|“||One thing to be said for Dougal MacKenzie was that an encounter with him stimulated the mental processes, out of the sheer necessity of trying to figure out what he was actually up to at any given moment.||”|
Dougal MacKenzie is the War Chieftain of Clan MacKenzie. His older brother Colum is the ruling Laird but would be nothing without Dougal, his loyal right hand. He is a skilled and experienced warrior. A strong leader, he commands respect in any setting and is feared by many. Unlike his brother, Dougal secretly supports the rebel cause against the British.
When Dougal MacKenzie's father Jacob MacKenzie died unexpectedly, Dougal might have been chosen as clan leader over his disabled brother, but because he did not conduct himself well during the situation regarding his sister Ellen's elopement, it was thought such a reckless and hot-headed young man did not have the right judgment for leadership. However, when the brothers stood firm together, it was decided that Colum would become laird, and Dougal became the war-chieftain to lead the clan in time of battle.
Events of the Novels
While searching for his son whom he believes was kidnapped into the past, Roger MacKenzie encounters Dougal MacKenzie as he travels through the MacKenzie lands collecting rent. Dougal had been summoned by a frightened Angus MacLaren. He invites Roger and his kinsman William Buccleigh MacKenzie to visit Castle Leoch if they're near and assures them that his brother Colum MacKenzie would welcome them. He lends them horses to use in their quest. Dougal inquires about how Roger came to be hanged and he tells him the story of his hanging and rescue. He asks MacLaren about the woman who had lived in the burned croft where a hanged man had been found and MacLaren tells him her name was Geillis Isbister and she had gone to Cranesmuir. Dougal surmises that she shouldn't be too hard to find.
Dougal is fearless and amply qualified to lead the Clan MacKenzie in battle. He doesn't hesitate to use anything and anyone, even family members for his own good or the good of the Clan. A staunch Jacobite, he uses his nephew's scarred back to stir up anti-English sentiment among the MacKenzie tenants.
Dougal bears several strong MacKenzie characteristics – tall in stature, deepset eyes and broad cheekbones. He has hazel eyes, thick dark brows and russet-colored hair and beard. He radiates an air of command. Claire finds him good looking and not unfriendly. She notes upon first meeting him that "his voice was light for a man of his size, not the deep bass [she] would have expected from the barrel chest."
- Geillis Duncan: Dougal had an extramarital affair with Geillis, and their child was born out of wedlock. The child was given to another family to raise, as Geillis was supposed to be burned at the stake for witchcraft. Geillis shared Dougal's Jacobite fervor, and although their union was not one of love, Geillis saw Dougal as her match when it came to the Stuart cause.
- Dougal is the anglicized form of the Gaelic name Dùghall, which meant "dark stranger" from dubh "dark" and gall "stranger". One of the names given to the invading Vikings, probably for the darker-haired Danes.
- MacKenzie is the anglicized form of MacCoinnich, a Gaelic patronymic name meaning "son of Coinneach". The personal name Coinneach means "handsome" or "comely".
- Main article: Outlander (TV series)