After season seven of “Outlander” (which is currently on a midseason hiatus), there will be just one more season to wrap up the popular time-travel drama and all its loose ends.
But, fortunately for fans, Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire’s (Caitríona Balfe) epic, logic-defying love story won’t be over for good as there is still another book to look forward to from author Diana Gabaldon.
The American author, who published the first “Outlander” novel that launched the best-selling series and worldwide phenomenon over 30 years ago, has promised fans that the 10th book will most likely be the final installment and — crucially — have a happy ending for our beloved Scot and Sassenach.
Here’s everything we know about the hotly-anticipated novel so far.
Diana Gabaldon said one month after the ninth book was published that she had already begun writing book 10.
Just one month after “Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone” was published in November 2021, Gabaldon told Town & Country that she had already gotten stuck into “the beginnings” of the new novel, which she has not yet named.
“I have started writing that, but I’m just poking away at it little by little, because there’s so much interference from the book launch stuff going on that I can’t work with my usual focus,” she said at the time.
Gabaldon added: “It’s just beginning to bubble, like the tar pits at La Brea, these rising bubbles and there’s a lot of bones underneath.”
Some six months later in May 2022, she shared on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that she had “barely begun Book 10.”
While we don’t have an official release date for the book just yet, Gabaldon has predicted it will be published sometime between 2024 and 2026.
On her website, Gabaldon has made it quite clear that she does not know when the 10th book will be released, writing: “Sorry, I don’t know when I will finish Book Ten, much less when it will be published.”
“It takes a long time to write an 800-page novel and also do all the historical and other background research that is required,” she added.
Gabaldon said that as a “very rough guess” she predicts it could land on shelves “about three to five years” after “Bees,” which gives us a wide window of any time between 2024 and 2026.
That will certainly be good news to fans who experienced a seven-year wait between the publication of the eighth novel, “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,” which came out in 2014, and “Bees.”
Gabaldon has put the lengthy gap wait between those two novels down to the fact that writing the latest novel coincided with her role as a consultant on the television adaptation.
In an interview with TV Insider this year, she joked that finishing the 10th novel as soon as possible is in her best interest too. “The bottom line is, I’m 71. I don’t know how long I’ll last. I want to be sure of finishing,” she said.
Not much is known about what will happen but Gabaldon has said it will conclude in 1800 and “will have a happy ending.”
Gabaldon has shared that the story will end on the cusp of the 19th century meaning that, if Jamie and Claire survive until the end, they will be 79 and 83, respectively.
“I think the Outlander books will end in 1800. If this tells you anything, more power to you,” she wrote in the FAQ section of her website.
She added that “the last book will have a happy ending, though I confidently expect it to leave the readers in floods of tears, anyway.”
Fans can read some of the novel already, as Gabaldon has shared excerpts on her website.
Since February 2022, Gabaldon has been sharing excerpts of her work in progress with her readers on both her official website and Facebook page.
To not spoil the book’s plot, many of the excerpts concern the characters’ daily lives, though some have revealed upcoming plot developments, albeit they don’t give much away about the larger direction of the story.
You can find a link to all of them on Gabaldon’s website.
The final installment will finally answer questions about Jamie’s ghost that fans have been wondering for years.
It’s the question that every fan has been asking since the very first book, and first episode of the Starz adaptation: how and why was Jamie’s ghost watching Claire in 1945 before she took her life-changing tumble through the standing stones?
“The ghost is Jamie — but as for how it fits into the story, All Will Be Explained — in the last book,” Gabaldon wrote in the FAQ section of her website.
Speaking on the official “Outlander Podcast” in 2014, Gabaldon revealed the age of Jamie’s ghost in the scene. “He’s about 25,” she said, which only sparks more questions about what is going on in the scene, given that Jamie definitively does not die at 25 years old.
Interestingly, that is the age when he fights in — and survives — the Battle of Culloden, so his near-death experience in the aftermath of the fighting could explain it.
Readers won’t know for certain until the final book is published, but Gabaldon has shared another intriguing detail about the ghost, telling a fan on X (formerly known as Twitter) who asked about it: “Ghosts don’t exist in a place where time has meaning.”
The book’s conclusion will likely be different from how the television adaptation wraps up.
Gabaldon was originally confident that what happened to “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin would not happen to her, telling The Guardian that she “will certainly finish the 10th book before they finish the show.”
But that was before the decision was made to wrap the show with its eighth season, which will adapt the events of the ninth book. As a result, audiences can expect the show to feature a different ending to that of the book.
However, given Gabaldon’s involvement in the adaptation, there’s a possibility she could allow the series to use the ending she had planned out ahead of the publication of the 10th novel.
Sam Heughan has said he knows how the story will wrap up — but he’s been “sworn to secrecy.”
Heughan, who has played the dashing 18th-century highlander in the television adaptation since it began in 2014, revealed to Esquire UK last year that Gabaldon has filled him in on “how the whole thing’s going to end.”
“She emailed me the last few pages of what will be the last book very early on, I think in the first few weeks of shooting and no one else has seen that I think, apart from one other exec producer,” he said. “Even Caitríona’s not seen it and I’m sworn to secrecy.”
Balfe confirmed that she was not clued in on the story’s ending in an interview with Digital Spy the same year, but said she is “quite happy to let the mystery live, and just find out when I need to find out.”
The 10th book may conclude Jamie and Claire’s story, but it won’t be Gabaldon’s final foray into the “Outlander” universe.
The author has confirmed that she is working on several other stories connected to Jamie and Claire’s, including a prequel novel about Jamie’s parents, Brian and Ellen Fraser, whose epic forbidden love story could give Jamie and Claire a run for their money.
Speaking at the 2022 Edinburgh International Book Festival, Gabaldon told the audience that as well as romance, “the story is woven in with the Jacobite Risings – there will be a lot of clan politics and other interesting things,” per The Scotsman.
For those who are interested, she has shared several excerpts of the untitled book with her Facebook audience.
Gabaldon also plans to dedicate a book to the mysterious Master Raymond, the time traveler whom Jamie and Claire meet during their time in France, and whom Gabaldon has described as a “prehistoric time traveler” who comes from the year 400 BC or earlier.
On that novel, she told Town & Country: “I have the beginnings of that, but I’m not working on it actively at the moment for obvious reasons. It’s just there for when I get to it.”