Caitriona Balfe Says "Outlander" Season 8 Is on Hold Due to the Writers' Strike

"Outlander" has reached the beginning of the end. The show's seventh season premiered on June 16, meaning that fans now have less than two full seasons left until the Fraser family's story comes to a conclusion.

Starz initially announced the news that the show was ending on Jan. 19, 2023, confirming that the series's eighth season would be its last. "What an incredible journey with an incredible fanbase," the network tweeted. "'Outlander' has officially been renewed for an eighth and final season."

At the time, Starz also tweeted a video compilation featuring some of the show's stars, who thanked viewers for their support and devotion over the years. "Thank you so much for being with us from day one," said Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser, the series's central character whose trip back in time to 1743 catalyzes all of the subsequent events. Later in the video, Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser, acknowledged that "every good story has to come to an end."

According to Balfe, it just felt like a natural time to bring the show to a close. "It's really strange thinking that this time next year or whatever, it'll be finished and that'll be it, it'll be a chapter done in my life," she told Radio Times on June 13. "I'm going to definitely struggle with that because it's been so great. It'll be sad to say goodbye to it. I think, in some ways, I feel like we've said as much as we can say with these characters and we've sort of brought them to this point in their lives where it feels like it's the right time to say goodbye to them. I think having season eight will give us a real opportunity to sort of finish it properly. But at the same time, it's going be so sad."

It may be a while until we actually see season eight, though, as it is currently on pause due to the ongoing writers' strike, Balfe revealed. "Well, we had a date. And now with the writers' strike, who knows?" she told Radio Times. "So we have to just wait and see."

Despite the potential delay, the show's cast is apparently already worried about saying goodbye. "The end of this, season seven, suddenly you could feel it on set," Heughan said on the "Happy Sad Confused" podcast in May. "Everyone was starting to go, 'Oh, actually, we're going to come back and do this one more time and that's it.' Everyone was getting pretty emotional about it. I think it's going to be a huge change in our lives and also really sad to say goodbye to this amazing journey."

While we probably won't see the original cast together again onscreen after season eight, fortunately, fans of the "Outlander" universe have plenty more to look forward to. In August 2022, the network announced that a prequel series titled "Outlander: Blood of My Blood" is also on its way. The prequel will tell the story of Jamie's parents, Ellen MacKenzie and Brian Fraser. "We are excited to peel back the layers of this vibrant world to bring our audience the origin of where it all began," Kathryn Busby, president of original programming at Starz, said in a statement at the time. "We can't wait to see what happens next."