- Outlander -Diana Gabaldon On 'Outlander' Season 7 & Creating A "Satisfying" TV Ending To Her Story
Diana Gabaldon has guaranteed readers 10 books about Claire and Jamie in her Outlander series, but the author can't guarantee how long the Starz adaptation will go on. Speaking over the phone with The Dipp in April, Gabaldon discussed Outlander Season 7, what she's looking forward to seeing make it to the screen, and the possibility of the seventh season being Outlander's last.
The announcement that Outlander was renewed for Season 7 happened on March 14 while Season 6 was in production after delays due to COVID-19. As a consultant on the show, Gabaldon confirms she knew about the renewal before the public did. With that said, she admits that she — and pretty much everyone else involved in the TV production — "totally don't know" what the future holds after that.
"We don't know whether seven is the last bit we'll get," Gabaldon says. "If it is still going strong and if our lead actors are inclined to go on and [the production company] Sony is inclined to go on, who knows? But there's just way too many imponderables to predict."
When it premiered in 2014, Outlander helped launch Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan into stardom, with the actors adding to their show responsibilities for Season 5 when they both became producers. But Heughan has made some slightly contradictory comments about his future with Outlander — saying in one 2021 interview that he hopes to make "many more" years of the show and in another, that he's "ready for other things."
As for what could happen to Jamie and Claire in Season 7, Gabaldon says, "It would be interesting if they get into [An Echo in the Bone] and they go back to Scotland and do interesting things there." She's particularly looking forward to the scene where "Jamie goes to see Laoghaire and sort of seek closure, which he gets in spades," she says with a laugh.
But as the Season 6 scripts were still being finished when we spoke in early April, she can't guarantee that Claire and Jamie's Lallybroch visit will be in Season 7. She also notes there could be set limitations that would prohibit the show from returning to Scotland... even if production never actually left. For what it's worth, Ian actor Steven Cree confirmed he'd come back to the show if asked (unfortunately, the same can't be said for Jenny actor Laura Donnelly).
When it comes to the ending of the seventh book, it doesn't have a ton of closure, bringing up more questions than answers in some parts. Gabaldon notes the production team would need to adjust how the story ends if the show were to stop there. "We've talked a little bit — but only very, very superficially — about if Season 7 is the last season we get then, what do we do about ending it in a satisfying way," she adds. "As I say, it's very superficial, we have not come to any kind of conclusions."
Ginger Wiseman of The Outlander Podcast noted during a discussion hosted by The Dipp that the eighth book, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, would make for an acceptable ending if the show didn't go a full 10 seasons. Depending on how the show moves forward with book plots, Season 7 could pull from Book 8 to finish Jamie and Claire's TV saga similar to how Season 5 pulled from Book 6.
One element from the unnamed Book 10 that should also be incorporated in a series finale is Jamie's ghost. Gabaldon previously told me that she told Sam Heughan and show creator Ron D. Moore about how his ghost will come into play at the end of her Outlander books "for a specific reason, which I won't tell you." (Womp womp.) That means that whenever the show does come to an end, at least the ghost mystery will be solved. Although book readers may have mixed emotions about learning that answer via the show versus the final book.
No matter when Outlander the show ends, it's heartening to know that Gabaldon is involved in ensuring the audience gets an ending that feels complete. And with more books to come, the TV show has material to go on for many more years. But just like the people behind Outlander, fans may want to prepare for a scenario where the show ends at Season 7... at least on a superficial level.