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"I seen a terrible thing tonight."
―Ned Mason[src]

Ned Mason was one of Al Swearengen's road agents who worked out of the Gem Saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota alongside his brother Tom Mason and their friend Persimmon Phil. In 1876, as more and more residents were drawn to the gold-mining town, the Mason brothers and Phil butchered the Metz family in a robbery staged to look like a Sioux attack; however, the young Sofia Metz had been hidden from the criminals and was later found when Ned "reported" the event. Former law-men Wild Bill Hickok and Seth Bullock were able to see through Ned's ruse and confronted him, only to gun him down when he attempted to draw on them.[1]


Time in Deadwood[]

Metz family[]

"Was that you or me, Montana?"
"My money would be on you.
Wild Bill Hickok and Seth Bullock, after gunning down Ned Mason together[src]

Ned and his brother Tom Mason were among those who came to the gold-mining town of Deadwood, South Dakota, where they found work in 1876 as road agents for criminal Al Swearengen, proprietor of the Gem Saloon. On the night of famed gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok's arrival in the camp, Ned, Tom and their friend Persimmon Phil butchered the travelling Norwegian Metz family in a brutal robbery staged to appear as a Sioux killing, though they failed to notice one of the family's children, Sofia Metz, hidden nearby.[1]

Ned returned alone to the town, where he visited the No. 10 Saloon to report a Sioux attack. Though immediately suspicious of Mason, Wild Bill and former sheriff Seth Bullock volunteered to ride out with Ned to see the site of the attack - there, they found Sofia and brought her back to Doc Cochran. Sofia was in shock and seemingly unable to speak English in the first place so it was impossible to confirm Ned's involvement in the murders, but Hickok and Bullock confronted him nonetheless. Initially, Ned brushed off the accusations and tried to make his way out of the camp, but it became clear quickly that they weren't just going to let him leave. Seeing this, he attempted to draw his weapon, only to be shot by the duo before he could fire, dragging his horse to the ground as he fell dead from a shot to the eye.[1]


"Fuck Hickok, and what he did to your poor fucking brother, huh?"
Al Swearengen to Tom Mason[src]

Ned's corpse in the thoroughfare

When Tom learned of his brother's death, with the help of Phil he drunkenly tried to assassinate Hickok at the No.10. But as he approached the outlaw, Wild Bill shot him almost immediately, having sensed his ill intent from the moment he entered the room. Bullock witnessed the event and vouched for Hickok, while Phil returned alive to the Gem - only for Al to execute him in order to prevent Sofia from tracing the robbery back to him.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

Ned Mason was played by Jamie McShane in "Deadwood", the pilot episode of Deadwood.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Season 1 Episode 1 "Deadwood"
  2. Season 1 Episode 2 "Deep Water"