I was recently watching the latest episode of the Starz TV series, Outlander, episode 4.06 titled, Blood of my Blood.

In the episode there are a series of interrelated scenes featuring

Claire and Lord John Grey. shortly after Lord John's surprise visit, Claire begins to tend to Lord John's illness when Lord John acquires the measles. The two characters begin to have an exchange, instigated by Lord John, but taken further by Claire in which Claire contests Lord John's true intentions about coming to visit Jaime at Fraser's Ridge, leaving them both hurt and bit devastated. More scenes between them follow continuing the conversation as it evolves through stages of Lord John's sickness and recovery. They both care deeply for Jaime

Because I feel like I have seen scenes like this before, I was wondering if there is name or a trope for scenes in which two characters that happen to love another character, that is also the same character, come to confront and contest each other on that love they say have for this other character?

  • Sounds like a not-so-standard Love Triangle and there are some examples (with diagrams!) here. Are you looking for the specific confrontation between two of the characters competing for the love of the third?
    – m1gp0z
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 14:38
  • 1
    It's def is a love traingle, but it's a pretty complicated one. Lord John just can't seem to let go, but he and Claire never really were able to talk about it, despite that Jaime loves Claire and isn't Gay, but he did become friends with Lord John and he owes him a great deal, since Lord John is raising one of his children, while the other one has just time traveled to find to find him LOL! Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 15:04
  • But ya, I'm just interested in the specific confrontation between two people. I suspect that this could be applied to other scenes though like a fiance` and her soon-to-be mother in law arguing their love over her soon to be husband/son too. Just things like that where the party being talked about isn't present in the scene. Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


This may not quite be what you are looking for specifically as there is no "confrontation" per se but rather dialogue between two people about a third party that one loves.

In your example, Lord John Gray is a Love Confessor as he discusses Jamie with Claire

A Love Confession is when a lover declares his love to his beloved. But sometimes the lover can't or won't tell the beloved. There are a few reasons this could be:
- The beloved is unavailable for hearing the Love Confession.
- The lover doesn't want his beloved to know how he feels.
- The lover and/or the beloved are uncomfortable discussing their emotions—especially with each other!

There is, however, another option: The lover confesses his love to a third party. Instead of "I love you," the confession becomes "I love them."

Dramatically, this serves a few different purposes. It lets the audience know what the lover's feelings are, and/or confirms that the lover is aware of their own feelings. It creates new dramatic potential, since the lover and the third party now share a secret that the beloved is not in on. Most importantly, it buys time for writers who want to delay the Love Confession till later.

The romance between Claire and Jamie is already established so her side of the discussion is of a different nature but I think it adds another dimension to the Bizarre Love Triangle that they share


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