Let's face it, Jamie Fraser from Outlander is a king of men. Dashing, understanding, brave... sometimes fans have to pinch themselves just to see whether he is actually there on the screen. 'Too good to be true,' is probably the best way to describe him.
Fans of the books might have wondered how directors would ever find someone suitable to play Jamie. However, directors said that Sam Heughan studied Jamie from the books and swept the team responsible for casting away with his superb rendition of Jamie. Here are 10 things Sam nails from the books, which make him a perfect Jamie:
10 Scottish through and through
Jamie Fraser is a true Scotsman. He is proud of his heritage and he has the kilt to prove it! Fans of the show would have noticed Sam Heughan displays this same kind of zeal for Scotland, down to the tartan kilt. Sam admitted to being a true Scotsman like Jamie and expressed his joy at wearing a kilt.
Much like Jamie, he doesn't wear anything underneath the kilt and even went as far as to admit that this was 'very comfortable' on set.
9 Smiling in his sleep
Every woman dreams of lying next to Jamie Fraser and yes, however creepy it sounds, watching him sleep. In the books, Jamie has this quirky, yet cute, mannerism of smiling in his sleep. This is something Sam nails in the series, pulling off the ‘sleeping smile’ in such a natural way viewers are left wondering whether the real Sam in fact smiles in his sleep (he does it so well). According to the books, from when Jamie was small, if you came and stroked him on his head while he slept in his cradle, he would briefly smile.
8 Those seductive Scottish lines
Remember the line which left female viewers swooning: 'Ye needn't be scairt of me, nor anyone else, so long as I'm with ye'. This was a difficult one to pull off – so much so directors almost had it cut from the script. It was author Diana Gabaldon who insisted they keep it in the script, which was a good thing since Sam Heughan managed to pull off this line – and others like it – with the finesse of the legendary Jamie Fraser. He delivered the sentence with the perfect accent and mannerisms.
7 He can be emotional
This is probably the quality in Jamie which has women viewers returning to the series for more. Jamie is able to conduct himself with tenderness in the books, and Sam pulls this off so well. He convincingly acts the part in the series, portraying raw emotion where necessary, such as when he meets Brianna for the first time. This is clearly a mannerism of Jamie from the Books who isn't afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and who shows understanding, devotion, and tenderness towards his family, his wife, and his children.
6 Tapping fingers
It would seem Sam Heughan really studied the books before stepping on set to portray Jamie, because even his fingers seem submitted to the portrayal of the handsome character in the Diana Gabaldon books.
To give an example, when he entered the oath-taking in the series, he was clearly shown tapping a finger on his leg. As he is standing in the doorway, the camera focuses on his fingers tapping against his thigh. It’s these little gestures which make him the vulnerable yet strong hero who has left females swooning.
5 A true gentleman
Sam Heughan manages to alternate his tone, including its volume, to speak with quiet respect, to more convincingly portray Jamie as a natural gentleman at key moments in the narrative. To give an example, in the books author Diana Gabaldon describes Jamie laying a 'broad hand' on the Bible and saying in a quiet, gentlemanly fashion to Lord John Grey, "Aye, I ken that fine, Major" in response to Lord John Grey's plea that Jamie gives him his word on a matter.
4 The head rub
Sam clearly nails those tiny acts by Jamie which book readers will be familiar with, such as the rubbing of the back of his head when interacting with others. For example, when Claire tells him about her encounter with the drunk Dougal. Jamie laughs and rubs the back of his head.
In this particular scene in the books, Jamie was thinking about how he was hit on the back of his head by someone he suspected was Dougal. Still, the rubbing of the back of his head seems to be something the character of Jamie does as one of his peculiar, yet becoming, mannerisms.
3 A man in love
In the series, Sam has nailed falling hard in love, in starring as Jamie falling hard and fast in love with Claire. This is best captured by the expression which Jamie gets on his face the moment he first falls for Claire. Viewers might wonder how he got this exactly right but he manages to pull off the perfect look which Jamie gets on his face the first time he sees Claire bandaging wounds in the first episode.
2 The 'laser stare'
Intense-eyed brooding is something Jamie Fraser does quite easily, and it seems Sam Heughan has mastered the art of looking deeply and intently forward, with stunning effect. Jamie is intelligent and let's face it, deep and Sam pulls this multi-layered character of Jamie's off with finesse, capturing the subtle facial expressions as though each were an artwork. This he manages to do without appearing cheesy, and without being the stereotypical 'too good to be true' hero. It's an art really and kudos to Sam for getting the 'laser stare' of Jamie's right.
1 He is expressive
Jamie is not just expressive through his language. He is able to express his intentions in small gestures, which communicate volumes to those concerned. Sam Heughan's acting pays attention to these gestures, such as when he holds Claire close and breathes into her hair as he speaks. This is true Jamie-style, as in the books when he whispers to her that they will be together for always and that Brianna is safe and they will live forever together. The breathing into Claire's 'cloud of hair' really seals the romance of the moment.