Fans of Outlander's Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish have been able to spend the past several weeks following along with the duo as they travel through Scotland and have a series of adventures designed to showcase the history and culture of the land their hit series has helped to make even more famous. An upcoming episode is about to get even more Outlander-focused, though, as they'll be taking a trip to a real set of standing stones.
All it takes is for you to have seen the very first episode of Outlander to know just how important the circle of standing stones at Craigh na Dun is to the romantic drama. The only reason we're following Claire and Jamie through their triumphs and tribulations is because the former WWII nurse felt called by the stones and was accidentally transported back to the 1700s when she touched them.
While the particular circle we see on the series is fake, a Men in Kilts clip obtained by Entertainment Weekly shows that Graham McTavish and Sam Heughan took a trip to see the actual stone circle which was the inspiration for the one seen on Outlander, and the moment definitely left them with things to ponder:
McTavish: Whatever reason they had for bringing things here, they had a reason. And it was a reason that was enough for them to drag these a mile and a half. Can you imagine? When were these built?
Heughan: 2900 B.C.
McTavish: Right, so nearly 5,000 years ago. I don't know how they would have done it.
Heughan: I don't know how they did it. There's loads of myths about these stones.
The standing stones visited by Heughan and McTavish are the Callanish Stones, which are on the Isle of Harris, and were used by the production team on Outlander to make casts so they could fashion the now famously fake stone circle of Craigh na Dun, leading to much pain and joy for Claire and Jamie. Fans will probably remember that the show has offered views of two other stone circles so far, one in Jamaica, and one in the United States which is relatively close to Fraser's Ridge.
Sam Heughan went on in his chat with Graham McTavish to throw out some common theories about these stone circles and why they may have been erected. Even though there's no consensus on that from scholars, it's thought they could have been used for pagan rituals, to mark gathering spots or to tell the cycles of the moon. If you pay attention to things like archeology, you've likely heard these theories before, but Heughan has another possibility for you which will probably be brand new...
They may have been giants that were frozen.
OK, Sam Heughan. I look forward to the film version of your screenplay about the ancient, frozen giants of prehistoric Scotland. Men in Kilts Episode 4, "Witchcraft and Superstition," airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on Starz.