The Outlander Bit Player Who Stole Our Hearts
While everyone is OOOHING and AHHING over the expanded television roles for so many of the minor characters in the books–Rupert, Angus, Ned–I am in awe with bit character Willie. OK, maybe, just maybe, I even have a little crush on him. Why not? He’s attractive as, Highlanders go-his clothes aren’t all disheveled and his hygiene seems relatively in check. He’s kind and thoughtful-I mean really, he’ll even go fifty yards and downwind if needed. And he is loyal-he’ll stand up for friends in the most harrowing situations. But who IS Willie?
Read more after the jump . . .
There are different “Willie” references throughout the first and second books. In the novel, Outlander, when the rent party returns to Castle Leoch, Mrs. Fitz greets them and it is Willie that she addresses with the line, “Willie, my dear. So good to see ye.” (in the show that is changed to Rupert). Then there is a Willie McMurtry named later in the book. It is believed that this Willie is also the one who is sent by Rupert to get Jamie some decent clothes to wear to the Oath Taking. Toward the end of the first book, McMurtry is one of only five of Dougal’s men who goes with Claire and Murtagh to rescue Jamie from Wentworth. OH!! So that MUST be him, right? Don’t go so fast! Because, in Dragonfly In Amber there is a Willie Coulter, or Willie Coulter MacKenzie. This is who Diana Gabaldon, HERSELF, believes our beloved Willie to be. She had even said in an early interview, “If they take my advice, he is Willie Coulter. But we haven’t gotten that far into discussion on season 2.” This Willie is a comrade of Dougal during the Uprising and is the first to appear at the Kirk during the Battle of Falkirk Muir. He is also known to witness a HUGE event that happens at Culloden House, but we will keep this semi-spoiler free! Even into the third book there is yet another Willie, Willie McLeod. I’m betting that our Willie is going to be a conglomeration of all of these small characters combined.
Willie is LOYAL! Of all other characteristics of this young man, loyalty is probably the most obvious. He is loyal to God–did you see/hear his scripture battle with the Priest in “The Wedding” episode? This young man remembers his catechism (as best as a young man does, ye ken?) and is willing to use his knowledge against a priest to help his fellow clansmen in securing a church for a proper wedding. In “The Reckoning,” Willie is subjected to the harassment of the other clansmen because he has remained loyal to “The Mackenzie” and had told him of Dougal collecting for the Jacobite rebellion. Then his biggest, and in my eyes, most loyal, move he makes is when Claire asks Dougal’s men for help in rescuing Jamie from Wentworth prison. While all the other men call her crazy, basically, Willie stands tall and says,
|Claire and Willie|
WHOO HOO!!!! I think the first time I saw this, I looked like Mrs. Fitz with my fists pumped high in the air! And even as they sat on horseback looking at Wentworth looming ahead, the others looking uneasy, Willie appears to look nervous, but he also looks ready to go! Without Willie stepping up to the challenge to go and rescue Jamie, the others would have never gone. Oddly though, Willie is not part of the group that actually goes into Wentworth. We could speculate why–he’s young, he’s inexperienced–but he IS at the Abbey waiting for them to arrive. Maybe they thought it best that Willie, being more of a religious intuit, should be the one to go ahead and secure a safe place for them to stay in the monastery.
|Photo credit ibtimes.com|