Even though we’re in the middle of the so-called #Droughtlander, Outlander Season 3 rumors abound, specifically as it relates to the Battle of Culloden, the definitive battle that, in Scottish history, killed the clan culture as Scotland knew it, and, in Outlander world, kills our favorite characters and is the end of Outlander as we know it thus far. (Note: to be clear, I am NOT saying that this is the end of Outlander; rather, I’m saying that this is the end of Outlander as we’ve known it for the past 2 seasons). And while this definitive battle will certainly be tragic, it’s also completely necessary, and will be to Outlander what the Red Wedding was to Game of Thrones.
— Outlander (@Outlander_STARZ) August 1, 2016
Let’s first go over what we know about Outlander Season 3 rumors thus far, specifically as it relates to this definitive battle: according to Cinema Blend, a bunch of people on both sides of the aisle will perish in the Battle of Culloden. If the books are anything to go by — and thus far, the show has been pretty faithful to the book series by Diana Galbadon — Outlander Season 3 will see Black Jack Randall perish on the battlefield, but will also see our favorite Scottish clansmen take their final bow, as well. Whether we’re talking about Rupert, or Horrocks, or even our beloved Murtagh (who has his own online fan group, Murtagh’s Maidens), the Frasers and the MacKenzies and everyone else we’ve come to know and love in Scotland is going to die (except, of course, for Jamie Fraser). And yes, it’s going to be sad — and yes, we’ll probably all haver and weep like we’re at the wake of one of our own dearly beloved relatives — and yes, Twitter will be ablaze with fan theories and ruminations and renditions of “My Heart Will Go On” delivered in a Scrooge McDuck-like brogue — but what’s most important about all of this is, the mass deaths of these characters in the Battle of Culloden is absolutely necessary if Outlander wishes to continue being successful.
Additional Outlander Season 3 rumors confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter indicate that Frank Randall — who is, at this point in the story, dead — may be featured in upcoming episodes in flashback form, raising Jamie’s daughter Brianna as his own despite him knowing of her true parentage. However, fans seem to be alright with the death of Frank, at this point in the story, because it’s implied — and understood — that his death was necessary in order to keep the ballad of Jamie and Claire going. It would have been a very different story if Frank was still blundering about, getting in Claire’s way, even though she was trying desperately to get back to her one true love. In fact, it would be less Outlander and more Jerry Springer, and who wants that headache?
— Outlander TV News (@OutlanderTVNews) July 10, 2016
When we watch a show, we seem to be OK with one death, of one major character, and we’re really okay with it if the death happens “off-screen.” (Think of how much more gut-wrenching the story would be if we had to watch Frank die slowly by the horrendous heart attack that ultimately claimed his life…) We also understand, whether implicitly or explicitly, that a character in a book or a movie or a TV show has to die (or otherwise exit stage left) when his or her contributions to the story has run out. It’s the reason why — after we got over the initial shock — we were okay with the death of Han Solo in The Force Awakens — and we know for a fact that Harrison Ford was really okay with Han getting seppuku from the “nefarious” Kylo Ren.
But if, as Hall of Fame Magazine points out in its own confirmed Outlander Season 3 rumors story, the death of characters happen en masse, it rocks us to the core, and it changes the way we view the show forever. To put it in Outlander terms, we’re okay with Frank dying, but when we have to take into account Frank and Black Jack and Murtagh and Rupert and Angus and Hamish and so on and so forth…we’re not okay.
And yet, when we see the story in hindsight after these mass deaths, we know that not only will we be okay, but the story will be much better for these mass deaths.
— Scottish Heritage (@Scot_Heritage) August 19, 2016
To give an example of how mass deaths worked out well in another show, let’s take the so-called “Red Wedding” in Game of Thrones. If you happen to be one of the four people left on Earth who hasn’t seen one episode of this show, beware, spoilers ahead: this was a mass execution arranged by Walder Frey — with the blessings of the Lannister house and Roose Bolton — to take revenge on Robb Stark, and the entire Stark family, because Robb backed out on the arranged marriage between House Stark and House Frey. Robb Stark, his wife, his mother, and most of his bannermen and men-at-arms were killed over the course of about 10 minutes. When we picked our jaws up off the floor, we realized that most of the Stark house was completely obliterated, and while we’d grown to love Robb Stark and his bannermen — and of course, his mother, Lady Catelyn — we realized that these deaths needed to happen in order to clear the way for the stories of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Cersei Lannister to take center stage. If the other characters had stayed on, they would have done nothing but clutter the story and distract us from the main focus.
And the same, then, goes for Outlander: ultimately, the story of Outlander is the story of Jamie and Claire, and their respective evolutions as characters and people. At the conclusion of Dragonfly in Amber, Claire was middle-aged, and wore the signs of a life hard lived in her face and eyes — but Jamie was still the fresh-faced, somewhat sheltered, red hair tousled young lion cub that he’d been for two whole years. At this point, there’s an imbalance in perception…so the only way we’re going to be able to accept, and appreciate, Jamie as a man is if we no longer see him in the context of the clan that raised him. Therefore, the Battle of Culloden — and the mass, “Red Wedding”-like death of most of the men in Jamie’s clan — must happen in all its bloody, ignoble glory.
He can no longer be the boy Claire was forced to marry. In Outlander Season 3, James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser must become the man that Claire was meant to love.
— Sam Heughan (@SamHeughan) July 27, 2016
Leave some of your favorite Outlander Season 3 rumors in the comments below.
[Image via Starz]