Happy birthday, Duncan Lacroix: The importance of Murtagh on the Outlander TV series

Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks, STARZ
Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks, STARZ /

Duncan Lacroix’s birthday is a perfect time for a Murtagh appreciation post

Today is Duncan Lacroix’s birthday. To celebrate, we’re looking back at Murtagh on the Outlander TV series.

This is just about the TV show. Murtagh’s character was very different in the books, but for me, it was Lacroix who made it clear just how important the character was to the overall story.

Murtagh was important from the very beginning. He was always there by Jamie’s side, offering help to kill and hide bodies when necessary. He would be a shoulder to lean on, and he even became someone for Claire and Jamie to tell the truth about time travel to.

He fought by Jamie’s side and was willing to die for a cause. In the end, a cause did take him. And what a heartbreaking moment in Outlander Season 5 that was!

Murtagh wasn’t just important for Claire and Jamie’s story. He was important to bring a deeper connection to other storylines going on, especially in later seasons.

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Viewers could feel the gravity of the Regulators’ War more

It’s hard to feel a connection to something that’s happened in history, especially if it happened hundreds of years ago. We didn’t know people, so they’re just names in a history textbook.

Fiction makes it possible to add a layer of empathy to a story. Outlander certainly did that with the Jacobite cause and Culloden, but that storyline pretty much came from the book. In The Fiery Cross, we get the Regulators’ War, and I’ll be honest, but I find it hard to connect to people on that side of the cause. There is nobody we’ve come to know much in the previous books.

Outlander Season 5 fixed that with the inclusion of Murtagh. We knew him. We wanted him to survive. We needed more of that relationship between Murtagh and Jamie. Seeing the Regulators potentially win or the Battle of Alamance just not happen at all would have been something that would have made all Murtagh fans happy.

Instead, we got that heartbreaking moment with his death. It was everything from the book, but in a way that allowed a different storyline stand out for better reasons.

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
Outlander — Courtesy of Mark Mainz, STARZ /

It’s never too late to love

Duncan Lacroix’s Murtagh also got to find love on Outlander Season 4. He and Jocasta got together, and they fell in love with each other. They would have loved to have been together.

Love stories are often told from the viewpoint of younger people. It’s usually the twentysomethings that fall for each other, starting a story together. When we see older couples, they are usually already married. They’ve had the start of their relationships and we see them at a later point.

It brings up a suggestion that once you get past a certain age, it’s too late to fall in love. Murtagh disproves that on Outlander. His and Jocasta’s story offers a little hope for older people out there who may have loved and lost or never even loved at all yet.

Of course, the story ends up in heartbreak. That’s due to Murtagh’s cause and Jocasta’s decision that she can’t go through that loss again. However, not all love stories have to end that way.

We would have had none of Murtagh’s strongest moments emotionally if it wasn’t for the show keeping him alive after Culloden. For that, I will always be grateful.

Next. Duncan Lacroix talks all about Murtagh and Jocasta, Outlander Untold, and more. dark

Happy birthday, Duncan Lacroix!