The seventh season of Starz’s historical series ‘Outlander’ follows William Ransom’s participation in the Revolutionary War as he fights for the British Army against the Rebels. As William prepares to leave for the British camp, his biological father Jamie Fraser sees him and decides to leave for Scotland to avoid standing against his own son on the battlefield. Jamie, however, ends up fighting against William’s forces in the seventh and eighth episodes of the season. In the eighth episode, William meets Jamie without knowing that the man is his father. Naturally, the viewers may want to know whether the young soldier ever discovers the truth about his birth. Well, here’s our take on it! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Does William Find Out Jamie is His Father?
William is the illegitimate son of Jamie Fraser. He was conceived when Jamie was working at the stable of the Dunsanys as a groom. At the time, Geneva Dunsany got engaged to marry the Earl of Ellesmere, an older man in comparison with the former. Before getting married to the Earl, Geneva blackmailed Jamie to sleep with her and take her virginity. Jamie, who was serving parole at the time, ended up having sex with Geneva, only for her to eventually get pregnant with William. Geneva and her husband died when he was a child, which led him to the care of his mother’s sister Isobel, and her husband Lord John Grey.
William grew up considering John and Isobel as his stepfather and stepmother respectively. Although John knows the truth about William’s father, he has promised himself and Jamie he will never reveal the same to the latter’s son. When William becomes a young man, he joins the British Army to fight for the Crown and against the Rebels. Jamie doesn’t want William to know about his true parentage since such a startling revelation may make him identify himself as a bastard. That’s the reason why Jamie chooses to fight against William and his fellow soldiers over revealing the truth about the letter being his son to the young soldier.
Although we will have to wait for the second part of the seventh season to find out whether William learns that Jamie is his father, the same can be expected because William learns about his father’s real identity in Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ novels, the source texts of the show. In the source novels, William realizes that Jamie is his father after the latter’s departure to Scotland with his wife Claire Fraser and nephew Young Ian. In ‘An Echo in the Bone,’ the seventh book in the novel series, Claire arrives in Scotland with Jamie and Ian but returns to America soon to treat Fergus and Marsali’s son Henri-Christian.
Jamie intends to follow Claire with his sister Jenny on a ship named Euterpe but postpones the journey at the last minute. When Euterpe sinks into the sea, John Grey believes that Jamie died. Meanwhile, Captain Richardson informs John that he intends to arrest Claire upon pinning espionage charges on her. John then marries Claire to protect her. Jamie eventually returns to America and ends up in John’s place to reunite with his wife, only for William to meet him and get stunned upon seeing the resemblance between them. He realizes that Jamie is his real father and his doubts are cleared by the latter, who confirms the same to his son.
William loses his composure and throws the rosary Jamie gave to him as a child at his father. He then talks to Claire about Jamie and Geneva to “Mother Claire.” The conversation, however, doesn’t reduce his anger and frustration. In ‘Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,’ the eighth book in the novel series, William struggles severely to accept that he is a bastard who doesn’t deserve the title of the Earl of Ellesmere. Since he cannot reveal the truth to the world, he gets burdened by his earldom. He also expresses his anger towards John for lying to him throughout his life.
Since the show is expected to follow the pivotal development in the novel series, we can expect William to learn that Jamie is his real father. Since William doesn’t identify Jamie as his father just by seeing him in the eighth episode of season 7, the writers of the historical drama may conceive a new plot point in which William comes to know the truth about his parentage.