Why did Jamie take the beating for Laoghaire on Outlander?

Explaining Jamie’s reasons for taking the beating for Laoghaire on Outlander

Sometimes, explanations within the books or on a show are forgotten. Or they’re missed until that time you rewatch or you reread. It’s easy to do, especially with something as big as Outlander.

As we reread the chapters, there are a few questions that have come up. There are thoughts that we haven’t had for a long time. One of the questions is why Jamie would take the beating for Laoghaire. Was this a sign that he liked her?

Jamie explains it well in the books. Again, though, I understand why it’s been overlooked by some. It’s an explanation I forgot, although one that I’d guessed. However, it’s certainly understandable why others would look at it in a different way.

It wasn’t a sign Jamie liked Laoghaire

One of the thoughts is that Jamie liked Laoghaire. After all, why would a man stand up for a young girl he barely knew? It seems Laoghaire took it as a sign that he liked her, and she was disappointed to hear that Jamie didn’t even remember her from the last time he was at the castle.

It’s no wonder that Laoghaire built up this fantasy in her head. She feel head over heels for Jamie, sure that this man was now hers. Nobody else had ever stood up for her in this way. Everyone else was going to let her be embarrassed and shamed in front of Hall. She thought it meant something more than it really did.

And yet, Jamie makes it clear to Claire that it was never about his feelings for Laoghaire. It was about the situation as a whole. Jamie knows what it’s like to be humiliated and shamed. He’d been through two floggings at Fort William and knew how it felt to be on the receiving side.

This was going to be nothing like Fort William in terms of physical damage. It was the mental damage that it would cause—it was the humiliation towards Laoghaire. No matter who the young girl was, Jamie would have stood up for her. He would have taken the beating. After all, it would have just been a beating for Jamie. He’d come off as gallant instead of humiliated.

Part of it may have also been to show Claire the type of man he is, but Jamie has never really struck me as one to show off his gallantness. I don’t think his pride would have let him do that. It was all about saving Laoghaire from a lifetime of humiliation.

Of course, now that we know what Laoghaire does, maybe he should have let her take the beating. It may have taught her a lesson. But then, would we have had Marsali and Joanie on Outlander? Sometimes bad things have to happen for the good things later.

Next: How Laoghaire and Claire could be releated

Did you understand Jamie’s actions for Laoghaire? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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