Yellowstone may seem like a show about white men and their woes on paper, but the reality is that the creator Taylor Sheridan uses its characters to tell a deeper story about the growth, power, and pain that society can bring to families in a Montana landscape. What you think you’re getting isn’t always what he’s actually trying to teach with his character and his travels. For Yellowstoneone of the most fascinating aspects of the series is how the Dutton family works in society, but also how family dynamics work.
In the center is the patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner), which projects to the world that he has the power to influence his family in one way or another, that he is the one that people should follow while watching the series and that he is the one that the other characters listen when he makes a decision. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I would go so far as to say that of the current members of the Dutton family, he has the least power and is fair at the behest of his children. (Before Lee Dutton died, he was probably in that slot, but alas.)
So if John Dutton isn’t even in the middle of the power dynamics, who is actually running the Dutton family? Well, it depends on the situation. There is a clear leader of the family as a whole, but there are others who can influence people one way or another and so the power dynamics in the family as a whole are fascinating to break down. Looking at the family, it’s clear who has power and who doesn’t, so let’s rank the Duttons based on who actually has influence.
7 Tate Dutton
Although the Dutton children had some control over their family as children in the flashbacks we’ve seen (especially after their mother’s death), Tate (Brecken Merrill) does not have this power. No matter what’s going on in the Duttons’ lives, Tate kind of goes with the flow. Sure, there have been times when things have been done by Monica and Kayce for Tate’s benefit, but he’s not exactly pulling the strings. Rather, he just wants to work on the ranch and spend time with his father and grandfather.
It’s possible that Tate doesn’t really care about power, even though John constantly says they need to save the ranch for Tate and their family legacy. But maybe Tate will start to get more fire and drive from Dutton as the series progresses. Right now he doesn’t have much power – other than keeping the ranch alive. to him, and that’s about it.
6 Rip Wheeler
Outside of Tate, the Dutton with no real power over the family is Rip (Cole Hauser) – but that’s because Rip has his power over the ranch as a foreman, and that seems to be enough for him. When it comes to who controls things around Yellowstone, Rip can do all of John’s bidding, but he’s also the one in charge of those who work there. You don’t run into Rip and you do what he says. Obviously, this dynamic changes if John is the one telling you to do something, because Rip instantly agrees with him.
Rip is a fascinating character to classify in terms of power – because he has power, but not over the Duttons. In fact, even if Rip wanted him and tried to push John away, he would quickly get put down because of the way their relationship was built, and so, for that, he’s just slightly above Tate in the rankings. general of control. in the family.
5 John Duton
For the general public, John Dutton is a man you don’t want to meet. He’ll come after you, take you for everything you tried to take him for, and he’s not someone you want against you – but that’s about where his power ends. For the most part, his children are still three steps ahead of him. Even when they were younger, they still had a pull on him that made him barely have any power within his own family.
Of course, on the present ranch, the hands that work for him would never dare push John away. Rip is his biggest soldier because he would never try to bite him. But in the Dutton family, John has no chance against his children, and he is fully aware of it. He’s not trying to be someone who thinks he has some sort of control over his kids, but he still has that element of fear working for him. His kids may have more power than he does, but he can still get mad at them and they’ll listen – and that really is the definition of power.
4 Kayce Duton
Kayce Duton (Luke Grimes) has more power than his father, but not much – more power in the sense that he can and will walk away from the ranch if he wants to, and he’s not really one to do exactly what John told him. When it comes to his wife Monica, however, Kayce will do whatever she needs him to. There are times throughout the series where Kayce pretends to act like he has a say in how his family works, but the reality is that anything Monica says goes.
Outside of his siblings, Kayce has no power because he doesn’t want it. He stays out of the drama with Jamie and Beth and kind of does his job and carries on in such a way that he could probably change that dynamic in a snap of his fingers if he wanted to.
3 Monica Duton
If Monica (Kelsey Asbille) say something to Kayce, it’s okay. She’s not afraid to tell him what she thinks; even when she’s a little mad at their situation and Kayce tries to be the man in their relationship, he soon realizes she’s right and does what she says. We’ve seen this happen many times times but notably in season 4, after the family is attacked, Kayce tries to blame Tate’s reaction on Monica, then in the next episode they all live closer to Monica’s parents again because she is the one with the power – and rightly so.
Kayce looks a lot like his father but also very different. He doesn’t necessarily care that Monica is the one calling the shots, and so their relationship works because he does what she asks. She doesn’t usually abuse this power, but if things go wrong, what Monica wants is what will happen.
2 Jamie Duton
Learning that he wasn’t John’s biological son is something that made Jamie Dutton (Wes Bently) almost too powerful for its own good. Prior to the reveal, Jamie was the type of character who would do anything his dad asked of him and basically be a breeze with John. The revelation that he was adopted unleashed a side of Jamie that led to a major power shift in the family – which is why Jamie and Beth fought so hard.
The two didn’t like each other before, but they had the kind of brotherly relationship where you’d expect it to be a romantic feud. Then their hatred grew and grew to the point where they are now on the verge of wanting to kill each other. It’s a situation that causes Jamie to have more power over Kayce and John – because he’s a lawyer and the kind of character who would use that against his family, as we’ve seen.
1 Beth Duton
We all know that Beth (Kelly Reilly) is actually in charge of the Dutton family. If anyone has power, it’s her. Of course, by societal standards, she doesn’t. She’s not part of the family that people would think is the mastermind behind it all, but that’s exactly what happens. Beth operates in the shadows and pulls the strings of her family like a puppeteer in a way that makes her a fascinating character to watch.
No matter what Jamie, Kayce or even John thinks, it’s Beth who gets what she wants and knows how to get it – and so the whole Dutton family on Yellowstonewe know that the real power belongs to him.