- Outlander -14 Easter Eggs Exclusively For Book Fans In 'Outlander'
Outlander has never been afraid of throwing in an Easter egg or two, just look at the title cards for each episode. But even though all fans are created equal, sometimes, these Easter eggs are just for Outlander book readers. If you haven't read the books by Diana Gabaldon, you would've missed these references. Spoilers ahead.
What is defined as an "Easter egg" can be pretty loosey-goosey. (Forgive the pun.) It might be the way the Starz show uniquely worked in a book detail. Or a subtle nod to something that happened in the book that didn't get screentime. Here are 14 Easter eggs from the Outlander TV series that were exclusively for book readers.
1. The Phantom Limb
In Season 3's "Surrender," Ian talks to his brother-in-law Jamie about how he can still feel the pain in his leg although it's been amputated and how Fergus might have the same sensation with his missing hand. Ian never talked about this "phantom limb" phenomenon in the books, but it was something discussed by Duncan Innes (who is missing an arm) in the Voyager chapter appropriately titled "Phantom Limbs." Duncan Innes isn't much like his book counterpart and, as Toni Graphia and Matthew B. Roberts explained in the annotated script, the show moved this moment up to have Ian say it and reflect how Claire is like Jamie's phantom limb.
2. A Christmas Carol
In Drums of Autumn, Claire recites A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens for Jamie when they spend Christmas Eve nearly freezing to death in the woods after he pulls out his back. Bah, humbug, indeed. She explains that it was a family tradition in the Randall house to read it each Christmas. In the annotated script for "Freedom & Whisky," episode writer Graphia said her assistant reminded her of this detail. With the show moving Claire returning to the past during Christmastime, Graphia included A Christmas Carol into this Season 3 script to show Roger and Bree's developing relationship.
3. Drums Of Autumn On The Bookshelf
In A. Malcolm's printshop in Season 3, there's apparently a copy of the fourth Outlander book — Drums of Autumn. As Entertainment Weekly reported, production designer Jon Gary Steele placed the book there, but it's pretty tough to spot. If an Easter egg falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
4. The J & C Tattoos
When Jamie and Claire separate in Dragonfly in Amber, they give each other crude tattoos of one another's first initials on their hands — a C for Jamie and a J for Claire. The show cut that part from Season 2, but executive producers Ronald D. Moore and Maril Davis told ET that they had considered putting it in Season 3. But, again, they cut the scene. Yet, Outlander book fans spotted the initials in other deleted scenes that made it on the Blu-ray, DVD, and digital release of Season 3, including the shot above where Jamie's C is visible as they make it to Jamaica in the original ending of the episode "Uncharted." (You can watch Moore explain why they deleted it here.) As Moore told ET, they hadn't digitally erased the tattoos in these rough deleted scenes, so they're an unintended Easter egg.
5. Claire's Wedding Rings
Claire's wedding ring from Jamie on the show did not match what she had in the books (a choice original costume designer Terry Dresbach has continued to defend). But in Season 4, the show made it up to book readers who may have been displeased. In "America the Beautiful," Stephen Bonnet stole Jamie's wedding band to Claire (in Drums of Autumn, Bonnet had stolen Frank's wedding band to Claire). This leads Jamie to give Claire a replacement ring in "Blood of My Blood" that matches the description in the books. As Gabaldon told Town & Country, "I assumed it to be kind of their way of apologizing to the readers who were upset about the first ring, by giving them a ring that more closely resembled what they might have had in mind."
6. The White Sow
At the beginning of Season 4's "Savages," Jamie can't find his hat before hitting the road. The pig at Fraser's Ridge had gotten a hold of it and was messing with it in her pen. The white sow in the books is a formidable creature (as Jamie writes to Jenny, "She is a White Sow, of Prodigious Size, a most Stubborn Temper, and not lacking in Teeth") and the Outlander Writers Twitter account confirmed that this moment was a nod to the white sow from the books. The Twitter account also joked that the audition process to find the right pig for the part was a "grueling" process. Claire mentions the white sow again in the Gabaldon-written episode, "Journeycake," when she tells Jamie that she must smell like the white sow before they get intimate.
7. The Snake In The Privy
In Drums of Autumn, there's a snake stuck in the privy and a curious Willie falls in when trying to look at it with Young Ian. As episode writer Shaina Fewell wrote in the annotated script for "Blood of My Blood," having a boy fall into a rather disgusting privy wasn't "as practical as we hoped," so, instead, the show just hinted at the snake in the privy with this title card.
8. "The Deep Heart's Core"
This Season 4 episode has a title that's not referenced within the episode, but it's a line from the William Butler Yeats poem, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." In Drums of Autumn, Brianna recites this poem to Jamie since Frank would refer to it when Claire was working in her garden. (Although Bree doesn't actually quote the "deep heart's core" line.) In the annotated script, episode writer Luke Schelhaas explained that Brianna had originally referenced the poem in the script, but it was cut. Still, book readers who are familiar with the full Yeats poem may have recognized what the title was referencing.
9. Fighting A Wolf
In "The Deep Heart's Core," Jamie demonstrates to Bree that she's not to blame for Stephen Bonnet raping her. Afterward, he asks her, "Would ye think yourself a coward because ye couldna fight off a wolf with yer bare hands?" In Drums of Autumn, Jamie says this line but says "lion" instead of "wolf," so why the change? Well, Claire fought off a wolf with her bare hands in the book Outlander. That scene was cut from the show in Season 1. And though Schelhaas didn't confirm this was a reference to that memorable book scene in the annotated script, it seems too specific to be a coincidence.
10. Claire Sitting In Perpetual Adoration
When Jamie is healing at the abbey in Outlander, Claire sits in perpetual adoration for Father Anselm. That didn't make the first season of the TV adaptation. But for Season 5, the show had Claire attend perpetual adoration for her patient who died from an allergic reaction to penicillin, Graham Menzies.
11. The Impetuous Pirate
Another Easter Egg in the "Perpetual Adoration" episode is the inclusion of The Impetuous Pirate. This fake romance novel was something Claire and Joe Abernathy bonded over in Voyager, but the show retroactively referenced it during a flashback in Season 5.
12. Murtagh's Dying Words
Outlander changed a lot of things to keep Murtagh living after Culloden. But one thing that stayed the same were his dying words to Jamie. "Dinna be afraid, a bhalaich, it doesn't hurt a bit to die," Murtagh told Jamie as he's dying during the Battle of Alamance. These were the same words he said when dying during the Battle of Culloden, which Jamie shared with Claire in Voyager.
When Brianna goes back to the past in "Down the Rabbit Hole," the title card was her making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — a nod to Claire eating one when she went to the past in Voyager, a moment that wasn't featured in Season 3. In "Journeycake," the title card had Claire in her batsuit garb eating the PB&J in 1766 Edinburgh.
14. Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded
Jamie gives Ulysses the book Pamela: Or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson in "Journeycake." As the Inside the Episode Instagram Story noted, it was Gabaldon's idea for Jamie to give Ulysses this book since it was one of the first books Jamie and Lord John bonded over while at Ardsmuir in Voyager.
The Best Outlander Callbacks, From Barbecues To The Blue Vase
17 TV Shows That Reference Outlander, Because Jamie & Claire's Love Spans Time, Space, And Networks
33 Thoughts While Revisiting The Outlander Pilot — From Easter Eggs To The First Look At Jamie's Ghost