Outlander just deviated from Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling novels in a major way. In the latest episode of Season 3, titled “All Debts Paid,” we learned that Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) biggest ally and godfather, Murtagh Fitzgibbons Frazer (Duncan Lacroix) is actually alive and well. How will Murtagh’s shocking twist affect the series moving forward?
According to Mashable, Gabaldon killed Murtagh during the Battle of Culloden in book two. On the show, however, we just learned that Murtagh survived the epic battle and was sent to Ardsmuir prison with Jamie. After the prison officially closed its doors, Murtagh was sent to work in the American Colonies with most inmates while Jamie was shipped to Lord Dunsany’s estate. Why did Outlander keep Murtagh alive?
Executive producer Ron Moore explained how Murtagh played a much larger role on the show than he did in the books. Last season, Murtagh grew close to Jamie and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and essentially became part of their family. At the end of the day, Moore admitted that he wasn’t ready to let Murtagh go and wants to re-introduce the character later in the series. There’s no telling what Murtagh’s story looks like moving forward, but it’s exciting to see what kind of a role he will play in Jamie and Claire’s life.
“Murtagh’s development in the series is different than the books basically from the beginning. We made him much more of a key player in the story, much closer to Jamie, and then he got in on [Claire’s] secret in Paris,” Moore shared. “He became part of the family in a different way than in the books. And I just wasn’t ready to let him go in Culloden. He is going to survive, and we will catch up with him later, we will just keep him going.”
Executive producer Maril Davis also opened up about the decision to keep Murtagh around. In an interview with Pop Sugar, Davis praised Lacroix’s portrayal of Murtagh and admitted that he was simply too great of a character to let go. Not only has Murtagh become a fan favorite over the years, but Davis also revealed that Gabaldon was fully on board with keeping him alive.
Although Murtagh’s future is unknown, there’s a strong chance we’ll see him pop up when Jamie and Claire finally make their way to America. Davis could not confirm this theory, but she didn’t rule it out. Whatever happens, it’s great to see Murtagh survive another season and we can’t wait to meet up with him again.
Fans can watch new episodes of Outlander every Sunday night on Starz.