Outlander: Black Jack Randall is definitely a sociopath
Diana Gabaldon confirms that Outlander’s Black Jack Randall is not a psychopath
There’s no doubt that Black Jack Randall is an Outlander character to hate. However, whether he’s a psychopath or a sociopath has been something fans have debated for quite some time. Diana Gabaldon confirms what he is.
It turns out that he’s a sociopath. This is evident in the love he has for his brother, but also the way he acts towards other people. There is an element of sadism in him, but it all comes down to that sociopathic nature.
Gabaldon also says it’s nature, and that most sociopaths are not made. They are just born that way. We’ll get into that as we look into the difference between the two.
What’s the difference between psychopath and sociopath
Is there really that much of a difference? Aren’t the two types of people still just as dangerous and deadly? Well, there’s a difference in the way they’re raised and the way they mimic behaviors in society.
He’s a sociopath–those people tend to be born, not made.
— Diana Gabaldon (@Writer_DG) August 6, 2020
According to Psychology Today, Black Jack Randall certainly fits the description of a sociopath. A sociopath is someone who is prone to violent outbursts. They lack some self-control, and it’s possible for them to form some attachments to people but not everyone.
In Black Jack Randall’s case, he formed an attachment to his brother. However, he was never able to control his emotions. While not in the books, in the show, Tobias Menzies opted for the beating of BJR’s dead brother. It was that outburst of emotion that does fit in with being a sociopath.
However, something that doesn’t quite fit Diana Gabaldon’s statement is that past trauma, history of abuse, or even a troubled childhood can create sociopaths. The article suggests that most sociopaths are made and not about genetics, which would certainly fit another notorious Outlander villain: Stephen Bonnet.
Psychopaths tend to be developed from a brain injury or genetics. However, other parts of being a psychopath don’t fit Black Jack Randall. Psychopaths don’t tend to form attachments with people. They do lack empathy though, which is something we’ve seen in Black Jack Randall.
Not all characters are going to tick one box. Likewise, not all people in real life tick one box. We’ll just go with the author on this since she’s the one that created the character. Black Jack Randall is a sociopath.