2024 is here, and for “Outlander” fans that’s good news. The first half of the sweeping time travel drama’s seventh season aired last year, and it’s been confirmed that the second half will land on our screens sometime this year.
Excitingly, that could mean fans of the show have just a matter of weeks or months until they catch up with Scottish warrior Jamie (Sam Heughan) and his time-hopping wife Claire (Caitríona Balfe), whom audiences saw return to Scotland in the midseason finale.
As for what the rest of season seven will entail, it’s been confirmed that the episodes will follow the events of the seventh and eighth “Outlander” novels by Diana Gabaldon.
Although previous seasons of the Starz drama adapted a single book, season seven will end up straddling three books as a result of the show’s shortened, COVID-affected sixth season. The first eight episodes covered events from the sixth “Outlander” installment, “A Breath of Snow and Ashes,” as well as some of the events of the seventh book, “An Echo in the Bone.”
Speaking to Business Insider earlier this year, executive producer Maril Davis confirmed that the second part of season seven will wrap up the events of “An Echo in the Bone” before launching into the action of the eighth book, “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.”
That will allow the writers to dedicate the show’s eighth and final season to Gabaldon’s latest book in the series, “Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone” (there is another book in the works, but it’s unlikely that it will be published before the show ends).
Keep reading for details about what viewers could see happen, based on the events of these books.
In the books, Jamie and Claire are separated and after some miscommunication, Claire is mistakenly led to believe that her husband is dead.
Not very long after they arrive in Scotland, Claire is called to Philadelphia to perform life-saving surgery on Marsali (Lauren Lyle) and Fergus’ (César Domboy) son, Henri-Christian, while Jamie stays behind to care for his sick brother-in-law, Ian.
After Ian dies, Jamie and his sister Jenny (Kristin Atherton, recast from Laura Donnelly) decide to join Claire in America and let her know exactly which ship they’re taking. However, they end up missing the ship and sailing a few days later. Claire is mistakenly led to believe that Jamie is dead when Lord John (David Berry) receives news that the ship they were originally meant to travel on has sunk.
The series might make some changes to this storyline, particularly the impetus for Claire’s return to the US since Davis has confirmed neither Marsali nor Fergus will make an appearance in the second half of “Outlander” season seven.
In the aftermath, Claire hastily marries Lord John. When Jamie finds out, he’s furious.
Claire has known Jamie to cheat death before, but when Lord John tells her that his ship sank with no survivors, she can’t see a possible explanation that will allow her to believe her husband made it out alive.
The pair, who both love Jamie deeply, are grief-stricken and their problems are worsened when just hours after receiving the awful news, Lord John learns that a British army captain intends to arrest Claire for espionage.
In what he believes to be a final service to Jamie, the bachelor Lord John marries Claire to protect her. The platonic marriage turns sexual a few weeks later when they drunkenly go to bed together, both imagining that the other is their beloved Jamie.
When Jamie turns up on their doorstep two months later, they are both thrilled. But his relationship with them both is strained when he discovers just how close they have become in his absence.
Arch Bug makes good on his promise to hurt someone Young Ian loves. He sets his sights on Rachel.
This storyline was teased in the season seven midseason finale when Arch Bug (Hugh Ross) sinisterly inquired about the nature of Rachel (Izzy Meikle-Small) and Young Ian’s (John Bell) relationship when he came across Rachel walking Ian’s dog, Rollo.
In the books, Rachel ends up becoming a pawn in Arch’s plan to exact revenge on Ian for causing the accidental death of his wife, Murdina (Sarah Collier). Arch previously promised Ian he would punish him by taking away someone he loves, too.
This ends up happening when Rachel is in Philadelphia assisting Claire with her surgeries. Arch, who has been tracking her for several months, attacks her on the street. However, he is thwarted by William Ransom (Charles Vandervaart).
Arch attempts to capture her for a second time, which ends up causing a death when both William and Ian come to her rescue.
Meanwhile, Jemmy’s whereabouts are revealed.
After Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) and William “Buck” Buccleigh MacKenzie (Diarmaid Murtagh) travel through the standing stones at Craigh na Dun, believing that Jemmy (Matthew Adair) was taken back in time to help Rob Cameron (Chris Fulton) locate the hidden Jacobite gold, Brianna MacKenzie (Sophie Skelton) receives an unexpected visitor at Lallybroch: Rob.
Jemmy, it turns out, isn’t actually back in the 1700s. He’s locked in an underground tunnel beneath Loch Errochty, and Brianna is told she will only reunite with him if she gives into Rob’s lecherous demands for sex.
Roger and Buck emerge on the other side of the stones and get a nasty surprise.
Roger realizes he and Buck have traveled too far into the past than intended when he arrives at Lallybroch and is greeted by Jamie’s still-living father, Brian Fraser (Andrew Whipp).
They quickly learn they’ve traveled to 1739, not 1779.
Roger encounters younger versions of his ancestors, Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) and Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek), as well as Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall (Tobias Menzies).
During this time, he also meets a doctor by the name of Hector McEwan, who he discovers is also a time traveler, and is left with more questions about time travel than ever before.
William learns the truth about his parentage when he and Jamie come face-to-face again.
Jamie’s metaphorical return from the dead sets the scene for William to realize the truth about his parentage. While the pair previously met and spoke on the battlefield at Saratoga, it’s only when he meets Jamie this second time that he sees the striking resemblance they share.
Once he realizes he’s the bastard son of the Scottish warrior, instead of the blood heir of the Earl of Ellesmere, he’s deeply disturbed and begins to feel unworthy of his position in society, which leads him to make a series of out-of-character decisions.
Several new characters are introduced into the story, which only gets more complicated.
Among the new characters likely to make an appearance in the second half of season seven are Harold “Hal” Grey, Lord John’s older brother, and his family, which includes his son Henry Grey and his daughter Dorothea “Dottie” Grey, the latter of whom makes quite the impression of Denzel Hunter.
It was reported in 2022 that the role of Mercy Woodcock, a free Black woman who grows close to Henry in the eighth book, has also been cast, suggesting that audiences will see plenty of the Grey family’s intertwining and complex storylines in the new episodes.