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Alexander Smail & Sean Murphy

20 obscure Outlander facts even hardcore fans might not know

With just a couple of months left until the long-awaited seventh season of Outlander debuts, fan excitement is at fever pitch.

While you won't have to wait much longer to find out what happens to Claire and Jamie Fraser next, we have put together 20 little-known facts about the show to help the final few weeks go by quicker. From the actors who were originally intended to play the leads to series creator Diana Gabaldon's cameo appearance, there is a wealth of fascinating trivia about the series.

If you're a hardcore Outlander fan, you might even know all of these — in which case, congratulations! However, hopefully you learn a few things ahead of the season seven premiere this June.

Here are 20 Outlander facts that you might not have known.

1. Creator Diana Gabaldon was not initially a fan of Sam Heughan's casting as Jamie

Heughan was actually the first actor cast in the series, while the search for Claire took far longer. Series creator Diana Gabaldon was not initially a fan of the choice, however, even going so far as to call the actor "grotesque" after seeing his casting photo.

2. The character of Jamie was inspired by a real warrior who fought at Culloden

While many of the characters in Outlander are completely fictional, Jamie Fraser does actually have a historic basis. The character is loosely based on a real-life Jacobite warrior who survived the infamous Battle of Culloden in 1746.

3. Sam Heughan once portrayed Batman before being cast as Jamie

It's hard to picture Heughan as anyone other than Jamie at this point—let alone one of the most iconic superheroes of all time (Sam Heughan (Instagram))

While most fans will likely be unable to separate Heughan from Jamie Fraser at this point, before being cast he briefly portrayed an even more iconic character. The actor played Batman in a stage show, for which he was required to undergo vigorous training in order to transform into the superhero.

4. Liam Neeson and Sean Connery were both considered for the role of Jamie at one point

Long before Outlander became the popular television series that it is today, it was initially intended to be adapted into a feature film. In the early stages, both Liam Neeson and Sean Connery were top choices to play the role of Jamie.

5. Katherine Heigl was originally meant to portray Claire

Just as with Jamie, the role of Claire also would have gone to another actor if initial plans to adapt the series into a film had been followed through. Katherine Heigl, known primarily for her role in Grey's Anatomy, was reportedly the top choice to play the lead.

6. Diana Gabaldon had never been to Scotland before writing the books

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon. (Getty)

It may be hard to believe, but Diana Gabaldon had never set foot in Scotland before penning her best-selling novels, instead using her background as a researcher to accurately depict the country. Of course, she has since visited many times.

7. The show's theme song is closely related to the Battle of Culloden

'The Skye Boat Song', the opening theme for the show, recounts the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie escaping to the Isle of Skye after the defeat in 1746. Interestingly, producer Ron D Moore changed the word 'lad' to 'lass' to make it fit the series better.

8. Diana Gabaldon made a cameo appearance on the show all the way back in season one

While not known as an actress, Diana Gabaldon actually did appear on the show in its first season. She portrayed character Iona MacTavish in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it speaking role.

9. Sam Heughan ran two marathons while filming season four

While it will come as no surprise that Heughan has undergone vigorous physical training over the years to play the role of Jamie, you may not know that while filming the fourth season, he ran two marathons. Even more impressively, he did both in the span of just two months.

10. Scottish tourism has soared as a result of the show

With Outlander taking advantage of Scotland's natural beauty, as well as its fascinating heritage sites and history, the series has been responsible for a major tourism boom. The "Outlander effect" has seen hundreds of thousands visit the country as a result of the show.

11. The inspiration for the story came from an episode of Doctor Who

It may be hard to believe, but Diana Gabaldon was in fact inspired to write Outlander after watching an episode of Doctor Who. In the episode, the Doctor lands the Tardis in Scotland in 1746 during the Battle of Culloden — where he meets a Highland warrior also named Jamie.

12. The actors often wear their kilts 'traditionally'

Sam and the other cast members who wore kilts during filming often went commando (Sony/Starz)

Many actors on Outlander choose to go 'true Scotsmen' on set — that is to say they don't wear underwear underneath their kilts. Heughan even joked that it was "liberating" during an interview with a US radio station.

13. Sam Heughan spends the longest in makeup out of any actor on the show

It may surprise you that of all the actors and actresses on Outlander, the one who usually spends the longest in the makeup chair is Heughan. The majority of this time is spent creating the character's back scars, which can take more than two hours to apply.

14. Even the colonial America scenes were shot in Scotland

While the majority of Outlander is of course set in Scotland, taking full advantage of the country's dramatic landscapes, at various points throughout the show the characters travel to different countries—such as North Carolina. While the show does a good job of making you feel like you're seeing colonial America, most of these scenes were in fact filmed in Scotland.

15. Outlander has its own cookbook

Inspired by the series and its setting, Outlander Kitchen is a recipe book written by cook Theresa Carle-Sanders that features creations such as Cock-a-Leekie and Goat Cheese and Bacon Tarts. The book even has a foreword by Diana Gabaldon.

16. Diana Gabaldon never intended to publish her first Outlander novel

It's hard to believe, but we almost lived in a world without Outlander as Gabaldon initially saw the novels as a writing exercise to practise her skills. However, she was then introduced to a literary agent and the rest is history.

17. Heughan doesn’t think Jamie should have gotten involved with Claire

While on-screen, Claire and Fraser may seem like the perfect match, Heughan has far more mixed feelings on their relationship. When asked what Jamie would tell his season one self if he could go back in time, Heughan said: "Don’t go near her. Your life is going to be a mess. She just turns his world upside down and every time he looks at her, I think he sees his own demise in that he knows he would do anything for her."

18. One of the castles featured also appeared in Game of Thrones and Monty Python

Fans who remember all the way back to season one will likely recall many scenes that featured Castle Leoch, the seat of Clan Mackenzie. What you might not know is that the real-life castle that was used, Doune Castle, also appeared in Game of Thrones as Winterfell — and even Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

19. Sam Heughan's hair once turned purple when he tried to dye it for the show

True Outlander fans will know that Jamie's iconic red hair is not actually what Heughan's looks like in real life, which is more of a dirty blond. The actor originally dyed his hair for the role, but he did this so many times that eventually it did not hold the colour and instead turned purple so he now wears a wig.

20. Sam Heughan knows how Outlander will end—but no one else does

With just a couple of seasons left until the show comes to a close, fans will naturally be wondering how everything will end. While obviously Gabaldon knows what will happen, it may surprise you to know that the only person she has told is Heughan, with not even co-star Balfe in the know.

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