‘Outlander’ Fans Have a Thrilling Theory About Young Ian’s Lost Love

Outlander fans were elated to see Young Ian return in episode 8, “Famous Last Words.” His Fraser’s Ridge family reunion was heartwarming. But after hearing his heartbreaking story, fans have a theory about Young Ian’s lost love. 

John Bell
John Bell | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for SCAD

What happened when Young Ian returned on ‘Outlander’ season 5, episode 8?

Young Ian (John Bell) has been missing from Outlander ever since he gave himself to the Mohawk in season 4. In a sweet and noble gesture, he sacrifices himself into the service of the tribe in exchange for Roger’s (Richard Rankin) freedom. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and his uncle Jamie (Sam Heughan) are forced to leave him behind and haven’t seen him since. 

But in “Famous Last Words,” Young Ian returns to Fraser’s Ridge and reunites with the family. However, he isn’t the same person he was when he left. With a Mohawk hairstyle, face tattoo, and tribal jewelry, Young Ian looks like he fully assimilated into the tribe’s culture.

He also seems very upset and troubled while spending time with the family, but doesn’t disclose the reason to anyone. However, when Roger and Young Ian travel into the woods to survey new land, his ghosts become more apparent. Young Ian gets ready to take his own life but is interrupted by Roger just in time.

Young Ian tells Roger about his heartbreak

Toward the end of the Outlander episode, after Roger knocks over Young Ian’s pot of poisonous hemlock, he asks him why he’s trying to take his own life. Ian confirms it’s about a girl he loved but doesn’t divulge any details, other than the fact that she’s not dead. 

“But she’s lost to me,” he tells Roger. “I only wanted the pain to end. Just to be at peace.”

‘Outlander’ fans think Young Ian’s lost love might be a time traveler

While there’s no confirmation yet, most Outlander fans think Young Ian met his love during his time with the Mohawk. She could have been part of the tribe, and some think she may have had some connection to the stone circle near their village. One Reddit fan compared Young Ian’s description of his lady to Claire’s description of Frank (Tobias Menzies) in season 1.

“I just need to know what exactly is going on with Young Ian,” the Redditor wrote. “For some reason, I’m thinking maybe his wife was/is a time traveler and that’s why she’s lost to him but not dead. Kind of like in season one when Claire didn’t say Frank was dead, just that he wasn’t alive.”

“I had the exact same thought about whoever Young Ian’s significant other is!!” another Reddit fan added. “Especially with that comment to Jamie about him and Claire having secrets, it just seemed very pointed.”

And one user speculated that Young Ian probably knows more about the Fraser’s time-traveling adventures than he lets on. “Ian definitely knows there’s more to the story of Claire and Jamie’s separation and reunion that they don’t tell people, but I think he only brought it up as a way to say he’s not ready to share what happened with the Mohawk yet,” the Reddit user suggested.

Hopefully, before the season ends, Young Ian reveals more details about his relationship, who the woman is, and how it all went down.