Nathan parsons on General Hospital as Ethan
Credit: Sean Smith/JPI

Ever since we learned that General Hospital‘s Victor had kidnapped Ethan to keep Holly under control, it was all but inevitable that we’d see him sooner or later. And that got fans buzzing at the thought of him making his big return — especially with the show celebrating its 60th anniversary. It’s the perfect time to bring back familiar faces!

And then, on Monday, April 17, fans finally got their wish as Holly and Felicia finally found Ethan — as he was being auctioned off for the highest bidder to kill him! Ethan was brought out covered in a hood and then, for the grand reveal it was whipped off and fans saw… not Nathan Parsons!

The actor who originated the role of Ethan and has (up until now) been the only one to play him hasn’t returned as fans had thought, and General Hospital has recast Luke and Holly’s son with actor James Ryan.

Ethan is a blond GH

Ryan’s Ethan doesn’t have the dark locks of his predecessor, but curly blond hair! It’s enough of a change that if Holly hadn’t gasped out her son’s name upon seeing him, some fans might not have even realized it was him at first!

But, as some of the very same fans pointed out the change on social media, they instantly made the visual connection between Luke and his son.

Still, it wasn’t like Parson’s dark hair was completely out of left field as he just took after his mom more than his dad. General Hospital had never felt the need to made father and son look similar before, but maybe that’s because the last time Ethan was around, so, too, was Luke. We didn’t need a visual reminder that they were related since we got to see them interacting that way every time they were together. Now, though, Luke’s gone, and fans don’t get to see them interact anymore.

Plus, maybe this puts an end once and for all to the idea that Robert and not Luke was actually Ethan’s dad!

Ryan’s Ethan may not be what fans expected, but as Marie put it, “I’ll reserve judgement on #NewEthan. To be honest, I’m just glad that GH decided to listen to the viewers who have been asking to bring Ethan back for now. Taking this as a win for now.”

And that’s something we can all probably take to heart! The good news is that for now, Ethan’s back! And who knows, some day, his father might be as well!

Check out our photo gallery of some of daytime’s surprisingly greatest recasts ever!