Season 2 of Outlander introduced a very important character in Jamie and Claire's lives: their daughter Brianna. The show has given us a little more insight into her personality in the third season, but with Claire's return to the 18th century imminent, viewers may be left wondering what happens to Brianna in the Outlander books? Well, it's definitely not the last time she's going to make an appearance. Warning: major, major book spoilers ahead!
Instead of picking right up and having Claire and Jamie reunite at the beginning of Season 3, the show-runners have devoted the first half of the season to the star-crossed couple's lives in the 20 years they spent apart. This meant that viewers got to watch Jamie's journey from cave-dwelling outlaw to prisoner to groom. Viewers also got a glimpse of Claire as a discontented wife, an accomplished surgeon, and a devoted mom, as well as further developing the character of Brianna. In case you had any doubts, she's as independent, outspoken, and stubborn as both of her parents. But once Claire leaves her (as she obviously will) to rejoin Jamie, does that mean that Brianna will simply disappear from the narrative altogether? If you're familiar with the books at all, you'll know that the series author, Diana Gabaldon, tends to bring back her most beloved characters in the most unexpected ways.
In the fourth book of the series, Drums of Autumn, the first part of the book splits the series between Claire's story and Brianna's, switching back and forth from Claire's journey with Jamie in the 18th century and Brianna's in the 20th. As could be expected, Brianna and Roger's relationship develops. Perhaps it's not quite as intense as the Claire and Jamie romance, but it is darn close, finding the two of them flying back and forth between Boston and Scotland, while Brianna switches her focus of study from history to engineering. Things really ramp up when Brianna finds a newspaper clipping from the 18th century saying that her parents have died horribly. And of course, as any adventurous and loving daughter would do, she decides to go back in time to save them. Roger, who has found the same clipping, and to whom Brianna has sent a box of her things, follows right at her heels.
The following sequence of events sees Brianna meeting up with a whole bunch of Outlanders most (and least) beloved characters in Scotland, then heading to the Colonies where Claire and Jamie have set up a new home for themselves. Roger, of course, follows. Suddenly Brianna, just like her mother before her, finds herself a woman out of her own time and trying to navigate a totally different yet somehow familiar world.
A radically independent woman in her own time in the '60s, the 18th century hasn't seen a woman as self-sufficient as Brianna since Claire showed up. But Brianna's story doesn't mirror her mom's. She has her own adventures and her own romance. Suffice it to say that she does eventually reunite with her family and with Roger. Naturally, hijinks and awkward meetings ensue, particularly the one with her biological father.
This should mean that we sadly won't get to see Brianna and Jamie meet until the fourth season of the show. However actors Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin, who play Brianna and Roger in the show, have teased that the story may diverge slightly from the narrative laid out in the books. Nerdist reports Rankin saying, "I think it’s got to be great if you’re book reader, right? If the story’s told in slightly different way of those things that you’re expecting or new elements of the story coming along on screen—that’s gotta be quite refreshing for them." For her part, Skelton said, "There are elements that move slower between them and the books, and elements that move a little bit quicker between them. It keeps it a really nice dynamic."
Could this mean that Brianna and Roger travel back in time earlier than expected? Given how much attention they've gotten in just a few episodes, I wouldn't discount the possibility!
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