Heres a look at Claires decision to stay in the future in Outlander

Outlander: Behind the scenes with John Bell

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Season seven of Outlander will be coming out later this year with US network Starz confirming the show will be hitting screens in the summer. Until then, some viewers are going back to the previous seasons as well as reading Diana Gabaldon’s novel series. Some fans are wondering why Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe) thought her husband Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) was dead in season three.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from all seasons of Outlander and the Outlander novels

Why did Claire think Jamie was dead in Outlander?

As fans will remember, a pregnant Claire was forced to go back through the stones before the Battle of Culloden.

Jamie made her return to the future shortly before the tragic conflict, believing she would be safer in the future with her first husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies).

Claire unwillingly departed from the 18th century with Jamie telling her: “Frank. Tell him what you will about me.

“It’s likely he won’t want to hear but if he does, tell him I’m grateful, tell him I trust him and tell him I hate him to the very marrow of his bones.”

Claire then went into the future where she and Jamie were separated for 20 years before finally being reunited.

In the future, Claire believed Jamie had died because of the results of Culloden, which saw the Jacobites slaughtered in battle.

Very few Scots survived the battle in real-life with between 1,500 to 2,000 rebels thought to have been killed while only 300 Redcoats lost their lives in comparison.

Given the fatality figures, her assumption wasn’t an unreasonable one given Jamie didn’t nearly die and sustained horrific wounds, nearly losing his leg.

Nonetheless, Claire did hold out hope. She even gave Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) a list of men from Culloden to find out if any of them had survived.

Through Roger’s research into the list, the stone circle at Craig na Dun and Broch Tuarach, he finally found Jamie was alive.

In the novels, Roger managed to find one officer in the Fraser of Lovat’s regiment had survived in the aftermath of Culloden.

From here, Roger and Claire continued to research Jamie’s life with the Highlander going under various names during different phases of his life.

By the time he was running the Edinburgh print shop printing seditious pamphlets, Jamie was going under the name of Malcolm Alexander.

This was where Claire found Jamie in the past after she made the decision to go back through the stones at the insistence of both Roger and her daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton).

Part of Claire’s decision to tell Brianna the truth about her father came after she spotted Jamie’s fake gravestone, which had been left there by Frank.

Frank had the headstone made, knowing his daughter and wife would eventually see it.

Although Claire thought Jamie had died, he very much knew she would be safe and alive in the future, raising their child.

Despite keeping this, Jamie was still bereaved and went through many emotions as he tried to cope with her loss.

Heughan said: “He goes through all the stages of grief: anger and disillusionment and then hope, and ultimately acceptance of the fact that she’s gone.”

In some ways, it seems Jamie accepted Claire was gone and would never come back.

Speaking about shooting the reunion scene between Jamie and Claire, actor Heughan previously said: “We tried to be as honest as we could be.”

He went on to tell Harper’s Bazaar in 2017: “What’s it like for two people who have not only not seen each other for 20 years, but were deeply in love and have shared some history together, then actually moved on?”

Outlander season 7 will premiere in summer 2023 and seasons 1 to 6 are streaming on Lionsgate+ now

Although Claire thought Jamie had died, he very much knew she would be safe and alive in the future, raising their child.

Despite keeping this, Jamie was still bereaved and went through many emotions as he tried to cope with her loss.

Heughan said: “He goes through all the stages of grief: anger and disillusionment and then hope, and ultimately acceptance of the fact that she’s gone.”

In some ways, it seems Jamie accepted Claire was gone and would never come back.

Speaking about shooting the reunion scene between Jamie and Claire, actor Heughan previously said: “We tried to be as honest as we could be.”

He went on to tell Harper’s Bazaar in 2017: “What’s it like for two people who have not only not seen each other for 20 years, but were deeply in love and have shared some history together, then actually moved on?”

Outlander season 7 will premiere in summer 2023 and seasons 1 to 6 are streaming on Lionsgate+ now

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