‘Outlander’ Season 5: Why Jamie Had to Light the Fiery Cross

Outlander fans are still trying to come to terms with everything that happened in the shocking season 5 finale. Jamie (Sam Heughan) had no choice but to light the cross to call his people to his aid. Read on to learn why and what actually went down. There are major spoilers ahead for the season finale of season 5 of Outlander.

In episode 1, Jamie lights the cross

Sam Heughan
Sam Heughan | Michael Tran/Getty Images

When season 5 begins, Jamie lights the fiery cross as his people gather around to hear him speak. He asks for their loyalty when the time comes, which they all promise. He swears not to light the cross again unless they need to fight, which is an ominous warning of what’s to come in the season finale.

“In the Highlands, when a chieftain sends himself to war, he’ll burn the fiery cross sending a sign through it the lands of his clan,” Jamie says. “It’s a call for his men to gather their weapons. Come prepare for battle. We are friends, neighbors, countrymen, and we’re not a clan, and I’m not your chief. But I hope that if the time comes you will all stand by my side. We can not say what might befall us, but we must not only be willing to make oaths to our wives and loved ones but to our brothers in arms and this new country. Stand by my hand.”

RELATED: ‘Outlander’: Fans React to the Season 5 Finale

Jamie lights the fiery cross again in the season finale

Of course, that wasn’t the last time that Jamie lights the cross this season. In episode 11, his wife Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is taken by Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy) and his men. They take her right from her home. Claire is treated with unimaginable cruelty and she’s raped by multiple assailants.

When Jamie learns that his wife has been taken, he rushes to light the cross to alert everyone on Fraser’s Ridge to come and assist them. Many people come and Jamie assembles them all so they can get Claire back as quickly as possible.

Why Jamie had to light the cross

Jamie needed the help of everyone on Fraser’s Ridge to get his beloved wife back from Lionel Brown. He would have gone by himself if he had to, but he was lucky enough to have such loyal and faithful people by his side. He needs all the help he can get when they ambush Lionel and his men.

Jamie finds Claire badly beaten, but alive. He tells her she is whole, and a number of his men and Jamie himself tell her they will gladly kill for her. They kill almost everyone, but Lionel is still breathing. They take him back to the Ridge for further questioning. Luckily Marsali (Lauren Lyle) is on hand to kill Lionel with water hemlock straight into his bloodstream. His death needed to happen and was a long time coming all season. It’s just terrible that Claire had to suffer first before it could happen.

Jamie had to light the fiery cross to get his wife Claire back. She’s alive because of his quick thinking. If he hadn’t lit the cross, who knows if he’d have had enough men to get Claire back safely? Fans are still reeling from that explosive season finale.