Friday, October 30, 2015

Cooklander: To The Stove!

Stressing about holiday gifts? We have the perfect solution! Our Outlander friends at Cooklander.com (@Debra_McGill and @Bouton_Barks) have put together a wonderful collection of 550 recipes from Starz Outlander cast, crew, and Fanmily from around the world. It's one-stop shopping, delivered to your door! (What's better than that?)




Proceeds from the sales go to support the favorite charities of Diana Gabaldon, Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe (Click on the links below for more info):


Please help Deb and Bouts support these wonderful charities by buying your copy (or copies!) today! Go to Cooklander.com for information about how to get one for you, or for someone you love, 
Thanks!
The Wee Lasses of Outlander Central.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sing Me A Song of Samhain: The Ancient Roots of Halloween

By Outlander Central


In honor of the Festival of Samhain and the Worldwide Launch of Outlander Central, we wanted to give you a wee history of some of the myths and lore  to which Diana Gabaldon introduced us in Outlander (or Cross Stitch, for those of you across the pond).  We hope ye enjoy it…maybe it’ll even inspire some of ye to dance naked under the full moon! (But, to quote Aunt Jet from Practical Magic, “The nudity is entirely optional”!)

The holiday that we know today as Halloween, began thousands of years ago as Samhain (pronounced Sow-en, derived from the ancient Celtic word for Summer’s end).  It marks the end of the third and final harvest, it is a day to remember, and commune with, the dead, and it is a celebration of the eternal cycle of reincarnation. 

In European traditions, Samhain is the night when the old God dies, and the Crone Goddess mourns him for the next six weeks, until Yule, the shortest day of the year, when we begin again to move from winter into spring and the renewal of life.  The popular image of the old hag, or witch, stirring her cauldron on Halloween comes from the Celtic traditional lore that all souls return to her cauldron of life, death and rebirth to await reincarnation. It is believed in many cultures, not just among pagans and wiccans, that the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest on Samhain, and as such, it is the ideal day to summon the spirits of those who have gone before us. (Think Mexican Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations)


In ancient times, the Crone was revered as the village wise woman; a woman whose age and wisdom made her an extremely powerful figure, but also one who was a wee bit feared.  Over time, as Christianity became the established religion, the practices of the old wise women and healers were branded as evil and thought to be forms of devil worship.  The women were accused as witches, and many thousands perished at the stake.  As we saw in Outlander, Geillis and Claire felt the full brunt of people’s fear and superstition because of their knowledge of herbal remedies and the healing arts. (see our Interview with the Outlander Herbalist Claire MacKay on our Behind the Scenes page for a further discussion of the perils of being an herbalist/healer in the 18th Century!).




Traditionally, bonfires (or balefires) were lighted at sundown on Oct 30th all over Scotland, Ireland,  England and Wales by the people of the local clans and villages to begin the formal ceremonies of Samhain.  The people would gather around the fire to burn crops and offer sacrifices to the Celtic deities as a means of offering the Gods and Goddesses their share of the year’s bounty. The balefires also represented a cleansing of the old year in order to prepare for the coming new year.

Thanks to Outlander Deutschland for this amazing video. Poem by Robert Burns 

During the celebration, the Celts often donned masks and costumes as they danced around the balefire. Many of these dances represented traditionl stories, played out the cycles of life and death or commemorated the cycle of the Wheel of Life. The costumes were worn for three primary reasons:

The first was to honor the dead who were allowed to rise from the Otherworld. The Celts believed that people's souls were set free from the land of the dead during the eve of Samhain. Those that had been trapped in the bodies of animals were released by the Lord of the Dead and sent to their new incarnations. The wearing of these costumes signified the release of these souls into the physical world.

Not all of these souls were honored and respected. Some were also feared, as it was believed that they would return to the physical world and destroy crops, hide livestock or 'haunt' the living who may have done them wrong. The second reason for these traditional costumes was to hide from these malevolent spirits and escape their trickery or evil intentions.

The third reason that costumes were worn was as a means of honoring the Gods and Goddesses of the harvest, fields and flocks. The people would adorn themselves in costume as a way of giving thanks to those deities who assisted the village or clan through the trials and tribulations of the previous year, and to ask for their favor during the harsh winter months that were approaching and in coming new year.

In addition to celebrations and dance, it was believed that the thin veil between the physical world and the Otherworld provided extra energy for communications between the living and the dead. With these communications, Druid Priests, and Celtic Shamans would attempt to tell the fortunes of individual people through a variety of methods. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

So now ye know a wee bit about the origins of some of the Halloween traditions ye know and love; the witches, haunting ghosts, and the wearing of costumes all have their roots in the ancient festival of Samhain.


‘Outlander' Book Series Author Reveals The Starz Cast Member She's Most Similar To, Talks Season 2
By: Peter Black , Design & Trend Staff Writer, www.designtrend.com, p.black@fashiontimes.com

(Photo : Getty Images - Ethan Miller) 'Outlander' author Diana Gabaldon
"Outlander" author Diana Gabaldon says she has more in common with Jamie than with Claire.

"He's more me than most of them," Gabaldon told Scotland Now. "I mean, they're all me when you come right down to it -- anybody in a book is a refraction, if not a reflection, of the author, including 'Black Jack' Randall -- but Jamie has a lot more of my innate background than Claire does."

She added, "Claire I identify with, certainly for the scientific aspect: the logical, competent, take charge kind of thing. And she has a great deal of my personality, including my talent for sarcasm. But Jamie has that love of family and that inborn sense of responsibility and entrenchment in his culture. And we're both Catholics and you can see how that informs his life and his decisions and his moral outlook on things, as well as his conviction that there are things that are his responsibility and he will not be swayed from them."

Fittingly, Gabaldon has a close relationship with Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie on Starz's "Outlander."

"The only [actor] who [talks to me about his character] routinely is Sam Heughan and I've known him since the moment he was cast," Gabaldon said. "I was very excited about his audition tape and I am on Twitter, so, [at the time], I took a quick look to see if he was on there as well and he was."

"We have very long, complex conversations on occasion -- other times, just a few words," Gabaldon revealed. "I did, though, talk with both Sam and Tobias at some length about the final episodes of Season 1, and the background and nature of the characters and their relationship there."

The second season of Starz's "Outlander" premieres in March. The show's creators, Gabaldon said, have "risen to the challenge" of adapting her novel "Dragonfly in Amber," which she called "a very complex book."

Sunday, October 25, 2015

'Outlander' Star Sam Heughan Says He Wants to Take Over as James Bond and Twitter Goes Crazy
By Perry Carpenter, Inquisitr.com




Apparently, Outlander star Sam Heughan is ready to take his skills as an actor to the next level and onto the big screens. In a recent post to Twitter, Heughan expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming James Bond film, Spectre, and mentioned that he was willing to throw his name into the pile as the new Bond after Daniel Craig calls it quits.


“Excited for the new #JamesBond Film #SPECTRE. Grown up with him. I know this Bond. #ImReadyToTakeOverWhenYouAreDaniel”


As expected, Heughan’s post on social media ignited fans on Twitter, who expressed their desire to see Heughan as the new Bond. According to Scotland Now, most fans were excited about the prospects of seeing their favorite Outlander star as the secret agent, as long as it doesn’t mean his days on Outlander are numbered.

“I’d love Sam as Bond, but want nothing to interfere with Sam continuing Outlander!” one fan wrote, while another followed by saying, “We VOTE yes Sam!! Hope Hope Hope!”

A few fans even took the opportunity to share a few images of Heughan as Bond. One such image posted onTwitter showed Heughan dressed in a tuxedo outside Casino Royale, and offers a glimpse at how Heughan might look as a Bond.

Another faux movie poster on Twitter featured Heughan dressed in black and holding the iconic Bond pistol, with the words “Gingre 007” written across it. At the same time, another featured Heughan and fellow co-starCaitriona Balfe in the background along with the words “007 Kilt Fall.”

Even the author of the hit Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon, got into the mix. Gabaldon posted a message on Twitter in support of Heughan as the new Bond.



“Well, you’ve got a suitable car, give or take the laser cannons…”

Meanwhile, Heughan’s recent remarks follow what will be the final run for Craig as the iconic double agent. According to Ecumenical News, producers have yet to announce who will be the new Bond after Craig steps down, though there have been several names in the mix.

Although Sam Heughan would clearly have the support of the massive Outlander fan base, he would have to compete against some fairly stout competition if he really wanted to go for the role. In addition to Heughan, other actors that have been mentioned for the role include Damien Lewis, Idris Elba, and Hugh Jackman.

In fact, according to the outlet, producers have already been in negotiations with both Lewis, known for his work on Homeland, and Elba, who was recently in the Thor films.

However, despite these rumors, Elba recently stated that he was not considering trying out for the role. Whether or not this turns out to be the case is still to be seen.

At the same time, whoever ends up being the new Bond will have a large task ahead of them, as the franchise has experienced quite the success with Craig. In fact, the newest Bond movie, Spectre, has managed to break more than one Guinness World Record.

Additionally, Sam Smith’s theme song for the film, titled Writing’s On The Wall, is already on the top of the U.K. Singles Chart. This marks the first time in the Bond franchise that a theme song has enjoyed the top spot on the charts.

Clearly, given the success of the Bond franchise, producers are going to need a top actor to continue in Craig’s shoes. Whether or not this will be Heughan is still to be determined. If there is one thing that Heughan has on his side, however, is the support of Outlander fans everywhere.


Sam Heughan will be back as Jamie Fraser when Season 2 of Outlander premieres in the spring of 2016.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Outlander Star Caitriona Balfe Reveals All in Twitter Q&A For Claire's Birthday
SCOTLAND NOW

Caitriona Balfe aka Claire Randall at Craigh na Dun standing stones
THE actress, who plays Claire Fraser in the hit Outlander series, took to Twitter to host a Q&A session as a gift to fans on the character's birthday.

OCTOBER 20 is an important day for all Outlander fans - it's Claire's birthday!

And actress Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser in the hit series, joined in with the celebrations as she hosted a Twitter Q&A.

Using #AskClaire, fans were able to ask the star about her the show, her personal life and some humorous questions as well.

And Caitriona didn't disappoint, staying online for over an hour to answer a mammoth amount of queries from her loyal fanbase.


We look at the best of her Q&A session below:

Claire talked about her favourite aspects of the show and its production.










She also gave a little insight into Claire's habits...





She also joked about her relationship with on-screen husband Sam Heughan.




Sam even got involved in the Q&A!


And then revealed something a little bit saucy about her thoughts on Sam and Tobias Menzies...





Fans will be eager to find out more after hearing this...



But she said she wants to stay clear of finding out what happens at the end of Outlander.



And the lovely Caitriona finished her Q&A by thanking fans for their questions

The actress also thanked fans for their "kindness and generosity" over the last year, calling them "truly the best fans".

Then there was a lovely exchange between Cait and author Diana Gabaldon


But I think we can all agree that Caitriona is the best!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Welcome to Outlander Central

Two Wee Lasses Welcome you to our new blog! We hope to offer you some of the same and some new entertainment related to Outlander.  We'll cover the books, the show, the stars and everything in between.  Help us celebrate!