Elsa narrates 1923 because she is a significant member of the Dutton lineage, and she can provide insight into what is happening to the show’s characters.
The Yellowstone spin-off shows have become almost as popular as the original show because fans keep watching to find out how all of these stories connect.
Elsa is one such a character. Even though she dies in 1883, she is the narrator of 1923 as well, in order to provide context and insight into the Dutton mindset.
Connecting the dots to Yellowstone
Sometimes it seems as though fans will just never get enough of the Yellowstone franchise. In fact, when 1923 premiered, over 7 million devoted Yellowstone fans tuned in to see what would happen in this chapter of the Dutton family’s history.
However, since Yellowstone, 1883, and 1923 premiered out of chronological order, one of the most interesting parts of this new show is trying to figure out how all of the events and people will link to the events in Yellowstone.
This includes filling in the complicated Dutton family tree with characters like Elsa and John Dutton, who were the only characters from 1883 to appear in 1923.
Why does Elsa narrate 1923?
Technically, saying that Elsa Dutton “appears” in 1923 is not correct, since her character died close to the end of 1883. However, the character does make a comeback in the role of the narrator of the series, just as she narrated 1883.
In 1883, Elsa Dutton, who was portrayed by Isabel May, was introduced as the only daughter of James and Margaret Dutton. In this show, the Duttons left Tennessee in order to start a new life out west.
Unfortunately, Elsa passed away during their journey at the end of the show and they chose Paradise Valley as the location for her burial, which is how the Duttons ultimately decided that they would establish the Yellowstone ranch there.
When 1923 started, Elsa had already been dead for forty years, and she had never even met her brother, Spencer, who is featured throughout the show.
However, Elsa narrates the events in 1923 because she played such a significant role in the Dutton family history and the establishment of the Yellowstone ranch.
She also vocalises some great insights about the Dutton family, which are often perfectly illustrated by the events in 1923.
In the end, Elsa’s narration in 1923 also helps to emphasise the idea that 1923 is just a continuation of 1883, in which she was also the narrator and helped to tie all of the Dutton family’s history together.
How does Elsa narrate 1923 if she died in 1883?
It may have been surprising for many fans of the Yellowstone franchise when they heard Elsa’s voice again in the first episode of 1923, but it is not that unconventional for a show to feature a character that has been killed off as the narrator.
In fact, films like The Bucket List, Oz, and Sunset Boulevard were all narrated by people who were dead in the story. This style of narration helps to provide some much-needed context and perspective to the story.
How do fans feel about Elsa’s narration in this show?
Fans of the Yellowstone franchise were devastated when Elsa died so close to the end of 1883, since many people regarded her as the real main character of the show.
For this reason, many fans were excited when they heard her voice as the narrator in 1923, since they knew that they would not get to see her character again.
However, Elsa’s narration of this new spin-off has received polarising reviews so far, as there are other fans of the franchise that truly dislike the narration trope in the Yellowstone spin-off shows.
Some viewers feel like Elsa’s narration is boring or removes them from the story too much.
Is Elsa’s narration necessary?
Elsa’s narration may seem insignificant to some viewers who feel that shows should “show” and not “tell” their characters’ stories, but it is definitely necessary to the overall narrative of the show.
In Elsa’s very first monologue as the narrator of 1923, she utters the words “Violence has always haunted this family”, which not only reminded viewers about what they were in for, but also served as an insight into the entire Dutton family’s mindset all throughout the Yellowstone franchise.
Not to mention the fact that she also doles out ominous warnings which only increases the tension in the series.