Outlander: Was Jamie Fraser a real person? Is he a historical figure?


OUTLANDER season 5 will be arriving in early 2020 as Jamie Fraser and his wife Claire find themselves faced with new challenges. But was the Highlander a real person and did he exist during the Jacobite Rising?

Season five of Outlander won’t be premiering until February 2020 after the release date was pushed back by US network Starz. In the meantime, viewers have been contenting themselves with previous seasons of the fantasy drama. But some fans have been asking about Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan) and if he was a real person – or simply a fictitious character created by author Diana Gabaldon.

Was Jamie Fraser from Outlander a real person?

The character of Jamie features in the Outlander novels and TV series.

Jamie is the Laird of Lallybroch but is forced to give up his title and lands to his family due to his part in the Jacobite Rebellion.

He is also forced to flee from his native Scotland to the New World to escape those who seek to see him in a noose for his defiance against the English.

Several events depicted in the story such as the Battle of Culloden did happen.

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There are also a number of real-life historical figures in Outlander such as the Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow), Bonnie Prince Charlie (Andrew Gower) and King Louis XV (Lionel Lingelser).

The character of Simon Lovet is also mentioned as being one of Jamie’s relatives.

Simon Fraser, who was the 11th Lord Lovat, did exist and was also known as the “Old Fox” in historical accounts.

The character of Jamie has taken its cue from history to a degree.

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Gabaldon told National Geographic in 2014: “I was reading a book for research called the Prince in the Heather, by Eric Linklater, which described what happened after Culloden.

“It said that, following the battle, 19 wounded Jacobite officers took refuge in the farmhouse by the side of the field.

“There they lay for two days with their wounds, unattended in pain. At the end of that time they were taken out and shot, except one man, a Fraser of the Master of Lovet’s regiment, who survived the slaughter.

“And I was thinking that if I expect Jamie to survive Culloden then his last name better be Fraser.

Speaking about the fan response to his character, star Heughan told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014: “I’m always amazed by the small things; there are a lot of little details that you maybe put in yourself as an actor and the fans always seem to pick up on him.

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“For instance, I used words of Gaelic in the show just to express myself and fans will go out of their way to find out what they mean, and to then translate them [to English]. Little things that I sometimes think the viewer wouldn’t even notice.”

He added: “They’re always watching and I’ve seen that they really dissect the episodes and slow things down and I think that’s wonderful — slightly terrifying as well.

“But there are so many details in the show that I think, if the fans look deep enough, they’ll see a lot of things that are there that maybe on the first viewing they wouldn’t catch.”

Generally speaking, Gabaldon was inspired to write Outlander after watching an old episode of Doctor Who featuring the Time Lord’s companion and a Highlander Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines).

Star Hines previously told Express.co.uk: “She said she saw War Games and went to church the next day and said she couldn’t stop thinking about my legs and my kilt!”

Hines even had a small role in season one as Sir Fletcher Gordon.

Was Jamie Fraser from Outlander a real person?


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