Eric Nelsen, AKA Ennis On ‘1883,’ Ran To Taylor Sheridan The Second He Found Out His Episode 5 Fate

Elsa Dutton 1883 Yellowstone

Spoiler alert… if you’re not caught up on 1883, you might wanna scroll on through to the next article…

Perhaps one of the most surprising scenes at the beginning of the Yellowstone prequel series was when Ennis, the love of Elsa Dutton’s life, was killed and out of the picture by Episode 5. I mean, they just fell in love (and just made love)… their future together in Oregon was taking shape.

Boom… bullet to the heart.

It truly was a shock, because the majority of the fanbase probably believed that the love between Elsa and Ennis would be a relatively big development in the show.

However, Taylor Sheridan is gonna give you the cold hard truth, no matter what the cost. His shows aren’t rainbows and butterflies like most, and that’s what keeps us coming back.

And here’s the thing… it was tough for Eric Nelsen, who plays Ennis, as well. In fact, the second he read the script for Episode 5, he immediately went to Taylor Sheridan and asked… why?

In a recent interview with NewsweekNelsen discussed getting  killed off the show:

He discussed all of the love he received from friends and fans at the beginning of the show, and it was tough for him because he knew it would be short lived:

“I’ve had people reach out saying, ‘there’s always twists and turns and I pray you’re not a part of them’ and ‘oh, I just pray you don’t die. You’re my favorite character.’ And every time I read that, part of me kind of falls apart because I know what’s coming.”

“I saw Ennis as the outlet to kind of go against the grain of the show a little bit. We live in this extremely dark, gritty world in 1883 and Ennis is that little beacon of light that can pop through and put a smile on audience’s faces—but at the same time, he is also a badass cowboy.”

Everybody who watches the show recalls the heartbreaking scene, when Ennis tells James Dutton how much he loved his daughter as his last words.

Nelsen admitted that he wasn’t necessarily happy about it at first:

“Once I read all the scripts, I ran to Taylor and I was like, ‘Why? Why? This is who we were rooting for the whole time.’

We’re rooting for this couple and we finally get them there and then it all falls apart, and he’s like, ‘you’ll see. Keep reading. It has to happen this way.'”

He then says the scene was a crucial part in Elsa’s character development:

“So for Elsa’s journey, it’s a complete turning point in the story, and it sends her on a trajectory where she otherwise wouldn’t be heading, and it is pivotal for the character.

So it does make a lot of sense and you’ll see as the rest of the episodes unfold that, for Elsa, it had to happen this way.”

I mean, if the brutal task traveling by wagon from Texas to Oregon (they somehow wind up settling in Montana) doesn’t harden you, watching your first love take a bullet right after you promise to marry him will do it.

But for Elsa… it might be just what she needs to survive.

Episode 8 of 1883 is set to air on Sunday, February 13th on Paramount+.


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock