*Spoilers – If you don’t want to know what happens, stop here!*
Played by Sam Heughan
James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser (“Jamie”) – Scottish soldier and landowner, well-educated and has a knack for learning languages. He is a Highlander, born and bred, and believes in the stories of his culture. Raised to be the future Laird of Lallybroch, he is a natural leader, from the homestead to the battlefield.
When Sam Heughan’s character, Jamie, is on screen, there is very little need for dialog. His facial expressions translate what he is thinking and feeling.
Alpha male, Fighter, Loyalist and Protector!
Meets Claire when Murtagh brings her in from the woods where she resets his shoulder, and later attends to his arm when he’s shot.
He protects Claire from day one, even when she’s protesting and acting pugnacious – though we can’t rightly blame her!
They have an intimate encounter where he feels comfortable letting her see and touch the scars on his back as she is tending to his wounds. Look at those eyes.
Jamie reveals what happened to him four years ago . . .
When the Red Coats invaded Lallybroch, Black Jack Randall held a knife to his sister’s, Jenny, throat.
Jamie surrenders, so Randall would set her free and is flogged for interfering.
Shows Claire compassion when she cries over Frank.
There is more chemistry/passion between Jamie and Claire within days of meeting each other than there ever was between Claire and Frank! Just our opinion.
In the Great Hall, we first meet Laoghaire MacKenzie and learn that her father suspects her of loose behavior.
Rather than having her punished for disobedience, Jamie decides to step in and take it for her. He didn’t want Laoghaire to be ashamed in the eyes of others. As for him, he was strong and could get over it in a few days. In hindsight, perhaps he should have allowed her to take her own punishment.
This is the second time he took a beaten for a woman!
First sign his Uncle Dougal is up to something when he instructs Angus to continue to hit Jamie repeatedly past the regular time – broken nose. The last hit was to his already wounded shoulder and Claire is there to take care of his wounds.
Before The Gathering, where all McKenzie’s throughout the Highlands come to the castle to pledge their fealty to Laird Colum and the clan, there are festivities. One of those festivities is musical entertainment.
At this event, Jamie gets Claire and has her sit with him. Since the song is in their native language, he interprets it. It’s a song about a person who went through the stones and disappeared, only to return later.
I stood upon a hill and the sound of thunder rolled across the hill.
I placed my hand on the stone and traveled to a distant time to be with lovers and friends.
One day, I touched the stones and traveled once again to a man that I’d left behind.
[Claire] She came back through the stones?
[Jamie] They always do!
Foreshadowing of what’s to come. We’ve not read the books, but plan to this summer; but, just the first book. We just don’t know when, but Claire will return through the stones and back to Frank.
During The Gathering, Jamie is hiding intentionally in the stables away from everything.
For now he is safe, until . . .
Claire falls over him in the stable trying to escape.
[Claire] Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!
[Jamie] No Sassenach, just me.
Being the gentleman he is, he explains there is no escape with all the extra Highlanders around and escorts her back. Going a secret way – as not to be seen – Rupert catches him. Now, he is forced to go to The Gathering and pledge fealty to his Uncle Colum (Laird of Castle Leoch and clan leader) and the MacKenzie clan.
Pledging fealty to the MacKenzie clan is something he simply cannot do.
So, the alternative?
We start to see Jamie come into his manhood.
I come to you as kinsman and as ally.
But I give you no vow, for my oath is pledged to the name that I bear.
I give you my obedience as kinsman and as Laird, and I hold myself bound to your word,
so long as my feet rest on the lands of the Clan MacKenzie.
While on the road collecting rent, Jamie tries to make Claire feel welcomed and . . .
. . . even sleeps outside of her room to protect her from strangers.
We also find out how physically strong Jamie is and that he was not flogged once, but twice by that psycho Black Jack Randall.
Because he knows first hand what Black Jack is capable of doing to people, to protect Clair from any further interrogation from him, Jamie agrees to marry her making her a Scot and no longer under British rule.
But, he has three conditions in which to do so . . .
A proper wedding in a church before a priest.
A wedding ring for Claire made from his key.
A wedding dress for Claire.
Once, that is all secured . . . Il est prêt.
Takes a blood oath!
‘Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone.
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, ’til our Life shall be Done.’
He is also man enough to let Claire take the lead on their wedding night. She has more experience; but, he is a quick study!
Mo nighean donn.
My brown-haired lass.
As a wedding gift, he gives Claire his mother’s pearl necklace, one of the last mementos he had of her.
If throughout the season Jamie hadn’t made enough sacrifices, his story now leads down a path of him making the ultimate one because of his love for Claire.
She doesn’t “stay puuut” as he asked her to, is captured and held by Black Jack Randall. Jamie doesn’t think twice about rescuing her, which puts him at risk. He escaped Wentworth prison, a Red Coat was killed, and they blame him. Now, he has a price on his head.
I’ll thank you to take your hands OFFF my WIFE!
Black Jack Randall is the last person he needed to know he was in Scotland.
This makes the second time he escapes from Black Jack.
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11
Mid-season, this is exactly what we see . . . Jamie becoming a man.
Now, he has a wife and responsibilities.
Another responsibility of being a husband is trying to keep his wife in check. This is no small feat because he didn’t marry somebody meek and obedient!
YOU FOUL-MOUTH BITCH!
You don’t speak to me that way!
She asked forgiveness, and I gave it.
But the truth is, I’d forgiven everything she’d done
and everything she could do long before that day.
For me, that was no choice. THAT was falling in love.
Because Claire disobeyed him (didn’t stay puuut) and put other people’s lives in danger (rescuing her from Black Jack), Jamie has to teach her a lesson by using a belt!
He quicker find out she will not take this spanking lightly; she’s also a fighter!
But he is a forward thinking man, for an 18th century guy, who really loves/is in love with Claire and comes to realize his marriage to her has to be different than that of his parents – the normal tradition of his time.
He pledges his fealty to Claire, who now bears his name – Clan Fraser (Je Suis Prest), not MacKenzie!
Indeed, he is ready!
I swear on the cross of my Lord Jesus, and by the holy iron which I hold that I give you my fealty and pledge you my loyalty. If my hand is ever raised in rebellion against you again then I ask that this holy iron may pierce my heart.
Yoooouu are my home, now!
Jamie is a man of honor. To try and clear his name and to get the Duke of Sandringham to agree to take his Letter of Complaint against Black Jack, he agrees to stand in as the Duke’s 2nd in a duel with the McDonalds.
Because of the duel and fighting with another clan without permission, Colum orders him to escort his Uncle Dougal to his home and to leave Claire behind – making sure he carries out his duties.
He asks her to stay away from her friend Geillis . . . essentially, to stay puuut. But, Claire does what she does – as she damn well pleases.
And Jamie does what he does – comes to her rescue from being burned as a witch. We’re not sure how he found out, but he probably had someone watching her.
Let her go!
“I swore an oath before the altar of God to protect this woman. And if you’re tellin’ me that ye consider your own authority to be greater than that of the Almighty, then I must inform ye that I’m not of that opinion, myself.”
I will seriously kill ALL of you if you take one more step!
This time, it’s his turn to comfort Claire after she is flogged, and for her to finally tell him her truth!
Rest now. No one will harm you. I am here.
After she tells him she is from the future, he believes her.
He loves her enough to lead her back to the stones and let her go . . . back to her own life, time and Frank.
Always on guard and forever the protector!
We believe, at this point, he also needed to know she was staying because she loved him and was no longer being forced to be there.
Now, we all know.
She is in love with and stays for him!
Sam with that single tear slays us!
Leaving everything behind, they set off to his home Lallybroch.
Who knew, starting out, he was the Laird Broch Tuarach.
Damn Claire, of all the Highlanders, you surely got the perfect one!
Thanks, Uncle Dougal.
Introduces Claire to the family – his sister, Jenny, and her husband and his best friend, Ian.
Looking at their posture, one can tell both are head strong and stubborn as mules.
Gets to work being Mr. Fix-it and protector of the home front.
Reveals more of Black Jack’s madness . . . explains how his father died.
Has to learn how to be a Laird, to understand the way of life that has changed over the past four years in his absence, and to mend his relationship with his sister.
Confesses to Claire he has been in love with her since the first moment he met her.
Has undying love for his sister.
After Ian kills Horrocks to protect Jamie, Jamie confesses to the killing to protect him.
Leaving The Watch one man short, he keeps his word to join them for one mission – which ends up being his only mission with them.
Set up, they are ambushed.
Jamie didn’t want to leave an injured McQuarrie behind; the Red Coats capture them. Both stand trial, are found guilty and scheduled to hang.
Jamie would rather go out fighting and be shot like a man, rather than hang.
Low and behold, here comes Black Jack Randall riding in the save the day!
He just WILL NOT go A-W-A-Y!
Luckily, he halts the execution. However, Jamie probably would’ve rather hung than go through what Black Jack had in store for him.
Up to this point, we thought we had seen the height of Heughan’s acting ability, but all of that was nothing compared to the last two episodes of the season. There are no words for his tour de force performance (Emmy-worthy is an understatement) or what all happens, and most we won’t include.
Go watch the damn show!
Defiant to the end, he tries to loosen his chains and fights, but it’s to no avail.
Refuses to surrender himself to Black Jack or any man.
Even after Black Jack smashes his hand with a mallet, he still refuses to surrender.
Until . . .
Claire sneaks into the prison, finds his cell and Black Jack threatens her.
What would you do?
To protect Claire and make sure she is safe, he finally surrenders to psycho Black Jack.
To seal the deal, Black Jack drives a nail through his already damaged hand.
Even through suffering great pain, he still manages to smile at Claire before she is taken away.
[Black Jack] Shall we begin.
And, so it does . . .begin. . . the abject horror of it all!
This sadistic psychopath inflicts endless, unthinkable, physical and psychological pain until he totally breaks Jamie.
After Claire and the clan rescue him, he is truly broken, delusional . . .
. . . and just wants to be left alone and die.
Claire forces him to tell her everything that happened beyond the obvious; at first, he refuses. She takes it a step further and pushes him to the brink to get him to tell her.
Fights Claire back when she tries to pull him from the darkness.
Because of what he went through, he can’t bare to even look at Claire, let alone be touched by her and feels he can no longer be her husband. And, he won’t be anything less.
[Jamie] I lie here feeling I will die without your touch.
But when you do touch me, I want to vomit with shame.
Slowly, she breaks through to him and he begins to come back to her.
The healing has just begun.
Where did we leave Jamie at the end of S1?
A lot of terrible things happened to him, even brutal, and made it excruciatingly painful to watch the last few episodes. But, these events have transformed their relationship to a higher level and created an unbreakable bond.
He is on the mend and has a long way to go. For now, at least, he is trying to move on.
There is no doubt a lot of this will carry over to S2.
We were just glad to see Jamie, Claire, and Murtagh (love him) get on that damn boat and get their asses out of Scotland!
Vive Les Frasers!
What are you looking forward to in S 2 with Jamie?
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