Tag Archive | Leaf on the Wind of all Hallows

Outlander: On the matter of Frank Randall part one

The matter of Frank Randall  part one

 

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

Tobias menzies as frank

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

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

Frank on the way to crag na dun

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

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

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

 

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

 

Tobias Menzies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tired Frank

 

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

Frank needs something stronger than tea

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

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

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

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

 

Introduction to Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows

excerpt from Leaf on Wind of All Hallows 1

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

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

Frank and Reverend Wakefield2 Frank and Reverend Wakefield

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

Wee Roger arrives Wee Roger sing

 

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

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

wind of all hallows excerpt 2

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Outlander: Both Sides preview

Okay, I’ve been putting this post off only because I am feeling so verra tired! This first season of the show has been a rollercoaster, whirlwind ride and I’m a bit exhausted from all of it. It’s been an amazing adventure so far for me, both with the books- which I just finished as the show began airing, and the show itself. I just want to thank Diana Gabaldon, Starz and Ron Moore as well as all of the writers, actors and everyone else involved in bringing this story to visual life for all of us. This adventure has inspired me in so many ways that I can not even begin to name them all. One of the biggest inspirations it is that it has broadened my horizons and brought me out of my previous little world that so tied me to the computer… I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “Wait a minute, aren’t you tied to your computer now?!”  Well, yes I am still tied to my computer in some ways but, I do think it’s in a better way than I was before! Granted, I have most likely just switched my addictions but at least this one, while still just as consuming, does give more opportunities and reasons to venture out away from my computer screen! I do still enjoy my sims world, but now it is no longer the obsession or addiction that it once was. So, that’s probably a good thing! Now I find myself looking forward to doing other things such as rediscovering my kitchen! It’s been a pleasure to reacquaint myself with it, and with the foods I’ve been exploring and experimenting with thanks to Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com! I am also learning so much more about a number of subjects as I work on this blog and hopefully am becoming better at it. I find myself wanting to do more of the things I did when I was younger besides just the writing and the cooking, such as sewing and even candle making. I am looking forward to a few of those projects in the future! There, now my gratitude and inspiration covered, we can move on to other subjects such as this week’s episode!

One other reason I probably put this one off a bit is that I feel like I already covered it in my previous discussion and thoughts?

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/outlander-marriage-of-convenience-and-other-things/

Last week, the writers chose to focus on just the Wedding. While at first I was a little frustrated with that decision, after thinking about it, it made excellent sense to do it that way and present this next episode as the mid season finale. It is one of those pivotal turning points in the story where they can leave us with an ending as in an ending of Claire’s old life and dreams, and a beginning of her new life with Jamie.  speaking of endings and beginnings, I just want to put down my thoughts on the recent announcement from Starz that the next half of the season will not air until April?! Upon hearing that, I was panic stricken… What, 6 months to wait??? Then I quickly calmed down and realized that it will probably take them 6 months just to edit the Wentworth Prison scenes. It also gives me six months to prepare myself to watch those scenes play out, they were difficult enough to read, let alone to see them being done!  Panic done… now, I have six months to do some of those other things on my list of want to do’s… and it also means I can devote January to April to my other passion… Vikings! Well, that’s a plan then, I am quite alright with the wait… after all, I got over my needs for instant gratification quite some time ago!

 

Now on to this week’s episode!

 

If you read my previous post on the Wedding aftermath, you know that the happily wedded bliss did not last very long? Damn that real life for always getting in the way of romantic dreams! Claire does get her knife fighting lessons this week even though Murtagh insists that the most appropriate weapon for a woman is poison!

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As I mentioned, their wedded bliss is short lived and Claire will be witness to that other side of Jamie… his hotheaded temper, his stubbornness and the harsh reality and meaning of the fact that he never breaks a vow he’s made to anyone.

outlander-midseason-finale-clip

They meet an old friend of Jamie’s who has a wedding gift for Claire…. A Dragonfly in Amber!

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Most her so called honeymoon is spent on the road in the company of the men… not leaving much privacy for any romantic encounters they might be desiring.

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Those are the basics of the preview… but of course we all know there is so much more involved and going on beneath the surface?  And, there is some one else to consider this week as well. I am very interested in seeing how Frank Randall’s circumstances and reactions are presented. The book did not go into what was going on with Frank during this time other than the fact that he was most obviously frantically searching for his missing wife. OUT_108-20140518-EM_0812.jpg

 

In looking at the search items that lead people to my blog, I noticed that someone got here by asking Google why Claire stays with Jamie? I think that is a valid question and deserves some deeper answer than a simple, Because she loves him? For one thing, she didn’t love him right off the start…she didn’t even love him when she married him, and isn’t sure she loves him until this episode and portion of the book.  Great sexual chemistry does not necessarily equate to a love beyond time, or even a serious long term relationship. Claire realizes that, and struggles with the issue of having betrayed the one she did love, made vows to and had remained faithful to until event. She struggles with it for much of her life, even after she admits her feelings for Jamie and commits herself to him.

Two rings two loves

 

 

 

I think what is most compelling about Claire’s situation is that Jamie understood it and accepted it better than she ever did herself? I think maybe that is a turning point for her in her feelings for Jamie, knowing that he accepts her feelings for Frank, supports her and encourages her to talk about it. It does become forever after in many  ways, a three way relationship between them. Jamie accepts it, Claire forever struggles with it and in the future Frank will struggle even more with it.

 

What I find so interesting about this week’s episode is how the writers will present Frank’s side of the story.  I have always found his character intriguing and I think there is so much more to him under that surface that he presents. I hope one day, as in the next book…Diana will expand on some of his history and enlighten us more on his unknown qualities and activities?  The bit of the clip we were given as preview causes me some frustration… I am well aware that he is most likely frantic at that point and not thinking quite rationally so might be duped into some scam? But, really the man is not just a history professor… he may appear on that glossy surface as one who could easily be taken advantage of, but those of us who have read the books know exactly what he did during his military service? Frank Randall was a part of British Intelligence and a rather high up part of it  for that matter.  As with all of Diana’s characters, he is a study in contrasts of behaviors and complex emotions. Personally, I want to know more about his story! I think he knew far more than anyone was aware of… slowly through the books and the novellas, some of his story has come out, but not nearly enough!

He shows up in the Novella, A leaf on the Wind of All Hallows. This short story is set during WWII and tells the story of Roger MacKenzie’s parents. I know that for the television viewers who have not read the books, Roger is an unknown character who will not show up for some time. I am only bringing this story up because it does pertain to Frank Randall during the War years when he was off doing things which he could not discuss with Claire… or anyone else for that matter!

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/short-fiction/a-leaf-on-the-wind/

 

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Frank Randall

 

How and why does a young, rebellious and free spirited Claire Beauchamp meet and fall in love with an even tempered, well polished, reserved historian Frank Randall? Why does he fall for her as well? Their early beginning aren’t really told in too much detail… this is a brief explanation.

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. 

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So, what we do know is that Frank, a historian knew her uncle Lambert and met her through that acquaintance… I have found this a curious coincidence throughout the whole story and often wonder just what Uncle Lambert knew? Just how did little Claire come to be an orphan in her Uncle’s care… Yes, Yes… I know, her parents died in a horrific car accident and she conveniently ended up with Lambert? But, after reading some of the other suspicious deaths and orphaned children, it gives me pause to wonder?

 

Okay, we know how they met, had whirlwind romance and quick marriage then both went off to fight the War. So, what we have is a War time romance between two people who probably didn’t know each other quite as well as they thought they did. It happened a lot during those times. But, what is important in the overall picture is that they really didn’t spend all that much time together before, or during their marriage. Claire probably spent more time with Jamie than she actually did with Frank during those early years of her marriage to him.

 

Why would Claire have been drawn to Frank in the first place and was it really that true love that she believed it was? I think Claire as an orphan, raised by Uncle Lambert probably saw Frank as stability and a balance for her? It was one of those cases of opposites attracting for both of them. She thought she wanted that stability, a home a family and acceptance from the world around her. She truly did love Frank, but I think that eventually even had she not went through the stones, they would most likely have drifted apart and gone their separate ways once the war was over and they attempted to settle into a life together. Had they stayed together, there would have been no children to hold them together and I think they both would have parted on some acceptable good terms as friends through life. Either that, or Claire would have just eventually drank herself into oblivion…  It was a whirlwind relationship fueled by the turbulence and passions of War, of heated emotions, partings and brief reunions. Yes, they shared some common interests, but more so on Frank’s part than Claire’s. He was obsessed with history and his own family’s history, she was used to such passionate obsession with history from living with her Uncle but she did not really share that passion. So, after the heated physical passion faded, what would have remained for them?

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Claire was pulled from the relationship before either of them could settle upon the notion that theirs was not necessarily a match made in Heaven. They both shared traits of stubbornness, determination and loyalty. For those reasons alone Frank would not have given up on his search for Claire… and possibly if he had the slightest suspicion that something else might have happened to her, such as with the disappearance of a certain pilot during his war years, he would have been determined to find some clue or answer.

 

For Claire is was at first a matter of not giving up on those vows she had made to Frank, no matter what. When she was finally faced with the opportunity to get back to him though, she had to come face to face with the reality of her truest feelings. Jamie was willing to take her back to the Stones and give her up for her own safety and for her own peace of conscience and heart. She had to make the difficult choice of which vows to betray, of which man held not just her heart but her soul, the decision of who needed her more, who and what she needed more than anything else.

Outlander 2014 Outlander 2014

 

My one last thought on Claire’s dilemma at that time, and later when she did return through the Stones to Frank is, How incredibly difficult would it have been to look into Frank’s eyes everyday and not see Black Jack Randall? How to get past that inner feeling, and knowledge of the coldest, cruelest man imaginable, knowing and seeing those nightmarish images of what the man had done to someone you cared so deeply for each time you looked at someone you loved? I would think that in itself would have caused a huge divide in her emotions towards Frank without her even meaning for it to happen. Relationships have fallen apart for far lesser reasons than that one. “I’m so sorry Dearest but every time I look at you, I see the ghost of  the cruelest man I know, so no I am not really in the mood to be romantic with you?”

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Knowing what she knew,  having those images burned into her mind and her heart… could she ever really trust herself with any sharp instrument near Frank? All it would take is one flashback and she would be guilty of murder and insanity…

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