Outlander is the historical-romance series starring Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe. As fans await the arrival of series six, many want to know more about the historical accuracy of the series. Who are the real Highlanders in Outlander?
Outlander season six is currently in production and fans are counting down the days to find out what will happen at Fraser’s Ridge in the new series. The series is based on the novel series by Diana Gabaldon and follows the story of World War Two nurse Claire Randall (played by Caitriona Balfe) and Highland warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Who are the real Highlanders in Outlander? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
Warning: This article may contain spoilers about Outlander
Who are the real Highlanders in Outlander?
- James ‘Jamie’ MacKenzie Fraser
Dashing Highlander Jamie Fraser is loosely based on a real Highlander who survived the Battle of Culloden.
Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, based the character, Jamie, on a historical account in Eric Linklater’s The Prince in the Heather.
The book details how Bonnie Prince Charlie managed to escape after the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and also gives an account of 19 wounded Jacobite soldiers hiding in a farmhouse after the battle.
After two days of hiding, they were executed under the Red Coat’s command for No Quarter, except for one man by the name of Fraser of the Master of Lovet’s regiment’.
The character of Jamie Fraser was also inspired by an episode of Doctor Who.
Gabaldon was watching an old episode featuring the Time Lord’s companion and a Highlander Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines).
The Doctor’s assistant was part of the seed which inspired the Highlander with actor Hines later going on to have a small role in Outlander.
He portrayed the character of Sir Fletcher Gordon in season one of the drama series.
- Bonnie Prince Charlie
Bonnie Prince Charlie (played by Andrew Gower), also known as Prince Charles Edward Stuart and the Young Pretender.
Bonnie Prince Charlie was the grandson of King Jame VII, the last Roman Catholic monarch to rule over the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.
James had been overthrown by his Protestant son-in-law in 1688 and in 1745, James’s grandson Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived in Scotland to assert the Stuart claim to the throne.
There, he gained support from Highlanders and had success in many battles.
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Highlanders advanced into England but were defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
In Outlander, Charles and Jamie cross paths, with Charles accepting Jamie as a confidante while navigating the political waters of Paris, and later during the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland.
British actor Andrew Gower took on the role of Bonnie Prince Charlie in seasons two and three of Outlander.
Speaking to Acess Hollywood about playing the famous Prince with an unusual accent, Andrew Gower said: “My intention was to strive for perfection, but through striving for perfection, in my head, I didn’t want it to be perfect.
“So I wanted him to be striving for almost – to speak with received [pronunciation]… but actually not quite really fitting the bill.
“I wanted the intonation to be slightly off — the whole bilingual aspect, that he could potentially speak French, speak Italian, but not really mastering any of them because there are a lot of mentions in letters to his father that his education kind of took a backseat and he was more interested in the social events and dancing and learning how to ride a horse.”
- Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat
Simon Fraser (Clive Russell), also known as Lord Lovat in Outlander is based on a real Highland figure.
Fraser was a Scottish Jacobite nicknamed the Old Fox, who was known for his frequent changes of an alliance.
During the Jacobite uprising of 1745, he sided with the Highlanders and Jacobites which would later lead to his downfall.
He was convicted of treason against the Crown and was subsequently beheaded.
In Outlander, Lovat was the father of Brian Fraser and the grandfather of Jamie Fraser.
Speaking to IGN about taking on the role of Simon Fraser in Outlander series two, Clive Russell said: “He was a very extraordinary man. All his jumping about from one side to the other, of support of the English to the Scottish causes, was a result of a pretty smart brain, and a man who was able to convince people, ‘I’m on your side,’ and the next day he would be on somebody else’s side.
“His charm was a great part of it. I don’t think we saw a lot of that in these particular episodes, but certainly, the real guy had all of that.
“You’ve got a considerable man: extraordinarily flawed, brutal, ruthless, but that’s a good observation. He did have charm.”
Outlander season 1 to 5 are streaming on Starz