Outlander Lord John Cast Ideas

Outlander's Lord John Grey: A Son of Anarchy, a Downton Dude and 8 More Possibilities for the Series-Crucial Role

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.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. CourtTV says:

    Very good choices. I could see several as LJG. Fox is the closest in my imagination but I suspect an unknown in the role.

    • Katie_Mead says:

      I’m with you on this – Lawrence Fox (or his younger brother Jack for someone lesser known) come awfully close to the Lord John built up in my imagination.

  2. Samantha says:

    Some very nice suggestions. Loved Oliver Jackson-Cohen in World Without End. Hunnam, Kwanten, or Stevens are all wonderful.

  3. Ian says:

    I’m almost sure theyre not going to go with anyone with much name recognition. And there’s no way they’ll cast someone as masculine as Sam.
    I also think its more important to hope the show finally gives a positive and equal representation of homosexuality, than the casting. It wont matter who they get if the character isnt done well.

  4. Zoe says:

    Man, it’s really hard to cast this series, as the books cover the span of 35 years. Jamie starts as 22 years old kid and he is 57 or 58 in the last book while Claire is in her early 60. They have a grown up daughter and horde of grandchildren, who age almost ten years in the span of 3 books. And then there is Lord John who starts as 16 years old and is probably 50 in the last book. It’s awfully tricky to cast the show in believable manner.

    • follias says:

      I’m not so worried about the aging issue with the cast members as I am my own aging. As I read your comment, it occurred to me that with the length of these droughtlanders there’s a good chance I won’t even be around to see the final episodes. And, If I am, will I still remember the first few seasons?
      I do agree that the span from 16 to 50 is a hard for one actor to portray. But I can see both Cait and Sam capable of making the transition. Casting them a bit older was a wise move.

      • susan1859 says:

        I feel the same way! I’m 56 & glad DG is not a young writer, but neither of us is getting any younger, and I live to see the end of the series. Wish she’d get the next book published already!

  5. Jimmy says:

    Hunnam and Kwanten are terrible choices. Dan Stevens would make a great Lord John.

    • Lynn says:

      Dan Stevens is my pick too!

    • FraserPhan says:

      First time I saw Dan Stevens on Downton Abbey (thus, before Outlander was even greenlit as a series), I thought to myself “Wow, this guy would make an excellent Lord John.” One can only hope, but, given the casting choices so far I’m sure I’ll be happy with whomever lands the role.

  6. Christine says:

    Dan Stevens!

  7. Lynn says:

    Dan Stevens is exactly who I envision. Loved him as Matthew Crawley and would love him as John Grey.

  8. Kim says:

    Dan Stevens definitely my pick !!

  9. Jennifer says:

    Bradley James….nuff said.

  10. Kathryn says:

    Jamie Campbell Bower.

  11. Tawnia says:

    Initially I was thinking Jamie Campbell Bower but I’m loving the idea of Dan Stevens.

  12. Gail says:

    We all LOVED Dan Stevens in Downton Abbey. Yes, he broke all of our hearts but we can forgive him if he joins the Outlander cast. He has the looks, physique, extremely talented in all genres of acting. After having a chance to spread his wings and experiment with Broadway, movies and indie films, I bet he would love the chance to settle into a long term character while at the same time, having the ability to work on other interests during hiatus.

    • Isobel says:

      Hm given he’s the lead in Disney’s beauty and the beast, he might be wanting to move into working in Hollywood on movies permanently

    • Sara says:

      Didn’t he decide to leave Downtown Abbey precisely *because* he didn’t want to settle into a long term character? I really don’t see him taking on another television series role, especially one with such long term needs.

  13. isabel says:

    neil jackson. i can see him from the books.

  14. zac says:

    How about Mitch Hewer from Skins(w/c he played a gay character)? He’s blonde and 26 and British

    • EJ386 says:

      Besides the fact that his hair was dyed… he hasn’t acted a lot after skins. Which does’t bode well for his talents. Loved him as Maxxie, but wouldn’t want to see him as LJG

  15. Erin says:

    maybe noel fisher from shameless

  16. Shaun says:

    I like Tom Felton,Rupert Friend and Dan Stevens.Adult John will have to last a long time and maybe have some aging done on him in the end.

  17. Kristin says:

    Either Dan Stevens or Tom Felton would be a good lord John Grey.

  18. Theresa says:

    Charlie Hunnam or Ryan Kwanten . Would be awesome .

  19. Guest says:

    First choice for me is.. 1) Jamie bower, 2) Tom felton and 3) Ryan k (from true blood) but I reallllllly hope bower goes in for the role he’d be perfect!

  20. niloofar says:

    NO to Rupert Friend, not that he won’t be great, he will be back on Homeland.

  21. Anne Boleyn says:

    Laurence Fox without a doubt!

  22. There are some really good possibilities but what about Jamie Campbell Bower?

  23. Cherie says:

    Dan Stevenson or Rueprt, but Starz usually pulls them out of left field. I trust their choice, but love to fantasize as do the rest of the Outlander fandom

    • Debbie yonaka says:

      I dont think starz does the casting…but you are right the producers tend to pick relative unknowns…but so far they have done a verra bonnie job!

  24. Pita Pocket says:

    Freddie Fox fits the description perfectly in all ways.

  25. Cheryl says:

    OMG as soon as I saw Tom Felton I thought of Lord John Grey! That would be a great choice. Light hair and complexion. Perfect!

  26. Blk says:

    Ok first of all can we stop talking about hair color. Second as long as they cast someone like say Dan Stevens. Ill be happy. For me it’s more about the person’s ability bring the character to life. NO BIG NAME ACTORS PLEASE!!!!!!

  27. Josie says:

    Lord John is not such a huge character and commitment for an actor really. Sure, he is important in book 3 and plays a big role in books 7-8 but we don’t know if the show lasts that long. He will be only needed for a couple of episodes in the possible season 4 and he doesn’t appear in books 5-6 at all sans via his letters to Jamie.
    I think Young Ian Murray is the most important character to cast after Brianna and Roger.

    • Anna Bolic says:

      You’re right on both counts. LJG is a recurring character, not a regular, so any actor cast would have plenty of leeway to take other work without it affecting the show. Young Ian is another story, although he is also absent in book 5 for reasons I’m sure you know. ;)

    • Debbie yonaka says:

      I completely agreevwith you on both counts!

  28. Ginny says:

    I like Simon Baker ( The Mentalist ) for adult Lord John.

  29. Anna Bolic says:

    Whoever thought the 6’2″, 200 lb., beefy-faced Alan Ritchson would make a good Lord John must have been smoking something funny the day this list was compiled.

    • Anna Bolic says:

      Btw, I don’t mean anything insulting when I say “beefy-faced.” I just mean he’s not “fine-boned” like Rupert Friend or Simon Baker. Ritchson looks like a classic All-American jock, not an elegant English lord.

  30. Jill says:

    The choices listed are all fine, however, I would like to see Rupert Friend in the part of those listed. However, I always thought Jude Law would make to best Lord John.

  31. Carole Ahmadi says:

    Rupert Friend should be cast as Lord John Grey

  32. Charlene Hagendorf says:

    Tom mixon

  33. Dianna says:

    Wow, great choices! Hard to pick just one. My top two…think no. 1 & alternate😏 Dan Stevens and Rupert Friend.

    • Susan Watson says:

      Dianna, we think alike. . .Rupert Friend has a “pretty” look that fits my mental image of LJG, but he isn’t feminine. . .Dan Stevens would work because of those piercing blue eyes and that voice, even though he isn’t “pretty.” I always imagined LJG looking like blond Orlando Bloom in the Ring movie. . .pretty but masculine.

  34. Ninamags says:

    Is Orlando Bloom too old? What?? He looks perfectly acceptable as a blond.

  35. Michelle says:

    I vote, Dan, Ryan or Charlie!

  36. Pati says:

    hell no to Tom Felton, no no and no.

    If they cast Rupert Friend or Oliver Jackson Cohen I will die. They would be perfect. Rupert Friend really would be perfect and Oliver is just so hot lol

    Ryan Kwanten wouldn’t really fit but I miss him on TV.

    I didn’t know they had already cast the younger version, I’ll have to look him up.

  37. Debbie yonaka says:

    I immediately thought of the actor who played matthew crawley!!! Dan stevens fits the role. Definitely aristocratic brit, not overly hunky. More delicate looking as I envision lord john. Next choice would be mr cohen.

  38. di says:

    I would love to see Adam Campbell in the role.

  39. Von says:

    If I had only these to choose from then it would be- Rupert Friend first then Tom Mison and thirdly Dan Stevens. I’ve seen both Rupert & Dan in period dramas and know they would look the part with correct make-overs. Tom seems to have the right look.
    However, I hope we will see a newcomer in this role who will make it his own and win us over just like Sam did.
    I think Laurence is totally wrong.

  40. susan1859 says:

    What about Paul Bettany? He’s 44 but looks younger. Only problem is he’s 6’3″. Isn’t LJG supposed to be shorter?

  41. Isoke says:

    Not the child from HP definitely NOT but Hunnam or the dude from Sleepy Hollow for sure CH number one choice but it would mess up the character if Draco got the role….he exudes sinister and LJG is Not sinister

  42. ai4x4 says:

    Once I got to Dan Stevens, I didn’t need to look any further. He would be just perfect!

  43. Bj says:

    Neil Jackson looks ideal.

  44. Robin says:

    Every time I see John Dickerson from “Face the Nation” on CBS, I think that’s what Lord John would look like!

  45. scmaize says:

    I like Toby Regbo or Tom Payne as Lord John Grey.

  46. nanci parker says:

    I think Tom Felton is the perfect choice

  47. Kay_B says:

    I think David Anders would be a great Lord John Grey!

  48. Irene says:

    Oliver Jackson has those intense eyes and Ryan Kwanten looks good also. Both good actors. I like Oliver. The chemistry should be seen and felt by Sam, really. He should have a say so in order to make the scenes as real as possible.

  49. Carol Marcotte says:

    Tom Mison has my vote for LJG in #Outlander. The most fine boned of the actors shown in the pictures.