Warning: This post contains spoilers from Sunday’s Outlander.
She’s cute. Though cunning and a little crazy, she’s a known quantity. She’s convenient. And remember how Sam Heughan thinks that Jamie probably would’ve ended up with Laoghaire if Claire had never stepped through the stones?
All that said, Nell Hudson knows exactly what the Fraser faithful thinks of her character — and, as a reader of Diana Gabaldon’s novels, she sympathizes. But before she became familiar with Voyager, she first found out about Laoghaire becoming Mrs. James Fraser from the fans. And after doing a little research…
“In my head, I was like, ‘Oh my god, she wins!'” Hudson tells TVLine, laughing heartily. “And then I read the third book and saw the truth of the story, which is that Laoghaire is not a happy woman.”
As Jamie related to Claire during the episode, some vague badness went down in Laoghaire’s domestic life in the 20 years since last we saw her. “Even now, it’s incredibly tough being a single mother and raising child. In the [18th] century, it was even harder,” Hudson says. “That’s one of the things I used to be on her side.”
It’s good someone is in Joanie and Marsali’s mum’s corner, because after that incident with the firearm at Lallybroch, the blonde isn’t likely to earn herself any advocates among the Frasers or Murrays — even if, as Hudson claims, she did it out of love.
“Despite everything, she loves Jamie,” she says, adding that there was behind-the-scenes discussion about “is she trying to shoot Claire, or is she trying to shoot him? It was definitely something to play with.”
Fun fact: “That gun was so heavy!” Hudson recalls. “My arm was shaking the whole time.”
In Gabaldon’s novels, Laoghaire is pretty much absent after the events of this week’s episode. But when we ask Hudson about whether or not she’s shot any more episodes this season, she replies with a coy, “I’m not at liberty to say.” (Given that she’s the mother of Marsali, who has plenty of action coming up, it’s a distinct possibility that Hudson will have more Outlandish work ahead of her.)
In the meantime, she can next be seen in Season 2 of the period drama Victoria, which premieres via PBS’ Masterpiece Theater on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. And she’s now working on The Informer, from the BBC and Amazon Studios. “It’s not a period drama!” she declares gleefully. “I don’t have to wear a corset!”