Monday, September 18, 2017

Murtagh's fate in the TV show (SPOILERS!)

Over the course of the OUTLANDER TV series, Murtagh (played by Duncan Lacroix) has developed into a very appealing character (more so than in the books, IMHO) and a fan favorite.

*** SPOILER WARNING!! ***

There are SPOILERS below! If you don't want to know yet, stop reading now.


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Many of you will recall that in the books, it's made clear that Murtagh died at Culloden, although the exact circumstances are a bit murky. He died in Jamie's arms, we know that much.

Murtagh was definitely present during the battle of Culloden as depicted in Episode 301 ("The Battle Joined"), but we didn't see what became of him after the battle.

Executive producer and show-runner Ron Moore made the following comment in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter:
Moore: We're pretty much allowed to do what we want. We always try to do the book version first. We make changes because it doesn't work for some reason, or maybe we changed a character that means you have to follow a different path – like our Murtagh [Duncan Lacroix] is alive, and clearly that's a change from the storyline.
Wow! I've been aware for many months that there was a "Save Murtagh" campaign going on in the fandom, but I can't believe Ron Moore just blurted out a huge spoiler in an interview like that.

What do the rest of you think about this? I hope they can find a way to make it work without major changes in future seasons.

42 comments:

Beth said...

OMG!!! That would be wonderful!!! I love his character so much in the show. I guess we will have to wait and see. Could Murtagh take the place of Duncan Innes perhaps or has that been cast already?

geraldine daywalt said...

I'm glad. I love the Murtagh character.

Anonymous said...

pretty surprised by that comment. Could Murtah be a Duncan Innes replacement?

Anonymous said...

I think Murtagh could easily morph into the Duncan Innes role. They struck me as very similar in the books.

Gramma Karen said...

In Episode 301, Rupert took the role that Ewan Cameron had in the book - carrying Jamie to the house, acting as spokesman for the men there, etc. What if, in the series, Murtagh took the role that the one-armed Duncan had in North Carolina?

Martha Koelemay said...

I have read all the books and had been mourning Murtagh along with all the others we became so fond of; for me, all the changes made have been acceptable and within reason, especially the expansion of the roles of Rupert and Angus. So I watched Episode 301 repeatedly, looking for Murtagh in the piles of bodies, and when he wasn't shown (as I thought he surely would be had he died), a glimmer of hope began to glow in the back of my mind.
I disregarded the spoiler alert--and thank you for that--because I have been simply burning to know! And now all I have to do is wait for this wonderful man to reappear!

Sharon Valdez said...

I agree, Karen. To change the story line of a "major" character that drastically is a gamble. I know it will be handled with care because Ron loves the source material. I'm at book first, show second person...read the books as they came out. I'm able to watch the show and separate it from the books. I love it all! Can't wait to see what Ron has in store for us!

b.helms said...

Shocked by Ron making this comment! I only hope it's true, but the speculation has been fun.

Shelljo said...

I've been wondering if Duncan might be replaced by Murtagh. My theory anyway.

wanda upton said...

I'm so thankful.He's a great actor.He will make ratings soar.

Sally Knox said...

Threads about this on several of the FB groups this morning, much arguing about Murtagh's absence being essential to Jamie's character going forward, whether he'll turn up at Ardsmuir (I doubt it) or in NC in place of Duncan Innes (better scenario imho).

Bonnie G said...

Such big news! What would you think if Murtagh replaced the Duncan Innes character- basically he survived Colluden, is imprisoned for a decade, sent to America as an indentured man, is finally freed and finds Jamie? O

Minnietwit said...

Wonderful news! But, it does make me wonder how many more MAJOR changes there will be?

Bonnie Toms said...

YES Ron..bring him back..he is such a great character in the show!!
YOu are doing an amazing job..Surrender was SUPEB..going to watch it again tonite!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that the show has changed it up a little. As long as the main story stays true to the original books.

Anonymous said...

I hate when people come back from the dead.....herself would never do that nor I think approve.....come one Ron don't ruin it.....

Jenny Walker said...

I loved the series Murtagh more than book character but, that said I chringe ever time they start rewriting "my story"!

Jenny Walker said...

Oops, might have screwed this up,
My comment was:
I loved the series Murtagh more than the book character but, that said I hate it every time that start rewriting "my book"!

Sidney Russell-Achurch said...

I was very sad that Murtagh dies in the battle of Culloden in the book, because I found him to be a very winning character. I won't be sorry to see him saved in the series as the shows writers have made him even more charming.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen

I am delighted Murtagh is alive. Perhaps he could take over the part that Duncan Innes played in the books. I would miss Duncan but love more Murtagh!!

Anonymous said...

Even though I love Murtaugh, he died at Culloden in the books and that's how it should stay!

Corina said...

Terrific news. It makes watching even more exciting knowing he can pop into one of the upcoming episodes alive & well(hopefully).

♥Susanlynn said...

I love Murtagh (and the actor who plays him) , but I really prefer when the show follows the book. Diana wrote a fascinating epic, so why change it just to change it? Changing one aspect of the story or a character can have a domino effect on the tale being told.

Madelyn Magruder said...

I am still hesitant to believe - it's such a HUGE leap!

Diane in GA said...

Maybe he's the dying man who tells Jamie about The White Lady and the treasure?

Roslyn said...

I have read the books and love them. I have had arguments with other people in the past because they cannot distinguish between books and films and appreciate the need for having to make changes (LOTR is a good example).
Murtagh's character is a special one, epitomising a pure relationship between two men which is desperately needed for Jamie after the awful things done to him by his arch-enemy. In the final episode of season 2 when Murtagh says that he will die with Jamie, I cried - not only because I didn't want him to die but I didn't want Jamie to lose the greatest gift a man can have. I would love to see Murtagh again and I am sure that I will love whatever Mr. Moore has in store for us.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see Murtagh survive and come back into Jamie's life at some point. The Duncan Innes character is okay, but I must say that when I read about him in the books I picture Murtagh in my head). Murtagh and Jamie had such a special relationship--it would be a real gift to see Murtagh survive.

Joan Fader said...

If Murtagh survived Culloden, he would have gone in search of Jamie and ended up looking for him at Lallybroch! I believe Jamie will find out from one of the prisoners in Arsdmuir what happened to him. I think it is too much of a stretch to keep his character alive as much as everyone loved him. I hope I am wrong but that's my theory!

Mary L Joseph-Alvarado said...

Yet in the podcast by Ron Moore he stated that they said goodbye to the actor who plays Murtagh. I am so confused. If they are keeping him alive why would the crew have said goodbye and that this was the last time we would see Murtagh.

Susanlynn said...

Juxtaposition...unkempt, grubby, scowling, heartbroken, longhaired , near catatonic Jamie is hacking away at a giant buck carcass and gutting fish with his hands. Meanwhile back in the future , Frank is dealing with no hot water in his shower and those d*mn American teabags. #thestrugglesarereal

The writers have emphasized that both Claire and Jamie are shutting their eyes during every asexual encounter , so we expect their reunupon will have eyes wide open.

kkilgrow said...

Murtagh was one of my favorites from the start of the series. The writers did an excellent job displaying the character's emotional connection with Jamie and Claire. (IMHO)It would flow naturally if Murtagh instead of Ennis showed up at Ardsmuir Prison, was sent to the US as an indentured-servant, and then reunited in GA or NC with the Frasers and Mrs. Cameron.

I have given up on the series having the book's plots, etc. follow the author's wonderful story telling. DG's vast knowledge of writing historical adventure, humor, and romance is superior vs. some of the episode writer's who pale in comparison with their attempts to write their version of the story. (Moore, Roberts, Kennedy are the exception to the rule.) I would be pleased if they could just keep their narration of events from deviating from the other writer's story-lines in the series.

Bonnie Toms said...

Susanlynn; Yeah..funny isn't it when that we really take advantage of all the perks life has to offer. Back in the 1700's it was terrible for them..but they knew nothing else.

Sher said...

Diana has done that. people we thought dead...poof there they were again. Geillis...BJR...
The show will not be ruined by a well written charactetr

Anonymous said...

I have been listening to Lord John and the Private Matter. There is a description of the Culloden field that is very accurate to the series depiction of the same. Young Lord John is tasked with finishing off any Scottish "traitors" that survived, although he was using a pistol, not a bayonnete as shown in the series. It was his explanation of the first man he ever killed. Very vivid depiction. It would be nice if Murtagh was not in the midst of the dead, although I am torn as to which part I would like to see him take over. Duncan is a bit of a stretch to me, but maybe the man who gave the cryptic messages to Jamie and Lord John near Ardsmure prison.
Sherry Campbell

Sally L said...

I think it's wonderful that they are keeping him alive. I read somewhere that Diana regrets that she killed him off at Colloden (is that true Karen?). My prediction is that he is imprisoned for a while and shipped off to the colonies as an endentured servant. In S4 when Jamie and Claire get there they will run into each other and he will take the role Jamie's right hand man (as he has been). Will end take Duncan's role 100%? Not necessarily.

Duncan LaCroix was a fantastic casting-why mess with that? He is perfect to play Jamie and Claire's support person in the colonies. He could be Duncan, he could be the Factor of the Ridge (Lizzy's dad) or something to that effect.

Great change, in my opinion!!! Ron doesn't blurt - he probably released this information because filming for S4 will start soon and there is no way social media will keep that secret.

The Beginning said...

Very good question!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. Especially in the TV series when there isn't enough time to develop another character like Duncan, it seems like it would fit for the 2 to sort of merge. Also, we already know that murtaugh loved Ellen, doesn't Duncan marry Jocasta in the books? It would fit to have murtaugh love ellens's little sister just as well.

♥Susanlynn said...

I do not know how to comment at Compuserve , but i have read the comments about episode 303 there. I have watched the episode , and I thought most of the scenes at Ardsmiur were okay . I liked Dave Berry as Lord John, and I can live with Murtagh surviving inexplicably because I love the actor and the relationship with Jamie. However, I did not think the scenes of Claire and Frank were well done. ding dong..the mistress picking Frank up at his house for a date on the day Claire graduates...and stepping into the house? One thing I noticed was that Claire had six different outfits and four of them were white!!! The WHite Lady !!! First, the shortsleeved white blouse at breakfast.... then, the ivory dresses for BRee's graduation and her own, and last a white long sleeved blouse.

Susan Lambariello said...

Watched episode 3 and had to replay to make certain my eyes were not playing tricks. It IS Murtagh! Always felt it was ashame Murtagh did not continue on with Jaime in this adventure. First thought was...will he take on the roles that were attributed to Innes Duncan in the books? Seems like I am not the only one with that thought. Similar ages. Definitely similar allegiance to Jaime. Not loving all the differences between the book and the series so far in season 3, but, this one I would not mind at all.

Amanda Johnson said...

My thoughts exactly!!!!! I would LOVE!!!! That idea!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think it is pretty clear Murtagh will take on Duncan Innes' role now that the series killed off Duncan and sent Murtagh to the colonies. He and Jamie will find each other and Murtagh will end up looking after Jocasta Cameron ...... In a tv series it is nice to have characters we grow attached to survive. So many main characters from the first two books are dead: Collum, Dougall, Rupert, Angus, Frank / Black Jack, the Reverand Wakefield, Mrs. Graham.

Jules said...

The one change I haven't liked so far is that Jamie knows Laoghaire is responsible for Claire being almost executed before. Him knowing that makes what will happen next in season 3 (assuming they keep with the book) less believable. (I tried not to say specifically so as not to spoil for proteome who haven't read the