How Will Outlander Handle Jamie & Claire's Major Age Changes?

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Pictured: Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan as Claire and Jamie.
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Outlander's season 2 finale. Read at your own risk.

If you're going to really get into Outlander, it helps to have an avid interest in Scottish history. It also can't hurt to have a firm grasp of math, because, as you're about to see, numbers and dates are going to be jumping around a lot more.

In 1743, when Claire and Jamie first meet, she is 27 (or, minus-175 years old, if you will) and he is 23 (though some sources put his age at 22). When they part, on April 16, 1746, she's 30 and he's just shy of 26.

Now it's 1968, 20 years after Claire's return to Frank and the modern world. At 50, she's still chic and gorgeous, and really doesn't seem to have aged much at all. She's also just discovered that her Scottish love survived the Battle of Culloden. Assuming she crosses through the stones again and tracks him down, it will be 1766 in Jamie time, making him about 46.

Diana Gabaldon's third Outlander book, Voyager, actually picks up in 1765, making Jamie 45 (yes, the timings are confusing, and no, that doesn't mean Claire's age drops by a year; their age gap actually widens). In short: Season 3 will be all (or at least mostly) about middle-aged Jamie and Claire. Young, virile Jamie and Claire are done. Sob.

This is a show famed for its explicit, how-are-they-not-actually-doing-it? sex scenes. Some of us have come to count on Jamie's bare bum. And that probably won't change as Sam Heughan's and Caitriona Balfe's characters age. The question is: Will the non-sex scenes still be hot? Will it feel like watching your folks get it on? Will middle-aged Jamie be Dennis Quaid-y?

Reading about it is one thing; seeing it brought to life on our TV screens is another. We can only hope the spark and sizzle will still be there. And, it's worth remembering that both Heughan and Balfe have been playing younger than they actually are. Each star is 36 years old in real life, which means Heughan will now be portraying a character closer to his real age. So long as the hair and makeup department doesn't start adding liver spots to Heughan's and Balfe's faces, we should be fine.

It's okay to mourn the loss of the Jamie and Claire that once were, but let's not rule out the Jamie and Claire that will be come next season. Who knows? It could be something out of a Diane Lane film.

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