Why being a show-first fan of Outlander is so much fun

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ -- Acquired via STARZ Media Center /

For the first four seasons of Outlander, I’ve been a show-first fan. Here’s why I’ve loved it so much.

There are four types of Outlander fans: book-only, book-first, show-first, and show-only. We’re all one or the other but we can slip between them. I’ve started as a show-first fan. That’s changing before Season 5, but it’s been so much fun watching the show and then reading the books afterward.

To help those of you wondering whether to watch or read first, I want to share my thoughts as a show-first (tomorrow, I’ll share my thoughts as a book-first based on Season 5) fan to help explain why I left it this way for the fourth season.

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Just a little background, I started watching Outlander because I found it on Netflix Canada. Friends had told me all about the books and the series, but I hadn’t gotten around to watching/reading. By the time I watched, Season 3 was just around the corner and I watched that weekly. It was between Seasons 3 and 4 that I read the first three books and then the fourth season was ready for me to watch.

Watching first certainly took a lot of the pressure off. I’ve watched after reading many books, including the likes of Harry PotterThe Vampire Diaries, and The Hunger Games. Every time, there have been scenes that have stood out in the books that haven’t been included in the movies or shows. Sometimes, it’s disappointing or I find the characters don’t quite match those in my head.

By watching first, I don’t have those preconceptions. There’s nothing to be disappointed about because, even though I’ll likely know the basic spoilers, I don’t know exact details. I don’t have an idea of full storylines before going into watching.

light. Related Story. Why Outlander Season 3 was wholly enjoyable as a show-first fan

Watching first means that I have the chance to appreciate the storylines and scenes introduced by the writers. There’s no annoyance if storylines are cut in favor for those that weren’t in the source material. Introducing original characters isn’t a problem. It’s like watching any other TV show.

Outlander Season 5
Outlander — Courtesy of STARZ — Acquired via STARZ Media Center /

And then reading afterward offers so much more. While I have the basic storyline from the TV show, I’ll get a chance to learn more, delve deeper into the storylines. It’s a chance to find out more about elements that didn’t quite make sense in the TV show (such as whether Claire chose Jamie or just couldn’t step through the stones in Outlander Season 1) and figure out the details of how the stones work or the mystery of other elements quicker.

In a way, I’m going to miss some of this freedom when it comes to Season 5. However, I’m excited to start the season as a book-first fan. However, I’ve made a promise to myself not to expect anything from the novel and go in with no expectations at all. That way, I can’t be disappointed!

Next. 20 best moments from Outlander Season 4. dark

What do you love about watching the show first? Have you changed how you’ve watched/read over the years? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Outlander Season 5 is currently filming. Follow Claire and Jamie on Twitter for the latest updates.