This is one of the big three episodes we’ve been waiting for in the first season of Starz network’s Outlander. Let me first say this show remains one of the few to have the least amount of cinematic deviations from the source material, in this case the award winning best selling “romance” series by Diana Gabaldon.
The three moments of which I am speaking are the wedding, the rape, and the return. I won’t go into details about numbers 2 and 3, but when they’ve been addressed in the show, you’ll know. The 7th episode of this fledgling series is titled “The Wedding”, and centers around exactly that. If you’re not caught up with the show, do so now and then continue reading at your leisure.
Ok, so to continue- Claire has sort-of-kind-of-mostly been forced into a marriage of protective convenience. Luckily for her, the groom is full of adoration and virginial curiosity, and can carry on a full conversation. There is a friendship between Claire and Jamie that we’ve seen bloom into something more during the previous 6 episodes, and you’ll note the general acceptance of the Sassenach presence among the men. One of my favorite lines from episode 4/5 is when Mr. Stern (Dougal) comes to Claire and says “You’re comin’ on the road with us”, because all I can picture is a rockband tour. WE’RE GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER AND PLAYING OUR LAST FAREWELL REUNION TOUR EVER, and we need a doctor to patch us up after we get into drunken shenanigans with our groupies and red coats.
The wedding is shown to us in a series of concurrent flashbacks, which are different from the “modern flashbacks”. I say modern, because those would be the ones with Claire and Frank. Concurrent are the times the characters are filling in their timeline from earlier in the day. Because my epitaph will probably read “But in the book….” it is my duty to point out the differences between the novel and the TV series.
The “kirk” they get married in is supposed to be the same chapel Claire and Frank got married in. The episode starts with a scene of Claire and Frank walking into the local Registrar’s Office. I’m really surprised this wasn’t kept in the show, the time spent building the fantastic flashbacks would in my mind lend itself to staying in the episode.
Murtagh is the most amazing character in the episode. From what I recall of the wedding sequence, our strong and silent Clansman doesn’t sing Claire’s praises quite as much as he does in the show. But he’s my favorite part of “The Wedding”, other than a well-timed gong crash.
The ring Jamie gives Claire is supposed to be his father’s garnet signet ring. One of the first things Jamie does once they return to Leoch is visit the blacksmith to have a “proper ring” made.
The wedding dress is supposed to be a local lady’s dress, someone long outgrown it. It gets altered in the space of the afternoon, while a very drunk Claire does her best to stand steady.
Claire DOES NOT take off her gold wedding ring from her marriage to Frank. But in this episode, SHE TAKES OFF THE GOLDEN RING. I haven’t yelled at the tv screen this much since Game of Thrones had Melisandre meet with Thoros of Myr. One of the biggest points of character conflict for Claire throughout the book series is the duality of her husbands, caused mostly by the fact THAT SHE WEARS BOTH WEDDING RINGS, one on each hand. (I will say the end of the episode has a wonderful shot of Claire reflected in the golden modern band stooping to pick it up from the crack in the floorboards where it’s landed. So maybe, just maybe, I take back part of my yelling. As long as the writers have Claire wallow in her sorrows.)
The pearl necklace is supposed to be a smaller collar size. As one of the few things Jamie has of value in his sporran, him giving it to Claire is a big deal. But, in the book, the pearls are “separated by gold roundels”, and have hanging drop pearls as well. I do love the love scene with her ONLY wearing the pearls, though. The wrapping of the couple in the-not-really-Fraser-tartan is a wonderful touch.
Character exchanges that are word for word from the book, proper number of bridal suite….encounters…, the well timed GONG during one of Claire’s “releases”, Dougal’s advances, Ned Gowan gettin’ some, and a desire for more. Really, that might be the most important part, I’m not ready for the mid season break, which is NEXT WEEK.
You can watch the special “behind the scenes” (which I really think should be called “Under The Kilt”) for S1E7, click here.