‘When Calls the Heart’: Did Nathan Know Jack? Fans Have Some Wild Theories

Some big revelations could be coming in the next When Calls the Heart. A preview for the March 14 episode of the Hallmark Channel series teases a bombshell involving Nathan (Kevin McGarry) and Jack (Daniel Lissing), Elizabeth’s (Erin Krakow) late husband, that could have huge implications for Nathan and Elizabeth’s relationship. The clip has many Hearties speculating about whether Nathan and Jack’s paths crossed before the latter’s death and what that interaction might have involved. 

Jack died in ‘When Calls the Heart’ Season 5 

Daniel Lissing, as Jack, riding a horse in When Calls the Heart
Daniel Lissing as Jack in When Calls the Heart | Copyright 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ricardo Hubbs

Jack died in a heartbreaking episode at the end of When Calls the Heart season 5, not long after he and Elizabeth were married. He’d bent sent away on an assignment to train other Mounties. When a landslide occurred during a training exercise, Jack managed to push two recruits two safety, but he lost his own life in the process. 

When Calls the Heart viewers never actually saw Jack’s death. The events happened offscreen, with Elizabeth learning about the tragedy sometime after it occured. In season 6, Nathan arrived in town, taking Jack’s place as Hope Valley’s Mountie. 

During Elizabeth’s first meeting with Nathan, they talked about Jack. 

“I never served with your late husband,” Nathan told her. “But by all accounts he was an excellent Mountie.”

Did Nathan actually know Jack? 

RELATED: The Romantic Story Behind Jack and Elizabeth’s Wedding on ‘When Calls the Heart’

Nathan has told Elizabeth that he never served with Jack. But the teaser for the upcoming episode hints that there might be more to the story than it initially seemed. 

“[Nathan] was stationed at Fort Clay three years ago,” Elizabeth reveals in a conversation with Rosemary (Pascale Hutton).

“You must know that Fort Clay was Jack Thornton’s last assignment,” Bill (Jack Wagner) tells Nathan in a separate conversation. 

Then, we see Elizabeth confront Nathan. “Did you ever meet Jack?” she asks.

‘When Calls the Heart’ fans have theories about Nathan and Jack

Side by side photo of Natan and Jack from When Calls the Heart, both wearing Mountie uniform
[L-R] Kevin McGarry as Nathan Grant; Daniel Lissing as Jack Thornton | ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter; ©2013 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eike Schroter

The possibility that Nathan and Jack may have known each other left many Hearties reeling. Several had theories about what might have happened between the two, which they shared in comments on the show’s Instagram

Several suspected Nathan might have been one of the Mounties Jack died trying to save. However, others pointed out that the timelines there doesn’t seem to add up. Given Nathan’s age, he was likely well into his career when the accident occurred, so he wouldn’t have been one of the trainees Jack was working with. 

Others thought Nathan might have been part of the rescue mission that discovered Jack’s body or that Jack somehow passed on a message to Nathan about Elizabeth before he died. “I’ve been actually thinking that Nathan was with Jack when he died and gave orders to Nathan to take care of Elizabeth,” one person wrote. 

Another speculated that Jack may have taken Nathan’s place in leading the training mission that caused his death.

“When Nathan first met Elizabeth, he said he’d never served with Jack,” the person wrote. “So I’m guessing he knew him at Ft. Clay which is why he’s been more hesitant with Elizabeth in the past since he knew that would eventually get revealed. Maybe he was supposed to lead the training session that got Jack killed? And he’s been hesitant to tell Elizabeth about it cause if he’d led it, then Jack wouldn’t have died?”

If Nathan knew Jack, that could have huge implications for his relationship with Elizabeth 

We don’t know what kind of connection Jack and Nathan might have shared. But it’s clear that if they did know each other, that could completely change the nature of Nathan and Elizabeth’s relationship. 

Earlier this season, Nathan finally confessed to Elizabeth that he loves her. She told him they couldn’t be together, in part because the possibility of losing him like she lost Jack would be too painful. If it turns out that Jack and Nathan do have some kind of history together, it might actually bring him and Elizabeth closer together. But it’s just as likely that it could push them further apart, especially if Elizabeth feels like Nathan wasn’t honest with her about knowing her husband. 

Then there’s the matter of Andrew, the Mountie who showed up in Hope Valley in the March 7 episode. He’s leading an investigation into the shooting at the end of season 7, but there’s clearly some bad blood between him and Nathan that predates that tragedy. Could Andrew have somehow been involved in Jack’s death? Hopefully, Hearties will get some answers in the next episode of When Calls the Heart, which airs Sunday, March 14 at 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel.