Exclusive: Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe on the Frasers’ return to Scotland

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Hollie Richardson
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Caitriona Balfe

Outlander star Caitriona Balfe chatted with Stylist about what to expect from season five, and she revealed where she thinks Jamie and Claire will end up. 

Fans first fell in love with Outlander for three reasons: Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), Claire Randall/Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) and, of course, Scotland. 

In season one, we were enticed by the billow and green of the highlands, the land’s peculiar and fascinating traditions and, let’s be honest, that accent. The whole story is based on the idea of a sassenach: the Gaelic term for an “outlander”. 

And yet, over the course of four seasons, we’ve ended up in North Carolina (via Paris and the Caribbean).

Yes, we’re happy to see Jamie and Claire building a beautiful home together at Fraser Ridge with their daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton). But, as we get closer to the arrival of Outlander season five, it’s time to admit that we miss bonnie Scotland. 

Even Balfe has admitted to us that nothing will ever beat that first season in the highlands.

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Speaking to Stylist while promoting her new film, Le Mans ‘66, the actor revealed: “It’s difficult to choose (which season is my favourite), but it’s hard to beat season one, just because it was so new and exciting and everything. 

“But, I also loved the first half of season three – being in the 60s with Frank [Randall], being separated from Jamie, then coming back together. It just gave me so many beautiful things to play. As an acting challenge that was my favourite stuff, but you can’t beat season one.”

She also gave us a big hint about where the Frasers will end up.

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in Outlander
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in Outlander.

“I hope they go [back] to the Caribbean soon – somewhere warm to shoot!” she laughs, after being asked if they’ll return to Scotland. “But no, I think America is their home now. I think that’s who they are now.”

Although Balfe can’t predict what will happen when the series finally finishes, she does know everything that happens in season five – because she has just finished filming it. This could mean that, although the Frasers don’t return to Lallybroch this time, there is potential in season six.

The series follows Diana Gabaldon’s books, but it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen because the TV adaptation doesn’t necessarily follow everything in the novels. However, in The Fiery Cross, which the upcoming season is based on, the Frasers are too busy dealing with the impending American Revolutionary war to deal with a voyage to Scotland.

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According to Balfe, it doesn’t matter where Jamie and Claire are geographically, which suggests she’s in no rush to leave America.

In another recent interview with Parade, the actor said: “I think, definitely, for Claire, home is her life with Jamie. Whereas Jamie was always connected to Scotland and that was his home, Claire has always been trying to find out what home means to her. She has always felt untethered. It is only when she meets Jamie that she really has that anchor. Then Brianna is the product of that and, therefore, these people are her home.”

One thing we do know about the family’s movements in season five is that they are at least questioning their return to the future. But will they go through with it to avoid the war?

“Marty McFly shows up!” laughs Balfe after being asked what happens, remaining very tight-lipped.

“This season is very much about family and in a precarious time when you have all of these outside forces coming in,” she continues to explain. “What are the things that you’re going to have to do to protect your family? That’s sort of the key of this season. I can’t really say too much more! It’s so silly as well because there are books, but on the pain of death I cannot say.”

Watch the trailer for Outlander season five

We’ll have to wait for season five to start in 2020 to see if the Frasers travel back to the future. But it certainly seems that we won’t be returning to Scotland for a while yet. 

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Images: Starz 

Correction: This article originally referred to the war in season five as the Civil War. It is in fact the American Revolutionary War, and this has been amended to reflect that.


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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