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Woman & Home
Laura Harman

Who plays William Ransom in Outlander and does he ever find out Jamie is his father?

Outlander - William Ransom

William Ransom is the illegitimate son of Jamie Fraser and has become a more prominent character in the latest season of Outlander, but will he ever find out who his real father is?

Outlander season 7 has been delighting fans for the past few weeks and many have enjoyed getting to see more of William Ransom, who was first introduced in season 3 of the show. 

For the last few seasons of the show, William has had no idea who his real father is and has been raised by Lord John Grey. However, he has now become a main character in the show and is set to spend more time butting heads with the Fraser clan. Does this mean that he will soon discover that Jamie is his real dad? Here's what we know based on the book series...

*Warning: This article contains spoilers for Outlander season 7 and the books.*

(Image credit: STARZ)

Who plays William Ransom?

In season 7 of the show, Canadian actor Charles Vandervaart has portrayed William Ransom. The actor was born in 2000, and is currently 22 years old, making him just 4 years older than his on-screen character who is 18. 

In season 4 of the show, Oliver Finnegan portrayed William and in season 3 Clark Butler played William. Three actors were used to show William at the different stages of his life. 

Who is William Ransom's mother?

William Ransom was born during season 3 of Outlander when Claire was back in the 20th century and Jamie was in the 18th century serving his parole as a groom for the Dunsanys.

William Ransom was conceived by Geneva Dunsany, the eldest daughter of the family who manipulated and blackmailed Jamie Fraser into taking her virginity before she was married off to Ludovic Ransom, Eighth Earl of Ellesmere. Their one night of passion resulted in her pregnancy just before she was married off to Earl Ellesmere.

Geneva died during childbirth and just moments later her husband was killed by Jamie. In a fit of rage, the Earl became convinced that the newborn wasn't his (which was accurate) and threatened to throw him out of the window. Jamie shot him in order to save the baby and the Earl later died from his injuries.

Geneva's sister, Isobel (Tanya Reynolds) took in the baby and raised him with her husband Lord John Grey as his step-parents. In the first few years of Willie's life, Jamie is present and spends a lot of time with the young boy as he was still the groom for his family. The pair were ultimately separated while Willie was still a young boy.

Following Isobel's death, Lord John Grey raised William on his own and swore to Jamie that William will never know that Jamie is his father, and therefore his inheritance to the Earl of Ellesmere title will never be questioned. 

(Image credit: STARZ)

Does William Ransom ever discover that his father is Jamie Fraser?

Yes. In the seventh book An Echo in the Bone, William works out for himself that Jamie is his real father. William sees John and Jamie talking and suddenly realises that Jamie is his real father. Jamie then confirms the truth and William is furious with his step-father Lord John for keeping this a secret. This story is then further developed in the eighth book.

At the moment, Outlander season 7 is based on the seventh book so William may soon find out that Jamie is his biological father. However, the creators of the show may wish to change the storytelling and have a different way of making this revelation. Some have even suggested that William may already know!

If we cast our minds back to season 4, William once heard Jamie claiming to be his father. This was when William speared a fish in Cherokee territory and is threatened by locals. In order to protect him, Jamie says they should take his blood instead of William's as he is his father.

Of course, William may well have believed that Jamie only said this to protect him, but at the end of his time with the Frasers, he looks back at Jamie wistfully. This seemed to reference an earlier conversation about wanting their paths to cross again. Outlander is always filled with dramatic ups and downs so we will have to wait and see if they choose to mix things up in the show!

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