SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Episode 4 (titled "Company We Keep") of Starz's Outlander Season 5. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed all available episodes and wish to avoid potential spoilers.
In the latest episode of Outlander, Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) surprised TV viewers when he was beckoned to dance a Scottish jig in front of everyone at Brownsville. However, for book fans of the series, this was a long-awaited moment that features in Diana Gabaldon's fifth book, The Fiery Cross.
Heughan insists Balfe was "speechless" while on set during the dance scene. However, she claims something else entirely.
"I don't think I've laughed so much," Balfe replied.
The dance occurred during an episode that saw an entire township in an uproar after one of Jamie's men was caught having an illicit affair with Alicia Brown (Anna Burnett). Jamie and Claire turned up in the midst of this disagreement, after having to deal with an issue at the Beardsley's farm in last week's episode of Outlander.While the dance scene may have been a lighthearted moment, Balfe did reveal that a lot of rehearsing took place and that Heughan, a native Scot, took it all "very seriously." She also stated that she was very impressed by his light-footed moves, when Heughan admitted that the most terrifying part was not that he performed the dance in front of everyone present but that Balfe was in the audience watching.
Heughan also explained that the dance he was doing in the latest episode of Outlander was a Highland Fling and not a sword dance.
"It was all about the Highlanders kicking off the shackles of the British, so it was actually a dance of defiance," Heughan explained.
Balfe revealed that the Scots had a very odd way of showing defiance. However, as Heughan pointed out in the interview, it was usually done during a battle in order to show their opponents just how brave they really were by breaking into dance while men were dying around them.
In addition, Heughan speculated that a hand gesture that was used by Highlanders during the dance to represent stag horns has actually transcended through to modern times and is now used by heavy metal fans. Balfe, however, was convinced that Heughan was actually pointing his pinkie finger skyward and looked more like he was drinking tea.
Season 5 of Outlander will return to Starz on March 15 at 8 p.m. EST.