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Date Posted: 17:44:40 09/15/14 Mon
Author: Nifty
Subject: Jamie's development so far

I have posted elsewhere that Jamie's [lack of] development in the show so far has rendered him almost a secondary character. Dougal, by contrast, is coming across as a main character. But Jamie is just fading into the woodwork for me. Yes, we see a little bit of his humor -- although certainly not on the level as book-Jamie -- and we see glimpses of his attraction to Claire. We've seen bits of his character: his willingness to take a beating for Laoghaire, just to spare her the embarrassment of public humiliation; his courage to stay true to his name and go his own way during the oath-taking. But mostly, he's just been part of the ensemble cast. By this point in the book, we knew Jamie FAR better, had a far greater sense of who he was, and certainly he came across as a main character and friend to Claire.

Well, that's my opinion anyway.

A thought just occurred to me that I wonder if the show-runners are deliberately going that route so as to protect Claire as much as possible from viewer vilification when it comes time for her to marry Jamie. I've been following these books for a long time, and I've seen the word "adultery" come up more than once as a criticism. Lots of readers just can't get past their conviction that by choosing to stay in the past, Claire basically cheated on Frank, and the show is trying to reach a wider audience. We all know that Claire didn't want to marry Jamie, that she was forced into it. But even though she continued to try to get back to Frank for a while after the marriage, she certainly shared her bed and body with Jamie willingly enough.

So I wonder.... If the show-runners had developed the Claire/Jamie FRIENDSHIP more up to this point, would it make her less sympathetic and more of a target for audience censure?

What do y'all think? First of all, are you seeing what I'm seeing with respect to Jamie's development? Do you think he has been UNDERDEVELOPED? If so, do you think it's a deliberate choice on the part of the show-runners? To what purpose?

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Replies:

[> I think a good part of it is that the story is very much "Claire" driven. It's her story, so we're seeing all the action that affects her more directly. Right now, that's the MacKenzie brothers, attempts to get back to Frank, and up until this week, castle life. Jamie really fell more into the last category, and with Claire's focus on returning to Frank, she's not all that interested in the eye candy that Mr. MacTavish presents. Of course, that will change a bit after next week. -- LadyStormwing, 19:54:40 09/15/14 Mon


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[> I think a lot readers just gravitate towards Jamie....... we all did . *g* But it is Claire's book and I love that the series is more focused on her. I do remember reading or hearing Ron Moore say that he really wanted to focus on how conflicted Claire was with Jamie and Frank more in the series. I think they haven't brought Jamie out a lot on purpose. I love it. I think we found out the most about Jamie with his talks with Claire. -- M-another-M, 20:55:59 09/15/14 Mon


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[> [> I agree. Yes, the book is also Claire's POV, but in a book you have more time for exposition and detail and on TV you have to "show" that. I like it because it makes the wedding all that much more difficult for her. I'm loving everything they've done so far! -- TracyAnn, 10:39:22 09/16/14 Tue


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[> I miss the humor from Book-Jamie. I hope that gets remedied as the show progresses. -- conmama, 10:54:13 09/16/14 Tue


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[> I know what you mean, although I was thinking about it more as that Jamie is slowly coming into focus, which I guess is another way to say undeveloped. My guess is it is deliberate, but maybe not purposely to avoid the adultery issue, but to stay true to the beginning of the book and not ramp up the romance aspect too soon. In my memory of my first read, it did take me a while to make sure Dougal wasn't going to be the 'male lead'. And I still wasn't entirely sure of Jamie's motives (although I wanted to be!) until he confessed at Lallybroch that he had loved her all along. I wasn't sure Claire wouldn't leave him and return through the stones on the way to Lallybroch either. So perhaps to maintain all these elements of surprise - there is a deliberate effort not to portray Jamie & Claire as soul mates from the get-go. -- HollyC, 19:40:18 09/16/14 Tue


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[> [> Dougal was suppose to be the male lead, Jamie stole it from him. *G* -- M-another-M, 21:37:47 09/16/14 Tue


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[> [> [> I was going to say the same thing. Diana originally intended for Dougal and Claire to be the conflicitng love interest but Claire had other ideas. I like that Jamie is there but not in focus at this point. It makes it seem so much more random that he ends up as the groom, Dougal also offered Rupert. Certainly Claire feels a friendship with Jamie and she knows she is safe with him, but her focus has been on surviving until she can get back to the stones. He doesn't become the true center of her universe until she has to make the choice after the trial when he brings her to the circle. Then she has to admit that she is leaving Frank, though he will always be in her heart. -- kgp, 06:01:39 09/17/14 Wed

Last edited by author: Fri September 19, 2014 07:21:28   Edited 1 time.

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[> [> [> [> I am eager to see how their relationship evolves (on the big screen) to the point she decides to stay. It was easy to understand reading it..hopefully it will come across on the screen. I have a feeling we will be hearing more of her "thoughts". -- conmama, 09:03:23 09/17/14 Wed


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[> I think they are just being subtle about J. Clair called him a "boy" when interrogated by BJR. His fighting strength, cunning in the game, political awareness, jokingly protecting her (stolen rabbit - more for us), telling her the truth and trusting her on his background, that he is an educated man. He is always watching her, but tells jokes, etc to smooth things.>>>> -- Kel, 11:38:39 09/17/14 Wed

I think we are seeing him as C sees him. Nice boy. It won't be until later that she sees what all these subtle things have revealed.
The difference between his "educated man" not being afraid at the black kirk of "demons" and Dougal having her drink from the spring. Jamie believes her because he sees something that others don't.
I think that later those that don't know the story will say - "oh, yes, now I see...."
I don't think it is so much the adultery issue, although it does make it more clear that she hasn't seen him as a love interest at this point. She gave L the horse dung, encouraged her, the first hall scene she called J to sit by L, not herself, etc. So it won't seem like "Yippee! I have an excuse to marry this hottie". LOL
Maybe she sees J as a "boy" because of the WWII "boys" she spent so much time with? Well, she won't be thinking of him as a "boy" much longer!


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[> The first time I read Outlander I didn't realize Jamie was The One -- ChloeJ, 02:01:24 09/21/14 Sun

I think it is important to try to see the show as a person who hasn't read the books several times (like I have). The first time I read Outlander I didn't even realize it was a romance. And I didn't realize Jamie was the HIA hero until the wedding. Up to that point, Claire and Jamie have some conversations together, but they are not really much more than friends. You don't get the feeling that he's all in love with her until after they are married. Dougal is by far the more important male character in the beginning after she goes through the stones. Dougal protects her from the other men, saves her from BJR, and then finds a way to prevent BJR from torturing her. He's really the hero up until the wedding night.


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[> [> Good points, all, Chloe. And yeah, Dougal was DG's originally intended hero (named after her own DH after all!), but Jamie and Claire had other ideas. *G* -- Shads, 08:53:46 09/21/14 Sun


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[> [> I too thought it would be Dougal & Claire. BUT (I'm not sure, now, after so many years and rereads) I think by the time they were on the road, and Dougal did the street number with Jamies's back, and Claire told him to hit something, and then the delicious scene at the inn when he slept at her door-- I think by that time, I was already Team Jamie. And in the series we don't see THAT Jamie so explicitly. I wonder also if they needed to flesh Dougal and make him look more domineering over Jamie, becaus BJR wasn't vilain enough. Not because he's not evil enough, no; but because, in fact, he hasn't much book time, and that wouldn't translate good on screen for teh sole vilain. He only meets Claire three times, and even memorable, they were breief episodes. I believe they needed an antagonist that was more "present" duting the whole plot. -- Rita, 14:35:40 09/21/14 Sun


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[> [> [> JHRC! So many mistakes. I canna type! -- Rita, 14:36:33 09/21/14 Sun


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[> I think you're right Nifty & now that they are married, Jamie will be in Claire's daily POV, so I hope we get to see him develop into a Jamie-character closer to what we see in the books. I hope it's the show's way of making the marriage a surprise, especially for the viewers who haven't read the books. But now...I hope we see the Jamie that we've all come to know & love :) -- MaryJ, 13:20:32 09/21/14 Sun


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[> [> My co-worker, who has read 1 or 2 of the books texted me after last night's episode & said "Wow! They made Jamie seem older & hotter for the wedding! This is GOOD!" -- MaryJ, 13:22:27 09/21/14 Sun


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[> [> [> That's good to hear! My sister who hasn't read the, she's not excited about the show very much. -- M&M, 14:34:37 09/21/14 Sun


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[> [> [> [> That's too bad, M&M. I had to think long & hard about whether to 'let' DH watch with me! I didn't want any criticisms from him. But since we'd watched several other series together (Rome, Tudors, GoT, etc) I knew he'd love it if he had an open mind. So far he really likes it - whew. It could cause some serious marital discord here if he didn't approach it with the proper attitude ;) My coworker can't stop thanking me for letting her use my STARZ account online to watch it - she loves it - I've gotten brownies & some help with my work from her, she's so excited about it! -- MaryJ, 17:14:06 09/21/14 Sun


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[> [> [> [> [> Its too slow for her I think, actually her son and fiance gave up after the first show. its okay I dont mind at all. DH is big DG fan so hes good. -- M&M, 18:26:29 09/21/14 Sun


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[> For me, in many ways, he went into his bridal chamber a boy and left a man. -- Kim G, 09:11:03 09/22/14 Mon


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