The Enchanting Geillis Duncan

I haven’t posted an Outlander trailer in quite a while. Today, Outlander Starz released a new one which I particularly love because it showcases Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), looking lovely, mischievous, secretive, and innocent as ever. WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

Geillis’ character in the Outlander novel by Diana Gabaldon can be described with a single word – delicious, and Ms. Verbeek’s performance has so far done great justice to the role. Her giggles, voice, and facial expressions are not what I expected at all, but as it turns out – they very much suit Geillis Duncan. Like the other stars of the show – Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies, Graham McTavish, and Gary Lewis – Ms. Verbeek disappears on screen and simply becomes the enigmatic woman.

She is, in my opinion, more dangerous than Black Jack Randall because she hides her true self. Black Jack wears his measure of insanity out in the open. What a delicious – to use the perfect word again – confrontation these two could have had. She might be the only woman to suit him, if he liked women . . . Every night would have been a game of cat and cat in their bedroom – always trying to outwit or outdo each other. Who do you think would have come out on top? – and I mean that quite literally.

Of course, Geillis being from another century adds zest to her character, perhaps something to give her an edge over Black Jack? We’ll never know unless their paths crossed when she first arrived – a story yet to be told. Too bad Ms. Gabaldon doesn’t take requests. How I would love to read a tale of their meeting.

Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) meets Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies).
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) meets Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies).

Ignoring for the time being that Geillis is a Scot and a Jacobite loyalist and Black Jack is a Captain in His Majesty’s Army, putting these two  together brings up several questions.

– In a stare down, who would blink first?

– How long would it take Geillis’ giggle to drive Black Jack further into his darkness?

– Would Geillis consider Black Jack’s sneer a challenging turn on?

– Would Black Jack fit into her century as well as Geillis fits into his? I’m reminded of the 1979 film, Time After Time, starring Malcolm McDowell as H. G. Wells and David Warner as Jack the Ripper. Hmm. Similar names. Jack the Ripper travels from Victorian England to 1979 in H. G. Wells’ time machine. H. G. Wells pursues. During their final confrontation, Jack claims he was born in the wrong century and fits into the violent 20th century better than his own. I wonder if Black Jack Randall wouldn’t feel the same way.

Interesting thoughts, but Black Jack had a trailer of his own. It’s time for Geillis and her gradual slide into madness. Below are glimpses of what we’ve already seen of her many faces and what’s yet to come . . .

Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) spies on Claire & Jamie.
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) spies on Claire & Jamie.

Often when I watch a show or film, I concentrate on the story first. While watching Outlander, it’s impossible not to be drawn to the subtle and the distinctive expressions the actors cast at one another. Dialogue? Who needs dialogue with performances like we’re seeing? Well, okay . . . I don’t want to lose the dialogue. Heaven forbid we should miss another line like, “Lily of the Valley.”

Above and below, Geillis’ face tells her own micro-stories. One minute, she’s amused by Claire’s quirky ignorance and Jamie’s not-so-cunning stares (of course, she noticed), and the next she’s trying to outwit a fellow time traveler. Oh, Claire. It’s a good thing you’re such a great doctor because you really would make a horrible spy.

Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) tries to pry secrets from Claire.
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) tries to pry secrets from Claire.
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) greets Claire.
Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) greets Claire, eager for another go at her secrets.
Lotte Verbeek as Geillis Duncan. As I said in my review for ep102: CASTLE LEOCH – not the best way to introduce yourself.
Lotte Verbeek as Geillis Duncan. As I said in my review for ep102: CASTLE LEOCH – not the best way to introduce yourself.
Claire_asks_are_you?_2
Claire (Caitriona Balfe) isn’t sure what to make of Geillis Duncan. By the way, not a good position to be in around a supposed witch.

While this show is primarily about Claire and Claire & Jamie, we’ve been gifted with several scene stealers – among them, Dougal MacKenzie, Black Jack Randall, all the hairy Highlanders, and Geillis Duncan. She simply lights up the castle with her bright eyes, burnished hair, glowing skin, and her enchanting smile. Season 2: DRAGONFLY IN AMBER is the end of the line for several of our favorite characters. Here’s hoping we see Geillis again in Season 3: VOYAGER.

6 thoughts on “The Enchanting Geillis Duncan

  1. You write what I have been saying ever since the premier of OUTLANDER. You see no Sam Heughen when you are watching Jamie Frasier! In fact I find it very disturbing when dressed as Jamie Sam will do an interview. It is too jarring. The voice, facial mannerisms, everything about is wrong!
    Tobias normally looks like a teddy bear. Not that slicked up Frank or that jerk BJR. His eyes don’t even look the same!
    I could go on but I know you know what I mean! Thank goodness!

    1. Tobias is amazing. He disappears and reappears as two completely different men. The casting on this show could not be more perfect. Can’t wait to see who they find for Brianna, Roger Mac, and Fergus.

  2. You pose some interesting Geillis and Jonathan questions, Candida. I will add one… what if they had met in their late teens? Would they have become as twisted – or more twisted, together? Tobias Menzies has implied Jonathan’s mental illness arose because of the war, however one has to suspect he was already inclined that way, and the war just gave permissions and amplifications. So how would these two have intertwined, had they met as Young Adults? There’s some YA Fiction that would be disturbing, I’m thinking!
    (And since Jonathan is bisexual, I think Geillis might have been successful in securing his interest…)

  3. Hahaha! LOVE THIS! Candida, you’re brilliant! Yes, I believe Geillis would find BJR a challenge and his sneer a turn-on! She is a contrary witch. I’m rather attached to her. Thanks!

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