Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things We Need to Do

SPOILER ALERT:  Dinna read unless you have read Dragonfly in Amber.

I am doing housework today - and listening to a ton of Dragonfly.  And I'm realizing that it doesna matter if you rekilt; sometimes you feel just as strongly (if not more strong) about a subject the 2nd time around as you did during your maiden read.

I dinna agree with Claire in trying to stop Jamie from killing Jack Randall.  Frank is 200 years in the future.  As far as she's concerned, she's never going to see him again.  And she has no clue if she can change the future.  I can see if she was still in the 1940s...and living apart from him...but she's 200 years in the past.  LET HIM GO!  You're with JAMIE.  BE with Jamie.

I actually find it borderline amusing in spots...when Claire tries to save Frank:

Claire: Jamie, you can't kill Jack Randall because I won't let you...because of Frank.

Jamie:  Frank?  (Insert "huh?" face here)

LOL Jamie's like "WTF woman?  What the hell are you blathering about?"

And aside from Frank...I have a huge reason why I think Claire should drink a big, ol' cup of shut-the-fuck-up and let Jamie do what he needs to do.

He NEEDS to do it.

And why do I care that he needs to do it?  Because I've come across things people needed to do in my own life - and at the core of every person's being are the things they "need to do."  Allow me to elaborate:

11 years ago, my husband gave a kidney to his brother.  His brother has diabetes and his kidneys were shutting down.  And I remember the night he told me he was going to do it.  We were in the car, driving home from a family party.  My husband turned to me and said "Carol, I have to talk to you about something.  Don't get upset".  I knew - when I heard that last part - that it was something big, and something extremely important to him.  Then he told me he wanted to donate his kidney to his brother.  He was afraid I'd get upset and flip out and say "But what about you?!  What about our future kids?!  You might need it!"  And I could have.  But I didn't.  Because giving his kidney was something he needed to do.  So I sat there - quiet - and then said "OK".  And he looked at me in shock that I didn't put up a fight and said "Really?  You're OK with that?"  And I said "Yup" and changed the subject.

Let's put it this way: If I wanted to give my kidney to my sisters, no one - and I mean NO ONE would stop me.  And Claire should not try to stop Jamie from killing Randall.

Don't you love how we can take some of the most poignant moments of our lives and compare them to Outlander?  THAT'S why I love this series.

OK - back to listening...Davina, here I come!


  1. I just re-read Outlander, so the prison scene between Randall and Jaime is verra vivid. I don't think Clair ever fully grasps the horror of that experience for Jaime. If you fast forward to her rape experience in an Echo, it is not even in the same league - although she sometimes makes it sounds like it is. I totally agree on this! Clair is being way too dramatic. Maybe it's hormones! Am in the process of re-reading Dragon Fly right now.

  2. Very good points, Marsha. I want to grab her and slap her across the face like Cher in "Moonstruck" and yell "SNAP OUT OF IT!!" ;)

  3. You're more gracious than I -- I want to say "get tf over it!"

  4. I agree that Claire should have let Jamie kill Black Jack and that scene always bothered me. I did like that Jamie later said he would let Jack live - and by extension Frank - because he wanted Frank to be there if Claire ever needed him.

  5. Muthereffer. I just wrote a huge response to this and it totally got deleted and I don't have time to rewrite. So thanks for the kidney Carol :-) and remind me to talk about Claire's guilt when I have a sec. Feh.

  6. I'm also on my MONTHS long relisten to DIA (thanks to you & audible). I agree with you completely on this, but I'm glad he didn't kill BJR because the scene at the end of his brother's life -I think- is one of the most powerful in the series. Jamie shows so much grace and I think that carries forward to how he parents Brianna decades later.

    You and your husband sound like a wonderful team. Verra J & C (-:

  7. Here's a twist--if Jamie killed Jack, Claire and Frank wouldn't be spending time together in Scotland. Hence, no Claire and Jamie.

  8. This is interesting. Maybe Randall having to live, without his sacred "apendage," and the ensuing emasculating feelings that come with it, is more of a hell than death could ever be. As Ms. Galbaldon often does, maybe this in fact is the most satisfying outcome of all. I've changed my mind!

  9. I agree completely!!!

    -Amy in Atlanta

  10. She can't let him kill BJR because if Frank was never born then she wouldn't have met him (obviously!) and she wouldn't have gone back through the stones and met Jamie!

    She would probably disapear from the 18th century in a big puff of paranormal smoke and no one would ever remember that she went was there in the first place ... because she wasn't there, only she was but in a different timeline thingy.

    My head hurts now!

  11. LOL
    "Claire should drink a big, ol' cup of shut-the-fuck-up and let Jamie do what he needs to do."


  12. Lads and Lassies - I'm not talking about what *should* happen because of the course of history. I'm not speculating on all the reasons BJR shouldn't die right now (and there are some good ones). I'm strictly talking about Claire's actions in this moment in time and saying she should SHUT IT (yelled like the father in "So I Married an Axe Murderer") and let her husband battle his demons in whatever way he sees fit. WORD. ;)

    PS - LOL Talk Supe - you are so funny.

  13. Oh my gosh. What a timely post. My friend Donna and I are rekilting Outlander now and we were just discussing this today. Except we were specifically talking about why the heck Claire would help BJR with Alex and why Jamie would even be in presence. Will try to post more later.

  14. I have to be the dissenting voice here. Haven't you seen, "Somewhere in Time" , "The Time Machine", "The City on the Edge of Forever", and other time travel stories? If Jack Randal had been killed and Frank didn't exist---Claire would not have been honeymooning in Scotland and gone through the stones to meet Jamie. Her fear about Jack being killed was justified.

  15. BJR never had children. Frank's ancestor was Alex's child to whom BJR lent his name so that the child would be considered legit.

    Am I remembering this correctly? Haven't any of the books before me to check. Assistance, please.


  16. You are correct, Carla. Jack Randall's brother, Alex fathered the child who was Frank's ancestor. But at that time, Claire didn't know that. Which is sortof my point. Sometimes there's a difference between perception and the truth. Claire knew what she knew from an old record. And she knew Frank was living in 1940s England. But like Jamie said - she could have gone through the stones and ended up god knows where. So my point is this: just be where you are - and act according to what's going on in front of you. Could she have faded and disappeared like the photo in Back to the Future if Jamie killed Jack Randall and he had been Frank's great great great (add a few more greats) grandfather? Sure, maybe. But you don't tell a man who has been raped repeatedly and almost died because of it to wait a year. You give him your blessing - knowing that "what will be, will be" - even if what will be means death for one of you. But also knowing that he has his dignity intact.

    Damn - did I ever blog about this the first go 'round? I'll have to check. It's turned into a good discussion!

  17. That is what is so great about DG's writing. Look at the discussion this one scene! It's simply delicious reading!

  18. My friend Tonya and I were discussing this today. How funny you should post about it!

    I'm re-kilting Outlander and am at the point where Jamie was just rescued from Wentworth so all of this torture is fresh in my mind. Seeing 1st hand was BJR did and later hearing directly from Jamie what he did, I don't know how Claire could ask Jamie not to kill him. If it were me, I think I would be at the front of the line!

    I think she said something like "You owe me a life!" to Jamie during their argument. What wife is going to tell her husband that since I saved you (something she herself HAD to do) you now owe me, and I'm going claim that "IOU" with the the $%#^@&&*@%#*( that totally ripped you a new one! That's pretty low for anyone let alone his wife!

    As for always bringing up Frank, she CHOSE to stay with Jamie so she should just be with him and stop bring Frank up. I also don't understand how Claire could have helped BJR or be around him considering what torture he put Jamie through. As Jamie's wife THAT should be more important and friggin' Frank!

    For Jamie's part - how in the HELL could even be around BJR!! How could he tolerate (1)the slap in the face of Claire asking him to not kill him and (2)actually being civil to him and helping him ... just .. don't ... get .. it!!!

  19. I am also re-listening to Dragonfly right now. Davina's voicing of Jamie is superb! I love the book - though I would have to say that Voyager is my favorite (well, today, anyway) - and I enjoyed a previous discussion about France Jamie vs other Jamies. I agree that France Jamie is, well, different. He is still so young - but with "old soul" qualities that he grows into more and more with each book.
    The part of the book I like the best is (p.500 paperback):"Madame," he said. "There is a visitor for you."... and then Claire sees Jamie's tall figure ".. already coming around the corner of the house..." Ahhhhhh.

  20. So, just so everyone knows, this was my very first time to post anywhere on I needed desperatly to find an outlet for my newly found Outlander obsession. It's gone so well! I can't wait for your next thougths Caorl! I've got an opinion on everything.

  21. P.S.

    Carol.....You married a WONDERFUL man and, wonder of wonders, a wonderful man of the REAL world. You are a fortunate woman, indeed!


  22. Carol,
    Besides the point that Claire still loved Frank, didn't know the details of time travel and how it would affect him (and her, for that matter) there was also the small detail that it was incredibily stupid of Jamie to participate and Kill BJR in a Duel! There is VERY good chance that Jamie would have been hanged in prison for killing Frank in an illigal activity such as a duel. The other possibility is that he, Jamie, would die himself in the duel (I know, Jamie is perfect and would never lose any fight, but Claire is practical, and it COULD happen). Wrap this up with Claire's 20th century sensibilities (fear of prison or death for Jamie and fear for the possible distruction of Frank) and it makes total sense that she wouldn't want him to duel or kill Frank. That's why she ran over there and freaked out on him. In the end, the damage (duel participation) was done, so all she could do was focus on stopping the death of Frank.

    As usual, what an amazingly written scene!

    Mr. Carol is a great brother!


  23. Oooh I love all this commentary. Sally, there are a TON of reasons Claire wouldn't want Jamie to kill BJR. There are a ton of reasons Jamie *shouldn't* kill BJR. But - in certain circumstances in life - you need to swallow it all and say "OK" - because it's something your loved one needs to do. Could Jamie end up dead? Yup. Could (and did) he end up in jail? Yes indeedy. But he needs to do it. For matter the consequences.

    I spend so much time saying "No we can't do that because of this" yet there have been a time or two in my life when I had to forget about what could happen - and focus on what was happening.

    I hope that makes sense. And if not - that's cool, too. :)

  24. Here's one point that I don't think anyone's made yet....Claire never tells Jamie NOT to kill BJR. She tells him not to kill BJR NOW. I really don't think Claire has a huge problem with Jamie getting his comeuppance--in fact, I think she's onboard with that--she just wants him to wait a year until Frank's ancestor has been conceived, and THEN do the deed--and in all honesty (*ducking*), I never had a huge problem with her reasoning for that. It's one of those situations where both sides are understandable, IMO...

  25. Again - both sides are hugely (I hate "hugely" - is that even a word? Or did Stephanie Meyer make it up?) understandable. Who wouldn't look at Claire and say "Oh my god - she doesn't want to lose her husband!" (Either one of them! LOLOL)

    Clearly my point is not coming across well. I'm not speculating on what could happen. I'm saying she should stand by her man on this one. Not ask him to wait a year...not ask him no to kill him at all...but stand by her man. "Jamie - if that's what you need to do - I'm not happy about it - but it's what you need to do." That's what I wish I was hearing from Claire in this case.

    OBVIOUSLY we'd have a very different story and OBVIOUSLY she has to tell him that and OBVIOUSLY yada yada yada. But yesterday I was listening to it and it irked me. Again. And I had to share.

    Over and out. :)

  26. Hi Carol,

    I hear you, but I think in this case, the ramifications of Frank dying, is the situation where Claire just CAN'T stand by her man. In her mind, Frank will die if he kills BJR and she can't allow that to happen. I actually think this is a moment where Jamie should just take her at blind faith and stand by his woman. I myself couldn't allow an innocent man to die (in this situation, this is what Claire believed) just to inflict revenge on an evil man. I'd be OK on the revenge (I guess) if it wasn't going to affect an innocent bystandard (sp?), Frank, especially when he can handle this in a different way, later. It doesn't have to be a duel, right now.

    Tracey, good point, you are right, she does condone him kill BJR later, just not now because of Frank. I think her guilt over leaving Frank behind waiting for her, mourning her, was part of this too.

    "Oh my god - she doesn't want to lose her husband!" "(Either one of them! LOLOL) ", ROTFLing!


    P.S. LOVE LOVE LOVE these in depth discussions! Keep 'em coming!

  27. Carol,
    I got all your points and totally agree with you on everything you say. At the end of the day, Jamie needed to kill BJR, for his own sanity. Claire was wrong to ask him not to.