As an audience, we have an fantastic heroine in Claire Fraser; she is incredibly smart, passionate, honest, and caring. There are arguments to be made about the changes to Claire for the screen, and if you’ve listened to my podcast episode “The One Where They Won’t Give In” about 115 “Wentworth Prison”, you know exactly where I stand on that. But, no matter how I feel about her adaptation as a main character, there is no denying that Claire is an amazing woman. Check out my list below, and let me know if you agree in the comments!
5. Showing Jamie The Ropes
It’s no secret that Claire is a woman very much in touch with her own sexuality. In fact, it’s one of the things women love so much about Outlander. Seeing positive sexual encounters through the eyes of a female protagonist is something that television has been lacking, and it is great to view sex as a thing that women also enjoy. For this reason, I picked a scene from 107 “The Wedding” as my first “defining moment” for Claire.
The role reversal of a male virgin and an “experienced” woman took a stereotypical relationship and flipped it on it’s head. When Claire takes Jamie to bed in their second encounter it is on her to “educate” him in the ways of physical love. She shows him that they can each do things for each other to make sex an enjoyable experience and that pleasure and pain aren’t always incongruous. Oh, and let’s not forget that adorable little moment where the enigma of the female orgasm is laid to rest. “Does it happen every time?” “Only if the man is a very good lover.” Bravo Claire.
4. Going On A Rescue Mission
Claire swore to Jamie in “The Watch” that if he did not return she would follow him and drag him back by his thick red curls. She sets out to do exactly that in 114 “The Search”. Claire is determined to bring her husband back or die trying, and she’s not alone–Jenny and Murtagh are also along for the ride. Claire is a healer, a kind hearted soul who wants to save people unnecessary pain, but she’s also strong willed, passionate, and a woman very much in love. It is these two sides of our heroine that war against each other for the better half of 114.
The moment when Claire and Jenny are discussing what lengths a person will go to to protect those they love, is a massive moment for Claire. It is there that she admits loving Jamie has changed her. She is willing to kill to protect him, which is something she never would have done before now. This evolution of our main character is staggering, but also admirable. She is determined to bring Jamie home safe, and she will accomplish that goal at any cost.
3. Taking Geordie Home
“The Gathering” was a very plot-motivated episode in a lot of ways, so it should come as no surprise that it is an episode with “defining moments” for both Jamie and Claire. The majority of Claire’s time in “The Gathering” is spent contemplating her escape from The MacKenzies and making her way back to the stones. She still hasn’t given up on finding her way back to Frank; she’s merely been biding her time. However, after a disastrous encounter with several drunken men including Dougal, and a conversation with Jamie that ended in bitter disappointment, Claire is back to her dungeon, and back to providing services as the resident healer of Castle Leoch.
Even after all the shenanigans of the night before, Claire pulls herself together and goes to the boar tintial the next morning where she gets more than she bargained for. In the morning fog of the Scottish Highlands, the screams of wounded men come to her and she is once again forced to ease the suffering of a dying man–only this time it’s not a World War II soldier, its one of Dougal MacKenzie’s good friends Geordie. After completing a triage of his injuries, she realizes he will not live, and helps to ease his suffering by taking him down memory lane back to his home where he can feel safe until he passes. This showcases Claire’s mental toughness and caring nature–two things that make her the character we love!
2. Saving Jamie From Himself
While “To Ransom A Man’s Soul” can be seen as a story primarily for the development of Jamie, I actually view it as a great story for Claire as well. She has accomplished her goal. Jamie is home safe…sort of… because while, Jamie is free and physically on the mend, his mind is still in turmoil, and he is bound and determined to make an end of himself. This has to be hard for any spouse to watch, and Claire is not one to sit there and take it–especially with a baby on the way.
So, Claire does what Claire does best and breaks through to Jamie. This is the great thing about the Frasers. They understand each other in a way that most people never get. Claire knows talking about what happened to her husband, while painful at first, will help in the long run. Convincing him of that however, is easier said than done. In the end, her undying love for Jamie is what saves him from himself. She is able to make him understand that she will never stop loving him. It doesn’t matter what he’s done (or what he thinks he’s done). Claire + Jamie = Forever, and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing!
1. Deciding To Stay
The majority of Season 1 Part 1 centers around Claire’s goal of getting back to Frank. The show runners even went so far as to expand Randall’s role in the first season so we, as an audience, can understand Claire’s motivations for wanting to go back. But after the events of Jamie and Claire’s wedding night, we begin to see a shift in our lead’s mind set, so that by the time we get to 111, “The Devil’s Mark” we feel her inner turmoil more keenly than ever. She loves her first husband and never wished to part from him, but now Jamie is in the picture, and whatever decision she makes will have collateral damage.
When she comes clean to him in the forest outside Cranesmuir after the witch trials, Jamie takes Claire back to the stone circle at Craigh na Dun, and in doing so makes it clear that whatever decision she makes from here on out is hers alone. No one is forcing her hand. Claire’s decision to stay changes the trajectory of her life, but also gives the audience more insight into her as a character. She is not afraid to look in the mirror and do some thorough self examination to ensure her actions reflect what she truly wants. Eventually, she makes her way back to camp, and back to Jamie, leaving no question as to where her heart truly lies.
That’s a wrap on my 5 Defining Moments for Claire in Season 1. Make sure to check back for my next blog on My Favorite Season 1 Moments where I’m going to cover everything I loved about the Maiden Voyage of Outlander!
Until next time, Cheers!!