What happens to Roger's father in the Outlander books?

Roger doesn't know his father in the Outlander books. What happened to the man during World War II?
Outlander Season 7 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Outlander Season 7 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

We learn early on in Outlander that Reverend Wakefield isn’t Roger’s biological father. He took the boy in after the deaths of his parents. Roger is actually a MacKenzie through his father’s side, and it’s in the fourth season that Roger really connects to that side of his family.

Roger has never met his father. At least, that’s the case in the series. In the books, things are a little different. And it’s all thanks to time travel.

If you’re a show-first fan, you’re going to want to skip over this post. We’re getting into some spoilers from the books, as the title would suggest.

Jeremiah MacKenzie time travels in the Outlander books

Roger is told that his father was MIA in World War II. He was flying his spitfire when he crash landed. However, his body was never found, and that’s for a very good reason. Jerry didn’t die in the crash. He landed close to some standing stones in Northumbria and ended up traveling to the past.

Roger learns all this in Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. He is given his father’s dog tags when he ends up in 1739. Of course, those dog tags are completely out of time and Roger realizes that his father may be somewhere around. He needs to go on a mission to find out why these dog tags are here, and that takes him to Northumbria and to Jerry.

Fortunately, Roger is able to get his father back to his own time. While it doesn’t save Jerry’s life and mean Roger is able to grow up with his father in the 1940s, it actually leads to Roger saving his own life. You see, Jerry gets back to London while the Blitz is going on. He’s in the tube that his wife and son were in as the tube collapses. Marjorie throws Roger to Jerry to save Roger’s life, but she dies in the process.

Jerry struggles but hold onto Roger. He then falls to his death but is able to protect Roger in the fall. Jerry didn’t have his dog tags—remember, they were in 1739—so Jerry is never identified! All this time, Roger thought he was saved by a stranger, but it was his father.

Roger doesn’t find this out, though. We get to find this out as readers in the short story A Leaf in the Wind of All Hallows. Roger doesn’t think that Jerry gets back through the stones, which is why he tells his father “I love you” as Jerry goes through.

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