What makes Outlander’s Lord John Grey so darn lovable?

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

One of Outlander’s greatest side characters has to be Lord John Grey. Just why is he so darn lovable?

Lord John Grey was introduced in Outlander Season 2 (or “Dragonfly in Amber” if you read the books first) with Oscar Kennedy in the role. It wasn’t until the third season that he became a main side character and that was when David Berry took over the role. Whether David or Oscar, this is a character you can’t help but love to pieces.

Just what makes him so darn lovable? Why is he the one character we could happily follow through an Outlander spin-off? Why are the novellas based on the character so popular? Here are my thoughts on Lord John Grey.

He’s a man of his word

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If there’s only one way to describe Lord John Grey it’s that he’s a man of his word. He has been nothing but a friend to Jamie. Well, now he’s been nothing but a friend. When Jamie and John first crossed paths, they were enemies. John attempted to kill the red-haired Scot.

When Jamie gave John his life, John knew that it was a debt he would need to repay. Despite his brother Hal technically repaying the debt through family blood, John still believed he owed Jamie. This started the unique bond that formed.

Throughout the third season, we watched Lord John Grey stick to his word. He’s raised Willie while keeping Jamie’s secret. John kept secrets for Jamie, making sure Jamie had some sort of future. Whenever John has made a promise, we’ve seen him fulfill it.

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

He is a man of honor

As well as a man of his word, John Grey has always been (and will always be) a man of honor. When he believed Claire was going to be hurt by the Jacobites, he backed down and gave up information. Despite Hal being the one to actually save Jamie’s life, John kept that promise; keeping his own honor.

Lord John didn’t have to marry Isabel. He could have made up all sorts of excuses, but he knew it was the right thing to do. He didn’t have to take on Willie’s son and raise him well, but he made a promise to Jamie. At no point did John have to keep Jamie’s secret, but he did.

This is something that has been prevalent in the novellas on the British officer. It’s something that we see in subsequent books in the main story (yes, John Grey is still around).

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He is a kind soul in a cruel world

Outlander‘s universe isn’t always a happy one. After all, this is mostly set in the 18th century and now we’re into Colonial America where there’s danger lurking everywhere.

To get ahead or to make people scared of him, he could have gone the way of every other British officer we’ve come across. He could have been overly stern or even attempted to be sadistic and mean. Instead, he is the light in the cruel world.

There’s a humanity to him that everyone is drawn to. Well, almost everyone. There will be one particular person who will be jealous of him in Outlander Season 4 and beyond.

He doesn’t want the wars or the hatred. While he fights because he has to, he’s lost people and he knows love. He’s a better man for all that because he has empathy for others.

Outlander's Lord John Grey
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

He’ll stand up for Jamie

Finally, we can’t forget everything he’s done for Jamie. There have certainly been times that he’s risked his career and his life. One of those was at Ardsmuir Prison when Jamie escaped and returned. Jamie should have been flogged for his actions and John may have seemed weak, but we didn’t see anything like that in Outlander Season 3 (there was more in the books).

When it came to Jamaica, John managed to get Jamie out of Captain, well Lieutenant, Leonard’s hold. John owed nothing at all to Jamie at this point. It was all about friendship, just another example of a man of honor.

John will treat friends (and those he wishes could be lovers) fairly and supportively. Again, he’s a kind man in a cruel world.

Next. Is it time for a Lord John Grey Outlander spin-off?. dark

What makes Lord John Grey so loveable in Outlander? Why are you drawn to the character? Share in the comments below.

Outlander Season 4 premieres on Nov. 4 at 8/7c on Starz. Follow Claire and Jamie on Twitter for more updates straight to your feed.