How Outlander transformed Murtagh and Claire’s relationship from book to screen

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

There have been many bonds developed over the years on Outlander. Here’s how the show has adapted Murtagh and Claire’s bond for the better.

In the Outlander books, Murtagh was important to Jamie. However, his bond with Claire didn’t get to grow as much over the years. That was changed in the TV series for the better. There was a chance for their relationship to develop from just in-laws of sorts to two trusted friends.

As it’s #TransformationTuesday in the social media world, I thought this would be the perfect time to take a look at this bond. It’s a chance to see how it developed from book to screen and then beyond.

Savior to friend

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Murtagh is the one to rescue Claire from Black Jack Randall. We have no idea who he is or whether he can be trusted, but we know that she needs to get away from the spitting image of her husband. From there, it starts a bond that will go from savior to friend.

In the books, there’s not as much development of the relationship. Murtagh is gruff and answers Claire’s questions quickly. He doesn’t quite go into all the details that we see on the series. Part of that is because the first book is told from Claire’s POV. We only get what interests her or what she notices. In the show, the story needs to be told more as a third-person POV, offering development for other characters.

“The Gathering” starts the development of Claire and Murtagh’s bond. He explains some of the events happening and goes into detail about why it’s so dangerous for Jamie to take the oath. However, it’s not really until “The Search” that the bond develops into one of friendship.

Both with the same goals to save Jamie, they find out more about each other. They both notice things that they never did before, and they find a friendship and trust in one another.

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Murtagh learns the truth

The bond continues to develop in Outlander Season 1’s finale. When Jamie is struggling with suicidal thoughts, Murtagh turns to Claire. He knows that Jamie doesn’t want Claire to know, but this is a man who needs his godson back. He’s willing to tell Jamie’s darkest secret to Claire.

After all, out of everyone, Murtagh trusts that Claire can save Jamie from the depths of despair. It shows a trust that he has for this woman.

And that’s before he finds out everything about her. The bond between the two continues in Outlander Season 2, when Murtagh finally learns the truth about who Claire is and where she’s from. It’s a story that most people wouldn’t believe, but Murtagh knows that Jamie and Claire wouldn’t lie to him about this. Plus, if Jamie believes it then he believes it.

This allows Murtagh to understand more about Claire. He understands her motives and her decisions, and he knows that the knowledge of the future isn’t something he’d want the burden of. There’s this respect between them that grows, as Murtagh believes everything Claire tells him about the future.

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The Boogie Woogie reunion

When Claire is back in the future, Murtagh misses Claire. This is something invented entirely for the show, as the books kill Murtagh off at Culloden. However, in Ardsmuir Prison, Murtagh has the chance to reminisce and miss Claire, showing the type of bond that they had.

In Outlander Season 4, we get this reunion we didn’t necessarily realize we needed. We knew that we needed something between Murtagh and Jamie, but Claire and Murtagh? Was that necessary?

With all the development their bond had received, it definitely was. And the show’s writers did it in the perfect way possible. While “The Search” isn’t a favorite episode of mine, it’s an important one for Claire and Murtagh. It sets up this beautiful reunion, as Murtagh whistles a tune he wouldn’t have known had it not been for Claire. We see the type of effect both characters have had on each other.

Next. 20 best moments from Outlander Season 4. dark

What did you think of the bond between Claire and Murtagh? What have you enjoyed from the invention in the series? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander Season 5 will premiere sometime in early 2020. Follow Claire and Jamie on Twitter for the latest updates and news.