‘Outlander’ Season 5: Fans Have Already Spotted Inconsistencies Due to Time Jump

We are only a few weeks away from the season 5 premiere of Outlander, and fans cannot wait to see Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) back in action. The upcoming season will continue the Jamie and Claire’s journey in America and will test their loyalties like never before. Although the excitement is high, fans have noticed a few inconsistencies with how some of the characters are aged.

Outlander Sam Heughan Caitriona Balfe
‘Outlander’ stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe | Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Starz Entertainment LLC

A look at ‘Outlander’s’ time jumps

With Claire being a time traveler and all, Outlander has featured quite a few time jumps over the past four seasons. Between the second and third seasons, for example, some 20 years passed before Jamie and Claire reunited.

Season 5 of Outlander is based on Diana Gabaldon’s book, The Fiery Cross, and pretty much picks off after the events in the previous season, which was set in the late 18th century.

But given all of the time jumps in previous seasons, fans are wondering how old Jamie and Claire are supposed to be.

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At the beginning of the show, Claire was 26 years old when she traveled back in time. She met Jamie when he was only 23 years old. The 20-year gap following season 2 (plus all the other minor time jumps) puts them both into their mid-50s at the start of season 5.

Outlander has aged both characters to account for all the years that have gone by, which is where some fans have noticed inconsistencies.

Fans spot age inconsistencies in season 5

Starz recently released a teaser trailer for the new season of Outlander, which gave us a better look at how Jamie and Claire have aged this season. The trailer features Claire with plenty of grey streaks in her hair, while Jamie does not appear to have aged much at all.

According to Express, many fans feel as though the series has aged Claire at a much faster rate than Jamie. One fan even pointed out how Claire looks young in some shots and fairly old in others.

“For me they aged her too fast and too much,” a fan commented. “I see scenes where she looks young sometimes and has grey hair more in others. It does not affect the story but it’s noticeable.”

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In real life, Balfe and Heughan are very close in age. The actress just turned 40 years old while Heughan is 39. Even still, fans are not convinced that either of them looks like they are over 50 on the show.

One explanation behind the aging of the characters relates to Claire’s medical knowledge. She has likely advised Jamie and the rest of her family on how to eat healthy and take care of their bodies, something that people in the 18th century did not know about.

‘Outlander’ executive producer talks about aging Claire and Jamie

Speaking of time jumps, Outlander executive producer Maril Davis talked about how they aged Jamie and Claire between seasons two and three.

Davis explained how it is more challenging aging something 10 to 20 years, as opposed to making a 30-year-old look like they are 80.

“It’s hard to make young people look incrementally older,” she stated. “It’s obviously a little easier – and I put ‘easier’ in quotes – if you’re ageing someone up from like 30 to 80.”

She added that Heughan and Balfe look young in real life, which only made aging them even more difficult. To achieve an older look, Davis and her team used a lot of makeup and hair, as well as some prosthetics work.

Fans may not like the end product, but the show has clearly put a lot of thought into how they want to age Jamie and Claire.

Caitriona Balfe opens up about season 5

Aging inconsistencies aside, fans are really looking forward to season 5 of Outlander. A few weeks ahead of the big premiere, Balfe sat down and opened up about what’s ahead for Claire.

The actress revealed that it is nice playing a character who is at a comfortable place in life. She also assured fans that Claire and Jamie will face plenty of obstacles ahead, but at the end of the day, they will always have family to lean on.

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“Obviously, things will happen, and there will be dark moments, but I think, as an overall sense, she has her family, she has love in her life, she has a passion and a calling. I suppose that just makes her a very full, well-rounded person, and it’s nice to play that,” she explained.

Balfe and Heughan have not commented on all the speculation surrounding the aging process on Outlander. Hopefully, the characters look a little better in the season than they did in the trailer.

Season 5 of Outlander is scheduled to premiere February 16 on Starz. Fans can also stream the first couple of seasons on Netflix.