Happy birthday, Lotte Verbeek: A Geillis Duncan in Outlander appreciation post

Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ /

It’s Lotte Verbeek’s birthday today. To honor that, we’re looking back at Geillis Duncan in Outlander. What good did she bring to the story?

There isn’t initially that much good about Geillis Duncan, especially when you look at what she became in Outlander Season 3. However, there were some positive moments. To mark Lotte Verbeek’s birthday, we’re looking at those positive moments.

This is only about the show’s version of the character. The character in the book was slightly different, but I want to focus on the role Verbeek made her own.

She was a woman on a mission in Outlander

Let’s not forget that Geillis Duncan was a woman with one goal in mind. She wanted a Jacobite king on the throne. She thought if that happened in the past, Scotland would be an independent nation.

In the 1960s, she was a member of the White Roses of Scotland, a group focused on independence. If you ask a lot of those fighting for Scottish independence now, they’d probably side with Geillis on some of her topics—not on the time travel and what she did to time travel, but at least on her topics of independence.

Geillis was focused on that goal. She was willing to play the long game when she realized she would need to, and even into the 1760s when it became apparent that she would need to take more steps to achieve her goal.

Making a commitment to something is important. We may not agree with her, but we can’t fault that commitment to her cause.

Geillis Duncan saved Claire’s life

We also can’t overlook the fact that Geillis did end up saving Claire’s life. During the witch trials, it looked like both of them were going to end up burned at the stake. Ned made it clear that only one of them could get out alive, and Claire was likely the best candidate for that.

Geillis didn’t like the idea. Everything she had done was now going to be for nothing. However, in the end, she realized that she would have to sacrifice herself for Claire’s sake. Maybe Claire could continue the path of independence. Maybe making it clear that she was from the future would eventually lead to Claire finding a way to save Geillis.

Funnily enough, Claire did eventually try to make sure Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites won. Sort of. At first, she and Jamie tried to undermine things, but in the end, it was clear Jamie had no choice but to fight with the Jacobites and that led to Claire doing the one thing Geillis wanted. It just ended up being for nothing.

Granted, Claire wouldn’t have been caught up in that witch trial had she not been friends with Geillis. However, Laoghaire would have probably found a way to get Claire in trouble as a witch without Geillis.

Geillis led to Roger MacKenzie

Without Geillis, we wouldn’t have Roger Wakefield MacKenzie. Geillis had to go to the past to start a relationship with Dougal MacKenzie. That led to the birth of her baby, which then led to a MacKenzie family raising that baby as their own.

This line eventually led to Roger’s birth. He would then meet Brianna, help Claire find Jamie in the past, and continue the time-traveling MacKenzie line.

Roger is important to someone on the Ridge. It’s because of him that Henri-Christian is saved from the river. What could have happened had Roger not been there?

Next. Are Roger and Geillis directly related in Outlander?. dark

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