Still Waters Run Deep – How Ron Moore and STARZ Beat Diana Gabaldon at Her Own Game When Casting The Godfather

Written by: Anne Gavin




Note: the end of this post contains a spoiler

Now before all you Church of Diana members get belligerent about this headline, let me say this.  Diana Gabaldon is a genius.  Seriously.  The woman needs to leave her brain to science.  I am among Diana’s legions of admirers who with every line, every word of her novels, shake my head and think to myself, “How the heck does she do that?”  But, there is an instance where Ron Moore and his casting and production team actually beat Diana at her own game and that’s with the incomparable portrayal of Murtagh FitzGibbons Fraser.  Here’s how Duncan Lacroix’s interpretation of the ultimate Godfather improves even on Diana’s vision. 



It took me a minute to realize after reading Book One and then tuning into the STARZ series that physically TV Murtagh was distinctly different then Book Murtagh.  Described in the books as a rat-faced, little man – short, slightly built but sinewy as a gibbon, with long simian arms, a low brow and narrow jaw.  Huh?  TV Murtagh may have a low brow – taken up almost entirely by his bushy eyebrows – but that’s where the resemblance ends with Book Murtagh.   Rat-faced, little man, short – Hmmmm.  That sounds a lot like Stephen Walters’ Angus Mohr!    I really can’t imagine Stephen playing Murtagh.  Can you? 





It’s true, the actor that plays Murtagh is a hulk of a man.  Duncan Lacroix is 6’2 and a British stage and television actor.  Quite different physically from the description of Book Murtagh.  And, for me, because of this obvious physical difference, Murtagh’s true nature is juxtaposed so nicely and visually enhances the story more so for me than Book Murtagh.  Let me explain.
As Jamie says to Claire with regard Murtagh – “still waters run deep.”  Murtagh is a man of few words.  Throughout most of the first novel, we hear little more than a cryptic “mmphm” out of him most of the time.  Murtagh doesn’t say much because he doesn’t have to.  He’s known for his reputation as a fighter.  Mysterious, dark, always lurking in the background and watching after Jamie.   

Book Murtagh does indeed lurk.  I’m aware of him but for me, personally, he doesn’t really stand out.  Enter Duncan Lacroix and an obvious decision on the part of the showrunner and producers of the STARZ Outlander series, that this man – this character – needed a make-over.  The first time for me that Duncan/Murtagh stands out is in Episode 103, “The Way Out” in the Great Hall at Leoch when Murtagh tells Claire that she shouldn’t tease Jamie for his dalliance with Laoghaire saying, “If her father or Colum come to know about it, young Jamie could get more than a bloodied nose.”  To which Claire retorts, “Like a wife?”  Murtagh responds, “Maybe, but that’s not the wife he should have.”  “He needs a woman, not a lassie and Laoghaire will be a girl until she’s 50.”  I’ve been around long enough to ken the difference.”  In the book, these words were actually ascribed to old Alec from the Stables.  But, SO much better to give those lines to Murtagh as we begin to really understand that there is a lot more bubbling beneath the surface of Murtagh’s rough exterior.  

In fact, we begin to understand the deep love and devotion that he has for Jamie as he looks to both protect and guide him forward in life and in love.  We understand more about the relationship and the deep connection to Jamie and his mother when we see Jamie ask Murtagh before the wedding whether his mother would approve of Claire.  Again, lines taken from another part of the book but so much more powerful inserted into this scene and delivered by Duncan.  “Your mother had the sweetest smile.”  “Claire has that same smile.”



Next comes the blossoming of TV Murtagh in Episode 114, “The Search.”  This episode was a total expansion of the Murtagh character – a lot of new material and lines layered over book scenes and the search for Jamie.  First off – he speaks!  Murtagh/Duncan uttered more words in this episode that he did in the 13 preceding episodes!  We really begin to understand what is driving Murtagh to push both himself and Claire to execute what is frankly, sort of a ridiculous plan to locate Jamie.  And, we get a chance to see Murtagh’s subtle humor with lines that only Duncan could deliver.  For example, “You two are natural outlaws,” referring to Jenny and Claire.  Or reacting to Claire saying she won’t question his plan anymore “yeah, until we get back to the horses.” Cue the eyebrows!



And, then there was the Tale of the Tusks.  Murtagh’s revelation about the bracelets was pulled from another part of the book, but seriously, could you think of a better scene or setting for this exchange between Murtagh and Claire?  We get it.  This rough looking hulk of a man is a romantic idealist.   He has stayed in love with the idea of someone his entire life.  It’s all black and white with Murtagh.  

He promised his love, the wife of another man – a rival nonetheless – that he would spend his life protecting her son, who he now considers HIS son.  Talk about tenacious.  We see in Murtagh’s heart wrenching scene with Claire in the cave that his loyalty will never be shaken -- either to Jamie or to the memory of someone he once loved but never possessed.  And, again, Murtagh refers to his loyalty to Jamie’s mother in the no-translation-needed scene at Jamie’s bedside in “To Ransom a Man’s Soul.”  You absolutely DO NOT need to understand Gaelic to know what Murtagh is trying to say.  Brilliantly acted and delivered lines from a gruff, imposing Murtagh.  But, the dichotomy of his physicality and the sincerity of his words only makes it more believable and this character more endearing.


Lastly, I want to leave you with two images of Murtagh/Duncan Lacroix.  First, Episode 116 “To Ransom a Man’s Soul.”  It was the scene showing the brief profile view of Murtagh carrying a beaten and broken Jamie from Wentworth prison.  I remember thinking at the time I first saw that scene – “Wow, Jamie is a big guy – and yet Duncan/Murtagh so easily and gently carried Jamie to safety.”  Can you imagine Book Murtagh doing that?  So poignant.  So strong.  So Murtagh.  Goosebumps.  And, then in one of the last scenes in Season 1, also in Episode 116 “To Ransom a Man’s Soul,” – the image of Murtagh walking up besides Jamie and Claire as they embrace aboard the Cristabel – never saying a word but with that subtle smile and beard pull.  

And, as the Cristabel sets sail and the camera pulls away – you see the Godfather at the bow of the ship – keeping watch – always keeping watch.   Duncan/Murtagh had NO lines in that final scene.  No words.  Just that hulky physical presence conveying so much meaning as Jamie and Claire set off for an unknown future.  Sorry, but that image wouldn’t have worked with a man the stature of Book Murtagh.
Like many of us, I dream of meeting this wonderful cast.  But, here’s the thing – I would run right past Sam Heughan and straight to Duncan Lacroix if I ever had the great fortune to encounter the Outlander crew.  To me, it’s the best character expansion of the TV adaptation and certainly one place where Ron Moore and company got it RIGHT. 


Now, Ron, how about letting Murtagh survive Culloden??? 

Do you think TV Murtagh is a better version of Book Murtagh?  What’s the quality in Murtagh that you admire the most?

108 comments

  1. Thank you for saying what I feel so perfectly. I had to laugh because I too would rush past all the other cast members just to shake Duncan's hand and tell him that is portrayal of Murtagh is so outstanding that whenever he is on the screen, it is him that I'm looking at. So glad that Ron and Company decided on this Murtagh instead of the one in the book. He compliments both Jamie and Claire in a very special way. Oh, if only he could survive Culloden! I have held my breath, winced and laughed throughout season 1. But I did not cry. Believe me when I tell you that I will be sobbing when we lose Murtagh. Thanks Ron...and thank you Duncan!

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    1. Susanna22 K -- I am so glad you liked the post. You are right -- truly a brilliant casting move bringing in Duncan and not shying away from the physical differences with Book Murtagh. And, yes -- when and if RDM depicts Murtagh's demise, it will be a sad, sad day. Thank you for reading and please come back!!!

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    2. I lived Murtagh thriught the show. He was so caring, but when he carried Claire from the prison gates and carried Jamie during the rescue, my heart melted.
      Other scenes as well, bracelets, sweet smile, etc.
      I want him to LIVE past Culloden, go to America, etc..Jamie lives him SO❤🙌❗

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    3. Oops, spelling...change I's to o's

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    4. Jo -- oh, YES -- I want so much for Murtagh to live. Such an amazing character and brought to life so exquisitely by Duncan. You just never know -- maybe it can happen! Thanks for reading and commenting. Please come back to the Blog again. We love comments!

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    5. It is always hard when a book comes to life--the author writes the characters, as we read, we imagine them another way, and now some person we don't know is going to make them appear physically!!! Rob nailed the essence of Murtagh in Duncan beautifully and you nailed how so elegantly. Thank you for pointing out what I noticed subliminally!!!

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    6. Duncan Lacroix made me fall in love with Murtagh. Book Murtagh was almost repellent. Duncan Lacroix is HOT in a "strong silent type" way. Well played indeed.

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    7. Elizabeth --I don't normally go for the tall, dark types but there is something very attractive about Duncan in this role, in particular. Don't quite understand it -- like so much about Outlander and my obsession. But, yes, I would say he is, indeed, HOT! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    8. Unknown -- thanks for your comment. Yes...Duncan absolutely nails his portrayal of Murtagh. I am glad the showrunner had the sense to overlook Duncan's physical differences with Book Murtagh and just go for it! Duncan is the perfect Murtagh! #LetHimLive

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    9. Wonderful way of summing up how many of us feel and we really would like to find a way to save him and carry him in to the rest of the shows. Just watching this character deal with the Indians in America would be worth watching. Also he would know Jocasta....there could a wee bit of history there. SAVE MURTAGH #LetHimLive

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  2. YAY!! Thank you Anne for such a wonderful piece on one who has become one of my favorite characters! I loved when he was talking to Claire about Jamie needing a woman for a wife. He is a man of few words and his eyebrows do say a lot! And actually with his hat on, Duncan reminds me a little of Fievel from An American Tail!

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    1. Denise -- you forced me to look up Fievel and you know, there is some resemblance! Murtagh is just an amazing character and Duncan absolutely brings him to life in a way that greatly enhances. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  3. I hope they can keep Murtagh in the series after Culloden! I love how they have casted Duncan and expanded his roll. I have gotten attached to Murtagh!

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    1. Heaven on the Lake -- I PRAY Murtagh stays...but am steeling myself for his end. It will be SO, SO sad. Worse than the Stones at end of DIA...baby Faith...all of it. I am attached to Murtagh, too! Thanks for reading. Please come back!

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  4. This is an excellent piece. I saw the series first and am now reading the book, and hadnt noticed how differently the book portrayed Murtagh. Now I'll pay more attention.

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    1. Unknown -- and actually, if you go back and re-watch some of the early episodes in Season 1, you'll start to notice Murtagh more, too. I didn't really "see" him until later in the series -- but he is there all along. Magnificent character and Duncan just shines. Thanks for reading. Please come back to the Blog again. We love reader comments!

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  5. This is an excellent piece. I saw the series first and am now reading the book, and hadnt noticed how differently the book portrayed Murtagh. Now I'll pay more attention.

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  6. This is an excellent piece. I saw the series first and am now reading the book, and hadnt noticed how differently the book portrayed Murtagh. Now I'll pay more attention.

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  7. Great piece! How I wish they could find a way for Murtagh to survive Culloden... Know it probably can't happen, but it doesn't hurt to wish! Right?

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    1. Carole Luther -- thanks for your comment and I couldn't agree more. Since this Blog was published, there have been some very creative and lively discussions over on Facebook about how Murtagh could survive and the story could still go forward. Gotta love the hard-core Outlander and Murtagh fans! And, yes -- never hurts to wish and hope! Thanks for stopping by. Please come to the Blog again. Love reader comments!

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  8. I love this and I love Duncan's portrayal of Murtagh. My favorite moment is Murtagh covering Jamie respectfully with his plaid when he rescues him from Wentworth. That one gesture spoke volumes of the love and respect between them.

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    1. Yes, yes, the respectful plaid cover moment....love it.

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    2. Kendra and Moz -- YES!!!! Amazing moment with the plaid...so exquisitely shot and acted. No words needed, which is what Duncan is SO good at. Love him!

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  9. Great article. I too love Murtagh...gotta preserve The Murt...keeping finger's crossed.

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    1. Moz -- I wish it could be so! Never say never. RDM is certainly not shy about making changes so there could be some hope. Thanks for reading and commenting. Please come back to the Blog again. We love reader comments!

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  10. Great article! Murtagh's one of my favorite characters and Duncan is so fantastic in the role.

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    1. Kim Alexander -- needless to say I AGREE WITH YOU! Fantastic, amazing, compelling...so many adjectives to describe Duncan's portrayal of Murtagh. Totally my fave, too! Thanks for commenting and please come back again to the Blog! Love comments!

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  11. Wonderful article about Duncan's outstanding portrayal of Murtagh. He is the perfect choice for Murtagh, and has truly brought him to life. He says he's a hard man, but reveals so much tenderness and love in his expressive eyes. Love him!

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    1. Hey, Susan -- yes, a hard man, but what makes Duncan's portrayal so good is his brusk, imposing physical presence yet you slowly see revealed his soft center. Sort of like a piece of chocolate candy. Dark, bitter chocolate on the outside and soft, warm runny chocolate on the inside. I just want to eat him up. Ha, ha! Thanks for your commenting and stopping by the Blog. Please come back and see us again soon.

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  12. Very good article. Love Murtagh/Duncan character. While reading the novels, kept thinking as I read, that there must be more of a story (possibly Jamie's true father). But then remembered he does die. But...even as I write I'm thinking...

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    1. Pearl Ito -- Thanks for commenting! That's a very interesting theory and with Diana, you just never know. She loves to add twists to the story. I think it's probably pretty safe to say that Black Brian is Jamie's daddy but like I said, it would be just like Diana to give us the ole switcheroo later. Stay tuned, I think! Appreciate you reading the blog and leaving a comment. Come back and see us again soon!

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  13. absolutely LOVED your article! I, too, would race passed everyone else to get a handshake or hug from Duncan....shortly followed by a sprint to Caitriona and Sam....I love all of their portrayals....casting has been perfect IMHO

    thank you for giving voice to those of use with crushes on Duncan/Murtagh! <3

    I may have to re-read the book but in any of them do they specifically say that Murtagh doesn't make it through Culloden or is it assumed? (if assumed, great opportunity for Ron to keep him around somehow...just sayin') :-)

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  14. Margaret Mahan -- thanks for your lovely comment. Yep -- Duncan is the man! I'm completely over the moon about his portrayal of Murtagh. So perfect. Epic really! As to your question -- yes, Jamie recalls in Voyager, I believe, to Claire what happened with Murtagh on the battlefield at Culloden. He did die, BUT, Diana has been quoted as saying she regrets killing him off. So, Ron certainly could make that change if he and Diana came to some agreement. I mean, Ron, has made other changes, so why not? We shall see. If not, I am going to get my Kleenex out for Season 2. My heart will hurt when Murtagh meets his creator. Again, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Please come back soon!! We love hearing from readers!

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    1. Jamie has to spend seven years solitary in that cave, all those years at Ardsmuir, and the years at Helswater. Unless Murtaugh is only thought to be dead, ends up indentured to the Colonies, and turns up again later, I don't see how he can survive Culloden and keep the integrity of the story. He would never allow Jaime to suffer in that cave, alone.

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    2. I agree with SparkleGrammy that Murtaugh doesn't survive Culloden. I don't recall which book has the Culloden battle scene flashback that Murtaugh is wounded from protecting Jamie. Diana doesn't make it clear if Jamie or Murtaugh kills Black Jack, only Jamie comes to with Black Jack body partly on him. I don't recall if this is after Jamie's leg is injuries by the bayonet. Just Murtaugh is at Jamie's side protecting and watching over him. I wouldn't be surprise if we learn from the TV show that Murtaugh kills Black Jack since we know from the trailer that Murtaugh knows Claire is from the future. Book Murtaugh, remember what he will do to Duke for something that happens in Paris?!?

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    3. On my latest re-reading, I kept thinking how feasible it would be to tweak the character of Duncan Innes and replace him with Murtagh. One can only hope.

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  15. great article Anne. Absolutely agree that he is a great character but very different in the book to the TV.

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  16. Caroline Trevor -- thank you. Such fun to write about Murtagh and his evolution in the TV series. One of Diana's most spectacular creations and brought to life so meaningfully by Duncan. #LetMurtaghLive :) Thank you for commenting!

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  17. Gr8 article focusing on a wonderful character. I too agree that this expansion of TV Murtagh was one of the best deviations from the book.

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    1. Sara m -- what can I say other than I LOVE MURTAGH! It's a tour de force role for Duncan and best adaptation of the book thus far! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  18. Absolutely love Duncan playing Murtagh,it was a stroke of genius from RDM to give him lot more time on screen,love his love&loyalty to Jamie,I can't see him surviving Culloden as new members will come abroad on Voyager,so hope that will be adapted also.And all of these comments Ladies are great,Thank You Anne!

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    1. zsuzsip -- Thanks for reading and commenting. I tend to agree with you -- it's a long shot that RDM will #LetHimLive but we can always hope. Wonderful character though, and I will relish every minute of screen time Duncan gets in Season 2. Come back and visit us again. Love reader comments!

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    2. I love reading your essay & comments,would like less Frank & more Murtagh LOL!

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  19. zsuzsip -- I can see your point. If I had to choose, I would choose more Murtagh! Thanks!!!

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  20. Looking forward your next article,STARZ hit the jackpot with cast,with everyone,of course can't go past the 2 leads,both Cait&Sam are giving us a wonderful performances,and just so hard on the eye both,wish we could get a bit more news of season 2.Love OL!I'm fr.Australia,just rereading the books now!x

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    1. zsuzsip -- LOVE having a reader down under! My next post comes out on the 31st -- SAMHAIN! Hope you'll check it out.

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    2. I certainly will,look forward to it! Halloween is not such a big thing here in OZ,mainly for my family remembering our departed love ones!

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    3. zsuzsip -- yes, important time to remember loved ones who have passed. You will like the last part of my post. 😃

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  21. Murtagh will remain as Jamie's Godfather during times when Jamie needs him, even though he dies at Culloden.

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    1. Deb -- Yes, I believe this to be true. Murtagh will remain a force in Jamie's life regardless. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  22. Agree Deb. *possible spoiler ahead* Perhaps we'll get to see Duncan Lecroix in flashback, but changing that one fact will have a ripple effect (although i just thought of a way. Duncan Inness is rolled into Murtagh) in RDM we trust

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    1. weetiger -- where there is a will, there is a way. I bet if RDM and DG put their heads together -- if the so desired -- they could figure out a way to keep Murtagh around a little longer. We will just have to see. I do know one thing -- I will treasure every moment of screen time that Murtagh/Duncan gets in Season 2. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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  23. Agree Deb. *possible spoiler ahead* Perhaps we'll get to see Duncan Lecroix in flashback, but changing that one fact will have a ripple effect (although i just thought of a way. Duncan Inness is rolled into Murtagh) in RDM we trust

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  24. I have mixed feelings about keeping Murtagh - would love to do so though! In True Blood they found a way to keep Lafayette when he was killed off early in the books. And the author did agree she regretted that she had killed him off. He ended up being a favorite and important character throughout the series and did not really change the arc of Sookie's story (nay, the writers did that for her, but that is for another blog!!). My point is, if they are careful there should be a way to keep him a bit longer even if he does not follow them to America. However, I cannot see Murtagh allowing the whole Lord John Grey relationship to develop as it did after he is gone. Not sure where Murtagh would be while Jamie is in prison and at the farm....Anywho, I LOVED this article, well done Anne!!!

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    1. ScrapHappyUSA -- see my reply to weetiger above. Anything is possible. RDM seems to relish making small changes. Granted, this wouldn't be small, but I would bet it would be met with lots of cheers. I guess we can hope and wish. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  25. Book Murtagh barely made an impression on me; but Duncan made me "fall in love" with him. Thanks for saying what I was thinking.

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    1. Barbara Dawes -- TOTALLY AGREE. So in love with Duncan and TV Murtagh. And, I generally never like bearded men. But, would make an exception for Duncan :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  26. Ah, well said well said. He embodies the who of Murtagh - the rest is nothing to fash about. But? a spoiler???

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    1. Rebekah Adams -- THANK YOU! Yes, spoiler -- if you don't know that Murtagh dies at Culloden :( Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  27. I so agree about letting Murtagh survive!!!! I was just thinking about it last week, and how much I'd hate to lose Duncan. He's made that role his own and I adore him. I really doubt that any viewer/fan would complain!

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    1. Alexis Harrington -- Agree. I bet if RDM made this change there would be loud CHEERS from many Outlander fans. Here's hoping! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  28. Oh, that shall be our mantra! #LetHimLive

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    1. YES Alexis Harrington! I saw someone else use this hashtag on a FB page commenting on my Blog Post and I LOVE it. #LetHimLive :)

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  29. He does play the part very well. But I do think his Scottish accent is not the best. Sorry, but it's true.

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    1. But he his Scottish and it is his own accent.

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  30. Unknown -- I don't know enough about the Scottish accent to know this but I am going to Scotland in May so I will check it out. Unless YOU are Scottish and speaking on authority!! Then, I will believe you!!

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    1. Actually Duncan is English. Not Scottish. His accent if fine for us Americans but many Scots have commented that his is a flawed attempt at a good Scottish accent.

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  32. I like the TV series Murtagh better than the book one but it would not be right to let him survive Culloden. As much as I would love to keep seeing him, the loss of his godfather shapes Jamie Fraser's life. It would be great to have him come back in flashbacks or dreams, however! I believe the TV Murtagh has become a more beloved character than the book version. He will be missed greatly.

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    1. Country Girl -- I hear where you are coming from...changing a BIG detail like this would have repercussions for the overall atory. I get that. But, still I hope for more Duncan and more Murtagh :) If they do flash backs to Culloden in Season 3, then I am pretty sure we'll see Murtagh. But, I just want more. He's an amazing character and yes, better than book Murtagh! Thanks for reading and commenting. Please come back and see us again at the Blog!

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  33. Your article is a balm for Noutlander/Droughlander! I may end up re-watching the TV series as much as I re-read the books - same rewards in appreciating new points in both - witness: Uncle Murty/Duncan LeCroix. Both books and TV series are THAT GOOD! Whatever RDM does with him, he will ALWAYS be there!

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  34. Peigi -- thanks for reading and your comment. Indeed, I have watched and re-watched every one of the 16 episodes in Season 1 (except Episode 115 which I have only been able to watch once) so many times I have lost count. And, yes, I started noticing Duncan/Murtagh in earlier episodes when I had not noticed him before. Also, I see young Willie a lot more also. The show is wonderful and while I am a first time book reader (on Book 4 now), I do think re-reads and re-watches reveal much not seen before. I do love me some Murtagh, however, and while it is nice to go back and see him on-screen again and again, I do hope and pray that RDM will #LetMurtaghLive Thanks for stopping by the Blog. Please come back again soon. We love hearing from our readers!

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  35. Agree absolutely. The choice of LaCroix for the film role of Murtagh was genius--and as said--made for a more impressive, fascinating,and sympathetic character than Murtagh of the books. I also liked that the film versions of Angus & Rupert were portrayed as more humorous and more human than the coarser, less likable book counterparts. While I certainly felt a bit disappointed with some film changes, others were clever improvements, whether the result of time/budget constraints or superior writers. BTW, Team Outlander is free to solicit my opinions at any time. :)

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    1. Jeanne Hawk -- couldn't agree with you more. Team Outlander got it right with Duncan and Stephen and Grant for Angus/Rupert. Love all three of these actors and their characters. Stand-outs for me as far as the film adaptation of Diana's amazing writing. Thanks for reading and commenting. Please come back to the Blog again soon for more original content and Outlander news!

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  36. TV Murtagh over book Murtagh physicality any day. The character's personality is what is important. Besides, if TV Murtagh was the height of book Murtagh there's no way he could have carried Jamie out of Wentworth Prison and make it believable. I doubt Jamie's character would allowed another person: Rupert or Angus to touch him if awake.

    Plus book Angus is maybe the size of TV Rupert. Sometimes TV casting of characters help us see more character traits. I think Rupert is hardly mentioned in the book. Ron Moore took book Angus and made two characters that are loyal tacksmen to War Chief Dougal & at his constant side. Having two men, Rupert and Angus available to follow/guard Claire. BUT book Angus is Column's close and personal bodyguard/servant. Can't wait to find out in S2 who plays this role if shown scene of Column and Claire...

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    1. Joanna Busch -- Yes, yes, and yes regarding TV Murtagh being superior to Book Murtagh. It's good RDM decided to mix it up and give us a more physical/bulkier Murtagh while also having some fun with the other secondary characters like you say -- Angus, Rupert, etc. It's definitely an instance where the TV show got it VERY right. Thanks for reading and commenting. Please come back to the Blog again soon for more original content and Outlander news. We LOVE hearing from our readers!!!

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  37. What a wonderful article! I agree with every word (except the part about running right past Sam Heughan. Girl, that's crazy talk!!). I'd love the chance to tell Duncan what an excellent job he did with Murtagh. I especially agree with what you said about him carrying Jamie out of Wentworth and that brief but telling profile. Great job!!

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    1. Karen Henry -- Ha, ha! Yes, Sam is amazing...but I remain steadfast in that I would really rather sit in a pub and drink with Duncan. And, yes -- that scene of Murtagh carrying Jamie from the prison -- still puts a lump in my throat. So good. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  38. in the book he's more prominent.His
    loyalty!!!

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    1. Unknown -- Yes, Book Murtagh's greatest quality is definitely his loyalty to Jamie. But, I do think Duncan took that to a new level and really filled out the character more than in the book. The great thing about a screen adaptation -- you can do that. But, I hear you...Book Murtagh has his own special qualities. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  39. I agree. Tv Murtaugh is awesome! He also informs me with more insight to Jaime's father Brian. Can you imagine what kind of a man Brian must have been for Ellen to choose him. For that matter, what a woman to have two such strong men of character loving her. Not to mention MacRannoch! Sigh, there have been many times I've experienced Clair envy but holy cow, that Ellen!

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    1. Colleen -- yes, I have thought of this often. Ellen must have been something else to have all these amazing men fall at her feet. I do hope Diana writes the story of Jamie's parents. It would be amazing. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  40. they can always bring him back in memory. little scenes in Jamie's dreams, or when he's fighting, hunting, working, loving....

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    1. There you go! Perfect solution!

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    2. Kawanna Ridout -- Flashbacks would be amazing...and would tug at the heart strings FOR SURE. Maybe will happen... Thanks for reading and commenting.

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    1. Dachshund lover -- I wish it could be so... Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  42. Murtagh's character made his mark very early when he knocked-out BJR while he tried to rape Claire after she thought he was Frank. He was the one who took her to the cabin and the meeting with Jamie. I think they realised they had to make the Murtagh character more realistic very soon after when he was written as having the conversation with Jamie about his mother. His line that (despite everything) she chose Jamie's father over him would not be believable if he was short, rat-faced, long-armed etc. She was high status after all. As for Murtagh surviving Culloden; Jamie needed to step from Murtagh's shadow and become the leader of men that he became on Fraser's Ridge. Murtagh's job was done. Duncan did an excellent job with his accent, gaelic-speaking and kilt-wearing for an Englishman. He deserves every accolade.

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    1. Agree. I adore Murtagh, but you are correct -- having him survive Culloden would do a grave disservice to where the Jamie and the story are going to go -- and to paraphrase Shakespeare, the story's the thing.

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    2. Marley & Scott and Dahlia B. -- Yes. I hear you. Murtagh surviving would not be true to the story. But, I mourn his passing none-the-less. Duncan is a fine actor who truly embodied the character and then some. Thanks for your thoughts and for reading and commenting.

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  43. Ann, thank you for sharing your thoughts.To me Murtagh is the most interesting character of the Outlander books and the one who develops the most. Duncan has given Murtagh a personality that I did not see in the books. Jamie/Sam is a cute lad, however Murtagh/Duncan is THE man!
    And yes, please save Murtagh!

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    1. Aliceblue_eyes -- It appears as if we see eye to eye on this one! Yes -- Duncan took Murtagh to a whole new level and I loved every minute of it. He will be missed...and I shall cry when he passes on. I wish we could save him, but I think the continued telling of Jamie and Claire's story would change significantly if he stayed. Sad but true. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  44. Thank you for sharing this!! I would love to See Murtagh be a time traveler too. It won't be the same with out him!!!

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    1. Martha Garrett -- It definitely won't be the same without him. It will be different and, I guess, as Diana intended. But, Duncan is a treasure. I hope he finds further success in his career. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  45. How did I miss this?! Loved this article, Anne! Of course, I clearly remember us having a meeting of the minds and great discussion about Murtagh at Lands of Loyal. (Loyal -- ah, the irony!) LOVE him!

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    1. Uluwehi Pena -- Thank you!!! I do love Murtagh/Duncan! I do remember that conversation in Scotland!!! Seems like yesterday! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  46. With you, all the way :) Frank, also :)

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    1. Doina Campean -- I can't say I feel the same about poor ole Frank. I will be happy when he stops popping up. That said, I can understand your feelings about him. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  47. Much as I adore "Show Murtagh," he cannot survive Culloden, as the fact of the death of Jamie's godfather, protector, and surrogate father has a profound impact and influence on Jamie's character and every decision Jamie will make in the future. There are things that will happen, and decisions Jamie will make and things Jamie will do that simply would NEVER happen had Murtagh survived.

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  48. Dahlia B. -- I definitely "get it" when it comes to the story and the importance of Murtagh being gone. Diana has addressed this, as well. But, I still will find it hard to lose Murtagh/Duncan. Duncan really brought this important book character to life in a way that I think even Diana was amazed by. He is a lovely actor and human being and I will sorely miss him.

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  49. The more you watch the more depth Murtagh is obvious. Talking to Jamie at the bedside is very poignant, him carrying Jamie with strength and love are very strong.
    I am glad they changed his physical appearance, his presence is immense.
    As much as we all love Murtagh, I don't think he should survive. His sacrifice and love is heartbreaking when he tells Jamie that his death will not be useless, that he'd be dying with him.
    I would love to see him as another character, because he looks so different when not in character. I think he would be great as Tom Christie. There is a certain symmetry, Murtagh loved Ellen, Tom Christie loves Claire. His size is right for Tom.
    Or he could be Mr. Brown.

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    1. Frances Yancey -- Thanks for reading and commenting. I have seen a bunch of folks speculate on whether Duncan might get recast as another Outlander character. I for one, would be ALL for that. However, I think it is probably unlikely. But, in this crazy world of Outlander on Starz -- one never really knows what Mr. Moore might be thinking. I am crazy about Murtagh and Duncan as Murtagh. I love re-watching all those poignant scenes with him in Season 1 and 2. It may be all we get but we will always have it. Again, thanks for stopping in. Love hearing from readers!

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  50. I love Murtagh, I loved when he gallantly offers to marry Mary Hawkins, could you imagine that pairing! This is how I think they should bring him back. After Culloden he gets sent to the colonies and we don't see him for awhile , then one day there he will be and surprise us all, we will all jump up and down and cry tears of joy!

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    1. Sally -- oh, how I wish that could be true! If, Episode 3.01 confirms that Murtagh dies, it is going to be a sad, sad day in the Outlander Fandom. I like your theory, though! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  51. As much as I love and revere Dianna, I was very upset when Murtagh died at Culloden - although, I do understand it. Why couldn't he take the place of Duncan Ines, even with losing an arm as a result of injuries at Culloden. He would be somewhat changed in personality by losing his arm, but we'd still get to enjoy his wonderful acting and presence on the screen. Or perhaps with the make-up & costume changes, this marvelous actor could successfully be Thomas Christie who is such an odd duck, so to speak, and very different from Murtaugh. The more I think about it, I think it could work, maybe.....

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  52. I would throw in another favorite Murtagh scene from Season 2. His offer to marry Mary Hawkins himself to keep her away from BJR. It was so sweet and perfect and unexpected, as was Claire's answer. He would be a wonderful husband but he didn't need to worry about Mary. She would be BJR's widow, not his wife since he would die at Culloden and she knew it.

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  53. All these comments that viewers wish Murtaugh would survive Culloden and go to America with Jamie and Claire got me thinking. The TV series has to simplify the plot, since they only have 13 episodes per season. What if the character of Duncan Innes was eliminated, and Murtaugh married Jocasta, the sister of his unattainable beloved? He would be terrific.

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