We have read the books – countless times. We have seen the show again and again and again – particularly episode 7 “The Wedding”, and we are virtually dying with this wait for the next season. Why is that? Many of us are women and what we find in this story is the most perfect fictional boyfriend/husband ever in the history of mankind!
Sure enough, most modern men have some elements of JAMMF in them but I doubt very much if there are more than a few just like him: Highlander, sexy Scottish accent, great personality, humor, kilt and more. But we can fantasize about it all we like…. And we do. What exactly is it that makes him so great and why is he that much better than other fictional characters with great boyfriend/husband potential?
I think Jamie Fraser is probably the most layered romantic hero I have ever encountered. He comes with both good and bad characteristics which is what makes him so life-like. Few men, real or fictional, have captured the hearts of so many women from such a diverse age and cultural background as Jamie Fraser – played so well by Sam Heughan.
In my opinion, Jamid is unique; one of a kind, really, because:
1. He is brave.
Here is Dougal’s account of how the flogging went down. It gives me the chills every time I read it.
“Come Jamie’s turn, he walks up to the post – some men have to be dragged, but not him – and holds out his hands so the corporal can unlock the manacles he’s wearing. The corporal goes to pull his arm, like, to haul him into place, but Jamie shakes him off and steps back a pace. I was half expectin’ him to make a dash for it, but instead he just pulls off his shirt. It’s torn here and there and filthy as a clout, but he folds it up careful like it was his Sunday best, and lays it on the ground. Then he walks over to the post steady as a soldier and puts his hands up to be bound.” . . . “Aye, lass, courage like that is uncommon rare. It wasna ignorance, mind; he’d just seen two men flogged and he knew the same was coming to him. It’s just he had made up his mind there was no help for it. Boldness in battle is nothing out of the way for a Scotsman, ye ken, but to face down fear in cold blood is rare in any man. He was but nineteen at the time,” Dougal added as an afterthought. Page 178.
2. He is courteous.
After the incident where Dougal rips off Jamie’s shirt to showcase his scarred back to gain support for the Jacobite cause, Jamie and Claire are having a conversation and Jamie shows her how good he is at handling a dirk.
“He dropped low and brought the blade up in a swift, murderous jab that stopped an inch short of my breast. I stepped back involuntarily, and at once he stood upright, sheathing the dirk with an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry. I’m showin’ off. I didna mean to startle ye.” Page 159.
After their wedding they both feel quite embarrassed by what they know they have to do – consummate the marriage.
“You dinna need to be afraid of me,” he said softly. “I wasna going to jump on ye.” I laughed in spite of myself. “Well, I didn’t think you would.” In fact, I didn’t think he would touch me, until and unless I invited him to; …” Page 196.
3. He has a great sense of humor.
We get the impression that he is easily amused despite his rather harsh life so far. His sense of humor is often tickled even at the most awkward times when he is hurt or in serious danger, but also in the day to day life it doesn’t take much to amuse him. After helping Claire free a boy from the pillory, she thanks him but he dismisses it.
“And a moment later, with a hint of amusement, “Ye wouldna expect me to be less bold than a wee Sassenach lassie, now would ye?” Page 128.
When they are forced to marry Claire tries one last time to dissuade him by asking if the fact that she is not a virgin doesn’t bother him.
“Well, no,” he said slowly, “so long as it doesna bother you that I am.” He grinned at my drop-jawed expression, and backed toward the door. “Reckon one of us should know what they’re doing,” he said. Page 186.
At one point Claire asks Jamie how he managed to spend two years in the French army and still remain a virgin.
One corner of Jamie’s mouth twitched, and he looked down at me side-ways. “If ye had seen the harlots that service the French army, Sassenach, ye’d wonder I’ve the nerve even to touch a woman, let alone bed one.” Page 202.
After they go to Lallybroch Jamie tells Claire that he basically loved her right from the beginning.
“When I asked my Da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the tIme came, I’d have no doubt. And I didn’t. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, ‘Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman.’ … He dodged around a chair. “Of course, I thought it might ha’ just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery … but then that ride through the dark together” – he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve – “with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs” – he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear … “and that rock-solid head thumping me in the chest … I said to myself …” He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. “Jamie … I said … for all she’s a Sassenach bitch … with a tongue like an adder’s … with a bum like that … what does it matter if she’s a f-face like a sh-sh-sheep?” Page 438.
4. He is sexy as hell.
On their wedding day Jamie is truly a magnificent sight.
“A Highlander in full regalia is an impressive sight – any Highlander, no matter how old, I’ll-favored, or crapped in appearance. A tall, straight-bodied, and by no means I’ll-favored young Highlander at close range is breath-taking. … Well over six feet tall, broad in proportion, and striking of feature, he was a far cry from the grubby horse-handler I was accustomed to – and he knew it.” Page 190-191.
On their wedding night, despite being a virgin, Jamie still knows how to turn you on.
Later, once they have gotten past the first awkward times together, Jamie asks:
“Does it ever stop? The wanting you?” His hand came around to caress my breast. “Even when I’ve just left ye, I want you so much my chest feels tight and my fingers ache with wanting to touch ye again. … When I hold ye between my two hands and feel you quiver like that, waitin’ for me to take you … Lord, I want to pleasure you ’til ye cry out under me and open yourself to me. And when I take my own pleasure from you, I feel as though I’ve given ye my soul along with my cock.” Page 239-240.
5. He is not afraid to tell Claire of his fears and anxieties.
While sharing lunch with Claire at the stables Jamie refuses to have his bandages changed in the presence of Old Alec so as not to let the other man see the scars on his back.
“Alec knows I’ve been flogged, like he knows I’ve red hair, and it doesna matter to how he treats me.” He looked up then, searching for some sign of understanding from me. “But when you see it yourself, it’s like,” – he hesitated, looking for words – “it’s a bit … personal, maybe, is what I mean. I think … if he were to see the scars, he couldna see me anymore without thinking of my back. And I’d be able to see him thinking of it, and that would make me remember it, and -” He broke off, shrugging. Page 111-112.
After the spanking/punishment of Claire by Jamie he tells her how his father died and how he feels responsible for all that happened also to Jenny.
“So I did not bury him, as his son should have done. And I have never seen his grave – because I am afraid to go home.” Page 303.
6. He is honorable.
Shortly after they first meet Jamie offers to take Claire on his horse, keeps her warm under his plaid and even takes the blame when her stomach growls loudly. He gives her a sip of his whisky.
“Better have a wee nip,” he whispered to me. “It willna fill your belly, but it will make ye forget you’re hungry.” Page 53.
He volunteers to take Laoghaire’s punishment even though he really doesn’t know her.
“Then why did you do it?” He shrugged, a movement that also made him wince. “It would have shamed the lass, to be beaten in Hall. Easier for me.”“Easier?” I echoed incredulously, looking at his smashed face. He was probing his bruised ribs experimentally with his free hand, but looked up and gave me a one-sided grin. “Aye. She’s verra young. She would ha’ been shamed before everyone as knows her, and it would take a long time to get over it. I’m sore, but no really damaged; I’ll get over it in a day or two.” “But why you?” I asked. He looked as though he thought this an odd question. “Why not me?” he said. Page 83.
While collecting rent with Dougal and the other Highlanders Claire is annoyed when she finds Jamie asleep on the floor in front of her room.
“It may interest ye to know that there’s a small party of English dragoons stopped in to the taproom below,” he informed me coldly. “They’re a bit gone in drink, and disporting themselves a bit reckless with two women from the town. Since there’s but the two lasses, and five men, some of the soldiers seemed a bit inclined to venture upward in search of . . . ah, partners. I didna think you’d care overmuch for such attentions.” Page 167.
7. He is romantic.
In the beginning of their marriage he knows Claire doesn’t have much more than friendly feelings towards him but he promises her respect and honesty.
“There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I’ll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye – when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I’ll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save – respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?” Page 199.
Jamie went to considerable length to ensure that Claire would have a nice wedding, despite being forced into it. He set three conditions for taking her: time enough to get to know each other afterwards, a proper wedding dress for Claire, and to be wed in a church by a priest.
“I – I knew ye didna wish to wed. I wanted to make it … as pleasant as might be for you.” Page 226.
At Lallybroch Jamie makes another vow.
“Ye werena the first lass I kissed,: he said softly. “But I swear you’ll be the last.” And he bent his head to my upturned face. Page 446.
8. He is protective.
When they first arrive at Castle Leoch Claire breaks down and cries because she misses Frank and Jamie doesn’t shy away from her emotional outburst. Instead he comforts her and makes her a promise.
“Ye need not be scairt of me,” he said softly. “Nor of anyone here, so long as I’m with ye.” Page 66.
I’m not sure Jamie knew what he got himself into when he married Claire because she seems to have a knack for getting into trouble repeatedly so Jamie saves her on numerous occasions throughout the series. To be fair, she reciprocates in kind but we are discussing Jamie’s virtues here so…. Here Jamie rescues her from the claws of Black Jack Randall.
“You bluffed your way in here with an empty gun?” I croaked hysterically. “If it were loaded, I would ha’ just shot him in the first place, wouldn’t I?!” Jamie hissed. Page 278.
9. He is devoted.
His allegiance lies with those he loves, his family and Claire in particular and he will do anything to keep them out of harms way no matter the cost to himself.
“You are safe,” he said firmly. “You have my name and my family, my clan, and if necessary, the protection of my body as well.” … He meant it; and young as he was, he knew what he meant, and bore the scars to prove it. … It was no romantic pledge he had made me, but the blunt promise to guard my safety at the cost of his own. Page 199.
10. He has integrity.
Before they get intimate for the first time Jamie asks Claire to tell him about Frank.
“Well, I knew ye must be thinking of him. Ye could hardly not, under the circumstances. I do not want ye ever to feel as though ye canna talk of him to me. Even though I’m your husband now – that feels Vera strange to say – it isna right that ye should forget him, or even try to. If ye loved him, he must ha’ been a good man.” Page 197.
In episode 109 “Both sides now ” the TV show gives us Jamie’s point of view as well. He has a profound sense of what it means to be a man and how to best conduct himself as one.
He also leaves Claire at Craig na Dun with the opportunity to return to Frank even though every fiber of him wants her to stay. He knows there is a husband somewhere in the future with a prior claim to Claire.
“I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday … I prayed I’d be strong enough to send ye away. … I said, ‘Lord, if I’ve never had courage in my life before, let me have it now. Let me brave enough not to fall to my knees and beg her to stay.’ … “Hardest thing I ever did, Sassenach.” Page 414.
To those of you who have so far only watched the TV show I hope I have piqued your curiosity as to reading the books as well. They are full of stuff like the above. In fact, if you were to mention all the good parts, that in itself would be a book. Do yourselves the favor of reading them – I promise you will not regret it, but you might regret it if you don’t.