- Outlander -Here's How Murtagh Could Return To 'Outlander' Season 6
Jamie's godfather Murtagh FitzGibbons Fraser had a triumphant return in Outlander Season 4. And even though he died in the Battle of Alamance during Season 5, it's not out of the question Murtagh could come back on Outlander again for Season 6. He already made an appearance post-death in Claire's dreamscapes in the Season 5 finale and so if the Starz TV adaptation wanted to give him one more last hurrah, he might reappear in a flashback to Jamie in Season 6.
The Scotsman's story very much diverged from his character in Diana Gabaldon's books since he died in the Battle of Culloden in the novels. That means Book Murtagh wasn't imprisoned at Ardsmuir, didn't become a blacksmith in the New World, wasn't in love with Jocasta, and didn't lead the Regulators in the Battle of Alamance. And in Book 3, Voyager, readers don't see Murtagh's death in real-time at the Battle of Culloden like viewers were able to see at the Battle of Alamance on the show. Rather, Jamie recollects what occurred as he and Claire are headed to Jamaica. As Gabaldon wrote:
"Dinna be afraid, a bhalaich," Murtagh had said, using the endearment for a small, beloved boy. "It doesna hurt a bit to die.
It's the same line the show used when Murtagh died in Season 5.
Memories of Jamie's godfather pop up again most prominently in Book 6, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. Early on in the book, Jamie has the sensation that he can feel the weight of Murtagh's dead body as he thinks of the impending war ahead. Nearly three decades after the fact, the Battle of Culloden is starting to come back to him. He also notes that he has seen Murtagh in his dreams, but he hasn't told Claire this.
Because Show Murtagh lived until 1771 instead of 1746, a scene like this probably wouldn't have as profound of an impact since Jamie's godfather's death is still relatively fresh to him. Instead, the two most likely ways Duncan Lacroix could reprise his role seem to be either as a memory for Jamie ahead of the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge or in a flashback to Ardsmuir. Let's look at the likelihood of these two scenarios.
The Battle Of Moore's Creek Bridge
Toward the end of A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Jamie fights on the side of the American Patriots in the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge near Wilmington, N.C., in February 1776. On the eve of the battle, a fog has rolled in and Jamie asks Claire if she believes in ghosts. (She better.) While Jamie says he can't "see" the ghost of Murtagh per se, "Ever since the fog came in, I've had the most peculiar sense of him, just by me." He feels Murtagh fighting alongside him during the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge and then, remembers Murtagh saving him from Black Jack Randall on the moor of Culloden.
A flashback to the Battle of Culloden isn't necessary since the show depicted Jamie facing off with Black Jack in the Season 3 premiere. (And I believe a Tobias Menzies cameo at this point in the game is a hard no.) But Jamie could certainly see Murtagh as he charges into this American Revolution battle.
The problem is, even though Outlander does like to feature war scenes every season or so, this particular battle may not be included in Season 6 since it only has eight episodes. (The fan accounts I polled were split nearly 50-50 when I asked about this specific plot.) And it may not be important enough of a battle to be pushed to Season 7. Still, Murtagh could presumably appear to Jamie as a ghost ahead of any of the Revolutionary War battles he fights whether they take place in Season 6 or 7 (or 8?!).
A Flashback To Ardsmuir
Jamie tells Claire about his time as a prisoner at Ardsmuir in A Breath of Snow and Ashes, but there's no explicit flashback. Yet, I've theorized that an Ardsmuir flashback seems extremely likely based on a clue from Gabaldon and incriminating posts from the cast. If the show returned to that time (most likely to explain Jamie's relationship with Tom Christie), it would make perfect sense for Murtagh to be there too.
The show would be going completely off book in this case since, again, Book Murtagh was never at the English-run prison with Jamie since he was already dead. But it would be a creative way to have Jamie reminiscing about his godfather that would 1. Throw off book readers and 2. Give a Murtagh appearance that's not dependent on a big battle scene, which would have been difficult to film during COVID-19.
There's some evidence that Lacroix could've been around for a potential Ardsmuir flashback. He wrote on Instagram that he purchased some land on the Isle of Skye and had spent the weekend of June 4 there. When coming home on June 6, he passed through Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. It could all be pure coincidence, but the last day of filming Outlander Season 6 was on June 4 around Glencoe. So it's possible that Lacroix conveniently scheduled his weekend trip to Skye for after he finished filming Outlander in the Highlands.
Lacroix has posted from the Highlands before and after those early June posts, so him being involved in those last days of Season 6 filming is far from a sure thing. But, as he stays in touch with his former costars (hanging with Sophie Skelton's dog, helping with Paul Donnelly's charity, promoting Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish's Men in Kilts) and was announced as a guest for Outlandish Vancouver's Seattle fan event in October 2021, Lacroix seemingly has no problem staying associated with the show following Murtagh's death. As Lacroix told me when I interviewed him in September 2020, he'd possibly consider coming back to the show "maybe down the line if there's a call for it."
"But I think he's probably best left where he is now," he added. "He's had his day in the sun and he's up there in Castle Leoch in the sky frolicking around with the other [Highlanders], like Angus, and Rupert, and Dougal." Yet, Dougal had his comeback (sort of), so although Murtagh was around as recently in Season 5, he might be back to guide godson Jamie one final time.