I wrote a pretty in-depth article about why I was under the impression that Tate Dutton was the 7th generation of Dutton.
Why does it matter?
Because in the Season Finale of 1883, Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) is on the verge of death and her father, James Dutton (Tim McGraw) needs to find a place to bury her because wherever they bury her body is where the Dutton family is going to settle.
So Spotted Eagle, a Crow elder, recommends a spot called the Paradise Valley.
But, there’s a catch… the Duttons can’t have it forever.
“Yes, Paradise. Good name. But you know this: that in seven generations, my people will rise up and take it back from you.”
To which James says:
“In seven generations, you can have it.”
A lot of the family trees on the internet seem to say that Tate is a 6th-Generation Dutton, making James Dutton the great-grandfather of modern day John Dutton (Kevin Costner).
However, it was my argument, that based on the dates, the limited family history that we know of, the timeline of the shows, and the early age at which people got married and had children back then… that there has to be another generation in there.
I suppose 1923 will help us figure that out, but in that 1893 flashback from Yellowstone Season 4, we see that James has two sons with him, John and Spencer… Generation Two.
They should be in their fifties or so by the time 1923 rolls around and will have children of their own (Generation Three), and John and Spencer might even have young grandchildren (people got married pretty young back then), so that’s Generation Four.
Now, here’s where it get’s interesting… John Dutton (born sometime in the 1950s) of Yellowstone could be Generation Five, which means Kayce, Jamie (adopted), the late Lee Dutton, and Beth Dutton would all be Generation Six, and young Tate would be Generation 7.
However, all that speculation can be put to bed since Tim McGraw himself has confirmed it.
According to CinemaBlend, Tim says he plays the great-great-grandfather of John Dutton in the bonus Blu-ray content:
“I play John Dutton’s great-great-grandfather. Our family is the first to discover Yellowstone and settle it. And in doing that, we are the first to really defend it and fight people off, and try to establish it and then survive.
J.D.’s the patriarch of the family. He’s the guy that had the balls, I guess, to set out and take his family across the country and head up to Montana, and sorta settle this unknown land, this untamed land up there, and turn it into something.
I think that he’s a principled man. And I think that sometimes survival and honor cross paths, and you have to make a choice.”
So in light of Tim’s confirmation and Spotted Eagle’s warning about 7 generations, if we go back to the Season 4 Finale when Kayce “saw the end of us” during his vision quest, was he talking about him and Monica, or the entire Dutton empire?
I think with Avery sniffing around (and we haven’t seen the last of that), most assumed that it was the end of Kayce and Monica, but now, I think it’s the end of the Dutton empire as we know it.
Yellowstone Creator Taylor Sheridan Explains Why ‘1883’ Is Only One Season
That’s a wrap… well, sorta.
The Yellowstone prequel series 1883, our first chronological look at the Dutton family and how they made their way from Texas, to settle in the great state of Montana, is officially in the books.
Granted, there will be some bonus episodes coming in the future, perhaps something to bridge the gap a little between 1883 and the upcoming series 1923, but for all intents and purposes there will not be a second season of 1883.
Yellowstone producer David Glasser confirmed 1883 was one and done, and that 1923 will essentially serve as the “second season,” or next chapter in the story, but now, the genius behind the story himself is weighing in as well.
The busiest man in television sat down with Deadline to discuss the Season finale of 1883, crafting the Dutton story, why he chose to tell the story this way, and more.
But much like Glasser, Sheridan confirmed that there will not be a second season of 1883, and that all of these prequel series are designed to give you a small peak back in time…. not the entire story from beginning to end:
“I created this peek through time to show you this one specific journey. I’m not someone who likes to tie everything up in a bow and explain how everyone lived happily after, or didn’t.
I’d rather you imagine it, and wonder what Thomas and Noemi made of their lives. You never get to see how James and Margaret move on. You did seem them in a flashback as having moved on, and so that’s what I cared to explore. On to the next peek through the window.
I also wanted to create something you could watch and be completely enthralled and fulfilled, having never seen Yellowstone. Let it live on its own merits. Yes for those fans of ‘Yellowstone,’ there are some real Easter eggs and understanding you can take away from that, that informs the way you watch Yellowstone.
I like that model. For me, as a storyteller it feels close ended. I’m going to peek through the window of a different era and see what I see then.”
1883 was one peek through time in the Dutton story, and 1923 will be the next peek through time at the Dutton story.
So for Sheridan, while it’s technically a spinoff since it points back towards his flagship series, Yellowstone, he likes to tell stories that can stand on their own.
If you’ve seen 1883, you understand why:
“Yeah, peek through a different window into a different era. Again, I don’t think of any of these as spinoffs, but rather as complete stories that have common roots.
My goal with the next one would be that you could never have seen 1883 or Yellowstone, and still have a fully realized experience as a viewer.”
And as far as Elsa (Isabel May) and Shea (Sam Elliott), and the death and destruction from the Season Finale goes, Sheridan says it was all part of the plan… a plan that he shared with all of us in the very first episode:
“The goal with 1883, I wanted to tell this really abstract odd structured story. If you were paying attention, I tell you exactly what was going to happen, in the first scene of the first episode to Elsa and Shea.
And then hopefully made you fall in love with the world, and forget that stuff, and play with your expectations that there’s no way what I’ve already told you could actually happen.
To play with structure that way, felt like a new rollercoaster ride for an audience, and hopefully a really reflective and beautiful one. We wanted to make a ten-hour movie that ended, and that’s what we did.
A rollercoaster indeed, and play with your expectations? Definitely…
Ultimately, 1883 was the beautiful, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking miniseries that many of us hoped it would be. Some might even argue that it’s better than Yellowstone.
But if one thing is clear, this is just the beginning of the Dutton story.