Outlander: What could have happened had Claire gone back to Frank?

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

Outlander Season 1, Episode 8 saw Claire get back to the stones at Craig na Dun, only to be pulled away at the last second. How could things have changed for her if she’d gone back through?

In Outlander Season 1, Episode 8, Claire was just seconds away from getting back to Frank. After marrying Jamie, she saw the stones of Craig na Dun and remember her initial mission: to get back to her first husband. How could things have been had she succeeded?

It’s worth remembering that at this point she was still in love with Frank. Ignore everything from the later books and episodes. This is all about Claire’s feelings in Episode 8, titled “Both Sides Now.

Claire and Frank reunite

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While there would have been some guilt, Claire wouldn’t have likely felt as depressed and disconnected if she had gone back through the stones. At this point, she’d been gone for about six weeks and up to the wedding, she’s been focused on returning to her husband. While there were some feelings for Jamie, that connection hadn’t been as deep at this point as it would become when Claire was forced back through the stones.

Up to this point, Frank had been searching for Claire. Getting up to the stones was his last ditch effort to find her. He was desperate for her to return.

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

Things would have been extremely different for the two, as well. Claire would have wanted to get back and wouldn’t have returned pregnant. There would have been nothing connecting her back to the past, except some feelings that she could have possibly gotten over.

I put possibly in italics because this episode makes a note of the deep bond forming between Claire and Jamie. Claire admits that what the two feel isn’t usual. She may have always wondered “what could have been.” However, Frank may not have been as jealous of Jamie; may not have felt as threatened.

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But what about Jamie?

Of course, so far, this look back at the Outlander moment and what could have been is all about Claire and Frank. There’s Jamie to consider. How would he have felt?

Suddenly, his wife would have gone missing. He’d left her with Willie and she would have disappeared into thin air. What would he have thought?

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

Dougal would have likely assumed she’d gone back to the English. Even though at this point he’d accepted she wasn’t a spy, something in the back of his mind would have possibly told him that she was. This could have initially changed his collection of money for the Jacobite cause.

They may have stormed the prison to find Claire as they eventually did, only to find that Black Jack Randall didn’t have Claire at all. However, this would depend on what Willie had seen. What if he’d seen Claire go through the stones?

Considering nobody knew Claire was a time traveler at this point, Jamie would have possibly gone out searching for his wife, hurt that she would have just left him like that. There may have been assumptions that she finally got to Inverness to get to France, only to come up with no evidence of that when searching.

Whether Jamie would have ended up at Wentworth Prison is another question mark. Could he have been caught looking for Claire? It would have been under different circumstances, but could have still ended in the same way. And there’s no way that Dougal would have risked his men’s life without Claire encouraging him to. If Jamie did end up there, he would have certainly died there.

Claire going through the stones would have had a knock-on effect for everyone.

Next. Outlander premiere: What could have happened had Claire not gone through the stones?. dark

What do you think could have happened had Claire gone through the stones to Frank in Outlander Season 1, Episode 8? How could things have been different? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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