Published On: Wed, Sep 25th, 2019

Outlander: Roger MacKenzie to change after Diana Gabaldon makes major books decision? | Books | Entertainment

Outlander fans have been incredibly frustrated with Brianna Randall Fraser’s (played by Sophie Skelton) on-off beau Roger (Richard Rankin) for a while now on the STARZ time-travel series, with many concerned over his behaviour towards her. But while show viewers were left seething towards Roger during much of season four, a theory from some book fans may have revealed the character should have been very different. Did Diana Gabaldon have much say in the translation of Roger to the screen? According to a number of avid readers, the character is much more likeable in the novels and the show has all but ripped this away from him. So could the show be working with Gabaldon to create a very different version of show Roger for season five?

Taking to Reddit to share their thoughts about the show’s depiction, hotleafliquid said: “Let’s talk about Roger. Is he whopping jerk? Complicated but lovable? Epitome of toxic masculinity?

“I’m a pretty adamant feminist and I don’t know what to make of him! Mostly he gives me the creepy crawlies (would never date him myself), but I’m trying to give him a liiiittle benefit of the doubt and understand him.

“Some very spoiler-ridden talking points: Hypocrisy about sex before marriage, his ‘all or nothing love’ may be considered pretty manipulative, keeping a very important secret about Brianna’s parents from her, not respecting her boundaries when Bri said not to follow her, and to leave (although she did this in part for him, not just for her…?)

“BUT: he is super supportive of Bree in season three,” the fan continued. “He does work to protect her, he does respect her by letting her kiss first and doesn’t seem to do anything physical without consent, he goes through hell in Season four and keeps pursuing her (although then he’s all ‘Look out for number one’)… help me out, what else?”

Niwoe suggested the main reason for Roger’s change is actually down to a muddling from page to screen.

“Personally, I feel that the main reason he comes off this way,” they began, “is due to the condensing of the material into ‘episodes’ for television.

READ MORE: Outlander season 5: Cast broke down in tears over emotional screening

“I actually like book Roger. He definitely has flaws- but so does Bree. Also, the ‘fight’ about having sex and his proposal had a completely different context in the books.

“They had been together way longer, and it ended with him saying he would wait until she was ready.

“Also, her reasoning for saying no at first had to do with Claire [Caitriona Balfe]. Much more complex stuff. It also might be because he’s a POV character in the books. You see into his head way more.”

needpolarseltzer then offered: “Agree, it’s my main prob with the show as a whole – I understand that it’s impossible to fit everything from the books into the series but IMO they do huge disservice to Roger, Jamie [Sam Heughan], and Claire and for some reason Frank the A** gets a weird pass? idk.

“Book Roger is a complex human who makes mistakes and sees serious consequences but he goes through a lot of serious self-reflection and ends up being a really great character. Show roger is sort of a blah asshole.”

Pleased with the answers, the original poster added: “This makes so much sense. Picking up breadcrumbs from this sub, it’s obvious that book Roger is so much more endearing. Sounds like the proposal fight ended in the right way in the books.

“I would love to get into his head a bit. I think they did that a bit better in the second to last episode of season 4 as Roger was trying to escape the Mohawks.

“Really got at me heartstrings actually.”

Outlander returns February 16 on STARZ and follows February 17 on Amazon Prime Video.

Book 9 Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone is expected late this year or early 2020.

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