Outlander Facts You Likely Didn’t Know
The names Claire Randall Fraser and Jamie Fraser are becoming well-known. Television’s favorite time-traveling couple, along with their child, family, and friends, have graced the screen for five seasons now.
Fans love the spunky nurse Claire and her strong ideals she stands behind. All of the ladies love Jamie with his rugged, good looks along with his willingness to change for love.
If you’re not sure what show I’m talking about, stop right here. Catch up on all things Outlander and come back. We think we’ll see you in a couple of weeks after you have binged all five seasons nonstop.
If you have already been swept away by Outlander and are super bummed in this current Droughtlander (get it?), we have some fun Outlander facts about the show to keep you held over until the next season comes out.
Outlander is a unique show in that it falls somewhere between a romantic drama and a sci-fi epic. There is time-traveling (sci-fi) but also a deeply involved and intriguing love story.
But how did the show come about? What could have been different? Are the clothes, scenes, names, and language authentic?
Read on to find out all of this and more!
The Audience is 50/50
You might be surprised to find out that half of the audience is male! It seems the creators found the magic balance between action, intrigue, love, and drama.
Caitriona Balfe as Claire
Caitriona Balfe, the Irish actress who plays Claire, chose to join the show because of how modern Claire was. Balfe loved Claire’s strong, independent streak and enjoyed finding the balance between a modern woman stuck in a different time.
However, things could have been very different. Caitriona was the last character cast with only a few weeks before filming began.
There were also talks of a feature-length movie for years before the show aired. Katherine Heigl was strongly hinted to be Claire. Imagine the difference!
Sam Heughan as Jamie
Sam Heughan spends several hours a day in makeup, the most of any of the characters. In shirtless scenes, his rugged and scarred look takes lots of time, and he has to be standing for most of it!
Luckily for Sam, first appearances aren’t all that matters. Diana Gabaldon, the author, was not a fan of Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser originally. She looked him up after he was cast and described him as “grotesque.”
Thankfully, that opinion didn’t last, and indeed very few, if any, people feel that way about Jamie now.
Catriona and Sam had immediate chemistry. They are fond of each other and work well together. We think that shows clearly on the screen!
Fan-favorite Murtagh should not have lasted past the first season! The character of Murtagh in the books didn’t make it past The Battle of Culloden.
However, the creators wanted someone for Jamie and Claire to talk to about time-traveling; no one wants to hear constant voice-overs. Murtagh was a perfect fit, and everyone loved the character.
Are the costumes authentic? Yes and no. It depends on which character.
Claire is intentionally not authentic. The costume designers wanted to show a modern woman adapting to a very different and more cumbersome clothing style in the 1700s. Claire makes things her own.
What gets a lot of attention is the tartan, in particular the Fraser tartan. The Fraser tartan should be a much brighter color with lots of red. However, the Fraser tartan in Outlander is earth-toned and rather drab.
There is something authentic about the costumes. The actors are apparently not wearing anything under those kilts…
Speaking of costumes, costume designers used some interesting tactics to make the clothes look worn and ragged. Everything imaginable was employed, including cheese graters and blowtorches.
If you’re like most fans, the opening song is one of the best parts of the show. Bear McCreary, the composer, decided to slightly alter each season’s version of “The Skye Boat Song” to reflect the overall theme of that particular season.
“The Skye Boat Song” is based on a poem about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Battle of Culloden. To make the song more relevant to the show, Bear changed a few of the lyrics, namely changing “lad” to “lass” to refer to Claire.
The United Kingdom Prime Minister has an Opinion
When the show premiered, David Cameron, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, asked Sony to delay the release by a few months. The United Kingdom was voting on whether Scotland should be independent. Cameron didn’t think, apparently, a show about Highlanders fighting for independence would be helpful in the vote.
Diana Gabaldon, the author of the books, was initially inspired by Doctor Who. She was watching an older episode of the time-traveling show and felt that creative spark. In the episode, she saw the character Jamie McCrimmon, a Scotsman in a kilt. She loved his attitude and kilt.
The rest, they say, is history.
You Can be in Outlander (almost)
While you can’t be in the show, and you certainly can’t time-travel, you can visit many of the locations where the show is filmed.
Check out this site to find out all of the places you can go to. Don’t forget your kilt.
How to Best Enjoy Outlander
At The Celtic Croft, we have so many products to help you enjoy Outlander and show you love for Claire, Jamie, and all of Outlander to the world.
Our newest product is an Outlander mask. Protect yourself and others from germs while showing your Outlander love.
If you love Jamie, why not get an authentic Outlander kilt. If you’re a fan of Claire, we have Outlander earasaids and skirts, as well. Finish the look with Outlander hats, ties, shawls, wraps, sashes, rosettes, and scarves.
If you plan on hosting an Outlander watch party, decorate your home with these Outlander throw pillows and blankets.
If you can think of it, The Celtic Croft likely has it. So, get some Outlander gear, invite some friends over, share these fun facts, and watch a season (or two) of Outlander!
Fellow Scotsman? Check out some of our products!
- The US Army 9 Yard Premium Wool Kilt is made by skilled kiltmakers in Scotland in the US Army tartan.
- Featuring hand-stitched pleats and 100% premium wool, it offers an enduring, sophisticated look, custom-made to your measurements.
- Made from 8-9 yards of US Army tartan, customize it further by choosing between light and medium-weight options.
- The lighter-weight kilt is ideal for warm-weather events, while the medium-weight tartan offers crisp, military-precision pleats.
- Child’s belt and buckle set with Celtic design
- Measures 1½ inches wide and fits a 22-32 inch waist
- Matches our adult-sized pebble grain belts and thistle buckle
- Affordable and adjustable for your growing boy
- Braveheart-style traditional kilt made from 6-10 yards of tartan woven in Scotland and then sewn in the US
- Over 500 clan and non-clan tartan to choose from, featuring an extra-long apron to use as a fly plaid to throw over your shoulder or wrap around your waist
- Single-width fabric, lightweight and perfect for warm-weather wear
- Customizable fits up to 60-inch waist, and add pre-pleated Cheater pleats for convenience