Why ‘1883’ Fans Think Elsa Dutton Will Actually Survive the Finale

by Courtney Blackann

We left the latest episode of “1883” with a shock. Elsa Dutton may die. They said the words in the final moments. However, fans don’t believe that Taylor Sheridan will actually kill off the focal point of his Western drama.

According to Looper, fan theories have been circling since the premiere of “Racing Clouds,” the ninth episode in the series. When we were first introduced to the drama, Elsa (Isabel May) awakens to find a burning covered wagon and an arrow through her center. She wildly fights back with a handgun, shooting at the natives who’ve caused such destruction.

We circle back to these events in the latest episode of “1883.” A group of native warriors is on the path for revenge after they believe it was the wagon party led by Capt. Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott) that killed a group of their people.

In their pursuit, they wreak havoc on the Dutton family as well as the wagon train. People are scalped, wagons set on fire. When Elsa is struck with an arrow through her stomach, we don’t know her fate. It isn’t until after when she appears to be recovering that we learn her wound is fatal.

Yet the character is a pivotal part of the storyline – and one that’s been carefully woven into the seams that make “1883” the story it is. Could Taylor Sheridan really kill off a character he calls the “personification” of his masterpiece?

‘1883’ Fan Theories

Fans don’t think so. In a post on Reddit, theories about Elsa’s fate were going wild.

“They leaned into Elsa dying so much that I’m suspicious she makes it,” wrote one person. “This is a show, not real life. She will live we will see her meet up with Sam, and then she dies.”

Another adds, “My guess is that Sam will somehow find them again and take her to his tribe to heal her. (Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part…).”

One user pointed something else out that makes sense based on events in “Yellowstone.”

“If Beth Dutton can survive an explosion that’s about eight feet away from her with just burn wounds, I’m sure Elsa will survive with just a light scar.”

Regardless, we won’t know anything until the finale of “1883” enlightens us. That being said, Taylor Sheridan does like to leave viewers with a bit of a cliffhanger. We’ve seen this time and time again with “Yellowstone.” Life on the frontier in the 1880s isn’t easy – the show’s unfolding has shown us all that much. Between illness, tough weather conditions, crossing rivers and bandits, the people can’t catch a break.

Yet there’s beauty in it too. The peoples’ perseverance along with found love and strong bonds make this story special. We’ll know Elsa’s fate soon enough. And if her story ends here, the series will likely take a new shape.

The finale of “1883” airs on Paramount+ February 27. You won’t want to miss it.