‘Outlander’: Richard Rankin Talks About Roger Taking a Life in Season 5 and Why It’s so Significant

In the hit series Outlander, Roger (Richard Rankin) has been through a lot of hard circumstances in season 4 and season 5. The newest season was especially hard for him in a lot of ways. Richard Rankin, who plays Roger, recently spoke about season 5 and how his character has changed over time. He also details the significance of Roger taking a life. There are spoilers ahead for Outlander.

Roger fights for his life and it changes him

Richard Rankin
Richard Rankin | Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

In season 5, Roger is hung from the neck in a case of mistaken identity. Everyone thinks he must be dead, but luckily he is still breathing. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) manages to puncture a hole into Roger to get air into his lungs. Months later, Roger still struggles to speak, but eventually he starts to talk and feels more like himself again. He is forever changed by the experience and he has PTSD because of it.

“There have been some huge milestones for Roger in season 5,” Rankin explained in a new video on the official social media page for Outlander from Starz. “Actually his journey since season 4 has been very affecting. It’s really really changed him as a man I suppose,” Rankin said in the video on Twitter. “Since he was hung, he does say it, I think it’s in episode 8 that he’s not the man that he used to be. He’s a changed man. He’s been affected by this time, he’s been affected by the experience. He’s been affected by the violence and the trauma and the PTSD. What’s happened to him, what’s happened to Brianna, what’s happened to his family. These things have all made him slightly harder, maybe cold in some respects. So I think without all of that preceding episode 12, I don’t think what he does in episode 12 would ever have happened.”

In the season 5 finale, Roger takes a life

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In episode 12 of season 5, Roger ends up taking a life when he accompanies Jamie (Sam Heughan) and his men to rescue Claire, who has been kidnapped. When they come across the men that took her, Roger kills a man during the fighting. It’s something that he has some trouble coming to terms with and he discusses it with his wife, Brianna (Sophie Skelton).

“He finds out that, you know, Claire’s been taken,” Rankin continued. “He takes a life, he kills a man. When Roger says that he’ll do anything for his family, he proves that. So when he takes a life in episode 12, I think it hits him very hard and he has a lot to process but it was another huge step on a journey which is just the evolution of his character, which I think has been a lot of fun to watch this character change through this time.”

When Roger kills the man in the midst of fighting to get Claire back, he proves that he’ll do anything for his family, no matter the cost. Roger has come a long way and he wouldn’t be the man he is today without everything that’s happened to him. He knows what’s important and what’s worth fighting for. Roger taking a life is so significant because it shows how far he’s come and what’s truly important to him, and that’s his family.

Roger has come a long way on the hit series Outlander. Season 5 has changed him in more ways than one.