Yup. In the history of Outlander there has always been discussions about Frank. If we think this is a new topic of conversation because of the way the TV show has presented him. We are wrong. This is just one discussion that is 6 yrs old . It took place on Karen Henry’s blog, Outlandish Observations, which was started in 2008. See…WAY before the show became a “thing”.
I assure you, these discussions/arguments have been happening since the first book came out. My guess, somewhere in the world on June 2, 1991 the first debate about Frank and his place in Claire’s story took place. Why? Because there is a distinct character there, with a distinct personality. The interesting part is which side people fall on.
Frank is the man who was left behind by Claire’s unintended trip into the past. It’s funny, not “haha” funny but “Hmmmmm, how about that?” funny – that if you love him, you defend him like no one’s business – or you despise him and everything he stands for…oh wait…everything we believe he stands for.
Frankly (heehee), he is one of the most complex characters in the Outlander series. Why in the world would I say that? It’s true. That’s why. In 8 books, we keep getting snippits of his story. We THINK we know it all but that’s not true. Diana still has not fully revealed what unquestionably happened in the 20 yrs Claire spent with Frank. I don’t think that is because she doesn’t care or it’s not important. I believe it is because there is so much to tell, so much that is laying underneath…Frank is simply one of those Tetris pieces that hasn’t fallen completely into place. We don’t have to like him to know his importance in the story. Perhaps that is where some of us stumble. “WE” don’t like him so he doesn’t belong. Seems kinda like my high school years allllll over again. OMG…I’m FRANK!
I hope we can see how short sighted that mindset is in the grand scheme of Diana’s tomes. Everyone, whether we like their character or not, has their place in the story she has written. We might think Mr. Willoughby served no purpose but the truth is, he did. In Diana’s story…and lets be frank (snort), it is HER story. We digest it the way our brain see’s fit, not necessarily as it was written. Its like broccoli, some people devour it and love everything about it and some get indigestion and end up super gassy.
The “F” word has been popping up again because of this picture in this article.
Lots of people took it as a personal nose rubbing because Frank isn’t that big of a deal to them, they don’t personally care for him or they believe he needs to hurry up and die already. Lots of people LOVED the photo, saw it showed what life would be like for Claire & Frank in the future, validated their feelings that Frank’s a good guy. An important good guy.
Neither of these view points are wrong. Why? Because people are people and they feel how they feel. The trouble is when we get to the point where we believe only our view has merit. Only our view is “right” and our need to express it in ways that are pointless to the grand scheme of things. Examples of pointless expressions might be : anger, telling people how to do their job, spitefulness or passive aggressiveness. One of my favourite sayings is…You can say what you mean – without being mean. We can also do that without trying to make others adhere to our beliefs.
Outlander (the show) has a story to tell. The writers, producers and directors want to make the best show possible in their eyes. That is where the crux of it all is. Their eyes. What is the thing about eyes folks? They are all unique. They all see things differently. Those who want to bask in the things they see…will. Those who want to contradict the same visions, won’t stop because someone says “You are wrong.” If it were the “fans” that created the show it would say in the credits SHOWRUNNER – Fans, but it doesn’t. It says Ronald D. Moore. Whether you believe that’s good or bad, it’s his to run the show.
I have no issues at all with those who use critical thinking to express their thoughts. I have no issues with rose coloured glasses and those who choose to love everything. My view is simply to be kind to one another while expressing your differences and maybe, just maybe allow each person their view.
Frank isn’t the bad guy. He isn’t the hero. He’s an intricate part of a story about a woman who is torn between times. The story, whether we believe it needs to be told or not, is the story. Perhaps sitting back and experiencing the ride is the solution. Like a roller coaster, some are going to love it…some are gonna wanna puke when it’s over. Either way…it is the experience that creates the outcome.
Hold on everyone, buckle your seat belts. If I know anything about this fandom, and I think I do…it’s gonna be a helluva ride!
Side note- I don’t think anyone can deny…Tobias Menzies…is super awesome, pretty good looking and well – brought Frank to life. Whether you like that particular life or not – is up to you.
Founder of the ABOotlanders