Outlander fans fume over ‘reckless’ Claire change

Outlander: Claire is nervous about marrying Jamie

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Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe) has become one of TV’s most popular heroines ever since she travelled back in time to 18th Century Scotland and fell head-over-heels for Scottish Highlander Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Based on a series of nine books by American author Diana Gabaldon, viewers have been reading and discussing the weighty tomes while they wait for the seventh season of Outlander to hit Starz this summer.

Readers have slammed the changes made to Claire in the Starz series compared to her original depiction in Gabaldon’s novels.

Beginning with the first book in 1991, Claire’s story begins when she steps through the magic stones of Craigh Na Dun, which sends her back in time.

She has since travelled across the globe with her husband Jamie, from Culloden, Scotland to France and the Caribbean before finally settling in North Carolina.

Claire and Jamie’s adventures have kept fans gripped over the years, but one reader couldn’t help spotting that the time-travelling nurse puts herself in danger a lot more often on the small screen.

Redditor u/Dominant_Genes posted recently: “I cannot get over the difference in Claire between the book and show.

“Why do you think they decided to make her so reckless and inflate her presence/role in Leoch before she’s on the road with Jamie and Dougal Mackenzie (Graham McTavish) to collect rents?”

In the series, Claire’s 20th Century medical knowledge and diplomacy make her a key asset for Clan MacKenzie in the Battle of Culloden.

However, in Gabaldon’s first novel, the historical Jacobite Uprising takes centre stage and Claire often fades into the background while the MacKenzies set the stage for war.

Outlander fans have now been debating whether the changes were needed, with many admitting they preferred the original.

u/wineauxgrrl agreed, replying: “Thank you!! I love book Claire so much more, I feel like they made her much less funny in the show.”

u/BSOBON123 replied: “What’s missing in the show is Claire’s inner monologue. In the book, she admits she’s wrong a lot of the time.

“Show Claire rarely if ever does. I also think that the show writers want a strong female lead for the times today. They’ve taken away a lot from Jamie and put it on Claire.”

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u/fujiapple73 added: “I vastly prefer book, Claire. I miss her dry sense of humour… it just doesn’t come across on the show at all.

“I gave up on the show halfway through season three and I’d say 99 percent of the reason I don’t like the show is because Claire is so different. Especially when compared against the audiobooks.”

u/Nanchika replied: “Book Claire is so witty and funny, I love being in her POV, she is my fav character! I feel I know her. Show Claire, though, I can never know what to expect!”

But u/Icy_Outside5079 explained: “This conversation has been going on since 2014. According to Diana, the show was sold to Starz as part of their Take The Lead initiative, which promotes strong women.

“She knew that they would have to change some of the characters because you can’t visualise her inner dialogue and books and TV are two different mediums.”

And u/Objective-Orchid-741 reasoned: “I sort of understand why the show would make these changes to a first-person book series though.

“You need Show Claire to do more and have a more active role in the story versus just her head, because otherwise half the things would be told through her voiceover narration like in the books and that would not be fun to watch. I love both Claires though.”

The Starz series’ slightly different take on Claire has helped its success skyrocket, although there is still one more book left in the series for fans who prefer Gabaldon’s heroine.

Outlander season 7 will premiere summer 2023 on Starz in the USA and Lionsgate+ via Prime Video in the UK.

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