Why the Next Season of 'Outlander' Could Be Its Last

Outlander is coming to the end of its current season, with the finale set for the start of May on Starz.

Season 7 of the show has already been renewed, meaning that the short-term future of Claire Randall (played by Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) is secured. After that, however, the show could be coming to an end.

Balfe recently gave an interview in which she spoke about the show's future and hinted that Outlander could end with Season 7 – despite the fact that there are still at least two more of Diana Gabaldon's books to be adapted.

Here's what Balfe said about Outlander Season 7, and everything we know about the future of the Starz show.

Will Season 7 Be the End of Outlander?

In a Vanity Fair interview, the Belfast star said: "We will have hit the almost 10-year mark by the end of that, which feels like a nice kind of time frame, but we don't know. Those decisions are far above my pay grade."

It is perhaps no surprise that Balfe may be looking to the end of Outlander. After her role in Belfast got her a Golden Globe nomination and critical acclaim, she may have the momentum to transition into a career in films – something that being tied to a TV show, no matter how popular, might stop her from doing.

However, she hasn't completely closed the door on the show. "I think as long as the scripts remain good and we still have new things to explore, I think that that's always good."

When Outlander was renewed for Season 7, it was confirmed that it would be based on the seventh book in the series, An Echo in the Bone. Just two books remain for the show to catch up on – 2014's Written in My Own Heart's Blood and 2021's Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.

Gabaldon, meanwhile, is at work on a 10th book in the franchise, and has stated that the series will conclude in 1800 – 21 years away from the 1779 setting of Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. On her website, she writes: "​​I think the Outlander books will end in 1800. If this tells you anything, more power to you...And yes, the last book will have a happy ending."

Balfe's co-star also seems to be thinking about when the show will end. He told The Times: "I can absolutely see Outlander without me."

Starz has confirmed that Season 7 will have 12 episodes, and is expected in 2023. After that, it has not publicly revealed the plans for the show.

It has, however, spoken about what the franchise could do should Balfe and Heughan decide to go. Asked about spin-off by Deadline, Starz SEO Jeffrey Hisch said: "There's a lot of opportunity in the Outlander universe to have story extensions, spin-offs or sequels. Hopefully we'll find something that feels great and that we can continue to tell that story."

Outlander Season 6 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.

outlander season 7
Caitriona Balfe on "Outlander" Season 7. The actor has hinted she may be ready for the Starz show to end. Starz