Outlander Stars Talk Fraser Sibling Rivalry, 'Harrowing' Prep for Next Ep

Outlander Jamie Jenny Reunite Lallybroch

Outlander‘s feisty Claire Fraser certainly didn’t enjoy her new sister-in-law calling her “trollop” within minutes of meeting her, so it’s a good thing that her portrayer, Caitriona Balfe, is a much more understanding sort.

The actress cuts Jenny Murray — the very pregnant sibling of Claire’s husband, Jamie — a skein of slack when it comes to manners… and word choice… and basic human courtesy.

“When Claire and Jenny first meet, there’s a lot of tension coming from Jenny’s camp,” Balfe says, reflecting on the events of this past Saturday’s episode. “It’s funny. These two women both feel that they have an ownership of Jamie.”

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Sam Heughan, who plays the man in question, tells TVLine his long history with Laura Donnelly — they attended the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland together “and we were working together in Norway on a film when I got cast in Outlander” — gives Jamie and Jenny’s relationship its feeling of flinty familiarity.

“We just wanted to make sure that they are similar in their stubbornness and in their blockheadedness, and she’s such a great actress that she gives as good as she gets,” he says. “Those scenes where they really go at it, it’s really important.”

Plus, Balfe adds, it’s not as if Jenny’s irritation is without cause. Claire and Jamie’s abrupt and unannounced arrival at his family’s home “changes a lot” for his older sister, who’s been running the place in his absence. “It’s hard for her to accept that. Plus,” Balfe says, laughing, “she’s nine months pregnant, so anyone would probably be a little grumpy.”

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And if you thought things at Lallybroch were tense now, just wait until Jenny goes into labor in this week’s episode (Starz, Saturday at 9/8c). In a diversion from Diana Gabaldon’s book, Claire alone — without the aid of an experienced midwife — helps her sister-in-law through the life-altering process.

“I did a lot of research and I watched a lot of videos, which were kind of harrowing, of home births,” Balfe says, chuckling; after all, though Claire’s a skilled nurse, “She’s a combat medic. Not too many soldiers in the second World War were giving birth, so her experience is quite limited.”

Though the interlude doesn’t make instant besties of Jamie’s soulmate and his sister, “It’s great to see how these two women come together,” Balfe adds. “They forge this really close bond.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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16 Comments
  1. Sherry says:

    Jenny is Jamie’s OLDER sister, not younger! I really hope that’s just a typo here and the show isn’t retconning that fact from the books…

    • Not at all. Merely a mis-remembering on my part. Amended. — KR

    • wilson picket says:

      Kimberly is correct. Yes, Jenny is Jamie’s OLDER sister. William “Willie” Fraser was Jamie’s older brother, who died at the age of 11 of smallpox. Jamie is the youngest of the 3. Jenny is 2 years older then our Jamie. We readers of the the books know all of these little details. So, in order of birth…Willie, Jenny, Jamie and then the baby that died at birth along with their mother, Ellen.

  2. Winter says:

    I really thought that Jenny was perfectly portrayed. She was warmer to Claire in the book but showed the strong willed woman you see in book 3.

    • tsevca says:

      I had different opinion. There were small things, but since they insist they do it for the book fans… Like the detail with the master bedroom. Jenny nor Ian would do that, would ever use Jamie´s absence to make themselves the masters. For them, Jamie was the only laird there and they would never disrespect that. Ian´s father was the caretaker of Lallybroch for Brian and he practicly did the same. Using the laird´s bedroom doesn´t corespond to that.

      • Deborah Black says:

        Jenny said they thought Jamie was dead. If, he was dead then Jenny is the rightful heir. Dougal was lying to everyone, he told Jamie, Jenny had Black Jack’s baby. Dougal has always been after Lally Brook and Jamie’s position.

  3. July Lark says:

    We’re getting into the territory of the horrific ending to season 1. My nerves are already shot, hope they dont leave us in a horrendous cliffy situation in the wait for almost a year for season 2.

    • Maple Leaf Momma says:

      July Lark…
      I’m with you 100%.
      …Filming, plus post production (editing etc,)…can take a while
      but…over a 6 month wait… is torture…!! Geesh…If they continue filming all Diana’s
      books with that projected timeline…We’ll all be old and grey, including
      some cast members !!

      • Winter says:

        Agreed and they haven’t even started shooting Season 2 yet! They have the opposite problem as Game of thrones. Too much material and not enough time.

  4. ninergrl6 says:

    I was disappointed in the Lallybroch episode because they left out so many cute/sweet/funny moments from the book, but I’m happy to know they’re not cutting Jenny giving birth. I was afraid they’d skip over it with the way the last episode ended. Hopefully Jamie and Claire’s conversation about having children will remain in tact.

  5. I’m so enjoying the series I have watched it twice each week , Outlander ticks all the boxes, I hope will be series two , later this year, the scenery is beautiful , should do wonders for tourism , thank you for such wonderful entertainment Mary sydney australia

  6. specialka says:

    I love everything about this show!

  7. Kelly says:

    I loved the books. I like the series, but they have made Claire’s character VERY unlikeable. In the books, she is strong willed, but she was also warm and likeable. In the show, she comes across as very cold and obnoxious. More of a spoiled brat than a woman from a more modern time. And in the books, Jenny and Claire built a very close friendship during this time. That comes to play later, so I hope they don’t just skip over that.

    • Nadine says:

      Re: above viewer who finds Claire ‘cold and obnoxious’. I beg to differ! Claire exudes compassion – when she saw Jamie’s scars for the first time, when she was with Geordie as he was dying after the wild boar attack, when she cradled the dead infant on the Fairy Hill, and at the witch trial when Geillis confessed to spare Claire – just to name a few times where her ‘glass face’ let the viewer know exactly how she was feeling. Claire is still trying to find her way in the 18thC. Perhaps you meant Laoghaire? 😃

    • tsevca says:

      I have quite different opinion. She seems hysterical to me, like everything little bad is the worst disaster ever. Book Claire is more “What the hell, it sucks, but I´ll try to make the best out of it.” But in the show she makes “I´m going to break down!” face for every little bad thing.

  8. The first time I picked up DIA I thought I missed a book