Last summer I decided to once more listen to the Outlander audiobook and follow that with listening to the audiobook of the 2nd novel “Dragonfly in Amber” to refresh my memory with everything that’s going on in that book. I had planned to finish with both long before Season 2 (based on the 2nd book) might start. But somehow I got sidetracked and only with 9th April looming very near on the horizon I picked up the audiobook again.
Yesterday I’ve once more (might have been the 3rd time in the last couple of years) finished listening to the Outlander book. Finally! ;-) With the distance of about 9 months since the finale aired on TV and with the original story fresh in my mind, my thoughts on the TV finale changed a bit. Back then I wrote a rather positive review and I don’t want too backtrack to much from it, because it did work as a gripping, emotional hour of television.
But looking back now a part of me wishes Ron and the writers had made a few different choices. Because in my eyes the TV show did put the focus on the physical side of the abuse wheras I now think that the psychological side was the much more damaging and thus the much more vital part of these scenes. They showed part of how BJR got under Jamie’s skin and how BJR brought up Claire or at least how Jamie kept her in his mind and thus connect her to the whole horrific event. But to me it still was much more prominent in the book and the damaging effect of these mind games much bigger than it was potrayed on the show. In the show it was much more about the pain and degradation, while in the book BJR uses pain, degradation, but also tenderness and incessant talk about Claire and about love which messed with Jamie’s mind. And he does it more than once.
Because of this deep rooted psychological damage, Book Claire had to use an opium fuelled sort of excorcism to help Jamie literally battle his demons or rather the one demon on his mind and to thus help him come to terms with it and try to move on. On TV it was Claire more or less dressing Jamie down, then they struggled a bit, then they talk about it and then Claire goes all “oh, poor me, what shall I do if you kill yourself” on him. But Jamie never really got to fight his demon, like he did in the book. And I thought it was vital to him that he got the experience – drug induced hallucination or not – to fight and overpower his demon. And I’m a bit sad that TV Jamie didn’t get that kind of closure.
Oh, well, I guess, that’s why the books will always be my favourite version of the Outlander saga :-)
On a brighter note: Season 2 will start in 39 days!
The 2nd audiobook lasts 39 hours. Which means I have to listen to it for one hour each day if I want to really get through it until the season 2 premiere! Doable, of course. But still a challenge :-) I started this morning on my drive to work and my mind already went into overdrive thinking about how they will disentagle the various time periods and plot lines to make it work chronologically for a 13 hour TV series. By now I think they might move quite a lot of the “framework” events and plotlines to Season 3. The 2nd trailer already made clear that they will move around quite a few events for the sake of a somewhat more chronological plot. So it’s going to be interesting to see what Ron and his team of writers have come up with.