- Outlander -Should The Brahan Seer Prophecy Return To 'Outlander' In Season 6? The Pros & Cons
Even though Outlander Season 5 focused on the harsh reality of life in the early American colonies, we can’t ignore that the series, at its core, is rooted in mysticism. And though we may not have seen a ton of magic happen last season (even if Claire's penicillin and healing powers seem quite magical to the 18th-century colonists), there's reason to believe that more of it is around the corner in Season 6.
Especially if you consider what went down in Season 3.
It was then that Gellis Duncan, aka Gillian Edgars, aka Mrs. Abernathy, aka the Bakra, made her return and introduced TV fans to the Brahan Seer prophecy. You’ll recall that her unrelenting belief that a 200-year-old baby marked the coming of a new king of Scotland led to her beheading.
The Starz series seemed to put a definitive end to the prophecy in the Season 3 finale, but as book readers know, the prophecy plot — or rather, the Fraser prophecy as it’s called in the novels — continues on in Diana Gabaldon’s world and still has legs (and its head).
The prophecy featured on the show is slightly different from the one in the books, but the modest change in how it was portrayed may or may not mean the show has the intention of reintroducing it.
So, could Outlander the TV show bring back this prophetic plot? And better still, should they? Here are all the pros and cons of seeing the Brahan Seer prophecy brought back to life on-screen.
Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Outlander Books 1-8
Con: The Story Was Put To Bed In Season 3; No Need To Wake It Up
Starz's version of the prophecy is, "A new king will rise in Scotland upon the death of a child that is 200 years old on the day of its birth." With the knowledge that Brianna was conceived in 1746 but born in 1948, Geillis decides to travel back to the future to murder Brianna. But before Geillis can sacrifice Young Ian and go through time at the Abandawe Cave, Claire kills her. Ding-dong, the witch is dead! And seemingly, so is the prophecy.
The prophecy featured in the third Outlander book, Voyager, doesn't mention a Benjamin Button-esque baby. Archibald Campell tells Claire, "The prophecy states that a new ruler of Scotland will spring from Lovat's lineage." The Lovats he speaks of are Jamie's family — his grandfather was Simon Fraser, the 11th Lord Lovat, who was featured in Season 2's "The Fox's Lair." Again, Geillis zeroes in on Brianna since she assumes Jamie's daughter in the future is the last of Lovat's line. And again, Claire kills her.
While Geillis met the same fate in both the books and the TV show, the change to the prophecy seems super significant when it comes to this storyline's future on the show. In the books, there's no 200-year-old baby, the ruler could be a king or queen, and there's no mention that a person needs to be murdered for the prophecy to come true.
Knowing all that then, it's pretty fascinating when the Fraser prophecy comes back up in Book 8, Written in My Own Heart's Blood (MOBY). In MOBY, Brianna is living at Lallybroch in the 1980s (ahem, TV viewers — clearly, a few things happen between Season 5 and then) when she finds a hidden letter written to her from her deceased father Frank.
In it, he talks of the Fraser prophecy from the Brahan Seer and how people might target Bree since she's a descendant of the Frasers of Lovat. While Frank didn't know about Jamie's illegitimate son with Geneva Dunsany (we think?), his warning can also apply to Brianna's half-brother William.
Since the show chose to avoid any mention of the Lovats and instead focus specifically on Brianna's 200-year-old baby status, it seems Outlander Season 3 (which premiered in 2017) intentionally chose to pivot from this MOBY (which was published in 2014) plot.
Considering how detailed Gabaldon is in her writing, Jennifer Townsend of Outlander Fan says the show made a "pretty specific change" when it came to the prophecy. "This makes me wonder if Starz is planning to end the show before Season 8 (the MOBY equivalent)," Townsend says. "If that's the case, [the prophecy] basically ended with Geillis' death."
As Outlander TV News documented, the TV show writers addressed the changes to the prophecy on Twitter after "The Bakra" episode aired. They did not specifically state that their edits were their way of putting this plot to bed, but it sure seems that way.
Con: The Show Isn't In Scotland Anymore, So Why Reintroduce A Scottish King Prophecy?
Even if the number of Outlander seasons hasn't been officially decided yet (currently, the show is only renewed up until Season 6), the showrunners don't seem to have any plans to revisit this plot. And honestly, it makes sense considering how far removed Jamie and Claire are from the Jacobite drama that dominated the first couple of seasons.
Tracey Randinelli and Carol Stark from My Outlander Purgatory agree. "Had the story remained in Scotland, [the prophecy] would have fit in quite well," they say. "However, once the Frasers moved to America, they took on different issues and hardships that don’t really lend themselves to reopening a storyline about Scottish rulers."
Instead of going back to the Jacobite uprising of 1745, the show is now focused on another war — the American Revolution. Jamie and Claire will have more than enough drama to deal with over the future of America; the show probably won't have time for the family to worry about a prophesied Scottish king or queen.
Pro: The Return of Frank Would Be Great
Though Frank Randall is dead, he lives on in the books through his letters. Frank knew a helluva lot more about Claire and Brianna's time traveling and Jamie Fraser than he let on when he was alive. In the letter he hid for Brianna to discover after his death, he reveals he found a family tree created by someone who has figured out that Brianna is Jamie's daughter. He fears this person will go after her because of the Fraser prophecy. "What could be more intriguing to that sort of person than the prospect of someone who is 'the last of Lovat's line' and is also a time traveler?" he writes.
Book readers are still in the dark about everything Frank knew, including his full knowledge of the Fraser prophecy, and Dorianne Panich of Outlander Homepage says this is the storyline she's most looking forward to in the books. "I want to finally know Frank's side ... what he knew, who helped him, how he figured out the Fraser prophecy," she says.
As a historian, Frank has the resources to look deep into the past and Panich wonders if he read about Bree existing in the 1700s. If so, could he have also found out what happens to Bree concerning the prophecy? "[The Fraser prophecy] is all very mixed in with what Frank knew of the danger Bree is facing in coming books," Panich says.
If the show did feature Frank's letter about the prophecy in a future season, a Tobias Menzies appearance might not be necessarily required (since he is still dead after all). But who wouldn't want to see the current Crown star as Frank again?! We'd even accept a simple voiceover.
And Menzies could be down to return since he appeared in flashbacks for Bree's time-travel episode, "Down the Rabbit Hole," in Season 4. As Menzies told Harper's Bazaar about a possible comeback after Frank died in Season 3, "Who knows, they may have me back. I have no news of that, but I suppose with a show that can travel anywhere in time, you never know."
Gabaldon has promised that "what Frank knew" will play a part in the forthcoming ninth book of the series, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, and could even turn out to be its own short book. With Gabaldon reintroducing the Fraser prophecy in such a menacing way in Book 8 through Frank's letter, this storyline is far from over.
But the same can't be said for the TV series. Outlander would have to do some significant rejiggering (and get renewed for more seasons) to feature the Fraser prophecy again and it doesn't seem worth it based on where the show is headed.
Still, while the cons outweigh the pros, it's a shame we may not see more of the prophecy onscreen. After all, the book prophecy insinuates that Willie, Jemmy, or even Brianna (if the prophecy isn't dependent on a male heir), could be the next ruler of Scotland... and any and all Outlander fans deserve to see Queen Bree.