Yellowstone fans had plenty to tide them over until the next season of the Duttons' drama when new prequel 1923 began airing in December 2022. Eagle-eyed viewers made sure to remain vigilant, looking for links with the earlier Yellowstone prequel series 1883 -- and when they finally found something that brought the two shows together, they couldn't have been happier.
Fans were intrigued to see Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar) carrying a knife that once belonged to his late sister Elsa (Isabel May). Sklenar, in a recent interview with Insider, confirmed that the knife was indeed a reminder of Elsa and that he had come up with the idea of adding it to his character's backstory.
The actor shared that the knife was meant to showcase Elsa's influence on Spencer, despite her death before he was born. It was also intended to suggest that Spencer potentially learned to track animals and hunt with the Native Americans, similar to his sister's experiences.
In the prequel series, Elsa meets a Comanche tribesman named Sam (Martin Sensmeier). He becomes instrumental in helping Elsa through the loss of her betrothed Ennis (Eric Nelsen), and eventually the pair become close enough that they instead marry. However, when they first meet, Sam gives Elsa his knife -- which is bundled in its original leather sheath -- as a gift.
Unfortunately, Elsa didn't live much longer after that. By the series' season finale, she perished after being shot with an arrow. Overcome with grief, her parents decided to build a home right where she drew her last breath. This location later becomes the famous Yellowstone ranch featured in 1923.
Sklenar said that building a rich backstory for Spencer was an essential part of his process before shooting began on the newer prequel series. His goal was to craft "specific memories" for his character, such as memories of the war or his aunt and brother, stating he finds it "fun" to do things like that, that "nobody sees."
But in this case, it seems that plenty of people saw his handiwork. So if you noticed that iconic knife, know it certainly was a deliberate choice. And if you like looking for connections such as these, keep an eye out. Plenty more are likely to come in the future.
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