Outlander Book Club: Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade Chapter 2 breakdown

We learn a little about the Grey brothers' father 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 Chapter 2 gives us a very different side to Lord John Grey. He’s not as compassionate as we know him as in the Outlander books.

I enjoy getting to know Lord John more. We see the side that he shows his friends, a side that he rarely shows Jamie, even when he and Jamie become friends. We definitely didn’t see this side of him when he was with Claire, even in Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.

This is why I don’t really like books written in first person POV. They don’t give us who the people really are, and we’re left to assume their characters based on the personalities that are experienced through eyes of others.

This chapter itself is an important one for the story. It sets up things with the Grey brothers’ father.

Breaking down Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade Chapter 2

The chapter starts with John heading to a military meeting for Hal, and while he’s there, he wonders if having Percy join his regiment is a good idea. What does he actually know about this man?

When he gets home, Hal is in his office dealing with paperwork. John catches Hal up on the meeting and discusses Percy, who Hal likes. There is a piece of paper in his father’s handwriting, and Hal is agitated when he sees what John is looking at. Hal quickly throws it away, explaining that it was part of their father’s journal, which was supposed to have been burned. This piece of paper shows that it is out there and someone has it. What was in it? That’s something Hal doesn’t know, and it could be bad.

Hal is clearly afraid, and he decides that it’s time to explain a few things. They need to take a walk for this. There was a sodomite conspiracy that involved men called Ffoukes, Otway, and Bates. The latter two had been arrested, while Ffoukes had died by suicide. Their conversation is cut short as they see a man on the pavement by the door of a gentleman’s club. There are many people betting on whether this man is dead or alive, and John even tries to join in with the betting.

Hal says that he’s not a “betting man” and decides to call the Watch. The watchman realizes that the man is alive and calls for Dr. Longstreet, who helps revive the man with smelling salts. However, it’s clear this man has had an apoplexy.

This brings Dr. Longstreet to ask Lord John if he’d placed a bet and a discussion about Hal. Well, Hal is a betting man. He’d made a bet that their father wasn’t a traitor. This wager was dated a month after their father’s death, with three men taking up the bet. Lord John decides to add his name to Hal’s entry. There is clearly something going on, but the mystery has only just started.

Could this chapter be used in a TV series adaptation?

Of course, this chapter would need to be used if there was ever an adaptation of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. This chapter brings up the Greys’ father, including his journal and the fact that he was branded a traitor. Hal is sure that his father wasn’t a traitor, but what really happened them? It’s clear foreshadowing that this is something that will come up.

The chapter also gives us a look at a side of John that we don’t usually see. In the Outlander books, he would have called for the Watch like Hal. In this chapter, he’s only 28 and acts a little immature with the betting rather than checking on the man. It’s certainly a sign of upbringing and class, and something that needs to be shown to get a full picture of Lord John Grey and his brother, Hal.

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