HomeFC ORIGINALSHow Historically Accurate Is ‘Outlander’?

    How Historically Accurate Is ‘Outlander’?

    So all our period drama fans, hold onto your tartans and prepare for a journey through time, literary and figuratively with ‘Outlander’. As we’ve all been graciously fed by our beloved Jamie Frazer aka Sam Heughan earlier with the news of Season seven’s part two premiering this November, it’s only natural to take a dive into this epic show’s aesthetics. 

    From the rugged landscapes of 18th-century Scotland to the opulent courts of Versailles, ‘Outlander’ takes us on a voyage where history meets romance in the most captivating way. But just how accurate is the portrayal of the past in this mesmerizing tale? Let’s dive in and find out!

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    ‘Outlander’: Location And Places

    Still from 'Outlander' (Image: Starz)
    Still from ‘Outlander’ (Image: Starz)

    Let’s kickstart this fact-check journey with the places featured in Outlander. From the mystical standing stones of Craigh na Dun to the bustling streets of Edinburgh, the show is teeming with locations that seem straight out of a history book. But do these places actually exist, or are they merely products of Diana Gabaldon’s vivid imagination?

    In reality, many of the places depicted in Outlander are indeed real, albeit with a few creative liberties thrown in for good measure. Craigh na Dun, for example, is a fictional location inspired by the ancient stone circles scattered across Scotland. While you might not stumble upon a time-traveling portal hidden among the stones (trust me, people have checked!), they’re still there in all their mystical glory. But if you’re in the mood to take a break from the bustling city crowds, you can pay them a visit and pretend to channel your inner Claire Fraser!

    Now, let’s talk castles, because what’s a Scottish adventure without a bit of castle-hopping? Castle Leoch, the fictional home of Clan MacKenzie, might not have a flashing neon sign pointing you its way, but its inspiration can be found in real-life Doune Castle which was built in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, the Duke of Albany. These imposing fortresses have seen their fair share of history, from grand feasts to daring battles, and exploring their ancient halls is like stepping back in time. 

    But there’s more! No Outlander adventure would be complete without a visit to Lallybroch, Jamie Fraser‘s ancestral home. Tucked away amidst the rolling hills of the Scottish countryside, Lallybroch is the epitome of Scottish charm but just as much fictional. The beautiful estate used in the filming of the show is Midhope Castle though. 

    The Scottish Inspiration And Events

    Stills from 'Outlander' (Image: Starz)
    Stills from ‘Outlander’ (Image: Starz)

    Next up, turn the page to the historical events woven into the fabric of Outlander’s narrative. From the Jacobite Risings to the Battle of Culloden, the story of these two time-crossed lovers circles around the rich tapestry of Scottish history. But how accurately are these prominent events portrayed, and where do the showmakers blur that line between fact and fiction?

    In many cases, Outlander stays true to the historical events it depicts, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past. The Battle of Culloden was indeed a pivotal moment in history and in the show, there is a Jacobite army gracing the history pages and a bloody battle of Culloden that was lost. Outlander very cleverly captured the chaos and devastation of the historical conflict with striking realism. While certain details may be embellished for dramatic effect, the overall depiction of these events remains faithful to their historical significance.

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    The 18th Century Costumes

    Still from 'Outlander' (Image: Starz)
    Still from ‘Outlander’ (Image: Starz)

    Now, let’s talk fashion! One visually stunning aspect of Outlander is its fashion which has inspired countless Pinterest boards. The elegance of the 18th-century fashion depicted in Straz’s adapted series was as accurate as possible, with a few exceptions of course.

    In researching this article, I fell down the rabbit hole of historical fashion blogs and costume archives, and let me tell you, the attention to detail in the ‘Outlander‘ costumes is nothing short of impressive. From the neatly crafted embroidery to the geographically correct fabrics and let’s not forget those godforsaken corsets, they may look and feel like torture but boy do they turn you into a cottage queen. Designed by the costume designer Terry Dresbach, each piece is a masterpiece that captures the ubiquity of 18th-century fashion. While some creative license may have been taken for drama, like the color of Jamie’s tartan which was changed from red to grey, the authenticity of all the costumes is something to admire. 

    The Memorable Characters Of ‘Outlander’

    Still from 'Outlander' (Image: Starz)
    Still from ‘Outlander’ (Image: Starz)

    Taking a closer look at the colorful characters of ‘Outlander‘, we may find some names a little too familiar! While many are purely fictional, some are inspired by real historical figures who left their mark on Scottish history.

    First, we have Bonnie Prince Charlie, whose idiotic reputation was a little overdone in the series yet was put close to the line of truth. While he was not a main character, his influence on the events of the Jacobite Risings was historically accurate as well. Another historic name we have is Simon Frazer aka Lord Lovat. Yes, the same one Russell Crowe said he’s related to, guess Diana did get his habit of messing around right. Jamie’s grandad Lord Lovat was prominent in Scottish history and inspired the character of the Old Fox as admitted by the author of the Outlander books herself. 

    While ‘Outlander‘ may not always be 100% historically accurate, it nonetheless succeeds in capturing the spirit of the past with its vivid storytelling and attention to detail. Whether you’re a history buff or simply a fan of romance and adventure, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this captivating series. So if you’re a big fan of the show we share your anticipation for the final season. 

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    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh
    Akshita Singh is a Senior Content Writer at First Curiosity. She has been churning out content for 2 years. She's an avid reader and writer, fascinated by the works of Sylvia Plath, Franz Kafka, and Charles Bukowski. Akshita is also a poet herself, having written two poetry books titled ‘Made By Misery’ and ‘Deathbed’. Apart from goth literature, another thing that she enjoys is the real and fictional stories of Hollywood. She loves cinema and admires all works of art, be they delivered by actors or directors. So, keeping up with celebrity life comes as basic nature to her, something she loves knowing and informing others.

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