*Spoilers – If you don’t want to know what happens, stop here!*
Played by Caitriona Balfe
Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser – a WWII nurse and a time-traveler who lives in both the 20th century, where she is married to Frank Randall, and the 18th century, where she is married to Jamie Fraser.
Claire is strong, independent, compassionate, medically astute, and tenacious with a quick-wit, endless courage and potty mouth that often gets her into trouble.
In 1945, she is in Scotland on her second honeymoon with her husband Frank.
As a healer, she uses herbal remedies. One day, she searches for flowers around the stones at Craigh na Dun, hears a drumming sound and touches the stones.
When she awakes, she has “fallen through time” and is now in 1743.
The first person she sees, she mistakes for her husband, Frank. But, it’s Black Jack Randall who is not pleased by her lack of response when he inquires who she is.
Close by is Murtagh, one of the Highlanders fighting the Red Coats. He knocks Black Jack out and takes Claire with him back to the cottage where the other Highlanders are.
When she first meets Jamie, he has a dislocated shoulder and the clan is obviously not skilled in resetting it. Using her medical knowledge and skills, she resets it properly and created a shoulder sling for him. Later, she become the healer for the clan.
Using knowledge she gained from her husband’s (Frank) research, she warns the clan of a possible Red Coats ambush and slaughter at Cocknammom Rock.
The clan succeeds in fighting and moving the Red Coats back.
She gave them a wee bit of fun! Sláinte Mhath!
While the clan was fighting, Claire tries to escape.
Later, Jamie falls off the horse; Claire realizes he was shot and repairs that wound as well.
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ! Goddamn Bloody Bastards! ~ Claire
I’ve never heard a woman talk like that in my life. ~ Dougal
After aiding Jamie . . .
On your horse soldier! ~ Claire
Thank you Sassenach, truly! ~ Jamie
So many signs that Claire is from another time, but no one seems to make the connection. However, they are suspicious of her (thinking she might be a spy); all except Jamie.
Arriving at Castle Leoch, Claire meets Ms. Fitz.
You a charmer? A beaton? ~ Ms. Fitz
Why yes, Ms. Fitz, she is . . . both!
She is a charmer (healer of sorts; does know the future) and a beaton (pysician or doctor, tends to all of Jamie injuries, the clan or anybody else’s wounds she comes in contact with).
Claire transforms from a 2oth century woman into an 18th century one thanks, in part, to Terry Dresbach – the costume designer for the show. Do they have an extra room in the castle full of clothes that just happen to be Claire’s size?
Oh yeah, and she drinks!
To keep an eye on her, and until they figure out who or what Claire really is, Colum (Jamie’s maternal uncle and Laird of Castle Leoch) makes her the clan’s healer. Claire quickly uses her intellect, wit, and medical skills to survive in 18th century Scotland as a Sassenach (Englishman/Outlander).
The only other female/person Claire has met, who appears to be on her level and is also into herbology, is Geillis Duncan. Ms. Geillis has a few secrets of her own!
As healer, she gives Jamie’s Uncle Colum, who suffers from Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome, a massage to ease his pain.
Provides Ned Gowan (legal advisor to Clan MacKenzie) relief of his asthma by having him smoke thorn apple, also known as Jimson weed.
Tends to all the MacKenzies’ wounds after they get into a brawl defending her honor.
You’re a guest of the MacKenzies.
We can insult you, but God help any other man that does. ~ Murtagh
While the MacKenzies collect the rent (sometimes in the form of animals), she tries to take back a goat for a family with small children, who need the milk. She is driven by a moral compass that usually puts her in conflict with the clan and brings the attention of the Red Coats.
She finds herself in danger several times with the Red Coats, particularly Black Jack Randall, who are suspicious of an English woman being with a Scottish clan.
When she refuses to tell Black Jack the truth, he decides to beat it out of her.
If looks could kill, Black Jack would have gone up in a puff of smoke!
When you are faced with a brick wall, you can either pound on it – thinking it will eventually crumble – or, you can find another way around it!
A girl’s gotta do, what girl’s gotta do!
To save herself from being further interrogated by Black Jack Randall,
Claire agrees (somewhat reluctantly, at first) to marry Jamie, making her a Scotsman and out of Black Jack’s reach.
Over time (and a drink or two), her reluctance . . .
. . .turns into affection . . .
. . . then, to love.
She has no problem taking the lead on their wedding night.
This is the beginning of an incredible EPIC love story.
While on the road with the clan collecting rent, Claire learns how to use a knife to protect herself.
The lesson comes in handy when she later uses the knife to kill a British deserter trying to rape her.
After the encounter, when Jamie has to leave to meet someone who might be able to help him clear his name, he asked her to stay puuut until he returns. While she waits, she wonders off and realizes she is close to the stones at Craigh na Dun.
Claire makes several attempts to get back to the stones in order to return to her time and Frank throughout the season. The one time she actually reaches them, she is captured – taken to Black Jack – and puts not only her life in danger, but also the Highlanders – specifically Jamie.
If only she had stayed – say it with us – “puuuut”.
Claire always bucks against the norm, especially when she feels justified, while ignoring the fact that she is 200 years in the past and a woman’s role is verra different!
The husband has the last word and the wife is to obey.
This is Claire we’re talking about and that’s NOT gonna happen!
But, she does know when to concede.
Once she and Jamie have a deeper understanding and forgive each other for doing/saying things they did not mean, she will stop at nothing to protect her marriage and him – including trying to slap some sense into Laoghaire, a delusional little girl who thinks Jamie is hers.
Stay away from me and my husband.
When she learns the visiting Duke of Sandringham could possibly help clear Jamie’s name, she warns him to be careful because the Duke is a friend/supporter of Black Jack Randall (She overheard Frank say this during is research).
Before Jamie’s arrival, she visits the Duke trying to persuade him to help Jamie – accept their Letter of Complaint against Black Jack – and take it to the proper authorities. She also informs him that she knows he is friend’s with Black Jack and also a Jacobite supporter.
She later tends to Jamie’s wounds after he is injured standing in as the Duke’s 2nd at the duel with the McDonalds.
When Jamie’s Uncle Colum commands he escorts his Uncle Dougal to his home estate, after his wife’s death, he warns Claire once again . . . to stay puuuut. . . and away from her friend Geillis Duncan.
What does Claire do, though after receiving an urgent note from Geillis (supposedly)?
Yep, she heads to Geillis’s house.
Every time she goes against the grain, something happens. This is no exception.
She and Geillis are arrested, charged with witchcraft, stand trial and found guilty.
Her outburst reaction and outrage to the injustice results in her being flogged.
Luckily for her, Jamie comes to the rescue.
It has taken this long in the series, but a lot has changed. At this point, she is able to be honest with Jamie telling him why she knows things about the Duke and what’s going to happen with Jacobite Rebellion.
Because . . .
I’m from the future.
As a turning point in the story and their relationship, Jamie believes her and gives her a choice. Either go back through the stones to the 20th century, her life and Frank, or stay with him.
Decisions . . .decisions . . .decisions.
Since we hadn’t read the book, we weren’t sure what she would do. It was clear that she loves Frank, but there didn’t seem to be the passion she has with Jamie, or the passion Jamie has for her! We hoped she would stay with Jamie.
So, who did she decide she wanted to be?
On your feet soldier!
Take me home to Lallybroch.
At Lallybroch, she gets a sense of home – one that she’s never had before.
Though, at times, she interferes when she shouldn’t. This will come back to haunt them.
She finally tells Jamie she loves him.
Aids Jamie’s sister, Jenny, with her breached baby and delivery.
Trepidation sets in when Claire sees Jamie did not return with Ian and the other watchman and learns the Red Coats might have him.
She will do whatever it takes to find him!
Desperate times calls for desperate measures. ~ Claire
Even if that means dressing as a man and singing a song to the tune of:
He was a famous trumpet man from out Chicago way
He had a boogie style that no one else could play
He was the top man at his craft
But then his number came up and he was gone with the draft
He’s in the army now, a-blowin’ reveille
He’s the boogie woogie bugle boy of Company B
. . .to get a message to Jamie that she is looking for him!
She finds out Jamie was sent Wentworth Prison, stood trial and scheduled to hang.
Now, it’s her turn to rise to the occasion and rescue him.
She convinces some of the MacKenzie clan to help her and Murtagh
break Jamie out of prison (love that Willie stepped up first!). She is going to get him out no matter what!
Determined . . . Leads the clan on their quest.
I won’t give up on Jamie! ~ Claire
Makes first attempt to rescue Jamie, but isn’t successful.
Second attempt . . .
While searching several doors inside the prison, she has the presence of mind to leave the one that leads outside ajar.
She finds Jamie in a cell badly injured.
Black Jack Randall and his henchman, Marley, catch her in the cell.
But, she doesn’t give up without a fight!
Despite her best efforts, it’s still to no avail.
Jamie finally sacrifices himself to save her from Black Jack Randall.
It was very emotional to watch them say goodbye to each other.
But, it was awesome when she whispered this little nugget of information in Black Jack’s ear.
I curse you with knowledge, Jack Randall.
I give you the hour of your death.
Jonathan Wolverton Randall, born September 3, 1705, dies . . . .
Back with the clan, she regroups (with liquid encouragement) and they come up with another plan.
Third time’s a charm!
Aside from loving Jamie something fierce, Claire’s resilience, bravery, and tenacity are unlike any other lead female character’s role we’ve seen on a television show.
Bravo to Caitriona Balfe for her Emmy-worthy performance.
She mends Jamie’s broken bones, all the while not knowing that he – as a man – is broken, as well as his spirit.
She “steps into the darkness” with him to help him regain his soul.
I’ve left you alone far too long.
You only work from strength. ~ Claire
You belong to no one else but me, and I belong to you,
and nothing will ever change that.
Those are just empty words, Claire.
You’re my husband, James Fraser.
How dare you give up on me now?
You swore to me, promised me the protection of your body, if need be. . .
You’re mine and we were meant to be together.
If you take away the one last thing that makes sense to me,
then I will die with you, right here, now.
[Jamie] How can you have me like this?
[Claire] I will have you any way I can.
So, where did we leave Claire at the end of S1?
Well, we won’t spoil all the surprises because we want you to WATCH the show.
Saying goodbye to the MacKenzie clan and leaving Scotland, thank God!
They both are in a better place and their relationship is stronger than ever. Claire is where she is supposed to be and with the man she is supposed to be with – Jamie!
Vive Les Frasers!
What are you looking forward to with Claire in S2?
Leave a reply in the comment section. Please try not to include spoilers.
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4 thoughts on “Claire Randall Fraser”
Claire was a combat nurse in WWII, not WWI.
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Thanks for catching that. Changed it! If you see any more, please let us know.
Mrs. Fitzgibbons called her a “charmer”, a “beaton” (not beacon)- if you read up on Celtic medicine in that century, there were genetic physicians (“doctors” that came from one family and through the generations served as local physicians) the family of MacBeth (Beaton, in English) were one such family- that is what she was referring to- http://www.rcpe.ac.uk/library-archives/celtic-medicine-scotland (author DG has also stated this reference)
Thanks, we corrected it. Her accent sounded like beacon. 🙂