Friday, April 12, 2024

Breaking Down the Fraser Family Tree on Outlander

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Outlander, a.k.a the sexiest show ever made about time travel and war, is about to return for its penultimate season on Starz. Over the past seven seasons, the series has hopped back and forth between multiple centuries and continents to follow the love story between Claire, a resilient nurse from 1940s England (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan), a rugged 18th century Scotsman.

Based on what we know so far, season 7 will take its cues directly from the seventh novel in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone. That means we’ll see Jamie and Claire continue to fight for the increasingly precarious new life they’ve built in North Carolina, under the looming shadow of the Revolutionary War, while their daughter Brianna and her husband Roger settle into 1980s life at the Scottish estate of Lallybroch, Jamie’s ancestral home.

Given the breadth and complexity of the Outlander timeline–and, let’s face it, all the sex–it’s no surprise that the Fraser-Randall-MacKenzie family tree has become pretty complicated. So as you mentally and emotionally prepare for the new season, here’s a primer on how, exactly, all of these people are related.

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Simon Fraser (Jamie’s grandfather)

The Jacobite Simon Fraser–formally known as 11th Lord Lovat, and informally known as “The Old Fox”–is one of the characters in Outlander who is based on a real historical figure. Despite being Jamie’s grandfather, he’s a pretty terrible and disloyal person all round, and is revealed to be playing both sides during the Jacobite rebellion, which ultimately gets him beheaded.

Davina Porter (Jamie’s grandmother)

Jamie’s grandmother doesn’t appear in the show, but her name has been confirmed by Gabaldon—it’s an homage to the Outlander audiobook narrator of the same name.

Brian Fraser (Simon’s son and William, Jamie, and Jenny’s father)

Although Jamie’s parents are both dead in the Outlander timeline, their love story will be the focus of an upcoming prequel series, Blood of my Blood. Brian (Andrew Whipp) and Ellen met and eloped in the early 18th century, and their romance endured despite Brian’s father’s best efforts to break them up.

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Murtagh Fraser (Brian’s second cousin)

Another potential obstacle to the Brian-Ellen union was Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix), Brian’s second cousin and romantic rival. Though Murtagh was heartbroken when Ellen chose Brian over her, he remained completely devoted both to her and to her son, Jamie. He became godfather to Jamie, and fought by his side in multiple battles, before being killed at the Battle of Alamance.

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Ellen MacKenzie Fraser (William, Jamie, and Jenny’s mother)

We’ll see the details of Ellen and Brian’s courtship play out in the upcoming prequel series, but while the couple had many happy years together, their love story has a tragic ending. Ellen died giving birth to the couple’s fourth child, Robert Fraser, who was stillborn.

Colum MacKenzie (Ellen’s brother)

Ellen’s eldest brother Colum (Gary Lewis) lives with a condition called pycnodysostosis, also known as Toulouse-Lautrec Syndrome, which affects the mobility of his legs. Despite his painful and debilitating condition, he’s made the chieftain of Clan MacKenzie—much to the chagrin of his hotheaded younger brother, Dougal, who was vying for the position himself. Colum eventually grows weary of living in pain, and enlists Claire to help him to die in peace.

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Dougal MacKenzie (Ellen’s brother)

Headstrong and hard to pin down, Dougal (Graham McTavish) had a complex relationship with most of the show’s characters—but none more so than his nephew, Jamie. Before his death, Colum designated Jamie to be the guardian of his son Hamish, instead of Dougal, which exacerbated the resentment that already existed. Finally, when Dougal tries to kill Claire and Jamie for treason, Jamie kills him right back in a memorably emotional and bloody scene.

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Hamish MacKenzie (Dougal’s biological son, raised by Colum)

Although Hamish (Roderick Gilkison) was raised as Colum and Letitia’s son, his biological father is actually Dougal. To say that this family is complicated is an understatement.

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Letitia MacKenzie (Colum’s wife)

Because Colum’s condition made him unable to have children, his wife Letitia (Aislín McGuckin) became pregnant by his brother, Dougal. It’s not entirely clear if she did this willingly, but it seems to have been a strategic move rather than an affair, in order to ensure that Colum would have an heir.

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William Fraser (Jamie and Jenny’s brother)

The eldest of Brian and Ellen’s children, William only lived until the age of 11, when he died from smallpox.

Janet “Jenny” Fraser Murray (Jamie and William’s sister)

Ellen and Brian’s second eldest child. After her mother’s death, Jenny (Laura Donnelly) took over running the household at Lallybroch, and continues to hold down the fort while her younger brother Jamie is away on his endless adventures.

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James “Jamie” Fraser

A man so legendary he barely needs an introduction. James Fraser grew up at his family’s Scottish estate, Lallybroch, and like Jenny, his childhood was marred by losses: first his beloved brother William, and then his mother, both of whom died before Jamie was ten. He grew up to be a formidable warrior, serving as a mercenary in France and a soldier in Scotland, before his life was changed forever by meeting Claire.

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Ian Murray (Jenny’s husband)

Having grown up together, Jenny and Ian (Steven Cree) married at a pretty dramatic time in both of their lives; her brother Jamie had just been imprisoned for the first time, and shortly after that, her father Brian died. Ian, a longtime friend of Jamie’s, had just returned from the war after losing part of his leg.

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Ian “Young Ian” Murray (Jenny and Ian’s son)

Jenny and Ian’s youngest child (John Bell) is a key character in Outlander. Born during a fraught time, when Redcoats were regularly coming back to harass the Frasers at Lallybroch, Ian took after his uncle and grew up to be a relentless thrill-seeker, following Jamie and Claire on many of their escapades.

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Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser

One of the many things Jamie and Claire have in common is their traumatic childhoods. Claire lost her parents in a car accident when she was young, after which she was raised by her uncle.

It was through that uncle that she met Frank Randall, a historian, who she went on to marry. When World War II began, Claire became a combat nurse while Frank served as an MI6 officer, meaning the the couple spent much of their time apart. After the war, they take a trip to the Scottish highlands to reconnect—but instead, Claire ends up inadvertently whisked back into the 18th century. There, she meets a certain dashing Scotch warrior, and the rest is history (if you will).

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Quentin Lambert Beauchamp (Claire’s uncle)

Claire’s uncle Quentin (Prentis Hancock), an archeologist, stepped in to raise her after her parents died in a car accident. His work took him all over the world, and Claire got to go with him, which prepared her well for her future exploits as a transatlantic time traveler.

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Frank Randall (Claire’s husband)

Frank (Tobias Menzies) never gave up searching for Claire after she vanished on their trip, but when she miraculously returns, things are…not the same. She is, of course, in love with another man—and pregnant with his child. Despite discovering this, Frank loves Brianna as his own daughter, but his marriage to Claire never recovers. In the end, he dies an unceremonious death in an icy car accident, leaving Claire free to try and find her way back to Jamie.

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Brianna Randall Fraser (Claire and Jamie’s daughter)

Conceived in the 18th century but born in 1940s Boston, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) is understandably conflicted about where she belongs. After mourning the loss of the man she thought was her father, she eventually travels back into the past with Claire and tries to build a life there with her husband, Roger. But ultimately, it seems they’ll be heading back to the future in the new season.

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Roger MacKenzie (Brianna’s husband)

History professor Roger (Richard Rankin) first becomes involved with Claire and Brianna when they come to him seeking answers about a group of Scotsmen who fought in the 1945 Jacobite rising—and one in particular by the name of Jamie Fraser. During the course of that “research project,” he and Brianna begin to fall in love, and in season 5 the couple get married.

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Jeremiah Fraser MacKenzie (Brianna and Roger’s son)

Bree and Roger’s first child Jeremiah was born shortly before their wedding. At the time of his birth it wasn’t clear who his father was, because of Brianna’s rape at the hands of Stephen Bonnet, but a distinctive birthmark later proves that Roger is indeed Jeremiah’s dad.

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Amanda MacKenzie (Brianna and Roger’s daughter)

The season 7 trailer shows Brianna giving birth to her and Roger’s second child, Amanda.

Laoghaire MacKenzie (Jamie’s wife)

After being infatuated with Jamie since she was a teenager, Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) ends up finally getting the chance to marry him after he’s released from prison. At the time, Claire is back in the future, trapped in her own loveless marriage, but Jamie is (of course) still in love with her, and the marriage quickly breaks down. Laoghaire never overcomes her jealousy of Claire, and ultimately conspires to have her put on trial for witchcraft.

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Marsali MacKimmie Fraser and Joan MacKimmie (Jamie’s stepdaughters)

Marsali (Lauren Lyle) and Joan (Layla Burns) are Jamie’s step-daughters from his marriage to Laoghaire. Though the marriage ended poorly, Jamie’s paternal relationship with the girls is very real, to the point where Marsali even calls him “daddy.”

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Fergus Fraser (Marsali’s husband)

Although they’re not related by blood, young orphan Fergus (César Domboy) is effectively adopted by Jamie and Claire after they meet in France during season two. Fraser never knew his own parents, and is scraping by as a pickpocket in Paris—but after Jamie catches him in the act, they develop a bond so deep that they become chosen family. Fergus later goes on to marry Marsali, Jamie’s stepdaughter.

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Geneva Dunsany of Helwater (William’s mother)

Geneva (Hannah James) was yet another woman who was hopelessly infatuated with Jamie, but she took thing a step further than Laoghaire and actually blackmailed him into a one night stand–days before her own wedding, no less. She becomes pregnant with a son, William, and dies giving birth to him.

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William Ransom (Jamie and Geneva’s son)

William (Oliver Finnegan/Charles Vandervaart) grew up as an orphan, never knowing that his real father was Jamie. He was raised by Lord John Grey, a close friend of Jamie’s and husband to Geneva’s sister Isobel.

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Emma Dibdin

Emma Dibdin is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles who writes about culture, mental health, and true crime. She loves owls, hates cilantro, and can find the queer subtext in literally anything.

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