Outlander plot hole: Why did Dougal choose Jamie to marry Claire?

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Outlander fans will remember how when BlackJack Randall (played by Tobias Menzies) was hot on Claire Randall’s (Caitriona Balfe) trail, she had no choice but to marry a Scottish man. Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) was chosen but some fans were left wondering why Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) picked the Highlander to marry her out of all his options.

Why did Dougal choose Jamie to marry Claire in Outlander?

When Claire travelled through the stones back to 18th Century Scotland, she found herself in a difficult position as an unmarried woman.

This only became tougher as the series continued and the evil Black Jack grew increasingly obsessed with her.

Convinced she was hiding something, he put a warrant out for her arrest, which left her stuck with very few options.

As a result, Dougal made the decision Claire had to be married off to Jamie to allow her to be free in a political loophole.

This was because, by marrying Jamie, she would become a Scot in the eyes of the law and she would be protected by her clan.

However, the moment left some fans confused about why exactly Jamie was chosen as her suitor.

There were many other eligible men in their group that could have been picked, including both Angus Mhor (Stephen Walters), Ned Gowan (Bill Paterson) and Rupert MacKenzie (Grant O’Rourke) who could have helped her out of danger.

Fans were especially wondering this because Jamie himself was a wanted man, and this choice could reveal he was still alive to Black Jack.


Now some fans have figured out exactly why Jamie was the perfect match in Dougal’s eyes.

This all comes down to politics. Jamie had a potential claim as the head of the clan, which Dougal wanted.

After Colum MacKenzie (Gary Lewis) died, it would be between the two men as to who would hold the title.

But by marrying Jamie to Claire, a Sassenach, his claim would be weaker and he would not have as much support.


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Posting on fan website Quora, user Linda Jordan wrote: “I think he believed that by letting Jamie marry a Sassenach, he would be assured the lairdship, fearing he would otherwise be shoved aside by his brother.

“Remember, the English were enemies of the Scots, and to allow an English woman to marry into the clan would be viewed as treasonous by many, and the Laird would not risk his legacy.”

This was part of the reason Dougal himself didn’t marry Claire, as well as the fact he was married at the time.

But later on in the season, when Jamie was taken prisoner by Black Jack, Dougal then told Claire they would have to marry.

As fans will know, he had always lusted after her and now it was advantageous for them to wed.

This is because Claire would now be seen as a Scottish woman, and Dougal’s wife and lover were both dead.

Writing on Quora, fan Jessica Lee explained: “Once Jamie is dead, Dougal can marry Claire, take her land by right of marriage, and secure Lallybroch which has been in more or less a state of limbo being sworn to neither the MacKenzies nor the Frasers.

“Dougal was always attracted to Claire but he is a cunning man.

“He didn’t act on the desires he had until he could gain actual benefit from them.”

Thankfully, Jamie survived, allowing him and Claire to reunite together as husband and wife once again.

Outlander seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.

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