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What If Jamie Had Died In The Battle Of Culloden? Imagining An Alternate 'Outlander' Reality

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What If Jamie Had Died In The Battle Of Culloden? Imagining An Alternate 'Outlander' Reality

Approximately 1,250 Scottish Highlanders died at the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746. Although the fictional James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser wasn't one of them, Claire did believe for 20 years that the love of her life Jamie had died in Culloden on Outlander. With the Battle of Culloden's 275th anniversary this year, I wondered: What would have happened to the other characters in Outlander if Jamie had died like so many of his fellow clansmen that fateful day?

If you were to write this article off as an exercise in futility, I'd understand. After all, if Jamie died back in 1746, there'd be no more of Jamie and Claire's story to tell. Nor do I want to trivialize the real people who lost their lives during the last Jacobite uprising against the British and its aftermath. (For the 275th anniversary, you can attend virtual events commemorating the real history and those who were lost through the National Trust for Scotland and the fan page Inverness Outlanders.) But I can't help imagining, in particular, what Claire and Brianna's lives would have looked like if Jamie hadn't survived. Think of it as the Murtagh book-to-TV situation in reverse.

Claire was never going to be able to stop the inevitability of the Battle of Culloden and so, she believed once the battle was fated to happen that Jamie's death was written in the stars too. (There's even a theory that Jamie did briefly die at Culloden, which would explain his 25-year-old ghost.) Thankfully, Jamie miraculously survived and continues to live within the Outlander universe. But let's examine what would have happened if Claire's living nightmare for 20 years had been a reality.

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