Are we supposed to feel sorry for Tom Christie in Outlander?

Outlander Season 7 explored more of Tom Christine's story and personality. Was it an attempt to make us feel sorry for him?
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

Outlander Season 6 introduced us to Tom Christie. In Season 7, we got a little more backstory. Was that to make us feel sorry for him?

When we first met Christie, he was more of an antagonist to the Frasers. It was clear he had some animosity against Jamie, with that developing in Ardsmuir Prison. However, as the story went on, Tom wasn’t the Christie that we had to worry about. It turned out his two children were the ones to watch out for.

Throughout the course of Season 6, we saw some changes to the man. He was still a staunch protestant, and he still had his moments when he was shocked at Claire’s opinions and actions. However, there were moments of kindness. It all led to him accompanying Claire and Jamie when the Browns took them to make sure Claire faced trial for the murder people thought she committed.

Did Outlander want us to feel sorry for Tom Christie in the end?

We got a shocking turn of events in the Season 7 premiere. Tom, realizing that Claire wasn’t going to get free on her own, decided to “confess” to murder. It was just a few episodes later that we found out that he didn’t kill Malva. He’d found out everything that had happened between Allan and Malva, and he shared that Malva wasn’t even his daughter but he took her in after everything that had happened to his wife.

He also shared that he was in love with Claire. If you’ve read the books, Tom’s feelings are shared in more details. The show did a great job of adapting that storyline, but it did leave a few fans concerned that they were supposed to end up feeling sorry for this man.

I don’t think either in the book or the show that we’re meant to end up feeling sorry for him. This is just a great look at how people aren’t everything that they seem. They hold feelings back, and they form opinions based on things that happen to them in their past. People who are good deep down will end up trying to do the right thing, but they don’t always do it in the right way. At least, not the way that we think is right.

Tom’s storyline just gave us some closure. We got the details from Allan about who the father of Malva’s baby was and what he did, and we found out that Tom knew the truth, which is why he wanted to save Claire. He was ready to make amends for everything that he had done, and he was willing to face God for judgment on his soul.

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