|This article is about Murtagh as portrayed in the TV series. You may be looking for Murtagh from the book series.|
Murtagh Fraser is Jamie's godfather and companion.
Around 1715, Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser attended the Gathering at Castle Leoch to try to woo the hand of Ellen MacKenzie. During the tynchal, he killed a wounded boar single-handed with a dagger and Colum MacKenzie gave him the tusks, which were nearly a perfect double circle. He had them turned into a set of bracelets that he gave to Ellen, though she had chosen to marry Brian Fraser.
When Jamie was a week old, Murtagh knelt at Ellen's feet and swore an oath to her that he would follow Jamie always, to do his bidding, and guard his back when he became a man and needed service.
Events from the Novels
English actor Duncan Lacroix portrays Murtagh in the STARZ Outlander television adaptation. The character of Murtagh was greatly expanded in the TV series, with a major departure from the novels in Season Three when it was revealed that Murtagh survived the Battle of Culloden, and was imprisoned at Ardsmuir the entire time since the rebellion ended.
Much later in the season, he and Claire set off to find Jamie by creating a beacon – a woman singing a baudy song in men's clothing and a ridiculously poor male dancer. Some gypsies along the way steal their act, however, attracting Jamie and Dougal. Dougal tells them they can find Jamie in Wentworth Prison, where Jamie is condemned. Believing Jamie's cause to be lost, Dougal asks Claire to be his wife.
Later on, Murtagh and Claire are by a fire and get into an argument about how Murtagh cannot feel how Claire does. Murtagh launches into a story about how he once fancied a girl, and started to fall in love with her before she was courted by another. He tells her that he killed a wounded boar with only a dagger in order to impress her and even the laird was impressed by his actions. He continues about how he fashioned the tusks into bracelets and gave them to the girl he fancied as a wedding gift. Claire then pulls out two boar tusk bracelets from her bag, revealing that Murtagh had created the bracelets for Ellen, Jamie's mother.
Murtagh fights alongside Jamie at Prestonpans.
After the Battle of Culloden, Jamie questioned a Jacobite, who stated that he could only hope Murtagh was already dead. Years later, however, Murtagh shows up in the same prison Jamie is kept at. Murtagh is holding onto a scrap of a Fraser kilt, which Jamie tells him to put away. He is also ill while inside the prison, the reason for Jamie doing favors (such as translating) for the prison, and especially for John Grey.
Murtagh and Jamie are separated when Jamie leaves with John Grey to become an indentured servant.
While in the small town of Woolam's Creek, Young Ian meets Murtagh as the local blacksmith who extorts Ian for a minor repair to the horse's bit. When Ian later tells Jamie how much the smith charged him, Jamie goes to confront the man, and both he and Murtagh are shocked to be reunited twelve years after parting at Ardsmuir Prison. Whereas Jamie was taken to Helwater for his indenture, Murtagh was sold in the New World to a man named Barker who, though unkind, taught Murtagh his trade. When Barker died, his widow sold the smithy to Murtagh.
Soon Murtagh makes it clear to Jamie that he's not just spending his days hammering metal at his forge – he's become a leader in the Regulator movement. This puts Jamie in an awkward position, as he has given his word to Governor William Tryon to help keep order in the backcountry on behalf of the Crown. Still, he promises not to turn Murtagh over to the authorities, and the men agree to disagree with regards to Murtagh's involvement with the Regulators. Murtagh even comes to Fraser's Ridge, reuniting with Claire for the first time in over twenty years.
When John Grey arrives at the Ridge with his son William, he and Murtagh meet again with a fair amount of friction; Grey speaks of the Regulators with disapproval, even disdain, and Murtagh doesn't shy away from speaking his own opposing views.
Jamie's promise not to hinder Murtagh is later put to the test when he learns that the governor and his soldiers have devised a sneak attack in order to capture Murtagh and several other Regulators outside of Wilmington. Jamie manages to thwart the ambush (with help from Fergus, who also enjoys a rushed but happy reunion with Murtagh) without Tryon finding out about his involvement, but it still highlights the dangerous game Jamie is playing by straddling loyalties.
When the truth about Brianna's pregnancy and rape by Stephen Bonnet comes out, and Jamie realizes his mistake in having Roger sold to the Mohawk, Jamie charges Murtagh with finding Bonnet and bringing him to Jamie in secret, while Jamie, Claire and Young Ian head for New York in pursuit of Roger. Murtagh travels with Brianna and her handmaid Lizzie to River Run, where Murtagh briefly becomes reacquainted with Jocasta Cameron, younger sister of Ellen MacKenzie, the latter of whom Murtagh was greatly devoted to in their youth.
No sooner has Murtagh found and captured Bonnet in Wilmington than he is spotted by local soldiers, who recognize him as a wanted criminal and Regulator, and arrest him and Bonnet both. Fergus and Marsali execute a plan to break into the jail and free Murtagh, then blow up the jail to cover their escape out of Wilmington. Murtagh leaves with them, believing that Bonnet was killed in the explosion.
Back at River Run, Murtagh stands in for Jamie as Bree's nearest male relative, offering support during her pregnancy and later proud admiration of her healthy newborn son. He also spends time with Jocasta, who has learned of his involvement with the Regulators. Jocasta accuses Murtagh of foolishness in risking his life for another hopeless cause, and their argument becomes so heated that he grabs her and she tosses a glassful of whisky in his face. Next thing, it is morning and Murtagh lies naked in Jocasta's bed, enticing her to come back to bed before they go down to breakfast.
After Jamie and Claire have returned, they are preparing to leave with Brianna, Roger and the baby when a platoon of British troops is seen approaching the house. Jocasta tells Murtagh to hide in the slave quarters, and Jamie notices their closeness while they exchange their parting words. The soldiers reveal that they are seeking to deliver a letter from Governor Tryon to Jamie – a letter ordering Jamie to assemble and lead a militia in order to put down the Regulators, as well as find and kill their leader, Murtagh Fitzgibbons.
Murtagh is an honorable man and a confidante to his godson, Jamie. He is fiercely protective of those he cares about, and if they are harmed, he will take revenge.
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- Murtagh is an anglicized form of either Muirchertach ("mariner" in Gaelic) or Muiredach ("lord" in Irish).
- Fitzgibbons (alternatively Fitzgibbon) is derived from the name Gibb, a short form of the Norman personal name Gilbert. This name was originally derived from the name Gislebert, which is comprised of the Germanic elements gisil "hostage" or "noble youth," and berht "bright" or "famous." The name features the distinctive Irish patronymic prefix "fitz," which means "son of" in Anglo-French. The Gaelic form of the surname Fitzgibbon is Mac Giobúin.
- Fraser may be derived from Fredarius, Fresel or Freseau. Another suggestion is that the Frasers were a tribe in Roman Gaul, whose badge was a strawberry plant.
- Season 5, episode 7, The Ballad of Roger Mac
- Gabaldon, Diana. "EP211: Vengeance is Mine (SPOILERS!)." MSG: 86515.119. Diana Gabaldon. Books and Writers Community. Compuserve. Published 19 June 2016. Accessed 29 November 2017.
- "Tinchel n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Jul 2016 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/tinchel>
- Murtagh name meaning -- BehindtheName.com
- House of Names: Fitzgibbon – Accessed 19 April 2015.
- Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 142 - 143.