Outlander: The Married Life

Best-selling Outlander author Diana Gabaldon recently tweeted:

As the mid-season premiere of Outlander approaches, how fitting that we should be gifted with an inside look at the married life of Claire & Jamie Fraser. Watch the exclusive featurette with creator Diana Gabaldon, executive producer Ron D. Moore, and stars Caitriona BalfeSam Heughan as they discuss Claire and Jamie Fraser’s evolving relationship in the second half of the season.

U.S. version courtesy of Starz:

International version courtesy of Italian Outlanders:

Being a long-time fan of the novels, I kind of-sort of know what to expect. Of course, Ms. Balfe, Mr. Heughan, Tobias Menzies, the producers and writers continue to expand the story adding twists and surprises to keep viewers on the edges of their seats. For example, the flashbacks employed in Episode 107: THE WEDDING were ingenious. They teased and drew out Claire & Jamie’s consummation in a way we all felt it across our skin and down to our bones. And that was just the wedding night . . .

As the newlyweds enter the second half of the season, we’ll be embarking on a new level of intimacy. I did not attend Paleyfest, but my mother did. Without providing spoilers, I asked if she felt a difference between the love scenes in EP107 and Episode 109: THE RECKONING.

Her immediate response was “Yes. It [Ep109] was more powerful.”

She further went on to say, the trust and connection between the actors [Ms. Balfe & Mr. Heughan] is clearly evident – especially considering Ep109 unveils the first love scene they filmed. I already have chills, not only for the steamy parts of their romance, but for the excitement of watching their love grow onscreen in a way I don’t think has ever been shown on television. Jamie and Claire are unique characters which is what makes their love story one-of-a-kind.

Will Outlander help or hurt real-life marriages? Will couples learn from the show, or will husbands groan because they tire of being compared to Jamie Fraser? Maybe husbands can turn the tables and compare their wives to Claire Fraser? Goose for the gander and all . . .

What can we learn from Outlander? Well, marriage is more than just sex and love. [Insert immature giggle.] Seriously, throughout their marriage Jamie and Claire make sacrifices for each other most people could never fathom. What kind of sacrifices you ask? [I’m tagging the indented part below with a SPOILER ALERT so as not to ruin the series for Outlander virgins.]

For me, the biggest sacrifice Claire makes for Jamie comes at the end of A Dragonfly in Amber. Some of you might disagree, and that’s okay (if not unexpected). I’m sure there have been several scenarios already discussed somewhere on the internet relating to “If Claire had made a different choice, i.e. stayed.”

I can think of a few immediate consequences to Claire staying with Jamie in the 18th Century. She would almost certainly have lost the baby. I also think Jamie’s chances of survival would have decreased because the Frasers would have been inseparable during the post-Culloden period. Perhaps they both would have been imprisoned? Or perhaps they could have escaped to France or America? Most likely not.

Further along the thread, Roger Wakefield would have had a very different life, never meeting Claire and Brianna. And Roger not being sold to the Mohawks would have completely changed Young Ian’s life. And the dragonfly continues to flap its wings . . .

You might consider the decision for Claire to leave to be Jamie’s ultimate sacrifice, but he theoretically had the “easier” part – to die while Claire lived. In the end Claire and Jamie both make huge sacrifices in Book 2 – to live and die as separated as two people in love can be.

More SPOILERS:

Jamie’s big sacrifice(s) seem to be centered around his own death – or life. Though he’s never one to take the easy way out, he can’t not be afraid of pain. He is human, after all. Really, he is.

We know near the end of Outlander, Jamie’s plan is to tune out everyone and everything – endure whatever Black Jack dishes out until he’s finally strung up at Wentworth.

However, Black Jack being the most evil villain in literary history makes Jamie’s final hours unendurable, but never once does Jamie go back on his word. I have to ask, why does he trust that Black Jack won’t go after Claire once he’s done with him – Jamie? It seems even Black Jack has an honorable cord only Jamie seems to sense. But then, these are two men who know each other very well.

If you’ve not read the Outlander novel(s), I strongly urge you NOT to read the online summaries. Enjoy how Season 1 and Season 2 unfold onscreen. It’s been a long wait, and I myself have missed out on a lot of the fun. But I’m back and raring to write. I hope you return to check out my Ep109 recap/review and a new Jamie’s Top 30.

And don’t forget about Sam Heughan’s Live Q&A on Facebook this Monday, March 30th at 12:30 PM PST.

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19 thoughts on “Outlander: The Married Life

  1. *SPOILER*

    One thing always bothered me about Wentworth. Knowing that BJR is an evil s.o.b., why did Jamie believe BJR would get Claire out of the prison unharmed? We know he threw her out the door where bodies were dumped. Of course there would be wolves around! I don’t understand why Jamie would accept BJRs word. I guess it goes along with what you state above, that Jamie believed him to have some sense of honor. Personally, think it was naivety on Jamie’s part. I want to yell at Jamie, “NO! No, no, no! Don’t believe a word he says!”

    Great post, Candida! Can’t wait to read more as the 2nd half of season 1 begins.

    1. Thanks, Nanci!

      Keep in mind, Jamie may not have had *all* his wits about him by the time Claire found him. After all, he’d been in BJR’s torturous hands for several hours. Perhaps he couldn’t stand the thought of anything happening to Claire, i.e. he was desperate to believe he was saving her. He hoped/knew he was saving her from being raped by BJR’s henchman. Can you imagine how horrible it would have been being forced to watch Claire be attacked? Ugh.

      Was it trust or desperation driving Jamie’s conduct?

      1. Yes, you’re right. It had to be desperation on Jamie’s part. That scene breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes every single time I read it. It’s going to kill me to see it on screen.

  2. I’m so glad your mom felt the love scenes were more powerful. I admit I was a little worried with this being their first sex scene together and this scene is supposed to have even more impact on the audience and show that their connection has deepened since the wedding night.

    I love that Diana posted that because that’s what people need to realize about this story. I actually had tears during that new scene in the trailer when she sits on the desk and tells him that whatever comes they’ll handle it together and it took me a little bit to realize why. Yes, the story of how Jamie and Claire fell in love is wonderful but these two people have been a part of our lives for so long and we’ve watched them go through the years of their marriage like watching family or friends. To see Claire talking to Jamie like he was her husband with the tone of “I’m not going anywhere” is such a contrast to what we’ve seen on the show so far with her trying to get back, one foot out the door already. That moment in the trailer was the first time we see Jamie and Claire as we know them and these two actors have embodied them so well that this is as close as we’ll get to seeing them in the flesh. THAT is what I’ve been waiting for and that is what I’m so excited to see…hopefully for the next 5-10 years. 😉

    1. My mother is a long-time fan of the novels and loves the show. She’s extremely picky about love scenes, so I am also thrilled with her “critique.” One more week and we all get to see it!

  3. Welcome back, Candida! (Suggestion: include some of you mom’s comments & observations, maybe not in your regular recaps because you have a winning structure there, but in some form or fashion. It’s obvious she’s got some interesting insights, too!)

  4. I love this article, it really made me think about things! Also, I do agree with you about the sacrifice Claire makes for Jamie comes at the end of A Dragonfly in Amber. I cried so hard when reading it…
    And thanks for sharing that tweet by DG at the beginning, I would have missed it otherwise.

  5. I’m a relative newbie to Outlander. But, now, I have read all 8 bks- I must share that Jamie&Claire’s marriage, tho fictional, makes for a good role model. All the fairy tales end w happily ever after, when really that’s when all the hard work only begins. I am also in awe of the actual actors’ trust in one another & bravery to go where they do. Bravo all around.

  6. THANK YOU< THANK YOU< your posts have kept me sane during the L O N G wait! I read all 8 books and several others of Diana's during the wait. Saving a few for the next drought! Keep your wonderful site going. I LOVE it. Your are very humorous and smart!

  7. Great expression of your anticipation for the upcoming episodes, Candida. I’m so looking forward to your future recaps. Your writing always makes me smile. It’s so wonderful that you share your love of all things Outlander. {hugs}

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