Was Lieutenant Jeremy Foster in the Outlander books?

Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander Season 2 -- Courtesy of STARZ /

Show-first fans want to know if Lieutenant Jeremy Foster was in the Outlander books

There are times characters are created purely for a TV show. This is usually the case to combine multiple characters into one. Lieutenant Jeremy Foster was one of these creations for the Outlander TV series.

He is not mentioned in the books. In fact, the storyline that happens in Outlander Season 1, Episode 5 with Foster at the village and then coming up on Dougal and Claire at the river doesn’t happen in the books.

Why would this be? For what reason would the show change things?

Timing will play a part

Getting Claire to Fort William took time. And I’ll be honest in saying that it didn’t make all that much sense. Dougal knew what Black Jack Randall was like. The idea of him taking Claire to BJR for the sake of some answers just didn’t quite sit right with me.

The way it happened in the show made a lot more sense. I admit that the idea of Foster coming up on Claire and Dougal at the river didn’t make all that much sense unless Foster had an idea of where the MacKenzie men were traveling for their rents. However, the idea of Foster wanting to protect an English woman, who was clearly not being treated with kindness by the MacKenzie men, fit well.

Plus, there’s the element of timing. Slipping in Dougal wanting to take Claire to Randall, especially after figuring out the truth about Dougal being a Jacobite, would have taken a little extra time. Claire should have also figured out that it meant going to see Black Jack Randall. She knew from Frank that BJR was the Fort William commander. It made no sense that she didn’t recall that important fact.

So, she would have fought against Dougal about going. With Foster wanting to take Claire to his commander and not to Fort William, she was going to be more on the side of leaving with him. It also added more drama to the episode after, as Claire thought she was about to get to go to Inverness only to find out that Black Jack Randall was there.

There’s also an element of combining some characters and storylines. The books include a corporal, who is the one to find Claire struggling in the water when she tries to head off to the stones. I get the sense that Foster is a version of him, but the show knew the water scene wasn’t going to be possible. So, Foster was created to take Claire to “safety” instead of following orders from Black Jack Randall.

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Showing not all British soldiers and officers were bad

We get this sense that the British soldiers are all evil people who just want to cause trouble and rape women. That’s not the case, and it’s unfair to paint everyone with the same brush. It’s a problem with first-person POV books. Claire didn’t have the chance of witnessing the good people out there. If she did, she didn’t know because she couldn’t tell us what they were thinking.

In the series, we got to see an honorable officer and gentleman. Foster just wants to make sure Claire is safe from harm. He wants to help her return home, wherever home may be. Maybe he’s gullible in believing that she may not be a spy, but he is kindhearted and gives us a chance to see a different side to the British officers.

We get well-rounded characters. And we get that little bit of hope for Claire.

At the same time, we can feel bad for Foster. He returns during Outlander Season 2 at the Battle of Prestonpans. He is wounded and asks to be taken to the medical tent. We see that Dougal is just as bad as the British soldiers, killing a wounded man instead of taking him for help.

If Foster had been an “evil” British soldier, we wouldn’t have felt as bad for him. There’s a lot of sympathy because he was such a good guy.

Next. 5 thoughts while rewatching Outlander Season 1, Episode 5. dark

Why do you think Jeremy Foster was created for the Outlander series? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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