Both the “Outlander” TV series and the books that inspired it are coming to a close, but it appears the franchise is headed for something of a “Game of Thrones” style scenario due to the book series being unfinished.
Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” books consist of ten major novels, while the ninth was released in 2021. The tenth and final book has yet to set a publication date.
Starz’s “Outlander” TV series meanwhile has been fairly faithfully adapting a book every season through the six to have aired so far. The seventh season runs longer and is split in two – the first eight episodes airing from June 16th, whilst the second eight-episode batch arrives next year.
A ten-episode eighth and final season was ordered in January this year, presumably for airing in 2025, and it’s not yet clear what it will be based on.
During a panel about series endings at the ATX Television Festival recently, executive producer Maril Davis confirmed (via Slashfilm) the show’s ending will differ from Gabaldon’s as-of-yet untitled tenth book:
“We won’t do what she’s done, just because I think we feel that would be slightly disrespectful. Obviously, she has the last book coming out, and we want her to have that ending for herself. So we will not step on her ending.
Myself and one of the actors are the only two people who have read [the book’s ending]. I have not shared that with anyone else, so our showrunner couldn’t come up with something that he thinks is similar to that. Then, maybe we have a conversation with [Diana] about it. I think we kind of tried to stay away from that just to give her a respectful ending.”
Thus the show’s differing ending will be a creative choice on the part of the showrunners. The hope is it will avoid the fate of ‘Thrones’, which had a final run so divisive it effectively tarnished what was previously a nearly unassailable brand. Here’s hoping “Outlander” will have better luck.
The seventh season of “Outlander” premieres on June 16th on Starz.