‘Yellowstone‘ is about the Dutton family’s immense empire, Yellowstone Ranch, and the myriad conflicts surrounding it.
Although viewers are familiar with the ranch’s history, they were unaware of its origins until today.
The fourth season of the show, as well as the prequel series ‘1883,’ peel back the layers of the Duttons’ and their ranch’s past and beginnings.
Shifting the story back nearly a century allows James Dutton, the first-generation Dutton rancher, to take centre stage.
While we learn about James’ former life, we still don’t know how he died. If you’re curious about James Dutton’s fate or the circumstances surrounding his demise, look no further!
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Is James Dutton Still Alive And Well in Yellowstone?
James Dillard Dutton is the Dutton family‘s first patriarch and an ancestor of John Dutton, played by Kevin Costner.
In the fourth season opener of ‘Yellowstone,’ he is initially introduced in a flashback episode set in 1893.
The spin-off prequel series ‘1883,’ which covers the origins of the Dutton family and their Yellowstone Ranch, features James as one of the characters.
James Dutton is portrayed by actor Tim McGraw in both shows.
Because ‘Yellowstone’ is set in the present day, it’s safe to assume that James Dutton is no longer alive. On the other hand, spectators never see him die on film.
As a result, until the eighth episode of ‘Yellowstone’ season 4, titled ‘No Kindness for the Coward,’ his death remains a mystery for viewers.
The circumstances of the terrible day when the imposing James Dutton passed away are depicted in a flashback sequence set on the early version of the Yellowstone Ranch.
What Caused James Dutton’s Death?
James is pursuing a bunch of robbers who stole horses from his ranch in the flashback stated earlier.
While James is away, Margaret, his wife, and their children, John and Spencer, have dinner and pray for his safety.
In another location, James apprehends the crooks and opens fire on them right away. In the subsequent gunfight, all but one of the thieves are killed, and James reclaims the horses.
James leaves the last man alive to spread the word about what happens to anybody who engages in illicit activity in the area.
When James returns home after dealing with the situation, he discovers that he was also shot during the gunfight.
Margaret tries to assist James by removing the bullet. James expresses his gratitude to God for his life.
However, we only hear Margaret’s distressed shrieks after James enters the home, confirming that James died due to his wounds.
It’s a heartbreaking moment that brings James’ journey to an end, but the prequel series ‘1883,’ which premieres next week, is just getting started.
As a result, displaying James’ death on-screen helps tie the two stories together while also building interest in James Dillard Dutton’s life.