Take these two Duttons, for example. Fans who have re-watched the show (or had a rather thorough first watch) may remember hearing of Chance and Ned Dutton. And that, unfortunately, is where the information stops.
While Outsider continues to mark down as much as we can on our unofficial Dutton Family Tree, fans on Reddit’s Yellowstone board are recalling even further lineage. Chance and Ned are among them; two Duttons we don’t know enough about to firmly place on a family tree.
As Redditor DrBCraft asks fellow fans: “Forgive me if this is obvious or has been addressed before somewhere on this subreddit… But do we know who Chance and Ned Dutton are? I’m rewatching everything from the beginning with my husband. I just realized that I have no idea who they are…”
There are a few fan theories out there. But as fellow Redditor AnnaNonna points out, “I don’t think any of us know for sure who they are. When John’s father was dying he mentioned that he missed John’s brother. We assume that one was one of the Duttons buried on the ranch.”
Lee Dutton’s ‘Yellowstone’ Funeral Provides No Clues, Either
Sharp fans have even taken to going back to check Lee Dutton’s funeral. The scene takes place in the family graveyard at the beginning of the series.
7Ruby18 is leading this charge, and has the following to report: “I just rechecked Lee’s funeral scene to look at the headstones frame-by-frame. But I could not see the date on Chance’s because the prairie grass obscured it. On Ned’s I could make out “March 16, 186__”. Both headstones and the style and size of the font of the engravings were the same, as well was the age and wear of the stone. It made me wonder if they were burying them at the same time.”
Thanks to Ruby’s sleuthing, however, we do know that at least Ned Dutton would’ve been a contemporary of 1883‘s John Dutton Sr., played by tiny Audie Rick for that series (in the Yellowstone Season 4 flashback, he’s played by another, older actor).
By the Redditor’s description, it’s safe to assume that Chance is of the same era, as well. This would point to Ned and Chance Dutton being brothers of 1883‘s John Dutton Sr (grandfather of Kevin Costner’s John). But unless Margaret (Faith Hill) and James Dutton (Tim McGraw) have two more boys well into their 50s, this isn’t the case (which would’ve been highly unlikely in the 19th century at their age).
In short: It’s a mystery inside a mystery. But at the least, there’s a chance we may learn more about Chance and Ned, the forgotten Duttons, in future episodes of either Yellowstone or 1883.