Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is bursting with rich characters. We know and love these folks as if they were our real-life friends and many of us wondered how this would translate to the screen. Would they be able to find just the right actors to play the characters we know and love? In my opinion, the answer is a resounding yes. I’ve made no secret of my admiration for the Outlander Casting Swamis who found Jamie, Claire, Frank, etc. But these Swamis weren’t satisfied to perform miracles when finding the main characters. Oh no. They took it a step further and found absolute perfection in the minor ones too. Some of these actors and actresses were on the screen for less than five minutes, but their performances were so real, they left an everlasting impression on us. Here are some of my favorites:
Mrs. Graham is the Rev. Wakefield’s housekeeper. She cleans his gargantuan home, cooks his meals and raises his foster son, wee Roger Wakefield (more about him later). She does all this while wearing lovely dresses and sensible brown brogues. She’s a druid/witch and has a pretty good idea what’s going on with Claire and if anyone would bother to take her seriously, the entire mystery could’ve been solved in under 15 minutes. Luckily, nobody did or we wouldn’t have this story. I love Mrs. Graham, she’s a good witch, very skilled at her job and everything about her screams ‘COZY’ from her teapots to her soft sweaters to her cookie baking with wee Roger on the Aga.
Mrs. Fitz runs Castle Leoch for Colum MacKenzie. She’s on her feet over 12 hours a day keeping the maids and cooks on task, shooing Rupert and Angus out of the kitchen and taking stray sassenachs under her wing. She does all this while wearing the same constrictive undergarments as Claire which inhibit her from taking a deep breath from sun-up to sundown. She’s also a great cook, a loving friend and a closet feminist who’s not afraid to take a stand. Back off Father Bain!
Hugh Munro is mentioned several times in the books, things don’t always go very well for him, but in his one brief scene in Season One, he made a strong impression on us. He can’t speak due to a run-in with ‘the Turks’, but he’s still able to communicate and be a loyal friend to Jamie and also bring a thoughtful wedding gift to Claire from her Target Gift Registry. #DragonflyInAmber
The Lady In A Loveless Marriage
Claire and Murtagh roam the countryside searching high and low for their beloved Jamie. Murtagh dances, Claire sings (a song that was stuck in my head for weeks–thanks for that Caitriona Balfe!) and demonstrates lousy fortune telling skills. She even gets this poor lady’s hopes up that she has a chance at some first-class JAMMF love. Oh sweet lady, only Claire will experience epic JAMMF action, but in a different time and place, there’s a good chance a certain Texas crooner might be your boo.
The Wee Toddlers:
Wee Roger Wakefield
Roger Wakefield is being raised by the Reverend Wakefield (and Mrs. Graham) due to his parent’s ‘death’ in WWII. Book readers know he will grow up to become a tall, dark and dishy dreamboat who will play a very important part in the lives of the Frasers’. When we first meet him, he’s an adorable lad, wearing a teeny, tiny tweed suit with short pants asking for ‘another biscuit please.’
Wee Jamie is the son of Jenny Fraser Murray and Ian Murray and is Jamie Fraser’s name sake. His clothing is also miniature and adorable and when he giggled and splashed Claire, I’m pretty sure my breasts turned to the auto-lactate zone due to the overwhelming cuteness overload and sudden urge to procreate.
The Real Housewives of Leochville
The Real Housewives of Leochville live very exhausting lives, yet they’re able to make ‘a day of it’ pissing in a bucket and rubbing it over the wool all the while sneaking hooch and raising their voices in song. Their faces show they’ve been through a lot, yet they seemed much happier than their pampered 21st century counterparts. #WantToHangOutWithThem
The Gypsy Who Stole The Song
The Gypsy was in one episode and only a couple of scenes, yet he managed to grab our attention and make it seem like he could be a real threat to reuniting Jamie and Claire. He also reminded me of Johnny Depp in Chocolat which is always a good thing.
Horrocks was a very minor character in the books, yet by expanding his role and casting a delectable bad boy to play him, he made us fall slightly in lust with him in one episode and want to murder him in the next. #WeAllLoveBadBoys
The Duke of Sandringham
The Duke of Sandringham is not a nice man, but the way he’s portrayed, we just don’t seem to care that he lets Black Jack roam the countryside raping, pillaging and plundering. He has a major thang for JAMFF and even that doesn’t seem to bother us cuz we do too. I can’t wait to see what the Powers that Be have in store for the Duke when next we meet.
Last but not least, we have Ned Gowan. The books describe him as a wizened old man, but for many of us, he’s our bespectacled book boyfriend. Ned was just another hard-working lawyer bored out of his mind on Wall Street, so, as one does, he ran away to join the MacKenzie Circus and who could blame him. For some people, sitting in an office can be mega-boring. For Ned, it was unthinkable. He’s a poet, a business man and a true and loyal friend to Claire…what more could we want?
These are a just a few of my favorite minor characters who had a major effect on me. Who were your favorites? Let me know in the comments. Also, for more of your favorites, stay tuned for my upcoming blog… I’m Madly Missing the MacKenzies!