Sam Heughan: Has Jamie Fraser star Sam Heughan read the Outlander books?

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Starz series Outlander continues to go strong with season six expected to be the most dramatic one yet. Work will be beginning soon on the forthcoming run once coronavirus restrictions have been put in place. Season six will be adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s corresponding novel A Breath of Snow and Ashes.

Has Jamie Fraser star Sam Heughan read the Outlander books?

Speaking on the last episode of the Outlander End of Summer series, Sam Heughan revealed he has started reading the latest novel in preparation for filming on season six.

Co-star Caitriona Balfe was quizzing Heughan about what he was most looking forward to in the new series, saying Jamie would have lots of “new challenges”.

He said: “I’ve started book six, I really have. I’m about halfway through but I haven’t got the end yet.

“It’s so interesting to see what the writers have done and where we’re going. I don’t know where we end up.

“Where we leave season five is obviously… the whole family is fractured but they are together, but they are fractured. I think Claire still has some healing to do as well.”

Balfe added: “For sure, I think it’s one of the things I’m looking forward to is seeing how she copes with all of that and the repercussions of it.

“But how the family as a whole unit heal together or help her to heal and I think that’s going to be a really lovely part of the story.”

Heughan has previously spoken about how he initially prepared for his Outlander audition by purchasing a copy of the first novel and skimming through it.

His background prep paid off and Heughan was hired early in the casting process as the Highlander hero.

Heughan has struck up a firm friendship with Outlander author Gabaldon and he will often consult her on his character and portrayal.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes will serve as the main basis for season six, but the writers could also take inspiration from other parts of the Outlander novel series like in years gone by.

Season five featured Claire Fraser’s (played by Balfe) assault from the seventh novel An Echo in the Bone and will have an impact going forward in the show – something of a divergence from the original novel The Fiery Cross.

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There was also a big divergence from the novels in terms of Murtagh Fitzgibbons (Duncan Lacroix), who was still alive in the show but had died in the books by this point.

Murtagh became the head of the Regulators and met a tragic end at the Battle of Alamance, leaving Jamie (Heughan) broken by the death of his godfather.

So, it seems a safe bet there will be differences from the source material in season six.

Additionally, with Balfe and Heughan now serving as producers on the series, they will have more clout in the direction of the show.

The acting duo helped to collaborate on the highly stylised but emotional scenes in which Claire disassociated during her harrowing rape ordeal.

Claire saw visions of her family and Jamie safe at a point in the future, far from the horrors she was subjected to.

Their input in season six is yet to be seen but the pair is likely to want to contribute to the show in their new roles.

Gabaldon is working on book nine of Outlander, which is slated for publication soon.

She has already confirmed she will be rounding off the series at book 10 but whether the Starz series will last this long in another matter.

The main actors are contracted for season seven, but it will be down to US network Starz to recommission the series.

Outlander seasons 1 to 5 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video now

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