The moment has arrived, people. After being separated by decades (or is it centuries?) of time travel, war, and heartache, sexy soulmates Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser and Jamie “the Dunbonnet” Fraser have finally (finally!) been reunited. Although the two look like they have maybe aged a day, the Scottish lovers are not the same people they once were. Claire has been in a cold marriage for 20 years, raising her and Jamie’s daughter, and Laird Broch Tuarach has been a fugitive, a convict, and a father to a son he had to leave behind. We caught up with the very-well-acquainted stars at San Diego Comic Con to talk about this season’s most anticipated moment.
Now that your characters have been separated by so much time and space, how are they different from when we left them?
Caitriona Balfe: Well, when we first pick up with both of them, they’re both under this huge cloud of grief and that wears very heavily on them for the rest of their life. For Claire, she has to try and forge a new life for her daughter, and Frank becomes part of that. But once you’ve lost a huge part of your heart, for Claire, she puts a side of herself to one side, and that shows with her. She’s not fully that passionate, fiery person that we’ve known from seasons past. Especially her passion, in terms of a love life, gets shelved, and that has an effect on somebody. So she becomes very work-focused, very focused on her daughter, but some of the joy and the lightness in her life has gone.
Sam Heughan: They have to come to terms with losing a person that they love, and I guess you never really do, but ultimately, over time, they forge their own new lives and have different experiences. And so when they are reunited, it’s probably the point when they are least prepared for it because they have moved on and built a new life. So it’s an exciting point for them to meet each other again.
How do you think fans will react when they finally get back together?
SH: It’s one of those moments in the books that everyone’s anticipating — the print-shop scene — and we were aware of that scene and that chapter in the book. But we have so much that goes on before that really is very telling for each of their characters. Jamie specifically doesn’t want to be Jamie Fraser anymore. He wants to be anyone but that. He really loses himself, and it takes him a long time to rediscover the reason he wants to live, and to fight for something.
CB: It’s very different when you put two people who’ve had each other up on a pedestal for 20 years. There is an initial meeting that is sort of this idea they have of each other, but then what’s really interesting is the reality sets in, and these people have to get to know each other again. It’s not just about one single moment, or it’s not just about these iconic twists. There’s such great things that come out of that, that carry through to the end.