My literary crush is actually on a married couple. A husband and wife team by the names of Jamie and Claire Fraser from the book series Outlander. It may sound a bit odd to have a crush on a couple; but, it is more common than you think. They are not my first couple crush. My first couple crush was on 1980s T.V. show, Hart to Hart. Then another couple crush came from watching The Thin Man movies on TMC.
All these couples have some common elements in their relationships. Their spouse is their best friend, they live an adventurous life, and there is always some mystery or act they must perform to protect each other or society as a whole. I loved the dynamics of their relationship and especially their intimacy or chemistry. They are ways smart, witty and fashionable. I am in good company with this particular infatuation of Jamie and Claire Fraser because there are millions of fans following Outlander books by brilliant author Diana Gabaldon and its adaptation on the cable network, Starz.
Outlander (1991) is not only the first book of the series, it is Gabaldon’s first novel too. Can you believe it? An author’s first book becomes a best seller and still is a best seller today. It happens but not often. Presently, there are a total of eight books in this historical, multi-genre series. Fans are thrilled by the near release of a Book 9, and promised Book 10 before the series is completed As a matter of fact, Book #9, Go Tell The Bees That I am Gone, is a work in progress. No release date in 2017 has been announced. However, Gabaldon graciously posts excerpts of this book, for her fans, as she continues to work on it. To view them on her site, just click on the link below:
I and all fans are forever grateful for Gabaldon’s literary genius in the creation of these two fictional characters: Scottish Highlander, Jamie Fraser and his time travelling wife, Claire Randall. To understand their phenomenal affect on women, it is important to analyze the entirety of Jamie and Claire’s characters, the circumstances that brought them together; and the kind of relationship they eventually develop.
The story begins:
Claire Randall (played by the lovely and talented Caitriona Balfe) is a married WWII combat nurse, who after the war, is trying to rekindle the magic that was in her marriage, before the war. She and her husband, Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), plan a romantic trip to Scotland. It is there that she accidentally time travels from 1945 to 1743.
How does this time travel come about?
Frank Randall was a MI6 operative (a British Spy/Special Forces) during WWII. After the War, Frank becomes a history professor at Oxford. But, before he starts his new civilian job, he takes Claire on a second honeymoon to be reacquainted as a couple. They arrive on their second honeymoon in Scotland on Halloween (Samhain day: Ghosts of the dead are able to mingle with the living).
Unfortunately, un-romantic Frank spends most of his time doing research on his own family’s history. There are times when Claire must persuade her husband to abandon his research for more intimate, physical couplings with her. In other words, he seems to be slightly resistant to take the opportunities to have sex with his wife. I wonder if he is hiding something? Maybe the fact he was or is a spy makes me suspicious of him.
On a rainy night, as Frank is returning (alone) to his and Claire’s room, he literally bumps into the ghost of 18th century of Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Frank finds Jamie staring up at a second story window. Through the window, he can see Claire as she brushes her curly hair. Frank is totally shaken when the spirit passes so close as to pass through his shoulder. When he later discusses the incident to Claire, he reluctantly confesses that he might have seen a ghost. Then on second thought, he asks Claire if she tended a Scottish soldier. At first Claire remembers one that was scared of needles. Then, she realizes Frank is asking her if she had a Scottish lover.
Many fans love Frank as a character; and, I admire the actor, Tobias Menzies, who skillfully plays both roles as lovely Frank and his villainous ancestor, Black Jack Randall; but, I suspect there is something inherently wrong with Frank’s character.
While Frank searches through dusty old records with his friend, Reverend Wakefield (James Fleet), Claire tries to keep busy by searching for medicinal herbs. Mrs Graham (Tracey Wikinson) who is the housekeeper for Reverend Wakefield sees how bored Claire is and invites her to tea in the kitchen. For a bit of fun, Mrs. Graham offers to read the tea leaves at the bottom of Claire’s cup. The reading is very confusing to Mrs Graham; but, she continues to reveal it to Claire. She tells Claire that she will be married to two men at the same time, (bigamy?). Also during this tea reading, Claire is informed that her husband (Which husband?) will not “stray from her bed” to be with other women (Boy, did she get that wrong). So much for tea readings!
Frank decides to do some voyeurism just before dawn. He is told by the Reverend Wakefield that on the Autumn solstice, a local ladies club (Druids) dress in white with lanterns, dance and sing, welcoming the new season. Mrs Graham is one of them. He convinces Claire to secretly watch this ancient ritual with him. They hide as they watch this mysterious performance. Once it is over, they begin to investigate the Standing Stones in an area called Craigh na Dun where all of this took place. Claire finds some very pretty blue flowers, maybe Forget-Me-Nots, growing very close to the face of one Stone. When one of the young dancing girls returns, they hide again and soon leave to keep from being discovered. Later, Frank announces he has more documents to research with Reverend Wakefield. While they research, Claire decides to go back to the Stones alone and gather samples of those blue flowers.
Once, she begins to gather them, she hears a humming noise coming from the Stones. She places her hands on the stone and feels a vibration. Then, she feels herself falling among chaos and screams. The noise and pain is so overwhelming she passes out. When she awakes, the terrain has changed and her car is missing. Then, in disbelief, she sees British soldiers running through the woods. Next thing she knows, they are shooting at her. While trying to escape, she runs into their captain, Black Jack Randall. At first she is confused and thinks it is Frank. But after he assaults her, she definitely knows: he may look like Frank, but this man isn’t Frank.
She is saved by a stinky Highlander. As Randall attempts to rape her, the Highlander comes up from behind and knocks him out. Then, he grabs Claire and covers her mouth to keep her quite. A British patrol is very close. Even though Claire is fighting for her life, the Highlander does not want to be discovered, so, he knocks her out with pummel of his sword as he hides them behind a tree as the British patrols passes them undetected. He then places her limp body on his horse.
Jamie Fraser Meets Claire Randall
He takes her to a cottage that is full of stinky, dirty Highlanders hiding from the British. These men are as shocked to see her as she is to see them. They are trying to find a logicial reason for her strange appearance: Claire, in her soiled 20th century dress, must be in her undergarments. She is indecent; and, therefore, she must be a whore. As she stands there in shock and being gawked at, she overheard a few of them discussing a young lad’s injuries. Soon, their leader, Dougal, turns his attention to her and tries to figure out if she is a French spy or a whore.
He knows they have precious little time before they will be found by he British; so, he must make quick decisions about the lad and the strange looking lass. The young man’s shoulder is out of place and is in too much pain to guide a horse. They are willing to take the chance to cripple him in order to set his shoulder or else they must leave him behind. At first, Claire tries to keep quite, but the healer/nurse in her will not stand by and allow them to break the young man’s bones. She yells at them to stop. And like the combat nurse, she is, she takes over and properly sets Jamie Fraser’s shoulder. Their first date is riding on horse together, in the rain, for two days. That is when I knew that I was totally hooked on their love story.
In Season I, Claire befriends the love smitten Jamie. He thinks she is a recent widow which explains, to him, why she is so sad and cries for Frank. Claire needs Jamie to help her get back to Craigh na Dun and the Standing Stones. She must travel back to the future and back to Frank.
However, sadistic Captain Black Randall demands the right to arrest her and to interrogate her as a French spy. Jamie reveals his dark history with the Captain. He tells Claire that he is a wanted for murder. Black Jack had Jamie arrested for stopping him for trying to rape Jenny (Jamie’s sister). That charge was for Obstruction of Justice. They whipped him and then arrested him. While Jamie is imprisoned, Black Jack has him fogged with a hundred lashes two separate times within a week. Most men would have died from the injuries. Jamie was flogged once for trying to escape and once for stealing a loaf of bread. He finally escapes for a second time; but, a soldier is killed during the process and Jamie is blamed.
To keep Claire safe from Black Jack, Jamie agrees to marry her. With Claire as a Scottish citizen, Black Jack would need permission from the laird (Jamie’s uncle) or chieftain of the clan territory before he could arrest her. All awhile, Claire is still trying to figure out how to get back to the standing stones; so, she can go back to Frank and her 20th century life. At this point, Claire and Jamie have become best friends. He has become her only trusted friend. But, she does not love him. Yes, she finds herself falling in love with him despite her best efforts not too.
To keep her out of the clutches of the evil Captain, she does marry Jamie. Soon she finds herself making the choice to stay with jamie in a dangerous time period or going back to the future with its comforts and Frank. Let’s s face it, 20th century Claire really sticks out in 18th century Scotland; and, it does not take long for the locals to find a reason for Claire’s odd ways; so, they accuse her of being a witch. When Claire confesses to Jamie that she is not a witch but a time traveller, Jamie believes her, but; jokingly says it would have been easier to help her if she had been a witch. All of this action takes place during the first half of season I. In Season II (book #2 Dragonfly in Amber), we find the Fraser’s living in France trying to stop the disastrous Jacobite Rebellion and Claire’s return to the 20th century. Season III (book #3 Voyager) begins this Fall of 2017. Here we will see what the couple has been up during their 20 year separation; and, their reunion with much more adventures in store for them.
Jamie and Claire love each other, unconditionally. Jamie loves Claire when she endangers their lives, swears like a soldier, tests his patience over her devotion to Frank, or tells him outlandish stories about time travelling and the future. He loves her when he questions her sanity or believes she might be a witch. He is there, through it all, for her. He believes and trusts her. If actions speak louder than words, then Jamie has proved his love and devotion from the sheer number of times he risks his own life to save hers.
But the same can be said of Claire. She too risks her life to save his. As a combat nurse, she learned early the dangers of helping people, risking your life for stranger or fellow solider. It is in her DNA. Jamie is not as stranger. She would never have a second thought to die for him, if need be. They give 150% to each other. Claire made a difficult decision in choosing Jamie over Frank. She not only changed husbands but a whole way of life that is much harsher and dangerous compared to the life she left.
They nearly always puts the other one first. Not only do they risks their life for each other, they are willing to live a painful life without each other, if it will keep their unborn child safe. Again, they prove this when Jamie painfully guides Claire to Craigh na Dun and the Standing Stones in order for her to go back to her time, not once, but twice!
Even when they are separated by 200 years, and haven’t seen each other for 20 years, their love for each other only grows stronger. In contrast, Frank and Claire were separated by a few war years and needed a second honeymoon to try to rekindle the magic in their relationship. When death beckons either Jamie or Claire to leave this world, it is their love for each other that holds them back and from crossing over. Their relationship is made up of loyalty, faithfulness, trust, love, forgiveness and bravery.
Jamie and Claire Fraser give hope to every potential relationship that true love does exists; but, it only happens with the “right” person. Frank was a good man; but, not the right man for Claire.
Jamie and Claire Fraser’s relationship also reminds us that it is possible to be happy in an unhappy situation and having a true friend maybe more valued than having a lover. It is important for a person to be well loved, and feel home in the arms of their love one…at home and in a safer place. For the millions of fans like myself, Jamie and Claire’s relationship represents our desire to be home, with our love; so, no matter where we are or where we go, as long as we share that mutual love, we are home.
This is a post for the 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings and Maedez from Font and Frock. From June 23rd through the 25th, use the following link to find more postings on character crushes ❤️
I started blogging last June of 2016. My second post, Why is Jamie Fraser the King of Men? would have been my first Blogathon entry; but, I missed the date for The 2016 Reel Infatuation Blogathon. This year, I did not want to make that same mistake. So, I saved some bits from last year and wrote some new bits for this year; and, the result is this post. My crush is on a fictional couple: Outlander’s Claire and Jamie Fraser. Thank you Madeza from Front and Frock and Ruth from Silver Screenings, they have graciously extended the invitation for for this post.