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La Dame Blanche, or the White Lady, is a figure featured in the mythologies of various Celtic countries. She is often identified with Macha of ancient Irish mythology, and is variously known as the Dryad of Death, Queen of the Dead, and the Crone form of the Goddess. She is associated with death, destruction, and annihilation.
In 1744, during his meetings with prominent Jacobites in the brothels of Paris, Jamie refuses to go with the whores, which amuses his companions. Tired of their teasing, Jamie informs them that his faithfulness to his wife Claire is purely in the interest of self-preservation, for she is La Dame Blanche – a white lady, believed to possess supernatural powers. The men – quite drunk by this point – believe the tale, and cease mocking Jamie.
Later, when Claire, Mary Hawkins, and Murtagh are set upon by brigands in a dark Paris street, the men flee when they see Claire's face, exclaiming "La Dame Blanche!" in tones of horror. Claire asks Jamie about the name, and he tells her about his night with Glengarry and Castelloti, and his improvised excuse. Claire notes that the rumor turned out to be a prescient one, as it prevented the men from raping Claire during the attack.
After Jamie has been locked up in the Bastille for dueling, Claire seeks an audience with King Louis XV to ask for Jamie's pardon. She is surprised to find that her first task in the matter is to determine, using her presumed abilities as La Dame Blanche, whether either of two men is guilty of sorcery and the dark arts – Master Raymond, and the Comte St. Germain.
Over a year later, when Claire and Jamie visit Beauly to seek support from Jamie's grandfather, Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, Jamie tells the old man that Claire is a White Lady, like "Dame Aliset."
In 1778, Michael Murray encounters a goldsmith who recalls that Michael's aunt Claire was once known in Paris as La Dame Blanche. Michael is appalled to hear this, and later asks Jared Fraser about her. Jared remembers that it was Jamie who spread the rumor that Claire was a white lady to discourage Parisian villains from attacking her.
Events of the TV series
- Main article: Outlander (TV series)
In addition to the incident in Paris and the subsequent revelation of her supernatural powers to the Old Fox, Claire plays up her reputation as La Dame Blanche in order to prevent Jamie from signing a Deed of Sasine handing over Lallybroch to his grandfather. Claire draws her inspiration from the Fraser Seer, Maisri.