Outlander Book Club: Drums of Autumn Chapter 34 breakdown

Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 -- Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /
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Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ
Outlander Season 4 — Courtesy of Aimee Spinks/STARZ /

Foreshadowing in the Outlander chapter

There is a little bit of foreshadowing in Drums of Autumn Chapter 34. A lot of it is focused on the dangers of the colonies, making it clear that something is going to happen. That continues in the next chapter.

We also get a bit of foreshadowing about Lallybroch. Brianna may not want the place while her cousins are around, but there is always in the 20th century. We know what happens when Brianna and Roger go back through the stones to save one of their children medically. They end up back at Lallybroch, where Bree eventually gets what would have been her birthright.

I think there’s also a bit of foreshadowing in the mention of Claire’s fetch. Laoghaire mentions Jenny seeing Claire’s fetch at Jamie and Laoghaire’s wedding. Bree then asks Ian about it while they talk. Ian mentions that seeing a fetch is a bad sign.

He says that you never want to see your own fetch. That means you’re going to die, but I think Jenny seeing Claire’s fetch is a bad sign. And it’s not just that Laoghaire and Jamie’s marriage was doomed. Jenny is going to lose Ian relatively soon to consumption.

Claire can’t save him, but Jenny feels the need to blame someone for Ian’s death, and Claire is that person. We get the foreshadowing of this in Ian’s description of seeing a fetch as a bad thing.

Adapting the Drums of Autumn chapter

Outlander Book 4, Chapter 34 couldn’t be used for the TV series. Laura Donnelly wasn’t available to film, which meant everything involving Jenny had to be reconsidered.

The show managed to explain Jenny’s disappearance at the very end of the episode, but there’s no way we could have gone a whole episode of Bree at Lallybroch without Jenny there. It’s simply not feasible that Jenny would have missed the opportunity of seeing Jamie’s grown daughter. Especially not with the way Jenny acted with Brianna in the chapter.

But I also think the TV show changes were useful for another reason. While I think the decision to have Brianna walk from the stones to Lallybroch was ridiculous, having Laoghaire take her in was perfect. We got to see a different side to Laoghaire (a side that we’d never see with Claire around) and got to know Joan more.

Adapting the chapter in this way also helped to give us Brianna’s feelings and emotions. The book has a lot of Brianna thinking. She doesn’t speak a lot to the people around her, especially not about her feelings meeting her family. It’s very hard to show thoughts on the screen.

I also preferred the focus on Frank in the show. Earlier in Drums of Autumn, we had Brianna thinking about Frank. There was a part of her that struggled to work out who she was and a tiny bit of her feeling guilty for wanting to know Jamie more. Voyager also offered a little bit of that. The show didn’t get a chance to do that up to this point, but Outlander Season 4, Episode 7 managed to do it.

In the end, Bree did get to meet Ian Murray. It is a shame we didn’t see the pearls come out and the big argument with Laoghaire, but I loved that we saw Joan step up, making it clear she’s nothing like her mother. And I love that we got to see Brianna’s guilt and that connection to Frank. It was important, for me, for Brianna’s character growth.

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What did you spot while reading Drums of Autumn Chapter 34? Let us know in the comments below.

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