So much hesitation with the original version: Dragonfly in amber, the dragonfly in amber, the gift offered by Hugh Monro, the tortured friend, to Claire in honor of her wedding with Jamie. This dragonfly is a fleeting appearance in the episode, at the Culloden Memorial Museum, among personal items found on the battlefield. For those who have the memory that flanks, Claire leaves it to Jamie as a lucky charm in front of the stone circle, just before leaving in 1948. 

Lucky charm ? Really ? The next twenty years will not be happy, but at least Jamie is alive. A prophetic title, however, and with a double entry, which translation, in one sense as in the other, does not render; the talisman, the dragonfly in amber, protects our Highlander from the certain death that awaits him and to which he aspires, thus allowing the lovers to find themselves in episode 6 of season 3 (A. Malcolm). 






The more I watch and watch this episode, I am struck by its variations of the colors of the earth. Brown, brown, green, orange, all the colors of the late 60s, which evoke irresistibly the freckle, the colors of Scotland. But what ? Not bright colors, bright happy days of season 1, but dull colors, extinct, sad. 

The color mood? Beige trench coat, brown dress, green scarf ... Claire trims her sadness from place to place. Only Geillis bursts of color: young, red tights, red hair, she contrasts sharply with Claire, aging, which seems extinct. And surreptitiously, these colors remind me of autumn. In the autumn of her life (Claire is 50 years old), consumed by the loss of Jamie, Claire blends into the background: the muddy mud of Culloden, the ruined facade of Lallybroch, is the mourning of Claire. 

And above all, THE revelation? Jamie survived! 


End of the season 2. What prospects! And the ultimate colors of the episode: Claire, dazzled by the rising sun on Craigh na Dun, finally bright, her eyes raised to the sky finally cleared Scotland to announce that she must return to him: 'He survived! He survived! I have to go back ... »




The stakes of Culloden



1746, Culloden Moor. Jamie and Claire know that everything is lost. Colum is dead, Claire is waning, the army is exhausted ... and the outcome known. Wandering in the camp, wandering feelings, wandering reason that leads them to consider the murder of Bonnie Prince Charlie and commit that of Dougal, wandering on the moor to the stones, urgent to love one last time before the rout in a last hopeless hop. I must confess that at this time that my heart of midinette tends to melt. 


'I'll find you,' he murmured in my ear. I promise you. If I have to endure two centuries of purgatory, two centuries without you, that is the price I have to pay for my crimes. I lied, I killed, I stole, I betrayed, I broke my word. But when I stand before God, I will have an argument for the defense: 'The Lord gave me an exceptional woman, and I loved her with all my being.' (Volume 2, Dradonfly in Amber). 


Maybe the key for this episode 1 ghost? What does Claire remember in episode 13? Souls who wander in time, and aspire to join.

Move along, nothing to see ? Jamie dies, Claire returns in her time, and dreams of her lost love. The stakes of Culloden is precisely that the characters separate; Claire can not know that Jamie has survived, Jamie can only hope that she is alive, but no way to let them know. Beyond the historical stakes strictly speaking, since we can not rewrite history, it is the whole history of Outlander that is played in Culloden. 

The intertwining of time 


This episode is destabilizing; on a fan site, I read a question that challenged me: how can Claire be in two times at a time? My mocking nature taking over, I admit to having sketched a grin. Yet, and reflecting on it, beyond this question is quite naive and beyond the incomprehension of the structure of the episode it shows, it is far from stupid. First, because time is the problem of the series! Finally, the journey back in time ...


The analysis of 'time' in the episode shows that it is not a regular and linear continuum, but that the alternation of epochs both breaks down and enriches our understanding. The present of Claire is not a stable landmark, the boundaries between different eras seem confused and confused because it has no other object than the quest for the past. Immersed in memories, search for identity, love of the nation are intertwined around this essential notion, because we are only because we have been. Time (his flight, his permanence, his research) is then an issue and an essential parameter of the episode: he is one of the subjects. 


First, the episode subtly alternates the events of 1746 and those of 1948. The narrative of the stay of Claire and Brianna in Roger is spread over several days, while that of the events that occurred before the Battle of Culloden lasts for hardly more than two hours; each 'moment' is preceded by a countdown. 


In Inverness, the screenplay gives pride of place to Claire's solitary quest, alternating with the Roger / Brianna duet. The time stretches over a few moments filmed in real time: Claire to Lallybroch, Claire to the grave of the Fraser, Claire to the museum of Culloden, Claire to Geillis; Roger and Brianna at Fort Williams, in the Reverend's archives, at the university, at the cafe. Together, the trio only has to face the admission of Claire and Geillis. In Culloden, Jamie and Claire are one and the events follow each other at a furious pace: in less than two hours, they plan to kill Bonnie Prince Charlie, kill Dougal, give up Lallybroch to James Fraser Murray, go to Craigh na Dun, make love there, separate. 


The countdown is on: a tragedy?


The episode is exceptionally long: 78 minutes, against an average duration of 50 minutes for the other episodes of the season. As Claire delves into the past, time is accelerating in Culloden; there is a dramatization of events, a fatal sequence that will push the characters to do the unimaginable: to separate. 


There, I can only think of the ancient tragedy; you know, the one that brings the characters to ultimate separation, death, who, whatever they do, hovers above them like a specter? Jamie and Claire have struggled, trying to do the impossible, even sacrificing their child to try to change the course of history, forces that go beyond them always back in the course of history, altering their individual stories, as if they were the toys of fortune and not masters of their destiny (Latin 'fatum'). This dramatization even resumes, and I dare comparison, the clichés of ancient tragedy: accelerated action, restricted places, a single theme (the so-called rule of the three units). Certainly, Jamie and Claire do not die stricto sensu, but the twenty years one without the other, is not it a small death? As a reminder, in Volume 3 (episode The first wife, 3-08), Jamie told Claire: 'Do you only know what it is to live twenty years without a heart? To be a man only half? To get used to fill the emptiness of the days you have to live with what comes to hand, and who has no taste for anything? (Volume 3, Voyager). 


By tightening up Culloden's action on the tragedy that lurks in our characters, and crescendo to Jamie's ultimate sacrifice (sending Claire back to save the child, and dying alone on the moor), it's a tragedy that is played here. 


Ghosts of the past and specter of the future


'Returned from the dead', headlines the newspaper recounting the miraculous reappearance of Claire in 1948, after 3 years of absence. The fact is. 

Brianna says of her mother that she lives in another era. Claire, too, lived twenty years without a heart; she sees her lost love every day in her daughter: 'You look like her so much,' she murmurs to sleepy Brianna. It all goes back to the past, and this Scottish escapade, as we have seen, makes it go back in time in search of ghosts. Claire is not yet at the end of her troubles; if she carefully avoided Craigh na Dun during her memorial wandering, she will have to face the stones again. Geillis Duncan, since this is the name that Claire knows, will reappear under the features Gillian Edgars, a Scottish nationalist who, in 1968, is preparing to pass the stones to defend the Jacobite cause. The following, we already know: arrival before Claire in the eighteenth century, she married Judge Arthur Duncan, will give birth to an illegitimate child (the ancestor of Roger), will be burned (believed) at the stake for acts of Sorcery ... The choice is Cornelian: to prevent Geillis from being sacrificed by holding her, and to condemn Roger to nothingness, or to leave Roger the chance to exist and to condemn Geillis? Decision will be made to warn him of the dangers that lie ahead. And it is there, in front of the erect stones that Claire learns from Roger's mouth that Jamie has survived. Caught up by her ghosts, Claire has no choice but to return to Jamie. Will the coming future end Claire's sentimental and existential wanderings? Is Jamie still alive on the other side of time? 


The departure of Claire

Episode tear, par excellence, it knots the drama of our heroes when Jamie makes the decision to send Claire back to Frank. He discovered the pregnancy that Claire has hidden from him and failing to save himself, he decides to save his wife and child.
We have evoked the fatal sequence of events, confronted by a destiny that escapes them, since history can not be changed and the battle of Culloden and its consequences catch up with them. Only on their individual destinies do they seem to have a hold, and that is why Jamie sends Claire back in her time. He knows that thanks to modern medicine, the child will have a good chance of surviving and will be the mark of his passing on earth and the immense love that will have brought them together.
'Jamie ... I do not want ... I can not ... I will not live without you, that's all!
He opened his mouth but no sound came out. The sky darkened over the mountains, tinting the clouds of pale pink.
- Do you think I do not know? he said finally. Of us two, it's still me who get out of it the best. Because if you feel what I feel for you, then what I ask you is to tear your heart out and accept to live without me. You have to do it, mo duinne. It must.
- But why ? I cried. When you saved me from the hysterical crowd of Cranesmuir, you told me that if it had been necessary, you were ready to go to the stake with me.
- That's right, I would have done it without hesitation. But I did not carry your child in me. '
( Volume 2, Dragongly in Amber)

In front of the stones, the separation is difficult, impossible, and heartbreaking:


It should be noted that this poem is particularly important because of its cyclical reappearance in the series; indeed, in the episode Blood of my Blood (season 4), Jamie will make forge by Murtagh and for Claire, from the candlesticks of his mother, a new alliance replacing the one stolen by Steven Bonnet; inside, are engraved the words Da mi basia mille. The loop is complete, especially as the title Blood of my Blood is also dual entry: the blood of my blood is the biological son, Willie, and the blood of my blood, it is also the unwavering wish of the wedding, the promise made to Claire in episode 7 of season 1, The wedding (See focus on this episode). 



In the book as in the series, Claire wanders from Inverness to Culloden Moor, finds the grave of the Fraser and speaks to the one she believes dead during the battle. She wanders in the battle museum, roams the city, wanders from one feeling to another, and from one era to another. Each place brings back a painful memory and Claire does not know where her place is. Did she ever know? This path of memory, however, must do it alone; she alone knows her story, all those who witnessed it are dead: Jamie, Frank, the Reverend Wakefield and Miss Graham, except Roger, who will palliate his failing memory by becoming 'the dog on a bone', the dog on his bone, a definition he gives of the historian who seeks and finds (Freedom and whiskey, episode 5, season 3) and will find Jamie in Edinburgh. 


Dragonfly in Amber (Volume 2) 


'Frank's death had cracked my shell. The cracks were spreading more and more and I could not stop them by doing nothing. I had taken my daughter to Scotland, whose bones were as hard as the steep cliffs of the Highlands, in the hope that her envelope would be strong enough to withstand the shock, but that her tender soul would still be accessible to me. 

My shell was shattered and nothing protected my soft core. I did not know what I was or what my daughter would become. I only knew what I had to do. 

Because I had come back, and dreams had reappeared, like the cool breeze of the Highlands. The voice of my dream echoed in my ears and in my heart. 

She said to me, 'You are mine! To me ! And I will not let you abandon me anymore. ' 


  Claire's solitude is therefore the recurring theme of 1968: she can not share her story with anyone, and needs to find Jamie. In the middle of an emotional debacle, she leaves in search of a ghost. This is quite tasty, if you remember episode 1 of Season 1 (and incidentally Volume 1, Outlander), where a ghost looks for Claire on Samhain's night ... Episode 2-13, it is this same ghost that Claire pursues. 

As an aside, I would say that this ghost of episode 1 has leaked a lot of ink ... Assuredly it is about Jamie. Diana Gabaldon promised to reveal the reason for his presence at the end of his saga ... Patience so ... 

Note here a difference with the book; Claire does not wear the same alliance as in the series, but an alliance offered by Jamie after the episode of spanking ... and that's where she discovers the quote 'Da mi basia mille': 



volume 2, Dragonfly in amber 


'Roger suddenly had an idea. 

'Your ring,' he said, 'the one in silver. Does she carry a punch? Some Scottish silversmiths thus signed their works in the eighteenth century. It would not prove anything, of course, but it's still a track. 

Claire looked surprised and mechanically touched the thistle flowers carved into the metal. 

'I do not know,' she said, 'I never took it off. 

[...] Da mi basia thousand ... 

It was the voice of Claire, who recited from memory, between two sobs. 

'These are verses from Catullus,' she explained. A fragment of love poem. Hugh ... Hugh Munro had given it to me as a wedding present. He had written it on a piece of paper with which he had wrapped an amber flake containing a small fossilized dragonfly. I do not remember everything, just a small part: 

Let's talk languorous kisses 

Who linger on our lips 

Thousand and a hundred times, 

A hundred and a thousand times again. ' 

His wandering continues through the places of old. His ruined Lallybroch visit tears him away. Lallybroch is the house, the Fraser house, that of lost happiness. 'Home,' the Lallybroch focus is Jamie's heart, it's her father's story, and Ellen, her mother's early loss, Brian Dubh's crazy love, is her blood, it's his soul. 

"Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus, 

rumoresque senum severiorum 

omnes unius aestimemus assis. 

Soles occidere et redire possunt ; 

nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux, 

Nox est perpetua una dormienda. 

Da mi basia mille, deinde centum, 

dein mille altera, dein secunda centum, 

deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum. 

Dein, cum milia multa fecerimus, 

conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus, 

aut ne quis malus invidere possit, 

cum tantum sciat esse basiorum. 

---------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Vivons, ma Lesbie, aimons-nous et, à tous les commérages des vieillards trop sévères, donnons la valeur d'un sou. 

Les rayons du soleil peuvent mourir et renaître ; pour nous, une fois que la brève lumière s'est éteinte, c'est une seule nuit éternelle qu'il faut dormir. 

Donne-moi mille baisers, et puis cent, et puis mille autres, puis une seconde fois cent, puis encore mille autres, puis cent. 

Ensuite, lorsque nous nous serons embrassés des milliers de fois, nous brouillerons les comptes pour ne plus les reconnaître, de peur qu'un esprit malin ne puisse nous jeter le mauvais oeil, lorsqu'il connaîtra le nombre de nos baisers. 



Come and let us live my Deare, 

Let us love and never feare, 

What the sowrest Fathers say: 

Brightest Sol that dies to day 

Lives againe as blithe to morrow, 

But if we darke sons of sorrow 

Set; o then, how long a Night 

Shuts the Eyes of our short light! 

Then let amorous kisses dwell 

On our lips, begin and tell 

A Thousand, and a Hundred, score 

An Hundred, and a Thousand more, 

Till another Thousand smother 

That, and that wipe of another. 

Thus at last when we have numbred 

Many a Thousand, many a Hundred; 

Wee’l confound the reckoning quite, 

And lose our selves in wild delight: 

While our  oys so multiply, 

As shall mocke the envious eye. 

De Lallybroch il ne reste plus que la façade, une porte cadenassée, un perron envahi d’herbes folles. Dans l’épisode 9 de la saison 1 sobrement intitulé Lallybroch, elle dit qu’elle y est chez elle ; l’anneau qu’elle porte au doigt, c’en est la clé ; Jamie et Lallybroch, c’est la même chose : « you are my home » lui dit-elle à de nombreuses reprises. Lallybroch, c’est le symbole de l’amour perdu, dont il ne reste que des ruines, et pourtant terriblement là. 

Assise là, elle y entend les enfants Murray, Jenny, Jamie, tout lui rappelle le bonheur passé. Jamie est partout : elle l’aperçoit mentalement sous le porche, ils récitent à l’unisson le sublime poème de Crashaw intitulé Out of Catullus : 

(en gras, le passage du poème en latin de Catulle, sa traduction en anglais par Richard Crashaw, et sa traduction française tels qu’ils sont cités dans la série et dans le livre.)  

1968, Inverness. 

Twenty years have passed since Claire's return in her time; twenty years she has not returned to Scotland; In Boston, she became a mother, a doctor, then a widow of a man she had not loved for a long time. In Inverness where she goes for the funeral of Reverend Wakefield, everything has changed and everything is the same at the same time. Dead, too, dear Mrs. Graham. And the man who stands before her has replaced the little Roger of old. The reverend's house is motionless in time: Clear wanders from room to room, from place to place and back in time; everything reminds him of Jamie and Jamie's absence: old books, an eighteenth-century musket that she touches, the fire that sings in the fireplace, the whiskey she drinks. 




A place apart 



Volume 2 begins with a part titled Through a Mirror of Tears, Inverness, 1968: 

'Roger Wakefield was standing in the middle of the room, not knowing where to start.  

Not that he felt alone, far from it ' 



What? Volume 2 starts with what ends Season 2? And Volume 2 ends with the separation of Claire and Jamie, making the novel and episode coincide again by their place. So I had the same trouble to start Volume 2 that I had to finish Season 2 ... and Volume 2! This moment draws me tears with heavy broths, with heavy sobs; For me, it's the most tearful episode of the series, even though there are many in which I shed a tear ... What made the scriptwriters so fancy about the complex structure of this series? episode, and why move the inaugural stage of volume 2 to the final episode of season 2? The key is in the novel: Dragonfly in amber is the story that the Claire of 1968 to Brianna and Roger! This volume is a flashback, framed by the two inaugural parts, Through a mirror of tears, Inverness, 1968 and final, Reminiscences. 



In pursuit of a ghost



Episode 13 is that of wandering; he inaugurates a trilogy: 2-13, 3-1 and 3-2. Jamie and Claire are, together or separately, the toys of fortune. 


The talisman, in French, Dragonfly in amber in English. The same besides, with regard to the title of the novel. What intrigued me when I read the novel, that was the meaning to give to this title, especially as the front cover is misleading, since it represents a chalice. What is this talisman? The one in which Saint Germain drinks poison and finds death? Element little signifier in my opinion, since finally anecdotal in history. He could have drunk the poison in a glass, a cup or any other container, but that did not make it a talisman, a protection by definition.  

The front cover of the new edition is even more obscure; Jamie, Claire, Murtagh, and many more, seated at a Parisian meal? What an absurd idea! This volume 2, this season 2, it's not Paris, it's Culloden and all that this simple name evokes ... as for the talisman  

The eponymous title of volume 2 of the saga, episode 13 of season 2 is rich and complex; after many questions about the angle of attack, I chose to approach it by the theme of wandering. Decryption. 

Dragonfly in amber

Volume 213

 By Pas Cale 


I am not an anglicist; I thought that if Jamie did not tell him that he loves her, but simply 'and me, you', it's because the words choke in his throat under the blow of the emotion too great of this ultimate separation. I was told no, it was a turn of language in English. I regretted my interpretation, finally confirmed by Delphine Robillard (see her article on the meanings of the term HOME). I therefore like to think that my interpretation is more than plausible, that it is probable; to be used to handling words and books, I know there are situations where words of love no longer make sense; all that remains then is the acts: that of the ultimate sacrifice.

'One being misses you, and everything is depopulated,' wrote Lamartine, in his famous poem Le lac. Our heroes, now one without the other, will have to face an infinite solitude (CF. The battle joined)




Wandering is also Brianna's. In company with Roger, she discovers Scotland, this beautiful and wild country, and goes without knowing it to the very place where Jamie was whipped two centuries and half ago (Leoch, 1-02), on the edges lakes skirted by the MacKenzie looking for rents (The Rent, 1-05).


Daughter of Jamie, she did not know until the existence of her biological father:

Dragonfly in amber (volume 2):


'Twenty years ago, when you were born, I made a promise to Frank,' I announced in a trembling voice. I wanted to leave him and he did not let me go. He could never accept the truth but he knew, of course, that he was not your father. He asked me not to tell you anything, to let him be your only father, as long as he lived. After which, it would be for me to see. 

I swallow. 

- ... I owed him, because he loved you as a father. But now that he is dead, you have the right to know who you really are '[...]. ' 


 I was struck here by the gap between the book and the series. Roger and Brianna discover the truth by rummaging through the Reverend's archives. Brianna explodes in episode 13, screaming after her mother, accusing her of taking a lover to 'fuck' like so many idle women. And Claire exploding in turn: 'Between Jamie and I, there was more than fucking! He was the love of my life! (Between Jamie and me there was more than fucking, it was the love of my life). The Brianna of the series, angry, impatient, selfish, is very far from that of the book, overwhelmed by the news, incredulous, but worthy.

Because in Volume 2 Brianna cash information with dignity in all different circumstances. In St Kilda, Roger, Claire and Brianna make an unexpected discovery: a tomb on which they read the epitaph: James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, Claire's beloved husband. And Claire to announce:

'- It was my husband ... 

She looked up at Brianna before finishing: 

- … and your father '. 


Brianna wanders between two identities, two epochs ('a 200-year-old baby!' Will say the Bakra, Geillis, in season 3), two nations ...

Roger is not outdone, learning his ancestry; in pure Highlander, he accepts the news, without flinching ... In season 4, he will even meet the adoptive parents of the child of Dougal and Geillis, the same Geillis he met in 1968 ... Roger and Brianna become the couple Assuring the relief: born of temporal anomalies, they have the power to cross the stones, hearing also the buzz ... opening perspectives for the adventures to come.

'We made love slowly, very gently. Each caress, every moment was to savor, to print in my memory, like a talisman to cherish in a future where it would not be'. (Volume 2, Dragonfly in Amber).

And it is in their flesh that they print their trace:

'Make me a dent,' I demanded. Deep enough to leave a scar. I want to carry it with me so that I always have something of you. It does not matter if it hurts, nothing can hurt me more than being separated from you. At least, when I touch the scar, wherever I am, it will be as if I touch you, you.
I handed him my right hand. He took it and hesitated a moment. He laid a kiss in the palm of my palm and thrust the blade. I felt only a slight burn, but the blood gushed forth. He put my hand to his lips again, sucked the wound, and took out a handkerchief. He bandaged me, but not before I saw the clumsy 'J' -shaped cut. (Dragonfly in Amber)

Note that their separation is quite different in the series. In the book they arrive at the stones in the evening, spend the night, Claire leaving the morning after their night of love, she rushes to the sight of the red tunics in the stone and in time. In the series, however, our characters, as we have seen, are subject to the inexorable ticking of an inexorable and fatal countdown. They make love in the emergency, and there is no question of marking the palm of the hand. In front of the stones, they make an ultimate declaration of love:

"- I love you ... I love you ...
- And I ... you ..."