There’s an Error in 1923 Only True Yellowstone Fans Will Notice


Taylor Sheridan has created something with the Yellowstone universe that is truly impressive.

He’s managed to write a multi-generational tale that covers more than a century of history. The original series, Yellowstone , introduced fans to the modern era as the ranch is supervised by John Dutton (Kevin Costner). Meanwhile, its first prequel – 1883 – presented viewers with a glimpse into the history of the family during the late 19th century.

The latest spin-off, 1923, has been another trophy for Sheridan to mount on his list of accomplishments. It’s generated strong viewership largely thanks to an A-list cast that includes Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. Be that as it may, not everything in 1923 works, or even makes sense. For example, consider the perplexing past of one of its main characters – Spencer Dutton.

Spencer first appears in Yellowstone in a couple of brief flashbacks (season four). It’s revealed that he’s the younger brother of John Dutton Sr., but little else is known. Therefore, the arrival of 1923 enabled fans to fill in some of the missing links of the family heritage. In doing so, audience members also found a huge discrepancy.

Spencer is the youngest son of James (Tim McGraw) and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill). He loses his sister, Elsa, during the quest to Montana in 1883. The death plays a pivotal role in 1883 as James and Margaret dedicate the land on her behalf. However, what gets muddled is the precise age of Spencer.

The flashback from Yellowstone indicates Spencer’s brother is 5 years old at the time the family embarks for Montana. It establishes a substantial age gap between John Sr. and Spencer, who is not older than seven by the time he appears in 1893 (and after the family has already settled in Montana). Thus, in 1923, Spencer should be somewhere in his mid-to-late thirties.


The contradiction occurs when true fans of Yellowstone compare his lifestyle in 1923 to what is presented in 1883. The new spin-off explains that Spencer is currently in Africa working as a big game hunter following World War I.

Spencer is sitting at a bar with his friend Alexandra when he’s approached by female admirers. They have heard of his legends, but would he really be old enough to have already developed that reputation?

After all, it’s gossiped about in the conversation that Spencer killed one of the man-eaters of Tsavo. It’s based on a real incident that involved a pair of lions preying on construction workers of the Kenya-Uganda Railway.

The only issue is that event occurred in 1898, which means Spencer would have been far older than the age he claims with the companions at the bar. It could be that Spencer was avoiding being praised for the incident or, simply, lazy writing.

It’s not the first discrepancy to have occurred in 1923. The show has also presented misleading facts about the time the family settled the ranch, as even John Dutton has contradicted himself (on Yellowstone) when placing the timeline somewhere around 1886. It may only be a matter of a few years, yet fans that scrutinize the show with a fine comb want clarification.

They are also desperate to determine if Jack and Elizabeth are the grandparents of John Dutton, or if he actually derives from Spencer and Alexandra’s family line. Fans can catch new episodes of 1923 on Paramount+.


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