Mountains of Rain and Sun

Holiday tidings, readers! Is everyone surviving?

It seems STARZ was feeling the gift-giving vibes, as they bestowed upon us the Season Five opening credits:

Personally, I LOVE the new variation and these credits might be my favorite yet. Shall we discuss?

Warning: Contains spoilers from The Fiery Cross and possibly Season Five. Read at your own risk!

Obviously the most notable change this season is the use of choral singers for The Skye Boat Song. Historically this makes a lot of sense; if, as this article argues, the two main musical influences of Colonial America are folk and religious, then this fits rather neatly. Last season we had the folk, this season we have the religious.

And that theme is carried through as we open the credits and see Claire and Jamie from behind. Think of when we tend to see people from behind– in prayer, right? And these opening shots have a deeply solemn, spiritual feel.

Which sets the overall mood for the season. If you’ve read The Fiery Cross, you know we deal with some sad stuff coming down the line. And fairly religious themes weave throughout the novel– the word “cross,” is in the title, after all, and multiple characters have very near-death experiences. This all seems quite fitting.

I believe this might be Brianna and Lizzie attending to a certain confrontation on the beach involving one Mr. Stephen Bonnet.

And the man himself makes a blurry appearance in the opening credits. See the ring here?

We’ve seen it before…

Mmmhmmm.

Alamance? Is that John Quincy Myers there in front with his hands bound?

Hmmm, hard to say.

The Big House!

The Hanged Man Tarot card, as dreamed by Brianna:

The Hanged Man represents the necessary process of surrender and sacrifice,” she said. “This card has profound significance,” she said, and she looked at me and tapped her finger on it. “But much of it is veiled; you have to figure out the meaning for yourself. Self-surrender leads to transformation of the personality, but the person has to accomplish his own regeneration.”

Transformation of the personality. That’s what I’m afraid of, all right. I liked Roger’s personality just fine the way it was!”

-The Fiery Cross

This is Murtagh’s vest and brooch, as seen in promo photos:

So I’m guessing that’s Jocasta’s hand there.

I think this is perhaps Roger being dragged here, and novel readers will know why.

American bison, which also play multiple pivotal roles in the novel. And, yes, they were present in Appalachia in the 18th century.

Claire’s microscope? It looks consistent with eighteenth century models:

Perfect for analyzing your husband’s haploid gametes!

Those are Claire’s hands but I’m pretty sure those other manicured hands and finely patterned vest belong to Lord John. It looks similar to what he’s wearing here:

That’s Roger and Bree…I’d recognize Sophie Skelton’s ballerina posture anywhere. I’m not sure which scene this could be, but I’m guessing it’s from the ghost bear/passenger pigeon/surveying/fire scenes. I’m open to other suggestions or speculation! Note that they are also shown from behind.

We end as we began, with Jamie and Claire…as seen from behind. In keeping with the religious tone they are standing beside the eponymous cross, overlooking a valley that has changed in two hundred years…the bison are gone, the wars have been fought, the people displaced. It’s all been left…behind. Sing us a song of a land that is gone. Amen.

11 thoughts on “Mountains of Rain and Sun”

  1. Brilliance! Some people do not appreciate the choral adaptation of the Skye Boat Song but I think it is exactly what this book warrants, with growing voices in an enlarging community, and war on the horizon. This will be a solemn season and I definitely appreciate the inference of seeing our characters in silhouette from the back suggests they are in prayer.

    Emily

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh boy- I have missed this! I look forward to the next season- its been a long time. I loved the new credits- I felt seeing everyone from behind was very powerful- like- look- the entire family is busy living a big life- making a new life together. while most of the previous seasons we were dealing full frontal life- smaller area, smaller numbers of people. now so much is at stake- more than ever. big decisions. thank you so much for you clever writings and magical insights to all the details. its like coming home too- fun to get back into the Outlander spirit. Thanks. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No I don’t think so…DG has been pretty firm that Jamie cannot time travel. Only meaning that the show is showing us a land that is gone…a land that was left behind as the country has changed.

      Like

  3. I’m wondering also if that’s a piece of Fraser tartan underneath Murtagh’s brooch on his chest. That would be in line with the way we wear them today in highland dance….

    Liked by 1 person

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