Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: Dragonfly in Amber: Book Discussion and Show Expectations

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#6524
Melissa
Participant

I’m late to the discussion, but wanted to chime in with my two cents since I’m about 80% through a second read of DiA and it’s on my mind right now. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the show’s writers come up with for season 2. The challenge of fitting this huge, complicated book into only 13 episodes seems overwhelming to me, but I’m sure they’ll do a great job. In fact they may very well improve upon the story, which to me was the slowest and most difficult read of all 8 books in the series.

The first time I read it I struggled a lot because of the shock of Part 1, finding out that Claire and Jamie spent 20 years apart, that Claire was back in the 20th century, and that Jamie had (supposedly) died at Culloden. It was hard to get back into the 18th century story of Jamie and Claire’s marriage and adventures with that hanging over my head. So I’m curious about how the show is going to handle the storytelling so they maintain the integrity of the book without freaking the audience out too much right at the beginning of the season. I’ve enjoyed the book more this second time around, knowing what I do now about how the story goes from here, but it’s still probably my least favorite book of the series. Which isn’t really an insult — all the books are great in their own ways, and there are parts of DiA that are wonderful. Still, to me it feels like a bit of a sophomore slump, though one that went away with Voyager and Drums of Autumn, both of which are my favorites in the series along with Outlander itself.

Anyway, some things from the book I’m looking forward to seeing (or hoping we’ll see!) on the show…

– Claire asking Jamie if he’s happy about the baby, and his reply about being scared for her, but also feeling so proud he could burst. And him saying “Oh, Claire, ye do break my heart wi’ loving you.” One of my favorite scenes in the whole book, so I hope it’s on the show in some form or fashion! There are some iconic Jamie lines that just have to be in the show, and for me that’s one of them.

– Seeing Master Raymond’s shop and the back room with all the animal skulls. Seeing Master Raymond in general. He’s one of my favorite characters in DiA.

– All the Parisian fashions and seeing Jamie and Claire at Versailles. To be honest, one of the things that threw me for a loop the first time I read the book was accepting that Jamie and Claire were somehow important and well-connected enough to wind up in such elevated circles in Paris, hobnobbing with King Louis and with Prince Charles. It seemed unlikely based on the first book and just seemed weird. But it did lead to some great moments like Jamie freaking out over Claire in her revealing red dress, all the flirtations and intrigue at court, Prince Charles climbing over the rooftops and appearing at J&C’s bedroom door, etc.

– The moment when Claire and Jamie spot Alexander Randall and think he’s Black Jack. It’s such a dramatic moment, with Jamie on the verge of murdering Alexander and Claire fainting dead away. It’ll be interesting to see who they get to play Alexander. It’ll be someone who looks a lot like Tobias Menzies, I assume, but not Tobias himself, right? That would be a little too Patty-Duke-Show, Cousins-Identical-Cousins, on top of him also playing Frank. 😉

– Claire running into Black Jack, who’s unfortunately still alive, and all the Jamie duel drama that ensues as a result.

– Meeting wee Fergus. I adore Fergus, both as a child and as a man, so it’s going to be exciting to see him on the show.

– Claire’s miscarriage and depression, Claire doing what she has to in order to get Jamie out of the Bastille, Jamie and Claire’s separation and reconciliation. One good thing to say about the Paris storyline is that it puts Jamie and Claire’s marriage through the wringer and tests their commitment to each other. They go through fire as a couple and come out of it stronger, if not unscathed. It only makes it more painful and sad when they part.

– The return to Scotland and Lallybroch. I hope the potato harvest scene from the book makes it into the show, although I know it might be the kind of thing to get cut due to time issues. I love the humor and sweetness of it though – Ian and Jamie so puzzled by this new crop, Jamie gathering the Lallybroch community together to eat potatoes and cock-a-leekie soup around the fire, Jamie gazing at Claire in the firelight, wanting to remember that moment. All while we as an audience know that soon memories are all they’ll have of each other.

– Claire and Jamie visiting Jamie’s grandfather, Lord Lovat. What a horrid old man he is! Fascinating, though. That’ll be a meaty part for whoever gets it.

– Rupert’s end. Jamie and Dougal’s final confrontation. OMG, all of that’s going to be so intense.

– Most intense of all will be Jamie making Claire go back through the stones on the eve of Culloden. I’ve never cried so hard at anything in a book as I did at that part of DiA, so seeing it acted by Sam and Cait is going to rip my guts out, I know. Oh, it’s going to be so good!

– And of course I’m curious to see Brianna and Roger, though maybe less so than I am about the other things I mentioned. I’ve grown to love both Bree and Roger through the course of reading the books, though Bree was a tougher nut to crack in that regard. I don’t hate her the way some of you seem to, but she mostly didn’t interest me a lot until the last few books of the series.

Wow, that was long. Sorry about that! It’s fun to speculate about how it’s all going to play out on the show, though. We have a long time to wonder about it, that’s for sure.

  • This reply was modified 7 years, 3 months ago by Melissa.