Yellowstone: Who will the Yellowstone ranch go to if the Duttons die?

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Paramount Network drama series Yellowstone continues to grip fans with season three proving to be the most popular one yet. Yellowstone follows the Dutton family, who own one of the largest ranches in America and are at constant pains to protect their lands. But some are wondering about the line of succession, particularly after the season three cliff-hanger.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from all seasons of Yellowstone

Season three concluded with much uncertainty after a calculated hit on the Dutton clan with patriarch John (played by Kevin Costner) left to die by the side of the road in a drive-by shooting.

Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) wasn’t faring much better after a bomb exploded in her office and her brother Kayce (Luke Grimes) was taking on an armed gunman.

In the middle of all this, Dutton family associate and rancher Rip Wheler (Cole Hauser) was left reeling but when he contacted Jamie Dutton (Wes Bentley) for help, he was met with indifference.

Given it wasn’t looking good for the Duttons, fans are wondering who the ranch would be given to in the event of all of these characters’ deaths.

From the looks of it, Jamie could be in line to get the ranch after he started analysing the deeds.

But there could be a catch after he discovered he was adopted by the Duttons as a child and not biologically related.

Although John has always treated Jamie like a son, he may have decided to keep the property firmly in the family and may not have factored him into the ownership of the ranch in the event of his death.

The ranch was most likely to have gone to the eldest member of the Dutton family Lee (Dave Annable) before his tragic death in the very first episode of Yellowstone.

If all the Duttons perish, the only living member of the Dutton family could be Tate Dutton (Brecken Merrill), Kayce’s son.

Should the ranch pass to Tate, it would be tricky for the child and his mother Monica Long (Kelsey Chow) to hold onto the property with many outside parties hungrily eyeing up the land.

Previously speaking about his character, Costner explained: “It was really clear how I fit in Yellowstone as the patriarch of this fourth-generation family that has come to Montana – and not without bruises.

“He’s the CEO of one of the largest tracts of land in the United States.

“He’s a little bit old school, maybe his one nod to things going forward is his helicopter. But other than that, I think he would prefer to be on his horse.”

The two-time Oscar winner said within Yellowstone, the Duttons looked after the animals and worked the land with family “coming first”.

Viewers saw early on how there was a conflict between John and Lee with the father telling his son how he was failing to own the ranch and simply running it.

With Lee taken out of the frame, John may have reconsidered the line of succession and who he wanted to leave the family business to.

However, Costner said Jamie was “dying to prove himself” to the rest of the family and was “actually capable” of taking charge.

Then again, Beth was John’s go-to child with things concerning the ranch and they would often have frank conversations about the family business.

Interestingly, Costner said Kayce was the son John most related to and saw more of himself in the youngest child than the others.

Reflecting on Tate, Costner said: “The character of his grandson brings out another side in him.”

He added about John: “Whatever my instincts as a father, a mentor, there are some failings there.”

Yellowstone season 4 is in production and season 2 is airing on the Paramount Network UK on Mondays at 9pm

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