‘Yellowstone’ Fan Theory Says Jamie Could Actually Be A Biological Dutton

Yellowstone Kevin Costner
Paramount Network

Everybody and their brother has a theory about what’s to come in Yellowstone.

Of course, we still have a hot minute until we catch the second half of season five, as it’s been announced that it will premiere at some point this fall, however writer’s strikes, Costner’s scheduling issues and other production delays could have us looking at early next year.

There’s really no telling what Taylor Sheridan may be cooking up for the rest of the series, as it has now been confirmed that the second half Season 5 will conclude the entire show, but this fan theory may be the most intriguing I’ve seen yet.

One fan, EdselandIris_Inc, took to Reddit, and discussed the theory that Jamie Dutton may actually be a Dutton after all, even though he was adopted by John Dutton at a very young age.

Needless to say, if this is true, it could give Jamie so much leverage as far as taking down his father, and gaining complete control of the ranch, and thereby keeping it in the family before John bankrupts the entire thing.

Check it out:

“His mother Phyllis,  I believe is from Spencer’s line. Her father was Michael Dutton (seen his grave at some point on Yellowstone) which I believe will be Spencer’s son with Alex. This is the reason Jamie’s name is James Michael (Randall) Dutton. If true, Jamie holds as much right to the land as John (Kevin Costner) above Kayce and Beth even, as Jamie would stand in for his mother.

I believe this is why Garrett Randall says again and again that “they stole Jamie’s birthright” – meaning he’s relegated as an adopted son of John currently And this is why John is so fearful of Jamie

I also believe that Jamie isn’t as dumb as he currently looks (praying for that anyway) and that he is playing all sides to secure the Dutton land while framing Sarah and company for what will be the attempted murders of John and Beth.

I believe that Jamie strikes a deal with rainwater for the land that is due back to them in “7 generations” – which is Tate and Jamie Jr generation so that Dutton keep land while securing revenue for Indian reservations with business on a portion of it.”

Of course, it’s still pretty far fetched, considering we have yet to hear any kind of news of Jamie being of true Dutton descent thus far throughout the show… Or is it?

The fact that Garrett Randall, Jamie’s biological father, continuously said “they stole Jamie’s birthright” could definitely be eluding to the fact that Jamie may be a Dutton after all.

Another comment, from the same Redditor, added a little more context:

“John makes a comment to Jamie during one of their fights (at the restaurant/club) “that if not for the promise I made to your mother …”

I have always believed that to NOT mean Evelyn and to actually be a promise that he made to Phyllis, from what John says to Jamie in their fireside conversation when Jamie confronted John about being adopted about “we all begged her not to (go with Garrett).”

This gives the idea that john and Phyllis had been close at one time.”

Hmmmm, I definitely don’t hate that storyline.

Although many in the comments were quick to say a complicated and interesting storyline like that would be out of character for Taylor Sheridan, who a number of fans have accused of phoning it in in the past two seasons.

But… Taylor himself has said that he knows how it all ends, so could we be working our way to a Jamie Dutton redemption storyline? Is Jamie playing chess while everyone else, even Sarah Atwood, still playing checkers?

I guess time will tell how true this theory is as the show continues on.

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The Dutton Family Tree

Yellowstone Dutton Family tree


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.


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.

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. It’s possible that Spencer could be the link between the modern day Dutton family.

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.

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.

My hunch was that John Dutton won’t survive 1923, and he didn’t, and that 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.


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 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?

If you’re looking for the entire Yellowstone soundtrack, complete through every episode of Season 5 so far, then look no further.

Our Yellowstone: The Soundtrack Playlist, featuring every song from every episode, updated in real time, every Sunday night.


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