Outlander Book Club: Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade Chapter 1 breakdown

Lord John realizes he already knows his soon-to-be stepbrother in Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. Here's our breakdown of the chapter.
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ
Outlander Season 6 -- Courtesy of Robert Wilson/STARZ /

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade starts off another mystery. This one is more personal than the ones that have come before.

Before we can get into the mystery, we need to know what’s going on. Lord John’s mother is getting married for the third time. His father died a day after his 12th birthday, and it’s clear that there are some issues around his father’s death.

However, the focus for this chapter is on meeting his soon-to-be stepfather. That leads to his soon-to-be stepbrother also introduced, and John already knows him.

Breaking down Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade Chapter 1

The chapter starts with Lord John and Hal meeting at The Society of Appreciation of the English Beefsteak. They are there to meet the man their mother is marrying, General Sir George Stanley. We learn a little more about the two brothers and their father, who gifted them both identical pocket watches—that go off at exactly the same time—for their 12th birthdays. John was a day older than 12 when his dad died.

The general turns up, apologizing that his son has joined them. That son is Percy Wainwright, who we met in Lord John and the Private Matter. Percy and John met at the Lavendar House. However, the initial awkwardness of that is forgotten when Percy calls Hal “Your Grace.” While that is suitable considering he is a duke, Hal goes by the Earl of Melton title, so the title isn’t right.

While they eat, the general brings up that he wants to buy Percy a commission. He just isn’t sure where. John offers to give Percy a tour of the Forthy-sixth’s quarters, which would then make them brothers-in-arms as well. It’s clear that there is some flirtation between John and Percy throughout the meal.

Currently, John lives with his mother. Would that change with the marriage. Hal wants John to stay with his mother to keep his eye on things, and the general shares that he will be heading to the West Indies with his regiment. It looks like John is remaining at his mother’s house.

Their meal ends with John and Percy bonding over French novelists, much to Hal’s dismay, and it’s clear that the two are interested in each other in many other ways. It’s not exactly incest, is it? I love that this comes up!

When John gets home, he talks to Tom Byrd, who has been with John since The Private Matter. The topic of the general moving in comes up. How will that affect Tom? Another thing to think about is whether he would have to serve as valet to Percy as well. There is a comment from Tom about how John won’t have to share a bed with Percy—something he had to do with his five brothers well into adulthood. Of course, that doesn’t sound too bad to John. However, their focus turns to the wedding, with Tom reminding John to visit his tailor before going to France with his regiment.

I love how the seeds of things between John and Percy are being dropped. We also know that Hal has figured it all out, and while he will protect his brother, he is not supportive of this relationship. I think it’s interesting how quickly John has moved on again. Considering what we know of his obsession with Jamie in the Outlander books, it’s interesting to see how quickly he moves on from man to man in the novellas.

Could this chapter be used in a TV series adaptation?

If Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade was used for a TV series or a couple of episodes, we would need this chapter. It sets up things for the wedding and introduces Percy. It wouldn’t need to take a lot of time, and it could include some of the mysteries that come up later if the show needed to cut down and combine.

I would love to see scenes with Hal and John together. This is the best way to get to know more about the family and more about who John is as a person.

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