‘1883’: Tim McGraw on How Major Finale Death Will Affect James, Margaret Dutton

by Amy Myers

During the first season of 1883, Margaret and James Dutton’s relationship has been through hell and high water – sometimes literally. But they haven’t experienced a tragedy quite like in the season finale.

Warning: Major 1883 spoilers ahead. Continue reading at your own risk.

Previously, Margaret (Faith Hill) and James Dutton (Tim McGraw) have had their disagreements, mostly surrounding their wild-hearted daughter, Elsa. Throughout their journey from Tennessee through the Oregon Trail to Montana, Elsa has carved out a path of her very own, which was terrifying for her loving parents to witness. While both 1883 parents wanted to protect her, James ultimately knew that they couldn’t corral the wild horse they raised. So, when he knew they had to let go of the reins, Margaret often took her frustrations out on him. But ultimately, we know she was just afraid of losing her child.

That’s why when Elsa suffered that fatal arrow shot, we worried that Margaret would truly never forgive her husband, as she warned him earlier in the 1883 series. But according to Tim McGraw, the relationship that James and Margaret share is much too strong to fall apart after their beloved daughter’s death.

“They have a really, really deep strength and love for each other. I don’t think that that’s going to go anywhere,” the 1883 star explained. “But it’s certainly going to put a huge strain on their life, as it would anyone in that situation or anyone that’s lost a child. It’s the most tragic event you could ever have in your life, so there’s going to be profound effects on both of them, and probably profound effects on their relationship. But their strength and their love for each other, in my mind, will carry them through.”

What Can We Expect of the ‘1883’ Couple in the Future?

While Elsa’s death will forever leave a hole in her parents’ hearts, the good news is that they can visit her burial spot on their new ranch property. As we know, this was actually Elsa’s idea. Perhaps, even between her fever-ridden states and bouts of lucidity, she understood that her parents needed to have that sense of security in order for their love to survive the loss… because in all honesty, the 1883 teen knew better than anyone that a grave is no more than just another spot in the dirt.

Still, we can at least find solace in the fact that the tried-and-true couple would stay together.

After all, as McGraw pointed out, “We at least know that they’re together 10 years later, because of the flashbacks in Yellowstone. [Laughs] He might have taken a few lumps.”

Hopefully, though, the hardest part of their journey in life is now safely behind them.