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Jen Lei @Jen_Lei
, 12 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Soooooo... #IHaveSomeThoughts about #Outlander #RogerAndBree
Approximately 20 years ago #DrumsofAutumn was released. I vividly remember reading it in high school as my own-choice independent novel which I was then required to write an essay about.
What is coming back to me quite clearly as I watch the show adaptation is how frustratingly real and fallible I found both characters. I feel that they’ve captured that quality of their dynamic at this early part of their relationship quite well.
They’ve never lived together. They’ve barely shared space for more than a week or two at a time. They lived on different continents! Roger hasn’t yet learned that Brianna pushes away when she really wants people to stay in an argument (to his credit he DOES learn this).
Furthermore, Bree is a terrible communicator who hasn’t yet learned that Roger will always follow through on his word and commitments. (She grew up an only child remember, with two parents who actively didn’t communicate about certain things as role models.)
Navigating these minefields of communication is part of why the novels are so great: You can read each characters inner monologue and understand their point of view even if it makes you all “GAAAHH!!!”
The ongoing difficulty of adapting these novels for tv is that inner monologues—by necessity of medium—have to become dialogue, Outer Monologue, or visible. And there’s only so much of that which can be communicated in 1.25 hours. Given these strictures, I’m so impressed by
@RikRankin @SkeltonSophie the writing & directing teams & the crew for how they’ve distilled these fraught and psychologically dense developments for the screen.
I didn’t come to love them as a couple in the books until well into Breath of Snow and Ashes. They had some growing up and learning to do before they could truly function well as a couple. That’s Real. It’s hard to watch because we always want to skip to the happily-ever-after
Knowing how things turn out makes it easy to second guess their reactions and choices. But they’re BOTH operating under mid-20th century expectations of personal privilege in 18th-century conditions. Those expectations fail them both spectacularly.
My understanding is that a component of how Herself writes is to explore the ramifications of events and choice upon each character through their own lense. Throw something at them and engage with how they respond.
How Roger and Bree respond to this pivotal 24hr period in their lives shapes literally everything after. How they got there isn’t actually the point, what they do next IS. /fin
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