Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meet Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe

When Harry met Catriona …..

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle mingled with some important Irish figures during their official visit to Dublin, including President Michael Higgins, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, and even rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll. But the couple got to meet some TV stars too. During a garden party at the British Embassy yesterday, the Duke of Sussex was photographed sharing a laugh with Outlander‘s Caitriona Balfe, who stars as Claire Fraser on Starz’s hit drama. The Irish actress wore a burnt orange short sleeve dress for the soirée, with gold statement earrings peeking out from her blunt brunette bob.

Balfe was joined by fellow Irish actors Moe Dunford (Vikings) and Barry Keoghan (DunkirkThe Killing of a Sacred Deer) while chatting with Prince Harry. (Sadly there was no sign of Sam Heughan.) We wonder if the trio of thespians had a moment to bond with the Duchess of Sussex about her former acting career and seven-season run on Suits.

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Diana Gabaldon might write an episode of Outlander series five

The good news today is that  seasons 5 and 6 have been confirmed ( as if there was any doubt about that ), and that Diana Gabaldon may be writing at least one episode.

Creator of the Outlander book series that the STARZ show is based on, Gabaldon enjoys a bit more creative freedom with her creation than other authors and adaptations. Showrunner Ronald D. Moore made sure of this from the beginning — Gabs serves as a series consultant from time to time, as well as appearing in episode 4 from season 1.

Also also, Diana has written an episode of the series: season 2, episode 11, ‘Vengeance Is Mine’. The hope was that she would be able to write additional episodes, but continuing work on the ninth novel in the series prevented this from happening in seasons 3 and 4.

During the 44th Annual Saturn Awards, we were able to chat briefly with Diana on the red carpet before the ceremony, where she accepted the award for Best Fantasy TV Series on behalf of the show. (This is the third year running that the STARZ series has taken home the golden statue.)

Diana Gabaldon at the 44th Annual Saturn Awards
Photo by Mary Anne Butler

She mentioned that production was wrapping on season 4, and that she was very excited for fans to see where the season goes.

We asked her about the possibility of her returning to write an episode in the coming seasons, and she said that as long as her writing and editing schedule for book nine, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, goes well, she would be interested and available.

While Outlander will not be present at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) this year, they will have a presence at New York Comic Con (NYCC), where at the very least, a new trailer for the upcoming season 4 is expected to drop, if not the entire premiere episode (as they did last year during SDCC).

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Outlander author talks about George R.R. Martin’s struggles writing The Winds of Winter

Diana Gabaldon, the author of the Outlander series and a friend of Martin’s, recently backed up that idea when speaking with fans last week. We’re not sure what question inspired her to talk about this conversation she had with Martin, but it was interesting. 

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So Gabaldon asked Martin how things were going with “the newest book.” Quoth Martin, via Gabaldon:

I’m having all kinds of trouble. Have you ever killed somebody off that you later realized that you needed?…I just painted myself into a corner.

Let’s note that we don’t know when Martin and Gabaldon had this conversation. Perhaps it was years ago, and Martin has already written himself out of whatever corner he’d painted himself into. In any case, you have to wonder which dead character was/is giving him problems. It’s probably not a major one — the deaths of characters like Ned and Robb and Tywin are woven into the narrative such that we can’t imagine Martin ruing killing them off. Maybe someone like Maester Aemon or Qyentyn Martell or Kevan Lannister? It’s not the series lacks for dead people.

The idea of Martin being tripped up by a dead character he “needed” rings true. Martin is meticulous about his plotting, and has been known to rewrite parts of his books after he decides to change something. Diana Gabaldon isn’t phased, though. “This happens all the time when you write,” she says. “But you have an imagination…So if you paint yourself into the corner, I said, what you do is you get a new bucket of paint and you paint yourself back out and do the floor behind you. I mean, you can revise history — it’s easy if you try.”

Outlander –  George R.R. Martin –  The Winds of Winter –

Diana Gabaldon