Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: On the TV portrayal of the "Strong Woman"


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My take away from the book wedding was Claire saying “well, thus is the fucking stupidest thing I’ve ever been asked to do. But, you know, this whole thing is just bizarre. Hello I’m in 1743? But, if I marry him then I CAN HAVE MORE CONTROL OVER THIS SITUATION. The guards will be called off. Perhaps I can convince Jamie to take me back to the stones.”

When they took out that voice over they doomed Claire to me to a powerless woman who is doing what she was told to do.

Even the dress. In the book Claire is tempted to just wear her liquor-stained dress, but she decides that SHE deserves to look good on her wedding day. That wasn’t there. Instead we just got her looking like her puppy got run over by a car. She didn’t look hungover, she looked like she was going to cry.

Did book!Claire ever cry? (she does later, obvs, but I think she managed to make it thru the stones, to Leoch, thru Rent, thru Brockton, thru the wedding, thru the wedding night all without crying.

ETA: this clearly makes me much angrier than any TV show should.

This never actually occurred to me, I just felt something missing from the episode. This is one place where the lack of inner dialogue caused something to be translated differently on the screen. I remember reading and thinking that she was taking one for the greater good, but wasn’t devastated about it…but the episode makes her seem more downtrodden than seems character appropriate. That really is a great example of how our perception of her “strong” character is influenced in the show vs book. One could say the same for those that have read through the last book, on our perception of Frank and evil/misunderstood/good, etc. We know more about what’s going on behind the scenes that the show is capable of telling in the time allotted. I wonder if we were basing our opinions on a tv show not founded in a book reality, if we’d feel like Claire was missing aspects to make her a strong female character? Are we weighing her against the books more strongly than we would if the books didn’t exist?