Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander book series has quite a few confusing things in them. Such thing is the whole “Fraser Prophecy”, which has been considerately been changed for the TV adaptation, as viewers might notice in the latest episode. SPOILER WARNING!
In the books, Reverend Campbell informs Claire about the prophecy made by the Brahan Seer about Simon Fraser of Lovat, Jamie’s grandfather, nicknamed “The Old Fox,” who we have met in season two when Jamie was on his search for troops to fight for the uprising. The book version of the prophecy states that the new ruler of Scotland will come from the Lovat lineage. It will happen after “the king of the white rose” is eclipsed, which the reverend tells Claire is a clear reference to the Papist Stuarts (Bonnie Prince Charlie was a Stuart).
The prophecy is the reason why Geillis has such interest in Brianna when she learns that Jamie has a daughter. Apparently, Lord Lovat’s ride had died out in the 1800s, but now with Jamie having a daughter, the line has not actually gone extinct. What is confusing to the readers is that Jamie’s sister had many children, yet they somehow don’t count.
The simple answer is that female heir usually don’t count. If a man has a son who will take on his title the line lives on, while if there are no male heirs the line would become “extinct,” even in the case when the daughters end up having male children of their own and by that male heirs. But the question that turns up at this point is even if Jamie is a legitimate heir, wouldn’t Brianna also count even though she is female? Wouldnt the line still become extinct if they didn’t know about Williams existence, which Gillis does not?
The prophecy, also returns in book eight, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, in the form of Brianna finding a letter Frank hid for her warning her about the conspiracy theorists that have sparked quite the interest in her because she fits in the prophecy. However, someone else also fits the prophecy, William. It is still in the air in the books though, but hopefully, it will be resolved by the end of the series. The show is a completely different story. In the show the prophecy specifically targets Brianna and the supposed ruler of Scotland is also changed.
On the show, Geillis, Reverend Campbell, and the reverends sister, Margaret, have a conversation about the three sapphires in Douglas treasure have been passed down from father to son for generations. The shows decided to make the Brahan Seer’s prophecy less of a prophecy and more of a direction: a seer must hold all three sapphires at once and only then will the person when the new King of Scotland will rise.
When Margaret, who is a seer, holds the sapphires at the governor’s ball, she has a vision and says, “When twice 1,200 moons have coursed, ‘tween man’s attack and woman’s curse, and when the issue is cut down, then will a Scotsman wear a crown.”
Geillis and the reverend later have a conversation about Margaret’s vision, more as a way to explain to the viewer what it exactly means. In short, a child born 200 years after he or she was conceived must be “cut down” and then a new Scottish King will rise.
So that means that Brianna isn’t the ruler, yet she is the child that must be “cut down” because she was born 200 years after Jamie and Claire conceived her. The interesting thing is that the show doesn’t specify that who will be king. It can be anyone, not just someone from the Lovat line.
That might mean that Brianna is in danger as if Gillis or someone else finds out about her existence might put her life on the line, because Scotland will not gain independence if Brianna lives, according to the prophecy.
It an interesting change. It makes the plot more interesting and mysterious. But we will have to wait and see what happens, and the finale of season 3 is just around the corner, so expect answers soon…and other questions.