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Why Do Yellowstone Characters Get Branded? Branded Characters List

Why Do Yellowstone Characters Get Branded? Branded Characters List

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If you are a fan of Yellowstone, you will know that getting branded is a significant aspect of the show. So, just why do Yellowstone characters get branded?

When Yellowstone talks about branding, it is not a metaphor. Several characters on the show that work at the ranch receive an actual brand on their body, just like livestock do.

The branding iron is heated over a flame and pressed onto a person’s skin, a process that is not for the faint of heart.

However, not just anyone on Yellowstone receives a brand. Only a handful of characters bear the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch brand on their chests.

The ritual of being branded on the show has caused some confusion among fans about who gets the brand and why.

Receiving a brand on Yellowstone is a big deal. It indicates just how grueling life can be at Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.

Why Do Yellowstone Characters Get Branded?

Rip Wheeler holding the Yellowstone brand iron

In Yellowstone, characters get branded to signify they are a part of the ranch forever and to indicate their loyalty. The brand bounds wearers to the ranch and in a way, the ranch owns them now.

Branding is often presented as an initiation or a ‘rite of passage.’ It’s something required to show that one is willing to make sacrifices.

Those who receive the brand stand with the ranch, no matter how messy things get.

The brand often represents a second chance, allowing the ranch hands to leave behind their previous struggles and hardships. In a way, it represents a sort of rebirth, as many of those who work at the ranch come from a troubled past.

For example, when Rip branded Jimmy, he gave him the option to receive the brand and work for the ranch or be turned into the cops.

The act of branding on Yellowstone is similar to initiation rituals of secret organizations such as the Sicilian mafia and fraternities.

Once an individual accepts the brand, they are a part of the ranch and are sworn to protect its secrets.

Related: 10 Facts About Cole Hauser, the Rip Wheeler Actor

What Yellowstone Characters are Branded?

Yellowstone characters that are branded are Kayce, Beth, Rip, Jimmy, Teeter, Colby, Ryan, Lloyd, and Walker.

Jimmy with the Yellowstone brand

The first character we see to receive the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch brand is Jimmy. Rip gives Jimmy the brand in his trailer after giving him an ultimatum: get branded or get arrested.

Wade Morrow also had a brand, however, Walker cuts the brand from Wade’s chest after he betrays the ranch.

Wade, along with his son Clint, attacked Teeter and Colby before threatening John Dutton. The ranch hands sought revenge on the Morrows, killing them for their attacks on the ranch.

Related: 35 Best Yellowstone Quotes From the Dutton Family

What Does the Yellowstone Brand Mean?

Yellowstone Y hot brand

The Yellowstone Dutton Ranch brand is a Hooked Rocking Y. It is created from a combination of the Hooked Y and the Rocking Y, two historical cattle brands.

Both the Hooked Y and the Rocking Y are used separately among real American cattle ranchers. However, the Hooked Rocking Y logo remains special to just Yellowstone.

The Hooked Y brand dates back over 130 years as a registered American cattle brand. It is active in several different states including Tennesee, Arkansas, and Texas.

Related: Is Yellowstone Based on a True Story?

Did Any Real-Life Ranches Brand Their Cowboys?

Branding people on Yellowstone is done throughout the show, however, it is not a regular practice at real-life ranches.

Though people in real-life have been branded, it is by no means a common occurrence.

Branding a person comes with a lot of dangers. A person’s skin is a lot thinner than a cow’s, so the brand can result in a serious burn. In addition, brands on people are prone to infections, which can lead to serious complications.

Related: 20 Yellowstone Quiz Questions

A. Coggins

Wednesday 22nd of February 2023

As many times as we have seen Beth's chest area ,I haven't seen the brand on her,so where is she hiding it.


Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Beth is NOT branded


Thursday 17th of November 2022

You forgot Jake as one of the branded, he was branded at the same time as Colby, Ryan and Teeter.


Monday 14th of November 2022

If the brand is exclusive to Yellowstone then why is the rancher on Mountain Men show uses it?