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Since its inception, the prequel series 1883, a gripping and stark portrayal of the journey westward through the eyes of the Dutton family, has had audiences on the edge of their seats.
The harsh reality of the American frontier in the late 19th century means life is precarious, and no character is safe from the brutal uncertainties of this time.
If you’re a fan who’s found it hard to keep track of those we’ve tragically lost along the way or if you’re just gearing up to brave the journey yourself, this article is for you.
We’ll provide a rundown of the 1883 characters who have met their untimely ends so far, offering a look back at their stories and the impact of their departure on the storyline and the characters left behind.
1. Claire Dutton
With her stern and intense personality, Claire Dutton isn’t exactly the most likable character in 1883. She is repeatedly causing trouble due to her belligerent personality.
Claire is constantly bashing her own family, as she does not believe in James Dutton’s dream of finding new land. In addition, she also regularly insults Elsa over her life choice.
She causes quite the drama when a gang of bandits came to the camp looking for water when she makes it quite clear they were unwelcome, leading to more problems.
Though she can be despicable, Claire does have quite a sad backstory. She is a widow, and six of her kids died young.
Claire takes her own life when her only surviving child, Mary Abel, dies due to her confrontation with the gang.
2. Mary Abel Dutton
Mary Abel Dutton is the daughter of Claire Dutton and is very much like her mother. However, she meets an unfortunate fate as she dies after getting shot by the gang her mother stirred up trouble with.
Mary has a rather intense personality and very much believes in the importance of being a proper lady. She believes her cousin Elsa is rebellious and regularly makes snide remarks at her.
After some convincing from Thomas, Cookie is hired as a cook for the wagon train. As a particularly foul-mouthed individual who lacks proper manners, Margaret tells him off and teaches him a lesson in respect.
When a strong storm is rolling into camp, Cookie abandons the caravan, taking the food with him. Though he does end up returning, his poor decisions lead to a confrontation with a group of upset Lakota.
Unfortunately, Cookie gets killed by Lakota men as they thought he was partially responsible for murdering their families.
Alina is an Italian immigrant, who along with her husband, Mikel, joins the wagon train. Though she speaks very little English, she is a talented seamstress who helps make clothes for her fellow travelers.
Unfortunately, a misunderstanding between the wagon train and members of the Lakota tribe led to Alina’s tragic death. She was shot and scalped, barely hanging on to life, while her husband was killed after being scalped.
Overcome by tragedy and pain while in a manic state, Colton shot her in an act of mercy.
Mikel is an Italian immigrant who is married to the weary yet hopeful Alina. Together, the couple travels with the caravan to start a new life.
Mikel gets caught up in a misunderstanding between members of the Lakota tribe and the wagon train. He meets an unfortunate demise as he dies from being scalped.
Risa is a young immigrant who along with her husband Josef joins the wagon train. The couple hopes to start a family in Oregon.
While out horseback riding, Risa has a bad fall after her horse is spooked at by a snake. Rushing to her aid, Josef gets bitten by the snake and becomes sick. Unfortunately, the injury from the incident leaves Risa unconscious for most of the journey.
Sadly, she passed away by the side of her husband, who was able to recover from his snake bite.
Ennis travels along the wagon train, working to ensure the safety of the families. Though he is not the most qualified cowboy, what he lacks in experience he makes up for in enthusiasm.
Ennis and Elsa fall in love, and the two had plans to get married. However, these plans are destroyed when bandits attack the caravan.
When Ennis came over to help the gunmen from the wagon train, he gets shot by a bandit and dies of his injuries.
8. Shea Brennan
Shea Brennan is a wagon boss and Pinkerton Detective who may be a little rough on the edges, but is also vulnerable.
The former captain of the Union Army has faced many difficult times, including watching his wife and daughter die of Smallpox.
While struggling with life, Shea finds new meaning in guiding settlers along the Oregon Trail. His goal of the wagon train journey is to make it to the ocean, as it was his wife’s dream.
Believing he has no more reason to live, he takes his own life to reunite with his wife after seeing the ocean.
9. Elsa Dutton
Elsa is the daughter of James and Margaret Dutton and the sister of John. She is young, beautiful, intelligent, emotional, and authentic.
Despite her best efforts, Elsa’s love life never goes as planned. Her first love Ennis tragically dies from a gunshot wound, and after falling for Sam, the two are forced to go separate ways.
In true cowgirl fashion, Elsa pushes through all the tough situations she faces in life. Sadly, she gets shot with a dirty arrow and develops a nasty infection.
After being unable to recover from her injury, she passes away in her father’s arms.
Her final resting place is on the land that becomes the Dutton’s home for generations to come.
Related: 20 Best 1883 Characters Ranked