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Romantic Moment of the Week: The Legend of Tarzan’s John and Jane Clayton

Romantic Moment Tarzan

THE FILM: The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
THE PAIRING: John Clayton (Alexander Skarsgård) and Jane (Porter) Clayton (Margot Robbie)
THE MOMENT: The Reunion

This past week, I took advantage of the DVD release of The Legend of Tarzan, and bought a copy. As I hit the play button on my remote, I anticipated good things, but a sliver of doubt lingered. How would the script spin its wild hero, Tarzan? Would his wildness be a strength or barrier to character development? It was with this trepidation that I settled in to discover what was to come of this re-imagining.

RELATED | The Legend of Tarzan – A Refined and Unapologetic Romantic Period Adventure

Fortunately, this turned out to be one of the most memorable films I’ve seen in 2016! To be fair, I’ll confess part of its appeal is the beautiful romance. The Legend of Tarzan tells the story of Tarzan, who meets and falls in love with Jane Clayton, an American raised in the jungle where her father taught English. Eight years later, they’re living in England where John (Tarzan, though he goes by John) has assumed his rightful place as the sole heir to the family fortune, left to him by his father.

The love story of John and Jane Clayton is one of the sweetest to be immortalized on film in a while. As a result, their connection is strengthened by Jane’s understanding and acceptance of who her husband is rather than his legend, and his consuming love for this woman who saved him. In this way, the story can take on reflections of a Beauty and the Beast fable. A story that, happily, ends just as beautifully as Belle and her Prince’s does.

The Love Story of John and Jane Clayton (Spoilers)

When the dust settles, this script doesn’t exchange many sweet nothings between this couple. Yet their romance is based on emotion and mutual understanding of who the other person is. (An appropriate and fitting approach to this love story.) While John is torn between two places, the legacy his father left him and the place he once called home the Jungle, the one thing he is sure of is that his heart is Jane’s. It’s this that guides his every choice.

When John agrees to accept an invitation at the King’s request to tour Africa, Jane makes necessary preparations to accompany him. He discovers her in the room they share, where he finds her packing her trunks with great excitement. When her husband protests her coming with him because of the enemies awaiting him, Jane reminds him, “It’s my home too.”

With tenderness, he responds, “It’s not safe there.”

Romantic Moment Tarzan

Understanding lining her voice and her face, she knows what he’s thinking of. “You can’t possibly still think there’s a danger, John,” she begins, “You haven’t spoken his name in years.” He remains silent as they stand close together but knowing her husband well, gently she urges him, “Talk to me.”

Romantic Moment Tarzan

He tells her his enemy isn’t the concern. With affection shading his voice, he says, “You are.”

Upset at being shut out by her husband, the two part company with tempers raised.

Romantic Moment Tarzan

Later, after their tempers have cooled, John finds Jane sitting in a tree on their estate. Wordlessly, he climbs the tree and sits across from her. Offering his hand, she takes it with her smaller hands. No words pass between them for a heartbeat. Finally, he says, more a statement than a question, and referring to their friends, “Promise me you’ll stay with the Kuba the whole time.”

Romantic Moment Tarzan

Without saying anything, a small smile forms on her lips. With tears glistening she nods in agreement. His face, a frame of confliction and worry, turns up in a half-hearted smile. Their hands together, John gently pulls her into his lap and the pair shares a kiss in a beautiful albeit quiet scene symbolic of their love.

The Romantic Moment

Upon their arrival, Africa proves to be as dangerous as John feared. His mortal enemy hasn’t forgotten the pain John once caused him, and as a result, he hires a man to capture John. In his stead, the tracker kidnaps Jane forcing John to use his knowledge of the terrain to find Jane. No obstacle is too great as he seeks her out, going to great lengths to return to safety the woman he loves. Even at risk of his own life, John accomplishes this.

But once Jane is safe, John’s quest isn’t yet complete. He must stop the villain from his nefarious plot so that he will no longer hurt the native people of Africa. As Jane watches the destruction from a safe distance, she sees ships explode and she believes the worst. Fear affixed on her face, she anxiously searches for a sign John is alive or if he’s at the bottom of the ocean.


Romantic Moment Tarzan

Motionless, she stands there. The emotions on her face suggest her world has stopped. She remains this way as her eyes search the horizon, the emotions on her face indicative of the worry she has about the fate of her husband. Is he alive? After what feels an eternity, Jane senses a presence. Closing her eyes in relief, without seeing his face she knows the truth. Her husband has found her again.

Romantic Moment Tarzan

Touching her, he leans into her, his forehead touching her hair.

Romantic Moment Tarzan

Romantic Moment Tarzan

Turning around, their touch remaining intact, their lips find each other and they share a passionate kiss. Filled with longing, relief, and love, Jane’s hands find John’s face, and they hold tight to each other. The couple take a moment to breathe, to recognize this isn’t a mirage as they cling together, an embrace indicative of desperation between a husband and wife almost separated by death, but reunited by the strength of their love.

Have you seen this period drama or are you planning on seeing it? I’d love to know what you thought of John and Jane’s romance. For me, as a viewer, I was impressed for many reasons with this re-imagining. Not the least of which being the romance, which is easily the pin keeping this story whole. Sound off below with your thoughts, I’d love to read them.

Photos: WB

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By on October 22nd, 2016

About Rissi JC

Rissi is a self-diagnosed Bookaholic and TV fandom addict. She’s currently an avid blogger and reader who enjoys interacting with readers, and often dreams about finishing her first novel. When not writing or reading, she can be found working as an INSPYs advisory board member or contributing to e-zines. Her scribbles are housed on her blog Finding Wonderland (https://www.rissiwrites.com).

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6 thoughts on “Romantic Moment of the Week: The Legend of Tarzan’s John and Jane Clayton”

  1. Lovely post, Rissi! Those two scenes were my favorites of the movie! The actors had wonderful chemistry together and really sold the popular love story of Jane and Tarzan.

    • I agree, Faith; the chemistry is crazy good! These scenes were magic for this film, particularly the one in the tree. But I added the “last one” too because it wasn’t nearly long enough, plus they do tie together the “bigger picture” relationship that is this couple’s love story really well. 🙂

  2. This was a lovely, romantic description! Initially I was excited about this movie, then as the trailers came out I became increasingly wary, believing this would be just another soulless blockbuster type of movie. But your two posts finally convinced me to give it a watch as soon as I can. If it’s as romantic as it sounds, then I’m sure I’ll love it.

    • I hope you end up enjoying this one, Tania! Like you, I was skeptical about this one, but I wound up finding it really romantic and well done. Hope you find as much to like about “The Legend of Tarzan” as I did. 🙂

  3. The love between Jane & John(Tarzan) is one of the greatest love affairs in literature history. The romantic dialogue you where wondering about is detailed in the pages of the Tarzan books, in all their romantic glory. It is a Love Story to it’s fullness. Please don’t get me wrong, “The Legend of Tarzan” is the closest effort to the true characters of the books(24). It is a terrific movie. It is about time that a movie finally tries to show this immortal main character as he was meant to be, a wealthy, highly intelligent, educated member of the House of Lords, with a split personality , as dark and wild as the jungle where he was raised. The character of Tarzan is an amazing complex character that will challenge everyone of your emotions, as well as your imagination.Read the books!


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