Jamie & Claire – The Perfect Couple. WHY?

Like any blog post I put here, I’m just throwing out “Random Thoughts” from my own wee brain for people to ponder and either incorporate into their own nest of ideas somewhere or throw away as completely useless drivel. Also, this one got long – but the points seemed important.

A discussion on Twitter the other day about colleges and college degrees and where women stand and social perceptions/prejudices/expectations made me put some of my long-term thinking together with Jamie and Claire.

Perfect Couple

I am not a ‘pretty’ person. I’m short, overweight and have no overly appealing physical features – except perhaps my eyes. I married my first husband for all the wrong reasons. See, I grew up in the 70’s and was constantly bombarded with the idea that I should ‘make something of myself’, have a career, be ‘more’ than a ‘traditional woman’! Problem was, that is exactly what I wanted to be. I wanted to find a guy to be a partner to and support him in whatever and have kids. Be the PTA mom…the whole bit. Not my families expectations, MINE. I felt that was something important…that family unit (maybe because mine was so f*%^3d up in my youth).

So I went to college and got a degree – not that I’ve used it for any job I’ve ever held – though it was good info for just living. I started out as an Elementary Education major (that WAS my family’s push), spent one semester in a classroom and knew I’d be fired rapidly if I ever got a job teaching. First graders were already working the disciplinary system to their advantage, the teachers had no authority and got very little respect. From 7 year olds! I was raised by two teachers (who retired in the early 1960’s) – nope. So I ended up with a Home Economics degree. I use that information in life – but it did me no good in my jobs.

I married a friend from college as he was the only one interested that wasn’t more of a ‘brother’ to me. Bad idea. I was in that weird place of being strong enough to be on my own but a little afraid of the idea and hey, all my friends were getting married so I was afraid not to. It didn’t last – in fact I knew walking down the aisle it was a mistake and did it anyway.

Second time through was MUCH better and, while we hit a bad patch for a few years, have been together most of 30 years now. (boy he’s going freak when he really takes THAT in). The rough patch? I kept changing myself to be more what I thought he WANTED….he kept tweaking himself to be more what he thought I wanted. We ended up hating ourselves, resenting each other and basically co-habbing without much interaction. We went our separate ways for a few years, and finally got divorced. Then, a year or so later, circumstances sort of threw us together again…we had both changed… a LOT. We started spending more time together and the magic came out again. We are doing great and should continue to do with the lessons learned.

I know, I know gentle reader. You are swearing in your head asking what can this possibly do with Jamie & Claire and how they seem to manage to stay so in love and ‘together’ against such, at times, nasty odds? Also, how can all this possibly relate to a recent conversation on social media?

I think women as a general rule (not all certainly but too many) are so focused on achieving something, they betray themselves to get it. For many this is a partner/spouse, for some a job/career, for others its ??? .

I met my heart mate under less than ideal circumstances. I was married. He was married. His wife bailed and my husband had become a live-in friend with benefits. Kyle and I bumped into each other again (we’d had a brushing acquaintance through business but I barely spoke to him & hadn’t seen him for months) because of my ex and we all became friends. My ex felt bad for Kyle’s current situation (staying with his parents after his wife bailed to another state) and invited him to live with us in our 3 bedroom apartment for a while till he could get sorted. There was a spark between Kyle & I, but we were faithful to our commitments. However, we saw each other as people, not potential mates. Friends that were both in bad situations. We saw the best and worst in each other just as human beings without expectations.

Ok…when Claire sees Jamie he is young, injured, cranky due to pain, and hanging with a group of men that frighten her with good reason. (I mean Murtagh DID knock her unconscious). When Jamie first interacts with Claire she is an obvious outsider – a threat – but also a woman in a very bedraggled state wearing (for the time) what amounted to a slip or nightgown. Not the best first impression on either side.

As time passes, they see each other in good and bad. She is a great healer and he is loyal and chivalrous. They are both stubborn mules with tempers. But they also become friends and somewhat reluctant allies. Claire is never anyone but Claire around Jamie because she can be. Jamie can let his guard down a little because she IS an outsider and won’t judge him the same or hold him to the same lines that his clan will.

I think Jamie had a ‘thing’ for Claire LONG before they were forced into marriage (I have a theory about the ghost that ties into this…I’m waiting) but he also felt due to who / what she was, politics with his uncles, his being an outlaw and a myriad of other factors, she was out of reach. He never tried to court her as such, he was just himself.

Claire was attracted to Jamie (what woman isn’t on some level am I right?) but again, her focus was to get back home to her husband and, while she liked and respected Jamie, she wasn’t trying to do anything to impress or ‘catch’ him. She was just who she was.

Because of this, I think they knew exactly what they were getting into (personality wise – no way Jamie could be prepared for the whole time travel part) up front and so knew what to expect in most circumstances. This is where I think a lot of modern couples do it ‘wrong’.

Some people (not going to lay this all on gals) are constantly glamming up – which the partner appreciates, but unless they have siblings/parents who are the same, really can’t understand just how much time, effort and money that takes and (if this is truly the person’s personality) come to resent somewhat after the courtship phase is over. Also, if all the courtship phase is the glam, what happens when you get to the living stage and don’t glam anymore?  The new mate may feel gypped.  How can you know if a potential partner likes YOU if all they ever see is the glam?

Also, both sides are so eager to ‘please’ this potential mate, that they remake themselves. I knew one gal from high school that loathed, absolutely loathed, fishing. Her brothers and dad fished constantly and she hated it – the process, the smell, the ick factor. But…she fell for a guy that loved to fish and so, she went. Gushed over it, pretended to enjoy all these outings and it caused real issues a year or so into the marriage when she flat refused to go out anymore with him and wanted him to cut way back on his outings. Had she been honest up front, it likely would have worked out much better for both of them.

If you have hobbies or activities that are important to you – that’s great. KEEP them. Invite the potential partner to participate. But remember, they have things important to them as well. By all means, find something you BOTH love to do together, but having your own pursuits/hobbies/activities is ok too. Balance in all things.

If that potential partner sees you at your worst sometimes – that’s ok. Let him see you after a night of being sick when you look like hell, smell bad, are in your grungiest clothes and not a great mood. Let her see you after you’ve crawled out from under an engine (having forgotten the time and the date you were supposed to be going on) covered in oil, smelling like gas with grit in your hair and a foul mood because the damn engine still won’t start. Reverse those two. (Hey, I will never claim to be a mechanic but I changed out a fuel filter all by myself and acted as a transmission jack for one of our rigs J)  In fact, you’ll probably learn a lot about each other at such times. I’ve learned its ok to tell my partner I don’t feel like doing / watching / eating / whatever something just because it’s what he suggested. He does the same with me. He is (was) an avid rock climber, I won’t go near a rock face. I told him that early on. Once we were together, I had no problem letting him climb as long as he had a buddy and proper equipment, but I wouldn’t go watch. I had other things to do that I enjoyed.

Jamie and Claire are definitely a unit, but they are also distinct individuals and accept each other as they are. They don’t try to change each other or force the other into things. Now, with the added issue of being from two completely different times, Jamie sometimes has to assert authority just to keep Claire safe, and Claire sometimes has to school Jamie on a different way of thinking – but they aren’t trying to fundamentally change their partner.

So it all comes down to this for me: social pressure sucks. I am not, never have been, never will be a ‘glam’ girl. I wear makeup on stage, for cameras or very special events where there will be cameras (weddings). I’ll put up with what it does to my skin for a performance, but not for day to day living. I’ve gotten flack for that over the years – though not so much as I’ve gotten older and have better skin than people much younger than me.

Going to college. Tougher. Many jobs require it – which would be fine if they would accept life experience (especially if it directly relates like many have coming out of the military) in lieu of the degree. They often don’t and exclude some of their best candidates. I think this is an attitude that can and should change for employers – but it will take effort.

Some things absolutely require college. (Medical professionals, lawyers, teachers – though I don’t completely agree there). Decide what YOU want, what will make YOU happy and go for it. Trade schools tend to be much less expensive and give practical skills in so many areas. If money is the thing, pick a high end job and train yourself accordingly. If something more creative is what hits your hot button, you may have to accept you won’t ever be rich and plan that accordingly.

Bucking family, friends, societal pressures and your own self-doubt can be hard…but so worth it. I’m not perfect, I still struggle with having faith enough in my writing to really DO something with it, but I keep plugging away (I sometimes think writing is a disease you just can’t shake). Find your own balance.

Perfect Couple Balance

My wish for anyone reading this is that can walk that road to self-discovery and know that good things are waiting for you. It may not be what you think you want or expect, (never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be living on a sailboat), but good things none the less. 

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Droughtlander 2019

I’ve said before I hate that particular term…it’s so negative. Maybe something like “OutPause” would be better…I don’t know. Honestly, with the way things have gone in life this last week, I think the whole idea is pretty silly.

I’m relatively new to the Outlander universe. A teen maybe. I didn’t discover the books until 2009 while working for St. Vincent DePaul in Oregon running the book department. Being everything we got in was donated, some really interesting things would come through the store: that could be a whole post by itself and if anyone expresses interest maybe I’ll write it. To properly shelve the books, I read lots of jackets to understand where to put the books. I’ve always had a thing for Scotland (maybe I lived there in a former life) so reading the jacket for Outlander intrigued me and I bought that book for myself to take home. Ah yeah….where things went from there! LOL

I’m not as invested in the books as the readers who have been with the series from the beginning might be (time in, all that early fandom stuff with Diana, etc.) but I have read the books through several times each and find them in turns soothing, motivating, enlightening, entertaining and engrossing. I was quite excited to hear about the series and especially Ron Moore as we were both big BSG fans and knew Ron had a unique talent with shows.

I am one of those people that decided early on to not stress differences between the books and the series. Diana said up front to “put the books DOWN” and take the series as its own unique entity. I took that advice to heart and have not regretted it. While there have been some things I didn’t like (true of ANY series I have EVER watched) and some disappointments with moments from the books that didn’t make it on-screen for whatever reason, I have never been so upset/stressed about it as to flip out and go on SM rampages. I’m sure I’ve covered this in MANY other posts so won’t repeat myself – go look if you like – I’ll wait.

Back? Ok – so here is another beef. This whole ‘Droughtlander’ mentality. It makes me mental. I mean, yes, the show is off the air till next season. For all the ‘fans’ (using that term VERY loosely) that spent the last six months bitching about how much the show is pissing them off, they should be happy. I mean, they can focus on other stuff now – but they don’t seem to be.

For all involved that seem to think this is such a horrible ordeal as to have come up with the name ‘Droughtlander’ in the first place I beg you – get a life.

Diana’s books are awesome and the show is great – but there are other authors and other shows to find and explore and fall in love with. There are other terrific actors and artists out there that need support just as much as Sam and MPC and all the great charities the Outlander stars support. Check out a new genre you may not have explored before and you might be amazed at what you find.

Inspiring

For some, and even better suggestion is to take this love of Outlander / Scotland / historical time frame / ??? / all of the above and turn it into a creative passion. Volunteer at a local museum or historical re-enactment place. Turn this passion into a hobby and/or a creative craft that you can enjoy and maybe make some money with. Find a unique thing that you are passionate about and put it to use. Right off hand we have several people who craft jewelry, knitters/crocheters, cross-stitchers, bakers, writers, artists…I mean…just about anything can incorporate elements of your favorite books/shows/movies.

Even a couple of the Outlander ‘stars’ are busy with ‘other’ expressions besides their acting. Aside from acting projects outside of Outlander, Sam has MPC going and Richard Rankin is showing his photos at a gallery in NYC! How exciting is THAT!

It’s so very easy to criticize and critique something – go out and do your own ‘art’ in whatever form to find out

  1. a) it’s not so easy
  2. b) what you find a beautiful, near perfect expression others will hate
  3. c) not matter how good your creative endeavor is, there will be those that have never done anything like it that will tell you how you should have done it to make it better or more something THEY would like and
  4. d) there is more to life than any one passion

 

All this may seem like a bit of a harsh/angry post…and I guess it is. I had an incident a few days ago that reminded me, very poignantly, just how brief and precious and beautiful life can be. That, while books/TV/movies are wonderful and great escapes – they are NOT ‘life’ in all it’s messy, wonderful moments. That sometimes no matter how hard you try – you just can’t fix something. Honestly, my heart is bruised and seeing so much angst over a TV series just irritates.

Love some of the fun, positive stuff fans are doing to keep the show ‘alive’ while it’s on hiatus…but I would also love to see some of the things they are passionate about besides Outlander. Perhaps, by sharing other likes/loves/interests/passions they will introduce people to something new that they too can explore and enjoy.

Peace

 

 

Outlander’s “Fans of Worth”

As a follow-up to my last post, I wanted to go positive. My last post was a backhanded slam at people I think are being very poor fans of Outlander. They frustrate me and, honestly make me pretty angry when they claim to be the ‘supportive fans’ yet attack, bash, bitch, whine and moan.

This time, I want to call out a dozen Twitter accounts that, to me, embody the idea of ‘Fans of Worth’. I grabbed pics from these account’s Twitter feeds, Facebook pages or web pages just as examples of what they have to offer. No copyright infringement intended.

@purpleiris13 & @SummerPic – the ‘POP’ twins….these two ladies take a unique skill and give us wonderful memes and little videos about Outlander and the people connected to the show. They just did a couple for Valentine’s Day that are GREAT! (I also just got ‘popped’ and I LOVE it!)

OL Fans of Worth 1

@RRankinFans / The Rank and File – this group pre-dates Outlander – they are fans of Richard Rankin first, last and always. What makes them Fans of Worth for Outlander (again IMHO) is how they actively support the entire cast, not just their favorite. They vote, promote and love on Sophie, Caitriona and Sam as much as Richard.

@LaughOutLander – The memes this lady puts out are just epic. They are fun, sarcastic, funny, and sometimes just a wee bit twisted. With all the crap going on in the world (and the fandom) it’s good to laugh at the show and ourselves and perhaps the obsession we find ourselves living with.

OL Fans of Worth 2

@mymtbrain – always on top of/promoting voting without pushing or being obnoxious about it. Lots of RT’s for people to help them spread their messages and kind words for the fandom. Just always ‘there’ and positive for the show and the people and the fans.

@sqrlb8 (Beth) – As someone who does cross stitch myself, I really appreciate Beth’s contribution to the fandom. Not only does she take our favorite subjects and spend hours creating her works of art, she donates all that time and cost in materials to raise money for the charities our stars support.

OL Fans of Worth 3

@outlanderpod – I have had the supreme pleasure of hanging with Summer & Ginger at a particularly fun event. It’s been a couple of years ago now, but it is a favorite Outlander memory – for Kyle too. These gals have gone from ‘just fans’ to serious podcast journalists that cover Outlander with great panache. Plus, they are just kick-ass ladies who are fun to hear/be around.

@A_Badassunicorn – Mika is another fan that turned a hobby into a way to support charities that people on the show promote. She raised gobs of money for Bloodwise and Cahonas Scotland and World Child Cancer early on, and has expanded to supporting other worthy charities with her beautiful crocheted items. You can find her items on FB here CANCER CROCHET

OL Fans of Worth 4

@pixietwit – We have many fantastic writers in the Outlander fandom that do great recaps and insights on the show, the books and the people. Beth just happens to be one I really enjoy both in her take on things and how she writes them. You can find her work here My Outlander Blog

@OutLandAnatomy – This is another fan that added something unique to the fandom by combining their own knowledge with Outlander. Putting together great pictures/screenshots of the actors and knowledge of anatomy, the rest of us get these wonderful lessons about the human body. Detailed posts about the pictures tweeted on the OUTLANDER ANATOMY website.

OL Fans of Worth 5A

@OutlanderAmbass – This account just seems to cover everything. Their mission is to ‘promote all things Outlander’ in a ‘consistency positive light’. This is how the account has always come across to me, very positive and encompassing of ALL the fandom.

@OutlanderOnline – This account is marvelous for capturing so much! Screenshots, promotional shots, info from STARZ – just everything – and having it in ONE place! I also love that you can sign up for the emails and it all comes to your inbox. I have a special folder that everything goes into so I can find things if I want! It’s great!

This is by no means an exhaustive list! We have many, many ‘Fans of Worth’ in the Outlander fandom (I used to call it Clandom – but that never seemed to take).

My suggestion, pick your own ‘Fans of Worth’ and give them a shout out on social media. There may be some newer fans don’t know about or that they just haven’t found yet. Some may not feel like they contribute much and a ‘shout out’ might give them a big boost. Expand this idea to other shows/fandoms. Spread the love!

We often promote the actors and people working on the show, maybe during the off season (ok ok Droughtlander – hate that term personally) we can promote the fans…the regular people that are the audience that keep the show on the air.

So get on social media and give shout outs to YOUR favorites – promote these “Fans of Worth” so others can find them. Suggested hashtag? #OLFansOfWorth  – or something appropriate to other fandoms.

Peace

Fan of Worth

This is something I strive to achieve. Because I am human and flawed I often fall short, but this is my goal, not just as a fan but as a person.

I put this meme out periodically on Twitter. I do it as a way to hold myself publicly accountable – and as something others might see and want to embrace for themselves. I’ll add it here for reference. 

wolf message-ME

 I had to wait this week or so after the Outlander Season 4 Finale to cool off enough to write without attacking specific people. That isn’t how I like to roll. I may attack specific actions or practices (like RL shipping, personal attacks, bashing rather than giving honest critique/expressing frustration or disappointment). I’ll point out my concerns/irritations with actions and figure if the shoe fits, people will know without me pointing fingers at specific people. I usually work to point out practices or actions that I find disturbing and figure people can make their own determinations.

I sometimes long to go back to the early days of the fandom. I vividly remember the early voting when the sites had comments; how the Outlander fans were appalled with the attitudes and comments from other fandoms. The infighting over different ‘stars’ on the same show. We simply couldn’t understand how, if someone was a fan of a specific show, these ‘fans’ could speak in such an ugly fashion about it or the people involved with it. How many of us Outlander fans were completely turned off to another show due to the toxicity of the fans? I’ll never watch Dr. Who because of how nasty the fans were – and I/we quit watching The 100. The show was fine, but the vile, nasty, threatening social media spewing of the fandom totally ruined the show for me as a whole. I couldn’t enjoy the show (which I liked) because of how invasive the fandoms nastiness was. It seems a bunch of the Outlander fans have joined that club.

As I have said, I have no problem at all with disappointment, frustration or even anger with the show. It’s valid. Some people are feeling those things and that is ok. Now, just so we are all on the same page – here are MY definitions for you going forward in this post and any future posts I may do.

Personal attacks: Any name calling or denigration of a person. i.e. calling someone an idiot, maligning their acting skills (this is your personal opinion – please phrase it that way) anything making fun of or being nasty about their looks/physical appearance. Trying to get someone fired – etc. Instead of saying “x is a HORRIBLE actor/actress– she/he should never have been hired! What the f*ck were they thinking?!” Try “that actress/actor just doesn’t appeal to me in this role or they just aren’t making it believable for ME”. (Because I promise other people have no problems with that persons acting).

Bashing: “So glad this utter joke of a season is over! Horrible”

         “The writers are total idiots that have no clue what they are doing. They have totally RUINED this perfect story.”

        “I GET that it’s an adaptation, but these stupid people have destroyed what should be an easy thing to film! It’s all right there, all they have to do is USE it!”

BIG BIG BIG difference between explaining, with grown up words and language, WHY you are disappointed/frustrated/angry than just bashing the show.

Bitching/whining: “Why won’t these EXPLETIVE people EXPETIVE listen to us?! WE are the fans! We EXPLETIVE make this EXPLETIVE show happen! If not for us, there would BE no EXPLETIVE show! These EXPLETIVE morons better start paying attention or they will be sorry!”

Here is a blog that does everything right. The writer is sad, frustrated, disappointed and angry. She expresses herself well and really explains, without attacks, bashing, whining or bad language WHY she is feeling all those negative things. All the comments I read were equally articulate and respectful – while still making it plain these were NOT happy people. This was one of the few times I really got a good handle on where these people are coming from because I wasn’t rolling my eyes every ten seconds. This was a wonderful post and, while I’m sorry so many are frustrated, I applaud them for really making me think through what they were saying.

You Broke My Heart, Fredo: The Un-Making of Outlander

Please read this! While people reading this will see a lot of negative (anger/frustration/disappointment) it is all stated in ways that clearly show these are personal opinions only and others can and do LIKE the show just fine. It wouldn’t instantly turn someone off that may have just been looking to check the show out and maybe give it a chance.

I saw these two tweets right after the finale – but didn’t answer them there. I was angry at the attitude and it would have only intensified any exchange. I don’t want to fight with people, I (and many others) are just fed up with the personal attacks, bashing/bitching and whining.

Fan of worth blog

YES! Please stop watching – or at least stop with the nastiness. If you want to actually make some progress towards being heard, there is an old adage: You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Being nasty and vulgar just shuts people off – they won’t hear you. So YES…stop watching if all you can do is bitch. Watch or not, but stop bitching. Losing people with this mentality as viewers won’t be any worse than the possible viewers that may actually like/enjoy the show being run off by the nasty/toxic spewing.

Here is how I see it.

The show is what it is and it is not going to change. The writers/producers have their path and it is not likely to suddenly shift directions just because some whiny brats want it to. This leaves fans with a few choices:

Stop watching. Simple, easy, save money, don’t waste time/energy on something that so clearly bothers you. Also means you stop commenting. Outlander isn’t a show for you so move on to something else and let the people that like it – enjoy it in peace.

Watch – understanding this is what the show is. If you choose to keep watching with this understanding – that it is not/never will be YOUR vision of it – stop bitching about it. Discuss it, EXPLAIN why you are angry/frustrated/disappointed, but PLEASE stop attacking/bashing/bitching/whining. Many fans DO enjoy the show, love the actors and are interested in the differences between the books the series and I’ve seen comments from many of them that the nastiness is turning them off the fandom.

There are a few people I really like/respect on Twitter & Facebook that are engaging in this just nasty commentary – which I find very sad and out of character. ALL fans opinions are valid – but if you are THAT unhappy with the show, why keep watching?

WHY KEEP WATCHING

Sometimes it seems these people watch so they HAVE something they can bitch about, which is annoying to other fans and turns off potential viewers.

I encourage all to be a “FAN OF WORTH” – be it for Outlander or anything else.

 

 

Outlander S4 Finale

I don’t tend to do recaps of episodes because the fandom has several stellar writers that do this much better than I can. My niche seems to be discussing observations about the fandom itself.

This particular post is going to be a combination of the two. I saw some really strong comments about the finale across Twitter and Facebook and thought I’d give my own thoughts on those particular points. Besides, I need to cool off a bit before writing the other thing bouncing around in my head.

book vs movie 2

One of the big topics of discussion was Murtagh. Early in the season, many were excited that he was alive and well rather than having died at Culloden. I wasn’t one of them. Love the character, think Duncan plays him perfectly (although nothing like the description in the book LOL) but this just isn’t his time/place in the story for me. That said….I like how the character is being incorporated into the new material. It’s funny how there is often much wailing and gnashing of teeth over changes to the canon – unless the fans like it – then it’s OK. Now, when the character is ‘stealing’ precious screen time from J&C, people aren’t so sure they want Murtagh back.

The hooking up of Murtagh and Jocosta. It was ‘cute’. I have to agree with many that, while a fun bit, it took screen time from other scenes that many fans felt were more important. Also, since Duncan Innes has made no appearance, it seems they may be trying to shoehorn Murtagh into that space. I hope they don’t. It would so tweak that thread with Jocasta being so firmly in one political camp and Murtagh in another. Also, the relationship between Duncan & Jocasta works because she needs a figurehead more than a working husband…Murtagh is definitely the type to take over in that position.

I saw several comments about the wasted time on the ‘expanded’ Otter Tooth story. I was a bit puzzled by this as, having JUST reread the books in the couple of days leading up to the finale, it was taken almost directly from the pages of the book. Where/when the story was told was adjusted, but the story itself was almost exact and, really, not that long. It was important to establish things about the Mohawk and about time-traveling. His going back didn’t change the outcome – so CAN travel back affect change at all?

A huge disappointment to many was Jamie & Claire not being at the birth. While it didn’t bother me that much personally, I can see where many fans are coming from. This is a huge bonding time between Bree & Jamie, a time of forgiveness and new beginnings. THAT part was important and I agree, should have been incorporated in some way if not at the birth.

Not even going to attempt to comment on all the Roger / Richard hate going on. While I agree the writing hasn’t given us the exact character from the book, it seems an awful lot of the nastiness stems from R/R getting more screen time than J/S rather than a true problem with the character/actor/acting.

Young Ian not being in full Mohawk when we last see him was a complaint. It really wouldn’t have worked the way they did the scene – another scene with his whole cleansing and such would have to have been added in. What do you get rid of to have it? A thought here; that was the last episode of the season. Perhaps John Bell is going to actually shave his head or do something radical for the part and didn’t want to look that way for his whole break between filming. Might be a question for someone to ask him.

The last thing I want to comment on was in the opening credits. I saw several comments bemoaning yet another ‘social justice’ moment by the writers depicting an angry Native American with the kids playing and the whole ‘why can’t they leave off the political commentary in the show?!” While I agree the story telling has skewed things a bit when it comes to social issues – I’m not sure this was one of them.

The Native American in that scene was the man who went back in time and became Otter Tooth – noted by the large opal he had hanging around his neck. I think this was more about him personally than a social commentary. This man, while rightfully angry at what happened to his ancestors, was also rather twisted about it. He was on a path filled with anger and vengeance, which came across rather well (to me) in that tiny little scene.

In the end, there are things I love, things I like, things I’m not happy with, and a very few things I hate. However, this is not MY version of Outlander. What is in my own head, my own vision and my relationship with the books will always be there. The series is the vision of a collective and I can only take it as it comes to me. I can voice my opinions – good and bad – as I’ve done here, without personal attacks or nastiness. I can discuss my thoughts with others without fighting about them. I can choose to enjoy the show – the good, bad and ugly – or I can allow the things that bother me to ruin my enjoyment of it.

The Outlander Ensemble

Jamie and Claire – Claire and Jamie. The whole story – passionate love – middle-age sex [must have more] it’s all about THEM doncha know.

NOT IMO

It has gotten to a point where I am so sick of hearing about Jamie/Sam and Claire/Caitriona it’s hard to follow some of the groups anymore. Don’t get me wrong – Jamie and Claire ARE the heart and soul of the Outlander story. Sam and Cait have done a magnificent job of portraying these characters (even though they really don’t look like them and have terrible wigs and really aren’t written correctly [NOTE SARCASM] ) – it’s just that there is so much of “it’s ALL about THEM” to the point of dissing other characters/actors that it really rather turns my stomach some days.

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Does Caitriona deserve the recognition and noms she’s getting – absolutely. Should Sam be getting some of that? I think so – but then Hollywood is a mucked up place that has its favorites and cliques and if you aren’t “IN” well then dahling that is just too bad for you. Personally I’m far more excited by all the other projects Sam has going and not that bothered he isn’t having to waste time on red carpets. But that’s just me.

I have never quite understood the ‘readers’ (or the ‘viewers’ now) who say they get so bored with the subplots and other characters. They skim through to get to the good parts that are Jamie and Claire – because, after all, that is what the story is all about.

It is – and it isn’t – IMHO.

As I said above, yes, Jamie and Claire’s love/relationship/journey IS the core of the Outlander story. However, J & C aren’t who and what they are ONLY from their interaction with each other. Those other people in their lives shape them. Who they touch – who touches them; those experiences and situations outside their own little bubble of each other. For me, in order to really grasp how these other characters affect J & C, you have to understand them a bit – THEIR stories and how J&C affect each of them. It’s a very give/take deal – just like in real life.

This last episode – #Providence – had very little J&C in it – which really seemed to annoy some people. Richard Rankin absolutely owned this episode and he deserved every bit of praise that was being heaped on him. Yet, I saw a load of J&C memes and comments as if to drown out the kudos Richard was being given on TW and FB. Why?! Roger’s story – along with Brianna and Lord John – are HUGELY important. These three have tremendous impact on J&C both individually and as a couple. Tests of fire, pressure, pain, loyalty and love. These events shape J&C as individuals and as a couple going forward. J&C have a similar effect on those around them in this time of trial and crisis.

Just because Richard/Sophie/David got to really shine in this episode in no way diminishes what Sam and Caitriona bring to the table – if anything, it enhances it. I am so jazzed that we have so many awesome, talented performers in this ensemble to bring Diana’s story to life! I know, I know – it’s not exactly like the books. Stuff gets changed, moved around, done completely different (next blog) but I don’t care! I am – overall – loving the show.

Fergus and Masali also have impact in this episode and I so wish there was more time to see them on screen. These two are smart and dedicated to each other and have their own trials coming up. They are the next generation of love and have been shaped by observation and interaction with J&C from the time they were kids. The other characters – to me – tell J&C’s story almost as much as they themselves do.

All the other players and situations can give insight into the character and depth of who Jamie and Claire are – beyond the passionate, still having great sex in middle age, kick-ass characters we love to lose ourselves with. All these things are wonderful, but they aren’t ALL the story. (P.S. – People keep saying “Outlander isn’t some bodice ripper romance novel” and the show isn’t meant to be ‘soft porn’….yet all the complaints about not enough sex scenes seem to contradict that sentiment. You can’t have it both ways kiddos.)

I simply can’t understand why people would want to cast aside the ensemble that is Outlander and lose so much of, what are supposedly, the main characters.

As always, these are just MY Random Thoughts – discuss, disagree, share or ignore as you will.

The Rings of Outlander

Rings, wedding rings especially, symbolize many things. Unity, the continuous circle of life and death, connection. They are usually made from precious metals and gemstones to show the value of such a relationship. Diamonds are favored – perhaps because of what they go through to become the gem that they are, much like a marriage must go through the trials and fires of life. More and more people are choosing metals and or gems (or lack of them) for specific meaning to them personally. A friend of mine in college picked out a ring that had a lighter emerald center stone with an amethyst on either side. It was a beautiful setting, unique and very ‘her’.

WARNING: possible spoiler(s) below for those that are show only people.

The rings Claire has in Outlander have been the center of many discussions. I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while (since Claire got her new/original ring from Jamie in the series), but life and other issues had me putting it aside for a bit.

 

rings of claire

 

Please remember as you read MY musings here that I am someone that can/does view the books and the show as separate, unique expressions of the same story.

The first ring is what is described in the books (pretty close). Jamie went out on their return to Leoch to get this ring for his bride with the limited funds he had available. Now, in the books, enough time had passed between the very difficult beginning to their marriage (near rape, Claire running off to the stones against Jamie’s orders, being captured, the tension between her and the men, her punishment, etc.) that things had settled a bit between them and Jamie disappearing to do this made Claire insecure again. In the series…they had not sorted things out yet and so it wouldn’t have made sense for Jamie to go get a ring and it wouldn’t have fit in with the alterations that were done to the story line as it related to Laoghaire.

Instead we got what I call the Lallybroch ring. (I’ll get to Frank’s in a minute). Most of the comments about this ring were negative. It was/is ugly, not special, and so on. Much debate back in S1 about this and much wailing and gnashing of teeth for not sticking to the books.

A couple of thoughts here. Claire is a very simple person when it comes to jewelry. All she wore as far as Jamie ever saw was the simple gold ring on her left hand. Jamie was a young man, an outlaw, with little money or immediate prospects. He took something valuable and precious to HIM (the key to his beloved Lallybroch) to make a ring for his wife. Not only precious (though inexpensive in terms of value) but a promise of all he hoped to give her one day. The ring is plain, but sturdy. There is beauty in the simple lines and meaning behind it (much like Frank’s ring). I thought it was a beautiful gesture and something Jamie (even book Jamie) might have done.

Frank’s ring is very plain, gold but inscribed. Claire and Frank were married on the eve of war when things were quick and needed to stay simple. It was still a token of their love and a promise of things to come. Not that their future together was remotely what either thought it would be at the time.

When in Ep1 this season, Claire lost the Lallybroch ring instead of Frank’s – I had a couple of thoughts about the change.

1) There was a possibility that the writers would not use the rape story-line with Stephen Bonnet. Of course that would radically alter many other things, but the writers and producers have gotten so much flack for the rapes, it was a possibility.

2) In the series, Bree would also recognize the Lallybroch ring as Claire had worn it every day of Brianna’s life. In some respects, it would be easier to spot/recognize than a plain gold band (though I’ll be honest, no idea how often gold was used for rings in that time/place). If they kept the Bonnet/Bree story, it would go much as it did in the book.

When Ep8 rolled around – obviously the writers had gone with the second option. At this point though, Claire has already been given her new (book) ring so what happens with the Lallybroch ring? My thinking, which did not go over very well in the FB group I posted it in, is that this might become the ring Roger and Bree could use. In the books, they use the ring with the red stone that belonged to Jamie’s father – but that ring is lost in the series.

I’m sure there are those saying that using the Lallybroch ring for Roger & Bree is a horrible idea because of what happened to her getting it back. True – that is one heart-wrenching memory connected to it. However, it is also something her mother cherished. It represents (in the series) the relationship Jamie and Claire have and all they have gone through to be together. Brianna comes to see just how special this love is over time and comparing it to the good marriage she thought Frank and Claire shared. It is THIS sort of relationship she wants for herself, not one of duty. It was also made from the key of Lallybroch, which is someplace that is important to Brianna (having been there, seeing where Jamie came from, meeting extended family) and becomes even more important later. I also think the simple lines and its origin as a key would appeal to the engineer/mathematician she is.

One last bit. I’ve seen many comments from people wondering why Claire would continue to wear Frank’s ring. Again, just my thinking from reading the books/watching the show, I believe because that was such an important part of her life and, like him or not, Frank made it possible. She had Brianna and Frank adored Bree no matter her origin. Claire became a doctor and then a surgeon – something hugely important/useful in the colonies and Frank supported that even if he didn’t care for it. Frank was a good man that Claire had deep feelings for, she wears it for memory and respect.

As always, this is JMHO.