Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan were on a panel at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend and what they revealed about shooting season 1 of the show was a doozy. Heughan, who plays Jamie, said there was supposed to be a scene where Balfe's Claire fought off a pack of wolves, but we never got to see that happen. In the books, the scene where Claire kills a wolf with her bare hands after being booted from Wentworth Prison is one of the character's most memorable moments.
The reason we didn't see that scene play out on screen, Balfe told the Comic Con audience, was because earlier in the season, "we nearly killed an actor with some dogs." Wait, what?
Apparently, while shooting a scene where Father Bain is bitten in the leg after being attacked by a pack of dogs, actor Tim McInnerny "actually got attacked by dogs," Balfe said. She added, "It was quite horrific." The incident with the dogs was enough to scare producers away from attempting to work with wolves.
The difficulty of shooting film with wolves is something the folks on Game of Thrones learned the hard way, as evidenced by the ever-shrinking role of the direwolves on their show (though it looks like Arya's pet Nymeria could be making a return in season 7). "They [the Outlander producers] were like, 'We're nixing the wolves,'" Balfe told the audience.
For his part, Heughan teased Balfe that she should have done it. “I think that would have been kind of fun. I’d like to see you fight a wolf.”
“It’s such an amazing thing to read it, but you can’t do it in reality,” Balfe said. “I would have loved to.” The, with a smile, "You know, I think I could take down a wolf."