‘Outlander’ Season 6: EP Explains Why the Frasers Will Continue to Go Through Hard Times

Can Jamie and Claire catch a break?! And while we’re at it, can Brianna and Roger catch one too?! Outlander‘s characters are always going through hard times. And that’s not going to change in Outlander Season 6. Some viewers are critical of the frequent Outlander traumas. But executive producer Matthew B. Roberts commented on why the Frasers always finds itself in difficult situations during an interview leading up to Outlander Season 6.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Outlander Season 5.]

Outlander Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser in an image from the Starz hit. Season 5 displayed another 'Outlander' trauma Claire had to endure. Some fans are critical of the difficult scenes in 'Outlander.' But the show's EP commented on why they continue to happen.
‘Outlander’: Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser | Starz

‘Outlander’ traumas in past seasons

Since Outlander season 1, Jamie and Claire Fraser have experienced hardship after hardship. There is light to balance out the dark, but there’s no denying this couple and their family have been through the thick of it.

Jamie, Claire, their daughter, Brianna, and Young Ian have all been sexually assaulted in the show’s five seasons. In season 2, Claire’s first pregnancy ended in tragedy when the baby, Faith, was stillborn. The Battle of Culloden separated Jamie and Claire for 20 years, forcing Claire to raise their other daughter, Brianna, 200 years in the future. Claire believed Jamie was dead that whole time, but he survived the battle and was a prisoner at Ardsmuir Prison before being forced into indentured servitude.

They’ve also had to brave the elements. In season 3, Jamie and Claire nearly died in a shipwreck that landed them on the shores of colonial Georgia. And Brianna’s husband, Roger, had a near-death experience in season 5 that made him too traumatized to speak for months. They’ve also lost loved ones in battle, like Jamie’s godfather, Murtagh Fitzgibbons, who died in season 5. And who can forget the scars that cover Jamie’s back that were the result of Black Jack Randall brutally whipping him in events shown in flashback in Outlander Season 1.

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Why ‘Outlander’ characters are always going through hard times

The frequency of sexual assault in Outlander has deterred some from watching the show. The most recent example of this was Claire’s ending in Outlander Season 5. Caitriona Balfe’s character was sexually assaulted and beaten by multiple men in the episode, titled “Never My Love.” Most of the horrific event wasn’t shown; Claire dissociated into a dream-like state set in the 1970s to cope. But it was still understandably a lot for some fans to watch.

The other hardships the Frasers go through can be challenging to see as well. And many of them also occur in the Outlander books. In a 2020 interview with PaleyFest promoting Outlander Season 6, Roberts explained why the Frasers’ lives can be so hard. (Roberts was joined by Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, EP Maril Davis, and the Outlander main cast in the interview.) He said:

“I think one of the things that we always dig into is that the Frasers and the MacKenzies put themselves out there. The reasons why I think they are so affected by traumas and all the turmoil that goes on in the era is because they put themselves out there. They try to help people. And whether that’s people coming to the Ridge or them going out and trying to stop something. Whether it had been Culloden or Alamance or whatever. They put themselves out there. They put themselves at risk.

Inherently when you do that, you suffer. And in book 6, that happens again. There’s going to be joys, but—Diana [Gabaldon] can speak to this—there’s going to be drama. There’s going to be suffering, there’s going to be tears. All of the above.”

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan embrace while wearing 1770s colonial clothing in 'Outlander' Season 6
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in ‘Outlander’ Season 6 | Robert Wilson/STARZ

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‘Outlander’ Season 6 still has exciting moments

Roberts confirmed there will be more Outlander traumas in season 6. And in another interview on the official Outlander podcast in May 2021, Davis said there are more difficult times ahead for Jamie and Claire. But the producers assured in the PaleyFest interview that just as there are dark times, there will be good times as well. Davis said:

“I just love this book because I think there’s so much for everyone in it. Jamie and Claire, their love deepens. Roger and Brianna, they have their own journey, and something fun and new happens with them. Caitlin [O’Ryan], who plays Lizzie, has a great story, and she’s such a phenomenal actress.”

Outlander Season 6 airs in early 2022.