I’ll admit it, Taylor Sheridan was an absolute genius for putting together Yellowstone’s latest prequel series, 1923.
First off, how can you not love this cast, which is led by Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as Jacob and Cara Dutton?
Not to mention, it’s an incredibly unique time period to document the Dutton family struggles, even further putting things into perspective about what the characters in Yellowstone may be going through today.
Although we’ve had a bit of a layoff since the premiere of the last episode for 1923, it’s coming right back, as the second half of season one premieres on Sunday, February 5th, taking us right back to the action.
With that being said, Brandon Sklenar, who plays Jacob and Cara’s son Spencer, recently sat down to discuss his role in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Spencer is living out in Zanzibar, Africa, after fighting in World War I, and had no intention of heading home to Montana until he met the lovely Alexandra, an English socialite.
She left her fiancé for Spencer, he proposed, and they both realized how likely it is for them to get eaten by a lion and die in Africa. So, prior to the break, it looked like they were headed home.
Cara also sent him a letter saying that his brother died, his will probably die, and all hell is breaking loose back home so that was probably a little bit of motivation to go back too.
And in the second half of the season, Sklenar explains how the story is about to change:
“I can say that there is not only a definite shift in the story itself, but also in him as a person from this moment forward. It’s the hero’s journey, and his calling to go home does propel the story.
Spencer and Alex both have a lot to overcome before he can get there. Taylor doesn’t make it easy on anybody in writing these shows.”
Fans have speculated that Spencer is the grandfather of Kevin Costner’s character, John Dutton III, while others think that John Dutton Sr.’s son, Jack, is John III’s father.
I happen to believe that the latter theory is true, and that the family runs through Jack.
Here’s the official Whiskey Riff Dutton Family Tree, which we maintain is probably accurate until we’re proven otherwise.
Sklenar admits that even he doesn’t really know where Spencer lies in the Dutton family tree, although he has his own theories:
“It’s something that Taylor is keeping very close to the vest. I have my own theories, but it’s to be told, to be written, to be seen.
He’s always moving all that stuff around.”
Of course, we won’t know any of this for sure until the rest of the show plays out, but it’s definitely an intriguing thought, nonetheless.
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The Dutton Family Tree
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.
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 (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 (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 (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.
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 (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.
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.
Emma (Marley Shelton) is the wife of John Dutton Sr. and the mother of 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 will have another son who then goes on to father John II.
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.
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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (Wes Bentley) is the adopted son of John Dutton III and the black sheep of the Dutton family.
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.
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