Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Why I Love Roger MacKenzie

Outlander season three has begun--I'm patiently awaiting the airing of episode 6 in another week. I read all eight Outlander novels in 2014-2015, not long after TV version began.

And yes, Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall Fraser loom large in the Outlander world--the time-crossing lovers who have very odd adventures and associate with an ever-increasing growing cast of characters.

But I realized about halfway into the series that my favorite character in Outlander world is Roger Wakefield MacKenzie, who [spoiler] is Jamie and Claire's daughter Brianna's love interest and eventual husband.



Over the last year, I've been doing a very slow re-read of the Outlander books, but I've only been re-reading the Roger and Brianna parts. It's a very different series when you only read their parts, much less improbable adventure and more two twentieth century people living in the eighteenth century and all the complications that would ensue from that. Jamie--and Claire, in a lot of ways--are both bigger than life and they're great characters, I like reading about them, but my Outlander book boyfriend is totally Roger.

Roger is, in 1968, a young Oxford professor of history. When he re-meets Claire and meets Brianna--who he's immediately interested in--Roger becomes involved in Claire's time-travel-and-Jamie-related dilemma and he helps Claire find records proving that Jamie lived past Culloden--and to trace him as much as they can through history.

Roger and Brianna have a slow-burn romance through at least three of the books before they both go through the stones to the eighteenth century and in the eighteenth century, they have a fairly atypical relationship for that time because they're actually from the twentieth century. There are characters here and there who seem surprised or concerned that Roger doesn't "rein in" Brianna more, but Roger loves Bree, even if he is mystified by her quite a lot.

Because Roger is a historian, he's adaptable to the eighteenth century, but also fascinated by the history happening around him. As he integrates into eighteenth century frontier life, Roger grapples with the fact that he has few transferable skills to eighteenth century farm life. He didn't grow up on a farm, so all the farm chores are new to him. There aren't many positions for a history professor in the backcountry, so Roger needs to find his way to where the farmwork doesn't seem so hard--and he finds his calling as more and more people settle on Jamie Fraser's land grant.

Roger is also a really empathetic person. And he's musical. which is really endearing.

8 comments:

  1. I didn't know Outlander involved time traveling! I'm showing my greenness, but that's really cool. I imagine a history professor would be less put off by traveling to the past then a lot of other people would.

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    1. Oh yup. Tons of time travel. And Roger goes back to the past knowingly, like, not by accident. But like I would imagine I would feel in the past, once he's there, he's kind of like, "But now what do I do?"

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  2. I know absolutely nothing about Outlander, BUT I saw the 1st book in the series at the library sale last week and snatched it up. So now I'll know more ;)

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    1. Cool! I hope you enjoy it. I liked the first book a lot. It's a pretty whack-a-doodle series.

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  3. You've captured him really well. It's been years since I read her work, but I loved it from beginning to end. She was at the SiWC16 but I didn't meet her. Apparently she's very charming and friendly.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Oh, thanks! Roger appeals to me. I hope she's kind to him in book nine.

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  4. Ah, Roger. :) There was one book that I dubbed the "Poor Roger" book. I've been holding off on watching season 3 until it's all out. I keep getting headlines on my story feed though about "how this differs from the books" and it takes my entire will not to click on them and possibly spoil the show.

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    1. Oh, yeah, I know which one you mean. Poor Roger.

      I think I read the books recently and quickly enough that I don't care really care if they change things on the show.

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