- Outlander -All The Times Claire Almost Died On ‘Outlander’
Being a time traveler on Outlander is not for the faint of heart, especially when it comes to accidentally leaving behind your 20th century modern conveniences like plumbing and a doting husband.
But the danger is even more apparent when your knowledge of medicine compromises 18th century know-how, even when all you want to do is offer up your services as a healer to the Highlanders who deem you a witch (I see you and I'm not here for your jealousy, Laoghaire).
Over the last five seasons of Outlander, Claire has faced her fair share of death-defying encounters, but thankfully, she has come out the other side stronger, braver, and more sure of her and Jamie's bond than ever before... at least thus far.
For The Dipp, I rounded up seven of Claire's closest calls that, in the end, demonstrate just how fervently her lion heart beats.
1. Literally Any Time Claire Travels Through the Stones
OK so she’s got her gemstone, hears the buzzing, and there is a possibility the ability to travel is passed down through genetics, so based on past experience she technically has nothing to worry about. In Season 5, she even advises Bree and Roger that they are safe to travel through the stones again back to the '60s when they discover Jemmy can hear that unrelenting whirring noise, too.
But still, the idea of trusting magical stones in the Scottish Highlands or pre-Revolutionary America to take you exactly where and when you want to go, let alone stay intact as a whole person, is a pretty daring leap of faith.
Claire has gone through the stones three times by my count. First, in the pilot episode “Sassenach,” after she sees the druids dancing at Craigh na Dun. Second, when Jamie sends her back in a tearful, dreadful goodbye before he faces what he believes is certain death at the Battle of Culloden in Season 2, Episode 13 “Dragonfly in Amber.” And third in “A. Malcolm,” after Roger gives her the clue Jamie is working at a print shop under said pseudonym and he sweetly faints from the sheer sight of her.
She's survived every time, but I'm counting my blessings over here.
2. Black Jack Randall Holds Claire at Sword-Point
Just moments after she tumbles through time in the pilot, Claire is thrust into a gunfight between the Scots and the British, ducking in the nick of time before “meeting the business end of a bayonet.” Getting her wits about her, she naturally runs away but to her misfortune, comes face to face with an ancestor she never thought she’d meet — Black Jack Randall. The Captain of His Majesty’s Eighth Dragoons, Black Jack was actually the reason why she was in Inverness with Frank in the first place, as he was researching his family history.
Of course, she at first thinks he is Frank because he is the spitting image of him (and after all, he is played by the same actor, Tobias Menzies). Yet how unfortunate it is that just when she meets him, he accosts her and demands to know the whereabouts of her husband. What a chivalrous introduction indeed.
Disbelieving her tale that her husband is Frank Beauchamp, a teacher (a fairly white lie if we're keeping tabs), he readies himself to sexually assault our leading lady. But thankfully, Murtagh jumps from above and knocks him out, taking the “Druid” with him to his compatriots in hiding.
3. Randall Holds Claire Captive at Fort William
Black Jack really has a thing for attacking his victims at knifepoint. Holding Claire captive at Fort William in Season 1, Episode 8 “Both Sides Now,” the venomous man we all profoundly loathe dismisses his corporal from his chambers, warning him not to come back. “No matter what you hear.” Ring that damn danger bell.
Turning towards Claire, he starts slicing the laces of her bodice while interrogating her about her real name, the MacKenzies, and what she knows of the Jacobite Rebellion. And in the saddest twist of fate, the only reason she is in the hands of the British is because a young British officer thought she was being held captive by the Scots. She married Jamie for protection (and, well, other, reasons), but when she goes near the stones after hearing Frank calling to her, the British snatch her away.
Back to the indelicate scene at hand, Black Jack pulls her by the hair towards the table and grabs her pocket knife from inside her boot. “The lady has claws,” he surmises. But “are they sharp?” Just as he’s about to gruesomely put that knife to the test on her, Jamie kicks open the window, gun in hand, and drops this bomb of a rescue line: “I’ll thank ye to take your hands off my wife.” Black Jack is thrilled to see his former prisoner who got away, but the risk Jamie took was worth it, as he saves Claire from his enemy’s clutches.
4. Ding Dong, Thankfully the Witch Isn’t Dead
When Laoghaire frames Claire and sets her up to be charged in a witch trial with Geillis in Season 1, Episode 10 “By the Pricking of My Thumbs,” I truly thought this was one of the moments where she could have been a goner. We all know dramatic series aren't likely to kill off their lead character, unless we're talkin' Game of Thrones, but the trial in the next episode, “The Devil’s Mark,” was horrific. Because no matter what the truth is, the courtgoers were steadfast in what they believed.
Even her and Geillis’ lawyer Ned suggests that Claire renounce Geillis to save herself, which she refuses to do. They are both sentenced to death, and Claire is pulled away to be lashed in front of everyone, with Laoghaire sputtering that she shall “dance upon your ashes.” Sheesh girl, way to rub it all the way in.
Once again, Jamie storms inside and claims he holds greater authority over the court, as he swore an oath before the Almighty to protect Claire, which in that day and age, has more sway than the law of this dysfunctional form of justice.
To ensure Claire is able to go free, Geillis sacrifices herself by revealing her “devil’s mark,” which Claire immediately recognizes as the scar of a smallpox vaccination (confirming that Geillis is also from the future). The townsfolk carry Geillis away to burn on a pyre, but we all know she miraculously survives and pops up again at the end of Season 2 and later in Season 3.
5. Finding Grace After the Loss of Faith
Claire is aghast to find out Jamie challenged Black Jack Randall to a duel at the end of Season 2, Episode 6 “Best Laid Schemes,”especially after she asked him to wait a year to make sure that Frank’s lineage was secure and he would be born in the future. She rushes out to the duel, and cries out for Jamie as she falls to the ground, bleeding.
She is taken to the hospital to see Mother Hildegarde and give birth. And it’s astounding to look back on Claire going through a delivery during that time period in France, especially compared to when she becomes a surgeon herself when she travels back through the stones in the Season 2 finale, “Dragonfly in Amber.”
Despite their best efforts, Claire’s daughter is stillborn, and she is beside herself. If the emotional devastation wasn’t enough, she grapples with a very high fever, which Claire deduces is “puerperal fever.’ “The baby had come,” she says, “but part of the placenta had not. It festered inside my womb.” Master Raymond sneaks inside the hospital to heal her, sensing the blue wings of healing around her. He is able to drain the white hotness of fever Claire felt in her bones.
6. Abandon Ship — and Evade Drowning
We’ve come to learn that nearly every episode of Outlander is jam-packed, and the Season 3 finale, “Eye of the Storm,” was no exception. The episode sees Claire and Jamie caught smack in the middle of a giant storm just after they’d fled from the horrors of Jamaica (read: saving Young Ian and killing Geillis so she doesn’t go to the future to kill Brianna. Yup, it’s messy).
Thrown from the ship, Claire almost drowns in the water before Jamie rescues her. They find themselves stranded on land, leagues away from Scotland. Instead, they are now on the shores of Colonial America — Georgia, to be precise.
7. Dr. Rawlings Comes Back to Haunt Her
As Claire is wont to do on Outlander, she won’t sit idly by as women twiddle their thumbs and are subjected to abuse by the vile men in their lives. Under the Dr. Rawlings pseudonym, Claire pens a medical newsletter in Season 5, informing women about their monthly period cycles and how to avoid pregnancy.
Certain neighbors of the Frasers, like Lionel Brown, have been none too pleased with Claire and Jamie’s meddling in their lives all season, let alone when he discovers Claire’s secret identity. But for the record, he is at the Frasers' home in order for Claire to treat his injury so really he should be grateful for her skills as a surgeon.
Nonetheless, he arrives back with his rabble of despicable followers and drags her away from her home in the brutal Season 5 finale, “Never My Love.” We watch as Claire dissociates herself from her repeated sexual assaults, imagining a peaceful home in the 1960s with loved ones together and happy, except for Bree, Roger, and Jemmy. Far, far away from the unbelievable reality she finds herself in. And even the fellow time traveler she meets, Wendigo Donner, doesn’t lift a hand to stop the violence against her.
Jamie gathers the men of the Ridge to save Claire and bring her home, but life in the Carolinas will never be the same for the Fraser clan.
Plain and simple, Outlander has not been easy on Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser, but her resilience has kept her going no matter what obstacles - or misogynistic men - stood in her way.
But one near-death experience I'm still wondering about? The fire Brianna read about in the future that supposedly happened on Fraser's Ridge and killed her parents. That's the whole reason she went back in time — to save them! But hey, it wouldn't be Outlander if there weren't some lingering mysteries to carry us into the next season.