One of the most complex characters that you either love to love or love to hate would be Frank Randall in Outlander. He was ironically looked at as the "other man" in the fantasy romance series, even though the heroine of the tale, Claire, was his wife first. But once she went through the stones at Craigh Na Dun and met Jamie Fraser not long after, it seemed to be pure destiny that they fall in love.
But this left Frank in the dust, which was hard to maybe care about when Jamie Fraser is in the picture. The fact of the matter is, though, that Frank was an innocent bystander in his relationship's end, at least in the beginning. Sure, he had his own flaws and down the line made seriously questionable decisions, but he and Claire were very much in love before that fateful day at the stones.
There were many aspects and complexities in their relationship that may seem hard to wrap your head around when you look back at them. For instance, he was able to believe her story about time-traveling in the first place, or that he accepted her love for Jamie and wanted to stay in their marriage in spite of it. It shows there's not only more to their relationship than we originally thought, but maybe more to Frank, too.
Here are 25 Wild Revelations About Claire And Frank's Relationship.
25 Frank Was Completely Different In The Books
In the books, Frank was not the most likable character. Sure, he was being compared to Jamie left and right, so that certainly didn’t help seeing as Jamie was the obvious winner. But he also had moments where he came across as insensitive and judgmental of Claire, and had other character flaws that were hard to ignore.
Even his encounters with other women seemed callous, while in the series he has one woman he fell in love with outside of his marriage with Claire. Overall, he’s definitely more relatable and likable in the television series.
24 She Still Wanted To Go Back To Frank After She Married Jamie
Even before Jamie and Claire were thrust into a marriage with one another, there seemed to be a real connection between the two that far surpassed what Claire had with Frank. And once that marriage was set in stone, the connection only got stronger. But during this “honeymoon phase” between the Scotsman and his Sassenach, Claire was attacked.
This caused her to be understandably upset and to feel as though she needed to get back to Frank. This ended up causing a serious fight between Jamie and Claire that nearly broke them.
23 Frank Had A Fake Gravestone Made For Jamie In The Books (To Trick Claire)
In the Outlander books, Frank actually had a fake gravestone made with Jamie’s name on it and had it placed in the St. Kilda’s cemetery. He did this with the hopes that Claire or Bree would find it someday.
One can only speculate of his intentions with that move, but it’s likely that he hoped they would find it and finally move on from Jamie. He would especially want Claire to let go for good, even if the fabricated gravestone is a bad trick, to say the least.
22 They Were Unable To Have A Child Of Their Own (Claire Had Two With Jamie)
One of the things Claire worried about quite a lot was not being able to have a child with Jamie, after her past experiences of trying to conceive with Frank.
She thought she was barren, and therefore wouldn’t be able to have a child of her own with Jamie. What she later learned, though, was that it was likely Frank who was unable to create a child with Claire and it was never Claire’s fault at all. This was evidenced by Jamie and Claire conceiving first Faith, then Brianna.
21 Frank Knew Claire Would Go Back To Jamie
Frank was a historian, and had connections to find out more about important but little-known parts of history. He used this connection to write to Rev. Wakefield to find out more about Claire’s time in the past.
We find out in season 4 that Frank actually knew that Claire would go back to Jamie, and even learned of her own demise in the apparent fire that will occur at Fraser’s Ridge. He kept this information to himself, however, until Bree found the document later on.
20 Bree Still Sees His Ghost
When Brianna goes back in time to search for her mother and biological father - Jamie - to warn them of the impending fire that will take their lives, she reminisces frequently about her other father, Frank.
During this episode, she even sees his ghost, as if he is telling her it’s okay for her to go on this journey, and to find Jamie. It was an emotional and heartbreaking moment, but was important for Bree to feel it was okay to move on.
19 Claire May See His Ghost In The Future, Too
Just like her daughter, Brianna, Claire may eventually see the ghost of her former husband, Frank, down the line. At least, this is a theory amongst many fans.
Claire felt some guilt over Frank’s death, as well as the fact he stayed with her in spite of her love for Jamie. She felt as though he had wasted the past twenty years with her. So it would make sense that she had unfinished business and may see his ghost eventually down the line.
18 In The Books, Frank Was With Many Other Women While He Was Married To Claire
In the books, Frank had multiple encounters with different nameless women, but in the TV series, he had one long-term relationship with a woman named Sandy.
While Claire may have still only had eyes for Jamie, no matter how far apart they were in time, she still was embarrassed to learn of Frank’s meeting in a public setting. Especially because this happened at their home during her graduation party. This only served to create an even bigger wedge between them and led them to lead completely separate lives.
17 Frank Raised Jamie’s Daughter
In one of the most emotional moments of the series, Jamie sends Claire back through the stones at Craigh Na Dun just before the Battle of Culloden with their unborn daughter in tow.
He does this because he fears for their safety, and trusts that Frank will take care of them. And Frank definitely does take on the role of father figure even though the child is not his, and he loves Bree with all his heart. But when Claire eventually goes back to Jamie and tells him of their daughter, there is a slight but clear jealousy brewing inside Jamie that he didn’t get to raise his own daughter.
16 Bree Feels Closer To Frank Than Jamie - For Now
By the end of season 4, Jamie is trying to get back in his daughter, Brianna’s, good graces after a misunderstanding with her love, Roger. Harsh words were spoken between the biological father and daughter duo, much to Jamie’s dismay.
Bree made it perfectly clear that she feels Frank is her real father, which pained Jamie greatly. He already was trying to make up for lost time, and now feels farther from her than ever. Only time will tell if the two will repair their new relationship, but the odds of reconciliation are likely in their favor.
15 Jamie Is Jealous Of Frank
Even though Claire and Jamie’s chemistry is undeniable and their love for one another knows no bounds, there still is lingering jealousy there, particularly on Jamie’s side.
He’s not only jealous of Frank’s relationship with Bree and the fact he raised her, but also that he spent the last twenty years being the husband to the love of Jamie’s life. That is a hard pill to swallow for him and has caused tension at inopportune times between himself and Claire. Luckily, their love gets them through those moments of insecurity.
14 Claire Can’t Forget About Jamie When She's With Frank
Claire’s return to her own time and to her first husband, Frank, came with many obstacles and readjusting to her old life. This included when they were getting back into the flow of being a married couple with now a newborn baby on board.
There was still passion between both parties, but instead of Claire being in the moment with Frank, she could only think of Jamie. This was only the beginning of the trials and tribulations of their disintegrating marriage.
13 Their Relationship Played Out More On-Screen Than In The Books
Frank was always in the background in the Outlander books, and at times, was rarely even mentioned once Claire went back in time. Things were never really told from his point of view, and this caused their relationship to seem a lot less romantic than what we saw on screen.
Before Claire went through the stones, she and Frank seemed to genuinely love each other and had a passionate relationship of their own. We even got to see him search for her in episode 8 of season 1, which wasn’t shown in the books. It was actually nice to see this side of Frank that we never read about in the series.
12 Frank Was Claire’s First Love — They Got Married In 1937
Claire met Frank Randall when he consulted her Uncle, who was an archaeologist, on his work. They fell in love and married in 1937, where they then proceeded to spend a short honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands.
Even though they spent time apart due to WWII, they were trying to reestablish their bond post-war and returned to the Scottish Highlands for a redo of their honeymoon.
While they had a strong love for one another, it just wasn’t enough once she met Jamie.
11 Claire Never Takes Off Her Ring From Frank
All throughout Claire’s marriage to Jamie, she wears his ring that he had made for her out of the key from Lallybroch. But even though they are married, in love, and have created a life together, she still wears the gold band Frank gave her when they were married.
Many fans question her motives for that, especially after so much time has passed and her love for Jamie only continues to grow more and more each day. But the simple answer is that she will always have a love for him, even if that love has changed.
10 Frank Kept Searching For Claire
After Claire’s abrupt departure during their honeymoon in Scotland, it wasn’t explained very well what Frank was up to during that time in the books.
But in the television series, we see Frank stayed in Inverness, constantly searching for his wife and not giving up hope that she may still be out there somewhere. This was even when many assumed she ran off with a paramour that Frank was unaware of. That dedication showed that Frank loved and cared for his wife, no matter what.
9 Jamie’s Ghost Appeared To Frank
In the pilot of the series, we see a Scottish Highlander watching Claire below her window in Inverness. Frank spots him, and just as he’s confronting him, he disappears as quickly as he had arrived. It has officially been confirmed by writer Diana Gabaldon that that ghost was indeed, Jamie Fraser.
This not only raised suspicions with Frank about Claire’s time spent apart from him during the war, but showed that Jamie’s devotion to Claire transcends time and even death.
8 Frank Thought Claire Was With Another Man
After seeing Jamie’s ghost below Claire's window during their honeymoon in Inverness, Frank started jumping to several different conclusions, most of which surrounded the idea of Claire carrying on with a Scotsman during their time apart during the war.
Claire, of course, denied those allegations, since they were not true. But regardless of what Frank thought had occurred, he still said he would love her and understand if that had been the case. That was one of Frank's classier and more mature moves with Claire in their relationship.
7 Claire Didn't Want Jamie To Duel Blackjack Randall Because Of Frank
Even though by the time Jamie and Claire were in France, Claire had long since chosen Jamie over Frank and left her former life behind, they still had their troubles. This was made obvious when Jamie had agreed with Blackjack Randall that they would duel, causing Claire to worry about Frank.
If Jamie ended up winning the duel, he would have ended Randall’s life and effectively cut off the lineage to Frank, since Randall was Frank’s direct ancestor. Claire couldn’t have that, and told Jamie so, which caused friction within their relationship. Things only worsened when Jamie proceeded with the duel anyways after Randall attacked Fergus. This ultimately resulted in a rift between the two as well as losing their first child, Faith.
6 They Have A Shared Love Of History
Frank is a historian through and through, and even went so far as to get heavily involved in looking into his ancestral history while on his second honeymoon with Claire.
But Claire always indulged him in his love of history, as well, and was interested in it quite a bit herself. After all, her Uncle was an archaeologist, which is what began her love of the past to start with. When she went through the stones and went back in time, she used that knowledge of the past to help her acclimate to their time.
5 He Nearly Immediately Believed Claire’s Time-Travel Story (For Some Reason)
Much like Jamie, Frank didn’t need much convincing to believe Claire’s story about time-traveling back to 18th-century Scotland and falling in love with a Highlander while there.
Sure, there were questions and a point where he likely thought she was insane, but it didn’t take Claire very long or much effort to convince him that she was telling the truth. Maybe it was just Frank’s blind love for Claire that made him believe her but regardless, it helped her transition into her old life a little more easily with his help.
4 An Argument Between Them Led To Frank’s End
Once Claire found out about Frank’s plans to take Bree with him to England, leaving her alone in Boston, they got in a heated argument. Words were exchanged, with Claire admitting that even without Brianna being around to remind her of Jamie, nothing would ever make her forget him.
This leads to Frank storming out and leaving in his car, and the next morning, while at the hospital, Claire finds out that his car slid on ice and he passed away in a car accident.
3 They Were Married For Less Than A Year Before The War
Frank and Claire were married after a period of time together, but within roughly a year of being a married couple, WWII had begun, and they were separated because of it.
During this time, Claire had found her calling as a nurse in the war, while Frank was an officer, but while the two grew individually, they had not seen one another for a total of seven years before they reunited in 1945. They decided to relearn each other and explore their relationship all over again by reminiscing and having a second honeymoon in none other than the Scottish Highlands.
2 Jamie And Claire’s Love Never Ceased, No Matter What Frank Did
Frank tried for a while to be very understanding of Claire’s time in the past, and the fact she had fallen in love with another man. He even tried to save their marriage and put what happened in Scotland behind them.
But no matter what Frank tried to do to repair their broken marriage, it was never enough. Because Claire could never get over her beloved Jamie, who is her true soulmate. Once he accepted this hard truth, he tried to have a life of his own, but was still stuck in a loveless marriage.
1 They Still Had Love For Each Other
Regardless of their deteriorating relationship and marriage, the two still loved each other deeply. It, of course, was a different love than what they started with at the beginning of their relationship, but was always there.
Even Claire told Frank once he passed that she did love him very much. She also said that he got her first love. They may not have been each other’s soulmates, but they always had a love and bond that could not be fully broken.