Outlander Finale: 10 Meaningful Details From Claire’s Dream
Which mystery hides behind the title of the Outlander Season 5 finale, Never My Love? What inspired the modern house imagined by Claire in her dream? And what’s the message behind the orange according to the show’s executive producer? Let’s find out which easter eggs from Claire’s Dream Escape fans might have missed.
10. THE SONG
Most Outlander titles fit the episode in some way. Sometimes, they're connected to a song used in the episode. This was certainly the case in the Season 5 Finale, titled Never my Love! Even more significant, though, is how the song choice depicts Jamie and Claire’s timeless love.
Have you listened to the 60s song’s lyrics? They ask if there'll come a time, when a loved one grows tired of you, if the heart will lose its desire, if anything can make that love end. For each question, the answer is always: “Never my love”. How significant!
Will Jamie stop loving Claire after her assault? Will Claire's inability to take Lionell’s life out of revenge make him love her any less? I think we all know what Jamie’s answer will be!
9. THE HOUSE
Instead of staying in the present (the 18th century), Claire’s mind disassociates to protect her from the trauma. We see her in a more modern home and time, appearing to be roughly influenced by the 60s. She’s surrounded by her family while they’re celebrating Thanksgiving.
Here’s what the showrunner Matthew B. Roberts says about it: “For her to imagine this house, it came from her reading something, the title card for Episode 5, we planted a magazine that she puts down with the modern house that she imagines in 12 when she’s going into these dream escapes.”
Did you notice a clever tie-in on the first watch? Right, so the house is filled with lots of references to things we’ve seen Claire experience in previous seasons. One such item is...
8. THE PAINTING
In the dream scenes, Claire gazes at an abstract painting of a house, done in oranges and reds. Looks familiar? Yep, it’s a painting of the house on Fraser’s Ridge, but no, it’s not meant to depict the house on fire, as some fans have guessed.
Showrunner Matt says: “As people watch the episode, they’ll probably have to watch more than once to see that what Claire’s looking at is an abstract of Fraser’s Ridge. I asked our department to paint an abstract of Fraser’s Ridge.”
For Claire, Fraser’s Ridge is a place of safety with Jamie, so it makes sense that her mind adds this important detail as a warm reminder that, outside of this traumatic event, there will be a home to go back to. Things will be okay in the end.
7. THE BLUE VASE
Remember the window-shopping scene in Inverness in the series premiere? "I wanted nothing so much in all the world as to have a vase of my very own.” To Claire, buying this blue vase symbolized the beginning of a long and settled family life.
We later saw her place the treasured item in her and Frank’s home. So when this blue vase reappears during Claire’s dreamscape, it’s definitely not random (few things in this scene are random, to be honest!).
The vase represents the comfort she feels in the life she and Jamie have built together. Its presence intends to soothe her troubled mind and help her endure the assault that’s happening in real-time. As with the painting of Fraser’s Ridge, it symbolizes the safety of home.
6. THE DRAGONFLY
At one point, we see Fergus and Marsali’s son playing with a dragonfly toy. What’s the significance? Well, the answer is layered. Firstly, Book 2 in the Outlander novel series is titled Dragonfly in Amber, and so is Season 2’s finale.
The book and show titles both refer to Jamie and Claire’s eternal love for each other. Like a dragonfly in amber is preserved forever, their love can withstand even the forces of time travel. Secondly, back in Season 1, Jamie’s friend Hugh’s wedding gift to the newly-weds was a chunk of amber containing a dragonfly.
With the battle of Culloden threatening on the horizon, Claire leaves the treasured gift with Jamie as she travels to the future. In the future, she also finds the item in a historical collection. So, the presence of the dragonfly is Claire’s way of staying connected and anchored to Jamie. Wow, the attention to detail is simply breath-taking!
5. THE ORANGE
Of course, the orange wasn’t just an orange... It’s loaded with meaning! Think back to when Claire had just lost her and Jamie’s baby, Faith. As things go in the Outlander universe, the poor woman didn’t get time to grieve but had to move directly onto the next crisis - getting Jamie released from prison.
So, in exchange for Jamie’s freedom, Claire allowed the King of France to have his way with her. Afterwards, she left the room silently, yet with an air of defiance, taking a single orange with her. As if to say: “I’ll not be defeated by you”
Speaking with Elle, executive producer Toni Graphia said the orange symbolizes a piece of Claire that no one can ever take from her:
“When [Claire] leaves Versailles Palace, she [takes the orange], symboliz[ing] that she’s leaving with her dignity. Matt and I included it on purpose … when faced with the choice of whether to kill Lionel in revenge, Claire walking out with [the orange]… is a symbol that she takes the high road.”
4. THE RABBIT
Remember Jamie lying in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden? What does this have to do with a rabbit, you ask? Well, as Jamie awakens amidst the sea of corpses, he sees a rabbit in the distance. Shortly after, he hallucinates Claire walking towards him.
Right, so when the furry creature appears in Claire’s dreamscape, we know it’s there on purpose. In this case, much like Jamie saw Claire, this is most likely Claire’s symbolic way of seeing Jamie. Hey, and just for fun, we looked at what a rabbit is thought to symbolize. And guess what? In general, seeing a rabbit is thought to remind us to use the tools (or strength) we have within ourselves. As Claire did hers!
They’re also a symbol of marriage, family, and new life. How apt! We really don’t know if this is what the writers had in mind when, out of all the animals they could’ve chosen, they opted for a rabbit. But it’s nice to speculate, isn’t it?
3. JAMIE'S TARTAN
In Claire’s dream, Jamie wraps her in his tartan. This is clearly symbolic, since throughout the show this gesture represents safety for Claire. We can almost feel Jamie’s love for her right through the screen while watching him do this.
Therefore, it’s understandable that she’d call up such a comforting and soothing image during the traumatic assault. Graphia explains:
“We came up with this metaphor of, that she wraps her family around her. Jamie comes up behind her and wraps a blanket around her, the way that he wrapped his kilt around her in the first season.”
2. THE RED DRESS
It’s impossible to forget Claire’s iconic red dress in Season 2. We are 99% sure her red outfit in the dream sequence is a symbolic reference to her Paris costume!
Claire felt powerful in the head-turning dress she rocked during their time in Versailles, so she might be drawing on this memory of herself in a time of strength to get her through the assault. It might also represent a happy and more peaceful (wait, no, forget I said ‘peaceful’!) time.
1. NO BRIANNA AND ROGER
Pretty much all Claire’s loved ones are gathered in her dreamscape, even Young Ian! By the way, did you spot the clever reference to Ian’s Mohawk connections? It’s symbolized in the patch on his soldier’s uniform! But let’s focus.
Why are Bree and Roger not at the dinner table? And what’s the meaning of the increasingly disturbing sense that they had died in a car crash and, later, the police showing up with the terrible news? Well, we hope it’s not a premonition that they will really die in a car crash!
But we’re sure it’s not. Because, one, because of the timing of the assault (in real time, Brianna and Roger had left with Jemmie to travel to the future), it makes sense why they wouldn’t be in her dream. But, two, there’s a deeper symbolism too, if you’d like.
It refers to the dark side of Claire choosing her life with Jamie above staying in the future with Bree. Will Claire’s family ever be whole with people on different sides of time? That remains to be seen.