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Woman & Home
Woman & Home
Emma Shacklock

Do Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander books and could the show take the same direction with these much-loved characters?

Do Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander books? Seen here are Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe

“Do Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander books?” could be the question on your mind as season 7 of the Diana Gabaldon adaptation draws nearer.

If you haven’t discovered how to watch Outlander yet then you’ve been missing out on some seriously gripping storytelling. Based on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander book series, the show follows the time-traveling love story of 20th century nurse Claire Randall and 18th century highland warrior Jamie Fraser. The couple have faced plenty of dangerous situations already and with the American Revolution approaching in season 7 things aren’t set to get any easier.

But do Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander books? Here’s all we know about their fates and which path the STARZ show might take when it comes to their love story…

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*  

(Image credit: Starzplay)

Do Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander books? 

Historical drama fans have already had an emotional year watching Lucille leave Call the Midwife and wondering about Uhtred’s fate in The Seven Kings Must Die ending. So there might well be plenty of Outlander fans wondering if Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander books and whether they’re set to face the same fate in the STARZ series. And there’s good news - or at least, partly good news - as Jamie and Claire are currently still alive in Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling Outlander book series. 

(Image credit: Starzplay)

There have been many moments when we’ve been scared for their lives, but ultimately as of the most recent installment, Book 9: Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone, Jamie and Claire are still primary characters. Jamie was seriously wounded during the Battle of King’s Mountain but Claire is not only a time traveler but a healer - at least when it comes to her husband - and manages to resurrect him. 

She’s nearly lost her husband several times and as of the beginning of Book 8, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, believed Jamie really was dead. At the end of Book 7 in the Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone, Jamie was presumed dead after his ship went missing at sea. 

(Image credit: Starzplay)

Heading into My Own Heart’s Blood, Claire had married Lord John Grey only to discover that Jamie is still very much alive. Her son was also in for a shock when he learned that Lord John wasn’t his real father and that the newly-returned Jamie was.

After all this befalling our favorite characters it was somewhat of a relief when Claire and Jamie survived to the end of Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone. However, despite the time-traveling nature of the show and books, 18th century Scottish warrior Jamie and 20th century nurse Claire are of course human. This means that they’ll likely die eventually in some timeline or another, but this hasn’t happened yet in the Outlander books.

Diana is still working on Book 10 in the series which is currently untitled and according to the writer’s website, she’s still contemplating whether it will be the last to feature Jamie and Claire.

(Image credit: Starzplay)

“Book Ten might be the last of my Outlander novels which feature Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser,” she wrote. “Or it may not! I don’t know yet but will be sure to let you know when I do.” 

Meanwhile, as per Cinema Blend when previously asked if she still intends to end Outlander with Book 10, Diana apparently responded, “Well, it depends on Jamie and Claire. If they’re not ready to die yet then I guess I’ll have to go on”.

This suggests that whatever the final novel is, that will be the one that sees Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander books. However, when it comes to the show the plotline has yet to catch up to many of the most recent books.

Could Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander show? 

It’s been suggested that season 7 of Outlander will be adapting the rest of Book 6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and also some of Book 7, Echo in the Bone. Given Outlander isn’t a true story, the only place fans have to turn for potential clues about the direction it could take is Diana’s books and the previous seasons of Outlander. For anyone wondering if they could see Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander show, the answer depends on how closely they follow the books. 

Outlander season 8 has been confirmed and will be the STARZ series’ last outing. If Diana’s final book isn’t published by the time they’re ready to film or she hasn’t spoken with showrunners about her ending plans, they might have to take an entirely new direction to end Jamie and Claire’s story. And just because the writer seemingly plans to end her books with the death of this couple doesn’t mean the show will. 

On occasion it has switched up when book storylines take place or taken its own route or interpretation. The TV show kept Murtagh alive for far longer and Claire’s first husband Frank is much more sympathetic in the series, making her choice between him and Jamie harder. Ultimately, however, the main plot-points of the Outlander show generally follow Diana Gabaldon’s books pretty closely.

(Image credit: Starzplay)

In light of this it perhaps makes sense that if we haven’t had Jamie and Claire die in the Outlander book series yet it’s unlikely we’ll see it happen in the show - at least until season 8 when their story would be brought to an end anyway. Whether or not they die then remains to be seen but it could be that if the indications are that this is how the book series will end, the showrunners could incorporate this. 

Outlander season 7 will be released on STARZ on June 16.

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