Comic Con Made Me Sad

Mandatory masking and a soon-to-be-permanent Droughtlander

The Sassenach package tempted me. What fan stuck in Droughtlander wouldn’t feel its pull? It was a first for Comic Con and Sam Heughan–a four-day ticket, photo ops, a small group Q & A, a chance to see his adorable new short haircut up close – but it was $1500, plus Comic Con’s “Two dollar and Seventy-Five Cent Fee.” Spelling it out makes it classier! In any case, by the time I’d thought about it for a week, the Sassenach had sold out. I went for the $32.75 Q & A ticket, which bought me a seat in the way back, behind the Sassenachs, Sorchas and Brown-Haired Lasses.

It was kind of a sad Comic Con. It didn’t feel joyous. Numerous electronic glitches plagued the ticketing process, and There’s no Outlander Season 7 announcement yet, so there wasn’t a panel. Even last year’s weird Zoom panel was better attended by the cast. Sadder still was the last-minute decision to require masks at the Javits Center. Opinions varied widely, with some fans calling it justified, others ridiculing the mandate when NYC is no longer requiring indoor masking, but with all agreed that even an N95 can’t disguise the pungency of several thousand cosplayers sweating in latex.

There is a Season 7 coming within the next few months, possibly even late 2022. It will be a jumbo season, as Covid and Caitriona Balfe’s pregnancy cut Season 6 so short . The new season will begin with an epic fight and rescue of Claire, and the unraveling of the mystery of the Christie family. They’ve limited information about what’s coming next, although the books give a clue. A Sunday morning Q & A featuring Heughan, David Berry (Lord John), the Duncan Lacroix (Murtagh, of blessed memory), and author Diana Gabaldon confirmed much of what had been speculated. Lord John will return, presumably with Jamie’s son, there may be sightings of Marsali and Fergus, and perhaps even a flashback or dream sequence with Murtagh. Plus look how cute Murtagh looks wearing a Graham McTavish mask.

There have been many rumors about how many they’ll film–Starz just announced it will pick up a Season 8, but everyone from Gabaldon to show executive Maril Davis has been discussing the imminent end of the series. I’ve heard some chatter about a series called Blood of My Blood, a prequel about Jamie’s parents. But the number of no-shows at Comic Con make it clear that Outlander is coming to an end.

Bereft because the end of Outlander is in sight.

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Rebecca Kurson

Rebecca Kurson writes about literature, pop culture, television, science fiction and music. Her work has appeared in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Observer, The Federalist and Rodale's Organic Life.

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