Outlander Season 7 will see the return of a character that fans haven’t seen in years — William Ransom. He was the child that Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) fathered with Lady Geneva Dunsany (Hannah James). And according to star Sophie Skelton — who plays Jamie’s daughter and William’s sister, Brianna — Jamie’s past mistake still “pains” Claire (Caitriona Balfe) to this day.
Jamie Fraser fathered a child while at Helwater in ‘Outlander’ Season 3
Fans will recall in season 3, Jamie went from Ardsmuir Prison to the Helwater Estate, where he worked for years as an indentured servant. His time there proved to be quite complicated because his one night with Geneva produced a son named William.
Jamie was allowed to watch his son grow up, but he could never tell him the truth about his paternity. William has always believed that Geneva’s husband — the late Ludovic Ransom, the Eighth Earl of Ellesmere (James Cameron Stewart) — was his father.
After Geneva’s death, William was raised by her sister Isobel (Tanya Reynolds) and her husband Lord John Grey (David Berry).
Ultimately, Jamie had to leave Helwater because William was starting to look more and more like him. If anyone found out he was William’s father, it would endanger his child and threaten his title and inheritance.
Jamie’s past mistake still ‘pains’ Claire, says Sophie Skelton
While speaking about William’s return in season 7 as an adult — played by Charles Vandervaart — Outlander star Sophie Skelton told Express that even though Jamie was blackmailed into sleeping with Geneva and wasn’t actually in love with her, William’s presence could be difficult for Claire in season 7 simply because he’s a constant reminder of Jamie’s infidelity.
Skelton noted how her character felt about being kept in the dark about Jamie being her father, not Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), as well as not knowing about her half-brother.
“I think she’s old enough to see past ‘lies’ now and looks more toward the reasons the lies took place. The lies protected everyone, including Frank. Maybe mostly Frank and that is something she will forever be grateful for,” Skelton said.
“Regarding William, again I think this is something that pains Claire to this day and it wasn’t really Brianna’s secret to know. Wishes on deathbeds were made and she was told when the time was right. I think she can respect both the value of a promise and the value of timing. At first, and at the young and complicated age she was when she found it, it wasn’t an easy one for her.”
William Ransom will be an important part of ‘Outlander’ Season 7
The upcoming season of Outlander is partly based on Diana Gabaldon’s book An Echo In the Bone, which introduces William Ransom as a young adult. He plays an important role in a few different storylines and is a direct connection between Denzell Hunter (Joey Phillips) and Dorothea Grey, as well as Rachel Hunter (Izzy Meikle-Small) and the Frasers.
There’s also a point where William gets lost in the woods, and he’s found by Young Ian (John Bell) and Rollo. However, throughout all of this, William doesn’t meet Jamie for quite a while. It’s not until the end of the book that they come face to face — and William sees the resemblance between him and the man he doesn’t know is his real father.
Outlander Seasons 1 through 6 are now playing on the Starz app.