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Throw an Outlander viewing party

Throw a Braw ‘Outlander’ Viewing Party

Outlander seems to attract the kind of fan who not only obsesses about the TV series, but also makes Outlander a way of life. Pretty soon they’re speaking Gaelic, wearing tartan wool as everyday cosplay, and hanging thistle accessories all over their home. (Some of us find excuses to wear our official Outlander wristers while we work. Shh!) Throwing an Outlander viewing party, then, is a natural extension of our love of all things Claire and Jamie Fraser.

To celebrate the release of Outlander Season 2 on DVD today, I thought I’d put together some elements I found on the web to help you throw your best Outlander viewing party. Feel free to incorporate as much or as little of these ideas as you like!

Invitations

Sending the right invitation can set the perfect mood for your Outlander viewing party. Depending on  your style, you can make them fancy or simple. Either way, the invitation will give your guest an idea of what kind of Outlander viewing party to expect.

sferra designs sells a printable invitation on their Etsy store. It’s got all the ingredients, like a tartan background, a thistle on the cover, and even a picture of Craig na Dun.

sferra Outlander invitation

sferra Outlander Invitation

If you want to go all out for your Outlander viewing party, a couple of Etsy sellers have packages that included invitations and other goodies.

OllieDesignStudio’s Outlander party supplies include printable invitations, cupcake toppers, gift tags, bunting and signs.

OllieDesignStudio Outlander Party Supplies

OllieDesignStudio Outlander Party Supplies

DixieSisters sells an Outlander party pack that includes a banner, coasters, wine charms, invitations and something to decorate the utensil basket.

DixieSisters Outlander Party Pack

DixieSisters Outlander Party Pack

If you’re like me, you decide to throw parties at the last minute. In that case, there’s no time to order, print and mail paper invitations. You can still send a pretty cool invitation through Evite. And they even have a category for viewing parties! This one looks like the misty highland mountains.

Gray Evite Invitation

The viewing party invitations are ready to go, but if you’re looking for something more Outlander-like, I suggest designing your own invitation for free. Here’s an invitation I made. I chose a gold background to represent the “amber” in “Dragonfly in Amber,” and added a picture of myself on the Outlander tour I took. (I’m always looking for an excuse to show off those photos!)

Gold Evite Invitation for Outlander Viewing Party

No matter what kind of invitation you send, make sure your guest has all the pertinent information: Date, time, location, what to wear, what to bring.

Set Up

Rearrange the furniture in your TV room so that guests are comfortable and can easily see the screen. Throw down some pillows (preferably plaid, tartan or wool) and blankets for guests who want to lounge on the floor.

Plaid Blanket

Here’s a plaid blanket!

Have plenty of places for guests to set drinks or food without spilling them; I have a set of wooden TV trays we use for just such an occasion. End tables, bookshelves and upturned boxes and crates work too.

If it’s possible, dim the lights or don’t turn on all of your lamps so guests can easily see the screen. Even better, light candles! For me, a lot of those indoor scenes get so dark I have to brighten my screen to catch all the details! If you can’t dim an overhead light, try turning it off and bringing in one or two lamps for low lighting. 

Decorations

There’s almost no end to the ideas you could come up with for decorations for an Outlander viewing party. First, use what you can find around the house to keep your costs down.

Dig out a plaid tablecloth, or really, anything plaid.

Scotland is “verra” green, so gather all the greenery into the TV room.

Collect any rustic crockery or cookware or antiques that wouldn’t look out of place at Lallybroch and place them around the room.

Jamie in in the Kitchen

See all the crockery?

Remember those candles I mentioned above? Not only are they good for low lighting, they add to the Outlander atmosphere. Use any candles you have lying about, the more varied they are the homier the room will look. If you’re feeling really ambitious, make paper luminaries, like the ones the Druid ladies use in the opening. (If you make enough of them, give one to each guest to take home!)

Music

While your guests are gathering, having music playing softly in the background is a great way to ease tension and social anxiety. The easiest thing to do is play the Outlander soundtrack, either from Season 1 (my personal fave) or Season 2. You can buy the soundtrack or play it on Spotify or Amazon Prime’s Unlimited.

If you want to get a little creative, visit your favorite streaming music service, like Spotify or Pandora, and search for “celtic,” then create a new station to keep the playlist going. You’ll get to hear bands and musicians you might not have otherwise heard.

Food

Lucky for us, Scottish food is fairly basic, but definitely delicious. And there are countless blogs about Scottish food and Outlander food, so I’m not going to beat a dead horse here. The most successful blog is Outlander Kitchen, where you can find dozens and dozens of recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts to food for special occasions. I highly recommend having Colum’s shortbread on hand.

If you’re pressed for time, you can always buy Walker’s shortbread, to server along basic food, like cheese and crackers, and apple slices, that can all be picked up at the supermarket, ready to go.

Drinks

Now it’s time to have some fun! (As if you weren’t already.) Like most cultures, the Highland way of life is closely tied to eating and drinking. But Scotland is especially fond of its whiskey. (If you don’t already know, American whiskey is not the same as Scottish whiskey. American refer to Scottish whiskey as Scotch.)

If you have the time and money, inviting someone in to give you and your guests a lesson in whiskey would be a hoot. There are tours of Scotland in which the travelers do nothing but travel from distillery to distillery, drinking and learning about whiskey. At the very least, watch this short video on how to drink whiskey.

 

You should also read this highly informative, and blessedly to-the-point, article on Esquire about Scotch — er, I mean whiskey.

If whiskey isn’t your cup of tea (ha!), you could mix up the Comte St. Germain’s poison, which is made from the St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur.

Be cautious with alcoholic drinks, however. You’re going to be watching TV for a very long time. You don’t want your guests dozing off!

To keep your guests peppy, you could serve them coffee. Then again, there’s always tea. Or, make hot chocolate for a themed, yummy and thoroughly non-alocholic drink. Why hot chocolate Remember Bree and Ian’s little chat about hot chocolate?

Everyday Cosplay

It’s time to dress up! Encourage fans to wear something Outlander related, even if they don’t want to go full-kilt. There are all kinds of accessories you can wear, from a simple sculpted Outlander pin to a Mackenzie tartan tie.

Outlander Shrug by Tulsa Toys

Outlander Shrug by Tulsa Toys

Ladies can wear long skirts and knitted shawls. Really, wear anything knitted. My favorite Outlander-inspired clothing of late is “wristers” or fingerless gloves. My cousin made me a cozy pair I keep in the car, and I have this official pair I bought on my (ahem) Outlander tour of Scotland.

 

 

Why is my office so cold? So I can wear my #outlander fingerless #gloves #amwriting

A photo posted by Nancy Basile (@mediamedusa) on

 

Or, to take a page out of Bree’s handbook, wear breeches and an overly long shirt.

You could also buy cheap gold and silver rings at a party store to wear on each finger, just like Claire.

Men could wear plain white shirts and short pants, or dress pants. If they’ve got them, or can borrow them, a kilt wouldna go amiss.

Seamstress of Rohan

Or go all out with a full Outlander costume from Seamstress of Rohan!

Favors

Giving your guests favors isn’t a requirement. It is, however, a fun way to commemorate your Outlander viewing party.

You could make a Pocket Jamie for everyone to take home.

 

 

#jamiefraser thought #dounecastle looked a lot like Castle Leoch. #outlander #outlandertour #Scotland

A photo posted by Nancy Basile (@mediamedusa) on

 

Or, you could give them something like a handmade “Dragonfly in Amber” soap.

Remember those inexpensive wedding rings from the party store? You could put one of each in a small net bag to give to each guest to take home.

In the End

An Outlander viewing party can be as sophisticated and complicated, or as simple and easy, as you like. Just look to Outlander for inspiration.

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Check out my ideas for an Outlander viewing party!

Header photo by Kaboompics.com.

Outlander / Starz

Claire and Jamie’s Theme Song from ‘Outlander’

Listening to Claire and Jamie’s theme song from Outlander takes me right back to the wedding. Oh, this theme won’t leave me alone! And I keep hearing the sad, soulful cry of the flute when she says, “I’ll love you any way I can,” in the season finale.

Bear McCreary, Outlander’s composer, has generous explanations of all his themes, with snippets of sheet music, including Claire and Jamie’s theme song:

“As Claire realizes that the war is over and takes a well-earned swig on the champagne someone thrust into her hand, a penny whistle offers our first glimpse of what will become the Claire and Jamie Theme… I’ve already been asked by astute fans why I placed this theme here, before she’s ever met Jamie. My hope was to convey the notion that we’re witnessing this event from the perspective of “Voice Over Claire,” a Claire who’s already gone on this journey and is now looking back on it, to share it with us. The Claire in the voice over has already met Jamie, and is reflecting on this moment as the beginning of her journey that would lead her to him.”

[sigh]

The Outlander theme song, however, is not what you think. Bear McCreary adapted it from a traditional Scottish folk song, “The Skye Boat Song.” “The Skye Boat Song” is about Bonnie Prince Charlie dressing as an Irish woman, and fleeing British soldier in a boat set for the Isle of Skye. The song’s roots in the Jacobite uprising made it perfect for the show, but obviously the words needed to be changed. Vocalist Raya Yarbrough suggested lyrics by Robert Louis Stevenson. Thus begat the Outlander theme song.

Visit Bear McCreary’s official blog for insight into his lovely Celtic music.

Listen to the Song

Here’s Claire and Jamie’s theme song on Spotify, tucked into “People Disappear All the Time.” The melody begins at about 0:50. You’ll hear it again on flute a bit later in the song. We hear Claire and Jamie’s theme song before we’ve even met Jamie on Outlander. But it plays when she’s talking about disappearing, and it sets up the story to come. Visit iTunes and download the Outlander soundtrack. You won’t be disappointed.

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Listen to Claire and Jamie's theme song, and learn more about Outlander's main theme song

Outlander / Starz

‘Outlander’ Schedule for STARZ

The Outlander schedule for Starz has some tantalizing episode titles. Outlander is based on the series of books by Diana Gabaldon. The story centers on Claire, a married WWII nurse who winds up in 18th Century Scotland. While she’s finding her footing in this earlier time, she falls in love with a Highlander. Soon enough they’re both swept up in the violence and politics of the second rising.


See also: Take an Outlander Tour of Scotland with Celtic Journeys


Updated June 30, 2016: Hm, what can we figure out from the titles of the upcoming episodes? Buckle up, folks! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!

2016 Outlander Schedule

April 9th  Outlander, Eps. 201 “Through a Glass, Darkly”

Claire and Jamie Arrive in France

Returning to her own time in the 20th century, Claire must reconcile her future with the life and love she left behind. Shifting back to 18th century, Jamie, Claire, and Murtagh arrive on the shores of France to turn the tides of history, but quickly learn that Paris presents its own unique set of challenges.

April 16th Outlander, Eps. 202 “Not in Scotland Anymore”

Claire in the Red Dress

Life in Paris is not without its trials as Jamie struggles to triumph over the traumas of his past. A fortunate meeting with Jacobite leader Prince Charles presents opportunities, while the Duke of Sandringham’s presence brings complications.

April 23rd Outlander, Eps. 203 “Useful Occupations and Deceptions”

Jamie’s days and nights are dominated by political machinations, while Claire finds solace in her healing skills. As their plan to stop Culloden progresses, including engaging the aid of a young pickpocket, the past threatens to derail their forward momentum.

April 30th Outlander, Eps. 204 “La Dame Blanche”

Claire and Jamie throw an elaborate dinner party intended to derail investors in Prince Charles’ war effort. Meanwhile, Claire’s revelation that Jack Randall is alive sparks Jamie in an unexpected way as he and Claire struggle to regain their physical intimacy.

May 7th Outlander, Eps. 205 “Untimely Resurrection”

Claire and Jamie in Versaille

Reunited, Jamie and Claire attempt to extinguish the fires their dinner party ignited; however, Claire is set off on an unexpected change of course. Jamie and Claire’s relationship is put to the ultimate test when the past rears its ugly head.

May 14th Outlander, Eps. 206 “Best Laid Schemes…”

Jamie and Claire use Claire’s medical knowledge to devise a scheme to stop a wine deal which could fill the Prince’s war chest. When Claire learns Jamie has gone back on his word, the couple are met with dire consequences that will forever change their lives.

May 21st Outlander, Eps. 207 “Faith”

Faith's Grave

Claire is brought to L’Hopital Des Anges where doctors try to save her life and that of her unborn baby. King Louis asks Claire to judge two men accused of practicing the dark arts – one an enemy, one a friend.

May 28th Outlander, Eps. 208 “The Fox’s Lair”

Claire and Jamie call upon Jamie’s grandsire, Lord Lovat, in an attempt to elicit support. However, a visiting Colum MacKenzie has other plans, and Lord Lovat’s manipulations ensure that his own interests will be served.

June 4th Outlander, Eps. 209 “Je Suis Prest”

Claire and Jamie reunite with the Lallybroch and MacKenzie men as they train for war. Jamie’s power struggles with Dougal and Claire’s personal battle with her memories of WWII weigh upon them, but new, helpful information comes to light when a young Englishman named William Grey pays a surprise visit to their camp.

June 11th Outlander, Eps. 210 “Prestonpans”

Dougal Tempts Fate

Trusting in Claire’s knowledge of “history,” Jamie leads the Jacobite army into a critical battle with British opposition near the town of Preston. Meanwhile, Claire attends to the dead and dying, a reminder of the truest costs of war.

June 19th Outlander, Eps. 211 “Vengeance Is Mine”

Princes Charles convinced to return to Scotland, Jamie disagrees 11/08 Jamie says a prayer over Claire

Claire and the Highlanders are sent north after the Jacobite leaders decide to halt their march on London. A band of redcoats makes trouble for the Scots, leading to a most unexpected reunion for Claire.

June 25th Outlander, Eps. 212 “The Hail Mary”

As Jamie puts all of his efforts into turning the Jacobite army away from the impending slaughter, Claire attempts to comfort the sick Alex Randall. Alex reveals an outrageous plan to save the mother of his child.

July 9th Outlander, Eps. 213 “Dragonfly in Amber”

Flashing forward to 1968, Claire travels to Scotland with her twenty-year-old daughter, Brianna, and meets Roger Wakefield. Claire visits Lallybroch and Culloden Moor to make peace with the past, while Brianna and Roger bond over researching Randall family history. Claire finally reveals the truth to Brianna about her time travel through the stones, her life in 1700’s Scotland, and Brianna’s true parentage. The story is intercut with another one back in the 18th century, which happens on the day of the Battle of Culloden. When Jamie’s last ditch attempts to deter The Prince fail, he and Claire come up with a dangerous plan – which Dougal overhears, inciting him to a murderous rage. Jamie must do everything he can to save the ones he loves, even if it means saying goodbye to some – or all –of them.

Season 1

2014

 


See also: Outlander Gift Guide


August 9th Outlander, Eps. 101 “Sassenach” *Network Premiere

Outlander 2014

While on her honeymoon, WWII combat nurse Claire Randall is mysteriously transported back to 1743 Scotland, where she is kidnapped by a group of Highlanders – and meets an injured young man named Jamie.

August 16th Outlander, Eps. 102 “Castle Leoch”

Claire is taken to meet the Laird. As suspicions about her grow, Claire befriends the mysterious Geillis Duncan. When the clan discover her medial skills, Claire goes from guest to prisoner.

August 23rd Outlander, Eps. 103 “The Way Out”

Graham MacTavish and Caitriona Balfe

Claire decides to use her medical skills to aid her escape from Castle Leoch – with Jamie’s help, she tends to an ill child. During an evening’s entertainment, a story gives Claire hope for her freedom.

August 30th Outlander, Eps. 104 “The Gathering”

Outlander 2014

As the Castle prepares for the Gathering, Claire plans her escape. But after a dangerous encounter with a drunken Dougal and an unexpected run-in with Jamie, her plans are dashed.

September 6th Outlander, Eps. 105 “Rent”

Claire joins the MacKenzie rent-collecting trip. To her horror, Dougal uses Jamie’s scars to gain sympathy for the Jacobite cause. Claire recalls that a defining moment in Scottish history is fast approaching.

September 13th Outlander, Eps. 106 “The Garrison Commander”

Outlander 2014

Claire’s unexpected meeting with a British General turns tense when Captain Jack Randall arrives. Claire finds herself alone with Randall – a dangerous man determined to uncover her secrets.

September 20th Outlander, Eps. 107 “The Wedding”

Jamie and Claire in 'The Wedding' on Outlander / Starz

Claire and Jamie are thrown together in marriage, but as their emotional and physical relationship unfolds, deeper feelings arise. Claire is ultimately torn between two men in two very different times.

September 27th Outlander, Eps. 108 “Both Sides Now”

Frank desperately searches for his missing wife, while Claire tries to come to terms with her new marriage. Claire is faced with an emotional quandry as a life-altering opportunity presents itself.

2015

April 4th Outlander, Eps. 109 “The Reckoning”

Outlander 2014

Jamie and the Highlanders rescue Claire from Black Jack Randall. Back at the castle, politics threaten to tear Clan MacKenzie apart and Jamie’s scorned lover, Laoghaire, attempts to win him back.

April 11th  Outlander, Eps. 110 “By the Pricking of My Thumbs”

Jamie hopes the newly arrived Duke of Sandringham will help lift the price from his head, while Claire attempts to save an abandoned child.

April 18th  Outlander, Eps. 111 “The Devil’s Mark”

Outlander 2014

Claire and Geillis are on trial for witchcraft. Jamie manages to rescue Claire, but not before she discovers a secret about Geillis’s past.

April 25th  Outlander, Eps. 112 “Lallybroch”

Outlander 2014

Reunited, Claire and Jamie make their way to Lallybroch – Jamie’s family home. Reality quickly sets in, and old wounds are reopened between Jamie and his sister, Jenny.

May 2nd  Outlander, Eps. 113 “The Watch”

Outlander 2014

Jamie finds himself between a rock and a hard place when a redcoat deserter from his past resurfaces. Claire tends to a laboring Jenny while Jamie and Ian join The Watch on an ambush, resulting in devastating consequences.

May 9th  Outlander, Eps. 114 “The Search”

Outlander "The Search"

Claire and Jenny set out to rescue Jamie from his redcoat captors.  When Murtagh joins up, Jenny returns home to her family while Claire and the Highlander employ unorthodox tactics to send word to Jamie.  When word finally arrives, the news is not what anyone had hoped for.

May 16th  Outlander, Eps. 115 “Wentworth Prison”

Outlander - Wentworth Prison

Jamie awaits his death sentence at Wentworth Prison, while Claire and the Highlanders desperately search for a rescue plan.

May 30th  Outlander, Eps. 116 “To Ransom a Man’s Soul”

A plan is put in place to attempt to free Jamie from Wentworth Prison where he is once again being held by his tormentor, Black Jack Randall. (This episode was originally scheduled for May 23rd but was probably moved to avoid low ratings for Memorial Day weekend.)

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Our big Outlander episode guide and schedule for STARZ

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