The new year is here, but the Droughtlander goes on.
The wait for the return of Outlander seems interminable, doesn’t it? And because we’re the impatient sort, we decided to keep busy by playing armchair casting director for an upcoming crucial role in the time-travel historical drama.
Spoiler alert: If you’re at all worried about spoilers — both about the Starz series and the Diana Gabaldon novels on which it’s based — you should bail out of this post right now. Cool?
Now we’re not talking about Claire and Jamie’s daughter Brianna, who (like the recently cast Roger) will show up sometime in Season 2. We’re looking even farther ahead and throwing together some ideas for the best person to play the grown-up Lord John Grey.
Earlier this year, Outlander cast Oscar Kennedy as the teen version of John; young Master Grey will appear in Season 2 when he accidentally comes across Claire and Jamie Fraser and mistakenly believes she’s been taken prisoner by the Scot. That interaction is the first, but certainly not the last, time that John and the Frasers cross paths.
No, seriously: If you haven’t read the books and don’t want to know what’s ahead, leave now.
Lord John next turns up in Voyager, the third book in the series (which likely will correspond to the not-yet-confirmed third season of the drama), as the governor of Ardsmuir Prison where Jamie is an inmate. The two strike up an improbable friendship in spite of the fact that Grey is a closeted gay man with feelings for Frasier, who does not return them.
In Voyager, Grey is described as 26, blonde and “fine boned” with “a fair-complexioned face and girlish lashes that made him look still younger than his years.” Later, he is characterized as genteel, educated and intuitive, with a soldier’s body and a discreet manner.
If the Starz series stays as true to the books as it has so far, Lord John will be around for a long time to come — so getting the right person in the part is key. And while it’s very possible that the show will continue its tradition of casting relative unknowns, we thought we’d pull together this list of actors we wouldn’t mind seeing in the role.
You’ll notice that all of the actors are older than 26, and many are not blonde. To the first criticism, we say: Sam Heughan is in his mid-30s, though Jamie is in his 20s at the start of the series. And to the second, we have two words: hair dye.
Click through the gallery below to see who we’d cast as Lord John Grey — you’ll see familiar faces from Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, Downton Abbey, Homeland and more — then hit the comments with your pick for the plum part.