Season 3 of Outlander may have officially ended, but there is still so much to discuss. The third season, based on the third book in Diana Gabaldon‘s bestselling series, was an incredible journey through time and across the world. We’ve rounded up the most interesting Outlander season 3 details you may not have noticed while watching the latest episodes. From the print shop sign to the music in the season finale, here are some of the most interesting tidbits to ease the blow as the Droughtlander begins again.
1. The sign of Alexander Malcolm’s print shop is packed with symbolism.
Look closely! The symbols featured near the top of the print shop sign are Jupiter and Saturn, two opposing symbols that likely represent Claire and Jamie, respectively. In the middle are the Freemason square and compass, making it easier for other Masons to identify Jamie as one of them. Finally, Clan Fraser is represented in the strawberry blossoms tucked into the top corners of the sign. Check out this article from OutlanderCast for an even deeper explanation of the sign’s symbolism.
2. A copy of Drums of Autumn can be found on the print shop shelves.
Gabaldon arranged for an Easter egg to be hidden somewhere on the print shop set, and Entertainment Weekly revealed that she called for a copy of Drums of Autumn to be hidden on the print shop shelves. However, you may have to look very carefully to find it — the book is well-hidden!
3. The printing presses were real, and Sam Heughan actually operated them.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, director Ronald Moore revealed, “Gary Steele, our production designer, spent a lot of time designing the print shop. It was a big set on stage.” That set included two working printing presses, which Heughan learned to operate for his scenes.
4. The Artemis‘s figurehead came from a brothel in season 2.
Fans may recognize the ship’s figurehead from the Parisian brothel where Jamie met with Bonnie Prince Charlie in the previous season. Steele told Entertainment Weekly:
“Nicki McCallum, the supervising art director who’s brilliant, and I were walking by and both started looking at the statue, and I said, ‘Well, this looks like a masthead. Why don’t we just use this?’ It’s kind of fun because it was all done. I mean, all we had to do is a little bit of work on it and repaint it, whatever. But it’s also fun to be able to say to the fans, ‘If you look, you’ll find something that was off that set.'”
5. Claire donned a belted look from season 1.
This costume was very symbolic for designer Terry Dresbach, who told Entertainment Weekly:
“When we first see Claire, she is all buttoned up and nervous about meeting Jamie for the first time after 20 years. Then we see this slow unraveling into this strong, confident, very sexy woman who is on that boat wearing a white blouse, a big leather belt, and a billowing skirt.”
The belt was worn with costumes several times before, including when the newly-wedded Frasers traveled to Lallybroch for the first time in season 1.
6. The ship sets were from the TV show Black Sails.
Part of Outlander‘s season 3 was filmed in South Africa due to the logistics of the set. The ships were actually the same ones used in filming another Starz drama, Black Sails. Executive producer Matthew Roberts said, “I watched a lot of clips from Black Sails ’cause I didn’t want to repeat anything.”
7. The ship sets were so realistic that cast and crew actually got seasick.
The scenes on the ships were filmed with green screen backgrounds, rather than actually on the open sea, but the set was rocked back and forth to mimic the ocean. Roberts tells Entertainment Weekly:
“We would have to stop because there’s usually 40 to 50 people on [the ship] and people get seasick. I get seasick, even when we were doing the tests on the Artemis, which actually does go from 10 degrees to 10 degrees. At first everybody up there was going, ‘Oh, this is great.’ Then about five seconds later, we were like, ‘This is not so great.’”
8. Elias Pound’s lucky rabbit’s foot has significance throughout the season.
Elias gave Claire his lucky rabbit while they treated typhus victims onboard the Porpoise. She returned it and had it buried at sea with him when he succumbed to the disease. However, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a rabbit in season 3: We also noticed a rabbit running across the screen at the Battle of Culloden, as well as a stuffed bunny sitting in young Brianna’s crib. Roberts confirmed in a behind-the-scenes video that they were purposefully using the rabbit motif throughout the season.
9. Claire has another outfit repeat in Jamaica.
Fans may recognize the yellow dress that Claire wears to the Governor’s mansion in Jamaica: It’s the same one she wore to Versailles in season 2. There are also other examples of recycling outfits this season, such as Marsali wearing some of Claire’s old clothes, and Fergus donning a suit that belonged to Jamie. Dresbach explained:
“In the 18th century, people would have an item of clothing for their entire lifetime. So things got remade, repaired, and reconfigured.”
10. Geillis Duncan’s blood bath was inspired by Dracula.
While this intense scene was not in the book, Roberts said he was inspired by the story of Bram Stoker’s Dracula for this episode, as well as by Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed, a.k.a. the Blood Countess, a real-life 16th-century woman rumored to have bathed in the blood of virgins to keep her skin young.
11. The title “Bakra” has strong meaning.
The word is not used in the books, and the definition is never given in the show. However, a little research finds that the word “Bakra,” was used by the boys kept in Geillis’s servitude as a pseudonym for Geillis herself. It means “boss” or “master” in Jamaican Patois.
12. Geillis quotes Casablanca in her first reunion with Claire.
“Of all the gin joints in all the world,” says Geillis as she walk up to Claire after 20 years apart. The two 20th-century women would be the only ones to recognize the line as a quote from the iconic 1942 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.
13. Claire has a familiar opening line in the season finale.
The first words we hear in the season finale are from Claire as she’s drowning in the midst of a hurricane: “I was dead.” This phrase exactly echoes Jamie’s lines at the very beginning of season 3 when he’s lying in the field after the Battle of Culloden.
14. Geillis asks Claire the same question she’s always asked.
While awaiting their trial at Crainsmuir in season 1, Geillis repeatedly asks Claire, “Why are you here?” She continues to confront Claire this way in the season finale.
15. The ending credits foreshadow the future.
Moving forward in Outlander world, the timeline is approaching the 1770s, and with Jamie and Claire now in America, it’s obvious what our heroes will encounter — the American Revolution. The fife and drum music in the season finale add a glimpse into the revolutionary future in store for our characters. Musical composer Bear McCreary explained to Mashable,
“We get that satisfying conclusion of season 3 and then over the end credits, you get your, ‘Next year, on Outlander, we’re going to do this.’ Which is really cool, I’m super excited about it.”
What details did you love from Outlander season 3? Let us know in the comments!