Ships. In entertainment, and especially, in fandom, we live and die by them. Which is why every Friday, we’ll be focusing on a couple, analyzing why we ship them, and overall, just proclaiming our eternal love for those couples that make us say:
I will go down with this ship.
Next week, one of our favorite shows will return for season five. We’re talking, of course, about Outlander . So what better way to celebrate one of the best ships TV has given us in the past few years than by celebrating Jamie and Claire, two people whose love is literally stronger than space and time.
And what other way to start is there than with …
Even as strangers, there was something about Jamie and Claire, something that just fit. Sure, she was already married by the time they met – but hey, she was also over two hundred years in the past. That’s almost like a supernatural divorce. Plus, there’s also the fact that it was obvious from their first meeting that what Jamie felt Claire felt, Frank had never even come close to.
But, you know, courtship in the 1740’s is way different than in the 1940’s, so there were a lot of longing looks, a lot of helping each other out, a lot of quiet moments and then …
Fate intervened. No, really, let’s call it fate. What else would you call your husband’s ancestor threatening your actual life and that of everyone who’s ever shown you kindness to the point that your new beau has to step in to protect you. Mind you, this is still 1743, so that protection meant, of course, marriage.
But marriage for Jamie and Claire was never – could never be – just a contract, just something they did to keep her safe. Not just because Jamie wasn’t exactly the safest man to be around to begin with, what with having a price on his head and all that, but also because every time these two even looked at each other, sparks flew. And then they like, erupted. And never, ever died down.
It’s one thing to marry this handsome stranger from the past who’s offering you protection, it’s another thing to trust that handsome stranger from the past, not with your heart or your body, but with your secrets. You know, especially when your secrets are THAT YOU COME FROM THE FUTURE. Who’s gonna believe that one?
Jaime Fraser is. It’s gonna be hard, and he’s going to need some time, because you’re literally blowing his mind, but he’s going to believe you. And stick by you – even if you choose to go back. Even if you choose to leave him.
THERE WAS NO CHOICE TO MAKE
Except staying wasn’t really a choice for Claire. The person she was in 1946, the one that loved Frank and wanted a quiet life, that was never the real Claire. She didn’t find who she truly was, she didn’t understand what it was to feel alive, till she met Jamie Fraser. And once she knew that, once she knew what true love felt like, how could she go back to a poor imitation?
So Claire stays with Jamie, chooses him, just as he chose her before, and together they start a life together, one that might look much more complicated than Claire’s life would have been like in the future, but one that’s wholly theirs.
FOR BETTER OR WORSE
Those are the vows, and worse came so quickly for Jamie and Claire, in the form of Black Jack Randall. But, despite a broken Jamie, despite the pain, despite the scars that might never heal, Claire wasn’t about to leave. She wasn’t about to give up on him – on them. She made some vows, after all. And she meant them.
So together, little by little, Jamie and Claire endured. Left home, started fresh, trying to put the past behind them and finally grab hold of the happiness that they always felt they would feel once they had time to just be together. Except life wasn’t quite done with them …
EVEN WHEN IT HURTS
Sometimes it feels like you can’t find your way out, like pain follows you. Claire and Jamie must surely have felt that in those moments after losing Faith. But pain, as hard as it is, doesn’t last forever. And when you’re going through hell, sometimes all you can do is keep going, and hope – know – that there’s something there to hold your hand, even when you don’t think you want any comfort.
That’s the kind of love that Jamie and Claire share, the kind that endures. No, the kind that perseveres, the kind that never dims, but instead, grows stronger with each setback.
GOODBYE, FOR GOOD?
And boy, were there eve more setbacks coming, in the form of you, know, war, and the only way they both saw for Claire – and the baby she was carrying – to survive. Go through the stones. Leave Jamie, forever. Live, for their baby, even if Jamie couldn’t.
If you love something, they say …let it go. And Jamie and Claire let each other go, never believing they would or could come back to each other. Never believing there was a way. Except there was. Because a love like theirs always, always finds a way. Even after twenty years apart.
True love, as we said before, never disappears. And what Jamie and Claire felt for each other stayed in their hearts throughout the years of their separation. Jamie miraculously survived and had to go on knowing he would never see Claire, or his baby. Claire, meanwhile, had to go back to a life she didn’t want anymore, raise a daughter she never wanted to raise without Jamie.
Except, life would bring them together once again, because, as The Princess Bride once taught us, nothing can stop true love. And though decades had passed, what Jamie and Claire felt for each other hadn’t. The rest, as they say, was easy.
A LOVE THAT ENDURES
Even if it wasn’t. Even if there was obstacle after obstacle, even if they had to start over again, in many ways, get to know each other once again. That was all okay, in many ways, though, because Jamie and Claire now had each other, and if they thought they’d known what that meant, after twenty years apart, they now understood.
Life without each other was an empty shell, and every hardship they faced now felt bearable because they were facing it together.
A FAMILY REUNITED
One thing was missing, though: Brianna. The daughter Claire had to leave; the one Jamie never got to meet. Their happiness was immense, but it was incomplete without Brianna, it would always be. And so Jamie and Claire made plans and tried to go on with their lives, not knowing that they would soon get the happiness they never expected in the form of their daughter, standing in front of them.
And not just standing there, like a mirage. Staying. Wanting to share life with them, to get to know her dad, to spend time with her mom. And sure, there were plenty of challenges for Brianna and for the new family, but this time, they were all, finally, together, ready to embark on whatever adventure came their way.
Full circle indeed.
That is the story of Jamie and Claire. That is why they’re the stuff OTP dreams are made. And those are just some of the many reasons that make us say: We will go down with this ship.