Outlander Season 6 is based on “A Breath of Snow and Ashes”. Beware spoilers follow!
This is a summary of some of the plot points in A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. With some commentary on whether I expect a plot point or storyline will appear in S6. In all honesty I really have no idea, it just makes sense that some will and some won’t (for various reasons). The question of whether the writers dip into book 7 “An Echo In The Bone” is also open to discussion. I have come to the conclusion almost anything is possible, after all I want surprises on screen, not just a play by play version of the books.
The Christies, Tom, Malva and Allan arrived at the Ridge at the end of “The Fiery Cross”, vetted by Roger in lieu of Jamie due to Jamie being still indisposed from the snakebite. Today, we received confirmation that the Christie (Tom and Malva anyway) will form part of the S6 storyline. In S5 Marsali’s character was elevated to become Claire’s assistant, whereas Malva had this role in the book. So we’ll need to see how that change evolves in S6.
Jamie became an Indian agent in book 6. While there may be some Cherokee’s nearby, the Mohawks are too far away. Maybe this storyline will not happen or it will be minimised.
There are lots of references to and discussion of Committees of Safety and Committees of Correspondence, reflecting the disgruntled populace in the lead up to the Revolutionary War.
Roger – wants to be a Minister in book 6, however in S5 there was reference to him wishing to be an educator, so we’ll need to see what plays out there. He needs a calling.
Dutchman’s cabin fire, plus another burned cabin – has already happened in S5.
No Major McDonald. Lieutenant Knox was a new character in S5, but not quite Major McDonald.
Claire’s abduction and rescue – already happened in S5.
Marsali gives birth to Henri Christian. Fergus is having trouble coping with the fact the child is a dwarf. Fergus contemplates suicide. I’m uncertain about this! Casting may be too difficult.
Lizzie gets engaged to Manfred – no sign of the McGillivrey’s in TV land – engagement broken by Manfred as he has an STD – he disappears. NO MCGILLIVREYS PRESENT YET, and no Manfred. In any case Lizzie has eyes for another!
Mrs Wilson comes alive at her funeral! Well, for a short time anyway! The Sin Eater! That would be a sight to see… It would be an interesting aside in the story for certain.
More visits to the Indians by Jamie.
Roger gets in trouble for being too friendly with Amy McCullum. – No sign of the McCullum family at the Ridge, in fact not really much evidence of other settlers. Does Roger deserve any more drama? Probably! TV shows revolve around drama.
Claire makes ether and Aiden McCullum’s appendix removal is her first operation at the Ridge using it – lots of fuss with Tom Christie about the ether and Malva participating in the surgery.
BBQ for Flora MacDonald at River Run. Everyone who is anyone attends. Each season has a big event, this is the one for season 6. A reason for everyone to dress up and compare cooking techniques (book reference!)
Jocasta has issues with her eyes, Claire attends to her. Jocasta is threatened, someone wants the Frenchman’s gold, Jocasta recognises the voice, but is unsure who it is! The Frenchman’s gold has been seen in season 5 and it is an ongoing theme, so I think we’ll get more of this storyline.
Donner comes to River Run.
Claire administers penicillin to the whores at the brothel… following the search for Manfred. No Manfred, no brothel? I imagine the producers can find another reason for Claire to give penicillin.
An illness sweeps Fraser’s Ridge, many get sick including Claire and Tom Christie who are the sickest. Claire’s head is shaved by Mrs Bug and Malva Christie… Mrs Bug’s presence has been very low key to date and Malva is yet to make an appearance (in line with the books), so we may see these two in season 6. The storyline with Tom Christie flows on to other events.
It is decided that Marsali and Fergus should leave the Ridge and go to New Bern for a fresh start. Opening a print shop and starting a newspaper. Now this is a dilemma! At this point I don’t see Marsali and Fergus leaving the Ridge (I don’t know about you, but I’d miss them terribly), but having a base in town does serve a purpose later.
Ian and Bree bond and Ian tells her of his life with the Mohawk and about his wife when they go on a long walk to see mammoth bones in a cliff. This would be great to see!
Phaedre sends a letter to Claire asking her to come to River Run. They go… Phaedre is missing. It is discovered Phaedre is Hector Cameron’s child. Much fuss at River Run. Unfortunately we haven’t seen anything of Phaedre since S4, wasn’t she great!
Jemmy gets lice – his head is shaved, revealing the birthmark just like Roger’s. Jemmy’s paternity confirmed! Very likely to happen!
Lizzie is pregnant – which twin is the father? Good question. Solution? Marry both! Cheeky lass!
Malva Christie declares she is pregnant, and that Jamie is the father! Chaos ensues… The Ridge gossips believe her… sometime later she is found dead, her throat slit. Claire tries unsuccessfully to save the baby by cutting it out of her lifeless womb. Claire is accused of murdering Malva and the child.
The Richard Brown arrives to arrest Claire for murder. There is a siege of the house. Tom Christie intervenes and it’s arranged that he will accompany Claire (and Jamie) to Hillsboro to be tried. On the way Claire and Jamie are attacked and become separated. Claire is taken to a jail in New Bern. When her healing skills are known she’s taken to the Governor’s Palace to help his wife. Claire gets a letter to Fergus.
Claire ends up on a ship with the Governor. Meanwhile Jamie and Ian arrive to get Claire only to find she’s left the palace.
Tom Christie boards the ship and confesses to the murder of his daughter (even though he didn’t do it) to enable Claire (with whom he’s in love) to go free.
Roger is in Edenton – about to be ordained, but must leave before it’s done as Jamie comes to tell him Brianna has been kidnapped. Bree’s kidnapping has already been done in S5 so who knows what will happen with that storyline.
Ian finds Phaedre, who was sold on by Ulysses after he found out about her and Duncan – and she retaliated by telling him she knew about his and Jocasta’s relationship. No Phaedre in S5… so probably none in S6… Plus Ulysses has left America for England as Lord John Grey’s servant after killing Gerald Forbes while protecting Jocasta. Also, Duncan’s character has not been extensively explored, so I assume these factors will mean this storyline is omitted.
Bree gives birth to a daughter, Amanda, who is discovered to have a heart defect that can only be mended by medical advancements in the future. I understand Bree’s pregnancy was almost announced at the end of S5. So yes, I think we’ll get this storyline for certain. It’s important to future seasons.
Stephen Bonnet set for execution by being tied to a stake a low tide and eventually being drowned when the tide rises. Hours later, Roger rows Bree out to Bonnet, where she shoots him in the head. – Already done in S5.
On their way to the execution, Bree and Roger find Lord John and his son, William. It is obvious to everyone but William that he and Brianna share a father. She agrees not to tell him, but insists on having a proper conversation with him before they leave. David Berry made a somewhat ambiguous statement about leaving the series, so will he be in S6? I dont know for certain. Some things can be handled via correspondence, without the actor being present on screen. I’m left a bit uncertain about what will happen. EDIT: The official précis of season 7 makes reference to Lord John Grey, so yay!
After Bree takes Amanda through the stones, Roger gives Jem the opportunity to stay behind with Claire and Jamie, but he follows his father though.
Claire speaks with Allan Christie and discovers it was he who killed Malva. Malva and Allan had an intimate relationship and it was his child she was carrying. Ian kills him.
Donner and other ruffians arrive on the Ridge on December 21st, 1776, demanding gemstones to give them safe passage back to the future. They refuse to believe the stones are gone and continue to trash the house. The ether leaks, and when Ian lights a candle, the house is engulfed in flame. Jamie and Claire make it out, though Donner and his friends aren’t as lucky. In the confusion, it is revealed it is Arch Bug who was the mysterious escort of the Frenchman’s Gold. Jamie asks Arch and his wife to leave the Ridge.
The Bugs do leave but return under cover of darkness to retrieve their stash of the Frenchman’s Gold. Things end very badly, but that is a story for another book!
Jamie decides that he and Claire will visit Scotland to retrieve his printing press, then return to America to fight. The problem is that Jamie’s printing press was burned in S3! Can a printing press be reincarnated?
Bree and Roger have settled into Lallybroch upon their return from America where Amanda’s heart issue was fixed. At the very end of the ABOSAA Roger brings various documents and a chest home. The chest has Jem’s full name emblazoned on it. Inside there are letters from Jamie and Claire…