Outlander premiere: Why the writers changed a key plot point from Diana Gabaldon's book
Anyone who has devoured Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling book series about the time-traveling nurse should have recognized that a key plot point was changed in Sunday’s return of Outlander. Before we reveal the, ahem, modification to the story, a SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read on unless you’ve seen the season 4 premiere of the Starz drama.
In the final moments of the episode, the devilish Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) steals one of Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) most precious items — the ring Jamie gave to her when they were married. But that’s not what happens in Drums of Autumn, the fourth book in Gabaldon’s Outlander series on which this season is based. In the tome, Bonnet takes Frank’s gold band, not Jamie’s ring. So why tweak the story?
At the recent Savannah College of Art and Design Film Festival in Georgia, Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore told fans that the stolen ring needed to stand out for Brianna (Sophie Skelton) in a future episode — thus the change to the plot.
“Thinking ahead for those of you who know the books,” explains Moore, who screened the first episode for fans and then participated in an Oct. 28 panel in Savannah with cast members like Balfe and Sam Heughan. Moore addressed the audience directly. “Are we all friends here? Do we all know the books? The plain gold band wouldn’t be noticeable as like, ‘Oh that’s clearly my mother’s ring,’ whereas the other one clearly would. So that’s kind of why we made that change.”
Moore’s response was met with applause by the fans.
“Now you’ve got it!” responded Balfe, who was also joined on the panel with Skelton, Richard Rankin (Roger Wakefield), John Bell (Ian Murray), and Executive Producer Maril Davis. The entire discussion can be seen on Outlander’s Facebook page.
Want to chat more about the rings? Make sure to tune in to Outlander Live! on EW Radio, Sirius XM 105, on Monday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m. ET. Gabaldon will be our guest!
Outlander airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.