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Outlander spent years immersing both Claire and viewers in the Highlander way, and what could be more Scottish from those early years than the men running around in their kilts? Before the Battle of Culloden and the destruction of the Highlander way of life, the men of Outlander wore kilts more often than not, even in situations like battles and hunts that modern viewers might not think too practical for going without pants. So, when actor Duncan Lacroix spoke with CinemaBlend about all things Outlander, I had to ask about the kilts.
After all, Duncan Lacroix's Murtagh wore the traditional Scottish garb seemingly as often as possible, to the point that it almost made his death even sadder that he couldn't go out dressed like a Highlander. I asked Lacroix about the pros and cons of fighting in a kilt, and he explained why he's pro on them:
Actually, the plaid, the kilt was incredibly comfortable to wear and quite very practical as well. I remember that the huge battle scene I was involved in, which was the Prestonpans battle scene in Season 2. We spent a good few days on a field sprinting around the place. I mean, we had training as well from this group of people... who right from the outset would show us all the Highlanders' weapons, how much of a utilitarian kind of piece of clothing that was, the plaid. We actually got quite attached to them and we had devised different ways of wearing them, because we were shown you can kind of bunch it up behind, have it brooched over your shoulder, and it was kind of left to us to go our own way and design the way we would wear the kilt.
As viewers undoubtedly remember, the Season 2 episode tackling the Battle of Prestonpans was a huge victory for the Jacobites, complete with kilted Highlanders charging and screaming through the fog to scare the pants off of the unprepared English soldiers. According to Duncan Lacroix, the kilt was actually "very practical" for Prestonpans. The Scots certainly defeated the redcoats, although not without sustaining a heartbreaking loss.
Of course, star Sam Heughan has shared the worst thing about wearing a kilt, so there are some downsides as well. That said, Caitriona Balfe has her own thoughts about the perks of kilts on Outlander. Unfortunately for all the kilt-enthusiasts who enjoyed watching the show in the early days when all the Scots got to wear their traditional garb, the loss at Culloden meant the English banned tartan, although Murtagh kept a bit of Fraser plaid anyway.
The move to America meant an overall shift in costuming, and Murtagh himself had larger concerns than what he was wearing in the build to his death as leader of the Regulators. That said, Jamie donned his kilt once more for a ceremony early in Season 5, and I have to imagine that Murtagh would have been proud by his side if they hadn't already had to say goodbye in the premiere.
Murtagh and Jamie ultimately had to say their permanent farewell in Season 5, although Duncan Lacroix did appear again in the Season 5 finale when Claire retreated to an imaginary world of friends and family to mentally escape her brutal situation. Unsurprisingly but still devastatingly, Murtagh died shortly after reuniting with Jamie during battle, and Jamie was too late in getting Murtagh to Claire for her to do anything for him.
Murtagh may have survived much longer on the show than he did in Diana Gabaldon's books, but he died all the same in Season 5. Fortunately, Jamie found a way to permanently honor his beloved godfather following his death, and fans can relive Murtagh's final days now. Outlander Season 5 is available on Blu-ray, with special features including four never-before-seen "Outlander Untold" bonus scenes, a blooper reel, featurettes, and more. You can also find Season 5 on digital.
Outlander will return to Starz for Season 6, and more than one member of the cast is looking forward to getting back to set. Only time will tell when production can get into gear, but there are plenty of TV options for the meantime. Swing by our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule for some options. Sadly, kilts are not guaranteed.