Grab your popcorn, Sassenachs! The Outlander drought (lovingly dubbed “droughtlander” by fans) will finally come to an end with the long-awaited premiere of season seven on June 16 on STARZ. While season six was scaled back to only eight episodes for COVID related reasons, each one was jam packed, leading up to a thrilling cliffhanger and the highly anticipated events of the newest season. So after a year-long agonizing hiatus, what can you expect as we dive back in? Here’s a quick catch-up and a sneak peek into what’s in store.
What is Outlander about?
Skillfully combining elements of romance, historical fiction, time travel and adventure, the Outlander series is based on a collection of historical fiction novels written by Diana Gabaldon. The story primarily revolves around the character of Claire Randall (played by Oscar-Nominee Caitriona Balfe), a British nurse from the 1940s, who mysteriously travels back in time to 18th-century Scotland.
She becomes involved with a group of Scottish Highlanders, particularly Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan), a dashing young warrior, and they form a passionate and complicated relationship. As Claire tries to navigate this new world and find her way back home, her and Jamie’s love story unfolds against the backdrop of historical events, including the Jacobite rebellions, the American Revolution, and other significant moments in history.
Where did Outlander season six leave off?
*Spoilers ahead!* At the end of season six, Claire finds herself in a less-than-ideal spot. Despite Malva Christie looking to Claire as a mentor when it comes to healing and medicine, when the girl becomes pregnant, she claims that Jamie is the father. In the following days, Claire discovers Malva’s body and eventually faces the false accusation of her murder. In light of this, Claire is taken away for trial despite her innocence — a crime that would likely result in her hanging. But have no fear — Jamie Fraser is here.
To dig in more on where season six left off, and see video clips from memorable moments, check out Us Weekly’s immersive character journey: interactive.usmagazine.com/starz-outlander
What can I expect in season seven?
The seventh season of Outlander will consists of 16 episodes, but will be broken up into two parts. The first eight episodes will begin airing June 16 (with new episodes releasing on the STARZ app on Fridays at midnight or at 8 p.m ET/PT on STARZ) and run through August. The second half of the season is said to come in 2024.
*Spoilers Ahead!* Season seven will begin with Jamie on his way to Wilmington to save Claire, as she waits to be tried for murder. This comes after his deportation back to Scotland was intercepted by Young Ian and the Cherokee. Because season six was shaved down to eight episodes as opposed to the anticipated 12, the first four episodes of season seven will be tied to book six, A Breath of Snow And Ashes in the romantic series. That being said, season seven’s storyline will incorporate the events of books six, seven, and eight.
Executive producer Maril Davis told TV Guide, “It is unbelievably supersized, and we did have to change some stuff. We had these four episodes that really close out last season and book six. But when you are opening a new season, the energy is different and our trajectory is different. So we kind of had to alter them. Then we worked our way into the next two books.”
Amidst all of the personal chaos of the new season, the American Revolution has begun in the background. This leaves Jamie, Claire, and their family to deal with the tumultuous changes taking place around them.
What’s in store for my favorite characters?
The lives and storylines of our most beloved characters have become increasingly complicated with each passing episode. And with multiple new key characters being introduced, we wonder: Who will live? Who will die? Will they be separated? Will the war tear them apart? Here’s a quick peek: *Spoilers Ahead*
Claire Fraser: The last few seasons have been nothing short of traumatic for Claire. Season five we watch as she endured a brutal kidnapping and attack. In season six, she faces a false accusation that leads to the current state she’s in. Time and time again, she has proven her resilience, but how much can one person take? Now, she once again finds herself in an increasingly difficult spot, knowing what she knows about the future in the thick of the American Revolution, and protecting her family at the same time.
“It is pretty intense stuff this season,” Balfe told Forbes. “I think we pick up where we left off last season with Claire in jail, and we figure out that Jamie is trying to find her. He’s trying to rescue her but the salvation comes in a mysterious form, doesn’t it?”
Jaime Fraser: Jamie has always fought for Claire, their family, and their future, despite the things he’s gone through. The Revolution gaining momentum and raging in the background will not change that. However, the events of the last season and the events that are to come will leave him wondering where his place in this world truly is.
“He’s a force to be reckoned with,” Heughan says of his character in an interview with Parade. “I think he’s also got so much to lose. Obviously, he’s lost Claire before, but this time, I don’t know, he’s more frail and he does look a little bit older.”
Brianna Fraser Mackenzie: Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger’s family continues to grow. As she puts her engineering skills to use, this changes their dynamic and brings new acquaintances into the mix. With the birth of her new child, things will naturally begin to shift amongst their family unit.
Roger Mackenzie: Roger (Richard Rankin) begins to find a place for himself as a minister, but still struggles. With his family continuing to grow, his role as a father moves to the forefront of his identity, despite the changes going on around him.
Young Ian Fraser: Time with the Mohawk continues to influence his day to day life. The skills Ian (John Bell) learned during his time spent with them are useful as he partakes in the war effort and he meets someone new that may lead to romance.
Will there be a season eight…or beyond?
While season eight was reported to be the final installment of the beloved series, there’s still a ways to go until we have to say our goodbyes, as the concluding season is currently on hold in light of the WGA writers strike. There’s plenty of time to immerse ourselves in Jamie and Claire’s epic romance, that’s for sure!
When the day does come that these beloved faces will no longer grace our screens, luckily, there’ll be another way to get your Fraser fix. STARZ also confirmed the development of a prequel series that would follow the love story of Jamie’s parents.