UPDATED 4/20/15 to include thoughts from Ep 11
First of all, I want to say that Nell Hudson is a terrific actress! I hope all the Outlander fandom is treating her with the respect SHE deserves and are throwing their vitriol for the character at the character and not the actress!
Secondly, there are a bunch of great blogs out there that re-cap and break down each episode of Outlander. I’m not going to do that. I’m more about targeting something I really like or really bugs me or just seems to be a ‘hot topic’ I want to put my two cents worth in on.
Now on to a few thoughts about this great, and greatly hated character of Laoghaire.
This is a 16 year old girl that has been crushing on Jamie for half her life. She put him on a pedestal as a child, made him bigger and better than any human could possibly be. (None of us have ever done that right?! Ahem) Jamie playing the hero for her just cemented that ‘hero’ in her mind and heart. She believes this is true love and that Jamie feels the same.
This is also a lass that is canny to the ways of the clan. Mrs. Fitz is her grandmother and probably knows more about what goes on in the castle than Colum does! Laoghaire would have grown up watching and learning from her gran about gathering information. She had likely heard rumblings about Jamie being a possible successor for Colum and I’m sure that would have made him all the more appealing. She’s basically a servant and the idea of being a ‘lady’ would have been very appealing.
She is very good at portraying the ‘sweet innocent’ not altogether ‘there’ at times – but I think this is more an act than fact. She is good at manipulating. Her getting hauled out for punishment is one time she got caught. She may be ‘carrying a torch’ for Jamie – but she was obviously keeping other options on the line.
In the VO for ep9, Jamie says, “….presented me with more choices that would affect our lives for years yet to come.” All the choices he makes regarding Laoghaire are in this too. The choice of how he handles her, what and how he relays things to Claire about her – things we don’t ‘see’ and can only guess at.
Laoghaire is waiting for Jamie in that hallway. I’m sure she was aware that he had been summoned to Colum and was lying in wait to spring on him. He was distracted, wondering why he had been summoned and really didn’t have his head where it needed to be to deal with a love struck young woman. The way Sam/Jamie came across to me in that scene was…maybe a little guilty. Feeling like he shouldn’t have messed around with her, it hadn’t been prudent and he felt badly about it. He agreed to talk to her later partly because he felt bad and partly because he needed to get to Colum. I don’t think the implications of agreeing to that next meeting even dawned on him with all the other stuff going on in his head.
I mean, think about the guys you know. How often has your guy (in whatever capacity he is that) said ‘yeah sure I’ll do that’ or ‘we have to talk about this later’ or something similar and the time comes and they are clueless! It’s the whole idea of guys are waffles while women are spaghetti theory. (If enough people are curious about that I’ll explain it in another post). He got her to go away the quickest way possible and promptly forgot all about it. You can see that when she mentions it at the creek – he remembers when she reminds him, but it wasn’t in the front of his thoughts.
On the creek bank (I know I’m not using the proper terminology for that bit of water – sorry), Jamie is again distracted. Weighed down with a lot of really heavy stuff. The price on his head, the bad feelings between the brothers, the rift with his wife who he is very much in love with…… Laoghaire is the least of his problems and I doubt one of the many things he’s contemplating. Claire and their separation would be foremost on his mind I would think.
Enter Laoghaire, being very brazen indeed with a married man. My guess is that she left the castle with a good idea of where Jamie might be and had a nice secluded spot near there where she shed her clothes before approaching him. She starts out as such a reasonable, calm, soothing voice – a friend. This is comforting to him which he could really use. When she suddenly shifts, disrobes and offers herself to him, I think he’s more than a little stunned – and yes – tempted.
Jamie, much as I love him, is NOT perfect. Diana wrote her characters very ‘real’. ANY guy would be tempted in that situation. I mean come on, hormones alone would do it. He’s very sexually frustrated being newly introduced to the joys of intimacy and suddenly cut off from it. He obviously would have been thinking about Claire standing there which would have wound him up and suddenly he has under his hand a very fine breast. He wouldn’t be a red blooded male if he wasn’t tempted with it and Jamie is very definitely THAT.
While I don’t think his taking her punishment was anything more than kindness to a young lass (I think he would have done the same for ANY young lass in that situation and perhaps lad – but Laoghaire doesn’t see it that way) he DID snog her in the alcove. We as readers or watchers don’t know what was spoken in those moments OR if that was the only time. Even when he was kissing Laoghaire he wanted Claire, that was pretty obvious to us, but at that point, Claire wasn’t a possibility for him so, *shrug* he was scratching that itch a bit with a willing participant. Did he realize the depth of Laoghaire’s feelings? Probably not – most guys don’t at that age. It’s not as if Jamie had loads of experience with ‘relationships’. The kissing though – led her on. Almost any young woman having that sort of attention would see the guys with stars in her eyes and just assume he felt the same.
I have no issues with either of them at the creek. She felt Jamie was hers and was stuck and she had to do something pretty ‘out there’ to get him to not do the honorable thing. (Everyone knows he’s honorable, just an obvious part of the package.) Jamie is trying to be kind and let her down easy after that kissing, but I think Laoghaire coming to him that way really solidified in his mind that he wanted Claire and no one else. Once his brain got working (the one above the shoulders) he stepped back. Nothing he said at that point would have made a difference.
A sensible female would have dropped it at that point, being in love or not. I’m sure all of us have had to bow out gracefully even though it felt like it would kill us. Instead of doing this, Laoghaire becomes a conniving, nasty little besom. The ‘ill wish’ – sure, but also setting herself up to be the ‘sweet young thing’. I have a feeling Mrs. Fitz suspected what Claire wanted and was willing to leave them to it. Laoghaire went quickly from ‘sweet and innocent’ to nasty. What she says to and about Claire, the innuendos making it obvious she has some knowledge in this area and how to manipulate a response. The comment she throws out about Geillis – with the intention of driving a wedge between Claire and anyone she might find sympathy with. She is already working out how to remove this thorn from her side.
There is so much we don’t see as watchers or readers. It seems rather obvious that she sent the note to Claire sending her to Geillis – but how did she know to do it? What had she overheard? Was she really aware of what this would bring about? Did she care? Had she thought through that doing something to harm Claire would only bring Jamie’s wrath and displeasure – not his love? Likely not.
I see Laoghaire as a young woman who wants way more out of her life. We really don’t know that much about her. She’s related to Mrs. Fitz (which means she’s related to the kid that gave Claire the note) but what is her father like? Is he brutal? He brought her before Colum rather than dealing with it himself – but had he already tried to? How many times had she been caught in a ‘compromising’ position and her dad had just had enough? Had she learned to be conniving and deceitful to survive, or is she just a selfish nasty little twit?
What I love about really good stories is that everyone answers those sort of questions in their own way! The author / writers haven’t TOLD us so we surmise given our own prejudices. It’s deliciously fun and we may all of us be wrong compared to what Diana has in her head.
I love seeing different opinions (as long as they are presented without snotty remarks or nasty behavior) because they give me a new vision to see with. I may not change my mind, but new perceptions from other perspectives are always good for broadening the mind!
Now that I’ve seen Ep 11…….First I’ve read a couple of blogs on this episode – will address some of that later, but for now Colum. I don’t think he put Claire in harms way – but her being there already he wasn’t going to lift a finger to get her out. This would put Jamie back into play for leadership in his mind and the clan, for him, comes before ANY other consideration.
As for Laoghaire. Wow….definitely the manipulator! The little besom knew exactly what she was doing. Ron said in his comments he thought Laoghaire might well believe Claire had bewitched Jamie – she certainly believed in the ill-wish. She might believe in such things, but watching her it wouldn’t have mattered – she was going to remove this obstacle no matter what it took. I think she was very practiced at playing the sweet innocent when that wasn’t her true nature. She purposely set about bringing Claire down. I think it likely she overheard about Geillis being taken and just made sure Claire was there to be taken too.
Laoghaire is a beautiful young woman – had she used her drive and abilities in a more positive way, she would have done much better in life.