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‘1923’ Includes an Error Regarding Spencer Dutton’s Age



1923 fans had a lot of questions about Spencer Dutton when the show first aired. It’s easy to forget that Spencer was introduced in a flashback from Yellowstone. Viewers only got a few brief glimpses of him as a child before 1923 jumped forward to Spencer’s adulthood. We think we know how old Spencer is supposed to be, but a small error adds some confusion.

Brandon Sklenar as Spencer Dutton and Julia Schlaepfer as Alexandra in ‘1923’ | Emerson Miller/Paramount+

How old is Spencer Dutton in ‘1923’?

Spencer Dutton is the youngest son of James and Margaret Dutton. His oldest sister Elsa died on the journey to Montana in 1883. His brother John was only five years old at the time of the journey. Yellowstone Season 4 flashed back to the year 1893.

By this time, James and Margaret are settled in Montana. John would be fifteen years old, and he now has a younger brother named Spencer. In the flashback set in 1893, Spencer doesn’t look older than six or seven. This means that in 1923 Spencer is somewhere in his mid to late thirties, and John is 45 years old.

This line from Spencer creates confusion about his age

This timeline all makes sense so far, but an inconsistency from 1923 Episode 2 adds a lot of confusion. In the first four episodes of 1923, Spencer works as a hunter for hire in Africa. While sitting at a bar, Alexandra introduces Spencer to a group of women who gush about Spencer’s achievements.

Spencer is famous, though he isn’t aware of the fact. One of the women claims that Spencer even killed the man-eaters of Tsavo, but Spencer responds that he was only five years old when that happened.


The man-eaters of Tsavo are not a thing of fiction. In 1898 a pair of lions preyed on construction workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railway. They were eventually killed by John Henry Patterson in the same year.

This creates an issue, however, because Spencer would have been much older than five in 1898. The error is small enough that fans may not have even noticed it. Or perhaps Spencer was simply throwing out a random age to get the gushing women to leave him alone.

Other discrepancies in the ‘Yellowstone’ universe

Spencer’s age isn’t the only confusing inconsistency in the Yellowstone universe. John Dutton has a famous line in Yellowstone where he states that his relatives have been buried on their ranch in Montana since 1886. This is a discrepancy in the Dutton-verse because the tradition began even earlier.

Elsa Dutton died in Montana in the year 1883. She was the first Dutton to be buried on what would become the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch, three years prior to when John Dutton claims in Yellowstone.

There has been also been plenty of confusion regarding the Dutton family tree, but 1923 proves that we don’t have all the answers yet. While Jack and Elizabeth might be the grandparents of Kevin Costner’s John Dutton, it’s also possible that he comes from Spencer and Alexandra’s line. Fans will have to tune in to find out more details and see if everything adds up in the end.

1923 premieres Sunday, December 18, 2022, on Paramount+.


Source: Cheat Sheet

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