The Starz series Outlander has featured plenty of time-travelers and here’s all of them, explained. Though Outlander is primarily a historical romantic drama, it’s also considered magical realism fantasy due to the usage of magical time travel. Based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon, the Outlander TV show, which has been running since 2014, initially focuses on the time-traveling adventures of Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), but throughout the series, she realizes she’s not the only one with this special ability.
In Outlander’s initial premise, Claire is a former World War II nurse who is vacationing with her husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies) in 1945 Scotland. After accidentally passing through the standing stones at Craigh na Dun, Claire is transported back in time to 1746 Scotland, where she soon meets a group of rebel highlanders from Clan MacKenzie, including Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), who she initially marries for protection but soon falls in love with.
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Expanding the scope of the series and having there be more time travelers in Outlander besides Claire makes the story more interesting. Though the mechanics behind Outlander’s version of time travel aren’t completely clear, the usage of time travel is fun and fascinating because it gives added stakes to the plot. Interestingly enough, the power of the stones doesn’t work for everyone; when Jamie touches them, nothing happens, which proves that time travel is an ability that is only possessed by certain characters in the world of Outlander. The stones are a gateway to portals in time, but it takes the right person to make their powers work. Here’s an exploration of every known time traveler revealed in the Outlander TV show so far.
Though she isn’t the first person to ever time travel in Outlander, Claire is the first person seen using this ability. Claire spends a good amount of the first season trying to figure out a way to get back to the 20th century, though her journey is hindered because Clan MacKenzie needs her abilities as a healer. When a pregnant Claire returns to the future in Outlander season 2, she is transported not back to 1945, but instead three years later, showing that time has passed since she first traveled through the stones. In 1968, Claire makes the decision to go back through the stones. She once again ends up traveling 202 years back in time; it is 1765 when she returns to 18th-century Scotland.
Claire guesses that gemstones are the key to her successful passages through time; she was wearing a jeweled watch the first time she went through, and when she travels back to the 20th century, she is wearing a ring that Jamie gave her. There’s no concrete proof of this theory in-universe, but perhaps gemstones are helpful for the journey. Claire’s love for Jamie also helps guide her during her time-traveling trips; it’s a powerful force that helps “pull” her to a place back in time.
Geillis (Lotte Verbeek) is the first time traveler that Claire encounters in Outlander. After Claire first time travels to 1743 Scotland, Geillis suspects that Claire is from the future. Geillis is a time traveler from the 1960s originally named Gillian Edgars; she goes through the stones in 1968 to ensure that the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 is successful. While in 18th-century Scotland, she has an affair with Dougal MacKenzie, a supporter of the Jacobite cause that Bonnie Prince Charlie fought for in Outlander. Geillis is convicted of witchcraft but is saved from hanging because she is pregnant with Dougal’s son, William Buccleigh MacKenzie, who ends up being Roger MacKenzie’s ancestor.
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Back in 1968, Geillis was devoted to cracking the secret to time travel. She incorrectly believes that a blood sacrifice is needed and murders her first husband before traveling through the stones. In Outlander season 3, even after being told by Claire that sacrifice isn’t necessary, Geillis attempts to sacrifice Young Ian (John Bell). Geillis is a fascinating and flawed character whose passion for the country of Scotland ends up becoming her undoing.
Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon) is an apothecary who Claire befriends while living in Paris in early 1744, according to Outlander season 2’s timeline. Claire befriends Raymond after coming into his shop to find a potion that will help Jamie sleep. Raymond and Claire are kindred spirits, as they both heal people, and he becomes a close ally to Claire in a city where she feels out of place. In Outlander season 2, episode 4, “La Dame Blanche,” Claire is poisoned by the Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber), and Raymond comes to her aid. This episode also makes it clear that Raymond is a time traveler and is fascinated by things that are “not of this time.”
In the middle of Outlander season 2, Raymond and St. Germain are both tried for witchcraft, and Claire uses her healing power to save her friend’s life by giving him a fake potion she’s created to “test” whether or not he is a witch. She does this as an act of kindness to repay Raymond for saving her life on other occasions. Though Raymond ends up being banished from France by the king, he hints that he will see Claire again, “in this lifetime or another.” The TV series doesn’t delve too much into his backstory, but Diana Gabaldon has said that she believes he came from around 400 BC and has time-traveled before.
In Outlander season 4, Claire, Jamie, and Ian, who later marries Emily, a Mohawk woman, must rescue Roger (Richard Rankin), who is a prisoner of the Mohawk tribe. Though Claire is turned away at first because of a special gemstone necklace she wears, she gets another chance to talk to the Mohawk tribe about freeing Roger. A woman from the tribe tells Claire about the legend of Otter Tooth (Trevor Carroll), a man who claimed to be a time traveler sent back to warn the Native Americans about the genocide that was to come. Though Otter Tooth was sent away, he kept returning to the tribe, who felt they had no choice but to kill him. He was buried with the pendant around his neck; the stone, which Claire now owns, was thought to tell the future of the Mohawk tribe.
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Earlier in Outlander season 4, Claire encounters the ghost of Otter Tooth. Based on the silver dental fillings Claire finds in his skull, she deduces that he must have been a fellow time traveler. His backstory isn’t fully explored in the Outlander TV series, but in the books, Otter Tooth is Robert Springer, a 20th-century activist who was part of a group called the Montauk Five that mysteriously disappeared in 1968. The group members attempted to use the stones to warn Native Americans about their fate at the hands of white colonists.
As Claire’s daughter, Brianna’s (Sophie Skelton) time-traveling abilities can be explained by genetics. Though she is initially skeptical of Claire’s time travel stories, she eventually believes her mom and is the one who encourages her to go back through the stones to find Jamie. Brianna is inspired to time travel in Outlander season 4 after seeing a newspaper clipping that says Jamie and Claire died in a house fire in the 1770s.
Brianna and Roger meet up again in 18th-century America. The two consummate their relationship and by the season 4 finale, Brianna has given birth to their son. In Outlander season 5, a now-married Roger and Brianna, along with their son, Jemmy, attempt to travel through the stones back to the 1970s. However, the time travel is unsuccessful; the family was thinking of “home,” but the stones will not let them pass because they are already home in the 18th century. This departs from the books, where the family is able to go back to the future because, in the Outlander books, Brianna and Roger’s daughter Amanda is born with a heart defect that can’t be cured in the 1700s. Brianna and Roger’s failure to pass through the stones in Outlander season 5 shows that time travel needs a specific purpose rather than something general like “going home,” though that doesn’t explain how Claire was first able to pass through the stones in 1945.
Roger has also inherited the ability to time travel because he’s a descendant of Geillis. After Brianna travels back to the 1700s to meet her parents and warn them of their fate, he decides to follow her. Roger has a difficult journey, crossing paths with the menacing Stephen Bonnet (Edward John Speleers) and being sold to the Mohawk after Jamie mistakenly believes he sexually assaulted Brianna. However, Roger and Brianna are eventually able to have a happy life together 200 years in the past, though the Outlander season 6 finale shows that the couple has been discussing time travel, especially since they have a young child.
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At first, Brianna and Roger aren’t sure whether or not their son has time-traveling abilities. However, Outlander season 5 shows that the time travel genes have been passed down to Jemmy thanks to his parents. He hears a buzzing sound when he’s near certain stones–the same noise that Brianna, Roger, and Claire hear before journeying through time, confirming that Jemmy can travel as well. This time-travel attempt also clears up a mystery and confirms that Roger is Jemmy’s father and not Stephen Bonnet, who was Brianna’s rapist.
It’s possible that Outlander season 7 could see Brianna and Roger admitting to their son that they’re time travelers from the 1970s. Though Outlander season 5 diverted from the books by having the MacKenzie family’s passage through the stones be unsuccessful, it’s likely that Outlander season 7 will focus on the couple successfully returning to their own time. The Outlander TV show has made changes, but it largely remains faithful to the original series, so Roger and Brianna’s storyline in Outlander season 7 should follow the events of book 7, An Echo in the Bone, with the MacKenzies back in the 20th century.
In Outlander season 5, Wendigo Donner (Brennan Martin), who is involved in Claire and Jamie’s upcoming house fire, is first introduced. He reveals himself to Claire as a time traveler by asking if she knows who Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is. Donner asks Claire for advice regarding time travel, and she tells him that gemstones are needed. He reappears in Outlander season 6, episode 5 as a prisoner, where Claire hears him whistling “The Colonel Bogey March,” a British song that wasn’t composed until 1914. According to the Outlander books, Donner is an activist and also a member of the Montauk Five who travels back in time to warn his Native American ancestors of their fate and try to prevent it from happening. He ends up accidentally causing the fire at Fraser’s Ridge after breaking into Claire and Jamie’s house to steal gemstones to use for time-traveling. It’s possible that this mysterious time traveler will appear again in Outlander season 7, giving the show a chance to expand on Donner’s story.
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