With the release of "1923" in mid-December, the "Yellowstone" universe expanded and introduced audiences to a whole new generation of Duttons.
Among them are Jacob Dutton (Harrison Ford) and Cara Dutton (Helen Mirren), as well as their nephew, John Sr. (James Badge Dale). They are shown running a thriving ranch on the land that John Sr.'s parents, James Dutton (Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill) fought tooth and nail to reach in earlier prequel series, "1883." Badges Pin Enamel
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Dale was asked how his character is related to "Yellowstone" protagonist John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and it turns out that he and his castmates aren't entirely certain.
"I don't know the tree," he responded. "This was the running joke. Harrison and I would be like, 'I think we're related, I don't know how.' We all need a flow chart."
"I've seen them online, when people have tried to create them. I don't know if those are accurate or not," he said of the countless fan-made family trees that attempt to make sense of the ever-growing Dutton clan.
"And here's the thing, this is Taylor's universe," Dale continued. "We could be saying one thing or thinking one thing, and Taylor can decide something else."
Dale then joked that future, as-yet-unannounced spinoffs set in the middle and latter half of the 20th century could "change it up" by revealing narrative threads and Dutton relations that upend what we thought we knew about the family.
However, with John Dutton Sr.'s death at the end of the latest episode of "1923," it seems that at least one mystery about the family has been solved.
Dale's character was killed after the family was ambushed by Banner Creighton (Jerome Flynn) and his men following a dispute between Jacob and the sheepmen over land. Creighton was out for revenge and the bloody battle ended with him unloading his tommy gun into John Sr., who died instantly, and Jacob, who was left gravely wounded.
As fans will recall, it was teased in the first episode that either John Sr. or his younger wayward brother, Spencer (Brandon Sklenar), would meet their maker before the end of the series.
Their long-dead sister Elsa (Isabel May) intoned in her from-beyond-the-grave voiceover that while her father had three children "only one would carry the fate of this family through the depression and every other hell the 20th century hurled at them."
As a result, this suggests that it will be Spencer's descendants that continue the Dutton line rather than John Sr.'s, opening up questions about what that means about the fate of the latter's grownup son, Jack (Darren Mann).
Although Jack and his fiancée, Elizabeth (Michelle Randolph), also sustained injuries during the shootout, it didn't appear as if they were in critical condition. What's more, both can be seen in later scenes from the series in the show's official trailer, suggesting that they do survive.
The question of who fathers John Dutton II (played by Dabney Coleman in "Yellowstone") and as a result, is the direct ancestor of John Dutton III (Kevin Costner), has had fans scratching their heads ever since the show's first prequel series, "1883," was released in 2021.
However, if there's one thing fans will know is that there are many Dutton stories still to be told. In "Yellowstone," the family cemetery where all Duttons have been buried since the late 1800s is located on the ranch grounds and is often visited.
Gravestones marking the names of forgotten family members such as Michael Dutton, Patience Dutton, Chance Dutton, and Ned Dutton have been spied by eagle-eyed fans over the last five seasons of the Paramount Network drama.
Lanyard With Custom Logo With reports that creator Taylor Sheridan is currently cooking up two new limited series set in the 1940s and the 1960s, we can only imagine that the Dutton family tree is going to grow larger and more complicated.