- Outlander -Comparing The ‘Outlander’ Scene Where Jamie Sends Claire Through The Stones — Book Vs. Show
It has been said that if you love somebody, you have to set them free. And although one of the most admirable traits of Jamie and Claire's love on Outlander is their dedication to one another, they have, at times, had to face this painful yet true words.
In the Season 2 finale, "Dragonfly in Amber," Jamie sends Claire back through the stones at Craigh na Dun while the Battle of Culloden looms large. Does he want to? No, of course not. These two are ~soulmates~. But Jamie believes he is about to die and knowing that Claire is pregnant, he wants to protect her and their child by sending her back to her time period.
This scene is based on Chapter 46 in author Diana Gabaldon's second Outlander novel, Dragonfly in Amber — and it's a special one for both fans and the people behind Outlander. Vida Avery of Blacklanderz previously told The Dipp that Jamie and Claire's dance at the stones was "everything" while Caitriona Balfe said in the Outlander End of Summer Series that it's one scene she's most proud of.
"Sometimes, when you're really lucky, everything conspires to work in your favor," Balfe said of filming this moment. "I think that's one scene that really sang." Sam Heughan replied, "It was really magical, wasn't it?"
Like with many of the most memorable scenes in the Starz adaptation, Outlander sticks pretty closely to the events of the books. But there's inevitably always going to be some changes from page to screen, so let's compare the magic of Jamie and Claire's farewell from the book to the scene.
The Time & Place
In Gabaldon's Dragonfly in Amber, the reader stays with the couple throughout their goodbye in Chapter 46. But the Outlander Season 2 finale jumps between Claire and Jamie in 1946 and Claire, Brianna, and Roger in 1968. Considering that the book jumps to the future immediately after they part, you can see why the show did it that way.
In the book, Jamie and Claire spend their last moments together, including their love-making, in an abandoned cottage near the stone circle. They arrive a day before the battle so they have more time together, but she is forced to leave Jamie and go through the stones when British soldiers find them there.
In the show, their farewell takes place at Craigh na Dun with the battle sounding in the background. A major upside to the TV version is that Jamie is with Claire when she leaves him. Jamie leads Claire in an impromptu dance before placing his hand on hers as she steps through time. They even get one last final kiss and "I love you."
There's nothing that could tear Claire away from Jamie — something she's adamant about in both the book and show. But Claire's resolve wanes when Jamie makes a bold claim. She argues that Jamie wouldn't have let her die alone at the stake after her witch trail. He agrees but replies, "I wasna carrying your child."
Claire hadn't told him that her period was late, but Jamie kept track, even in the middle of this "bloody war." (Period pun probably not intended.) She agrees to go back to her own time following Jamie's plea-filled reasoning that their child "is all that will be left of me — ever" after he dies at Culloden.
In Dragonfly in Amber, Claire asks Jamie to "mark" her by cutting her "deep enough to leave a scar. I want to take away your touch with me, to have something of you that will stay with me always." She doesn't care if he hurts her since "nothing could hurt more than leaving you." Ah, love.
Jamie carves a "J" in her right hand and he offers her his left hand where she returns the favor by carving a letter "C" in his flesh. It's a moment that reflects the blood oath they made at their wedding and they recite their "blood of my blood and bone of my bone" wedding vows.
Jamie and Claire do say their wedding vows on the TV show, but they never brand one another. Instead, Claire gives Jamie the titular dragonfly in amber that Hugh Munro had given to her as a wedding present.
The author explained how she had told showrunner Ronald D. Moore and executive producer Maril Davis that "…there's a massive emotional distance between, 'I love you so passionately that I want you to shed my blood and scar me forever so I can remember your touch,' and 'Here, darling, take the ugliest wedding present ever to remember me by for the forty-five minutes before you die.'"
But Moore had told TVLine that the show needed to condense Jamie and Claire's farewell to "maintain the urgency of the situation on the battlefield." Gabaldon also noted in her post that there were production concerns that the palm cutting would be too messy. Davis refuted that claim on Twitter and told PopSugar in 2017, "I always regret that we didn't do the hand-initial carving last season."
If it's any consolation, ET reported that a Season 3 deleted scene shows Jamie and Claire with their "C" and "J" tattoos. Moore explained in the above video that they had considered having the couple mark each other at some point in Season 3, but eventually decided against it.
"I hope [the fans] know it's something that we really want to do," Davis told ET. So this change continues to haunt the people behind the scenes of Outlander. And even with this change, Gabaldon still said she loved the TV version of the scene.
Jamie's Message To Frank
By sending Claire through the stones, Jamie knows that Claire's other husband — Frank — will raise his daughter. He asks Claire to send this conflicting message (reflecting his very conflicted feelings) to Frank: "Tell him I'm grateful. And tell him I trust him, and tell him I hate him to the very marrow of his bones." Jamie says nearly the same thing in the books. While these men never get the chance to meet (cause, you know, time travel), they sure have a messy relationship.
The Baby's Name
In the book, Jamie asks Claire to name the child "Brian," after her father. (As was traditional for men of his era, Jamie assumes she will have a boy.) But on the show, Claire is the one who says she will name their child Brian. She does so after Jamie presents her with his father's ring. In the books, he had given that ring to her at their wedding. Either way, Claire honors this moment by naming their daughter Brianna.
200 Years of Purgatory
Jamie leaves Claire with an epic quote where he promises to tell god of his love for her (and maybe he even drops a clue about how his ghost appeared in the 1940s). Here are both versions of his purgatory quote:
"I will find you," he whispered in my ear. “I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you — then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest. ... Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well."
"But I'll find you. I promise. If I have to endure 200 years of purgatory... 200 years without you, then that is my punishment that I have earned for my crimes, for I have lied, killed, stolen, betrayed, and broken trust. But when I stand before God, I'll have one thing to say to weigh against all the rest. Lord... you gave me a rare woman and God, I loved her well."
The show may have streamlined Jamie's words a bit, but both versions prove his undying love for Claire no matter how much time and space tears them apart.