The Outlander books and show have some major differences between them. While I understand the reasons fans don’t like the way the show has adapted the story, the changes are something I enjoy.
When books are adapted into movies or TV shows, changes happen. Authors frequently sell their rights, so they have no control over the changes. The Outlander books are no different. The show has adapted various scenes and moments for various reasons. Sometimes they’re due to time constraints, sometimes due to personal choices, and other times because they want to showcase Caitriona Balfe’s singing (*cough* the singing to the ends of Scotland *cough*).
While I’m not a fan of every decision made, I enjoy the fact the show has made some adaptations in telling the story. Honestly, I’m not a book purist for any book adaptation.
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Making changes is fun for me as a reader
Outlander is one of the only shows where I watch the series before reading the book material. Most others, I’ll read the books first. However, whichever way I’ve done it, seeing changes happen with the adaptation makes the book more fun to read.
The differences tend to show a different side to a personality. They allow for side characters to shine through or develop an extra layer of detail. When reading Outlander, I found myself glancing over elements of the book that I’d already seen in the series. Yet in the elements that the show had adapted and grown upon, I was intrigued. The book had my undivided attention. Claire’s fight with the wolf in the first novel drew me in and had me fully engrossed because it wasn’t in the series. I did wonder why that part was left out, but I’m glad it was since I had something to excite me in the books.
This would happen the other way around, too. If I’d read the books first, I’d get bored in elements of the show, knowing how the story was going to go. By changing things up and adding new elements in, I’m left guessing as a fan. I don’t think “oh, well, I can guess this part of the storyline” or “I know what’s going to happen in the next episode, so I’ll give it a miss.”
I will finish this point saying that I’m not one for re-reading books a lot. A book really has to capture my attention for me to re-read it. Most of the time once is enough, especially a tome the size of Diana Gabaldon’s novels.