What year is Outlander Season 5 set in?

Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ /

Outlander Season 5 mostly takes place in the 18th century. When exactly in the 18th century is the story set in, and where else is it set?

While previous seasons of Outlander have seen some time travel, that isn’t the case in Season 5. Okay, yes, there is a moment in Episode 11 that sees Roger and Bree head to the stones. They decide to take Jemmy to the 20th century, but it turns out that home is where the heart is: the 18th century is home.

For the most part, we remain in the 18th century throughout Outlander Season 5. There is a flashback for Roger that takes us to the 20th century, and then there is a dreamscape for Claire at the very end. Here’s what we know about the Outlander timeline for the season.

When is Outlander Season 5 set?

The story takes place between 1770 and 1772. This is also around the same time that The Fiery Cross takes place. There is a storyline from A Breath of Snow and Ashes pulled forward to the season, but the timeline isn’t changed in the show for this. It’s still supposed to take place around 1772.

There is one part of the timeline that doesn’t quite fit. Jamie’s birthday falls on the Battle of Alamance in the show, but Jamie’s birthday is May 1 and the Battle of Alamance is May 16. It’s a small thing but notes a small change to the book storyline to help fit the storylines in. The Battle of Alamance makes it clear that the middle of the season is 1771.

There is a flashback for Roger after Alamance. As he suffers from the trauma, he remembers a time in 1969 when he was teaching about famous last words. Bree is in Oxford to see him and they discuss silent movies. All of this connects to Roger’s trauma story.

There is also a flashback for Jamie at the start of the season. This is of young Jamie with Murtagh coming to tell him that Ellen had died. We know in the books that Ellen died in 1729, so it puts this scene in that year.

There is a dreamscape that takes place sometime around 1968. It’s a fictional world that Claire has created to deal with the trauma happening to her. Everyone is dressed in clothing from the 1960s except for Jamie, who has a more 18th century look to him despite the rest of the setting. Claire can’t see Jamie in 20th-century dress.

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