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November 2018

Outlander North Carolina

ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards – The Best of Outlander Episode 401.4, Common Ground

November 30, 2018

Welcome back to the ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of Season 4 (let’s not think about that right now), some of the ONC adminstrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests” from the latest Outlander episode.  Last week, we gave awards for Episode, 401.3, The False Bride. Next up, is Episode 401.4, Common Ground.  This week’s voting contributors are Mitzie Munroe, Harmony Tersanschi, Nancy Roach (a/k/a The White Sow), Susan Jackson Tara Heller and Cameron Hogg! And the winners are…

Tara: Jamie carrying Claire over the threshold and Jamie talking about their future home and where everything will be placed. Claire saying “It’s perfect.”

Cameron: The exchange between Tryon and Jamie- they are sizing one another up, letting one another know neither one has all the power, and this is all done through their verbal exchange and nonverbal cues by the actors. I thought it was really a well-written and well-played scene.

Susan: I loved when Roger called to talk w/ Bree about the fire–the look on his face when it dawned on him that Bree had gone to Scotland so she could–well, that could be a spoiler, so I’ll just stop right there.

Nancy: When Adawehi tells Claire she is the White Raven and will reach her healing potential when her hair turns white. How exactly will this happen? Will it take place in book nine or ten? I like a mystery.

Mitzie: Intro scene for “Common Ground” where we watched some of the Cherokee dress. The accompanying music by Bear was spot on. It gave me chills!

Harmony: The best moment from Episode 4 was when Roger found Fraser’s Ridge in the book Bree had given him & then received more information about it from the author. I loved the voiceover of him reading about The Ridge as the scene carried back to Jamie & Claire in NC.

Tara: “Our bed will be over their facing east where we can watch every sunrise” and They can finally have a home and a bed of their own. It is so comforting.

Cameron: When Gov. Tryon tells Jamie that he’s just the sort of settler NC needs. Jamie is such a strong character and this gives him the chance to be the laird he always hoped to be, so it’s good to see someone in power recognize the value in that. Until now, Jamie has never been validated in that way by anyone who could do anything to facilitate it.

Susan: When Jamie tells Tryon “Savagery can exist in many forms…I’ve witnessed it in both prince and pauper,” it hit me that it still rings true, and has been as long as man has existed.

Nancy: “I canna say what it is to for me to feel the rightness of this place…The mountain spoke to me.” I just wanted him to add, “If I’m to live as a man I must have a mountain” from the book. I love lines from the book.

Mitzie: When Jamie gives Tryon is own quote back; “There is the law, and there is what is done”. Oh my! Governor Tryon is so impressed and thinks he has him at an understanding when in fact he has no idea.

Harmony: My favorite line or technically lines are “The moon was in the water, and you became a white raven. You flew over the water and swallowed the moon. The white raven flew back and laid an egg in the palm of her hand. The egg split open and there was a shiny stone inside.” I loved this exchange in the book & loved it just as much in the show.

Tara: I would have to say Sam. He really is showing the real/old Jamie again. The mountains agree with Sam and Jamie 🙂

Cameron: Sam- it’s nearly always Sam for me. 😉 Though John Bell is wonderful also, and I live his inquisitive enthusiasm for the new world as Ian.

Susan: I love Tantoo Cardinal–I loved her in Legends of the Fall, too.

Nancy: I would like to give a shout out to Flint Eagle, the man playing the bear. Staging the fight scene takes a lot of coordination, but fighting with a bear skin and big claws attached to your body had to be difficult. I also thought he did an admirable job portraying a bear. He gets the Andy Serkis Award for believable non-humans on the screen.

Mitzie: Gotta give it to Sam for this one. We got to see him put on his diplomatic face for Governor Tryon, his fierce face when he was protecting his family and his “true to his word” face when giving his oath to the Cherokee for being a peaceful neighbor.

Harmony: My favorite actress was Tantoo Cardinal! This was the perfect casting & she was wonderful!

Tara: The bear being a man/bear. I mean I assume it would be hard to fill Jamie battling a bear. The CGI probably would have been hard and no so believable. Some things are better left to the imagination from the books.

Cameron: When it turned out not to be a real bear attacking the ridge. I’d imagined the scene more literally from the book and had envisioned something along the lines of the end of Legends of the Fall. It’s a surprise, especially after they set up book readers for a real bear with the droppings, cleaning fish, and horse being clawed, but it still got the to the point of forging a relationship with the Cherokee.

Susan: I wasn’t really surprised at anything, but was surprised at how the whole how-Jamie-got-his-Cherokee-name concept. At first, I was like, “Y’all are messing this up,” but then it all came together. I liked how they were able to compress it all–that was a change I liked.

Nancy: I would have to say the whole change from real bear to manbear. It worked, but I wasn’t sure how they would pull that off.

Mitzie: Seeing a vulnerable side to Marsali. She gave a wonderful performance in such a short clip. I almost wanted to give her the Best Actress award for this episode because of her genuine expressions towards Claire during their conversation. Warmed my heart to see Claire and Marsali hug!

Harmony: The most surprising moment of this episode was definitely the man bear! I can honestly say that I never would’ve guessed that they’d play it out that way.

Tara: Jamie and Claire with the help of Ian starting to build Fraser’s Ridge. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead! I love seeing everything that I have in my mind on the screen!

Cameron: I love that Jamie was always sure to make it abundantly clear that he had no grudge with the Cherokee. I think the episode showed the tension of the situation and fear of the unknown, but always showed the Frasers as respectful cohabitants of the land.

Susan: I love that the Frasers are finally home, and forging ahead, in spite of the adversity that is always surrounding them. How they stay so in love, I don’t know, because every time I’ve moved, I’ve wanted a divorce.

Nancy: I liked seeing everyone working to build the cabin. When I read the books, I never pictured Claire using an ax or helping guide Clarence as he pulls a log. That falls in line with her character.

Mitzie: The introduction to the Cherokee. The whole vibe of their appearance in this episode was wonderfully done; both in presence and in their attire.

Harmony: I think what I enjoyed most about the episode as a whole is that we’re seeing Fraser’s Ridge finally come to life!

Tara: #2, False Bride has been my favorite so far.

Cameron: This probably 2nd for me. Last week (403) is still probably my favorite, followed by 401 as 3rd and 402 as fourth. I’m very excited now that they are in NC, and as they develop relationships in the area, the story gets into historical territory I love in the books.

Susan: My rankings this season, from 1-4: 403, 404, 402, 401. The “home” episodes are ranked first, because that’s what I’ve been waiting for. Can y’all tell that I’m a homebody?

Nancy: I would rank it as number 2 and 303 as number 1 because the White Sow was scripted to make an appearance as a piglet but didn’t make the final cut in 404.

Harmony: I’d rank this episode as my 3rd favorite so far. Although I enjoyed it, it was a bit slower moving than I prefer.

So, now that we’ve voted, what about you? Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 401.4, Common Ground. Leave it in the comments!

Outlander North Carolina

Recap of Episode 404 or as I like to call it “Common Ground and Still No Pig!”

November 29, 2018
Post by Contributing Author, The White Sow

We see Governor Tyron’s office in New Bern where Jamie signs a contract for the 10,000 acres of land that will be Fraser’s Ridge. (Remember this document. It will resurface.) Governor Tryon remarks that that the Indians are savages just like the Highlanders. (I believe this is going to be a reoccurring theme throughout the season.)

Flash to Claire, Jamie and Ian packing the wagon with supplies.  They tearfully bid good-bye to Fergus and a very pregnant Marsali who bemoans the absence of her mother.  Claire is reminded of Brianna and questions her decision to leave her. She’ll never know her grandchildren.

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! and the Fraser’s are suddenly transported to Fraser’s Ridge complete with stock footage of Grandfather Mountain in the distance.  The Fraser’s admire the scenery. Jamie carves FR in a tree to mark the border of his land. He uses wooden posts to mark the boundaries. Suddenly, the Frasers see Native Americans approaching.  Jamie throws down his knife and raises his arms in a gesture of good will. The Cherokee turn away.

Flash forward to 1971 and Roger is in his University office.  (The ministers cat is love-sick cat.) He opens the middle drawer of his desk where we see his copy of Scottish Settlers in Colonial America and the drawing of Roger and Bree from the Highland Games. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! The book falls open to a reference to Grandfather Mountain and a mention of Fraser’s Ridge.  As Roger talks, we are shown the Fraser’s working on their land. We see Clarence pulling a log. Jamie hammers in wooden stakes to mark the dimensions of the cabin and explains the layout to Claire.  (Hint: Remember these stakes.) They discuss beef jerky (Mmm!) and a shed for drying meat. Suddenly Ian comes running! The Cherokee are coming. This time they throw down those wooden stakes Jamie used to mark his land.

Flash forward to 1971Roger opening a large envelope.  There is a copy of Jamie’s signed land grant. (I told you it would resurface.) and a letter from a woman in England mentioning James Fraser and his wife Claire, the healer.  Roger phones Brianna to tell her the news. We’re briefly introduced to a new character, roommate Gayle and her French Bulldog. (This is Carrot who just happens to belong to Maril Davis. I admit he is cute, but a horse and a dog and still no pig? Come on people!)  Brianna tells Roger how much the news means to her.

Back to 1768 at night in the Fraser’s temporary shelter where Jamie and Claire discuss whether to stay or go.   Jamie tells her, “I canna say what it is to for me to feel the rightness of this place…The mountain spoke to me.”  They decide to send a message of good will to the Cherokee. Later that night they wake to Rollo’s distant barking.  They venture out with loaded rifles to find their meat stollen and Finley the horse limping toward camp with a bear claw wound on his side.

Jamie visits John Quincey Myers who tells him the Cherokee call this creature a “ Tskili Yona”.  “ Yona” means bear. Myers is cooking some kind of meat draped over sticks. (I wonder what kind of meat that is? It almost looks like bacon! OMG!)  Myers advises Jamie to take tobacco to the Cherokee as a peace offering and teaches Jamie the Cherokee word for hello”Siyo ginali.”  (Thank goodness for closed caption TV.) Myers offers to take the tobacco to the Cherokee for him.

Back at Fraser’s Ridge, Ian repairs a fishing net while Claire guts a fish. We learn that everyone can knit except Claire.  (Hey, even I know how to knit!) At nighttime we see the Cherokee in the woods. The Fraser’s wake once again to noise and Rollo winning.  They follow Rollo into the night only to discover a mauled John Quincy Myers.

We see the Cherokee perform some sort of ceremony and a dance. (Those of us who attended A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming recognize this as the Bear dance. Yes, I did participate.)

Jamie takes off after the bear only to find it is a man dressed in a bear skin. The two fight viciously until  Jamie finally skewers the manbear with one of the house stakes. (I told you to keep an eye on them.)

He drags the manbear on a litter to the Cherokee camp to broker peace.

The Cherokee come to Fraser’s Ridge and give Jamie the name “ Bear Killer”.  Claire is introduced to healer, Adawehi who says she dreamed of Claire as the White Raven.  “You have medicine now, but you will have more when your hair is white like snow. You will have wisdom beyond time.  You must not be troubled. Death is sent from the Gods. It will not be your fault.”

Flash forward to 1970’s at Reverend Wakefield’s old home.  Fiona shows Roger a copy of an 18th century newspaper that reveals the Fraser’s have died in a house fire around 1777.

Back to Fraser’s Ridge where everyone is working on the house and the foundation is laid.  Jamie carries Claire over the threshold. (Where have those trousers she wearing been?)

Back to 1971. Roger telephones Bree and gets Gayle instead.  Gayle informs Roger that Bree flew to Scotland a couple of weeks ago to visit her mother.

(0h, no!  What will happen next?  Where is Brianna? Will Jamie finish the cabin?  Will Claire’s hair turn white? Who will die that won’t be Claire’s fault? Will they ever get a bearskin rug? Will there be a White Sow? Will they find enough food to feed the White Sow? Tune in next week as the saga continues.)

In December 1996, Diana Gabaldon created a rather cantankerous animal character known as “the White Sow” in her book “Drums of Autumn”. In 2016, the White Sow joined Twitter, created a Facebook page, and began creating photos, gifs and videos to entertain. According to the White Sow, “It has always been my deepest desire to become comic relief.” The White Sow lives in North Carolina, of course. You can find her on Facebook at on Twitter at @whitesow1.
Drums Of Autumn Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Season 4

Where Is Fraser’s Ridge, North Carolina?

November 24, 2018

It’s the question all Outlander fans are asking so where exactly is Jamie & Claire’s new home, Fraser’s Ridge? Although no one knows for sure the exact location, Diana has said that Fraser’s Ridge probably lies within ten miles of Blowing Rock or Boone, North Carolina and that it covers land north of the Yadkin River.[footnote]Gabaldon, Diana. “Fraser’s Ridge Question.” MSG: 79801.18. Diana Gabaldon. Books and Writers Community. Compuserve. Published 22 March 2014. Accessed 1 December 2017[/footnote]

If you’ve watched Episode 401.3, The False Bride, Jamie & Claire see a river below Fraser’s Ridge and if the show writers are staying true to Diana’s specifications for the location of Fraser’s Ridge, I imagine this river is the Yadkin. The Yadkin River’s headwaters start near Blowing Rock in Watauga County, not far from the Thunder Hill Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From there, it flows southeast through Caldwell County before turning northeast and flowing through Wilkes County.

Below are some maps I’ve put together. Please keep in mind, these are not scientific, and we are talking about a fictional location. (OMG!!! Someone please slap me! Did I just say that Fraser’s Ridge is fictional?!?!)  Since the headwaters of the Yadkin are located near the Blue Ridge Parkway and based on Diana’s description, I think it’s a safe bet to say that Fraser’s Ridge would be located east of the Parkway.  With that being said, Fraser’s Ridge could be located in one or more of the present day counties of Watauga, Caldwell or Wilkes. 10,000 acres covers a lot of ground!

Are you planning a trip to find Fraser’s Ridge?  Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming is held each October at the place I think Fraser’s Ridge would have been. I cordially invite YOU to join me and other Outlander fans at this special place for three full days of workshops, learning, music, great food, great friends, fun & adventure.  LEARN MORE HERE.

P.S. If you believe Fraser’s Ridge is fictional as I so incorrectly stated earlier (that was before I slapped myself back into reality), you might want to check out this letter written by an unbeliever to Dr. I. Fash, YeKen, Ph.D., and his very timely response.

Drums Of Autumn Season 4

ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards – The Best of Outlander Episode 401.3, The False Bride

November 23, 2018

Welcome to the ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards!  Now until the end of Season 4 (let’s not think about that right now), some of the ONC adminstrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests” from the latest Outlander episode.  First up, The False Bride, Episode 401.3!  This week’s voting contributors are Mitzie Munroe, Harmony Tersanschi, Nancy Roach (a/k/a The White Sow), Susan Jackson and me! And the winners are…

Mitzie – When Claire found the strawberries and Jamie took it as a sign that they have found their new home, Fraser’s Ridge! That moment is establishing the cornerstone to the rest of the season (and future seasons to come).

Harmony – The best moment from Episode 3 was Roger singing at the Highland Games. His voice was beautiful, the song was beautiful & he completely pulled me in as he was singing.

Nancy – I have to say hearing Clarence the Mule bray and referred to by name was a thrill for me. It gave me hope that the White Sow may also make a debut.

Susan – When Jamie and Claire were looking out from the ridge, and seeing what the future could hold. It’s wonderful to see them looking forward to finally settling down.

Beth – The ending when Jamie says “Then this will be our home. And we’ll call it Fraser’s Ridge.” My heart soared right along with the music!

Mitzie – Hearing Jamie say “What it is, to feel the need of a place”….. It puts me to mind of my most favorite quote in all of DOA: “How shall I tell ye what it is, to feel the need of a place?” he said softly. “The need of snow beneath my shoon. The breath of the mountains, breathing their own breath in my nostrils as God gave breath to Adam. The scrape of rock under my hand, climbing, and the sight of the lichens on it, enduring in the sun and the wind.” His breath was gone and he breathed again, taking mine. His hands were linked behind my head, holding me, face-to-face.

“If I am to live as a man, I must have a mountain,” he said simply.”

Harmony – The best line from Episode 3 is, “And this will be our home. And we will call it Fraser’s Ridge”. I got chills while watching that scene & the fact that they’ve finally found home made my heart happy!

Nancy – Too many to pick just one!

Susan – Brianna: Ooh! I’ve always wanted to have my portrait done. Roger: That makes one of us! It cracked me up–I don’t like having my portrait/picture done.

Beth – Jamie: “This must be the most beautiful land I’ve ever seen.” Even though they weren’t actually looking out at the Blue Ridge Mountains, Jamie was dead on because it absolutely is!

Mitzie – Richard Rankin hands down! He sings, plays, dances, looks hot in a kilt, and is hopelessly in love with Bree, bruised ego and all.

Harmony – The best actor/actress in this episode is really between two for me, Richard & John Bell. I think Richard might have a slight lead though. The way he delivered his lines during the argument between Bree & himself was pure perfection!

Nancy – I thought both Sophie and Rik stepped up to the plate this episode, creating a realistic 70’s relationship dynamic. Also Clarence, of course, was quite believable.

Susan – I have to admit that Sophie Skelton nailed Bree in this episode, finally. And I don’t like Bree very much!

Beth – Sophie Skelton made Bree come to life. I think this was truly her breakout performance on the show.

Mitzie – Another slap heard around the world! Poor Roger and Bree. It’s agony not seeing them on the same page yet.

Harmony – The most surprising moment was watching Sophie finally become Bree. I really struggled with her portrayal of her previously, but she was a complete surprise this episode. She did a fantastic job!

Nancy – Claire unzipping her boots. Terry Dresbach said that was on purpose. Claire kept the boots she brought through the stones.

Susan – Discovering that Richard Rankin was actually singing–he was fabulous–I had no idea he could sing!

Beth – When the deer’s head got covered up, I thought Bree had thrown a napkin. It was her blouse!

Mitzie – The highland games. It brought back fond memories of my first GMHG (Grandfather Mountain Highland Games) this past July and I can’t wait to return this coming July.

Harmony – My favorite thing about this episode was easily Roger and Bree, and the development of their relationship. This is something that I was most looking forward to in Season 4, as they were both apart of so many of my favorites story lines while reading DOA.

Nancy – All the North Carolina references, stock photos, etc. I smiled throughout the show.

Susan – It finally felt like what I read in the books–though I got the same feeling w/ the Rufus scenes in 402. This whole episode was what I’ve been waiting to see come to life.

Beth – Jamie & Claire finally finding home. That’s what this season and Fraser’s Ridge is all about.

Mitzie – I think this episode is the best of the three we have seen so far. I really enjoy seeing the split story lines. I am also a huge Roger and Bree fan and enjoy watching their relationship develop.

Harmony – I’d rate this episode as #1 for me. This has by far been my favorite episode of the season to date. There was a very natural flow to the episode, which I haven’t seen so far this season.

Nancy – #1: Episode 3 – Fraser’s Ridge here we come. #2: Episode 1 – They’re finally in NC! #3: Episode 2 – Slavery is hard to watch.

Susan – My favorites in order #1 to #3:  403, 402, 401. As much as I disliked the subject matter of 402, and disliked how nasty Claire was, Do No Harm was wonderfully acted, the scenery was like North Carolina, and they accurately portrayed (as best we know how in modern times) a day in the life on a Southern plantation.

Beth – This is my absolute favorite so far this season. The magic was just lacking for me during the first two episodes.  Good news though –it’s definitely back in Episode 403 and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

So, now that we’ve voted, what about you? Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 403.1, The False Bride.

Drums Of Autumn Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Season 4

The False Bride – Outlander 403 Recap

November 21, 2018
Post by Contributing Author, Harmony Tersanschi

“‘How shall I tell ye what it is, to feel the need of a place?’ He said softly. ‘The need of snow beneath my shoon. The breath of the mountains, breathing their own breath in my nostrils as God gave breath to Adam. The scrape of rock under my hand, climbing, and the sight of lichens on it, enduring in the sun and wind.’

His breath was gone and he breathed again, taking mine. His hands were linked behind my head, holding me, face-to-face.
‘If I am to live as a man, I must have a mountain, he said simply.’” (Diana Gabaldon, DOA)

………And a mountain ye have finally found.

We start off episode 403 in 1970 Inverness with Roger playing his guitar (swoon) then handing the keys to his childhood home over to Fiona and her new husband. “I may not read tea leaves like my grannie…..But I can see ye’re in love with her”, ummm yasss Fi, you tell him! What a great start to this episode, I have certainly missed seeing Roger & hearing that accent, as I’m sure many of us have.

We’re then transported back to River Run where Jamie & Claire are bidding farewell to Aunt Jocasta. This was my only issue with the entire episode, the addition of the unneeded conflict between Claire & Jocasta. Again, the harshness of Claire’s attitude is not something that I’m fond of regarding the series, however I was happy to see that it quickly dissipated once River Run was out of sight. On another note, I don’t think I can put into words how much I adore John Bell as Young Ian. He has fully filled the roll in my opinion & is an absolute joy to watch! Listening to him plead his case to Jamie on why he should be permitted to make his own decision regarding the place he will call home, was no exception. Fantastic!

Now on to what I’ve been waiting for all season, yes I know we’re only just now three episodes in, but I have been looking forward to this since reading DOA this past summer. Bree & Roger are reunited once again & on their way to Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. I loved the parallel of them being in present day N.C. while her parents are also in 18th century N.C.! A slightly awkward and tad stiff performance from Sophie in season three has been replaced by a confident & completely natural embodiment of Bree in this episode. I mean, she totally killed every scene she was in & I couldn’t be happier! The looks between the two, the chemistry, the flirting, the “Minister’s Cat”, the passion, the fight, was all done seamlessly! These two have already brought some of my favorite parts from DOA fully to life and there’s so much more in store. I of course can’t conclude my thoughts on Roger & Bree without mentioning the performance! I was completely lost in Roger’s voice as he sang, and Bree’s expression perfectly mimicked every other woman’s face at the festival, including my own, while he serenaded us all. I had to apologize to my hubby for the sighs of delight that were coming from my mouth as I briefly forgot that he was sitting right there next to me. Luckily he doesn’t mind my Outlander/Jamie/Roger obsession. Although, it’s more lucky for him than it is for me, because no amount of disapproval could come in the way of my ultimate swooning over Roger’s voice, both singing & speaking.Back to our two main characters, Jamie & Claire who are now wandering the woods for a place to call home. Otter Tooth & his skull made their appearance much sooner than I had imagined albeit I fully enjoyed how it was handled within the episode. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and very reminiscent of trails that I’ve personally found myself on since making North Carolina my home. “Jamie look, strawberries”, Claire calls out to Jamie which was all the sign he needed to realize that they had finally found home. A home soon to be called Fraser’s Ridge.To say that I enjoyed this episode would be a vast understatement! The show once again has sucked me in and I found myself wishing it was much longer than a mere 62 minutes. This has now made my anticipation for what’s yet to come even more extreme, please excuse me while I shout “BRING ON THE TIME TRAVEL!”Harmony was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, but found her forever home in the mountains of North Carolina in 2017. She is married to her “Jamie” and the mom of two boys whom she homeschools. Harmony discovered Outlander while Season 2 was showing on Starz, and instantly fell in love with Jamie and Claire’s love story. I’m her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and getting outside to explore their new home in the mountains.