Tag Archive | Outlander the books

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!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Frank Randall The Final Chapter

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

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

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

Frank with a headache

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

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

Frank on the way to crag na dun

Outlander 2014

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

 

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

tobias frank

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

tobias frank6

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

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

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

          

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

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

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

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

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

 

miniature of woman

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

frank's lecture3

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

tobias frank3

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

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

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

frank's wedding ring

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

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

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

road to logie kirk logie kirk path

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

St kilda kirk1 st kilda2 st kilda3

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

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

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

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

 

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

Logie Kirk

Logie kirk2 Logie kirk3 Logie kirk4

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

logie kirk13 Old logie kirk3 logie kirk10

 

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

Old Logie kirk2 logie kirk9

 

 

tobias frank5

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

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

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

Mrs Graham tries to tell Frank

outlander-premiere-stone-circle-dancers-starz

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

Mrs Graham and Claire

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

Frank and Reverend Wakefield Frank and Reverend Wakefield2

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Frank at the Stones

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

frank3

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

 

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

haunted at the grave

 

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

logie kirk9

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Frank yelling more

Claire and Culloden

Photo credit to Daniela Lippke via twitter!

 

 

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

frank-leaving-the-stones2

Excerpt from Fiery Cross in which Bree thinks of Frank

Frank in Fiery Cross pg 209

frank's letter in Fiery Cross

 

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

Frank in the mist

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

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

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

 

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

tobias frank2 Frank admits to three

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

 

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

the highland ghost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander: On the matter of Frank Randall part one

The matter of Frank Randall  part one

 

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

Tobias menzies as frank

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

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

Frank on the way to crag na dun

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

Frank4

 

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

frank6

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

 

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

 

Tobias Menzies

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

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

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

tobias-menzies_ian-fleming_any-human-heart

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

frank1

 

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

Frank with Claire2 Frank with Claire

claire and frank10

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

14_frank_frogs

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

Tired Frank

 

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

Frank needs something stronger than tea

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

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

Tobias Frank2

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

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

 

Introduction to Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows

excerpt from Leaf on Wind of All Hallows 1

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

wind of all hallows6

 

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

Frank and Reverend Wakefield2 Frank and Reverend Wakefield

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

Wee Roger arrives Wee Roger sing

 

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

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

wind of all hallows excerpt 2

wind of all hallows3 roger

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

14_frank_frogs

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

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

 

 

 

 

Outlander: Lallybroch

I debated over to do this as a post or pin it to it’s own page? Obviously the page option won! The reason I’m doing it this way is that I feel Lallybroch along with Fraser’s Ridge are such an important pieces of Outlander that they  well deserves it’s own separate pages. So, when I get to Fraser’s Ridge, I will pin that as it’s own page as well.

 

For those who still refuse to pick up the books and start reading, this is your warning that this page will contain a great number of spoilers and an ongoing discussion of the books as well as the show!

Going Home to Lallybroch

While we wait out the six months until the show’s return, those of us who have read the books at least have the comfort of our memories to dwell on whilst we wait with Jamie in the window watching Jack attack Claire.

Claire in danger of losing even more

 

If that was not painful or brutal enough to have burned on our brains for six months, then we must endure the image of  Jack’s so excited look at the sight of “his” boy, Jamie?

Jack is thrilled to see Jamie

Even worse for many of us is the knowledge of what will come after this! It does not get any better for some time, it only gets worse what with accusations of witchery for Claire, a “burning at the stake” for Gellie Duncan and a mad rush of escape from that same plight for Claire. It’s no wonder that by that time, Jamie is willing to confront his guilt for what he thinks happened to sister Jenny, and head home to the safety of Lallybroch!

Jenny Murray Jenny at the hands of Jack Randall Jenny at lallybroch

 

So, while we wait for Spring, let us all seek out that comfort of happy memories and Lallybroch. For those just watching the show, and okay with spoilers… well of course you’re okay with spoilers- otherwise you would not have read this far, would you? Anyway, you might need some additional insights and information on just how important and intregal  Lallybroch truly is to the ongoing story. Lallybroch is of course, Jamie Fraser’s childhood home, his inheritance, his birthright. It is that one place that he holds so dearly in his heart and tries so hard in the future to protect even if he can not stay there or go back to it.

Just a note here… Diana Gabaldon does such an excellent job of description and details down to even the smallest things, I really think it’s difficult to capture all of it and all of those underlying currents and such on film. The representation of Lallybroch is one instance where I am just not sure about the location/setting they have chosen to represent my beloved Lallybroch? I’ll get to that later, first of all let’s look at where Lallybroch would be located in relation to the description given by Diana. According to the descriptions, Lallybroch is located at a spot on the edge of Fraser lands bordering the MacKenzie ones. It is an important piece of land to both Frasers and MacKenzies.

 

lallybroch2 (2)

 

 

Scottish Clan map with possible Lallybroch location starred

Scottish Clan map with possible Lallybroch location starred

 

As I mentioned, Lallybroch is Jamie’s family home. He was born there, grew up there, always expected and hoped to someday return there to be it’s leader, the Laird of Lallybroch. One of his biggest regrets and guilts in those younger years was that he had failed his family- his Father and his sister Jenny. His Father died while he was on the run with a price on his head, and he assumes that his sister Jenny was raped by Jack, and bore a child to him… this of course is due to some fancy fabrication by Dougal MacKenzie in effort to keep control of Jamie. My personal ongoing confusion with that story is why he chose to do that? It never really made sense to me. I would have thought that Dougal would have wanted Jamie there at lallybroch from the beginning. The only way the MacKenzie could assure themselves of Lallybroch was if Jamie produced an heir to it… if Jamie died without an heir to Lallybroch, it would go back to the Frasers. My personal thought on all of it is that Dougal  and the MacKenzies would have been far better off if they had put more effort into keeping young Jamie happy and alive at Lallybroch from the very beginning! But, as it was, Dougal did realize the importance eventually when he insisted on the marriage of Jamie to Claire.

 

For most of his life, Jamie would carry the guilt and the thought that he was the cause of his Father’s death. Brian Fraser witnessed the initial whipping of  Jamie and collapsed there of what we assume was some sort of stroke?

jamie being flogged

Jamie's Father, Brian Fraser

Jamie’s Father, Brian Fraser

lallybroch1 (2)

 

James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, was born at twilight on the first of May, in the year of our Lord 1721, at the estate of Broch Tuarach, also called Lallybroch, near the small village of Broch Mordha in the Highlands of Scotland, the son of Brian Fraser and Ellen MacGibbon MacKenzie.

The eldest child of Jacob and Anne MacKenzie, Ellen grew up in the Scottish Highlands at Castle Leoch. She was a favorite of her father’s, who wouldn’t force her into a marriage she herself wouldn’t accept, and so she remained unmarried well past the time when a young woman in her position might ordinarily have been settled with a husband. After her father’s death, however, her brothers Colum and Dougal intended to arrange their sister’s marriage to Malcolm Grant in order to ease relations with Clan Grant, but Ellen defied them rather dramatically by saying something to Malcolm Grant that so offended him, he left Leoch without a word to his hosts, and Ellen ran away and eloped with Brian Fraser. 

 

Brian and Ellen Fraser were happy and content on their small estate of Lallybroch, wanting only to left alone and in peace to raise their family. Jamie’s memories of Lallybroch were those of a happy childhood even though his Mother had died at a young age giving birth to a younger brother. For Jamie, Lallybroch and his family was that place in his mind and his heart that could soothe him even in the worst of his pains. He had that sense, that feeling of family to fall back on all of his life. Claire never had that, being raised by her Uncle Lam, traveling around the globe and never having that peace or comfort to go to in her mind before being with Jamie. I think she craved that, and it was probably one reason she married Frank, thinking he could give her that. She did find it at Lallybroch though, and later on she found it at Fraser’s Ridge.

lallybroch7 lallybroch8 lallybroch10 lallybroch11

 

So, Lallybroch became that place to call home to Claire as well, though I think she later came to think of Fraser’s Ridge more in that context than Lallybroch? She knew how deep Jamie’s feelings for Lallybroch went though and how much of his heart was there, would always be there.

The quote from Voyager summed up Jamie’s feelings of family and of Lallybroch.  The original quote is from Robert Frost: Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.

Home is where they have to take you in

 

Some other important quotes and references to Lallybroch in the various books:

Seven years in a life, part 4. “It was only as the lights of Lallybroch manor came into view that he felt at last the

mantle of humanity fall upon him, and mind and body joined as one again as he prepared himself to greet his family,” –

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.

 

Homer’s Odyssey – when Jamie and Claire first arrive at Lallybroch, Jamie is greeted rapturously by the Lallybroch dogs

and Claire compares this to Odysseus returning from the Trojan War and being recognised by his faithful hound. Jamie

extends the metaphor by comparing himself to Odysseus returning home disguised as a beggar and having to deal with

Penelope and her suitors (Outlander, chapter 26)

 

From THE SCOTTISH PRISONER Copyright 2011 Diana Gabaldon:  It was cold in the loft, and his sleep-mazed mind groped among

the icy drafts after the words still ringing in his mind. “Bonnie lad.” Wind struck the barn and went booming round the

roof. A strong chilly draft with a scent of snow stirred the somnolence, and two or three of the horses shifted below,

grunting and whickering. Helwater. The knowledge of the place settled on him, and the fragments of Scotland and Lallybroch

cracked and flaked away, fragile as a skin of dried mud. Helwater. Straw rustling under him, the ends poking through the

rough ticking, prickling through his shirt. Dark air, alive around him. Bonnie lad… They’d brought down the Yule log to

the house that afternoon, all the household taking part, the women bundled to the eyebrows, the men ruddy, flushed with

the labor, staggering, singing, dragging the monstrous log with ropes, its rough skin packed with snow, a great furrow

left where it passed, the snow plowed

 

Excerpt 1 – An Echo in the Bone

Lallybroch Inverness-shire, Scotland “We are alive,” Brianna MacKenzie repeated, her voice tremulous.  She looked up at

Roger, the paper pressed to her chest with both hands.  Her face streamed with tears, but a glorious light glowed in her

blue eyes.  “Alive!” “Let me see.”  His heart was hammering so hard in his chest that he could barely hear his own words. 

He reached out a hand, and reluctantly, she surrendered the paper to him, coming at once to press herself against him,

clinging to his arm as he read, unable to take her eyes off the bit of ancient paper. It was pleasantly rough under his

fingers, hand-made paper with the ghosts of leaves and flowers pressed into its fibers.  Yellowed with age, but still

tough and surprisingly flexible.  Bree had made it herself–two hundred years before. Roger became aware that his hands

were trembling, the paper shaking so that the sprawling, difficult hand was hard to read, faded as the ink was. December

31, 1776 My darling daughter, As […]
An Echo in the Bone

The seventh–but NOT the last!–novel in the OUTLANDER series, An Echo In The Bone, has four main storylines: Jamie and

Claire Fraser, are now in the midst of the American Revolution; Their daughter Brianna, her husband Roger MacKenzie, and

their two children, settled at Lallybroch in the 1970′s (finding their feet after their return from the past—but are

unaware that that past is just about to leap out at them again); Lord John Grey and his step-son William (Jamie’s

unacknowledged illegitimate son), are embroiled in the Revolution on the British side with William in the army and Lord

John on the clandestine side of intelligence; and Jamie’s nephew Young Ian: his troubled love-life is about to take

another sharp left turn. The US cover design for this book shows a caltrop (and not, as one wit suggested to me, a Celtic

chicken-foot)—an ancient military weapon, designed to stop oncoming cavalry (and still in equally effective use by the

modern Highway Patrol, for stopping cars).   A caltrop resembles a child’s jack, […]

Now it should be very clear how important Lallybroch was and is to so many family members and generations through out the books! For me, it was a sad moment when I read of  Bree and Roger’s finding Lallybroch worn, weary and empty of life. I was so happy when they decided to raise their family there, breathe life back into it… and, I do have to admit that I was a little disappointed when at the end of the most recent episode, My Own Heart’s Blood, they chose to leave it and head back to the past and Fraser’s Ridge. I understood why they made that decision, I’m just not really happy with it! I want them, or someone else who feels the same feelings for Lallybroch to be there, to reclaim it and to live there happily ever after… if that’s at all possible given Diana’s way of story telling!  An added thought to that concern… it not like I only have wait six months to find out either. it’s more like a few years at least! So, be happy with a six month wait for the show to return Jamie and Claire to you!

 

My last thoughts on Lallybroch for now… The difference between what the show provides as representation and what is so set in my mind in relation to Lallybroch! I do trust the show creators to pull this off and set another vision of Lallybroch into our hearts but I don’t think it will ever replace that vision in my mind and my heart of what Lallybroch is? As I have mentioned before, Diana Gabaldon’s amazing ability to paint us a picture with words sets such a detailed vision of  what a place is in each person’s mind that it’s extremely difficult to completely erase or replace that vision in filming. When I saw the previews for Lallybroch, it is not anything close to that image in my mind? When I envision Lallybroch, I do not see any type of Castle, fortress, or really even a fancier manor house type? I see a country working farm estate, white washed as described in the book so well… a place with barns, and fields and sheep, hills and a tower back behind!

lallybroch1 Midhope_Castle_08 lallybroch1 lallybroch5

This image taken from a distance does come a bit closer but still, not really what I see when I close my eyes and think of Lallybroch!

midhope

This is far closer to what I see!

lallybroch3

 

scottish farm house4

 

And, when I imagine Roger and Bree seeing it, I can see this sort of image of a worn and empty home in need of love!

scottish farm house2

 

There is one other very important detail that needs to be included on the property… besides Jenny’s beloved sheep of course? There needs to be a North facing tower at the rear of the land!  During the 1700s it was still standing up well, and Jamie had childhood memories of having to clean that entire tower as one of his punishments! He and Ian recalled that event and Ian made much of the fact that had Jamie kept his mouth shut, they could have just escaped with a whipping rather than the days it took to clean the tower! It was also still standing and somewhat useable during Roger and Bree’s time there as I believe that was where Buck was hiding out at? So, while this image of the North Facing Tower is more rundown than what I would imagine, still there does need to be a North Facing Tower!

north facing tower

 

I do hope this has answered any questions you might have as to why Lallybroch is so important, and why it is holds such a special place in my heart as well!

Now… on to the rest of my project, building my own little piece of Lallybroch! After much self debate, I decided to combine the show’s version with the version stuck in my head. Here is the very basic start to it:

 

Please keep in mind that houses were not as large back then as we often assume them to have been?  Ohhhh and after placing the house, I’ve now realized that I need to move my tower to the other side so it’s in the rear of the house!  I’ve also come to the conclusion that I need to move it to a bigger lot!

lallybroch1 lallybroch2 Screenshot-3 tower