Should Claire have returned to her own time in Outlander?

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

When Claire fell through the stones and realized where she was, she initially tried to return to her own time. The time she had her chance, she changed her mind. Would it have been better for all if she went back to her own time in Outlander?

If Claire returned to her own time right away, there wouldn’t have been a story. And I’m definitely not saying that I wanted Claire to return to Frank. Outlander‘s Claire and Jamie certainly had (have?) something so special that it couldn’t have been replicated in the future.

But since it’s the anniversary of when she went back in time, let’s for a second just consider everything that she did in the past. Should she have kept the natural order of things and gone back to her own time?

The trouble of going to the past

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Let’s think about the history that she changed. By staying in her own time, she led to the murder of the Duke of Sandringham, the death of Comte St. Germain, the saving of the MacKenzie clans members, and possibly the saving of the Fraser/Murray family and tenants. She used knowledge of the future or played a direct part in changes.

She even attempted to stop the Battle of Culloden and then attempted to change history completely by pushing for a Jacobite victory. It may have been Claire’s words that helped to bring some men to the fight, leading them to a death that they wouldn’t have necessarily had.

And then there’s the indirect impact that she had on lives. Maybe Jamie was supposed to marry Laoghaire (if he’d survived that night on the road back) and she led to the young girl having two marriages that certainly didn’t make her happy.

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Frank’s worries in the future

Then there’s everything that happened in the 1940s. Frank was distraught, searching for his wife for weeks before finally giving up and accepting that she was gone. However, he never truly accepted it all. There was a part of him clinging onto hope and that part rose up when Claire did finally return.

Lives in the 1940s were directly affected because of Claire’s decision to stay in the past. When she returned, she had to fit herself back in. It would have been much easier had she returned the minute she had the chance.

But Brianna would never have been born

Had Claire returned to her own time, someone important to her, Frank and Jamie wouldn’t have ever been born. Brianna was a product of Claire and Jamie’s love. Frank couldn’t have children, so he and Claire would have likely eventually been unhappy. In the first season, Claire was sure that she was the one who was barren. There wasn’t even the consideration that it could have been Frank–although he did eventually find out the truth.

Without Brianna, Roger wouldn’t have found his true love. Events that happen in future books wouldn’t take place. So many other lives would have been affected, and not for the better.

Claire may have messed up the natural order of some things, but she also made the 18th century a better place because of some of her actions. Staying in the past was where she fit and it wouldn’t have been Outlander had she returned to Frank; nor would she have likely been as happy as she was with Jamie.

Next: 5 best Claire moments in Outlander Season 2

Do you sometimes wonder what life would have been like for Jamie without Claire? Do you question Frank’s fate had Claire returned to her own time? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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