Outlander: Was Claire’s ring scene in the books? Writers reveal conflict over plot point

Season five of Outlander saw a major fallout between Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan) and his wife Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) this week. The pair were at odds with each other in a way not often seen in the show. But how much of this moment was taken from Diana Gabaldon’s books and how much was creative licence on the part of the writers?

Was Claire’s rings scene in the Outlander books?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Outlander season 5, episode 6

Claire was left incandescent with rage this week after her husband asked her to hand over her wedding ring from her first marriage to Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies).

Jamie wanted the ring so he could use it in a game of cards with North Carolina plantation owner Phillip Wylie (Chris Donald).

The Highlander seemed willing to forfeit the ring but was confident about winning and keeping Claire’s last memento of her first husband.

Wylie wanted the ring after Claire humiliated him and this was his comeback.


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After Jamie asked for the ring, Claire handed it over the two wedding bands, telling him: “You might as well take both of them.”

She was upset and it seems like the couple had hit a rocky patch in their epic love story.

Luckily, it all ended well with Jamie winning the card game and giving the rings back to Claire.

He promised never to take the rings again, saying they would always stay with her.

Season five takes its cue from The Fiery Cross which does see a similar moment play out.

However, in Gabaldon’s novels, Jamie wants both of Claire’s rings rather than just the one from Frank.

Speaking in a behind-the-scenes video, executive producer Maril Davis and showrunner Matthew B. Roberts opened-up about the rings.

Roberts said: “We had a lot of debate about the rings. We always go through the book and you try to find these big moments and in this book there was a debate about what those big moments are.

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“But this is one of those moments. Jamie and Claire don’t often completely disagree.

“They may have different opinions, but this was one of those moments where you go, ‘Wait, this couple does not see eye to eye on this and this is going to be a good dramatic moment.’

“In Jamie’s mind, it’s ‘trust me, if you trust me, you’ll do this’ and then she’s saying on the other side, ‘I do trust you but I can’t believe you’re asking for that particular ring.’”

Davis asked if there was a male/female divide within the writers’ room when the script for the scene was being penned.


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Roberts said: “A lot of the men were like, ‘Not asking that. I’m never going down that road.’ And the women were like, ‘Why not?’

“So, it was the exact opposite of what you would think. We get that a lot in the writers’ room.”

Davis added: “It’s true, sometimes the men come up with the romantic moments in the writers’ room too. I’m not going to say the women don’t, the women do as well.”

Claire’s rings in Outlander have always held significance as they signpost her life in the past and the present.

They played a part in season four as well after Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) stole the ring Jamie gave to Claire.

Brianna Fraser (Sophie Skelton) went to retrieve the ring after she saw Bonnet had it but the consequences were devastating for her after she was violently sexually assaulted.

Outlander season 5 airs on Sundays on Starz and Mondays on Amazon’s Prime Video.

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