Bad news, Outlander fans — season five won't be premiering until Feb. 16, 2020. But the good news is that the book on which the season is based gives us all we need to know about what the season will entail. Read on to find out what you can look forward to, but be warned of spoilers.
When we last left our intrepid heroes in season four, Jamie (Sam Heughan), Claire (Caitriona Balfe), Brianna (Sophie Skelton), and Roger (Richard Rankin) were at Aunt Jocasta's (Maria Doyle Kennedy) plantation. Bree had just given birth to her son and Jamie had just been ordered by the governor to find and kill the leader of the Regulators — and wouldn't you know it, the leader of the Regulators is none other than Jamie's godfather, Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix).
Just like with the first four seasons of the Starz drama, the fifth season of Outlander will encompass one whole book of Diana Gabaldon's series. Season five is based on The Fiery Cross, which sees our favorite time travelers staying put for once. Here's what you can expect when it hits the small screen in 2020.
Book readers know that The Fiery Cross begins with the annual gathering of Scottish clans at Mount Helicon, NC. This is an important event because it features Bree and Roger's wedding and the baptism of their son, Jeremiah. In the book, the gathering lasts for 125 pages; we think it's safe to say that the show will condense that a bit and perhaps even relocate it to Aunt Jocasta's plantation for simplicity's sake.
"I can tell you one thing they're probably not going to do [in season five] — the longest day ever. The first 125 pages of [The Fiery Cross] are all concerned with one day, the particular gathering. So I would guess they're going to condense that quite a bit, and more power to them [laughs]," author Gabaldon told Entertainment Weekly in an interview.
In fact, they might just make Bree and Roger's nuptials a double wedding with Jocasta and Murtagh. We don't know for sure if Jocasta and Murtagh are going to get married because Murtagh isn't even alive at this point in the books — this is a place where the show diverges quite significantly from the novels. But in book five, Jocasta weds Duncan Innes in order to keep other men who are after her land and wealth at bay, and it is at this wedding where a slave is murdered and Jamie and Claire encounter the odious Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) again — yes, he did survive the explosion in season four — so Jocasta's wedding is a fairly important event. Now that Jocasta is romantically involved with Murtagh on the show, their wedding would be the logical event to substitute for the book wedding.
The Battle of Alamance
This real-life battle is featured in The Fiery Cross to illustrate the growing tension between the rebellious colonies and the British government. Jamie and Roger find themselves between a rock and hard place with the impending Revolutionary War because Jamie has sworn fealty to the British as part of his pardon. This battle leaves Roger irreparably harmed, though he eventually learns to live with his scars.
After the brief encounter with Bonnet near the beginning of the book, Jamie tracks his movements for months, and eventually he and Roger lay an ill-conceived trap for the man they want to kill as punishment for raping Brianna. Things do not go as planned, and Bonnet escapes Jamie's wrath once again, though not without being shot by Brianna herself when he tries to kidnap baby Jeremiah, believing the baby to be his son.
Young Ian's return
Fans of Ian (John Bell) can rejoice — the fresh-faced scalawag returns late in book five after having lived with the Mohawk tribe for several years. He brings with him a diary of "Otter-Tooth," the exiled Mohawk whose ghost Claire encountered in season four. She knew he was a fellow time-traveler because he had silver fillings in his skull, something not yet invented in the 1770s. As they learn more about Otter-Tooth's real persona (Robert Springer) and his time-traveling adventures, Claire, Brianna, and Roger must all confess to Ian that they are from the future.
We can't wait to see how the show interprets things when it returns to Starz in February. Until then, we'll just have to obsess over these photos!