Outlander Author Reveals What Separates Jamie And Claire's Relationship From Modern Marriages

Claire and Jamie at Fraser's Ridge

For the past five seasons on Starz, Outlander has wooed in viewers with its steamy sex scenes and its highly romantic romance between lead characters Jamie and Claire. The love story has been so enduring that it has already been renewed for Season 6. Now, series author Diana Gabaldon has commented on why she thinks the two characters have struck a chord with audiences over the years.

In fact, the intense and dedicated nature of the relationship between Jamie Fraser and Claire (formerly Randall), played by Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe on the TV series, is very different than the average modern marriage, according to Diana Gabaldon.

They’re very committed to each other. They take it as a sacred vow, which I must say a lot of people don’t these days. But you know times have changed and people seem to regard marriage as not a sacred relationship, not a matter of permanent vows etc. It’s all about ‘oh I have to save up money to have a tremendous wedding’ and nothing to do with the person you’re marrying, which I think is shocking.

It should be noted Diana Gabaldon herself is in a marriage for the ages. The author has been married to Doug Watkins for nearly fifty years and has three children with him, all adults now. She often writes and speaks fondly of her home life in Arizona, where she has lived in the same house for over 30 years, and she has been candid about making writing and her home life work in harmony.

In her comments to Express, she also touched on her long marriage and how it has impacted her two most famous characters, who have come to life both in books and on the small screen.

But you know, to each their own. I’ve been with my husband for 48 years so I have a lot of old-fashioned ideas about it. But so do a lot of other people, which is that they really like the notion of enduring love - that people actually do love each other that much that they will sacrifice for each other. That they care for the other person as much or more occasionally than they do for themselves. This is the nature of true marriage, so I think people are interested in that

In some ways, it’s not a surprise that Diana Gabaldon would carve out a niche for characters like Jamie and Claire, whose love for one another transcends time and space. She also crafts scenes where Jamie and Claire fight like real people and much of their relationship feels like two committed people who never doubt their love and affection for one another, even in the face of various adversities and disagreements. In the show, we’re about to hit the point where the Revolutionary War continues full steam ahead, so if you were hoping “adversity” would not be in the cards for the Fraser family’s future, you would be mistaken.

When Outlander was first coming into shape in Diana Gabaldon’s head, the author previously said she was a researcher and knew some sort of historical research would serve as the backbone of the story she wanted to tell. She ultimately landed on Scotland during a chance TV encounter watching Doctor Who, but who knew her thoughts on love and marriage in her personal life would ultimately tie into the story as well?

Outlander will return for Season 6 on Starz. Alas, we still have a bit of a droughtlander to get through, but there’s lots to discuss related to the show until then!

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.