Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

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


I would say a pragmatist is someone who acts from a place of logic rather than emotion. TV!Claire is more emotional so her actions seem to be more erratic than Book!Claire. I think a perfect example of this is Rent (my favorite ep so far). The pragmatic move for Claire would be to keep quiet, get as close as possible to the Stones, go back to Frank, leave these Jacobites to their fate. The emotional Claire spoke out, got more attached to the group of men, and eventually got caught up in Jamie to the point where she “forgets” her plan to return to the Stones.

Maggie, I don’t think that Claire showing more emotion is draining her strength. And I agree that seeing TV!Claire go through these stages of grief for her situation makes me feel closer to her as a character. Without that VO from the end of Garrison Commander, we’re left with Wounded Puppy Claire. It is natural for her to feel sad, but there was no way to convey that sadness coupled with the pragmatism that we get from Book!Claire. This is a rare case for when I missed the VO.

I think you’ve touched on something interesting. I admired Book!Claire in a different way than TV!Claire, and I think it’s because Book!Claire is less emotional and more logical. So do we identify more with female character when she’s vulnerable, because that’s something we expect from females? And is logic valued more than emotion?