Outlander: Why does Claire fall in love with Jamie Fraser? Caitriona Balfe opens up

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Taking its cue from the best-selling novels of Diana Gabaldon, Starz series Outlander follows star-crossed lovers Jamie (played by Sam Heughan) and Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe). Their romance began in the most unconventional after the 20th century time traveller accidentally ventured to the 18th century. But how did the pair find love with each other?

Why does Claire fall in love with Jamie Fraser?

From the start, it was clear Jamie was sexually attracted to Claire, who simply wanted to get back to her husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) in the 1940s.

Claire kept reiterating she was a married woman, who loved her husband and tried everything to return to him.

However, as time went on, Claire found herself getting to know Jamie and his clansmen better.

Just as they were building up a rapport, Claire was forced to marry Jamie, so he could protect her from Captain Black Jack Randall (also Menzies) who had tried to sexually assault her several times.

Through her marriage to Jamie, the Scotsman would be able to legitimately protect her from the evil Redcoat and his kind.

The marriage was a forced one which Claire had no say in and she reluctantly went along with.

Nonetheless, the turning point in their relationship came on their wedding night when the pair spoke frankly for the first time.

They also consummated their marriage and it looked like it was the beginning of their love as the pair seemed to connect through the act of sex.

Outlander author Gabaldon has previously said Jamie and Claire’s sexual connection is the bedrock of their marriage and has kept them together all these years.

Nonetheless, the pair have a deep connection which is also emotionally-rooted – something which kept their love for one another strong in the 20 years they were apart.

Speaking to Vulture in 2015, Balfe explained what attracted Claire to Jamie and why she ended up ultimately choosing the Highlander over her first husband and Oxford history professor Frank.

She said Claire fell for Jamie because of his “emotional intelligence”, saying the scene where Jamie hit her in season one for running away was important in the development in their relationship.

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The Irish actress explained: “I love that they showed Jamie’s perspective, too, so you understand that you have to come at that scene from the perspective of someone from 1743.

“In that way, even though it’s not an acceptable act, you can understand the reasons. This is how he’s been brought up, this is what he’s been taught, this is what you should do.

“You understand that it’s not that he wanted to do that, or that he was relishing the fact, but that it was his code of honor.

“But because he’s able to see that the punishment obviously really traumatized her, he can realize that maybe for them, there’s a different road.”

The star added: “Once she sees his willingness to evolve and grow and change, she allows herself to forgive him.”

In a separate interview with AP, Balfe went on to explain more about the dynamic between Jamie and Claire.

The star said: “Claire is this very timeless character, even as a woman of the 40s. She seems very modern in that sense and Jamie in a sense is a modern man in some ways because he has a sort of emotional intelligence and openness and I think that’s partly what Claire is so attracted to in him.

“I think that’s what a lot of women love, you have this strong man, but he has such vulnerability as well.”

Balfe said part of the appeal of Outlander was the “incredible love story” between the central protagonists and it was an aspirational tale.

The star said: “Maybe it reminds them of the great love they have their life or maybe a great love that they lost.”

While her co-star Heughan said: “I think they’ve seen each other at the very start, a lot of similarities.

“He sees in her, she’s hiding a secret and I think he also has secrets.

“I think they’re just kindred spirits, aren’t they? They are both survivors and they both need each other or are very strong together.”

Outlander seasons 1 to 5 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video now

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