Paramount Network’s ‘Yellowstone‘ revolves around John Dutton (Kevin Costner), the patriarch of the Dutton family, who fights to protect his family’s ancestral Yellowstone Ranch. The Dutton family faces several conflicts in the series as powerful foes rise to claim their land. Over five seasons, the show has gained continuous popularity and does not seem to have an end in sight. However, fans love to speculate about how and when the series will come to its inevitable conclusion. If you are wondering about the ending of ‘Yellowstone,’ here are our best theories of how and when it will end! SPOILERS AHEAD!
How Will Yellowstone End? Theories
The ending of ‘Yellowstone’ has been a highly debated topic among fans. While fans have predicated the eventual fates of several characters, the show’s thematic conclusion is likely to be tied with the future of the Yellowstone Ranch. The ranch belongs to the Dutton family and has been passed down for generations. The Dutton family fights to protect their land against several external forces. Therefore, it makes sense for the show’s ending to resolve the central conflict about the ranch’s fate.
One of the most popular theories about the show’s ending is that the Yellowstone Ranch’s land will return to its actual owners. In the prequel series ‘1883,’ James Dutton, the founder of the Yellowstone Ranch, obtained a piece of land in Montana from the leader of a Native American tribe. However, the tribe leader tells James that the land will be returned to its rightful owners in seven generations. Therefore, viewers believe that Tate, the son of Kayce and Monica, who marks the seventh generation, will inherit the ranch. Tate is part native American through his mother. Hence, the prophecy would come true if Tate inherited the land.
Other theories about the show’s ending speculate that the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch will cease to exist. As viewers learn in the second season finale, John Dutton (Kevin Costner) promised his father on the deathbed that he would never alter the ranch in any way. Therefore, it would be a tragic anticlimax if John was forced to change the ranch to ensure that the Dutton family’s legacy would live on in some form. Similarly, the Yellowstone Ranch could be turned into a nature reservation or a tourist destination to save it from demolition.
When Will Yellowstone End?
‘Yellowstone’ premiered on June 20, 2018, with the series premiere episode titled ‘Daybreak.’ By the fourth season, the show became one of the most-watched television shows on cable television. The fifth season debuted on November 13, 2022, garnering over 9 million viewers. It is set to be the show’s longest season, with fourteen episodes divided into two parts. With two spin-off shows already produced and a couple of others in development, it looks like the ‘Yellowstone’ hype train is not stopping.
However, co-creator Taylor Sheridan stated in a 2021 interview that the show wouldn’t drag on forever. He exclaimed that the series would not air for nine seasons, implying it could end sometime between seasons 6 and 8. The fifth season is not being marketed as the final season, and with strong viewership numbers, a sixth season seems like a guarantee.
In a 2020 interview, Sheridan stated that he had already planned the show’s ending and was cautiously working to propel the story in that direction. Moreover, actor Cole Hauser who plays Rip in the series, seemingly confirmed that the show would run for two more seasons. “I can tell you there will be [season] 6 and [there] will be a 7th, that’s all I can say,” Hauser told Entertainment Tonight. Therefore, as things stand, an eighth season is not guaranteed, and the series could end with the seventh installment.