*Spoilers – If you don’t want to know what happens, stop here!*
Played by Lotte Verbeek
She is the wife of the procurator fiscal, Arthur Duncan, and lives in Cranesmuir, a village near Castle Leoch. She befriends Claire and shares her passion for herbs. She is charming, beguiling, and mysterious. She is willing to do whatever it takes to further the Jacobite cause.
We first meet Geillis when Mrs. Fitz puts Claire to work helping harvest food for the kitchen.
Geillis spies Claire picking mushrooms.
Those kind are poison.
Who are you planning to do away with? Your husband, perhaps.
Tell me if it works and I’ll try it on mine.
They say I’m a witch.
Are you? ~ Claire
She and Claire discuss demonic possession and the powers of magic.
Have you never found yourself in a situation with no earthly explanation?
In the Great Hall, Geillis helps Claire understand the Highlanders ways. She translates to Claire the disputes brought forth.
Geillis gets Dougal to bring Claire to her home for a visit. Though a social visit, Geillis wants to find out more about Claire.
This is when we also meet Geillis’s husband, Arthur, who has to decide an a young boy’s punishment for stealing. When the punishment seems harsh to Claire, Geillis interjects to smooth things over with her husband.
Arthur, imagine if our own union had been blessed. Then, how would you feel if your son was taken so. Surely, it was but hunger that the lad took to thievery. Can you not find it in your heart to be merciful?
She, like the MacKenzies, is very suspicious of Claire and she tries to find out more about her.
You do puzzle me, Claire. One would think you don’t have pillories or punishment where you come from.
It’s different there. ~ Claire
Where? Oxfordshire? Wouldn’t think things were so different.
It’s not just Oxfordshire. I had an unusual childhood. I was brought up in lots of places. ~ Claire
Really? Do tell. I’m fascinated to hear all about it.
But, continuation of the conversation wasn’t to be. Jamie interrupted when he came to pick up Claire.
Geillis’s inquisitive nature doesn’t stop and is further piqued when she visits Claire at the castle in the surgery and stumbles upon all the food Claire is hoarding (to sustain her when she tries to escape).
Claire, are you with bairn, then? You have quite the stock of food, here.
Are you eating for two? Perhaps, that’s why you are desperate to get to France. An illegitimate pregnancy?
I can assure you that I’ve never been unfaithful to my husband. ~ Claire
It’s not unfaithful, if he’s dead. Is he?
He’s not alive. ~ Claire
So, he’s dead then?
He’s dead. ~ Claire
And, the two of you never conceived?
No. We never had children. We tried. ~ Claire
Maybe you’re barren.
After she tells Claire how she has learned to survive there – by marrying a man of means, she gives Claire some advice.
Sometimes you find yourself on a path you never expected. Doesn’t mean it can’t lead you to a bonny place. . . .
The Highlands are no place for a woman to be alone. You do well to remember that.
Claire witnesses Geillis’s summoning – a pagan ritual dance similar to the one Claire and Frank saw at Craigh na Dun.
Geillis is not only pregnant, but also having an affair with Dougal MacKenzie. The summoning to Mother Nature is to ask for their freedom from their spouses.
She also asked Claire to keep her secrets and not tell anyone she is pregnant or what she witnessed.
Afterwards while they are walking through the woods, she shows Claire the bracelet Dougal gave her, by way of the Duke of Sandringham – who is also a supporter of the Jacobite cause. And, this is the first time we learn that Dougal is married. Geillis tells Claire that his wife has been out of public eye, held up in their estate for years.
When Claire hears a baby crying in the distance and wants to go help it, Geillis provides more information about Scottish beliefs.
Claire, that’s a fairy hill. That baby is no human child. That’s a changeling. When the fairies steal a human child away, they leave one of their own in its place. You know it’s a changeling because it doesn’t thrive and grow. If you leave a changeling out over night in such a place, the wee folk will come, take it back, and return the child they’ve stolen.
After Dougal’s wife dies, Geillis excitedly finds Claire at the market to tell her the news and believes part of her summoning has been answered.
Later, when Geillis’s husband dies at dinner, Claire suspects she poisoned him.
When she realizes Colum is looking at her and Dougal (who has a smirk on his face), she quickly shifts into an emotional outburst.
After Claire receives an urgent message from Geillis and shows up at her house, she confronts Geillis about the death of her husband and tries to convince her to leave.
However, in the midst of it all, they are arrested and charged with witchcraft.
While housed in the thieves hole, they grow closer. Claire finds out that Geillis is in love with Dougal and that the Jacobite cause brought them together.
When Ned’s efforts to defend them is to no avail, they have a moment of truth.
Why are you here, Claire?
When Claire tells her it was an accident that she is there; she didn’t come for any special reason or to change anything and doesn’t even know if she can go back, there is nothing else Geillis can do.
When Ned asks them what they are going to do, Geillis replies . . .
Looks like I’m going to a fucking barbecue.
Once they are back at the trial, Claire refuses to turn on Geillis and they are found guilty. When Ned pulls out his gun, Geillis shares something about herself that doesn’t initially register to Claire.
The question you had before, I think it is possible . . . 1968.
After Jamie bursts in to defend Claire from any more lashes and Geillis sees Dougal is not with him, she sacrifices herself to save Claire’s life.
This woman is no witch. But, I am. I confess that I killed my husband, Arthur Duncan, by the means of witchcraft. I took advantage of the ignorance of Claire Fraser bewitching her for my purposes. She neither took part in nor had knowledge of of my dealings. . . . nor does she serve my master.
See here, I bear the mark of the devil.
This is when Claire realizes (and the audience) that Geillis is, in fact, also from the future – 1968. However, the devil’s mark is the 20th century mark of a vaccine. As she continues on about sleeping with the devil and carrying its child, she tells Claire to run.
Where do we leave Geillis at the end of Season 1?
The crowd had her headed to the pile to burn.
Geillis mentioning 1968 leads us to believe we will see her again and that she doesn’t burn at the stake. We are hoping this is the case because we thoroughly enjoyed Lotte’s performance.
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