Readers be advised: This post will contain spoilers from both the book and the TV show.
The story in the TV show ran parallel with the book almost the entire way through. There were a few changes, mostly at the end. For example: Jaime’s recovery in the monastery happens in Scotland and then they sail to France in the show; in the book the monastery is in France. And there was Jaime being seasick the whole way to France in the book but he wasn’t in the show. That was, more or less, the only major change I noticed. It did take me a while to watch the whole first season so I might have forgotten something from earlier on.
The characters: I think everyone was cast perfectly in this show. I can’t imagine anyone else playing these characters.
Sam Heughan: He could not have been cast more perfectly for the role of James Alexander Malcome MacKenzie Fraser. Just looking at him and you know he is perfect for the part. He has the look of the young, innocent Scotsman he’s supposed to be along with the strong, courageous young Highland warrior.
Caitriona Balfe: I wasn’t sold on her as Claire at first but once you saw the chemistry between her and Sam Heughan you knew she was perfect for the role. She plays the role of stubborn Claire perfectly. She has a mind of her own and she embodies the character completely and perfectly throughout the first season.
Tobias Menzies: Wow. Just wow. I thought the part of Captain Jack Randall would be difficult for any actor to play but he does it perfectly. I can’t imagine another actor attempting to play the part as well as he does. He makes you hate the character so thoroughly, like in the books.
Duncan Lacroix: He is the perfect Murtagh. He wasn’t what I expected at first but the more you see him in the role the more you see him as the perfect Murtagh. I can’t wait to see more of him next season.
Graham McTavish: Dougal MacKenzie… I don’t know why but I expected someone less… Fit and strong. I don’t know why. But I do like Graham McTavish in the role of Dougal.
Those are all the characters I’m planning on covering for now.
I will say this, if you’re a fan of the book the first season will not disappoint. I’m am very excited to see how they do the second season! Hopefully it will be just as good!