Happy birthday, Caitlin O’Ryan: Shining a light on the loyalty of Lizzie

Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of STARZ /

To celebrate Caitlin O’Ryan’s birthday, we’re looking at Lizzie’s loyalty on Outlander

Loyalty is important when it comes to Outlander. One of the non-family members who has proven her loyalty is Lizzie. We’re spotlighting that loyalty to celebrate Caitlin O’Ryan’s birthday today.

Lizzie joined Brianna on her journey across the waters in Outlander Season 4. Due to being destitute, Lizzie’s father sold Lizzie to Brianna. It was a chance to protect his daughter, and a friendship was born.

After all, Brianna would never want to own a person. She comes from a time when people are free. The idea of selling a daughter to protect her was crazy to her. And at first, Bree made it clear that she wasn’t interested in buying the papers until she learned the story. Accepting Lizzie was an act of mercy.

Naturally, Lizzie was going to have to be loyal to her mistress. She is a girl of her time, raised to respect the rules of the time. However, the relationship between mistress and indentured servant turned into one of friendship.

Lizzie has always put Brianna and Jemmy first

We’ll ignore the book storylines right now. This is about Caitlin O’Ryan, so it’s about Lizzie’s character on the Outlander TV series. And this character has always put Brianna (and later Jemmy) first.

We just have to look at the mixup with the rape. Lizzie saw just a fraction of the events. I don’t blame Lizzie for being mixed up with who Bree’s rapist was during the fourth season. Played out from Lizzie’s point of view, it all made sense.

When she saw Roger, she immediately thought back to that day. She couldn’t help herself. I do feel for Roger in the way Jamie and Ian acted, but Lizzie didn’t do anything wrong. Her actions were to protect Brianna from her rapist knowing what could happen next.

After that mix-up was fixed, Lizzie further developed a bond with Brianna. She continued to put her mistress first, looking out for her at River Run. Then after Jemmy’s birth, she was the one to look after the boy.

Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Even the bison attack proved her loyalty

While her reaction to the bison has been laughed at by many, it was a human reaction. And it’s not like she completely forgot about the young boy she was looking after.

We all have three defaults when it comes to fear: flight, fright, or fight.

Lizzie’s was fright, which would have likely turned into flight. However, she was able to think. Her loyalty to Bree and Jemmy made her step in between Jemmy and the Bison. Her scream alerted the others that there was danger.

While Brianna got the bison’s attention and Claire was able to get the rifle to shoot the bison, Lizzie was the one that kept Jemmy safe. She literally put her body in between the two. If that bison charged at Jemmy, Lizzie wouldn’t have stood a chance.

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The acceptance of going wherever Bree would go

When Brianna and Roger got ready to leave for their own time at the end of Outlander Season 5, Lizzie prepared too. She didn’t question whether she wanted to leave. She knew that her place was with Bree.

Part of this would have been the indentured servitude, although I do wonder if on the show Bree ripped up those pages in the way Jamie got rid of the papers for the Beardsley twins. Another part would have been friendship. The relationship Bree and Lizzie formed was one of friendship by this point. There was a trust there that Bree didn’t have with many others who weren’t family.

Lizzie’s place was with Bree. That’s something she deeply believes, showing just how strong the loyalty is. It’s no wonder that Lizzie was heartbroken to hear that she wasn’t going to Boston.

We know why, but to Lizzie, it would have felt a little like a betrayal. What had she done wrong? Why was she being left behind?

I hope to see more of Lizzie on Outlander Season 6. Showing positive female friendships is essential. While Lizzie may be a servant, that’s not the way she’s actually treated by Brianna. There’s a bond there that can’t be broken, and it’s all built on Lizzie’s loyalty.

Next. 20 best moments from Outlander Season 4. dark

Happy birthday, Caitlin O’Ryan!