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Starz series Outlander will be returning for season six with the cast and crew hoping to start work very soon. The next outing takes its cue from Diana Gabaldon’s novel A Breath of Snow and Ashes with some possible plot deviations likely from the source material. But some fans of the Starz series are curious to know more about Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan) and how his near-death-experience after a snakebite in season five is going to shape him going forward.
How will Jamie Fraser be changed by near-death experience?
Jamie is painfully aware of his mortality and in each season he’s confronted again by it albeit in different ways.
Season five is the closest he came to dying since the Battle of Culloden back in the third series, which was essentially over 20 years ago for the character.
While it’s less time for fans, the snakebite and coming to close to death will have affected the Highlander on some level.
The scene in question saw Jamie close to death with the venom killing him and the hero seemingly moving towards a door.
But he was brought back by his wife Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) as she appeared to intimately touch him, which revived Jamie and kept in the world of the living.
Speaking to Glamour earlier this year, Scottish star Heughan said of the moment: “I always felt that the same had happened to him before, on the battlefield at Culloden.
“He sort of took his last breath, and he got a glimpse at the afterlife, but in the end I think he saw Claire.”
Although Claire does bring Jamie back, he is likely to become more aware of his old age – particularly as he turned 50, which was something of a rarity given the life expectancy during this time.
Perhaps Jamie will take a different approach to life going forward and make fewer cavalier moves which could put him in harm’s way.
Outlander fans are already aware of Jamie’s ghost travelling through time, he too is likely to have started considering the possibility he won’t be around forever.
Fighting in the Battle of Alamance would also have had an impact on Jamie even though he wasn’t injured.
The loss of his beloved godfather Murtagh Fitzgibbons (Duncan Lacroix) is likely to have affected Jamie more but again underscores Jamie’s own sense his time could be up.
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In a separate interview at Paley Fest, Heughan opened up about the moment saying the snakebite scene came as Jamie was left reeling from the death of Murtagh.
Heughan said: “Here’s Outlander and there’s another challenge. There’s a really strong moment where Jamie has to confront his own mortality.”
He went on to hail the other departments who brought the season five storyline to life , saying: “Going back to what Caitriona [Balfe] said about the people that work in the background, so we worked with the make-up department.
“The make-up department are as equally in-depth and hardworking as the other departments and we have all these amazing surgeries or grotesque prosthetics that we have to wear and use.
“Just to be part of that conversation and talk about what does it look like, what happens to your body when you get bitten by a snake, what happens to the wound and we had these really amazing prosthetics that we used throughout the story.”
Along with facing his mortality, Jamie is likely to continue with struggling with his identity having to work for the British despite his allegiances to Scotland.
There’s also likely to be a part of Jamie longing to return to his homeland, which could play into his struggles in the New World.
Just how the writers decide to approach both Jamie’s mortality and also his identity remain to be seen but they are likely to play out slightly differently to the novels as the TV show becomes its own entity.
Outlander seasons 1 to 5 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video now
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