Kevin CostnerYellowstone

Does John Dutton Die In Yellowstone? Some Fans Think They Know


As “Yellowstone” prepares to ride off into the sunset with Season 5, Part 2, it’s safe to say that not everyone will live to see the conclusion, with John Dutton (Kevin Costner) being the most likely candidate to bite the dust. There have been reports that Costner won’t even appear in those final episodes, leaving a giant question mark over the Dutton patriarch’s future. That uncertainty has led to fans speculating what could happen to John, with death the most likely option.

Many fans theorize he’ll die of cancer. Early in the show, John received a cancer diagnosis, and while it subsided, it could always return. It’s a popular discussion point on Reddit, where u/Jolly-Perception-520 hypothesizes, “[I’m] sure he’ll go out ‘in true cowboy fashion’ maybe the cancer comes back or something and he dies out in the field.” Death from cancer would pay off that early plot point, and if there’s a time jump for the final episodes, John’s passing could be waved away as happening during the jump.

Redditor u/TheDarkHelmet1985 also thinks cancer could come into play for John’s fate but puts a different spin on it: “I’d have the cancer come back and they find it is spread everywhere,” they write. “[John] turns to Rip and asks Rip to shoot and kill him right there.” Bringing back the cancer but adding an “Old Yeller” twist would certainly up the ante, but it would require Costner to be around for some more scenes, which may not be feasible.


Others think John could lay down his life for someone else

Fans have also speculated that John could give up his life to protect one of his kids, namely Beth (Kelly Reilly). “Yellowstone” Season 5, Part 1 ended with Beth and Jamie (Wes Bentley) at each other’s throats, with Jamie even trying to remove John from office while Beth supports her father. The rivalry between the two siblings could turn violent, with John becoming a casualty.


Redditor u/unknownuser123456788 speculates, “He will die saving Beth from Jamie’s plot.” A lot of people like this idea, considering how it ties back to the death of John’s wife, Evelyn (Gretchen Mol). Evelyn blamed Beth when a horse fell on her, and ordered Beth to ride back to get help. Beth blames herself for her mother’s death, so if John dies protecting her, she could wind up believing she caused both her parents’ demises. Redditor u/AmericanWanderlust twists John’s potential role in the Beth-Jamie war: “What if Beth moves ahead with her plan to have Jamie killed and John at the last minute gets cold feet and moves to protect Jamie, taking the bullet or whatever instead.” In that scenario, Beth would be even more directly responsible for John’s death.

All these ideas would be fitting conclusions for John Dutton. After all, as John said in the episode “Blood the Boy,” “There’s no such thing as dying of old age. Something kills us all.” “Yellowstone” has planted many seeds for a John Dutton death, and many viewers think it’s the natural ending for such a significant character.


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