We look back at Geillis to celebrate Lotte Verbeek’s birthday
We want to celebrate Lotte Verbeek’s birthday, and what better way than looking back at the character she played on Outlander? Lotte Verbeek is Geillis Duncan, a character who had the potential to be a great friend of Claire’s.
Introduced in the first season, Geillis immediately became one to watch. An outsider too, although able to fit in much better than Claire, Geillis quickly befriended our time-traveling heroine. She helped Claire with plants and herbs, offered translations from the Gaelic words spoken, and was a friend at first. In fact, Geillis gave up her own life so Claire could live.
It still seems a little odd. At this point, Claire hadn’t really done anything to warrant Geillis sacrificing herself for Claire. However, she clearly had hope that Dougal would save her, even if it was potentially misguided hope.
None of that stops Lotte Verbeek’s Geillis being a potentially excellent friend and ally for Claire. Here’s why I think they could have been great pals.
Geillis was also a time traveler
It’s not often Claire runs into a time traveler. However, Geillis made it clear that she did travel through the stones. At the witch trial, she told Claire 1968. She also had a scar on her arm from the smallpox vaccination. Claire realized too late that Geillis wasn’t a woman of the 18th century.
Geillis clearly suspected something. There were looks throughout the first season that suggested Geillis had an idea that Claire wasn’t a woman of the 18th century, either.
If only Geillis had taken a chance and found out whether Claire had traveled through time. A quick mention of a person or an event from the future would have helped. During Outlander Season 5, Donner asks Claire if the name Ringo Starr meant anything to her. Someone of the past would just assume it was a person Donner knew or some sort of place name probably.
Of course, Geillis didn’t know when Claire came from exactly. There would have been suspicions but not a definite time. However, she could have used something from the early 20th century or even mentioned something about the Jacobite war to come to see if Claire knew.
Had the two know each other were time travelers, they could have conferred notes and even opened up to each other about other things. Claire could have been honest about falling through the stones accidentally, while Geillis could have been honest about wanting the Jacobite rebellion to be a success.
Geillis could have also helped Claire fit in a little better. Of course, Geillis did try to offer some tips (like don’t touch the changeling baby) but Claire refused to listen. Had she known Geillis was a time traveler, things could have been different.
Geillis did listen
There were times that Geillis did offer a listening ear to Claire and vice versa. Okay, Geillis was doing it to figure out who Claire was, but if they were honest with each other, there’s a chance that Geillis’s intentions as a relationship with Claire could have been a good one.
I don’t feel like this friendship was all one-sided. Geillis had just learned that she could only look after herself. She couldn’t expect others to save her, so she had a defensive barrier up. Yet, I’ve always felt like part of her wanted to befriend Claire much deeper than she did.
The downside was the prophecy that Geillis believed in. It meant she believed Claire’s daughter had to die. Could that have changed if they’d been friends?
Part of my has always believed there was the potential for a friendship. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. In the end, it was too late for Geillis to tell Claire the truth and 20 years later there was a prophecy that made them enemies.
Did you think there was a chance of friendship? What did you like about Geillis Duncan? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Happy birthday, Lotte Verbeek!