Outlander Book Club: The Fiery Cross Chapter 22 breakdown

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /
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Outlander, Sam Heughan
Outlander — Courtesy of Robert Wilson, STARZ /

Foreshadowing in the Outlander chapter

This chapter sets up the plot for calling on the men, and the eventual use of the militia. It sets up things moving forward to make sure the whole family and the tenants on the Ridge are on the right side of history.

However, that’s not real foreshadowing. Foreshadowing comes in the details, and some of that comes from the mention of the bread in the surgery. Maybe I missed something about penicillin, but I don’t think I did. Claire hasn’t told anyone that she’s using experiments to make penicillin.

This has clearly come off the back of Josiah Beardsley needing his tonsils out, but we’ve had no real hint that this is coming. Claire may not be able to change the history of the American Revolutionary War and what’s to come before that, but she can make a small change in the medical care of people on the Ridge.

I think we also get a hint that the cross is going to mean a lot to Claire and Brianna, especially Brianna, in other ways. The way Bree was so startled says a lot, even if we didn’t get to hear her thoughts about it.

Adapting The Fiery Cross chapter

A lot of this chapter wasn’t used on Outlander Season 5. When it came to the surgery part, the Chrisholms weren’t living in the house in the show, which was likely due to keeping the cast to a minimum and reducing the time needed for particular storylines.

Instead, we did get Mrs. Bug commenting about all the loaves of bread Claire had made. Bree knew that the bread was for experiments. While it wouldn’t have happened in the time as Claire and Jamie wouldn’t have had the money to waste on all that bread (food scraps were used instead), it was a quick way to show just how Claire planned to make penicillin.

The moment of Jamie in the river was kept in the series. It is an important moment, even if the part of explaining the differences between the militia and Culloden wasn’t included. We needed to see Jamie’s ritual and have him explain that he’d made his peace with Dougal a long time ago.

The discussion about things to come was included in the show, but not at the river. You see, the river scene was held for just before Alamance, which held a heavier weight for Jamie because Murtagh was on the opposite side. The cross was used in the premiere episode so that discussion had to be moved forward in the show.

It all worked for me. And for those who watched the show first, there likely wouldn’t have been that much of a problem. I understand why book-first fans want things to be as in the books, but that doesn’t always translate well for the TV show.

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What did you spot while reading The Fiery Cross Chapter 22? Let us know in the comments below.

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