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‘Outlander’ returning for 8th and final season, plus a spinoff prequel
Fans finally have their answer about when Jamie and Claire's story will end on Starz, with a prequel to fill the void.
Way back on Aug. 9, 2014, Starz premiered their much-anticipated series adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's global bestselling Outlander novels -- some 23 years in the making for the ardent fandom who fell in love with Gabaldon's time travel epic centered on the star-crossed love story between Highland warrior Jamie Fraser in 1743 and British WWII nurse, Claire Randall. Actors Sam Heughan and Caitríona Balfe were cast as the leads, and it's been a global phenom ever since.
With the seventh season due to premiere this summer on Starz, there's finally official word from Sony Television and Starz that an eighth and final season of the hit series will close out Jamie and Claire Fraser's story with 10 episodes. But lament not, because a prequel series, Outlander: Blood of My Blood, has been picked up too.
The 10-episode prequel series based on Gabaldon's novellas and mythology will be executive produced by the Outlander series team of Matthew B. Roberts, Ronald D. Moore, and Maril Davis. The spinoff will cover the history of Jamie's parents, Brian Fraser and Ellen MacKenzie.
Fans have been rallying for more seasons of Outlander since the series was picked up for a seventh season in 2021, which was also the year that Gabaldon released her ninth Outlander novel, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. Gabaldon has one more book to write, still untitled, which will complete her intended novel series, and close Jamie and Claire's story. Completists have worried that the Starz series would not finish Jamie and Claire's story on-screen because Gabaldon is not done writing. Others have fretted that the Outlander series would have to pull a Game of Thrones scenario: where showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss consulted with George R.R. Martin about how his unfinished book story would close, then ultimately forged their own path for Season 8. And we all know how that turned out.
Considering the love and loyalty of Gabaldon's fans around the globe, either scenario has been a "worst case" option, with the fandom hoping the Starz series would have the commensurate 10 seasons to match Diana's eventual 10 books. Last year, Gabaldon told Town & Country: "I am working on book 10 though. It's just beginning to bubble, like the tar pits at La Brea, these rising bubbles and there's a lot of bones underneath." And that means it's unlikely the timing will work out that the book will fall into alignment with the writing and production of the eighth season.
In fact, showrunner Roberts says as much in today's press release: "Jamie and Claire’s TV story may be coming to an end with Season 8, but Diana is continuing on with their literary journey in her wonderful book series and is working diligently on Book 10. With Jamie and Claire, and now Brian and Ellen, there is still so much more to come in the Outlander universe, and we cannot wait to continue sharing these stories with our dedicated fans.”
Now, fans wait to hear from Roberts, Davis, Moore, and Gabaldon about exactly how they'll end Season 8, with condensed plots from Book 8, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, and maybe some of Book 9, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone? Or something else all-together.
Looking for more fantasy? Check out the entire Harry Potter film saga streaming now on Peacock.