#TBT: Why did Claire have to marry Jamie on Outlander?

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room

Claire and Jamie’s love story officially started when they married, but why did it have to be Jamie?

Outlander is the awesome love story of Claire and Jamie. They have been to hell and back over the years, and it all officially started with their marriage. The big question many fans ask is why Claire had to marry Jamie in the first place.

While many remember that Claire had to marry a Scotsman because otherwise she could be arrested, questioned, and tortured by Black Jack Randall, many have forgotten or just don’t fully understand why it had to be Jamie. That’s understandable. There were so many other single Scotsman around, including Murtagh and Rupert (and Angus in the show). So, what was so special about Jamie?

It was a political move by Dougal

Jamie was the nephew of Colum and Dougal MacKenzie. He was also a patient but tactical man, meaning he could have gained a number of followers after Colum’s death. There was always the fear in Dougal that he would never become Laird of Leoch with Jamie around. Had Jamie given the real oath to Colum at the Gathering, this would have certainly cemented him as contender for laird, but it would have also been a death sentence for the young lad.

Dougal didn’t want to lose his chance of becoming Laird of Leoch. There was never a chance that Claire could become Lady of Leoch as a Sassenach, so Dougal could push Jamie out of contention without causing a ruckus with Jamie’s death.

The decision was purely political on Dougal’s part. It was selfish, but also one of the safest things for Jamie. It was clear that Dougal didn’t exactly want to kill a family member, otherwise he would have done long before this point.

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Dougal needed to keep Claire close

Why could Claire have married a tenant during the collection of the rents? Well, this could have been possible, but Dougal needed to keep Claire close to him. Colum would have already been angry at Claire marrying Jamie, but at least Claire could be kept at Castle Leoch. Marrying a tenant wouldn’t have allowed that.

Dougal and Colum were sure Claire was a spy; although debated whether she was a spy for the English or the French. By marrying Jamie, she could be kept close by at all times.

Jamie knew it was the best thing

While Jamie admitted that he had already fallen for Claire, he also admitted that he was thankful for the marriage for other reasons. He could have easily avoided the marriage, but he knew that it would keep him safe. By marrying a Sassenach, he couldn’t become Laird of Leoch. That meant his uncles wouldn’t look for a way to kill him secretly.

There was some guilt in Jamie, as he was a wanted man and it would be a dangerous life for Claire. He made that clear to her, but knew that a marriage to her was the best for both of them at the time.

Claire got the best man out of the lot

There’s a chance that Murtagh and Rupert would have been honorable as husbands, but Claire certainly got the best option out of the group of men. Jamie was young, loving, and kind. He may have been a wanted man, but he had the best intentions and would give his life for his new bride regardless of the situation.

Claire didn’t have a choice in who she married. Dougal had already made up his mind. This wasn’t just a marriage to keep Claire safe, but a way to help Dougal gain a political advantage. It was also a marriage that would keep Jamie alive and safe.

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