Young Ian had reluctantly decided to leave his family to join the Mohawk Indians of America in the Season 4 finale, so that Roger could be freed and return to Brianna and her son. In the following Season 5, the beloved Young Ian reappeared as if by magic in the woods of Fraser’s Ridge…looking entirely different than we remember him. We get to explore in little bits and pieces some of his troubled past among the Indians, but a good portion of that has yet to be revealed.
From both the teaser trailer and the opening credits of Outlander Season 6, it’s clear that Young Ian ‘s Mohawk past storyline will be one of the main ones.
“I really love the season 5 finale so much because we get to see a bit of what happened to Ian. At the beginning of season 6, he’s in a much better place. He knows where home is, I think in his heart. He’s still struggling with his identity a little bit. He’s between the two, the two cultures, but he’s now finding his path again back to his family. Young Ian is a character, I think, always wears his heart on his sleeve, and as we go through Season 6, and his loyalties are tested, he has to really decide who he is, and what’s going to stand for.”John Bell
This season, Ian accompanies his uncle Jamie, who is now serving as an “Indian agent” (a liaison between the British and the Native Americans), during visits to the backcountry.
“They’re teammates, working with the Cherokee, but Ian is being pulled in two directions. Who is he? An American Indian or a Scot? We see that pull — and learn what happened to him when he was with the Mohawk.”Matthew Roberts
Adds Bell, “Ian’s been through the wringer, bless him.”
In a recent interview with Digital Spy, John Bell expressed his feelings about Outlander season 6 and the Young Ian storyline
It is my favourite season so far, it is just so strong, the storylines throughout it – it feels like there is a change of pace, there is an ominous feeling that is happening this season. It is sort of like Harry Potter when it was getting darker, it is a little bit of that feeling that we can’t stop this inevitability. Despite it being one of the strongest seasons, it was also one of the most difficult to shoot [due to Covid restrictions], which maybe actually helped us a bit because at times a lot of the characters I think feel isolated and we only had to look at our own f**king experience to be able to relate to that!John Bell
He didn’t miss the opportunity to share with the audience his love for the character of Ian. His willingness to continue playing him beyond Outlander season 7, as well as his immense gratitude towards the series!
“I love this character with all my heart. All the characters you play, you feel they sort of live in you a little bit after the job’s done, and I’m not done with Young Ian yet. He’s got so much cool stuff to come, and I want to tell those stories. My favourite part of the day is the make up in the morning, I get to sit there and have a goss, have a blab, and then go from looking scrawny to being a ‘warrior’.
I put that coat on and Caitríona [Balfe] comes up to me and says, ‘You’re looking butch today, John.’ Oh yeah! I’ve grown up with the show so it has been amazing. And I have grown up with this character,” he added. “I don’t know when we go back [on set to film season seven], but I think they said spring, so hopefully it’s soon!”John Bell
In Diana Gabaldon’s description of the season, she added that several episodes concentrate in on specific characters, including Young Ian.
“A couple for instance, are focused heavily toward young Ian and his life with the Mohawk and what happened there. Whereas, others are more closely focused on Jamie and Claire. And there’s quite a bit on Roger and Brianna and Fergus and Marsali. There’s quite a lot of stuff for six episodes, but they’ve handled it beautifully.”Diana Gabaldon
Source: TV Insider / The Dipp / Digital Spy