Outlander first debuted in 2014, and ever since then, fans haven’t been able to get enough of the historical time travel show, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon of the same name. Perhaps the most appealing part of the show is the heart-wrenching love triangle. The story follows Claire, a former WWII nurse, as she mysteriously finds herself 200 years in the past.
Before travelling to the past, Claire had already gotten married to Frank Randall, a handsome army veteran and historian. After being separated for five years because of the war, the newly reunited couple go to Inverness, Scotland for a vacation. It’s there that Claire is then transported back in time. During her adventures in the past, Claire unexpectedly falls for someone else: Jamie, a tall and dashing Highlander. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the two ended up having to get married, but it doesn’t take them long before they fall in love.
Granted, fans of the show already know who Claire ends up with (and if you don’t, then stop reading because this article has spoilers!). But the hard part about this love triangle is that both Frank and Jamie make excellent partners for Claire. It’s painstakingly clear just how much both of them love her, which is why many fans are divided over who they think is her best match. Keep reading to discover five reasons Claire belongs with Jamie and five reasons why she belongs with Frank.
10 Jamie: He Married Claire To Save Her Life
Given that it happened all the way back in season one, many fans might forget the real reason Jamie and Claire got married in the first place.
Captain Randall had told the Highlanders they had to deliver Claire to British troops since she was a British citizen. But Dougal knew Randall’s reputation and that Claire would be in danger in his hands, which is how he came up with the bright idea for her to marry one of them (they wouldn’t have to turn her over if she was a Scot).
Dougal then explains to Jamie what must be done, and being the heroic character he is, Jamie doesn’t bat an eyelash before saying ‘yes.’ Claire later thinks her lack-of virginity might be a deal breaker. But Jamie kept fans swooning by telling her he couldn’t care less.
9 Frank: Believed Claire When She Said She Time Travelled
Fans weren’t sure how things were going to play out between Frank and Claire come the beginning of season three. The previous season, Claire had time travelled back to the future after her life was put at risk in the past. But she wasn’t sure if she’d have a husband to come back to or if he’d believe her incredible story.
The fact that Frank not only listened to Claire’s entire tale but subsequently believed her shows just how much he loved her. He trusted her enough to believe that time travel was possible, despite having no proof other than his estranged wife’s word. He was also surprisingly okay with the fact that Claire had married someone else while she was away.
Alright, “okay” might not be the right word. But the fact that Frank wanted to pick up where they left off despite everything that had changed was a testament to how deep his feelings really ran for Claire.
8 Jamie: He Didn’t Care About Claire’s Infertility
Having kids is a big deal now. But it was an even bigger deal in the 1800s when having a son was even more important to produce an heir to carry on the family name. Claire thought she was infertile after years of trying with Frank to start a family but with no success.
Our hearts broke for her when she told Jamie her secret during an emotional scene. However, it was Jamie’s reaction that was the most memorable. Rather than getting upset or feeling bad, he told Claire that it was fine and all that he ever could want was her.
The audience could tell by Jamie’s face that he was disappointed. But the fact that he went out of his way to comfort and reassure Claire was testament to just how much he loved her.
7 Frank: Raised Claire’s Daughter As His Own
If you didn’t think Frank believing Claire’s time travel story was proof of his love for her, then this certainly is.
Along with admitting she’d married Jamie while in the past, Claire also told Frank that she was pregnant with his child. This would’ve been even more difficult for Frank to accept given that he and Claire had tried to have their own child but with no success.
Still, despite what a shocker this must’ve been for Frank, he didn’t take him long to decide that he wanted to raise the child with Claire as his own. Frank stayed true to his word, and the couple raised Brianna as their own child. It was clear just how much Frank loved Brianna, despite her not being biologically his, and that was only possible because of how much he loved her mother and wanted a family with her.
6 Jamie: Gave Himself To Randall To Protect Claire
Our skin still crawls when thinking of the things Black Jack Randall did to Jamie when he had him locked up in season one finale. For a time, it appeared Claire and her friends were on the path to save Jamie. During one scene, Claire finds Jamie in his cell and is about to unlock him just as Randall walks into the room.
Despite having already been tortured by Randall, Jamie agreed to give himself fully to the Captain in return for the safe release of his wife. Randall stayed true to his word and released a defiant Claire before coming back to the cell and having his way with Jamie.
Season two explores the difficulties Jamie had in getting over what Randall had done to him, which shows just how much he sacrificed to ensure his wife’s safety.
5 Frank: Never Gave Up Hope She Would Return
Many fans wish we could’ve seen more of Frank’s life during the years that Claire was in the past. The brief moments we did see showed him travelling around Scotland trying to get answers about his wife’s disappearance.
One thing we love about Frank is that he never gave up hope Claire would return. It’s not just the fact that he didn’t move on with someone else. It’s that he was adamant something happened to her. When the police told him their theory was Claire ran off with another man, Frank couldn’t believe his ears. He knew his wife didn’t leave him willingly, which was the truth.
4 Jamie: Forced Claire To Go To The Future To Protect Her
If you thought season one had a gripping finale, then you clearly haven’t watched season two. In one of the most heartbreaking scenes from the show, Jamie takes Claire to Craig na Duhn ahead of the Battle of Culloden, which they knew they weren’t going to win thanks to Claire’s time-travelling ways.
In the scene, Jamie tells Claire that the only way he can guarantee her safety is if she went through the rocks and back to the future. Claire then starts protesting and tells Jamie she’s pregnant, to which he replies by saying he already knows. He says this is why it’s even more important for her to go, which she ends up doing.
The fact that Jamie could send pregnant Claire away, knowing he might never see her or their child again, shows how much he loves her. Time and time again he’s proven he’d do anything to ensure her safety.
3 Frank: He Never Moved On From Claire
One of the most appealing qualities about Frank was how loyal he was to Claire. Whether it was when they were separated due to the war or because she travelled back in time, Frank never moved on from Claire while they were apart.
He waited five years during World War II until they were reunited and couldn’t wait to pick up where they left off. Even during the years Claire was missing, Frank never remarried or had another love interest. He was completely consumed with trying to find out what happened to his wife.
Unlike Frank, Jamie did end up moving on when he and Claire were separated. Mind you, most fans could accept that given that they were apart for decades if he didn’t end up marrying Claire’s arch nemesis. Yep, we’re still not over that twist.
2 Jamie: Things Went Right Back To Normal After Decades Apart
You know a couple is a solid match if things can go right back to normal after so much time apart!
Many fans were curious as to if things would be awkward between Jamie and Claire when they eventually reunited after two decades apart. But one sign that this couple is meant to be together is how easily things went back to normal after all that time away.
It wasn’t a question for Jamie if he would take his wife back (even though he technically had remarried). The two lovers were back in each other’s arms just like old times. We loved seeing Jamie hear intently about his now-grown daughter, and him telling Claire about all of their friends that she hadn’t seen in years.
1 Frank: Tried To Give Claire Her Own Space
It was painful watching Claire and Frank’s marriage play out in the third season. All we wanted was for her to be reunited with Jamie and finally have happiness again. Likewise, it was difficult watching Frank be so miserable knowing how much he’d wanted a family with Claire, only to be disappointed when it came true.
However, we’ve got to give credit where it’s due. Frank knew how much Claire loved Jamie and he tried to do his best to give her space, especially when they first moved to the States together. He had no problem with his wife pursuing a medical career, despite that being against the norm for the time.
Even though we know how unhappy Claire was with Frank, he’s not the bad guy in this situation. He did everything in his power to make things work between them. It wasn’t his fault her heart belonged to someone else.