- Outlander -TV Shows & Movies Starring ‘Outlander’ Actors, Including Multiple Tolkien Films
Jamie’s been a spy in a not-so-subtle audition for James Bond. Claire’s been a clacker down the halls of Runway. But where else have we seen so many of the key Outlander players that populate Lallybroch and Fraser’s Ridge? If you looked at the treacherous Gerald Forbes and thought that he reminded you very much of a certain Hobbit who liked to consort with elderly trees, you and I were clearly on the same page.
So, I rounded up just where else you might have seen these Outlander heroes and villains, to lay credence as to why they look so darn familiar.
Ed Speleers (Stephen Bonnet)
I abhor Stephen Bonnet with a fiery passion on Outlander, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that no one was sorry to see Brianna finish him off once and for all last season. Good riddance!
But we probably hated him so much because the actor, Ed Speleers, did such a chilling job at making him so spineless. As I watched though, I kept wracking my brain thinking I'd seen him in another period drama. Well folks, he was the lead in the book-to-screen adaptation of Eragon, but most famously, he appeared as his lordship's footman James "Jimmy" Kent on Downton Abbey.
His storyline as the newest, dishiest recruit to the downstairs antics of Downton is most memorable for its LGBT representation on the series, as he is the main object of unrequited affection of Thomas Barrow.
Despite meddling and heartbreak stirred up by the vengeful Miss O'Brien, the two form a long-lasting friendship, especially after Barrow takes a beating on Jimmy's behalf at the Thirsk county fair. But Speleers departed the series in Season 5, after Jimmy had a not-so-subtle affair with his old boss (!).
Richard Rankin (Roger)
Ah, Roger Mac. Most notably, Richard Rankin is known for his portrayal of the Scottish Oxford professor and Brianna's longtime love on Outlander. You may also be familiar with Rankin from a BBC miniseries, Thirteen.
Rankin starred as D.I. Elliott Carne, who is assigned to the case of Ivy Moxam (played by Killing Eve and My Mad Fat Diary alum Jodie Comer), a 26-year-old young woman who escaped captivity after 13 years. He grows close to Ivy, and yearns to protect her throughout the limited series, even against his better judgment at times.
Tobias Menzies (Frank + Black Jack)
Outlander fans primarily know Tobias Menzies for playing the man who came second in Claire's heart as well as his evil ancestor Black Jack Randall. But before he was picking up Golden Globe nominations for splitting his time in dual roles on the Starz drama or portraying Prince Philip on The Crown, Menzies was facing a whole other realm of family drama and bloodshed as Edmure Tully on Game of Thrones.
Edmure was the brother of Catelyn Stark, née Tully, and uncle to Robb, Sansa, Arya, Rickon, and Bran. Growing up at Rivverun, he's the guy who gave Baelish his nickname of "Littlefinger," as he was a ward of the Tully family.
But as an adult, his foibles became a little more dire, as he disobeyed the military orders of his nephew Robb, or rather, the King in the North, and attacked Stone Mill. His punishment? Taking Robb's place marrying one of Walder Frey's daughters at the infamous Red Wedding. As the whole union was a trick, not just for Edmure but fatally for his sister and Robb, he becomes Walder Frey's prisoner after going to his marriage bed with his wife. What a lovely welcome to the family from your father-in-law. Yeesh.
Frances de la Tour (Mother Hildegarde)
As I recently was watching episodes back when Jamie, Claire, and Murtagh traverse through the cobblestone roads of France in glorious ensembles, I kept thinking the nurturing essence of Mother Hildegarde rang a bell. Maybe it was a head-scratcher because last I'd seen of her, she was much taller...as Madame Maxime in the Harry Potter film franchise!
Frances de la Tour debuted in the fourth movie, The Goblet of Fire, as the half-giant headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. Her all-female student body, as well as the "proud sons" of Durmstrang Institute, came to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to compete in the Triwizard Tournament.
Madame Olympe Maxime grew a particular attachment to Care of Magical Creatures professor, Rubeus Hagrid, and the two shared a sweet dance at the Yule Ball.
Maria Doyle Kennedy (Aunt Jocasta)
Before Jamie's regal Aunt Jocasta settled at River Run, she was lording over a whole other kingdom on Showtime's The Tudors as Catherine of Aragon. Many of us, myself included, are currently obsessed with Starz' take on the story of warrior queen and strategist, The Spanish Princess, but the period drama series features the rosier years of her marriage to Henry VIII.
Whereas on The Tudors, we see the tail end of their 24-year union before he broke with the Catholic Church to marry Anne Boleyn. Traditionally, this older version of Catherine is the one we've seen in most adaptations (re: The Other Boleyn Girl), but no matter the timeline, it's evident that she and Henry VIII still had a deep care for each other at the core of their relationship. Maria Doyle Kennedy won two Irish Film & Television Awards for her role as Queen Catherine.
John Bell (Young Ian Murray)
Just because he's young, that doesn't mean that Jamie and Claire's precocious nephew hasn't been around the old Hollywood block. In fact, as one does during a pandemic, after bingeing all of the Hobbit films, I kept thinking how the earnest son of Bard the Bowman (aka Luke Evans) had to be from somewhere! And yes, John Bell served a pivotal role in The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies.
Even though his father orders him to stay behind, Bain clearly learned a thing or two about bravery from his old man. Bard was all out of arrows to shoot at Smaug, who was furiously flying over Lake-town and destroying everything in sight. But Bain shows up to save the day, with the coveted Black Arrow Bard uses to desolate Smaug for good.
Billy Boyd (Gerald Forbes)
And last but not least, slimy Gerald Forbes. Unable to procure his way into the family with a proposal to Brianna (she still loved Roger, what are you gonna do?), Forbes clearly felt cast out by the Fraser clan. So how did he cope? The usual way, by conspiring with Stephen Bonnet to swindle Jocasta of her family riches. And, oh yeah, attempt to murder her when things don't go his way. Man has not had the greatest track record on Outlander.
But despite his slippery ways, Billy Boyd still has a soft spot in many the heart of Tolkien fans as he played Pippin Took, a Hobbit with quite the singing voice, in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
As it seems that we are stuck in this Droughtlander for the long haul, I might as well revisit some of the shows and films featuring the series' stars.