Why Won't '1923' Tell Us Who John Dutton's Grandfather Is?

john dutton
Who Is John Dutton's Grandfather in '1923'?Paramount

This story contains spoilers for the season finale of 1923.

Fathers! The age-old Dutton dilemma. No matter where you are in the Yellowstone universe—be it 1883, 1923, or the present day—you can bet some Dutton family member is going to have a confusing relationship with their father. It's what makes compiling the definitive Dutton Family Tree™ such a brain-twisting task—and the recent spinoffs have only complicated the generational lineage. Sam Elliott's Shea Brennan in 1883? Not even a Dutton! James Badge Dale's John Dutton Sr. in 1923? Don't even get me started. I thought he was John Dutton's grandfather up until he was murdered in Episode Three! Now, the Dutton family legacy has all been thrust into chaos. Again.

Though 1923's season finale left many of our characters with precarious cliffhangers, one of the largest mysteries yet to be revealed is how the family lineage makes it way down to Kevin Costner's John Dutton in the flagship Yellowstone series. We certainly have our theories, but it's still anyone's game. As we wait for 1923 Season Two—or possibly 1940s and 1960s spinoffs, who knows—let's break down just how this Dutton family madness could get sorted out.

darren mann as jack dutton in 1923, streaming on paramount 2022 photo credit james minchin iiiparamount

Theory No. 1: Jack Dutton

The season finale's shocker of Elizabeth Strafford's miscarriage definitely threw a wrench in a potential mid-series parentage reveal. There's still a chance that Elizabeth and Jack Dutton try to have a child again in Season Two, give birth to John Dutton II, and name him after the departed John Dutton Sr. I would say it's a pretty likely event if your office has a Dutton pool, but I must also warn that it's not a total blowout. There's another strong contender for Dutton family legacy.

brandon sklenar as spencer dutton of the paramount series 1923 photo cr emerson millerparamount © 2022 viacom international inc all rights reserved

Theory No. 2: Spencer Dutton

With each new episode of 1923, Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar) only becomes more and more important. "The final act is sure to be explosive," Sklenar told Esquire about what's to come for his character in Season Two. "There's so much built into it with him getting home and he has so much to fight for and so many people to defend. It's going to be a powerful homecoming." There could be even more in Spencer's future should he and his fiancée, Alexandra, reunite and have a son. If anyone in the series feels analogous to Kayce (Luke Grimes) as a war veteran who reluctantly takes up the family business, it's Spencer. We'll have to wait to find out until 1923 returns for Season Two.

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