Could Outlander Season 1 Willie return to the series?

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

While watching Outlander Season 1, I remember my love for Willie. Now that the series is in the Colonies, could we ever see him again?

In Outlander Season 1, we were introduced to the MacKenzie clan. Among those men was the young Willie, who was rather sweet on Claire. In the second season, he was quickly written out with a line about heading off to the Colonies. Now that the fourth season is set in the Colonies, could we see him again?

This is unlikely. Willie, who is assumed to be based on Willie Coulter in the novels, doesn’t appear in the fourth book. He’s among the men who fight at the Battle of Culloden. That’s right, there was never a Willie who married an Irish girl and moved to the Colonies.

That storyline was written in for the show. Finn den Hertog gained a larger role in the first season (he was supposed to be a small bit, one-off part according to Outlander Cast) but couldn’t continue his commitment into the second season. The actor had booked another job by then and the schedules clashed.

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It’s pretty common for guest actors to not be able to return for a later episode, especially between seasons. After all, they don’t know if they are confirmed for more work and they have to go after pilots and other roles to keep the money flowing in. Acting is one of the most unstable jobs to have.

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

Whether there were burned bridges because of this will depend on who you speak to. Some fans think there were, and others don’t think so at all. This would certainly play a part in whether we could see Willie again in Outlander Season 4 or beyond, but it would also depend on the storyline.

Finn hasn’t been in a role since 2015. That does mean he could be potentially open to returning to the series. But is there really any need? “Drums of Autumn” and onward already have plenty of characters. We’ve got Claire and Jamie, Brianna and Roger, Fergus and Marsali, Young Ian and Rollo, Jenny and Ian, Laoghaire, Joanie, and then all those we’ll meet in the Colonies.

There’s already one character that isn’t in the later novels that we’ll meet, now that Murtagh didn’t die at Culloden. Is there room for another?

Honestly, I don’t think we need it. As much as I loved Willie, there’s no need to see what he’s doing in the Colonies. If we really needed to know, there could always be a throwaway line when Murtagh shows up–maybe he’s seen Willie and the family they have with a mention of how it was good he escaped the Jacobite rebellion.

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Would you like to see Willie return to Outlander? Do you want to know what he’s up to in the Colonies? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander Season 4 premieres on Nov. 4 at 8/7c on Starz.