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Outlander's Caitriona Balfe Discusses Claire And Jamie's 'Sacred' Physical Connection Ahead Of Season 6 Premiere

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(Image credit: Starz)

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Outlander if you haven’t caught up on the show!

Starz’s Outlander series is finally returning in full force for Season 6! New characters are expected to be introduced as the historical romantic drama pivots deeper into the brewing Revolutionary War facing Claire, Jamie and the rest of Fraser’s Ridge. There would usually be some hot and heavy romance in store, too, but after Claire’s traumatic sexual assault at the end of last season, things are more than a little tenuous. Star Caitriona Balfe and other Outlander creatives, who previously teased a complicated dynamic for the show's central couple, discussed Claire and Jamie’s “sacred” physical connection a bit more ahead of the premiere.

As far as we know, the horrendous assault Claire suffered will drive something of a “wedge” between the couple, as Balfe's character grapples with her emotional pain in Season 6. (It’s something Jamie himself also struggled with in the first two seasons of Outlander.) Speaking to TheWrap, Balfe explained how the two characters’ deep chemistry acts as a bridge for healing in the show, saying:

It’s such an integral part to the relationship, right? I think they connect on such a deep level metaphysically and physically, and we always want to be able to explore that. And I think just because they age, it doesn’t necessarily mean that, that has to disappear. I think one of the things that we see, especially after the events at the end of last season, is that, that’s such a sacred space for them, you know, that this is something that especially Lionel Brown tried to take away. . . . And I think Claire was so scared that she would lose that because it’s so sacred. But, you know, even if she is still recovering, psychically, or emotionally from those events, she’s able to find some solace still in the arms of her husband.

Actor Sam Heughan, who portrays Jamie Fraser, affirmed that their characters’ “physical attraction” is important in its own way, but that the connection goes well beyond that. In his view, the dynamic in Outlander is also about how the two characters find an easy “lightness” between them. He shared that viewers will see Jamie and Claire still mentally “spar” and “flirt with each other” in the new season – even in their “old” age and even in the face of their ever-present troubles. Heughan, in fact, enlisted the show’s first intimacy coordinator, whom the actor thinks helped bring out the performances even more. 

Outlander’s executive producer Matthew Roberts added to the outlet that he believes the reason both the books and show resonates so deeply with fans is precisely because of the passionate romance being “part of the way they communicate.” They wanted to emphasize a “maturing relationship” that can transcend time and space, as well as age and difficulty. Roberts said:

Some people have different ways of communicating and part of it is they’re physical with each other. They need to be physical with each other. In joyous times, traumatic times, it’s just the way they talk. And, it’s important for us to show that and not to shy away from that. Do you call it a modern relationship or an old-fashioned relationship? Who knows?! It’s their relationship and that’s what makes it so unique.

In other words, don't be talking smack about how and why Jamie and Claire do what they do. Anyone who has been in the exact same position as either of them is welcome to speak up, but that's certainly not likely. 

Fans will surely appreciate whatever they can get, what with Caitríona Balfe speculating previously on Outlander maybe ending with Season 7. (Say it ain’t so!) In the meantime, we can look forward to the spinoff series in the works and catching the 90-minute Season 6 premiere episode tonight at 9 p.m. on Starz in the 2022 TV schedule!

Lauren Vanderveen
Lauren Vanderveen

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.