“King of Men” – really?

As anyone who has read this blog for a while knows, I go a different direction from most of the Outlander blogs. There are several exceptional bloggers out there that recap and discuss the various episodes so well that I wasn’t even going to try. I have read some fabulous takes on Ep306 and many of the comments following them were enlightening as well.
Looking back at my various posts; I can get preachy. Sorry. That really isn’t my intention when I’m writing (well ok sometimes it is). I just see something I really like or really hate and spout off about it. It’s just my personal take on things meant to give people a different perspective. Should be interesting to see where this post lands.

306 A Malcolm tagged

Some people were disappointed with certain aspects of this episode. I can empathize with that, but not with how a few chose to express themselves about it. I already ranted about that – done – no worries. However, I saw and interesting comment on one of those many great blogs yesterday and it made me think, which prompted me to write something so here we go.

This brought some different perspective to me & helps me not hate the episode. But I still always get the feeling that the writers just don’t “get” Jamie & his larger than life personality as the “king of men”.

I paused over this for quite some time. First because I’m pretty sure it was in the writer’s room with RDM that this phrase first came into use. *Edit – I have had this confirmed by DG. Second – I’ve never seen Jamie that way.    *ducking*   Let me explain.
Part of what makes Jamie the ‘king of men’ is that he always says exactly the right thing (he doesn’t ALWAYS because he isn’t perfect, but way more often than not). He says all these ‘perfect’ things because he has an incredibly talented, witty and wise woman writing his lines for him. She also writes his actions and thoughts. The character may ‘talk’ to Diana – but it is still all in HER head.
Sam/Jamie has the same benefit with amazing writers and directors to help him out.

Jamie – contrary to often voiced opinion – is not perfect. He has a tendency to be arrogant. (Be honest with how full of himself he was taking over Lallybroch and how WAY out of his league he was). He can be a hot-head and not think through the possible repercussions of his actions; probably why it drives him so crazy when Claire does it. There is other smaller stuff, but those are the big things. I mean, some of what Jamie does – if it was anyone else (including your own partner for those that have one) you’d probably want to slap them silly.
Part of what made me fall in love with this story is that the characters were so ‘real’. They all have flaws, they screw up, they have moments of perfection and they slog their way through life like all mortals must. Perfect is plastic and very uninteresting.
Sam plays/portrays Jamie in a very physical – yet often subtle way. He so reminds me of one of my favorite actors – Roy Dupuis (I have a page dedicated to him here). Roy is a master at communicating a great deal with only his eyes and the tiniest of movements. If anyone has seen the original La Femme Nikita series and the character of Michael – you know exactly what I mean. Sam has a lot this same talent; the ability to let things just power out of his eyes and use of body language and movement to express things rather than words. The performances are all the more powerful for their subtleness. It also means when a line is delivered or big movement is used, they are that much more dramatic.
The actor and the character he/she portrays have a unique bond. Sam has made some choices in how Jamie acts and reacts based on the character that has been developed over the first two seasons and where he knows things are going. The ‘base’ of Jamie is the books – of course – but this Jamie is in the alternate reality of the TV series so, while still Jamie, there can and will be minor differences.
Maybe part of the reason I don’t get all wound up about the differences or even outright changes in the show from the book is I expect them. I’m not asking the show to be ‘perfect’ – I’m asking that it be good, well-done television that stays true to the characters and story (within the constraints episode numbers/time imposes). I believe ‘The Team’ has done this. The story – the important main artery of the story – is still there. The characters a still very real and relatable – not perfect.

I don’t feel Jamie is the ‘King of Men’ – I don’t like putting anyone on that much of a pedestal for them to fall from. I like him better being a good guy that still screws things up (people will understand, trying to be nice here to non-readers) yet is steadfast for his love, family and what he feels is right.

Well done.

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4 thoughts on ““King of Men” – really?

  1. Susan Lummis says:

    I think what bugged me about this episode’s portrayal of Jamie was him suggesting they live at the brothel. That felt like a very 20th century reaction. An 18th century man who is so incensed about his daughter being in a bikini is not going to suggest that his wife live in a brothel. It would be an incredibly unfit place for Claire to live in that time period. And as much as Jamie is a forward thinker, he’s still a man of his time with a large sense of what is proper for a woman. It’s why they clash so much.
    And his cavalier attitude about lying to Ian also didn’t ring true to the character the TV show has established, let alone book Jamie.
    I get that they are taking short cuts to establish certain justifications for future actions, but these two things just didn’t work for me.

    • rynawolfe says:

      Something tells me you are referring to things in Episode307 since I don’t think Jamie & Ian are even in the same place in 306. I haven’t seen 307 yet so I’m not sure what you are talking about. In 306, yes, Jamie took Claire to the brothel because that is where he could quickly and cheaply find them some privacy, a hot meal and a place to sleep….I don’t remember him suggesting they ‘live’ there. If that happens in 307 – well – no I’m not going to speculate without having seen it. More later perhaps.

  2. JoAnn Stirton says:

    I do agree with you , for Jamie to be a perfect man (king of men) was silly to me. Perfect tends to be boring to me, unless it’s food.

  3. Violet says:

    Creme De Menthe casks sold by Fergus and Ian. Now the guy that attacked Claire in the brothel and died–did they put the body in the cask they sold? How big is the cask?
    That’s a lot of creme De menthe.
    Just askin’.

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