Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Reply To: Jenny

#7913
barbc624
Participant

Discussion carried over from the Outlander issues thread.

“Hi Barb,

If it weren’t for what I’ve read so far in MOHB, I think I would be inclined to agree with the notion that Claire’s outlook about Jenny might have been unreliable in the first book. Again, I’m not very far into it yet, but so far in that book Jenny has been more than accommodating to Claire and very helpful in keeping her out of the hands of the British Army. I always interpreted Jenny’s wrath in Voyager with the fact that she had to witness six years of Jamie without Claire, and that it broke her heart to see him so miserable. Miserable to the point that he insisted on turning himself in (albeit to save the Murrays) with no thought to his own welfare. And the, on top of that misery, to all of a sudden realize that Claire actually wasn’t dead (and no true explanation given for her absence)— I think that would cause some serious trust issues. I can see her not really understanding how Claire could have just left Jamie knowing what it would do to him… as well as being highly suspicious that she might do it again. I have to admit that I might be a little bitter as well if I watched a loved one go through the heartbreak that Jenny witnessed from Jamie. 😉

You make good points, though. 🙂 I think it will be interesting to see what happens later this season between Claire and Jenny.
~C”

You make really good points as well. I freely admit that I am prejudiced against Jenny because I had a family member who used exactly the same emotionally manipulative tactics to get her way. She was always “I am doing this …because I love you (or love X)” as her justification, but her real goals were always ones that served her own needs first and foremost.

In fairness, she was emotionally damaged by her upbringing and had abandonment issues as does Jenny, I believe. But when I see someone (even a fictional character) acting in exactly the same way I have an instant aversion to that character and find it difficult to trust their motives or accept them as a friend.

I hear you and Allison about MOBY, but I also think it is possible that at that time it had become in Jenny’s best interests to make up with Claire. She is in a strange country, without the support system of friends and Ian that she had in Scotland, and she is dependent on Jamie and Claire. based on the Voyager events she knows the influence Claire has on Jamie, and she knows that Jamie will choose Claire over her in a minute if she forces the issue, so she has to make nice. (again I experienced something similar with the family member I spoke of).

I am not saying that Jenny is a villain or evil (leave that BJR) or even that she intends harm to Claire. I just think that due to her earlier traumatic experiences – loss of her mother, BJR’s assault on her, her father’s death and Jamies imprisonment 4 year disappearance – she learned at a young age to look out for herself first since no one else will do so. Jamie and Ian and her children come next, but I just don’t think she is capable of letting anyone else that close to her including Claire. I feel sorry for her but find it hard to like her.

As I said before, I am influenced by my own experiences which color my view of Jenny and I may very well be wrong and you may be right about her changing. There is always hope for redemption isn’t there? 🙂

Isn’t it amazing that DG writes such interesting and human characters that act in ways that are so real? I love that they are not all black or white but are complex and not easy to read.