If you want nothing more than to be called “Sassenach” or “Mo nighean donn”…
If the words Mac Dubh and Dunbonnet mean anything to you…
If you refuse to play blackjack on principle…
If you look at the autumn leaves and wonder which ones most resemble Jamie Fraser’s hair…
You may be afflicted with Jamie Fever. Don’t panic. You’re not alone. Jamie Fever is an incurable condition affecting millions worldwide and has been known to get stronger over time. Studies show that the only way to deal with Jamie Fever is to embrace it, and since we Outlander fans will never stop telling you how thankful we are that JAMMF exists, November seems like the perfect time to honor Himself as our Literary Hunk of the Month.
Okay. Jamie could verra well be the literary hunk of every month, but he probably wouldna feel very comfortable with that much praise. Besides, we have to show some love to our other favorite fictional boyfriends. Like Roger Mac.
In James Alexander Malcom MacKenzie Fraser, Diana Gabaldon has given us the most swoon-worthy hero on the face of the planet. He could almost seem too good to be true, but anyone who has read the Outlander series will tell you just how real our Jamie is. One of the side effects of Jamie Fever is the inability to coherently put into words just what makes him so amazing—aside from, “Um…HELLO. It’s JAMIE?!”—but let’s give it the old Clan Fraser try.
Physically, Jamie is a God among men. He towers over everyone and is built like the true Highland warrior that he is. He has survived more than any mortal should be able to, and he has the scars (and scars and scars) to prove it. He might seem invincible—at times he might think he’s invincible—but he gets totally seasick, which just adds a layer of charm and vulnerability to him. With his ruddy hair, his blue eyes and the way he looks in his plaid, Jamie would have any woman rushing to a circle of standing stones in hopes of falling into the 18th century to be with him, but physical appearance is not the reason we love Jamie Fraser.
I mean, it doesn’t hurt, but it’s not the reason.
Jamie has more honor and courage in his crooked finger than most literary heroes put together. He will go to the ends of the earth (and even face seasickness) not only for those he loves, but for those he feels responsible for—which, as time goes on, is something like the entire population of Scotland and half of Colonial America. He will never back down from what he thinks is right or what he believes to be his duty. Whether he’s taking a beating for an overly flirtatious teenaged girl or marrying a stranger to save her life, he never shirks from responsibility. (Okay. Maybe that second one worked out to his advantage, but still. He didn’t have to do it.) He can be a stubborn bloody Scot to a fault, but that’s what makes him a great leader, a great laird, a great husband, and a great man.
Of course, Jamie’s finest attribute, the thing that makes us all wish we were his Sassenachs, is his utter love and devotion to Claire. A brilliant woman who speaks her mind, refuses to be controlled, and knows how to perform surgery isn’t exactly what most men in the 1700s are looking for, but Jamie is forward-thinking enough to worship his 20th century woman. She is his true partner, and the fact that he would never be satisfied with a submissive lass who wants to be kept to the kitchen makes us adore him all the more. He opens his heart to her, confesses his fears, and knows better than to ever tell her what to do. He’s still hearing about the time he felt it his duty to discipline her like he thought an 18th century husband should.
When eight door-stopping books (so far) and a brilliant TV show aren’t enough to curb your Jamie fix, you know you’re dealing with a once-in-a-lifetime hero. So if you are one of the millions afflicted with Jamie Fever, congratulations! It’s more or less the greatest literary condition to be diagnosed with. Since another key side effect is the inability to remember a time before JAMMF came into our lives, let’s consider that pre-Jamie, we probably never heard the word Sassenach. We definitely didn’t shout “Tulach ard!” when getting really pumped up for something. We didn’t have daydreams of Lallybroch and we never knew how sexy the words Je suis prest could be.
It’s amazing how we ever functioned.
When it comes to be your turn to tell everyone at Thanksgiving what you’re thankful for, don’t forget to mention Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant mind and impeccable craft—after remembering your family, friends, blah, blah, blah. And if there’s someone at your table who has never heard of JAMMF? Give them a copy of Outlander for Christmas, and next year, you’ll be what they’re most thankful for.
What’s the best way to deal with Jamie Fever? I recommend re-reading all of the Outlander books as many times as possible, while watching Sam Heughan’s perfectly perfect portrayal of our Laird of Lallybroch on the Starz Outlander series.
For more Book Perfume Outlander obsession, check out these posts.