‘1883’: Ennis Actor Eric Nelsen Hints at What’s Next for Elsa: ‘The Audience Will See’

[Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for 1883 episode 5.]

Fans of Yellowstone are loving Paramount+’s sequel by Taylor Sheridan, 1883. 1883 follows the Dutton family as they immigrate across the Great Plains in search of a better future. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill play James and Margaret Dutton, while Isabel May plays their daughter, Elsa Dutton. Sadly, Elsa’s love interest died in 1883 Season 1 Episode 5 — and actor Eric Nelsen clued fans into what’s next for Elsa following her grief.

Who is Ennis in ‘1883’? Actor Eric Nelsen talked about playing a cowboy and working closely with Isabel May

Isabel May as Elsa Dutton and Eric Nelsen as Ennis about to kiss each other while riding horses in '1883'
Isabel May as Elsa Dutton and Eric Nelsen as Ennis | Emerson Miller/Paramount+

Ennis seemed like just another cowboy in 1883, but his connection with Elsa Dutton provided fans with a charming, romantic storyline. It seemed like Ennis and Elsa were destined for marriage, as Elsa even told her mother she loved Ennis, and she and Ennis talked about the possibility of a family in the future. Sadly, Ennis died via a gunshot to the chest, throwing Elsa into a pit of grief at the end of 1883 Season 1 Episode 5.

Ennis actor Eric Nelsen talked about his experience playing the cowboy and how he felt about Elsa actor Isabel May, too.

“At just 21, she’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever talked to in my entire life,” Nelsen told Decider. “She’s such a special individual and a real intellect. It seems like she’s read every single book on the planet 10 times, so she taught me a lot.”

In terms of Ennis’ death, Nelsen called it “a turning point for the series and for Elsa,” too.

Eric Nelsen hinted at what’s next for Elsa following Ennis’ death

Elsa Dutton crying in Margaret Dutton's arms as Margaret looks to the sky while on her knees in '1883'
Faith Hill as Margaret Dutton and Isabel May as Elsa Dutton | Emerson Miller/Paramount+

Ennis’ death in 1883 was a harsh awakening for Elsa Dutton. Now, she’ll have to carry on with a broken heart — and a number of 1883 theories continue to crop up in regards to what happens next. Is Elsa pregnant after her sexual encounter with Ennis? Eric Nelsen gave a few hints as to what fans can expect.

In an interview with TV Guide, Nelsen said it’s “pretty apparent right away” how his character’s death affects Elsa. “The audience will see, so I don’t want to give anything away on that, but as you can imagine, the emotions and struggle that she went through was real for her,” he added. “And so I don’t know if anyone in the world can just get over something like that quickly.”

Nelsen then said he knows the loss gives Elsa “the shell and strength that she needs to get through the rest of this journey.” This likely means Elsa comes across future foes. Perhaps she does her best to stand her ground and protect the others around her now that she’s loved and lost.

Does Elsa die in ‘1883’? The beginning of the season shows her possible death

Fans watching 1883 remember the beginning of the series. Elsa awakens to see many dead people around her. Her group seemingly was attacked by the native people. Then, she’s shot in the stomach with an arrow.

So, does Elsa die? According to The Cinemaholic, evidence suggests Elsa died between 1883 and 1893. While she narrates the show, there’s no sign of her in Yellowstone flashbacks. This serves as another clue that she died after getting shot in the stomach.

With that said, show creator Taylor Sheridan could be purposely keeping Elsa’s journey ambiguous for the audience. After following the Duttons, fans would love to see Elsa survive the journey and thrive on the other side. Sadly, it doesn’t look like this is in the cards. By the season finale, fans will likely see how her journey ends.

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RELATED: ‘1883’: Tim McGraw Confirms the Season Finished Filming, Calls it ‘Bittersweet’