The Time Traveler's Wife TV series is an adaptation of The Time Traveler's Wife book by American author Audrey Niffenegger, published in 2003. There is also a movie adaptation of the book.
The Time Traveler's Wife HBO will be released on May 15, 2022.
Rose Leslie as Claire Abshire
Theo James as Henry DeTamble
Everleigh McDonell as Young Clare Abshire
Caitlin Shorey as Young Clare Abshire
Henry Detamble, the hero of the story, has a rare genetic disorder. Although it looks like a superpower, it is the bane of his life, because he has no control over it. He has no way of predicting when the time-traveling will happen or which date he will jump into, and he can't take anything with him. He just disappears all of a sudden and appears some other place in time out of thin air.
Struggling with his own existence, Henry Detamble meets the love of his life, Clare Abshire. Clare is shocked and confused at first but gradually realizes the love between her and Henry is actually intensified by absence. Their connection is unique and grows invincible with the passage of time, or a similar version of it. They meet under widely variable circumstances. Sometimes, Henry is a middle-aged man, and Clare is just a young girl with no memory of him. He tells her about their love story and plants the seed of faith in her heart.
Henry and Clare's love is literally challenged by the tribulation of time. Their faith in each other wavers, but they pull through together. Who is to say their relationship isn't perfect? It's devoted, loyal, exciting, and full of surprises, like any other healthy relationships. They even raise a little girl together.
When Henry meets Clare for the first time, she is 20 years old, and he is 28 years old. For Clare, Henry is her whole world then, but he doesn't recognize her. The time-traveling starts when Henry is five, and he perceives the concept of time within his own timeline. After he time-jumps, he has no clothes or money and has to find shelter. Fortunately, Clare, the center of gravity of Henry's universe, is often there to help him, as he gives her a note of his appearances when she is younger.
Clare first meets Henry when she is six, and he later comes many times in her youth. It appears Clare and Henry live in two timelines, and the joints of their convergence become the unique timeline of their love story.
Right before Henry first meets Clare in a library, Clare had sex with him for the first time two years ago. It must be both painful and beautiful to not see the person one loves for two years right after they have sex for the first time.
Clare and Henry eventually marry and have a daughter. Henry travels to the future and meets his ten-year-old daughter one time, but unfortunately, he learns he dies when she is five.
Henry is shot dead at 43 due to his inability to escape from amputation by hypothermia. With his last breath, he manages to time-travel to Clare and dies in her arms.
Devastated, Clare finds a letter from Henry telling her to "stop waiting" for him even if they will meet again in the far future. Eventually, Clare does reunite with Henry when she is 82 and has been waiting for him her whole life.
It's a beautiful and touching love story that defeats the cruelty of time. However, disturbing metaphors wriggle in corners.
First, Clare is the one that has to suffer from not seeing and waiting for Henry, which indicates only men have the privilege of absence.
Second, Clare and Henry always experience different stages of their relationship. For example, when Clare first has sex with Henry, Henry has already slept with her before. It indicates that men and women experience different versions of their love stories.
Third, the fact that Henry can't control when he time travels is also a metaphor. It has a determinism touch, suggesting people can't master the course of their relationship and have to react by the force of fate.
Last, the ending seems beautiful but actually takes a dark turn, as it is destined to be a sad story. Although Clare never falls in love again and waits for Henry her whole life just to meet him again with a pure heart, it is really unfair, because Henry never has to endure that kind of loneliness and emptiness caused by his lover's absence. In fact, Clare has every right to meet someone new without damaging the love she feels for Henry. It indicates that in reality, women are expected to be loyal, while men can start anew as they please without being judged.
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