Outlander returns for its highly-anticipated fifth season on Feb. 16. Jamie and Claire have been through their fair share of struggles over the past 5 seasons but they’re united and stronger than ever now. Their relationship is the heart of the series, so HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with Caitriona Balfe, 40, about where Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire’s relationship is headed in the upcoming episodes. “I think there is an evolution,” Caitriona told HollywoodLife at the Outlander season 5 premiere on Feb. 13. “You know, last season was very much about establishing where they were, but there were so many moving parts that they never really got to settle. I think that this season we really see them as this matriarch and patriarch of a community and extended family and, because of that, we get to see more of the inner workings of their relationship. We see how their marriage works and I think that there are some really sweet and beautiful and some romantic scenes between then, which I think is what everyone loves.”
Season 5 is based on Diana Gabaldon’s fifth book in her Outlander series, The Fiery Cross. The show has made changes over the course of its current 5-year run, including Murtagh surviving the Battle of Culloden. Caitriona weighed in on whether or not there will be more changes from book to screen in season 5. “I think we will probably diverge from the book mostly this season, but what I think we have done really well is keep the essence of Diana’s story,” Caitriona said. “We started certain things in previous seasons that have now carried us through a thread that is different from the books, but I think it has added to it in many ways and Diana seems happy. Once we have made Diana happy, then I feel like we all feel pretty good about it.”
Even though her character has the ability to time travel from the 20th century back to the 18th century, Caitriona finds that her journey and Claire’s have mirrored one another. “I was so fortunate that the storyline of Claire fit in with what I was going through,” Caitriona continued. “I mean, she was a woman that was thrown in at the deep end and had no clue what was going on around her and that is exactly how I felt in season one, so there has been this amazingly fortuitous symbiosis between what she has been going through and what I have been going through. It’s been really nice that we both have evolved over the years so it’s always felt very comfortable!”
Outlander season 5 will air Sundays at 8 p.m. on STARZ. The series has already been renewed for season 6.