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Outlander: everything to know about Jamie's secret son who appears in season 7

Charles Vandervaart has been cast as an adult William Ransom

Charles Vandervaart as William Ransom in Outlander
Megan Bull
TV Writer
26 May 2023
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Outlander is almost here, with season seven set to return on June 16. While Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe are reprising their roles as Jamie and Claire Fraser, the latest instalment will also introduce some new cast members, including Charles Vandervaart. Taking on the role of an adult William Ransom – aka Jamie's illegitimate son – the character will feature more heavily in the upcoming series, but what do we know about him? Keep reading for all the details…

WATCH: Outlander season seven – everything you need to know

Who is Jamie Fraser's secret son William Ransom?

William Ransom is the biological son of Jamie Fraser and Geneva Dunsany. Legally, however, he is the son and heir of Ludovic Ransom, Eighth Earl of Ellesmere. 

MORE: Outlander season 7: everything you need to know about the story so far

READ: Outlander's Sam Heughan throwback photo from his 20s will leave you lost for words

William Ransom is the son of Jamie Fraser and Geneva Dunsany© Instagram
William Ransom is the son of Jamie Fraser and Geneva Dunsany

William was conceived during season three of Outlander after Jamie was blackmailed by Geneva into taking her virginity before she wed the much older Earl. The one-night-stand occurred during Jamie and Claire's 20-year separation after she'd travelled back through the stones. 

Throughout the series, William has been kept in the dark about his parentage, believing that Ludovic was his father. His mother, Geneva, died shortly after he was born. She had suffered childbirth complications. Upon Geneva's death, the Earl, convinced that the newborn was not his, threatened to throw William out of the window. Desperate to save him, it was Jamie who shot Ludovic and rescued William. The Earl later died of his injuries. 

David Berry (Lord John Grey) and Charles Vandervaart (William Ransom)© Starz
William has been raised by Lord John Grey

As a result, from the age of six, William has been raised by Lord John Grey, his legal guardian and the husband of Geneva's younger sister, Isobel Dunsany. 

Currently, in the series, only a limited number of people know the truth about William's conception, including Jamie's wife Claire, their daughter Brianna, and Lord John Grey. 

Who is William Ransom actor Charles Vandervaart? 

Charles Vandervaart will join the cast of Outlander season seven, but you may have seen him in other popular TV series. A Canadian actor, he has appeared as Jacob in The Craft: Legacy (2020) and Liam in the 2021 series, Lost in Space. Charles has also starred in Holly Hobbie, Murdoch Mysteries and October Faction

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After it was announced that Charles had been cast as William, executive producer Maril Davis explained why he was the right fit. "The character of William Ransom is a wonderful role, and one fans have been eager to see," she said. "Finding someone with the talent and physicality to play Jamie's son was a daunting task, but Charles' charisma was evident during the audition process and we are excited to see what he will bring to William's multi-layered journey."

Charles has also shared his excitement at the news. Taking to Instagram, he wrote: "Thank you so much for the warm welcome to the Outlander family! I'm so excited to get to work on this wonderful show. Such a fantastic cast and crew. I'm overwhelmed by all the love and kindness that has come my way since they announced me as Willie. Time to get to work!"

See more photos from season seven of Outlander

Sam Heughan in Outlander season seven
Sam Heughan in Outlander season seven
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in season seven
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe as Jamie and Claire
John Bell as Young Ian in Outlander
John Bell as Young Ian
Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton in season seven
Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton in season seven

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