Dan Dority (W. Earl Brown), probably based on the real-life Dan Doherty, is Al Swearengen's right-hand man. A former bushwacker, he has been with Al for years and serves him as bodyguard, enforcer and killer. While violent and short-tempered he is not a heartless killer. In the first season he defies Al with the help of Doc Cochran, helping spirit Sofia Metz out of town instead of killing her and decides not to harm Ellsworth, even though he witnessed his murder of Brom Garret. Many others have fallen victim to his short temper, though. When Al is sick at the start of season 2, Dan tells Trixie that he would've been a good-for-nothing scumbag if he had never met Al.
Dan is jealous of Silas Adams' favor with Al, leading Adams to comment, "Any chance you and me don't end in blood?" The two have an uneasy alliance, however, and Adams saves Dan from a throat-cutting in the second season finale. Though Al's choice to use Adams in his negotiations with Hearst also draws resentment, despite Dan's clear unsuitability for the task.
In Season 3 he is challenged to a fight by Hearst's bodyguard, Captain Turner. He wins, killing Turner in a brutal fight, but only just, which leaves him slightly traumatised, now fully realising his own mortality.