Outlander announced earlier this year that it was expanding its universe on Starz. Now, the prequel — titled Blood of My Blood — is officially in production. What will the new series be about and when will it premiere? Here’s everything we know so far about the Outlander prequel Blood of My Blood.
‘Outlander’ fans, get ready to meet Jamie Fraser’s parents
The official Outlander Twitter account recently announced that the prequel Blood of My Blood is in development and the writer’s room has officially opened. The new series will follow the love story of Jamie Fraser’s (Sam Heughan) parents, Ellen MacKenzie and Brian Fraser.
“The #Outlander universe is expanding! Outlander: Blood of My Blood, a prequel that will follow the love story of Jamie Fraser’s parents, is officially in development at STARZ,” the tweet read.
Outlander showrunner Matthew B. Roberts will write the prequel series, and he will also serve as the new series’ showrunner and executive producer. The other Outlander EP’s — Maril Davis and Ronald D. Moore will also serve as executive producers for Blood of My Blood. And Outlander author Diana Gabaldon will be a consulting producer.
Diana Gabaldon revealed in February 2022 that she was writing a book about Jamie’s parents
Gabaldon is currently working on the 10th and final book in the Outlander series. But that’s not the only novel she is writing. In February, the author revealed that she was writing a book about Jamie’s parents. And it will serve as the source material for the new prequel.
“Outlander is a riveting show that from season to season has captured the hearts of its fans around the world,” Kathryn Busby, President of Original Programming at Starz told Deadline.
“We are excited to peel back the layers of this vibrant world to bring our audience the origin of where it all began. Matthew, Maril, and Ronald will continue to bring their excellent vision and creativity to this new iteration, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Who is Ellen Fraser in ‘Outlander’?
Ellen MacKenzie Fraser was born in 1691 as the oldest child of Jacob and Anne MacKenzie. She grew up at Castle Leoch in the Scottish Highlands, and she was close to her brother Colum. Since he was a sickly child, Ellen spent a lot of time nursing her brother and telling him stories.
Outlander fans will recall that Colum (Gary Lewis) was the Laird of Castle Leoch in season one. Her other brother was Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish), who was also part of the first two seasons.
Ellen’s father didn’t believe in arranged marriages, which were common at the time for forging and maintaining alliances among clans. She was still unmarried when Jacob died, which led to Colum and Dougal attempting to arrange their sister’s marriage to a man named Malcolm Grant. However, Ellen defied her brothers by offending Malcolm and running off with Brian Fraser to elope.
Who is Brian Fraser?
Brian Fraser was born out of wedlock to Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, and a maid at Castle Downie named Davina Porter. He eloped with Ellen MacKenzie during the Great Gathering, and the couple stayed hidden until she was noticeably pregnant. They did this to force Colum and Dougal to accept the marriage. But Colum never spoke to her again.
Lord Lovat did not approve of Ellen as Brian’s bride, and tried to stop their marriage by claiming that he wasn’t the father of her child. He eventually broke off all contact with Brian.
Brian and Ellen moved to Lallybroch one week before their oldest child William was born. Three years later their daughter Janet — aka “Jenny” (Laura Donnelly) — arrived. And she was followed two years later by their son James.
Jamie Fraser has lost numerous members of his family
In 1727, William became ill with smallpox and eventually died from the disease. Two years later, Ellen died during childbirth when her and Brian’s youngest son Robert was stillborn.
Years later, in 1740, Captain Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) and his soldiers ransacked Lallybroch when Brian was away at a funeral. They arrested Jamie while he tried to defend Jenny, and they took him to Fort William, where Jack brutally flogged him.
When Brian witnessed Jamie’s second flogging, he thought his son had been killed. He suffered apoplexy and collapsed, then died a few days later at Lallybroch.
Ellen Fraser MacKenzie is mentioned in every ‘Outlander’ book
Ellen died before the events of Outlander, but she has been brought up in conversation. Especially during the earlier seasons. She’s also mentioned and remembered by numerous characters in every one of Gabaldon’s Outlander books for her strong character and for following her heart.
Her family members talk about her sharp tongue and cleverness, as well as her overall sweetness. She’s described as being tall with fair skin, gray eyes fringed with black lashes, a narrow forehead, round chin, and red hair — which is where Jamie gets his famous locks.
“Hair like fire . . . And eyes like Colum’s—grey, and fringed wi’ black lashes—very pretty, but the kind would go through ye like a bolt,” Gabaldon writes. “A tall woman; even taller than you. And sae fair it would hurt the eyes to see her.”
Ellen was also an accomplished painter, and her self-portrait hangs in Lallybroch. In the image, she is wearing her freshwater pearls — the pearls that Jamie gave to Claire as a wedding present — and resembles her granddaughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton).
In Gabaldon’s books, Ellen’s painting ends up in the National Gallery in Scotland in the 20th century.
‘Outlander: Blood of My Blood’ is set in 1715
Gabaldon has shared a few hints about what fans can expect from her novel about Jamie’s parents. She told the Radio Times that “it’s more or less focused around the earlier Jacobite Rising in 1715, which resulted in the Battle of Sheriffmuir.”
“We know the outlines of the story, that is that Brian came to Castle Leoch and fell in love at first sight with Ellen and essentially ended up abducting her from the castle under the noses of her brothers, with the help of his best friend Murtagh,” Gabaldon said, per Express.
“So the story is about how all that happened, and also how it is that Murtagh became Jamie’s godfather because of his love for Ellen and so forth.”
Outlander Seasons 1 through 5 are now playing on Netflix, and season 6 is available on the Starz app. Outlander Season 7 will premiere on Starz in late 2022 or early 2023. A premiere date for Outlander: Blood of My Blood has not yet been announced.