25 Days of Claire-mas Day 18: Could Claire have ever saved Ian Murray in Outlander?

Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ
Outlander -- Courtesy of STARZ /

On the 18th day of Claire-mas, we take a look at whether Claire ever stood a chance to save Ian Murray when she returned to Lallybroch.

Caution: If you’re not a book reader, there are spoilers from An Echo in the Bone in this post. This storyline is very likely to play out in Outlander Season 7. Take a look at the first day of Claire-mas post for all the previous ones we’ve done in case you’ve missed them.

During An Echo in the Bone, Claire and Jamie return to Scotland. It’s not for good, but they want to get Young Ian back home. After all, Jamie always promised to get Ian back to his parents, but things happened that were out of his control.

So, the time has come. When they get there, they learn that it’s just in time to say goodbye to someone very important.

It’s all about Ian Murray, Young Ian’s father. It turns out that he’s very close to death. In fact, Jamie is there for Ian’s death, and it is a heartbreaking part of the book. Jenny thinks that Claire arriving is just in time. Surely she can now save Ian from death.

Claire-mas Day 18: Claire couldn’t have saved Ian Murray in Outlander

Jenny thinks that Claire is holding a grudge. Jenny encouraged Jamie to marry Laoghaire, and Jenny is sure that the grudge is the reason Claire won’t save Ian. It’s a way to punish Jenny.

That’s not the case, though. There was no chance that Claire could have saved Ian, even if she got to him earlier. Ian had consumption, as it was known back in the day. That is what tuberculosis was known as, and it was a disease that didn’t have a cure. Even now, people are encouraged to get vaccinated if they’re going to a country with TB so they don’t need to go through the medication to cure it.

Claire didn’t have the medicine on hand to help cure Ian. Penicillin wouldn’t have been enough to fight against the bacteria in Ian’s lungs. Treatments for TB were around from the 1940s, but Claire wouldn’t have been able to bring them back to the 18th century with her.

Even now, TB is one of the world’s deadliest diseases. Claire knew right away that she was way too late for Ian with modern medicine, but there was nothing she could have done even if she had been there earlier.

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