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Outlander Season 3: Everything we know so far

When do we get to see the print shop?!

By Julie Kosin
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Mild spoilers for Season 3 of Outlander below. Proceed with caution!

It feels like centuries since we last saw Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) together in the Outlander Season 2 finale. On the eve of the Battle of Culloden, Claire made the heart-wrenching decision to go back through the stones, to the 1940s and her first husband, Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) to save her unborn child, while Jamie returned to the battlefield to face death with the Highland army. But this plan went awry, of course, as Claire learned nearly 20 years later — courtesy of family friend Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) — that Jamie managed to survive the battle. In the last moments of Season 2, Claire vowed to return to Jamie — so you can be sure this will be the focus of Season 3. Below, everything we know about the impending season of Outlander, and — finally! — the end of 'Droughtlander'.

1. Season 3 will begin airing in September and run for 13 episodes.

An exact premiere date is yet to be announced.

2. It's based on the third book in Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander' series, 'Voyager'.

As the title suggests, there will be a journey by sea — from Scotland to Jamaica, to be exact. The scenes for this portion of the season — the last five episodes — were shot in Cape Town, South Africa.

3. The season will open with the Battle of Culloden.

Even though Diana Gabaldon's books skip much of the action at Culloden, the show's producers decided they simply couldn't miss it. “For the TV show, we’ve been promising this for a while and it just felt like we should have something,” executive producer Ronald D. Moore told Entertainment Weekly. “We should give the audience some sense of what happened on that moor.” Jamie will face off against his arch enemy, Black Jack Randall, on the battlefield.

The Battle of Culloden gets personal for Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). *Image: STARZ*
The Battle of Culloden gets personal for Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Image: STARZ

4. Of course, Claire and Jamie will reunite — but you'll have to wait for it.

Book readers know there's a certain special moment at a certain special print shop, but Balfe warns it won't be immediate. "The first couple of episodes they are apart," she told Gold Derby of Season 3. “There will be a reunion, but I really can’t say much about it! I think the fans will be happy!"

5. And yes, there will be lots of sex.

The shortage of Outlander's signature steamy sex scenes in Season 2 did not go unnoticed. "Everything that’s going to happen once Jamie and Claire see each other, I think it’s really special," she told Vanity Fair of the reunion. "Maybe [fans will] have to wait a little bit, but I don’t think the sex is going to be as scarce as last season, shall we say?" She reiterated that point in an interview with Vulture: “I think if anything, when Jamie and Claire get together again, their love is timeless and who they are inside is timeless... I think old people have good sex too, last I heard!”

6. In the meantime, we'll see Claire settle into life in Boston with Frank, and give birth to her daughter with Jamie, Brianna (Sophie Skelton).

"You get to see that relationship really solidify," Balfe says of Claire and Bree. As we know from the Season 2 finale, Claire spends at least 20 years in the present before going back to Jamie. "We’re going through 20 years of Claire’s life and seeing little vignettes of who she’s become as a woman," Balfe told EW. "How do you tell the story of a relationship and of a life and of a woman over her 20 years in the space of a few scenes? That had its own unique challenges. It’s definitely different to last season." This means the first few episodes won't focus solely on Claire — we'll see how Jamie is surviving without her, too.

*Image: STARZ*
Image: STARZ
*Image: STARZ*
Image: STARZ

7. Jamie will go on his own journey apart from Claire.

Book readers know Jamie will spend time hiding from English soldiers in a cave (Balfe confirmed to Vanity Fair this will be featured in the new season), and of course, he'll be doing a lot of thinking about his lost love. That incongruous image of Claire walking amongst the Culloden dead? Balfe told EW, "It’s an image that Jamie has conjured up in his head."

*Image: STARZ*
Image: STARZ

8. Jamie will spend some time in prison.

Yes, this is troubling news for our hero — but during this time he'll forge an important, lasting relationship with Lord John Grey (David Berry), who runs the jail.

David Berry, who plays Lord John Grey. *Image: STARZ*
David Berry, who plays Lord John Grey. Image: STARZ

9. Both Claire and Jamie do a bit of ageing.

That's what happens after 20 years, of course. In the video below, you can see that Claire's hair has started greying.

10. And Fergus does, too.

Claire and Jamie's adopted son isn't going anywhere. César Domboy will pick up the role from Romann Berrux as an older iteration of the character later in the season.

11. Laoghaire's (Nell Hudson) daughter Marsali will be introduced — and tag along to Jamaica.

If you look closely, you'll see actress Lauren Lyle make a quick appearance alongside Domboy in the above video, shot in Cape Town. In a press release announcing Lyle's casting, Starz described Marsali as thus: "She knows what she wants and she goes after it — reputation and propriety be damned." And Lyle looks just like Hudson:

12. Jenny (Laura Donnelly) and Ian's (Steven Cree) family grows — and grows up.

Jamie's sister and brother-in-law will welcome several children, including a son named Ian, who is particularly close with his uncle. John Bell will play him as teenager.

13. Claire finds a confidant in Boston.

Wil Johnson will play Joe Abernathy, a medical school classmate who becomes one of Claire's closest friends. We got our first look at him in the Season 3 teaser trailer:

*Image: STARZ*
Image: STARZ

14. Two people will have an important effect on Jamie and Claire's relationship once they're reunited.

Mr. Willoughby (Gary Young), a Chinese man exiled from his country, will follow the couple to Jamaica, while the young, inexperienced Captain Thomas Leonard (Charlie Hiett) will find himself unexpectedly guiding their journey.

*Image: STARZ*
Image: STARZ

15. Tanya Reynolds and Hannah James will join the cast as the Dunsany sisters, Geneva and Tanya.

According to co-executive producer Maril Davis, Game of Thrones actor Rupert Vansittart will play their father, Lord Dunsany. All three characters are closely connected to Jamie's life before Claire's return.

Tanya Reynolds (left) will play Isobel Dunsany and Hannah James (right) her sister Geneva. *Image: STARZ*
Tanya Reynolds (left) will play Isobel Dunsany and Hannah James (right) her sister Geneva. Image: STARZ
As Jamie fires a gunshot, Lord Dunsany (Rupert Vansittart) and Isobel (Tanya Renolds) look on in horror. *Image: STARZ*
As Jamie fires a gunshot, Lord Dunsany (Rupert Vansittart) and Isobel (Tanya Renolds) look on in horror. Image: STARZ

16. Gabaldon says it's the "best season yet."

She is the authority on all things Outlander, after all.

Still thirsting for more? Watch the Season 3 teaser trailer for the umpteenth time below.

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  • Author: Julie Kosin