Outlander explained: Why didn’t Roger and Brianna return to the future?

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Season five of Outlander finished with a sense of foreboding as storm clouds gathered around Fraser’s Ridge. Despite Claire (played by Catriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser’s (Sam Heughan) reunion with Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger MacKenzie (Richard Rankin), many have been wondering why they didn’t go back through time in the episode of the Starz drama. It seemed strange they didn’t return to the 20th century despite their plans to do so.

Why didn’t Roger and Brianna return to the future in Outlander?

Roger and Brianna made the arduous journey to a stone circle in Outlander season five.

They were taken there by Young Ian Murray (John Bell), who was trying to ensure them safe passage without any unexpected problems.

The couple bound themselves together, along with baby Jemmy, as they went through time.

They even had the gemstones needed to travel and for a moment it looked like they’d gone.


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Young Ian was shocked after the trio disappeared, however, there was a twist in the tale.

Only moments later, they all re-emerged in the past and there seemed to be confusion over why they hadn’t gone to the future.

However, Brianna and Roger decided to stay in the past with their family and all went back to Fraser’s Ridge.

Given the rules of time travel in Outlander have always been hazy, it’s unclear why they stayed in the past.

The only thing which seems certain is time travel in Outlander is: it’s hereditary; can only be done at certain times of the year; requires either precious stones or a blood sacrifice; and harnesses the energy of standing stones or places with ley lines such as the cave in Abandawe.

Other than this, time travel is a bit sketchy. Perhaps the only other thing mentioned in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books is how time travel to a particular era can be influenced by thinking of a certain person.

For instance, Claire focused on her love for Jamie as she travelled back in time after their 20-year separation.

Going by this, perhaps Brianna and Roger remained in the past due to their strong desire to stay there.

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Brianna even mentioned how when she was thinking of home, she was imagining Fraser’s Ridge rather than Boston in the 60s.

Another theory may be Claire, who suffered a horrific rape after she was kidnapped.

To survive her ordeal, Claire disassociated herself from the present and went inside her mind.

She imagined a safe space in the 60s where she was surrounded by her loved ones.


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Sadly, Roger and Brianna weren’t there and she started to panic and envisioned them dead.

Perhaps Claire’s love for them kept them in the past, preventing them from moving forward.

While this is only a theory, it seems like it could have had some mystical impact.

Outlander seasons 1 to 5 are streaming on Amazon Prime now

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