‘Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Says The End Is Already In Sight: “I Know How It Ends”

Yellowstone Kevin Costner

If you’re thinking Yellowstone is gonna pull a Walking Dead, it’s not.

And that might be a good thing.

Anybody who started watching The Walking Dead right at the beginning was obsessed with it. But 11 season later, it got stale, viewership dropped, and it’s ultimately remembered for being the show that didn’t know when to end.

So with Yellowstone hitting the peak of its popularity right now, midway through Season 5, creator Taylor Sheridan is letting fans know that his show won’t be repeating the same mistakes.

In fact, according to a new interview with the New York Times, the end is actually in sight.

“Well, I know how it ends. I’m writing to that ending. There’s only so much hovering one can do before the story starts to lose its locomotion; you can’t put it in neutral just because it’s successful.

It will go as many years as it takes for me to tell the story, but you’re not going to see nine seasons of it. No way.”

He echoed that sentiment in a previous interview with Deadline, hinting that show could possibly conclude after Season 6, which might be sooner than fans want, but there’s no sense in dragging the story out for the sake of more seasons (looking at you How I Met Your Mother).

“Well, I know how it ends. I know how the series ends, and you have to move in a straight line toward that end. You can’t walk in circles, waiting to get there, because the show will stagnate.

So, you have to keep moving forward, and there have to be consequences in the world, and there has to be an evolution toward a conclusion. Can that be another two seasons beyond this? It could.”

We’ll just have to wait and see, but it sounds a lot like 6 or 7 seasons could be the sweet spot. And Season 5 already on hiatus after the mid-season finale, it sounds like the end is closer than we think.

Of course, with the release of the prequel series, 1883, the second chapter with 1932, not to mention rumors about a 6666’s Ranch spinoff and the potential for ’40s and ’60s-era spinoffs, the Taylor Sheridan Yellowstone universe is far from over.

And if you’re a fan of the hit series Yellowstone, be sure to check out our Yellowstone The Soundtrack Playlist, updated in real time each week as new episodes air.

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Yellowstone Announces Season 5 Won’t Resume Until Summer

That’s a wrap… for now.

The Yellowstone Season 5 mid-season finale aired tonight, and Jamie finally made his move to “save” the ranch… take down his own father.

In Episode 8, titled “A Knife And No Coin,” Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) pushed the state legislature to try and impeach his own father, Beth (Kelly Reilly) found out about the train station (which foiled her whole blackmail plan), and now, Beth and Jamie both want to kill each other… literally.

John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) time as the Governor of Montana might be over before it even got started…

Needless to say, this season is finally heating up.

But… we’re going to have to wait until next summer to watch the rest of it.

Wait, what!? Next summer?

That’s right people… announced tonight, the second half of Yellowstone Season 5 will not air until summer 2023.

We always knew the season would be broken up into two halves, but I was thinking maybe like spring 2023? Give us a little break, let us finish the new prequel series, 1923, and then resume with the rest of Season 5.

But summer? That’s a long-ass time…

And Yellowstone fans are PISSED:

Granted, Taylor Sheridan has A LOT of irons in the fire, maybe a little too many for one man, but between Tulsa King, 1923, Mayor of Kingstown Season 2, the upcoming Bass Reeves project, and who knows what else, there is more than enough material to keep Taylor Sheridan fans busy until the summer.

In the meantime, make sure to check out 1923, streaming exclusively on Paramount+.

The Dutton Family Tree

Yellowstone Dutton Family tree

1883:

James Dutton

The original patriarch of the Dutton Family, James (Tim McGraw) was a farmer from Tennessee who took his family out west in search of a new life. The husband of Margaret Dutton and father of Elsa, John and Spencer, he chose to establish the modern day Dutton Ranch where his daughter Elsa passed away.

Margaret Dutton

The original matriarch of the Dutton Family, Margaret (Faith Hill) is married to James Dutton and the mother of Elsa, John and Spencer Dutton.

Elsa Dutton

Elsa (Isabel May) was the eldest child of James and Margaret Dutton. She also serves as the narrator of both 1883 and 1923. She was going to marry a cowboy named Ennis, however, he was killed on the journey West. She vowed to return to a Comanche warrior named Sam once her family reached its destination, however she was killed in an attack on the wagon train. The Dutton Ranch property was established where she died, and she was the first to be buried there.

John Dutton 

John Dutton (Audie Rick in 1883, James Badge Dale in 1923) is the son of James and Margaret Dutton, brother to Elsa and Spencer. He was just a young boy during the events of 1883, however in 1923, he works alongside his uncle Jacob on the Dutton Ranch. He is married to Emma Dutton, and they have at least one son, Jack.

Claire Dutton

Claire (Dawn Olivieri) is James Dutton’s sister, who joins the journey west with her daughter Mary Abel. A widow, she kills herself once her daughter is killed on the trail.

1923

Jacob Dutton

Jacob (Harrison Ford) is the brother of James Dutton, who becomes the leader of the family once James passes away. He and his wife, Cara Dutton, work to run the ranch with their nephews, John and Spencer, and John’s son Jack.

Cara Dutton

Cara (Helen Mirren) is the wife of Jacob Dutton. A hard-nosed Irish immigrant, she becomes the matriarch of the Dutton family in 1923, following the passing of Margaret and James.

Emma Dutton

Emma (Marley Shelton) is the wife of John Dutton Sr. and the mother of Jack Dutton.

Jack Dutton

Jack (Darren Mann) works on the Dutton Ranch alongside his father, John Dutton Sr. and great-uncle, Jacob Dutton. He is engaged to Elizabeth Strafford, the daughter of another notable rancher.

With the hints that Elizabeth may already be pregnant, my suspicion is that Jack may be the father of John Dutton II since the “II” title is generally used when the child is named after another relative, not the father.

This is just a guess, but my hunch is that John Dutton won’t survive 1923, and Jack will name his first born son after his late father… John Dutton II. The other option is that Spencer has a son who then goes on to father John II.

Elizabeth Strafford-Dutton

Elizabeth (Michelle Randolph) is Jack’s fiancée. The two end up postponing their wedding briefly, but are planning on marrying very soon. There is also a suspicion that she might already be pregnant.

Spencer Dutton

Spencer (Brandon Sklenar) is the second son of James and Margaret Dutton. Born after the Duttons settled in Montana (and the death of his sister, Elsa), Spencer is a WWI vet who spends time hunting in Africa before returning back to Montana to work the ranch. The line to John Dutton (Kevin Costner) could flow through him as well.

Yellowstone

John Dutton III

The modern day leader of the Dutton family and the current Governor of Montana. He is the father of Lee Dutton, Beth Dutton and Kayce Dutton, and the adoptive father of Jamie Dutton.

Evelyn Dutton

Evelyn (Gretchen Mol) is the wife of John Dutton III who passed away in a horseback riding accident when her children were young. She is the mother of Lee, Beth and Kayce Dutton.

Lee Dutton

Lee (Dave Annable) is the oldest son of John and Evelyn Dutton. The heir to the Dutton Ranch, Lee was killed by Robert Long (Monica’s brother) after an argument broke out over stolen cattle.

Beth Dutton

Beth (Kelly Reilly) is the daughter of John Dutton III and wife of Rip Wheeler, her father’s ranch foreman and right-hand man. Unable to have children of her own, her and Rip have taken in teenage Carter.

Rip Wheeler

Rip (Cole Hauser) is the Yellowstone foreman and right-hand man of John Dutton III. He came to the Dutton Ranch as an orphaned teenager after he killed his own father (who killed his mother and brother). Teenage sweethearts, he eventually marries John’s daughter, Beth Dutton.

Kayce Dutton

Kayce (Luke Grimes) is the youngest of the Dutton siblings, and a former Navy SEAL. He’s married to Monica Dutton and the father of Tate Dutton and John Dutton IV (deceased).

Monica Dutton

Monica (Kelsea Asbille) was raised on the Broken Rock Reservation. She is married to Kayce Dutton and the mother of Tate Dutton and John Dutton IV.

Tate Dutton

Tate (Brecken Merrill) is the oldest son of Kayce and Monica Dutton, the eldest of the 7th generation of Duttons.

John Dutton IV

John Dutton IV is the second son of Kayce and Monica Dutton, who tragically only lived a few hours following complications from an early birth and a car accident.

Jamie Dutton

Jamie (Wes Bentley) is the adopted son of John Dutton III and the black sheep of the Dutton family.

Christina

Christina is Jamie’s ex assistant and the mother of his child.

James Dutton Jr.

The son of Jamie Dutton and his ex-girlfriend Christina, Jamie finds out he has a son after the birth.

1923 is available to stream… NOW.

7 Generations

In that 1893 flashback from Yellowstone Season 4, we see that James has two sons with him, John Sr. (who will be a major character in 1923) and Spencer… Generation Two.

They should be in their forties or so by the time 1923 rolls around and will have children of their own (Generation Three), and John Sr. 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 III (born sometime in the 1950s) of Yellowstone would 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.

And that’s exactly what Tim McGraw himself has confirmed.

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.”

Of course, which generation of Dutton has implications for the show 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.”

Doesn’t bode well for the Dutton family in Yellowstone Season 5, does it?

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