There are some who say there’s too much rape in Outlander. Sometimes there is. Sometimes it is just used as a plot point, but definitely not always!
Is there too much rape in Outlander? The answer to this will depend on the person. For some, there’s far too much. Others will tell you that it’s historically accurate. The past was a dangerous time.
Personally, I’m hit and miss. It really does depend on the situation, the character, and the aftermath.
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I abore fiction that uses rape as a plot point, and there are times in Outlander that this has happened. Just look at Season 2 when Mary was raped. At no point did we get a chance to see her recovery. The rape was used as a way to get her out of a marriage and create a kerfuffle at the dinner party.
But then you’ve got to look at the rape of Jamie in Outlander Season 1 and the rape of Brianna in Season 4. There are other times in the books that characters are raped. These times do fit with the times, although I do sometimes think that we could take a step back—sometimes just take a step back from the drama entirely for a breather!
One thing Diana Gabaldon manages to do is create a storyline afterward. And this is something the showrunners have done, too. Rape isn’t always there just for the sake of it, but to offer a story of survival and recovery afterward. We see how different characters react, cope, and survive.
Jamie suffers from PTSD and wants to end his life after his. Male rape is one of those topics that barely any show or book will cover, but is a necessary topic to cover properly. 13 Reasons Why has recently done it and Outlander managed to success (both book and show). I prefer the show’s storyline for Jamie’s PTSD over the books, but that came first for me as a show-first fan.
When it comes to Brianna’s rape and recovery, the situation is very different. We only see the storyline from Brianna afterward when she’s telling Claire everything that happened. In the show, we sort of see it happen as it does. We hear it happen, watching as the others in the inn just ignore the screams from behind closed doors.
Jamie and Brianna both go through some major character development after their rapes. It’s not the rape that’s a plot point but a necessary part to show the recovery process afterward.
But that doesn’t mean the books or the show are perfect. There are times that rape is thrown in to create some sense of drama, usually with the more minor characters. So, with that in mind, I can see why some people would believe that there’s too much rape in Outlander that’s just used as a plot point.
What do you think about the topic? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Outlander Season 5 premieres on Feb. 16 on STARZ.