Happy birthday, Ed Speleers: Why Bonnet is a character you love to hate

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /

It’s Ed Speleers’s birthday today. What better time to look at his Outlander character, Stephen Bonnet, and why we love to hate him so much?

Every good story has a great villain. Outlander is no different. While we started with Black Jack Randall, we’ve moved onto Stephen Bonnet, perfectly portrayed by Ed Speleers.

On our actors’ birthdays, I like to promote the characters. Since it’s Speleers’s birthday today, it’s all about Stephen Bonnet, and why we love to hate him so much.

This is a character who has shocked us to the core. He’s had an effect on all four main characters of the series now, Claire, Jamie, Brianna, and Roger. Each of them has had a run-in through some method or situation, and we know that it’s not over for them just yet. Even if you haven’t read the books, you just know deep down that a villain like Bonnet isn’t done.

Here’s why he’s one of those characters you just love to hate.

He’s charismatic when on screen

Something Ed Speleers has done is bring this character to life. In the novels, we get a sense of this charismatic and sometimes likable character. It’s clear that he can charm when he needs to, which is something that had to be brought to the screen.

That’s exactly what’s happened. We’ve got this character that sometimes you feel for. Just think back to the Outlander Season 4 premiere when he watched Jamie interact with Hayes. There was this sense of feeling for him that he didn’t have someone like this. Of course, this was before some knew what was to come.

Even when you do know what Bonnet is going to do, there are times you feel for him. Claire and Jamie feel for his charisma and there are moments on the ship with Roger where you see the charm come through. There are simply times that it’s hard not to like him.

Bonnet is always at the back of the mind

Like Black Jack Randall, there is always a thought of Stephen Bonnet. He has left a mark on each of our characters, making you wonder when he’s going to show up again. You don’t even need to see him on screen to feel his presence because of his previous actions.

He has put our favorite characters through the wringer already. He has traumatized Brianna and made Jamie do some questionable things out of revenge. He’s killed the people our characters love the most, leaving his mark in ways we can’t forget.

Ed Speleers has become Stephen Bonnet. Is that a good thing for the actor? Well, it is when he wants to sell the role. I’m sure like Tobias Menzies as Black Jack Randall, it’s going to be difficult to get that role out of your mind now and then.

Related Story. Black Jack Randall vs. Stephen Bonnet. light

You never know what he’s going to do next

Stephen Bonnet is one of the most unpredictable characters on the screen. When it was Black Jack Randall, you knew what he wanted. You knew what he was going to do to get revenge. There was always a glint in his eyes that told you.

That’s not the case with Stephen Bonnet, especially during Outlander Season 5. It’s hard to know how he will react.

Right now, he knows that his son (well, he believes Jemmy is his son) is the heir to River Run. What will he do with that information? Kidnap Jemmy? Kill Roger? There are all sorts of questions now.

Having an unpredictable character adds much more drama to a series. It leaves room for a lot of speculation and leaves an element of fear for the audience. We feel what the characters are feeling, which is powerful on TV.

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There’s still a level of humanity to him

As mentioned, it’s hard not to feel for Bonnet at times. Ed Speleers brings a level of humanity to this character. The most notable scene is that in the jail with Brianna.

He tries to act cocky, but you can see the fear when Brianna makes it clear that her son will never know Bonnet. It’s not really death that he fears. Well he does, but he fears being forgotten. He fears that he hasn’t left a mark on this world.

As Brianna is about to leave, Bonnet gives Brianna a gem. It’s for “Jemmy’s maintenance.” While he won’t be there for Jemmy, he wants to leave something. After all, it could open the question of who the gem is from. Brianna will always remember Bonnet, whether looking at Jemmy or looking at the gem.

We also learn that Bonnet as fears just like many others. Black Jack Randall never really gave us much of that until we saw him at Alex’s death. Bonnet’s character has had a little more depth added early on, making it much easier to feel for him. It’s impossible not to love to hate him.

Next. 25 most romantic moments on Outlander so far. dark

Happy birthday, Ed Speleers! Thank you for bringing Stephen Bonnet to life on Outlander.