John Grey is a soldier and a diplomat, who at age sixteen tries to save Claire’s life and her virtue against Jamie, whom he believes intends to hurt her. He is later ashamed to find out he was tricked into this, since he believed it at the time, but uses it as a catalyst to start a friendship with Jamie that borders on romantic in John’s mind. He enjoys spending time with Jamie and discussing literature and playing chess. He lives a relatively normal life, concealing his homosexuality through marriage to Isobel Dunsay, and he greatly enjoys being a surrogate father to Jamie’s son William. He cares a great deal about the people around him and in keeping them happy; he satisfied his wife throughout their marriage, and says he would be capable of ‘fulfilling his duty to another wife’ if that fate befell him. He also confesses that he felt nothing upon learning his wife had died, and he wondered if that was wicked of him, or something normal to feel. He looks after and cares for Briana when he meets her, quickly discerning she is with child and agreeing to help conceal the pregnancy until they can find her husband. John often knows just what to say to people to comfort them or make them feel happy in their current circumstances; he tells Brianna she need not marry him, since her father is going to succeed in finding Roger, he makes peace with Claire even though he’s somewhat jealous of her relationship with Jamie, and he is a warm and loving father to his son. John is a rational and principled man, born to duty and willing to commit to it, but shows very little in the way of intuition – he doesn’t read between the lines well, except in the instances in which he is familiar with a similar situation (such as recognizing sickness in a pregnant woman).

Enneagram: 2w1 so/sp

John is one of the few generous, open-hearted characters in the story who happens to be British to the hilt. He refuses to take advantage of anyone, and often helps them to his own determent—arranging for Jamie to stay alive in the prison, refusing to accept his offer of sex in exchange for a favor, and then agreeing to propose to Brianna and pretend to be her fiancé, even after she tries to blackmail him into it by threatening to expose his homosexuality to others (he could just walk away, suspecting she would never do such a thing, but instead, he is kind to her and protects her instead). He has a strong sense of duty and propriety, is often willing to sacrifice his own desires to do ‘the right thing,’ and represses some of his baser instincts in order to gain acceptance.

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