‘1883’ Finale Prediction: Elsa’s Death Explains Her Role as the Show’s Protagonist

Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone prequel 1883 has been met with quite a few mixed reactions. Some enjoyed the show in the beginning but became annoyed with the show’s intense focus on Elsa. With so many other interesting characters in 1883, it does seem strange that a teenage girl would be the protagonist. However, our prediction for the 1883 Season 1 finale would explain a lot about the show’s focus on Elsa.

[Spoiler alert: 1883 Season 1 Episode 9 spoilers ahead.]

Isabel May as Elsa Dutton riding a horse in a white dress in '1883' episode 9
Isabel May as Elsa Dutton in ‘1883’ episode 9 | Emerson Miller/Paramount+

Elsa is dangerously injured in ‘1883’ Episode 9

1883 began with a mysterious opening scene, which culminated in Elsa getting shot with an arrow. Episode 9 finally explained that this scene was no dream. A group of Lakota Native Americans mistakenly believed that Shea’s group killed their women and children. The men of the tribe were out for revenge. In the ensuing battle, Elsa was shot through the stomach.

Wade and Margaret pulled out the arrow and cauterized the wound. Although Elsa is still alive, her chances of long-term survival are slim. Wade states that the blood from Elsa’s wound was black, which means the arrow must have knicked her liver. James also notes that the arrow that pierced her was filthy. Infection is sure to set in. In fact, the morning after her injury Elsa says she feels like she has a fever.

‘1883’ finale prediction — Elsa’s strenght will fail near Montana

Although James tells Margaret that Elsa is going to die, nothing is certain in the 1883 finale. However, our prediction is that Elsa will die in the finale as the Duttons near Montana. In episode 9, according to the cook, they are a six-hour ride from Fort Caspar, which is located in Wyoming.

Elsa is young and strong, so we predict she will survive until the Duttons are nearing the end of Wyoming. We know that Shea’s group originally planned to head to Oregon, but as Elsa’s strength fails, James may look for the nearest place to settle his family.

According to Variety, Graham Greene will guest star in 1883 as Spotted Eagle, a Crow elder. Spotted Eagle “spots the wagon train and tells James Dutton about the place, Paradise Valley, where he should settle with his family,” Variety states.

In 1883 Episode 9, James tells Margaret, “Where we bury her is where we stay.” It seems quite possible that while Elsa nears her last days, James will take Spotted Eagle’s advice and head to Paradise Valley, where the modern-day Yellowstone Dutton Ranch is located.

Elsa’s role as the narrator makes a lot of sense if this prediction comes true

Plenty of 1883 fans grew tired of Elsa’s narration, romantic relationships, and even the character herself. It’s true that there are other interesting characters on the show, who perhaps don’t get enough screen time. However, if Elsa dies in the 1883 finale, her role as the protagonist makes perfect sense.

Viewers know that the Duttons are men of their word, so when James eventually has to bury his own daughter, it will begin a chain of events. The Duttons will take root in Montana and Elsa will be the first of generations of Duttons to be buried on the land. If our prediction is correct, she is a big reason that the Duttons call Montana home, and her tragic death affects the Dutton family for generations.

New episodes of 1883 release Sundays on Paramount+.

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