How does Stephen Bonnet die in the Outlander books?

Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 5 -- Courtesy of STARZ /

The Outlander TV series has speeded up the process, but Stephen Bonnet does die in the books. When and how does it happen?

The Outlander TV show has a habit of changing things here and there, especially when it comes to killing or not killing characters. The show has speeded up Bonnet’s death, but he does die in the books eventually. When and how does it happen in the Outlander novels?

We’re going into the book spoilers here for those who haven’t read ahead yet. Everything that happens is in Book 6, “A Breath of Snow and Ashes.”

That’s right; instead of putting the death of Bonnet in the sixth season, the show opted to speed it up. However, the circumstances are very similar.

Brianna is still kidnapped, but she does get the prostitute to help her and get a message to her parents and Roger. She is on the island and she is saved. When Bonnet is knocked out, Jamie and Roger give her a choice. They can:

  1. Kill Bonnet
  2. Allow Bree to kill Bonnet herself
  3. Let the officials punish him

While all the choices weren’t there in the show, it’s clear that they would have been had Bree wanted to make one of the choices. However, she was the one that made it clear that she wanted him to be tried in a court of law.

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Is Bonnet sentenced to death by drowning? Oh yes!

Outlander Season 5 — Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 5 — Courtesy of STARZ /

Brianna expects Bonnet to be executed by hanging, but the officials have another idea. They decide to make it much harder for him to escape this time. However, Brianna knows that this is Bonnet’s biggest fear.

In the dead of night, she and Roger row out to the spot that Bonnet is tied and she shoots him at point-blank range. There’s no need to worry that he is going to come back.

There is a section in the books where Brianna mentions why she killed Bonnet. Some of it was mercy, but that was mostly because she didn’t think the officials would choose death by drowning. After Bonnet had told her about his nightmare in the middle of the night when she was his victim, she saw a hint of humanity in him.

At the same time, in the novels, Brianna is pregnant. There would be a whole lot of hormones that could have made her feel more mercy than she may have had otherwise.

For the most part, the show stuck to the same storyline. It was just done earlier and the kidnapping storyline wasn’t as big. It works for TV, and really, when it comes to making a TV show, that’s what counts.

Next. 5 top takeaways from the Outlander Season 5, Episode 11 promo. dark

Outlander Season 5 continues on Sundays on STARZ.