Who is Rachel Hunter in Outlander and how is her character similar or different from the books?

Here is everything you need to know about Rachel Hunter, the key character who was introduced in season 7 episode 4 of Outlander

Jamie and Claire in Outlander - Rachel Hunter
(Image credit: Starzplay)

Following the release of Outlander season 7, fans want to know more about Rachel Hunter, the new character who was just introduced and may prove to be a key character in later seasons...

Outlander season 7 has us truly gripped and we can't wait to see what happens to Jamie, Claire, Bree, and Roger as they navigate their problems in the 18th and 20th centuries. However, one key side plot caught our attention in the most recent episode.

Young Ian is traveling through the woods when he runs into Jamie's illegitimate son, William Ransom. Although neither of them recognizes the other at first, the pair then bond as Ian offers the injured William help. While in search of medical attention, the pair stumble across a brother and sister named Rachel and Denzell Hunter who - as luck would have it - are physicians and immediately spring into action to help William with his injured arm. 

While this duo could have easily been guest stars in this episode, there was some pretty major flirting between Ian and Rachel and just a little bit too much screentime for the duo for them to be one-off characters. Well, Starz has confirmed that these two will become key characters in this season, so who is Rachel? And what more do we know about Rachel from the books?

Warning! If you don't want any spoilers about these characters, you may not want to read further!

Who is Rachel Hunter in Outlander?

Rachel Hunter was introduced in this episode as a Quaker who supported her brother's choice to stand with the revolution and was thrown out of their Quaker community. While chatting with Ian she describes herself as 'too forward' and Ian compares her to Claire and how being 'too forward' is exactly what is needed to heal stubborn men.

So far this characterization is all accurate to her portrayal in the book, which could be an exciting indicator of her character development in the show...

One key thing that may unravel as the show continues, is that Rachel Hunter will one day become Rachel Murray - as in Ian Murray's wife!

In the book series, Rachel and Ian ultimately marry Philadelphia in late July/early August 1778. This takes place in the eighth Outlander novel, Written in My Own Heart's Blood. As the producers have been pretty faithful to Diana Gabaldon's novels, and given the long lingering looks between Ian and Rachel during their first meeting in the TV show, it seems pretty likely they will stick to this narrative. But hold your horses! This won't take place in the TV show for a long while yet!

At the moment, the seventh series is still based on the seventh book, An Echo In the Bone, meaning there will be a long road before the couple finds themselves in holy matrimony. 

Despite the chemistry between Rachel and Ian, this impending romance seems to be somewhat doomed given Arch Bug's warning earlier in the series. In episode three of season seven, Arch Bug threatened to take something that Ian loved away from him after Ian accidentally murdered his wife. This could mean that Rachel may soon be in the firing line of Arch Bug's wrath...

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.