If you thought Outlander‘s Season 2 finale on Sunday missed the mark — literally — you’re in good company.
Diana Gabaldon, who wrote the series of novels on which the Starz drama is based, posted a lengthy commentary to Facebook on Sunday regarding the finale’s final Claire-Jamie scene. In Dragonfly in Amber, Book 2 of the series, the Frasers’ tough farewell includes Claire asking her husband to cut his initial into her palm; she does so in order to have a constant reminder of their 18th-century love after she returns to the 20th century, and he in turn has Claire mark a “C” into his hand.
But in the episode, Claire instead gives Jamie the dragonfly in amber that Hugh Munro gifted them for their wedding — a narrative detail change Gabaldon says she learned about in advance of the airing.
“I won’t recount the entirety of my comments to [executive producers] Ron [Moore] and Maril [Davis] in the wake of this conversation,” Gabaldon wrote, “but I do recall saying, ‘…there’s a massive emotional distance between, “I love you so passionately that I want you to shed my blood and scar me forever so I can remember your touch,” and “Here, darling, take the ugliest wedding present ever to remember me by for the 45 minutes before you die.”‘”
When TVLine spoke with Moore about the finale, he called the decision not to include the palm-cutting “mostly a time thing” and “a decision we had to make very early,” given that Claire reappears in the 1940s at the very start of the season.
“We had to project ahead about how many things we were going to be able to cover in that last scene. There were goodbyes, they had to make love, there was the ring. There was an awful lot of stuff,” Moore said. “It just felt like one too many things.”
He added: “To us, you’ve got the scar and you’ve got the ring: You don’t really need both as long as she’s got the ring. The ring is a literal, physical manifestation of what happened, so we thought that was enough.”
In her post, Gabaldon also noted the time (and mess) that the mark-making would entail, saying that Moore & Co. “were indubitably right, but STILL.” She went on to post the original text of the sad farewell, “both as a solace to the book fans, and a small gift to the show-only fans” and to mention that she’d made Moore and Davis promise “that they’d speak to the props department about making a new chunk of amber that didn’t look quite so much like a piece off a broken telephone pole transformer.”
Outlander book readers, did you hope to see the Frasers’ marking moment? Hit the comments and let us know!