Outlander Book Club: Book 1, Chapter 36 breakdown

Outlander Season 1 -- Courtesy fo STARZ
Outlander Season 1 -- Courtesy fo STARZ /
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Outlander Season 1 — Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 1 — Courtesy of STARZ /

Developing the chapter for the Outlander TV series

As I mentioned in the introduction, this chapter was used for the TV series. In fact, it was used for the penultimate episode and into the finale. However, there were some substantial changes.

The show didn’t see Claire and Jamie head to MacRannoch’s house. We didn’t get to meet Lady Annabelle, and we didn’t see Jamie tell Marcus anything. Instead, these conversations happened within the abbey.

In a way, I prefer the way the TV show did it. Jamie trusted the people close to him. The trauma took over and he was closing off from people, but he was able to trust in Murtagh a little.

Claire was also able to do the healing in the safety of the abbey. There wasn’t the pressure of soldiers raising toward them, keeping the focus on Jamie’s healing and everything that had happened to him. With so little time in the show at this point, keeping the focus on the important plot points of the story was far more important than anything else.

Plus, it just felt more honest to see Jamie not want to confide in strangers. The only strangers he allowed to help him were the monks at the abbey, but they were men of God. Of course he’d trust them to help him. Monks had helped him after he’d been hit over the back of the head with an ax. He felt a safety there.

I don’t think he would have felt all that much safety with a man he didn’t know. It felt out of character for him to trust Marcus, even though Marcus was the one to help him.

But changing the characters and placement wouldn’t have just been about fitting for the character on the series. It would have been about budgets and locations. There was no point in finding a house as described in the book and finding an abbey setting at the same time. It was just best in terms of time and cost to stick to one location and one set of characters.

That being said, MacRannoch was briefly introduced. We did see Claire and Murtagh turn to him for help, finding out that he was the one to give Ellen the pearls. This was a necessary part for saving Jamie, but unnecessary in the aftermath.

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What did you notice when reading Outlander Book 1, Chapter 36? Share in the comments below.

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