Outlander's Sam Heughan on Whether Jamie's the Man to Govern a Clan

Outlander Season 1 Spoilers Sam Heughan The Gathering

Jamie Fraser: Clan leader?

Though fans of Starz’s Outlander likely would follow the Highlander Currently Known as MacTavish just about anywhere, members of his own family have different thoughts on the matter – as we’ll see in Saturday’s episode (9/8c).

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The clan drama comes to a head at The Gathering, a regular event in which all of the MacKenzie men travel to Castle Leoch to pledge loyalty to Colum as head of the clan. (Look for Outlander author Diana Gabaldon and series creator Ron Moore to make cameos as Gathering attendees.)

Though on the surface it seems like nothing more than a big party, The Gathering leaves Jamie with a serious dilemma: Swear the oath and position himself as someone with designs on his uncle Colum’s post, or refuse and appear as an ungrateful traitor?

But wait, doesn’t Colum have a son who will eventually fill his seat? Clan leadership “doesn’t go through generations,” star Sam Heughan says, helpfully enlightening those of us not well-versed in power succession in 18th-century Scotland. “If the father is the clan leader, then [his] son isn’t necessarily the clan leader. It’s more about who’s right for the job.”

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And if enough people in the clan think Jamie would make a good leader, it could cause a power shift that would leave certain factions (such as the assumed successor, Colum’s brother Dougal) out in the cold.

Outlander Season 1 Spoilers Sam HeughanAll of a sudden, that beating Jamie took a few weeks ago while Dougal watched has a little more context, no?

“If I swear allegiance, Dougal wouldn’t let me last a minute,” Heughan previews. “So it’s kind of like [Jamie] is stuck between a rock and a hard place, and [he] deals with it in a surprising way.”

But young Fraser being threatened by his own flesh and blood isn’t his only problem during the hour. When Claire attempts to leave the castle, she accidentally winds up drawing Jamie even deeper into his fraught family situation.

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Heughan says Jamie then puts on his big-boy kilt and deals with it.

“He surprised me,” the actor says of his alter ego. “He uses humor and charm to get out of it.”

So all’s verra well for the MacKenzies, then? Not quite.

Jamie’s decision “doesn’t stop Dougal distrusting him — and in fact it goes on even farther,” Heughan says, laughing.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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14 Comments
  1. Liz says:

    CAN’T WAIT!!! I love this show!

  2. Rita says:

    I am almost finished with the first book in the series. My question is the Starz version follow the book version within reason? I am not a book purist as I know it is hard sometimes to capture a book on film just curious..

    • Ali says:

      The series, so far, follows the book very closely tho I hear the shinty contest was added.

    • Angela says:

      The show has followed the book quite well. There have been a number of added scenes but they really compliment and flesh out ideas/information in the books. We are getting a much deeper and intimate look at Frank and Claire’s relationship than what what in the book.

  3. Ali says:

    Looks great, poor Jamie getting beat up again.

  4. christine says:

    My favorite show

  5. LaBete says:

    Can’t wait for Outlander! But, leave poor Jamie alone!

  6. JAO says:

    This smoldering dance between Jamie & Claire needs to resolve soon!

  7. Leslie says:

    I love that time in history

  8. Wo says:

    Love the books (have read all several times) and love the Starz series. Hope they do all 8+ books (Diana is writing #9 as we speak). Love Jamie: James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Frazer can do no wrong, and not bad to look at either. The casting for the series is fantastic, it is wonderful to see Claire and Jamie (plus everyone else from the books) come to life right before our eyes. Their love becomes so strong you can see it, feel it, almost touch it. Yes, Claire loves Frank in her way, but she is IN love with our Jamie and there is a big difference. Its just too bad she has to put up with boring Frank when she’s in the 20th century.

  9. Linda says:

    Brawn,beauty and now brain,Jamie has it all!

  10. Maureen Ward says:

    So far the Outlander cast and production are superb. It moves the story along with great visuals and follows the books (mostly) in a way I appreciate. I so am jealous of how fantastic Claire looks in what has to be an uncomfortable way if dressing. Luckily, some poor woman in the castle has a great closet to raid.
    Keep it up and all the fans of the books will come to watch.

  11. Carole Jan Scroggins says:

    I have been reading these books since the mid 90’s and feel so close to Claire, Jamie, Roger and Brianna. The books have been reread many times! I didn’t think Jamie was so handsome as Sam is, but he’ll do!