5 reasons fans are drawn to Outlander so much to celebrate World Outlander Day 2024

It's World Outlander Day today. Let's celebrate it by looking at five top reasons fans are so drawn to the book series.
Outlander season 1
Outlander season 1 /

June 1 marks World Outlander Day every year. This year is extra special as we’re coming up to the 10th anniversary of the TV series, although World Outlander Day marks the date of the publication of the first book by Diana Gabaldon.

To mark the day, we’re taking a look at the reasons so many people were drawn to the books in the first place. This is all about the books and not the TV series. After all, there are a few other reasons people are drawn to the TV show.

The realism of Claire and Jamie’s story

One of the big things that draws people to the books is just how realistic the story of Claire and Jamie is. This isn’t one of those YA love stories where a teenage girl immediately gets a crush on a guy. Claire spends the first part of her time in the 18th century trying to get back to Frank, her husband.

Over time, Claire realizes that her interest in Jamie is more than just an infatuation. There is much more to her feelings toward him.

On top of that, Jamie is immediately interested in Claire but he doesn’t pressure her into choosing him. He gives her time, creating a realistic buildup to this love story.

That realism continues as Claire and Jamie go through ebbs and flows of life.

The real historical elements in Outlander

There is no doubt that people are interested in real history. If they weren’t, there wouldn’t be as many books and shows as there is. Real history has pulled in a lot of readers (me included!).

In fact, one of my friends told me that while there was a love story included, there was so much about the 1945 Jacobite Rebellion that I was sure to love the books. The first book didn’t quite include a lot of the ’45, but it was enough of the buildup. Later books certainly pulled me in further.

So yes, as much as there are jokes of “we’re here for the history” with memes that include the men of Outlander, there are some of us genuinely here for the history. Diana Gabaldon has done her research.

Scotland becomes a character of itself

The country of Scotland is full of history and culture. Gabaldon has made sure that’s included as much as possible throughout Outlander. The first book puts a focus on the water horse and the idea that there is a portal under the water for the Loch Ness Monster.

There are some great moments of culture and mythology, whether it’s the focus on the superstitions of people or the way religion played a huge part in decisions and beliefs. Even just the landscape of Scotland is included throughout the first book, making you feel like you’re really there.

The plot development throughout Outlander

The earlier books made it clear that there was more than just one book in the story. There was a buildup to other plot points from the start, especially when it came to the buildup to the Battle of Culloden.

This drew us in to the story. We needed to see those plot points play out throughout the books. We became so connected to the characters that we had to see if some would get their just desserts or whether answers would be given to questions.

Good writing is essential when it comes to overarching plot points. They can’t be dragged out, and the payoff needs to be worth it. Gabaldon hasn’t disappointed.

We could feel everything the characters felt

There is no doubt that the writing pulled us into the world of Outlander immediately. We could feel everything that all the characters could feel. This helped us develop empathy for some, and it made us feel worried and scared. We needed to see how it would all play out for Claire, Jamie. Dougal, Murtagh, and more.

And it’s important to note that this was just the first book. As the storylines continued, there were other characters we wanted to learn more about and we felt for. There were more characters we feared for, and other characters we absolutely hated.

A great writer makes us feel everything. A great writer makes us need more of the story, even as it comes to an end.

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