'Outlander': Meet Otter-Tooth, the friendly ghost who was a time traveler like Claire Fraser
It was pretty clear that Claire Fraser is not the only time-traveler because we have Geillis Duncan, but here's another one, who traveled through time and met a violent death.
Christmas is on its way and Starz's 'Outlander' has given us our own little 'Christmas Carol,' with a ghost from the past, or the future, visiting Claire Fraser in the stormy night on the episode titled 'The False Bride.' The time-travel show that has previously featured mystical elements including witches has now introduced a Native Indian ghost. But within moments of the ghost's introduction in the most chilling-scene featuring thunder, lightning, rain, torch and a skull, we are assured that the spirit is a friendly one and is a time traveler just like Claire.
Trevor Carroll #TrevorCarroll @reverieartshttps://t.co/BbshtOvpxc— Caitriona B. Heughan (@CaitMBHeughan) November 19, 2018
as Robert Springer or Otter-Tooth (a.k.a. Ta'wineonawira)https://t.co/jUoTgPXuqg@Outlander_STARZ Season Four
Adapted from DRUMS OF AUTUMN
A bit of a recap here- as Claire sets out all alone in the woods chasing after a mule, she gets lost in the forest when lightning strikes a tree near her and her horse freaks out and runs away. All alone in the dark, with a storm raging, she finds shelter under the tree. Buried underneath her, she discovers a skull along with an opal stone. On examining the skull, she discovers a peculiar cut on the head and as she gets on to brushing off the mud a bit more, she sees a torch approaching. She instantly thinks its Jamie Fraser, so she gets out of hiding and yelps "Jamie."
Soon enough we see that the person approaching with the torch is not Jamie and neither is that apparition a person. It's a ghost, visible only in the sheer lightning light. On coming close enough to Claire, he glares at her and we get a clear look at the opal stone around his neck. As he makes a U-turn, leaving Claire unharmed, we see that peculiar scar on his head, which suggest he met a violent death.
Next day, Claire opens her eyes to a beautiful sunny day, only to find her boots go MIA. She notices her boot steps on the mud and follows the trail. On coming to the end of the trail, she finds Jamie by the riverside waiting for her. How did Jamie get there? Turns out he followed a similar bootprint and the force that reunited the adversity-facing couple was the friendly ghost. Brimming with joy and an overwhelming feeling to pay tribute to the ghost, Claire starts cleaning the scalped skull by the stream and abruptly freaks out when she finds silver fillings on the skull's jaw.
Hurriedly she tells Jamie that the ghost is, in fact, a time traveler like Claire because silver filling was not invented until the 1800s. While that has raised another set of questions, that we have written about previously, we are more curious about the identity of this ghost.
Welcome to the @Outlander_STARZ clan!— Caitriona B. Heughan (@CaitMBHeughan) October 21, 2018
Trevor Carroll #TrevorCarroll @reverieartshttps://t.co/BbshtOvpxc
as Robert Springer or Otter-Tooth (a.k.a. Ta'wineonawira)https://t.co/HbLb0QMDeJ
Photo from: https://t.co/MPBp6znALr pic.twitter.com/3AkSJaV7iH
When credits roll we see the identity of the ghost as Otter-Tooth, but ardent 'Outlander' fans who have already read Diana Gabaldon's fourth book 'Drums of Autumn,' already knew who he was. Played by Trevor Carroll, Otter-Tooth is an integral new figure who is going to help Claire explore her time-traveling capabilities.
The character comes with an impressive backstory. Otter-Tooth time-traveled years before Claire did in order to warn the Native Americans about the European settlers and get the Kahnyen'kehaka to fight against them for the sake of their future. As he lands up dead and wounded, which of course is no spoiler, we know that time-traveling did him no good. In the books, the Kahnyen'kehaka people of the Mohawk Valley describe him as "the Fire-Carrier," who did not speak their language and as someone who talked as if he knew the future.
Born in the 20th century, Robert Springer led a group called the Montauk Five, which was part of the American Indian Movement. On discovering time traveling through a stone circle on Ocracoke, four of the members decided to travel to the 1760s but Springer ambitiously decides to travel further in order to stop the tribes from associating with the Europeans altogether. So he ends up landing all alone in his time-travel journey, raising immense suspicion from the tribe and causing disharmony in the village. He is finally sentenced to be killed because he would not leave the tribe alone, so he is tortured and marked as a prisoner (those black markings we saw on his face) and his head is chopped off. However, the legends rightly cited that his ghost still lurks and his voice still echoes the message of foreign settlers.
Now that Otter-Tooth is introduced, right in between Halloween and Christmas (for us), and right in time when the Frasers have found their home in the American land, we cannot wait to see how the rest of the season will narrate his story and what takeaways can Claire get from this encounter.