‘Yellowstone’ Fans Make Perfect Case for Why One Ranch Hand Should’ve Been Branded Much Sooner

by Thad Mitchell
(Photo Credit: Yellowstone Gallery, Paramount Network Press Center, Viacom)

Fans of the hit modern western drama “Yellowstone” simply cannot get enough of their favorite show as a new season approaches.

In the absence of new “Yellowstone” episodes, watchers have taken to discussing all things Dutton Ranch on various internet sites. There is no shortage of discussion points to be found on the “Yellowstone” dedicated forums. Many fans are rewatching the entire season in order to paint a picture of what the upcoming new season might have in store.

Watchers take their findings to sites like Reddit to share their thoughts with their fellow “Yellowstone” fans. One Reddit user recently made the argument that one ranch hand should have gotten his “Yellowstone” brand much sooner than he did.

The fan says “Yellowstone” ranch hand Ryan should have earned his brand back in the very first season.

“It seems to me like Ryan was already halfway to being branded from the first season,” the Redditor says. “There’s that scene in Season 1 in the episode with the grizzly where Walker, Jimmy, and Ryan are sent to hunt it. First, he was the only unbranded man in the group. Second, that’s highly illegal, as we see given the trouble Rip had. Third, when Walker asks what they’re going to do when they find it, Ryan says, “Shoot, shovel, and shut up.”

‘Yellowstone’ Fans Discuss Branding Practice

As all “Yellowstone” fans know, ranch hands have to participate in illegal activity to earn their “Y” brand. Rip Wheeler, who does most of the branding himself, says the brand is a symbol of trust. Rip, Lloyd, Jimmy and Kayce are a few of the characters bearing the brand. At the end of season three, we see Colby, Teeter and Ryan get their brands. The trio participates in the murder of Wade and Clint Morrow to get their marks.

The Reddit fan has a valid point that perhaps Ryan should have gotten his brand sooner.

“Then there’s everything that goes on in Season 2.,” the fan says. “Honestly, if Tate hadn’t been kidnapped, it seems plausible that Ryan would’ve ended up branded that night. But Tate was. And Ryan participated in an only halfway legal plan to get him back.”

Other Reddit users agree with the poster’s assessment. Some point out that Ryan has been on the ranch a while and is also one of the Montana Livestock agents on “Yellowstone” Ranch.

“I agree — he seems to have been there for a while and is also one of the livestock agents (very useful to the Duttons),” a fan writes in the thread. Seems a little unrealistic that he wouldn’t already have the brand.”

There is a very good chance that we’ve not seen the last of the “Yellowstone” branding storyline. Will anyone receive their brand in the fourth season? Will it be revealed that an unlikely character also bears the brand?

The fourth season of “Yellowstone” will arrive on November 7. Until then — there is plenty of “Yellowstone” discussion out there.