‘Outlander: Caitriona Balfe’s 10 Best Moments as Claire Fraser

Outlander star Caitriona Balfe’s performance as Claire Fraser has earned the Irish actress numerous award nominations. Because she’s such a fan-favorite, Balfe has won the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress twice. During the first five seasons of the Starz time-traveling drama, Balfe has had some incredible moments as Claire Fraser. Here are 10 of her very best.

Caitriona Balfe in the 'Outlander' Season 6 trailer. She stands in a navy blue sweater and dark grey coat holding back tears. Surrounding her is a snowy forest and a cabin in the background.
Caitriona Balfe in the ‘Outlander’ Season 6 trailer | YouTube/Starz

10. The ‘Outlander’ star stuns in ‘the dress’

During season 2, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire are living in Paris when Balfe has one of her best moments as the time-traveling World War II nurse. Before the couple heads to Versaille, Claire descends a staircase in an iconic red dress. Jamie’s reaction to the revealing gown makes the moment even better.

9. Claire returns to the future

Season 2 began with Claire back in the 1960s. Which made no sense, since season 1 ended with Jamie and Claire headed to Paris. Frank is celebrating his wife’s return, but it’s clear that Claire no longer connects with the 20th century.

Viewers can see the pain in her eyes, as well as the mess inside Claire’s head. As she struggles to find out what happened at the Battle of Culloden, Frank is at a loss. The wife he once knew and loved is gone, even though she’s standing right in front of him.

8. Claire survives a violent assault in ‘Never My Love’

The season 5 finale titled “Never My Love” featured Claire being sexually assaulted by a group of men because they didn’t like that she was dishing out medical advice. In order to cope and survive the horror she is experiencing, Claire mentally escapes to the 1960s to imagine an impossible future.

7. Leaving Brianna to return to Jamie

When Brianna (Sophie Skelton) confronts Claire about her father, the emotional, heated response from Balfe was one of her finest moments. But the exchange Claire has with her daughter when she decides to leave her and return to Jamie is one of the character’s best.

6. Setting boundaries…with a knife

When Jamie “punishes” Claire in season 1 with a spanking for disobeying him, she sets some boundaries for her new husband and demands he treat her as an equal. She refused to compromise and made it clear she wouldn’t be treated like other 18th century women.

To top off this great moment, Claire makes her demands while holding a knife. And then things get steamy between her and Jamie.

5. Caitriona Balfe shines in ‘Outlander’ season 2 episode ‘Faith’

One of the most gut-wrenching episodes of the entire series, Balfe’s performance in the Outlander season 2 episode “Faith” should have earned her an Emmy nod. After Claire gives birth to a stillborn baby, she is absolutely devastated. But simply describing Balfe’s performance doesn’t really do it justice.

It’s heartbreaking and traumatic to see what Claire goes through. But it’s impossible to look away.

RELATED: ‘Outlander’: Caitriona Balfe’s 12 Most Heartbreaking Moments as Claire Fraser

4. Saying goodbye to Jamie at Craigh Na Dun

The end of season 2 is one of the most memorable moments in all of Outlander for a number of reasons. One is Balfe’s performance as Claire as she unwillingly says goodbye to Jamie before the Battle of Culloden. Not many fans can make it through that scene without grabbing the tissues.

3. Traveling through the stones for the first time

Balfe was THE star of the Outlander pilot, showing the reason the entire series was named after her character. The life-changing moment she touched the stones at Craigh Na Dun during an innocent trip to pick flowers proved that Claire could handle anything thrown her way.

From the shocking time travel to her encounter with Black Jack Randall to meeting Jamie, Claire showed just how resilient she is — despite sometimes being confused and scared. Fans fell in love with Claire right away. And Balfe’s performance in the pilot shows why.

2. Claire returns to Jame in the past on ‘Outlander’ after 20 years apart

The moment in the season 3 episode “A. Malcolm” when Claire finally returns to the 18 century after a 20-year absence is a payoff for one of the series’ biggest build-ups.

The nervous energy and anticipation as Claire wanders through the streets of Edinburgh to track down Jamie — for both the audience and Balfe’s character — is nothing short of electric. And Balfe’s performance the moment she finally sees her true love was one viewers had been waiting for. Not to mention, that steamy reunion.

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1. This season 1 ‘Outlander’ episode is one of the best

When it comes to Outlander countdown lists for memorable moments and outstanding performances, the season 1 episode “The Wedding” is often near the top — and for good reason.

The entire episode is an incredible beginning to Jamie and Claire’s marriage. And it was a crucial moment for Balfe’s character. From the concern and apprehension she has — knowing that she’s already married to Frank (Tobias Menzies) —  to her acceptance of Jamie as her husband. It’s a moment in Outlander history that fans will never forget.

Outlander season 6 is expected to premiere on Starz in February 2022.