Did Black Jack Randall believe Claire about the date of his death in Outlander?

Before Claire left Wentworth Prison in Outlander Season 1, she told Black Jack Randall when he would die. Did Randall believe her, or did he brush it off?
Outlander Season 1 -- Courtesy fo STARZ
Outlander Season 1 -- Courtesy fo STARZ /

During Outlander Season 1, Claire shared Black Jack Randall’s date of death with him. Did he believe her? Was it something that always remained at the back of his mind?

Black Jack Randall was not overly superstitious that we knew. He certainly had his opinions about people, and he was a smart man. He immediately knew that something was off with Claire when she came through the stones, believing her to be a spy. And he wasn’t the only one to believe that.

One thing he didn’t likely believe her to be was a witch, though. There was never really any point that she assumed that. It wasn’t until she left Wentworth Prison that she made it clear that she could be considered a witch by him. She shared his death date.

How did Claire know when Black Jack Randall would die in Outlander?

Claire had to make sure she knew when Black Jack Randall would die to share something like this. Of course, she did know. Being from the future, she knew events that would happen.

Usually, she wouldn’t know things about individual people. She couldn’t have told anyone when Colum and Dougal MacKenzie would die. She knew nothing of Jamie when she was in the past. Yet, she knew Black Jack Randall thanks to her husband Frank. He had purposely gone to Scotland to learn more about his ancestor, knowing that he died at the Battle of Culloden.

So, all Claire needed was the date of the Battle of Culloden. That led to her sharing the date of April 16, 1746.

Black Jack Randall certainly initially believed Claire

When you look at the reaction of Black Jack Randall, he certainly seems to believe Claire’s statement. There’s that moment of shock, and why wouldn’t there be? Most people would have attempted to flee the prison in fear. However, Randall had this woman who was willing to stand up to him and whisper the date of his death to him.

It would have been unnerving. Just put yourself in his position. For all of Black Jack Randall’s faults, he did have some emotions and he was capable of fear.

Whether he continued to believe her is another thing. Black Jack Randall was a man who could push away certain thoughts. He had to as an officer, anyway. I explain this sort of compartmentalization as putting things in boxes and taping them up. He would have had a similar mechanism, and that would have allowed him to keep the date of his death at the back of his mind.

In fact, there is a moment in the second book—I can’t remember if this made it to the TV series—where Randall tells Claire that she can’t kill him because he knows when he’s supposed to die. It’s like he has accepted this, but it means he knows that he’ll live through to that date. When he agrees to marry Mary, he does it with the knowledge that he’s going to die anyway, and at least his brother’s child will have a good life with Mary’s widow’s pension.

So yes, he believed her, but he didn’t let the knowledge consume him.

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