If you’ve read Diana Gabaldon’s iconic Outlander novels or watched any of the series leading up until now, you’ll know one thing: there are so many characters.
Spanning nearly 10 years since season one was released in August 2014, we’ve met countless personalities and relations and had to keep up with them disappearing and then popping back up when you least expect them.
From Jamie’s time at Castle Leoch with the MacKenzie Clan to his and Claire’s stint on Fraser’s Ridge in the fledglings of what is now America, and of course Claire’s life with Frank and Brianna in the modern day, consider this your exhaustive guide to all the key characters you need to know, and their backgrounds.
James Alexander Malcom Mackenzie Fraser
We meet this character aged 22, going by a number of names ‘Jamie MacTavish’, ‘Red Jamie’ and ‘The Dunbonnet’ to list a few. He’s a Scottish warrior, the son of parents Brian and Ellen Fraser. He has siblings, William (deceased), Jenny and Robert (stillborn) and his mother Ellen, whose maiden name is Mackenzie, died during childbirth. Jamie meets the love of his life Claire Randall when she falls through the stones and goes back in time 200 years. We’ll get to her family tree soon.
Jenny Fraser Murray
Jenny is Jamie’s only living relative and she looks after him while he is a fugitive from the law at Broch Turach (their family home). Jenny marries Jamie’s friend Ian Murray and together they have three children: Young Jamie, Margaret and Young Ian.
Young Ian is Jamie’s nephew, who steals away across the ocean with Jamie when he heads to America. Ian befalls a lot of trouble during his journey, nearly being murdered by known time-traveller Geilis Duncan and living with the Native Americans clans.
Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser
Murtagh is a close friend and guardian to Jamie. He is second cousins with Jamie’s dad Brian Fraser but always loved Brian’s wife Ellen Fraser (née Mackenzie).
Given Jamie lost his parents so young, and Murtagh’s enduring love for Jamie, Murtagh looks after him and is often there to ‘save his bacon’ when the going gets tough. When he moves to America, Murtagh finds himself in some trouble after associating with the rebels. He falls in love with Jocasta Cameron (née Mackenzie) but the two cannot be together due to his controversial ties to the rebellion.
Colum is Ellen Fraser’s brother, the laird of Castle Leoch and head of the Mackenzie clan at the start of Outlander. He has a wife, Letitia, and one son Hamish.
However, we soon find out that Hamish is in fact not his son but was fathered by his brother Dougal Mackenzie.
Another of Ellen Fraser’s brothers, Dougal Mackenzie is the second son, always reaching for power. He is the war chieftain of the clan and involved the family in the Jacobite uprising, which ultimately ended the clan system in Scotland after Culloden. He married Maura Grant MacKenzie and had children, but is most well-known for his illegitimate children Hamish and William (remember those names). Dougal met his untimely end when he came after Claire Randall, forcing Jamie to kill him.
Jocasta Cameron (née Mackenzie)
Jocasta is the sister to Ellen Fraser, Colum and Dougal. She married John Cameron, and when he died of the flux she married his cousin Hugh. Hugh later died of a hunting injury, and Jocasta married another Cameron, Hector mor Cameron, who died of a sore throat. Finally, she married her nephew Jamie Fraser’s close friend Duncan Innes to ensure her property would pass to Jamie upon her death. Jocasta is a person with blindness. She also has a love affair with Jamie’s protector Murtagh Fitzgibbons.
Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser
Claire Fraser is a doctor and time traveller who falls through the stones at Craigh Na Dun in Scotland while on her second honeymoon with husband Frank Randall, travelling back in time 200 years.
She was born in 1918 to parents Julia and Henry Beauchamp, who died in a car accident, leaving her to be raised by her archaeologist uncle Quentin Lambert Beauchamp, living quite an unconventional childhood.
Claire met and fell in love with historian Frank Randall and they were married in 1937, but when the war came they were forced apart, Randall to MI6 and Claire as a combat nurse. When they finally came back from the war, they were parted again when Claire travelled in time through the stones.
She finds herself in 18th Century Scotland, and quickly falls into the company of the Mackenzie Clan. About to be taken prisoner by Captain Jack Randall (a devious character who is an ancestor of her actual husband Frank Randall), she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser.
An unconditional and unbreakable love grows between the two, and Claire is forced to choose between life in the modern day with Frank, and life in ye olde Scotland with Jamie.
Jamie and Claire have many children together, but just one biological living child. Their firstborn daughter Faith died stillborn, and then they adopted French ward Fergus Fraser. Claire becomes pregnant by Jamie with her daughter Brianna, but goes back through the stones to have her and raises her as Frank’s child.
English-born historian Frank Randall is husband to Claire Fraser and was a spy for MI6 during the war. He lost his wife Claire for years, but she reappeared in 1948, in poor health and pregnant.
Frank took her in and raised the child Brianna as his own. The couple tried to continue their romance from where they left off, however, Claire had fallen in love during her time away, making that extremely difficult. Their relationship drifts apart, with Frank holding extramarital relationships. A huge fight ensues, with Frank storming out and driving off, with calamitous results.
One of the other reasons the relationship between Claire and Frank was so fraught, is that he looks exactly like his ancestor Jonathan Wolverton Randall a.k.a. ‘Captain’ or ‘Black’ Jack Randall, the supervillain of the series that repeatedly terrorises Claire and Jamie. In fact, the same actor, Tobias Menzies, plays both Captain Jack and Frank.
Brianna Ellen Randall Frazer Mackenzie
Brianna is the first living child of Jamie and Claire, although she grew up in the 20th Century and was raised believing that Frank Randall was her father. She carries the red hair and strong features of her biological father Jamie.
She only finds out her true parentage after Frank dies, when Claire took her to Scotland. While there, Brianna strikes up a friendship with a young historian Roger Mackenzie, who is helping Claire discover what happened to Jamie after Culloden. They fall in love, and eventually both end up travelling back in time to live with Jamie and Claire (Claire had gone back through the stones to be with her true love by now). Together Roger and Brianna have three children, Jeremiah (Jemmy) Alexander Ian Fraser Mackenzie, Amanda Claire Hope Fraser Mackenzie and David William Ian Fraser Mackenzie.
Brianna may be Jamie’s first born, but he had a second child while Claire was back in the 20th Century with Frank and Brianna. His name is William Ransom.
William was conceived in a moment of weakness for Jamie, who was working on a property as a part of his amends for the Jacobite rebellion when a lady of the house, Geneva Dunsany, throws herself upon him. Geneva dies in childbirth, but was betrothed to an elderly noble, Ludovic Ransom, Earl of Ellesmere.
William’s true parentage (Jamie) is hidden so that he can inherit the title of Earl of Ellesmere. However, Ludovic finds out, dangling the new born baby out the window threatening to kill it. In a moment of desperation to save his son, Jamie shoots the crazed Ellesmere, and catches his baby boy in his arms. William keeps his title and is raised by Geneva’s sister Isobel Dunsany, who happens to marry Lord John Grey, Jamie’s close friend and secret admirer.
Marsali MacKimmie Fraser
Reeling from Claire’s loss, Jamie Fraser fell into a relationship with another local at Castle Leoch, Laoghaire Mackenzie. She had always loved Jamie and despised Claire for stealing him from her.
The pair eventually married so that Jamie could become stepfather to her two children from a previous marriage, Marsali Mackimmie Fraser and Joan Mackimmie.
Marsali ends up falling in love with Jamie’s ward Fergus Fraser, despite her mother’s distain for the match. When Jamie, Claire and Fergus go to travel to America by ship, Marsali boards as a stowaway and ultimately weds Fergus. The pair have a large brood, including Germain Fraser, Joan Fraser, Felicitie Fraser and Henri-Christian Fraser.
Fergus Fraser is Claire and Jamie’s ward and adoptive child. The couple happen upon him in a brothel. He’s great at stealing so they work together in a secret plot. However, in the process of getting to know Fergus they end up loving the young boy and wanting to help him get away from the life of crime he had been living.
Fergus grows up with the couple and is a steadfast supporter of his parents-by-proxy.
William Buccleigh Mackenzie
Now, we’re going back to when we were talking about Hamish, Colum and Letitia’s son, who was actually parented by Colum’s brother Dougal Mackenzie.
Dougal had another illegitimate child, with time traveller Geilis Duncan. Their child, William Buccleigh Mackenzie was raised by another Mackenzie family and eventually married a woman named Morag. William and Morag are Roger Mackenzie’s four-time great-grandparents. For this reason, Roger too can venture through the stones because he is descendant from Geilis Duncan, a noted time traveller.
Roger Wakefield Mackenzie
Roger is an orphan who is raised by Reverend Wakefield. He grows up in Scotland and becomes a historian. When the Reverend dies he helps Claire in her historical search for Jamie, and in the meantime falls in love with her daughter Brianna. The pair go on to have a large family, and he takes back his ancestral name ‘Mackenzie’.
- Stephen Bonnet is a pirate, smuggler and murderer who robs the Frasers and sexually assaults their daughter Brianna Fraser when she travels back in time. There was some potential that he was her son Jeremiah’s father, but as Jem grows it’s clear that Roger is his true dad. Bonnet is eventually sentenced to death by drowning, but knowing this was his greatest fear, as the water rises, Brianna shoots him in the head.
- Lionel, Richard and Thomasina Brown: The Brown brothers are terrorising forces up on Fraser’s Ridge, forming the ‘Committee of Safety’ and using this power for evil. They instigate the brutal sexual assault of Claire Fraser.
- Tom Christie: Tom Christie was imprisoned at Ardsmuir for his role in the Jacobite uprising. He headed the Protestant faction in the prison, which was challenged when Jamie Fraser was also imprisoned there as a staunch Catholic. The pair knocked against one another, but eventually fell into a kind of truce. When Ardsmuir was closed, Christie was shipped to America, where he became a teacher and had his children shipped over. When his second wife died, he moved his family to settle on Jamie’s land up on Fraser’s Ridge.
- Malva Christie: Malva is the daughter of Mona Christie (Tom Christie’s wife) and Tom’s brother, Edgar. She was conceived while Tom was at Ardsmuir. Mona killed Edgar and was hung for her crimes, leaving the half-siblings, Allan Christie and Malva Christie to be raised by an aunt. Malva is naturally curious and becomes an assistant to Claire’s medical work, but we later find out that she is being repeatedly raped by her half-brother Allan, soon becoming pregnant. In desperation, Malva tries to pass the child off as Jamie Fraser’s illegitimate child and begins to poison her dad Tom and Claire Fraser. In a shock moment, she is murdered by Allan, but no one knows he did it. Claire is the first to find her and tries to perform a C-section to save the baby but it is lost, and she is arrested for murder.