Breaking Down ‘Outlander’s’ Most Confusing Family Tree

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Brianna and Roger met in season 2 of Outlander.
  • The time-traveling element of Outlander makes both of their family trees quite complicated.
  • Roger and Brianna are actually related, but many generations apart.
Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton in 1770s colonial clothing as Roger and Brianna in 'Outlander' Season 6
Richard Rankin as Roger and Sophie Skelton as Brianna in ‘Outlander’ Season 6 | Robert Wilson/STARZ

Outlander is an epic time-traveling drama that features dozens of characters living in different centuries. Which can make the family tree in Diana Gabaldon’s story quite complicated. One of the most confusing connections for fans concerns Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin) and Brianna Fraser (Sophie Skelton). Is it possible they are related?

The Fraser-MacKenzie connection in ‘Outlander’

As fans know, the main couple in the Outlander story is Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe). Jamie is an 18th century Highlander who fell in love with World War II nurse Claire after she traveled back in time via the stones at Craigh na Dun.

Jamie Fraser is the nephew of Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish), which is an important fact to remember when looking over the Outlander family tree. Another important detail is that Dougal had a son with Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek) named William Buccleigh MacKenzie.

Claire gets pregnant with Brianna before the Battle of Culloden

After losing her and Jamie’s first child, Faith, during childbirth, Claire gets pregnant again at the end of Outlander season 2 before the Battle of Culloden. But because Jamie thought he would die on the battlefield, he sent Claire back through the stones and back to the 20th century to keep his wife and daughter safe.

When Claire returned to her own time, she raised Brianna with her first husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies). It wasn’t until after Frank died that Brianna learned the truth about her biological father. And that’s when she traveled to Scotland with her mother to learn more about Jamie.

Brianna met Roger in ‘Outlander’ season 2

In the season 2 finale, Brianna and Claire return to Inverness to pay their respects and mourn the death of Reverend Wakefield. While there, Brianna catches the eye of Reverend Wakefield’s adopted son/nephew, Roger.

Roger’s mom was the niece of Reverend Wakefield. She died in London during the Blitz, but Roger’s time-traveling dad saved his life. But it’s eventually revealed that Roger is actually a MacKenzie, not a Wakefield.

During her research, Claire finds out that Roger is an ancestor of Geillis and Dougal’s son William. He was adopted by the family in Cranesmuir who had lost their baby to “the changeling” when Claire was accused of being a witch.

They both travel back in time to find Claire and Jamie

Claire stayed in the 20th century for 20 years before going back to find Jamie in the 18th century. After they discover Jamie and Claire’s obituary due to a house fire in an old newspaper, Brianna and Roger follow Claire back in time to warn her and Jamie.

The two eventually fall in love, and they become husband and wife during the Outlander season 5 premiere. Despite the fact they are both related to Dougal MacKenzie. Brianna is Dougal’s grand-niece, while Roger is his great-great (insert a number of times) grandson.

The ‘Outlander’ couple is technically generations apart

Even though Roger and Brianna are married and are both related to Dougal MacKenzie, this isn’t really an incestuous situation. This is because the two are technically generations apart.

Brianna was conceived in the 18th century before time-traveling while inside her mother’s womb and being born in the 20th century. Meanwhile, Roger is a 20th-century baby who traveled back to the 18th century during his adulthood.

When it comes down to it, all time-travelers are descendants of Master Raymond. This means Brianna and Geillis are related, as are Claire and Geillis. But these family connections aren’t that close. If it wasn’t for time travel, neither Brianna nor Roger would have never been born at all.

Outlander season 6 premieres Sunday, March 6 on Starz.

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