Starz’s Outlander show is based on the Outlander novels by Diana Gabaldon. Jamie Fraser, Claire Fraser…most of the characters are plucked right from the pages of these books…but the TV series doesn’t have room for everybody.

Outlander producer Matthew B. Roberts talked about the absence of one major book character on the official Outlander podcast. “As the Outlander world grows, this means more animals, more kids,” Roberts said. “[O]ne of the questions we got for season 4 on is what happened to the White Sow, and I will tell you this is that pigs aren’t production-friendly in that sense, certainly not in the way it was written in the book. So the White Sow got its own little pen on Fraser’s Ridge. I don’t know where it is, but it’s somewhere and the White Sow is living a happy life.”

Who exactly is the White Sow? Well, in the books, it is an awful, stubborn, and fearsome pig. As someone who is afraid of pigs, I am absolutely okay with the White Sow not being in the show. No thanks!

Why isn’t the White Sow in Outlander?
The White Sow appears in four Outlander books: Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and An Echo in the Bone. So she’s definitely a major character, but as Roberts said, pigs aren’t exactly production-friendly.

In the books, Jamie Fraser writes about the White Sow in a letter and describes it as a creature “of Prodigious Size, a most Stubborn Temper, and not lacking in Teeth.”

Later on, Jamie says that the White Sow has been living under the house and that it “engages in such debauches that our Dinner is disturbed daily by hellish Noises resembling the Sounds of Souls in Torment.” That sounds awful. Again, so glad she didn’t make the cut for the show.

Bringing animals into the fold is quite a challenge, as Roberts found out when shooting with Young Ian’s (John Bell) dog Rollo. “The thing that gives us the most challenges than you might imagine is children and animals because they don’t always do what you hope they do, they do other things and you have to make that work,” Roberts said. “So making Rollo sit where he’s supposed to sit, walk where he’s supposed to walk, pay attention to who they’re supposed to pay attention to within the scene, sometimes it doesn’t work. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we’re waist high, we’re staying waist high and the reason we’re staying waist-high is because there’s a dog down there and the dog doesn’t have to be in the shot.”

So to sum it up, filming with animals is difficult, and it often means that Outlander has to skip over characters like the White Sow. Again, I have no problem with that!


By Damyan Ivanov

My name is Damyan Ivanov and i was born in 1998 in Varna, Bulgaria. Graduated high school in 2016 and since then i'm working on wordpress news websites.