Outlander Book Club: Book 2, Chapter 40 breakdown

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

Foreshadowing in the Outlander chapter

Some of the foreshadowing in this chapter comes from the observations Claire makes while at Lord Lovat’s home. She notices the seer, who has seen something but refuses to tell Simon. What could that be?

That’s going to be something that comes up in a later chapter. It’s an important plot point. Of course, the question is whether it’s something Claire and Jamie can use to convince Lord Lovat to allow his men to join the cause.

We also continue to get the foreshadowing of why everything fails. The farmers want to return home. There’s no need to head south during the winter. That’s a huge mistake on Charles’s part, along with the continuous storming of Stirling. It’s clear that Charles doesn’t have the mind for war, and the lairds of the clans can’t agree on anything.

Claire wants to know if Jamie will walk away from the cause. It won’t do him much good from a “traitor” point of view, but that’s all he really says. After all, he got his men away from the cause. He also seems to still have a bit of hope that things will work in their favor.

Adapting the Dragonfly in Amber chapter

This is one of those chapters that was certainly used on the Outlander TV series, but in a different way. Rather than Charles being the one to send Jamie to Simon Fraser, Jamie makes the call there first. It’s an attempt to immediately build up the army, knowing he will need it to win Culloden.

From a TV show point of view, putting it first instead of going back to building up the army made more sense. Jamie and Claire’s focus was on winning. They would naturally want as big of an army as possible, even if it meant going to the worst person on the planet.

I’m surprised in the books that Claire had never heard of Lord Lovat or knew what happened to him unless she does and she hasn’t mentioned it yet—my memory of the story is a bit hazy here. Lord Lovat was the last man to be executed by beheading at Tower Hill. That should have been something Claire had heard about.

Moving on, the TV show opted to change things slightly by having Colum MacKenzie turn up at Beaufort Castle, too. This put two major powerhouses in one room, showing us the differences in their leadership styles. I do wonder whether this was to physically give us those differences instead of using Claire’s voiceover. It was a powerful moment.

The episode in mind was also an attempt to fix a wrong from Outlander Season 1. Claire had told Jamie Laoghaire had tried to have her killed. With that knowledge, Jamie would never have married Laoghaire, but it was needed for Season 3. So, Laoghaire was there when Colum turned up, allowing Laoghaire to apologize and make amends. Many book fans didn’t buy it.

Overall, the episode with Lord Lovat was a good adaptation. We got the important plot points, even though the story was a little out of order. From a TV show perspective, it made a lot of sense to keep the buildup going.

dark. Next. All the Outlander books in chronological order

What did you notice while reading Outlander Book 2, Chapter 40? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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