- Outlander -Clues About Jamie’s Death On ‘Outlander,’ Based On Everything Diana Gabaldon Has Said
What's funny about time travel is that the future is full of spoilers, so let me just come out and say what we all know: Jamie Fraser is going to die. In fact, Jamie Fraser is already dead (see: his ghost in the 1940s). But the how, or when, or even if we'll see Jamie go are all mysteries that only Outlander author Diana Gabaldon knows the answers to. Well, until now (ish).
Gabaldon has left all sorts of little breadcrumbs in corners of the internet that provide clues about Jamie's fate, and trust me there's enough dough out there to feed your quarantine sourdough starter.
Because the author is an active member within the fan community, she regularly updates her website and responds to fan questions on Twitter, Facebook, and TheLitForum (a variation of an online community she has been a part of since the 1980s), so it's there where we can mine for tidbits, and uncover hints from Gabaldon herself as to how or how not Jamie, you know, dies.
He Won't Die In Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
Gabaldon rocked the fandom during an interview with Outlander executive producer Maril Davis for the Outlander Summer Series where she didn't guarantee that Claire would survive her forthcoming Book 9, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. Possibly bad news for Claire, but good news for Jamie, as Gabaldon revealed that in the context that Jamie is still alive by the end of the book.
Yikes, But He May Only Have Nine Lives
In February 2020, Gabaldon crowdsourced from members of TheLitForum to list out all of Jamie's near-death experiences because, presumably in Book 9, "Jamie and Claire are trying to remember how many of Jamie's (theoretical) nine lives he has left at this point."
Gabaldon concluded in another post in that thread that, by her count, Jamie has used up six of his nine lives, which could mean he's only got (theoretically) three more to go...
Unless Jamie Is Already "Long Dead"
Slight spoiler ahead for Book 7, An Echo in the Bone. While they didn't successfully travel back to the future in Outlander Season 5, Brianna and Roger do eventually return to their time in the books.
A fan on Twitter asked Gabaldon why the MacKenzies don't investigate the existence of Fraser's Ridge in the 1980s, to which Gabaldon responded, "... they don't want to dwell on the fact that Jamie and Claire are long dead." (OK, Jamie being dead in the 1980s seems pretty obvious considering Jamie was born in 1721 and he can't time travel.)
Gabaldon also rather cavalierly pointed out that Jamie's technically been dead for at least part of every book when she's depicting events set in the future (a sentiment she echoed on her blog back in 2011 when she was wrapping up Book 8, Written in My Own Heart's Blood), so I guess we can't be too too worked up about his inevitable demise.
Sorry, But He Won't Be Reincarnated
When it comes to Jamie's ghost, one thing Gabaldon has confirmed on Twitter is that his spirit's presence has nothing to do with reincarnation. So, while it's well-established in the fandom that Jamie can't time travel, the author nixed the theory that it's a reincarnated Jamie who appears in the 20th century.
We Can Probably Count Out Death By Treason
Another tease provided by Gabaldon on TheLitForum came after a reader wondered if the author had foreshadowed in Book 6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, that Jamie will eventually be killed for treason.
Gabaldon replied that she doesn't often use foreshadowing but admitted, "Now, if we come to a spot where Jamie actually does get shot or hanged as a traitor, everyone can excitedly point out how cleverly I foreshadowed that!"
She then added, "But fwiw, I don't at the moment think that's going to happen. Nothing that simple..."
Considering everything Jamie has been put through — Wentworth, Culloden, gun shots, snake bites, etc. — I guess it shouldn't be surprising to learn that Gabaldon thinks being executed for treason is too "simple" of a way to go.
Prepare The Tissues
Though we most likely won't find out how Jamie may die until the release of the final book, Gabaldon has provided this hint about the book's ending on her website: "And yes, the last book will have a happy ending, though I confidently expect it to leave the readers in floods of tears, anyway." Could that mean if Jamie does die in the end, it will be a peaceful passing in his old age?
Jamie & Claire Could Die Together, The Notebook Style
Another interpretation of a tear-filled happy ending would be if Gabaldon had Claire and Jamie die together in bed à la The Notebook. At least that's what she hinted at in the above tweet when a fan asked if we'd see Jamie and Claire die separately.
Sure, show fans are still waiting to see if Jamie and Claire are going to die in a house fire at Fraser's Ridge, but that's certainly not a "happy" way for their story to end.
Until the tenth book is out, fans won't know what will become of Jamie Fraser. But we'll continue to eat up any crumbs that Gabaldon is willing to drop our way.