Murtagh Fraser is in many ways the wind beneath Jamie Fraser’s wings, committed to his friend and godson with a commendable loyalty. He is also possibly one of the more underrated characters in the Outlander series, many times in the shadows of the narrative despite being such a pivotal influence on Jamie Fraser’s walk of success.
Fans of his will know that Murtagh is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve and who is willing to undergo brave feats, for the sake of honor and integrity. Here are ten facts about Murtagh Fraser which only true fans will know.
10 He Loved Jamie's Mom
It had been Murtagh's desire to marry Jamie's mom, Ellen MacKenzie. In 1716, he attended a gathering at Castle Leoch, hoping to woo Ellen MacKenzie. For this purpose, he killed a boar – single-handedly it might be added - and with the tusks fashioned as a perfect double circle, presented them to Ellen as a bracelet. Despite the beauty of the bracelet and Murtagh’s overt gesture of consuming passion for Ellen, she chose to marry Brian Fraser. Matters of the heart are a mystery and Murtagh just wasn’t the man for her.
9 Jamie's Godfather
While Murtagh might have not been successful in winning the affections of Ellen MacKenzie as he had hoped, he did win her respect. He went on to become godfather to Jamie at Ellen’s request.
The honor of being godfather to the valiant hero was one that he did not for one moment take lightly. Not only did he honor this role, but he also became Jamie's companion and trusted sword bearer as the years progressed.
8 Back From The Dead
The story of Murtagh differs on screen to in the books. This is probably a good thing, since in the books Murtagh loses his life in the Battle of Culloden.
In the screen adaptation, however, it is revealed he in fact survived the battle and was made prisoner in Ardsmuir. He was kept in prison here until the rebellion ended. For fans of the lovable character this is a good thing since who wants Murtagh out of the series when he's such a good companion to swashbuckling Jamie.
7 From Shakespeare To The Scottish Highlands
English actor Duncan Lacroix plays Murtagh. The talented actor comes from Kent, London, but has been living in Ireland for the past 14 years. Lacroix comes from a background of theatre acting, having starred in numerous Shakespearean works, such as Twelfth Night.
This is evident in his sterling portrayal of the character who he plays with precision, exuding authority, confidence and credibility through his actions. Lacroix also stars in Vikings, in which he plays the Saxon noble Ealderman Werferth. He has definitely made the transition from stage to screen with excellence.
6 He Is Loyal
Murtagh is a gem as far as loyalty is concerned. When Jamie Fraser was just one week old, Murtagh made an oath to his mom, Ellen, to always follow Jamie and guard his back. This he did on his knees before her, promising her that he would always offer Jamie his service and protection when he became a man. It would seem he kept this promise, all the way into battle. In the books his loyalty to Jamie and his country costs him in his life. On screen, he miraculously ‘resurrects’ back to life, with a twist in the narrative revealing he has survived…
5 He Loves Claire
It would seem Murtagh meant what he said when he knelt before Ellen, Jamie’s mother, and vowed to protect and honor her son Jamie as his godfather. In the Outlander series, Murtagh is not just extremely protective over Jamie, but Claire as well.
In fact, when Jamie is absent or not close by, Murtagh is watching over her. It was him who convinced Jamie to marry her in the first place and it was also at his hand, a Fraser tartan for the wedding was secured.
4 He Is Ingenious
Murtagh has more than just a good heart in him. It would seem he has a mind skilled at coming up with strategy. At one stage in the narrative of Outlander, he comes up with the plan to dress Claire as a man. The pair travel from village to village performing their acts, searching for Claire's beau. This is a masterful idea since it gives them a way to get information without exposing themselves to attack.
3 He Is A Strong Negotiator
Murtagh has a lifetime of wisdom and much of this has come from heartache, such as Ellen MacKenzie's decision to marry Brian and not him. He uses this wisdom throughout the series and it translates into a skill at negotiating which he demonstrates in times of extreme need.
To give an example, when they find out Jamie is in Wentworth Prison, and has been scheduled to be executed by hanging, Murtagh steps up as a skilled negotiator. He manages to convince the MacKenzie clan to release Jamie.
2 He Says Poetic And Beautiful Things
Let’s face it. Murtagh is a bit of a poet at times. When Jamie is recovering from time in Wentworth Prison, he says to Claire: “The only way to save Jamie is for someone to step into the darkness with him.” And who can forget his bold statement to Claire when she is distressed from being separated from her beloved: “You think you are the only one who loves Jamie? He is like a son to me.”
1 Political Extremist
Murtagh's political views put him at animosity with Jamie. This is because he leads the Regulator Movement, which is an uprising against the British colony in North Carolina. Close as they are, Murtagh's decision to lead such a movement puts him at the other end of the political spectrum to his beloved Jamie, and threatens the vows he made with Jamie's mom, Ellen, to fully cover Jamie as his guardian. The reason for this is that Jamie has already pledged loyalty to Governor Tyron, who is a British colonist.