Yellowstone rip wheeler
Paramount Network

Does Rip Die in 'Yellowstone'? Everything Fans Need to Know

Rip Wheeler is without question one of Yellowstone's most popular characters. The hit Paramount Network show has its fair share of interesting — and tough — customers, but Wheeler, portrayed by Cole Hauser, is by far certainly one of the most beloved by fans.

Wheeler, known affectionately to fans as "Rip," is the kind of hero you want on your side. He's impeccably charming, witty and romantic enough to tame Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly) — which you can give him an A for in our book. Fans have rallied around Hauser's portrayal of the gritty, brooding cowboy who's ride or die for the Dutton family, and for good reason. He's a protector (with great facial hair, at that), a quiet but understated guard dog, and the man you want in case of an emergency. Just ask Beth after he quite literally saved her life in season 3.

But all good things must come to an end, eventually. That's not to say Rip is going to die in Yellowstone Season 5. We don't know for sure what's going to happen. Fans are concerned, however, that it is a very real possibility and an eventuality those who have been following the show and character must prepare for, especially since he's one of the Yellowstone greats they don't want to let go. And a recent Instagram post celebrating Rip from the show's official account doesn't have the Yellowstone faithful feeling particularly positive about his fate going forward.

So that begs the question, does Rip die in Yellowstone? Has Hauser said anything about what we can expect in Yellowstone Season 5? We've rounded up everything we know here to try and put your mind at rest. So whether you're a diehard fan and have seen every episode or you're just getting into the show, you'll know exactly where we all are on the Rip Wheeler survival consensus: will he live or won't he?

Will Rip Wheeler Die in Yellowstone?

Rip Wheeler and Beth Dutton in Yellowstone

Screengrab via YouTube

Right now, we don't know the answer to that, unfortunately. We do know, however, that as of the end of Season 4, Rip Wheeler is alive and well, and going into Season 5, he'll be living his life with Beth Dutton, his lady love, at his side. Right now, there's no reason to panic about his fate, but after all that we've seen teasing "big things" for Season 5, it's hard to quantify what that could mean for the character.

We know that, of course, Hauser is returning to Season 5 married to Beth, an official member of the Dutton family. But at the end of Season 4, there wasn't any imminent danger to speak of that might threaten Rip's life, other than the attacks on Beth's family that she has opted not to meet with revenge. Though the rift between Beth and Jamie still exists. That could rear its ugly head at any moment.

What Has Cole Hauser Said About Rip's Future on Yellowstone?

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MAY 30: Cole Hauser from 'Yellowstone' attends the Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land summer press day at The London Hotel on May 30, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land)

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land

Hauser hasn't given any official confirmation on whether his character is poised to live on for the next season of Yellowstone. That would, unfortunately, be a spoiler, and we can't have those ahead of the episodes airing!

But he has gone public with some teases about what we may be able to expect and Rip Wheeler's status. He's gone on the record with a bit of a cheeky response to whether fans are out of the woods as far as the character's survival thus far.

"I think we're OK," Hauser told TODAY in a recent interview. "For now." Not only does Wheeler have more "colors" in store for Hauser to explore as an actor, but a "darkness" to the character that he loves. And we can't discount how much he cares for Beth, either.

"There's also, kind of, this real passion and love that he has for Beth and I thought that's a really good juxtaposition as an actor to be able to play that," Hauser told TODAY.

Though Hauser has been mum about his character's fate, he has confirmed that he'll be appearing in 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, an upcoming limited series and spinoff of the first Yellowstone prequel series 1883, which starred Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. But nothing so far in regard to whether Rip will live to see another day, at least concretely.

In the meantime, he can always count on his mom to keep him apprised of the fan theories surrounding Wheeler's fate in the show, whom he assures that everything's going to be okay. "I said, 'Mom, I do the killing. Don't worry about it,'" he told TODAY. Does that mean we shouldn't worry, either? Only time will tell what's next for Hauser in Yellowstone, but right now, it looks like he may very well have survived for another season.

Yellowstone Season 5 is set to premiere with a two-hour event on Sunday, Nov. 13.

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