Is Elsa in season 2 of ‘1883?’

The Duttons never had an easy go of it.


Given the opportunity to expand on Paramount’s Yellowstone universe, it seemed that showrunner Taylor Sheridan did not hesitate. In the prequel 1883, viewers can see how it all began as the first Duttons settled in Montana.

Starring real-life couple and country stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as James and Margaret Dutton respectively, they take their children West in the harrowing journey to Montana. Any fan of the series understands that this land will eventually become the titular Yellowstone Ranch that the Dutton family still has control over in the present day. However, the series also covers how the family has historically always been used to violence. Throughout it all, James and Margaret’s teenage daughter, Elsa (Isabel May), narrates her family’s progression, up until its brutal end, proving that being blond and covered in blood is just a family trait for the Duttons.

Is Elsa in season 2?

Elsa cast in the role of the series’ narrator is quite the red herring. While it is her voice that audiences get used to for the 10 episodes, it doesn’t mean that the character has any longevity. Or any of the characters, for that matter. In Sheridan’s movies and television shows, he has always been dedicated to authenticity. There was a reason why 1883 was so expensive to make. This also includes portraying the rough journey of going West. These w agon trails were never easy journeys — just ask the Donner Party. And though viewers know that the Dutton line has to continue in some way, that doesn’t mean it’s through Elsa’s bloodline.


At the end of the season, while protecting the wagon train, a Lakota warrior shoots the narrator of the series. This moment is essential for the legacy of the Duttons. Instead of continuing onto Oregon as they intended, they settle in Montana, understanding that Elsa will soon die from her wounds. The Duttons choose to build their stronghold directly on the spot where Elsa dies. There is no hope for Elsa in 1883 season 2, but there is also no hope for 1883 season 2. Sheridan explained this to Deadline in no uncertain terms.

“When [the producers] read the last episode of 1883, I don’t think they digested what had just happened, even though I made it quite clear from the very beginning. The story I heard is Bob Bakish watched it and said, ‘wait a minute, she dies! They all die? What do we do in season two?’ I said, there is no season two. They’re like, there better be a fu*king season two because we already picked it up. I’m sitting here going, guys everyone is dead.”

Elsa’s parents are also as unlucky as their daughter. As featured in Yellowstone season 4, James Dutton dies only a decade later when working in his capacity as a Park Country ranger. Margaret follows him in death the following year. While there is no sophomore season for 1883, there is a sequel. Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren star in 1923 as the next generation of Duttons in charge of Yellowstone. By all accounts, this is the form the franchise will most likely take in future iterations.


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