Outlander Book Club: Lord John and the Succubus Chapter 4 breakdown

Lord John Grey gets a little information from the Prussian Army in Lord John and the Succubus Chapter 4. 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 Grey wants to get to the bottom of who is killing men in Lord John and the Succubus Chapter 4. That means paying a visit to the Prussian Army that is stationed by the bridge.

This isn’t just an important chapter for the murder mystery. We also get some important details about John’s life at the time of Culloden. We learn something about him that explains a lot about his reaction to Jamie when it came to Jamie’s offer when asking John to look after Willie.

Let’s dive into the chapter and see if it’s one that would be used in the TV series if there ever was one.

Breaking down Lord John and the Succubus Chapter 4

The chapter starts with Lord John heading to the bridge, where the Prussian Army is. It’s clear that the Prussian Army isn’t all that well equipped if the French do try to get over the bridge. They only have two guns trained on the bridge.

John wants to get to the bottom of the murder, though. He ends up chatting with some of the men. He already knows that there are rumors of a succubus, but he doesn’t want to entertain them. However, the conversation does flow into the supernatural and some of these fears.

There is a moment where one soldier shares that he heard the cry of a young child. Some of the soldiers taunt him about his sexual preferences, and that almost starts a fight. Lord John helps to calm things down, and he tells the soldier to take it as a joke. That’s the way it was meant. However, it’s clear that this soldier is gay.

John starts to think about the time just after Culloden. We learn that he was attacked in his sleep one night, and he wouldn’t wish for that sort of attack to happen on anyone else. It left him with physical and emotional damage. This attack has shaped Lord John Grey into the man that he is now. He will not allow anyone to touch him without his say so again.

There does end up being a mention of the Gypsy women and the French. It turns out that the Gypsies are able to cross the bridge easily, so John wonders if the French are behind this.

Could this chapter be used in a TV series adaptation?

If this story was used for an adaptation, I could see some of this chapter being used. The problem with the end part is that it is all internalized. There is nobody for John to talk to about the events. While we could have some memories, they need to be well placed and these memories are better off with a discussion with someone to bring us context.

However, the part of the story talking to the soldiers is important. After all, we get this connection to the Gypsy women and the French, and there is also that mention of the young child’s voice. These have to connect to something bigger in a story like this. I haven’t read this short story before, so I’m not actually sure how it plays out. Even if the connections aren’t there, this is a great red herring to throw in.

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