Ok, I know that everyone is all excited about the upcoming wedding… well, not everyone exactly? Claire for one, is none too excited about the prospect… and will need even more than her usual consumption of alcohol to get through it! In my preparation for this wedding, I decided to go back and re-read the Wedding and aftermath portion of the book. Not so much to compare it in any way to what Starz and Ron Moore do with the event, but to remind myself that it wasn’t nearly so romantic, nor would it really have been considered the Wedding of the Century? Yes, it did have it’s moments but overall, it and the aftermath were pretty much a mess except for the fact that Claire realized just how fine looking Jamie was, and how long it had been since she’d had any sex! Once those realizations and another few glasses of wine hit her, she decided to do her duty, oblige Dougal’s demand that the marriage be legally binding and consummate it. She then discovered that being a Virgin was not necessarily a bad thing for men?! Of course, it did help that Jamie was such a quick and energetic learner! There was a slight bit of minor misunderstanding on his part of just how the act should be carried out but Claire quickly cleared that up. Jamie was still interested in experimenting however, and there a lengthy debate on the various farm and wild animal versions of the act, of which Jamie was highly knowledgeable on. During this discussion, Jamie made much comment on the fact that Claire was now his wife and must obey and oblige him… she really should have listened much more closely during that discussion, it might have saved her some pain later on? As per her usual behavior though, she was not taking the conversation or the concept quite seriously enough? She was far more interested in the current events taking place at that time… I can’t really say that I could blame her too much on that one! It did turn out that there was one animal whose procreation habits Jamie was not quite familiar with? How does a Hedgehog make love? Verra Carefully! Alright, they did have a few days in which to enjoy their newly wedded status before things started to downhill rather quickly. Those few days at the Inn were of course supervised the men of the Clan who took their role as witnesses quite seriously. After all it was their duty to ensure that the couple fulfilled their obligation to be wedded and bedded, and the fact that they were drinking on Dougal’s time and money did not hurt either!
Now, while it was a lovely Wedding, though quite small… and rather uncomfortable for Claire, seeing as she was suffering from over indulging the night before as well as discovering that it was the same church she had married Frank in!
Jamie did try to make it as nice as possible for her by insisting they be married in a Kirk, and that she have a decent dress to wear for the occasion. Those were a few of his demands to Dougal in going along with the Wedding, which we found out later was more than just save Claire from Black Jack Randall. Dougal always has ulterior motives and this was no exception. He was hedging his bets, covering all his bases on the matter of Jamie’s inheritance of his property, LallyBroch. Ahhh but that’s another long mess for later! Let’s just say here that Dougal did not do this all out of the kindness of his heart for Claire or Jamie!
While Murtaugh isn’t really all that fond of Claire and doesn’t trust her, he trusts Dougal even less!
As I mentioned, the Wedding was small but memorable, with Claire and Jamie coming to the realization and understanding that they were in this together and at least they have each other? After all, it could have been worse, she could have been stuck with Rupert?!
Much of the Wedding ceremony was familiar to Claire as it has not changed that much over the centuries. The part that she was not expecting was the ancient Gaelic/Pagan ritual of the Blood vow which included the slicing of their wrists and binding them together while reciting the vows.
Ladies of Lallybroch Jamie and Claire’s Blood Vow
“You are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone. I give you my body, that we two might be one. I give you my spirit, till our life shall be done.”
After the wedding and those few days of bliss, things deteriorated quickly. A few things had slipped Jamie’s mind in the chaos of dealing with Jack Randall and the excitement of this new sexual freedom? One of those being that while he had given Claire a knife to protect herself, he never bothered to show her how to use it! Even Ned Gowan was shocked at that. She was quickly taught how to use a knife by Rupert of all people, who turned out to be an excellent teacher! There was much debate on which sort of knife she should be equipped with for her safety and protection?
For obvious reasons, the Claymore was not an option
Nor was the Broadsword!
This left the Dirk and it’s smaller counterpart, the sgain-dubh
Following the knife lessons, there was what Claire perceived as a rather female demeaning attitude towards the use of a gun and why a woman would not be using one in the first place? Jamie had to explain to her that even for him the kick back was furious and, “While I like your smile fine, I like it much better with teeth!” She let that argument die and did not pursue the gun training!
Ummmm it’s a good thing that Rupert was an excellent teacher… Left on their own for a bit of time, both Jamie and Claire got carried away with that newlywed pass time and were set upon by wandering English Soldiers while involved in that pass time. A nasty fight ensued and Claire was forced to use her newly honed knife skills on the Soldier who was raping her while the other held Jamie at gunpoint. As I said, the honeymoon quickly went downhill! As if that was not enough, Claire decided to pick this time to head back to the Stones. So much for her passionate love with Jamie? Ohhh, she did have some guilt and remorse about the decision, I will credit her for that. Her rationale however, was that she would disappear into the woods where he told her to stay put and he would assume she was eaten by bears or some such thing?
Well, no such luck on that front! No, it was not lions, tigers or bears that found her, just the English Army once again! Another terrifying encounter with Black Jack Randall ensued and Jamie had to rescue her again. By this point his patience with her behavior has hit it’s breaking point and he has to take some rather drastic measures to ensure that she understands the seriousness of the situation that they are in and the danger she puts everyone else in with her actions. It’s a matter of justice, he points out later as he explains that if any man in their group had put them all in such peril with such carelessness, they would have lost an ear or at least some fingers. Jamie deems that a lesson she will not forget is necessary and reminds her of his earlier warning of if she left the hiding place where he left her, he would beat her bare ass with a strap. He advises her that he was serious and he is not one to go back on his vows. Claire learns the realities of the 18th century world and endures a painful and humiliating lashing with the strap from Jamie. He does spend much time later explaining his reasons and comforting her.
I bring this event up because I truly hope that it is played out in the coming episodes. I think that while it was quite graphic and what we would consider abusive in this day and age, it was an important event in the book and in their life together. It was a much more powerful and meaningful experience than the sex was. It clearly opened Claire’s eyes and her mind to how her actions affected everyone around her and it brought home the fact that this relationship of theirs goes beyond just a physical, sexual attraction and is far more complex than that. She understand just how deep Jamie’s feelings, his emotions and his loyalties are engrained within him.
So with all of that in mind, Yes I am looking forward to the Wedding… but more so I am looking forward to the aftermath of it!