WOMEN AS HEROES…Looking Ahead to Outlander Episode 14   51 comments

Hello followers!

We are starting a new weekly segment with blogger/writer Beth Wesson. Beth has become our official Outlander Online blogger. Every Wednesday she is going to post a new article preparing and hopefully getting you all excited for the upcoming episode. We hope you enjoy her posts and be sure to leave comments and discuss your thoughts! Conversation is always welcome.

– Erin


By Beth Wesson

“Love forces you to choose…you find yourself doing things you’d never imagined you could”, Jenny Fraser Murray Outlander on Starz.

Episode 13 of Outlander “The Watch” left us with the image of Claire looking searchingly down the road that leads away from Lallybroch. She has just been told that the Redcoats took her husband away and yet, like so many of us who would hope against hope, she continues to search for a glimpse of his shining red hair. Soon, her denial will fade and she will be forced to face a harsh reality, her love is gone.  Once again, 1743 becomes all too real.  Her husband is in danger and at least three days away and she isn’t able to hop into her car to go find him. She can’t make a phone call, pay bail or call a lawyer. She really has no choice, SHE must go bring him home.

Fans of the books know what Claire will face and we are admittedly having a rough time. We know we are about to see a nightmare come to life right before our very eyes. Quite a few of my readers have expressed the concern that they aren’t entirely sure they’ll be able to watch.  They tell me they had a tough time just reading what happens to our couple. They are afraid the trauma will become much too real if they “see” it happen.  Can’t say as I blame them.  I’m sure Ron Moore, Outlander’s Executive Producer, and his crew will handle the upcoming episodes as fearlessly as they have handled the other difficult scenes. I KNOW they will do it justice and I have concluded that sometimes knowledge isn’t such a great thing to possess! However, “Love of the series will force me to choose” watching anyway.

Having read some of the critics’ reviews of previous episodes, I’m pretty sure there will be some focus on Outlander’s women being heroes and not damsels in distress. Admittedly, in the not so distant past, this scenario has been rarely portrayed in film and on TV. However, recently, especially in the Young Adult Literature/film genre, we have seen an increase in this type of role reversal. The Hunger Games and the Divergent series both feature strong female main characters that save the day and their male counterparts. Both of these series are set in dystopian societies which really might say something about how we view women in the role of hero and savior and I’m sure there is a graduate student somewhere writing research entitled “Why Must the World Fall Apart Before Women are Allowed to Save the Day?…a Feminist Perspective on YA Literature”.

Outlander is certainly not YA literature and Diana Gabaldon wrote these books over twenty years ago. I just had to restate that fact because this woman and her books continue to amaze me. I often joke that the Outlander series is my point of reference; all problems can be solved with an example from Outlander!  And, that includes examples of strong women who strike out on their own to save the day and rescue those they love from harm. Although, what Claire and Jenny do for love of Jamie may seem a bit remarkable and maybe even fantastical, I would like to remind the world that women “choose to do things they never imagined they could” every day for those they love.

To tell the truth, it makes me a bit sad that “The Search” WILL be a topic for discussion because of the perceived novelty of Claire’s heroism.  In truth, Claire will only be doing what women choose to do on a daily basis. They may not be riding across the Scottish Highlands on horseback, but they ride across the bumpy terrain of raising a child with Autism, or provide food, shelter and nurture for their children with a money bag filled only with the coin of a minimum wage job or maybe they fight the evil of addiction that threatens to destroy a spouse or find a way through the darkness for a loved one suffering with cancer.  On the other hand, millions of people will be tuned in to watch two women care enough to do whatever it takes to keep their loved ones safe from harm.

I’m happy to report that the male gender specific definition of “hero” seems to have fallen out of favor and a hero is now being defined by Merriam-Webster as:

: a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities

: a person who is greatly admired

I know Claire and Jenny will show the world that women can be heroes that commit great acts of bravery that save the day. And…they will be admired for it.

51 responses to “WOMEN AS HEROES…Looking Ahead to Outlander Episode 14

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  1. Very well written. Love this.

  2. the woman in the books were never damsels in destress, jenny is a force of nature, she can’t be intimidated, and claire is so strong she went throught hell, but stayed the oh-so-powerful-gril! #girlpower

  3. Thank you for this. As a strong woman myself, who does what must be done no matter how difficult, I appreciate the new trend in books and film depicting women as capable, strong and heroic. I am on my third read of the series including all the novellas and companion novels and I was just introduced to Outlander in August 2014 when my sister got me to watch the first episode. I seem to be on a continuous loop in the world of Outlander because it is so rich in detail and has many layers to be mined and appreciated. Having it now brought to TV in such a fearless and caring manner with amazing actors, writers and directors is a gift to fans of the books that will keep on giving. I know that the remainder of the season will be painful to watch and I know that I will often have to avert my eyes, but I also know that I will watch these episodes repeatedly because, like the book, there are so many layers of detail and care that you can’t take it all in on one viewing. What I really dread is the return to Droughtlander until next Spring.

    • Thank You for reading and taking the time to comment! i agree with you totally! The characters and the story never cease to amaze! I find something new to appreciate every time I read! Glad you enjoyed the article! Make sure to come back next Wednesday and I’d love it if you’d check out my other blog at bethwesson.com

  4. Thank you Beth, I really enjoy your article/blog.

  5. Excellent commentary, as always! I am one of those who knows what is to come and is dreading watching — but, alas, I cannot NOT watch. I’ll be so nervous for the remainder of season 1! My love for the story, however, and for the characters will overcome my fear of seeing what I have read. This is outstanding literature and televised programming!

  6. When some grad student writes the dissertation you mentioned, are you going to call her (much more likely to be a her but could be a him) out for using the title you provided? Great article.

  7. Well done. I am one of those women trying to stay brave through my husbands fight for is life with Multiple Myeloma. I first discovered Diana’s books through the STARZ series, and have read everything she has written that I can find. They kept me from having a nervous breakdown during this past year of his chemo for sure. Reading of all the challenges Claire faced throughout the books helped keep me strong. I hope they get to do all 8 books on screen! (Maybe after that even Lord John!)

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story! I hear from so many people who say they find strength and solace in these books. I know how much I’ve taken from them and I am glad they have helped you. God Bless you and yours! Women can be all things!

  8. Beth…Great opportunity to see even more insightful blogs…outlander online chose well:)

  9. I am so impressed with your writing. I also came to the books through the show. Back when the first book was written I had two young children, one diagnosed with Autism, so I was not reading much. I am so glad to have the experience of both the books and the show now. Your lovely writing is the final piece that rounds out the Outlander experience for me.

  10. Excellent post! Jamie and Claire’s relationship is very refreshing to watch because they’re both in it on equal terms. The events that are about to unfold show that it isn’t just Claire who needs to be protected by Jamie, it goes the other way too, as it should be in a relationship. I think she (and Jenny!) can be seen as a hero, not because she’s coming to the rescue this time, but because it’s heroic to do everything in your power to protect the ones you love. Jamie and Claire both have weaknesses and strengths, and I’m so happy to see characters so well-written both individually and in relation to each other. They are just so real and I love that about them. I haven’t read the books because I just discovered the show this weekend (BINGE-WATCHING AT ITS BEST), so I’m getting pretty nervous hearing about these terrible things that apparently are going to happen, and yet surprisingly I’m looking forward to it.

    • May i first say welcome! and oh to be a newbie! I sometimes wish i could discover these books and the show for the first time! I’m sort of jealous of all the wonderfulness you are going to discover! DG is writing book 9 and there are books based on more minor characters, and oh…the places you’ll go!

  11. Reblogged this on Ana Fraser Lallybroch Blog.

  12. I enjoyed your blog! Keep up the good work, I am looking forward to seeing more of your missives.

  13. what a wonderfully written blog thank you

  14. Beth, you leave me speechless, as usual. Love everything you write.

  15. Beth,
    Having enjoyed your reviews/blogs in the recent past, I am thrilled for you with this new gig! I know that you will continue to provide writing that is insightful and enjoyable to read! Thank you and best wishes!

  16. Excellent article. But we women always knew we were hero’s, just unsung!

  17. Women as their own heroes is a great concept! I agree that Claire and the other women created by Diana G are a huge part of what appeals to me in her books, although the men aren’t sa bad either! I am not worried about the upcoming episodes because I believe, as you said, this TV team will do them justice. Can’t wait to see Tobias and Sam play this out. I am happy to see you writing a regular piece, here where it is easily found. I plan to be a regular reader.

    Jackie Campbelll
  18. Great insight ! looking forward to comments on the remaining story. A friend knew the books and raved about the story, after watching the 1st episode I got the ebooks and have read all 8 and a few of the Lord John ones too (I really like him! ). Love having the story on ebooks so I can find and/or highlight special sections to re-read quickly. As every other reader I am not looking forward to next 3, but on the other hand can’t wait to see Cait & Sam bring the story to life 🙂

  19. Loved this Wednesday edition. ..will make it a regular habit to read! I love your parallels of strong, heroic women. Parenting as a woman in these times, with jobs, caregiving for aging parents, family members in health crises, and raising children with special needs. …it is mightily heroic! Having our own , real-life “Jamies” makes the path easier to bear, and worth fighting for! Women being strong and courageous is nothing new…I love the characters Diana wrote and the ones portraying them on the series. One of the best literature / screen adaptations I have ever enjoyed, if not THE best!
    I will, however, be struggling to watch what is coming. I’m still grappling with my vivid imagination from the reading of it. Seeing it happen seems too much to bear!

  20. Reblogged this on Terry Dresbach.

  21. hear hear I love the caracters of Claire and Jenny they are headstrong and powerful… Do not mess with the people they love it won’t end well for you.

  22. It is also gratifying to see the secondary women characters as strong and capable. Jenny of course, Mrs. Fitz, who commanded an army of people to run Castle Leoch, and even Geillis. We may not agree with her methods, but she was dedicated to a cause, a rebel, prepared to do anything and everything to help achieve the return of a Catholic monarch to the throne. Jamie also alluded to the strength of Letitia, Collum’s wife.
    Looking forward to future Wednesday offerings.

  23. Brava, Beth! Well said! x

  24. Back in college I took a Creative Writing/English class entitled: “The Female Hero” (or She-ro). It made me think about who I was and how I was to face the world – really a game changer for me. I agree that Claire is a fine example of strength, courage, and determination. If this class were still being offered I would be emailing that professor to add these books to his syllabus.

  25. Well said! I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the story of Wentworth and beyond portrayed. It shows the love between Jamie and Claire and what they will do to preserve that love for each other. The series got me reading the books and I am so glad it did. Enjoyed your blog!

  26. Thanks for your touching and heartfelt review of what women do for loved ones, for the helpless, and for those in need. I dread this next episode.

  27. Pingback: 1-1-2-how-math-made-me-love-outlander-starz-episode-13 | Terry Dresbach

  28. Fabulous, and thought provoking, as always.

    No matter how painful Wentworth will be, it’s all about the triumph of love. (To get through it, I will be thinking of the grotto and telling myself: waterweeds. waterweeds. waterweeds!!

  29. Pinned onto Outlander the Series.

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