Outlander showrunners detail Claire Frasers dilemma over Jamie: You feel for her
Outlander: Claire and Fergus speak in deleted scene
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The return of Outlander is just a few months away, with the latest outing of the historical romance also expected to hit Netflix in the US later this year. After another stunning return to Fraser’s Ridge on Starz last year, the series’ showrunner and executive producer have shed light on Claire Fraser’s (played by Caitriona Balfe) impossible decision in season five.
Tragedy almost struck Fraser’s Ridge in the fifth season of Outlander when Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) returns from a hunting trip with a nasty snake bite.
The former Highland warrior remains bedridden for several days whilst time-travelling healer Claire Fraser desperately tries to find the right treatment to heal her husband.
Thankfully, Jamie is eventually nursed back to full health, but the poisonous bite takes him near the brink of death throughout episode nine, ‘Monsters and Heroes’.
Showrunner Matthew B Roberts highlights Jamie’s plea to Claire not to amputate his leg as the most iconic moment of this episode.
Gripping the saw, he begs her: “Your word. I may be fevered and lose my wits. Not if you take my leg and not be in a state to stop it.”
Roberts maintained that Claire’s love for her husband is so strong that she would go through the ordeal of removing his leg in order to keep Jamie alive.
He explained: “There was always that question in would she agree?”
However, the series cleverly skips over the rest of their conversation, leaving it ambiguous whether or not Claire agreed not to go through with it.
Thankfully, she didn’t need to take a bonesaw to her husband’s extremities, but Jamie’s pleas have left a huge question mark over their relationship heading into the rest of the series.
Roberts continued: “I asked them not to show that, because given the choice of losing Jamie or cutting off his leg, I personally think she would cut his leg off.”
The showrunner detailed why Claire’s devotion to keeping her husband alive could indirectly jeopardise their marriage if she’s forced to go through with the amputation.
He went on: “That’s the dilemma for her, which is a great dilemma for a character, which is ‘I’ll do it, and I’ll know I’ll do it.”
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“‘But he will hate me for it, and will I lose his love for it?’ If that’s not drama I don’t know what is.”
Claire and Jamie’s passionate romance is the main driving force behind Outlander’s popularity, and viewers were terrified when a small yet deadly snakebite threatened to tear it down.
Once again, series lead Caitriona Balfe played the moment with enough subtlety that the audience were able to infer her response without actually being shown the rest of the scene.
Praising her performance, Roberts added: “Caitriona portrays this beautifully. You feel for Claire, you just feel ‘My God, what a decision.’”
Executive producer Maril Davis also admitted this episode featured one of the moments that made her tear up during production.
She said: “This episode gave us such a great chance to have some really lovely moments with Jamie and Claire.
“I got really teary when Claire thinks Jamie has died on her.”
Of course, Jamie overcame his injuries and went on to live for at least one more season, which fans will be able to enjoy at the start of next year.
Outlander season 6 will premiere in early 2022 on Starz.
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