- Outlander -Who Knows That Claire Can Time Travel On 'Outlander' & How It Could Threaten Her Family's Future
Most people in the 18th century already think Claire is a witch on Outlander, so just imagine the response if they knew for sure that she had magical abilities. Yet, even with so many people suspicious of her, there are plenty of characters who know that Claire is a time traveler. As the number of time travelers on Outlander increases, the secret understandably has become harder to keep. But the more people who know, the more Claire and her family could be in danger.
In the books by Diana Gabaldon, quite a few more people know about Claire and her kin's time-traveling ways than on the Starz adaptation — not only because the books are ahead plot-wise and there's a richer mythology there, but also because of changes the show has made. For instance, Joe Abernathy in the books knows that Claire traveled 200 years in the past to find Jamie and later helps out Brianna and Roger. But on the show, Claire never told him. There are also fellow healers like Master Raymond and Adawehi (a character who was changed from the books) who very likely knew the truth, but it was left ambiguous on the show.
But just like in the books, the knowledge that Claire's a time traveler can be dangerous. Here's who knows on Outlander and how it could impact the story later on.
Claire's (second) husband is the first person she explicitly tells about her time-traveling secret. He mostly believes her, but seeing her actually nearly get sucked in by the stones seals the deal. Claire's secret is obviously safe with him.
Geillis, being a time traveler herself, put the pieces together that Claire was most likely from the future too. The women are able to talk about it when they reconnect in Jamaica in the 1760s. While Geillis is dead and gone (for now), Geillis's ability to time travel is passed on to her descendent Roger.
While Jamie recovers from the abuse done to him by Blackjack Randall at the abbey, Claire confides in Father Anselm. Although Claire doesn't have a great track record with clergy at this point with all the witch stuff, Father Anselm was a good person to share such fantastical information.
Claire hadn't fully believed in the predictions made by Mrs. Graham's tea leaves in the pilot, but by the Season 2 premiere, Reverend Wakefield's housekeeper was Claire's closest confidant.
In a departure from the books, Claire and Jamie told Murtagh that she was from the future to explain exactly why they were so consumed with thwarting Bonnie Prince Charlie's plans to take over the British throne.
Claire really had no choice but to tell Frank what happened once she reappeared in the 1940s two years after disappearing and pregnant. Although Frank may have struggled with how impossible and illogical the situation was, the show confirmed he knew that Claire would go back in the past for a fact through the Wilmington Gazette fire announcement. His continued correspondence with Reverend Wakefield may mean that Roger's adoptive father knew as well.
Claire waited to tell Brianna after Frank had died, but she wanted her daughter to know the truth about her biological father. Bree had a hard time believing it until she saw Gillian go through the stones.
Roger was seemingly just an innocent bystander when Claire revealed the truth about Jamie to Brianna. But, as he's Geillis's descendant, Claire knew time traveling would impact him as well.
You think you can just talk about long-lost loves from 200 years in the past in an old creaky home and not be overheard? Mrs. Graham's granddaughter Fiona confirmed to Roger that she knew Claire was a time traveler before he heads back for the past himself.
Does Ta'wineonawira "Otter Tooth" (formerly known as Robert Springer) count if Claire never met his human form? Well, considering his ghostly spirit sensed she was a time traveler, I think he makes the cut.
After living with the Mohawk, Ian brings some of Otter Tooth's possessions back to the Ridge, inspiring Claire to confess the truth about who she is to her nephew. Not-So-Young-Anymore Ian also knows about his aunt's ability in the books.
Jem may currently be too young to fully comprehend the supernatural abilities of his family. But as he was about to time travel in Season 5, you can guarantee that his understanding of his family's secret will only increase as he grows up.
Somehow Claire saying, "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!" had never given her away before. (I guess people in the 1700s are content not knowing this Roosevelt guy who's apparently affiliated with breaking one of the Ten Commandments.) But in the Season 5 finale, this proclamation — combined with the medical knowledge she showed as Dr. Rawlings — leads Donner to figure out Claire is from the future since he's a time traveler himself who came with Otter Tooth.
What Does It Mean For Season 6 & Beyond?
Book spoilers ahead.
Well, you don't introduce another time traveler at the end of a season if you're not going to use him. And Wendigo is a big part of the final act of drama in the sixth book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. On the show, Claire already mentioned that she had gemstones that would help him get back to his own time. In the books, it's Brianna who explains how gemstones help to "steer" in time travel when he comes to River Run hoping to meet with Claire again. But the show was seemingly setting up the essential information that will lead to his involvement in the house fire at Fraser's Ridge.
Donner is desperate to get back to his own time — he just wants a "cold Bud and a baseball game on TV." He believes that Claire has gemstones at the Big House, so he comes to Fraser's Ridge with a gang to steal them. But Claire and Jamie gave any precious jewels they had to Brianna, Roger, and their children so that the MacKenzies could go back to the 20th century. Donner doesn't believe Claire and the ensuing struggle leads to the house fire that was reported in the Wilmington Gazette.
As for how Claire's time-traveling truth could continue to be exposed and used for drama — well, Book 7, An Echo in the Bone, has Claire sharing the news with all of Jenny and Ian's family during a visit to Lallybroch. She openly tells the Murrays about what will come to pass and that she knows because she's from 200 years in the future.
With it seeming likely that Laura Donnelly won't return to Outlander, TV fans may never get the chance to see Jenny learn the truth. (Unless, as Courtney Williams of OutlanderBTS spoke about in a recent chat with The Dipp, they recast her.) But it's possible that Claire will divulge her time-traveler status to other characters in Season 7. For instance, Lord John Grey learns the truth about Claire, Brianna, and Roger... though he has a hard time believing it. And speaking of Roger and Brianna, they get into their own time-travel trouble — Roger with his ancestor Buck and Brianna with Rob Cameron. In fact, Bree being a time traveler with Fraser of Lovat ancestry may have put a target on her back that's still playing out in the books.
Even if the show doesn't go as far as the events in Written in My Own Heart's Blood, it's always been a risk for Claire to be a time traveler and that will continue to be the case. Because in Outlander Season 6, her secret will land the Frasers in some hot water... or should I say, in a hot house?