Outlander fans are curious to know more about the relationship between William Ransom and his secret biological father Jamie Fraser.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers from all seasons of Outlander and the Outlander novelsDoes William know Jamie Fraser was Mac at Helwater?
Season four of Outlander, which is adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s Drums of Autumn, saw Lord John Grey (David Berry) turn up at Fraser’s Ridge unexpectedly.
He had his foster son William Ransom (Oliver Finnegan) with him and told Jamie and Claire (Caitríona Balfe) how his wife Isobel Dunsany (Tanya Reynolds) had died on the voyage over to the New World.
Jamie met his son again, now aged 10, with the boy and the Highlander spending more time together after Lord John came down with measles and Claire was forced to quarantine with him in the cabin.
William and Jamie were sent away to hunt and to protect the pair of them from the deadly illness.
Season seven of Outlander will be premiering in June and promises an epic adventure for fans with a total of 16 episodes. US network Starz has split the season over two blocks with the first half airing this year and the remaining half coming out in 2024. The new series will introduce an adult version of Jamie Fraser’s (played by Sam Heughan) secret son William Ransom (Charles Vandervaart) with many curious about the relationship between the two and if the young British soldier knows about his true parentage.
During this time, William didn’t seem to show any signs of recognising Jamie as Mac the groom from Helwater – the name the Outlander hero gave himself to hide his true identity as a Jacobite rebel.
Nonetheless, William spoke fondly of Mac, which was some comfort for Jamie as it suggested his son hadn’t forgotten him after all.
Sadly, Jamie had to keep hidden the truth about being William’s father or risk the boy losing his titles and estate as an illegitimate child.
The moment also allowed Jamie to spend some quality time with William and gave them a chance to bond with the youngster still in the dark.
Moreover, Jamie had to lie and say William was his son to protect him when the boy tried to take a fish from the Native Americans and the tribesman wanted payment for it.
Jamie gave his blood in place of William to spare the boy pain and suffering with the child believing it was all a ruse and unaware of the truth in his words.
Season seven is again likely to address this tension between Jamie and William with the secret hanging over their heads.
In the seventh novel, William even dreams about Mac the groom, who saves him in his nightmares which seems to suggest the servant made a big impression on him.
In the books, Young Ian Murray (John Bell) has an inkling William and his uncle Jamie are kin when he sees similarities between the pair.
Brianna MacKenzie (Sophie Skelton) is also aware she has a half-brother but knows she can’t say anything either – something which again is likely to be addressed at some point.
Claire knows the truth as well and is pained by William as it’s a symbol of her husband’s infidelity – even though Jamie was blackmailed. But also William is a living, breathing reminder of the time the couple lost when she went back to the future and the children they were never able to have together.
William is also likely to remind Claire of her own stillborn baby Faith Fraser from her time in France and cause more pain.
Outlander actor and producer Heughan previously said of the moment between William and Jamie in season four: “The stuff with Willie, for me and for Jamie, was really interesting stuff, to see where that relationship has gone to and developed.”
Heughan went on to add how the meeting seemed to cause “an awakening in Willie as to who his father might actually be”.
The star said he’d been looking forward to playing out the scenes as it was a big moment for Jamie.
Adding to Pop Sugar in 2018: “[David Berry and Oliver Finnegan] are great actors as well, so it was a nice side story for Jamie and Claire this season.”