For anyone who didn’t yet realize, Starz’s drama Outlander is based on Diana Gabaldon’s wildly popular book series. So far there are eight, but she is showing no signs of slowing down, which is good since each season of the TV series encapsulates one book. Season three is bringing the events of Voyager to life, which means book readers more or less know what’s coming – like the highly anticipated print shop scene. However, if you haven’t read the books and you’d like to be in the know about the major events yet to come in season three, we have a handy guide for you. Beware of major spoilers ahead for Voyager!
Jamie Has a Son
In the ensuing years living without Claire, Jamie’s adventures take him to Helwater, an English estate where he works as a groom (a caretaker of horses) for the Dunsany family. This is the best Lord John Grey can do for him after Ardsmuir Prison closes, which is really not a bad deal for someone declared a traitor to the crown. At Helwater, Jamie is blackmailed into sleeping with Geneva, the eldest Dunsany daughter – she wants her first time to be with someone young and handsome, as she is betrothed to the eighth Earl of Ellesmere, a man old enough to be her grandfather.
It is from this time together that Geneva conceives a son. After she dies in childbirth and the Earl of Ellesmere is killed in a confrontation with Jamie, little William is raised by his maternal grandparents and then later by Geneva’s sister, Isobel, and Lord John Grey, whom Isobel marries.
Jamie gets to spend many years with William, as he is still the groom at the estate, but when the resemblance between them begins to show, he and Lord John agree it is best if Jamie leaves. He is pardoned for his crimes and is allowed to return to Scotland. If the scene where Jamie says goodbye to William is as good on the show as it is in the books, get the hankies ready.
Claire and Jamie Reunite
When Claire returns to Scotland in the 1760s, it doesn’t take her long to find Jamie, and the beloved “print shop scene” sees them reunited. In typical Claire and Jamie fashion, they are quickly thrust into one adventure after another. Jamie’s shop is later burned down by young Ian Murray, who is trying to save himself from a man investigating Jamie because the shop is not solely a functioning printer – it’s also a front for smuggling alcohol from France.
Jamie Marries Laoghaire (and Gets Shot)
When Jamie and Claire return to Lallybroch, Jenny is less than thrilled to see Claire, which is understandable because Jamie and Claire can’t tell her the truth about where Claire has been for 20 years, and the lie they tell sounds, well, like a lie. Jenny sends for Jamie’s wife, who is none other than the scheming Laoghaire from Castle Leoch – remember her? She’s the one who tries to have Claire burned as a witch back in season one.
Upon finding out that Jamie is married to this girl of all people, Claire flees for Craigh Na Dun, determined to return to Brianna in 1968. Meanwhile, Laoghaire is so mad with rage that Claire has returned that she shoots Jamie. The only thing that keeps Claire from time traveling once more is that young Ian comes to fetch her to tell her Jamie is dying from gunshot wound. Claire thought to pack some penicillin tablets when she came back to Scotland, and she uses one to cure Jamie’s infection, but if she hadn’t ridden back to Lallybroch, he probably would have died.
Pirates Capture Ian
Remember in episode three of the third season when Jamie escapes Ardsmuir Prison to go looking for the “white witch” that the seemingly delusional old man is muttering about? Well, he doesn’t find Claire, but he does manage to find the treasure and he hides it on an island, where he and the Murray family occasionally go to fetch one of the gemstones. Since the treasure is not money, they have to be careful when and how they use the gemstones, needing a way to convert them into cash, so they only go out to the island when it is absolutely necessary.
In this instance, Jamie needs the money to pay off his divorce settlement to Laoghaire, so he, Claire, and young Ian go to the island. But wouldn’t you know it, Ian is kidnapped by pirates, who take the boy and the treasure and set sail for the West Indies.
Claire Is Kidnapped
Naturally, Claire and Jamie can’t just let their nephew be taken forever by pirates, so they secure passage on the Artemis via Jamie’s cousin Jared in France and set sail for the West Indies as well. They’re joined by Fergus, because he will always and forever be Jamie’s right-hand man, and Marsali, Laoghaire’s daughter who is in love with Fergus (and he with her). The two of them are “handfast” already, which indicates they are already committed to each other, but Jamie says when they reach the Caribbean the two must be married by a proper priest.
Anyway, during the journey, the Artemis is set upon by a British Man O’War (a large ship), the Porpoise, which has become overrun with typhoid. Claire agrees to go aboard and examine the men, but while she’s there, the Porpoise simply leaves the Artemis behind, needing her to stay with them in the hopes of keeping enough men alive that they can reach Jamaica, because they’re carrying the new governor of the island – who just so happens to be Lord John Grey, whom Claire meets on the deck, though neither of them knows who the other one is.
Claire and Jamie Reunite (Again)
Eventually Claire is reunited with Jamie, Fergus, and Marsali, and they reach Jamaica, looking for Ian. Jamie and Claire attend Lord John’s governor’s ball, and it is there that Claire finds out who Lord John is, what his feelings are for Jamie, and the fact that Lord John raised William, Jamie’s son that she didn’t know about. It’s quite the revelatory evening, to say the least.
Geillis Duncan Reappears
Did you think we’d seen the last of Geillis Duncan? Think again. She travels all over the place, spurred on by her obsession with an independent Scotland. In Voyager, Geillis has married a wealthy Jamaican plantation owner, Barnabas Abernathy (yes, the same last name as Claire’s 1960s colleague, Joe Abernathy). After killing her husband (the latest in a long line of husbands she kills), Geillis uses his plantation to kidnap young men who are virgins because she believes they have a stone inside them she needs for her magic. It is never quite made clear what exactly she needs the stone for, but the point is she is kidnapping and raping young boys, then killing them. It is here that young Ian is being kept.
Jamie and Claire manage to rescue Ian and kill Geillis in the cave where she had been planning to time travel. It is in this cave where Geillis’s remains are found 200 years later and brought to Joe Abernathy at Harvard to help identify.
The Fraser Prophecy
It’s unclear if the show is going to incorporate this aspect of the books. In Voyager, a reverend tells Claire that there is a prophecy about the Frasers of Lovat, which is Jamie’s lineage. Jamie’s father Brian was the bastard son of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat. We met him in season two when Jamie needs more troops to fight for the Jacobite cause.
“The prophecy states that a new ruler of Scotland will spring from Lovat’s lineage. This is to come to pass following the eclipse of ‘the king of the white rose’ – a clear reference to the Papist Stuarts, of course,” the reverend tells Claire.
This prophecy is why Geillis takes a pointed interest in learning about Brianna from Claire, because she’s convinced there will some day be an independent Scotland, ruled by a descendant of Lovat (whose line dies out in the 1800s, originally).
What’s interesting is that Jamie has not one but two descendants: Bree and William. Perhaps where Diana Gabaldon is going with this is to put William (or one of his descendants) on the Scottish throne. We haven’t gotten there yet in the books, and the show might not choose to make this a part of the plot, so this is all speculation. The prophecy is mentioned in the latest book, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, but it is not completed as a plot point yet. Gabaldon has said that she thinks book 10 will “probably” be the last book, so presumably the prophecy will be resolved by the end of that book.
The Hurricane Lands Them in Georgia
Back to Voyager. The very last thing that happens in this third book is that Jamie, Claire, and Ian set sail for Eleuthera, a neutral, Dutch-owned colony, where they plan to meet back up with Fergus and Marsali. On the way, trying to escape the Porpoise once more, their little ship is caught in a hurricane, and Jamie, Claire, and Ian are swept away and wash ashore in the English colony of Georgia, about eight years before the American Revolutionary War. What we can’t wait to find out about America is when and where Jamie will reconnect with Murtagh.