standing Stones at Crag na dun? The first, of course is the time frame? According to the legends and her research, Gillian would have known that in general the timing was given as about 200 years. She wanted to go back far enough in time ensure the success of the Jacobites and change the future of Scotland. It was 1968 when she decided to go back, so theoretically she should have landed somewhere around 1768. This time frame would have put her too late, so she had to have been hoping that she could guide herself further back than that with the added stones and what ever other spells or such she assumed would help her… most likely she was counting on the added benefit of poor Greg’s sacrifice to aid in this matter? We can not be sure of exactly how far back she did land, but she was there as early as about 1738 when Roger and her son, William Buccliegh MacKenzie meet her?  She has already been there for some time,  enough time to have killed another unfortunate husband and be on her way to doing away with husband number 3…there could have been more, these are just ones we know about! So, her thoughts and theories of being able to exert some control over the time landed in seemed to be partially correct. She would have wanted to go far enough back to give herself time to prepare for the rebellion of 1745 and she managed to accomplish that much, though it probably was not as close or as accurate as she would have wanted. But, better to be too early than too late!

The other puzzle surrounds where she was shortly after her arrival, or at least when Roger and William find her and piece together the story? She left through the Stones at Crag na dun near Inverness, so she should have been well placed in or around Inverness at that point in the past. Why then, did Roger and William find her at Cranesmuir, near Castle Leoch and the MacKenzies?

Outlander locations

Logically thinking, she would have been in a far better position to prepare and plan from Inverness than from the more remote location of Cranesmuir? If she wanted to make a difference,  influence the outcome and success at Culloden, why then did she make her way to Cranesmuir instead? Was it some lack of pre-planning on her part? Was it that she thought she could more easily find a way to fit in a more out of the way place and find a gullible next husband?  We don’t know those answers either, but we do know that her descendants, Roger and William ended up paving the way for her introduction to her future victim, Dougal MacKenzie!

OUT_107-20140522-EM_0050.jpg Dougal and Geillie2

 

 

Now we at least know how Gillian Edgars came to be one Geillis Duncan in the past! Ohhh, before we go on, we should add one last bit of interesting coincidence? When Gillian traveled to the past, she changed her name to Geillis, and we know that she married a fairly important man in the town of Cranesmuir. Arthur Duncan was the procurator fiscal, which really had nothing to do with finances as it would seem by the term.

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

The office most likely originates in the Roman-Dutch and French manorial or seignorial administrator (Dutch procurator-fiscaal, French procureur fiscal), who, as the fiscal in the title suggests, was originally an officer of the sheriff (the local law enforcement officer and judge) with financial (fiscal) responsibilities: the procurator fiscal collected debts, fines, and taxes. However, such responsibilities had been eclipsed in the course of the 18th century by their duty as prosecutor in the sheriff court with the passage of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1701. In this capacity they gave concurrence in private prosecutions and prosecuted on behalf of the Crown. The Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Act 1867 gave procurators fiscal full responsibility in law for prosecution of all criminal acts in Scotland.  Originally the fiscal was the sheriff’s official and tenure of the office was at the pleasure of the sheriff. With the decline of private prosecution the fiscal came to be regarded more and more as under the control of the Lord Advocate. In 1776 the government  started to pay procurators fiscal to take precognitions and in 1907 the right of appointing procurators fiscal was transferred to the Lord Advocate.

So, she was a “witch” married to the law enforcement/judge in town and covered her personal practices by operating an herbal remedy shop. Very clever and calculating on her part? The interesting part though is that when she married Arthur, she became Geillis Duncan. By some sheer coincidence, there was another Scottish  witch by the name of Geillis Duncane in history?  Now, the thought pondering question is this… Gillian Edgars being the historian and obsessed person that she was, would probably have researched any number of witch references and stories and would most surely have come across this one. She was also one who would have seen the coincidence and probably would have looked at it as some sign in her decision to put efforts towards becoming another Geillis Duncan? Perhaps she might have looked at it as a way to honor a former fallen and persecuted Witch… but, really she should have taken it as an omen of her own future in becoming another Geillis Duncan!

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/the-real-geillis-duncane-persecuted-witch-of-scotland/

 

It should be quite apparent by now  that Gillian Edgars aka Geillis Duncan was highly mentally unstable long before Claire showed up at Castle Leoch and made her acquaintance! Claire was far too trusting and gullible in the matter of Geillis Duncan. Of course, it was understandable that Claire was not thinking quite rationally at the time, having just survived her own ordeal with the Stones. She was terrified, and alone in a strange time and place… When she encountered the seemingly innocent and friendly Geillis, she was desperate for a friend, any friend with whom she could at least have some sort of conversation and let her guard down just a bit. In Claire’s frazzled mind, Geillis was harmless, another healer of sorts who she could learn something from? Geillis, however had other things on her own mind, and became increasingly interested and probably suspicious of Claire’s language and behaviors. Something was not quite right about this new woman in her town, her chosen territory and she needed to know more about Claire. Namely, she needed to know how much Claire knew, and what kind of a threat Claire was to her plans! So, being the devious one that she was, Geillis set about befriending the unsuspecting Claire.

outlander Geillie and Claire

 

 

It should be noted that Geillis was most likely desperate for some half way normal conversation and casual friendship as well.  She was not the most well liked person in the village and a number of people did already suspect her of some sort of Witchcraft and or evil doings! Jamie warned Claire to stay away from that Geillis Duncan, she was a wicked one. Murtagh warned her as well that no good would come from meeting with Geillis, and the nightmare that Claire had about Mrs. Fitz calling her a Witch could more appropriately have been Mrs. Fitz’s reaction to her association with Geillis!

 

Before we move on the rest of our in depth investigation of  the one now known as Geillis Duncan… you may be wondering what is going on with the back up support person that I hired to accompany me on this journey?  His initial impressions of the woman known as Gillian/Geillis were along the lines of Wow… She is one hot Witch!

lottie verbeek now lotte verbeek3 Jack_Nicholson_em_Melhor_Impossvel

 

However, after reading her background information, he appeared to have some misgivings and second thoughts on his agreement to help me in this assignment?

Favim_com-9945

He started muttering and ranting on about some previous experience with good looking Witches that turned out rather badly for him in the end?

witches of eastwick4 jack nicholson witches of eastwick1 jack witches of eastwick7 jack witches of eastwick2

witches of eastwick5

 

I really thought he would be able to handle this, but now I am just not sure if he will be able to pull himself together enough to be of any help to me!

jack witches of eastwick3 jack witches of eastwick4

A Blessed and Happy Samhain to all of the Witches and other Pagans!

samhain2 (2)

samhain2

 

Please join us later if you dare, to find out more about Gillian/Geillis’  continued journey into madness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with a…. Geillis part one

Before we start, I am just issuing my usual warning. This article contains a great number of spoilers from all of the Outlander books through My Own Heart’s Blood!

 

 

In preparation for the upcoming interview with one Geillis Duncan, I stand in front of the mirror trying to convince said self that we can do this? Said self is not buying any of my rationale or reasoning…

reflection

“Come on, We can do this, Self… She’s not going to hurt us, we’re not her type. We have no money, we’re not auld ones with any powers or connections that she would have any need of or desire for…and besides, she’s dead already!” I go on with my lame attempt at convincing self. “Look, she’s probably not even a witch, and even if she is, we can handle it, we’ve done all of our research. We’re prepared for this.”

Self shudders and whispers back in fear. “No, she’s something even worse than a witch, she’s….” Self can’t finish the sentence.  The room darkens then is left in a strange bluish light and I’m cowering away from the mirror.

spectrophobia

I scream in fright as Self reaches an eerie hand out of the mirror towards me. “Stop that right now Self, That is not even funny. You scared the pee right out of me! turn the damn lights back on and be serious about this.”

Self grumbles and pulls her hand back in before replying, “Alright, that was a little mean. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist. But, I am being serious. She’s something way worse than a witch…She’s Bat Shit Crazy!”

 

I’m still shaking from Self’s childish prank but manage to put my nerves back together and nod as I turn away from the mirror.

mirror with reflection

I can feel self eying me from inside the mirror and it’s annoying more than anything else. “Please get out of there right now and get back inside of me where you belong!” I know she’s playing these silly little games in order to cover up our fears, but it’s not really working!  Self lets out a loud dramatic sigh and slowly drags herself back to her rightful place. Pacing around the room now, I continue my thoughts with Self.

Self is right. After all of our research, I have come to the conclusion that yes… Geillis Duncan is Bat Shit Crazy! In fact she is the worst sort of crazy? She is the sort that is so crazy she can pass herself off as sane. For those of you have only encountered the earliest glimpses of her through the show, please do not be swayed by the seemingly charming, enchanting and possibly enticing woman that Claire falls victim to.  Yes, she does befriend Claire and even goes so far at some later point as to save Claire’s life…I am still trying to figure out why on that matter? Do not be fooled by any of it!

outlander Outlander_Cast_Geillis_420x560 geillis6 Geillis Duncan (2)

Please be advised and take extreme caution in any encounters with this woman!

 

Okay, I think to self, We need to be better prepared for this.  We shouldn’t go into this alone…but we need to find someone who is capable of being just as crazy as she is, maybe someone who could convince her that they’re even crazier than her? what scares a crazy person? One who is even crazier than them! Self whispers a thought… Well, yes that might possibly work, if we could get him to agree to it? We’re working on an extremely limited budget and can’t afford to pay him. What’s that? Maybe he would do it for the sheer audacity and publicity of it? Ohhhh Self, you are sooo good! Let’s give him a call, invite him over and see if he’ll go along with our idea!

 

Ahhhhh yes, Mr. Nicholson does indeed show up to our meeting… more out of boredom and having an empty hour on his schedule. We explain a bit about our situation and he does show a hint of curiosity?

Michael Tighe Archive "Jack Nicholson" Jack-Nicholson-jack-nicholson-23272476-1024-768

Even he’s not sure about dealing with Geillis Duncan though, he’s heard of her reputation and doesn’t know if he really wants to get involved in this?

 

Jack-Nicholson-jack-nicholson-23272643-1024-768

 

“Look, this is really not a challenge for you… You just need to come along with us and give off a few of your better appearances that you’re crazier than she is. Think of it as a kindness to humanity in enabling us to uncover the truths about her. Or, if you’re not into that whole kindness to humanity idea, just consider it as a great Halloween prank?”

Jack’s response to the kindness to humanity and uncovering truths…

Jack you can't handle the truth

Whoa…. A simple no would be sufficient, Jack. No need to scream in our ears and leave them ringing!

 

He grins wildly, “that was pretty good wasn’t it? Haaaa this sounds like fun, I think I’ll do it!”

jack-nicholson_160251-1920x1200

 

Jack leaves, still laughing wildly and I start to wonder if this is such a good idea after all?  He is so convincing that I have my doubts on whether he is sane… I have a tiny sickening thought of being trapped in some confined space with him and Geillis? I decide to set the meeting up out of doors in some public spot where I can make a quick run for it from both of them if I have to.  Geillis has suggested a tour of ancient stone sights in the area, but I’m not so sure that’s such a good idea either, she could easily ditch us and take off through them to God knows where or what time? Especially with it being so close to Samhain..

I suppose we’ll have to take the chance and agree to her plan for now. We’ll just have to have some sort of back up plan in case she tries to escape?

Jack did mention that he would come prepared for any event?

Jack Nicholson

For tonight, I am going to try to stay calm and get some rest before we begin this adventure!