What makes a good character? That's probably the questions writers everywhere have been asking themselves since the dawn of time. Because let's be real, it's extremely hard to create fictional people that are compelling, relatable and make for top-notch narratives. Very often, the characters we see on television feel bland because they aren't layered enough. And what's more boring than someone who only falls into a single category, whether it's the villain or the hero?
One thing that Outlander manages to do rather well is create amazing characters. None of them are perfect, but they all come together to deliver some of the best stories we've ever seen played out on-screen. Here are the ten best characters on Outlander.
10 Frank Randall
If this list was merely about what the characters have done and how they have behaved in the books, then Frank surely wouldn't have placed. Not only is he pretty much absent once Claire goes through the stones, but he's also a racist, sexist, and overall pretty horrible person who doesn't get to be fully developed.
Show Frank, however, is something else. He's far from being perfect, but he is an important and layered character. He kept searching for his wife after she went missing, loved and raised a child who wasn't his, and involuntarily helped Claire quite a bit once she traveled to the 18th century thanks to his knowledge of history. They even brought Frank back after he died just to show how important he was to Brianna. Plus, he was Claire's first love.
9 Joe Abernathy
If there was one thing Claire truly needed once she traveled back to the 20th century, it was a friend. Can you imagine being in her shoes, trapped in a loveless marriage after you were forced to go back in time to your first husband, pregnant with another man's child? Yeah, we can't either.
Joe Abernathy takes the cake for being an overall fantastic BFF. All he ever wanted was for Claire to be happy and thriving. Plus, we love nothing more than two 20th century minorities demolishing stereotypes and working towards their collective dream of becoming doctors.
8 Mother Hildegarde
Jamie and Claire's time in France was...interesting, to say the least. Many fans welcomed the change in scenery, and we got a lot of stunning outfits to drool over. But more than that, we were also introduced to a handful of noteworthy characters who were so memorable, they deserve a place on this list, no matter how short-lived their presence was.
Mother Hildegarde was one of these characters. This is one boss lady from head to toe! Even our hero Claire had to work hard to prove she was a good healer and gain Mother's affection and respect. She helped the Frasers, proved to be an accomplished musician and knowledgeable healer, and baptized Claire's stillborn child even though the Church didn't allow it.
7 Brianna Randall-Fraser
It would be impossible not to feature Jamie and Claire's child on this list, even if she was as bland as tap water. Okay, maybe we're exaggerating, but still — this is a child of pure, true love we are talking about here. And Brianna also has a lot of other wonderful qualities. She's as headstrong and brave as her mother, and just as compassionate as her father. Despite her struggles, Brianna never shies away from a challenge.
6 Jenny Fraser Murray
If there is one character in the entire universe of Outlander you do not want to mess with, it's Jenny Fraser Murray. No one really knew what to think of Jamie's sister from the first flashbacks alone, but once the show took us to Lallybroch, boy oh boy, did we all have our collective bottoms served to us!
What makes Jenny so great is that the woman is far from your typical damsel in distress. She's rowdy, she's headstrong, she's Scottish. Deep down, we all know Jenny has a loyal heart and loves her family and her people. But nothing is funnier and simultaneously more terrifying than witnessing Jenny scolding Jamie, Claire, or any other poor soul.
5 Jack Randall
Put down the pitchforks, please. This isn't popularity contest — this list is about who the best characters are; and as we all know, sometimes the best characters are pure evil. And if there is someone who could be considered the human embodiment of pure evil, that would be Jack Randall.
But truth is, Randall was the one behind all the major tragedies and outcomes of the show's early seasons. Without him, we would hardly tune in to watch Outlander because everything would be rainbows and butterflies. Plus, the man is layered. There's no denying he genuinely loved his younger brother. And he was the vehicle for the show's award worthy handling of the very sensitive topic of rape. Hate him as much as you want, Jack Randall was still a fantastic (evil) character.
4 Lord John Grey
Along with Murtagh Fraser, Lord John Grey is probably the closest thing we'll ever get to a saint in Outlander. In many ways, Lord John Grey is the complete opposite of Black Jack Randall. But what saves Lord John Grey from being a boring doormat who can't speak up for himself is that he's probably one of the most mentally strong characters in the entire show.
Hi sexuality was a crime in the 18th century and thus, his love for Jamie was unrequited. Despite how painful this must be, Lord John Grey is a kind, compassionate soul who's not here for anyone's pity or victimization. He helps the Fraser family on several occasions and is still out there living his best life. Kudos to you, John.
3 Murtagh Fraser
One of the best decisions the show ever made was to expand the character of Murtagh Fraser. He did exist in the book, but he was more wallpaper than an actual human being. And the showrunners did this so well, that audiences responded with a tremendous love for Jamie's godfather — a love so big it brought him back from the dead.
Murtagh is all love and courage, a poet inside the body of a ferocious Scottish man. The worst thing he ever did was be on the opposite side of the political spectrum, and even that is not enough to change anyone's opinion on him. Claire and Jamie would probably both be six feet under if it wasn't for this sweet, disheveled man.
2 Jamie Fraser
Honestly, at this point, you can pretty much consider the first and second place as a tie. First of all, Outlander wouldn't even be a thing without Jamie and Claire. This alone grants them the top spots in this list. But it does help quite a bit that both characters are well-rounded, complex individuals.
Jamie is a bundle of emotions and strength — the bravest man you'll ever meet, and the one who loves more fiercely. The one who's made mistakes, who's human, and sacrificed the ones he most cherished for their safety. Half of one of the world's most sensual, intense, and tragic couple, Jamie Fraser is the real MVP and you can't change our minds.
1 Claire Fraser
One thing Claire has in common with her sister-in-law is that she will punch you if you so much as try to consider her a damsel in distress. The woman served as a war nurse, traveled back two centuries in time, fell in love, lost a child, traveled back in time again, and she's somehow still alive and thriving.
Claire is far from perfect, and that's exactly what makes her such a compelling character. Just like Jamie, she accepts her flaws, accepts that she has made and will continue to make mistakes, but doesn't let any of that stop her from loving deeply and fighting bravely. There's no better match for Jamie Fraser, aye?