'Outlander' season 3: How Diana Gabaldon came up with Jamie and Claire; Mr Willoughby not representing Chinese people

By @sachintrivedig on
'Outlander
Actors Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser and Caitriona Balfe as Claire in a poster of Starz TV series "Outlander." Facebook/ Outlander

A new character called Mr Willoughby will be introduced in “Outlander” season 3. Since this is the first Chinese character in the series, Diana Gabaldon has preempted any possible controversy by explaining that the character is not representing the Chinese people. She also talked about how she came up with the main characters Jamie and Claire.

Perhaps one reason why the Starz TV series is so popular is that the main character Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are not like the typical characters in a romance. He was a virgin at the time of his marriage, and his bride was much more experienced.

In an interview with Herald Scotland, Author Diana Gabaldon said that someone asked her if she was writing a romance novel. As she had never read one before she wasn’t sure, and so she bought three best sellers at that time. As fate would have it, the three novels she picked had an older gentleman in mid-thirties as the hero and an 18-year-old virgin as the heroine. This led the author to come up with a role reversal for Jamie and Claire.

Gabaldon also spoke about “Outlander” season 3, which will feature a Chinese character. Addressing concerns about racist stereotyping, the author explained that the character is based on an actual Chinese immigrant called Mr Hu, who landed at the Edinburg docks in the mid- 1700s.

No one knew where Mr Hu came from, and he couldn’t speak the language of this new world he had inexplicable entered. People felt sorry for him, but since he couldn’t make any good friends he eventually drank himself to death.

As far as Mr Willoughby’s height is concerned, Gabaldon said that she is aware that not all Chinese people are short. She, however, pointed out that both Jamie and Claire were “abnormally tall for their time, they are almost bound to see them as short, and it is their viewpoint.” So, when the fans see the Chinese character interacting with the Sassenach and her husband in “Outlander” season 3; viewers should note that the author meant no cultural offence.