Characters: Red Dead Redemption
A list of the various characters in the Rockstar game Red Dead Redemption
. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, and some of them are ugly
- but they're certainly interesting.Due to Wiki Policy, this page contains numerous unmarked spoilers for the game's ending and epilogue. You Have Been Warned.
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The main protagonist and playable character. A former outlaw who ran with Dutch Van Der Linde's gang, a huge falling-out with the gang led to John deciding to go straight and try to raise a family. However, the Bureau of Investigations wants to eliminate the gang, and they force John - by holding his family hostage - to take up his guns once again and hunt down and capture or kill the men he once called friends.
- Amazon Chaser: Abigail used to ride with their gang and is even more of a verbal badass than John is.
- Anti-Hero: John is an Anti-Hero no matter how you play him, but the Karma Meter makes it somewhat difficult to ascertain exactly what Anti-Hero he is. A player who does consistently good deeds, along with Marston's willingness to help people in need and motivation for the main story for make him more of a Type II or a light Type III. A particularly nasty player can make him a Type IV or even a Type V.
- The Atoner: It's right there in the title.
- Back from the Dead: In Undead Nightmare, John returns to the world as a zombie.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Should the player feel so thus inclined in the Stranger missions.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Determinator: This picture pretty much sums it up.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Dies in a shootout with an Army contingent manned by Ross all by himself, to give his family time to escape.
- Everyone Has Standards: When ordered to burn down a village by De Santa, Marston is clearly against the idea but is forced to go along with it to maintain the support of the Mexican army. Afterwards, he's pretty disgusted at himself while everyone else is happily pillaging.
- Expy: Played with, as he resembles Red Harlow physically but not in personality
- Fastest Gun in the West
- Genius Bruiser: Due to his lack of education, he does not qualify for a Badass Bookworm, but it becomes clear very quickly that John is extremely intelligent and, had he received an education, could have likely pursued any path he wanted.
- Good Parent
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: While he can be good or evil depending on how you play, he sure didn't get them "falling over in church", as he puts it.
- The Gunslinger
- Handicapped Badass: There are several hints that point to John being nearly blind in his left eye. He's still quite a sharpshooter however. He even quips, "Looks like I got my eye back" once you killed a few people in Dead Eye mode.
- Happily Married: He absolutely adores his wife. In contrast to every other Rockstar protagonist out there, he turns down every other woman's advances without hesitation, always remaining faithful to her.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: He'll assist any side that helps him get the men he wants, especially in Mexico.
- The Hero Dies
- Heroic Neutral: Just wants to be left alone with his family.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He allows the government to kill him, so his wife and son can live the rest of their lives in peace. But he doesn't go down without taking a few with him.
- Karma Houdini: Ross considers him to be one of these, to the point that he kills him.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Reyes even calls him a romantic trying to be a cynic.
- Mr. Fanservice
- Nice Guy: Generally tries to be cooperative with those he's working with and displays a large amount of restraint and patience, not to mention being a very loving father and husband.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Despite this, he does have his limits and will not hesitate to threaten those he feels aren't holding up their side of the bargain.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: You feel doing all of those good deeds and side stories don't you? Ross says Hello. John Marston is quite possibly the Trope Codifier. All the good deeds he does throughout the game... is undone when Ross and his men come to kill him.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: He only starts to openly work for the rebels after Allende and de Santa tried to screw him over and Reyes saved him. Otherwise he treats them as a means to an end, though he's somewhat sympathetic towards Luisa.
- One-Man Army: He, by himself, fought off bandits, rebels, wolves, cougars, and the Mexican and US Armies (if only).
- Outlaw Parents Want Good Kids: He and Abigail made Jack unaware of their profession, especially in regard to the days of Dutch's gang.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Lampshaded by Bill Williamson - John was always one for "fancy words."
- Papa Wolf
- Parental Abandonment: His mother died in childbirth, and his father died when he was 8, leaving him to grow up in an orphanage until he met Dutch.
- Retired Outlaw: He simply wants to live his days out in peace with his family.
- Rugged Scar: Covered in em'. As he says, he certainly didn't get them "falling over in church".
- Warrior Poet: He's a surprisingly eloquent speaker, something that Bill Williamson points out.
- Wild Card: In Mexico, he's willing to work with whomever he thinks can get him to Williamson and Escuella.
New Austin Arc
A ranch owner that helps out John early in the game.
Marshal Leigh Johnson
The no-nonsense District Marshal of Armadillo.
Nigel West Dickens
A traveling salesman and a self-proclaimed man of science.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Say what you will about Mr. West Dickens. He may be a Dirty Coward, but he also helps John with an assault on Fort Mercer, complete with shooting some of the enemies.
- For Science!
- Large Ham: When trying to advertise his wares.
- Lovable Coward: Of a sort - he may be a swindler who often cowers behind schoozing and stronger friends when his lies come back to bite him, but he also volunteers a plan to help John face Williamson without being prompted or asked by John at all and is right there with him when the assault happens.
- Nice Hat: His top hat.
- Not So Different: He never lets John mock his line of work without pointing out John's own dubious past in return.
- The Smart Guy: For the plan to take Fort Mercer.
- Smug Snake
- Snake Oil Salesman: Formerly the page image.
- Could also fall under Worst Aid. It's ambiguous whether Mr. Dickens knowingly sells junk or actually believes in the stuff he's peddling, as he never gives up the act even when it's just him and the highly skeptical Marston. If we grant that the in-game cartoon about the dangers of medical science that WILL KILL YOU AND LEAVE YOU DEAD is about Dickens, it seems that the medicine technically could have useful ingredients, though apparently at the wrong dosages and with the wrong mixtures.
- Small Name, Big Ego
- The Strategist: Despite seemingly being a hack, he does devise a plan to assault Fort Mercer that works like a charm, in addition to putting John in touch with the other characters who supply the equipment (namely, a gatling gun) to make it happen.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: His relationship with John to an extent, particularly in Undead Nightmare, when they bid each other a relatively fond farewell. When John later sees West Dickens getting arrested in Blackwater, he gets Ross to pardon him.
An arms dealer that John has to deal with as part of the assault on Bill Williamson.
- The Alcoholic: John seems to never meet him while he's sober.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday:
Marston: I'm the guy who saved you from gettin' killed back there and who you owe your life to, remember?
Irish: Not really, happens to me all the time.
- Dirty Coward: Notably, he happens to be "late" during the assault of Fort Mercer, where even West Dickens and Seth fight for a bit. However he'll fight back if he has absolutely no choice.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: The epilogue states that he managed to get himself killed while drunkenly fiddling around with a gun in an outhouse.
- Only Known By His Nickname: He's simply referred to as "Irish" by all other characters. The newspaper in the epilogue simply refers to him as an unnamed Irishman.
- Undignified Death: Shot himself while drunkenly fiddling with a gun while in an outhouse.
- Ungrateful Bastard: His response to John saving his life is to send him off, unwittingly, to an almost certain death to avoid repaying his debt.
A maniacal treasure hunter that West Dickens sends John towards.
- Butt Monkey
- Captain Ersatz: Basically they took Gollum and put him in the Wild West.
- Depraved Bisexual: States that he's had a wife and child once while implying that his relationship with Moses Forth was more than just partners.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted; while robbing a grave he expresses disgust at one of the corpses he exhumes laying with his sister... but that's just because he doesn't like women, full stop.
- Shaggy Dog Story: "A glass eye?!? IT'S A GLASS EYE!"
- Shout-Out: West Dickens nicknames him Seth of the Dead.
- In Undead Nightmare he also plays cards with his now undead friend Moses, in similar fashion the ending of Shaun of the Dead shows Shaun playing video games with zombie-Ed
- Reverse Mole: His role as part of the assault on Williamson is getting inside Fort Mercer and opening the gates for John and the others.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: In the epilogue it is mentioned that he actually found real treasure and became rich.
- He also has a prominent role in the Undead Nightmare DLC and generally fares very well within the Zombie Apocalypse.
The first of John's former gang members that he has to bring to justice.
Nuevo Paraiso Arc
The provincial governor of Nuevo Paradiso. A brutal tyrant with a love of sexual violence.
Vincente de Santa
The second-in-command (maybe) of Allende, who openly supports his methods.
- Affably Evil: Despite strongly supporting Allende's brutal, harsh methods, he appears to be a somewhat jovial, friendly guy.
- Depraved Homosexual: Subverted; while his enemies claims that he is this trope, his style of villainy and general behaviour state otherwise.
- Do with Him as You Will: A possible fate for him. If John decides not to personally kill him, he'll walk away and tell the rebels that he's all theirs, after which they'll proceed to perforate him with bullets.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: When de Santa first meets John, he acts extremely hostile, to the point of having his soldiers aim their weapons at him. A few seconds later he bursts out laughing and explains that he was joking. John is less than amused.
- The Dragon: To Allende. Well, not if you ask Espinoza....
- Right Hand Versus Left Hand: He hates Captain Espinoza, and attempts to get him killed along with John by sending them against a large group of rebels equipped only with unskilled new recruits.
- Straight Gay: While his homosexuality is strongly hinted at in his interactions with the drink pourer and openly mocked by his enemies, he fits this trope.'
- Sycophantic Servant
A retired American gunslinger, now residing in Mexico protecting the local townsfolk.
A young schoolteacher and a member of Reyes' rebels, who she sees as a great hero.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Despite being an otherwise bright person, Luisa actually believes Reyes' lies and thinks that he honestly loves her when in actuality he can't even remember her name.
- Love Martyr
- Morality Pet: For John. He helps her out not just to forward his own goals but because she's one of the few characters to not earn his contempt. He's also somewhat offended by the fact that Reyes can't even remember her name despite telling her that she will be his wife.
- Nonstandard Character Design: Whereas most of the RDR cast look realistic, Luisa looks like she came off a Mexican wall mural - her eyes in particular.
- Stupid Good
- Too Dumb to Live: Attacking a group of government soldiers with just a knife was a stupid move.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: To the point of being blind to any of Reyes' faults. She also has trouble understanding that John doesn't care about the revolution as much as she does.
The leader of the rebels. A charismatic son of nobles who proves to be not nearly as great as he says.
- Affably Evil: He may be a power hungry wannabe-hero who manipulates civilians into helping him just so that he can take over Mexico, he's very charismatic and polite. He even treats John as if he was his best friend.
- Big Bad: Technically this for Undead Nightmare. He's the one who starts the Zombie Apocalypse after taking an Aztec mask he thought would make him invincible.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves John from being executed by de Santa, returning the favor from earlier.
- Glory Hound
- Full-Circle Revolution: It's revealed in the epilogue that after leading the rebellion to victory and becoming Presidente, Reyes becomes just another tyrannical dictator.
- I Gave My Word: At the least, he doesn't try to screw John over and does end up helping him take down Escuella and Williamson.
- Jerkass: It's pretty clear to John that Reyes is a man obsessed with power more than he is with actually doing any good. He also regularly cheats on Luisa, won't marry her because she's a peasant, and keeps forgetting her name even after she dies trying to save his life.
- Undead Nightmare reveals that he abandons all of the girls that he has sex with once they get pregnant. And his selfish, greedy personality ends up causing the Zombie Apocalypse as well as his own demise when he steals an Aztec mask because he thought it would make him invincible.
- Large Ham: An absolutely DELICIOUS one.
- Really Gets Around: Claims that it's his duty to spread his seed amongst his citizens as future Presidente. In Undead Nighmares it's mentioned that pregnant girls tend to be tossed to the nuns however.
Colonel Allende's other, more competent right-hand man in the war against the rebels.
- Badass: Unlike De Santa, Espinoza is not afraid to head into combat.
- Badass In Charge: He is an incredibly efficient military commander and he always leads the charge on any battle he's fighting in.
- The Captain
- Eyepatch of Power
- Face Death with Dignity: When the rebels take Chuparosa, he refuses to flee and continues fighting from the town hall until Marston finally kills him.
- Only One Name
- Right Hand Versus Left Hand: He severely dislikes De Santa and constantly competes with him for Allende's favor.
- Sadist: After defeating a rebel platoon in Tesoro Azul, he orders the village burnt and the deceased rebels' wives kidnapped and (most likely) raped to send a message to surviving rebels.
- Weapon of Choice: He asks John what his favorite weapon is as they ride towards Chuparosa. From his recurrent use of it, the Schoffield revolver appears to be his favorite weapon.
- Worthy Opponent: He appears to hold some degree of respect for Marston, most likely due to his prowess in combat.
One of John's former gang members and evidently the brains of the group. He aided Bill in going to Nuevo Paraiso to escape from John.
West Elizabeth Arc
Agent Edgar Ross
A federal agent forcing Marston to go after his former gang members. He's holding Marston's wife and son hostage, until he finishes the job... and even then, Ross still has something up his sleeve...
Agent Archer Fordham
Ross' ambitious, eager and aggressive apprentice, who follows his orders no matter what.
- BOI Agent
- The Dragon: To Ross.
- Red Oni: Hot-headed and aggressive Red to Ross' cold, calculating Blue.
- Smug Snake: Though not quite as much as Ross is.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He thanks John if he gets Javier alive. And he even congratulates John after Dutch is taken care of. He also doesn't seem to show up when Ross kills John, possibly due to the respect he gained for him.
- He also appears to actually show some respect and concern for Nastas; this is in contrast to Ross who calls him a savage and asks if he can even speak English.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It is debatable whether he appears in the final attack. If not, he is never seen or mentioned again after John kills Dutch.
Professor Harold MacDougal
A "researcher" of Native Americans, MacDougal is a perfect representation of science of his time.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Cocaine is a hell of a drug.
- Ax-Crazy: Gets kicked out of Yale after beating a colleague over the head with a croquet mallet and climbing up to the roof completely naked, in what is described as a "savage" attack, likely after a bad trip.
- For Science!
- Innocent Bigot: Unlike Herbert Moon, who hates practically everybody, MacDougal is for the most part an Upper-Class Twit who believes in crackpot theories and idiotic science and doesn't seem to really bear the natives any ill will.
- When the player first meets him, he is apparently comparing blood samples under a microscope. He tells John that those of a Native American seems to be exactly alike in composition to that of a white man, but he seems to be rather pleasantly surprised by the revelation rather than insulted as would be expectable by other racists.
- He also seems genuinely saddened by Nastas' death, and even posts a paragraph in the Blackwater Ledger paying his respects.
- The Load: Does nothing but make more trouble for you.
- Man Hug: Gives one to John as he goes back to Yale.
- The Stoner: Almost always tweaked out on cocaine.
A local indian who was hired by Edgar Ross to help John hunt Dutch down.
- Nature Lover: In his words, "There is no respect for the land anymore." He's very concerned about the future of the forests, what with the West becoming more "civilized", and laments the overhunting of the buffalo. He'll even call you a bastard if he sees you kill an animal during the mission "At Home With Dutch".
- Never Heard That One Before: His reaction to Prof. MacDougal's attempt to communicate with him has a hint of this.
- Nice Guy: Easily one of the most decent and pleasant people John meets in the game.
- Only Sane Man: Along with John. In fact, he's one of the most decent people he works with.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Sadly, he only appears in three missions, the last of which has him taking a bullet to the face.
Dutch Van Der Linde
John's former mentor, and Ross's main target.
- Archnemesis Dad: Sort of. He adopted John, Bill, and Javier when they were children, and raised them as a part of his gang. MacDougal even states that the current relationship between John and Dutch is Oedipal in nature.
- Big Bad: Of the West Elizabeth arc.
- Blood Knight: By his own admission. He barely believes in the causes he fights for anymore, but keeps killing because it's all he knows how to do.
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist
- Despair Event Horizon: Went past this a long time ago.
- Despair Speech: Gives one right before throwing himself off of a cliff.
Dutch: When I'm gone, they'll just find another monster. They have to, because they have to justify their wages. Our time has passed, John.
- Disc One Final Boss
- Driven to Suicide
- Evil Former Friend
- Expy: Bears more than a passing resemblance to the late Lee Van Cleef. Their names are even quite similar.
- Fallen Hero: John believes that he was a good man - "was" being the key word.
- The Fatalist: He becomes one right before his death.
- Hypocrite: See Wicked Cultured below. Despite fighting civilization in favor of the old, more simple and egalitarian way of life that the Old West allowed men to live, you can tell from looking through caves in Cochinay that he's very well read and likely extremely intelligent. Ultimately, he's probably not that different from the people he's trying to fight: bankers, industrialists and government agents that civilization put in power, and under different circumstances probably would've had the smarts to be one himself. There's other evidence of this as well, he uses a Semi-Automatic pistol in cutscenes and escapes from the bank robbery in an automobile. It goes to show how not even he could resist the influence of encroaching civilization, and it seems likely that this fact might have been what ultimately drove him over the Despair Event Horizon.
- Just Like Robin Hood: A long time ago.
- Kick the Dog: The second time we see him, he holds a bank hostage and shoots some poor innocent woman in the head in front of John just to spite him.
- Mighty Whitey: A villainous version. He leads the local Native Americans in a pointless guerilla war against civilization.
- Parental Substitute: Was this to the rest of the original gang.
- Social Darwinist: One who is willing to die to make sure that his ideals become reality.
- Sociopathic Hero: In his own mind he is.
- Softspoken Sadist: His voice is actually pretty innocuous, but he certainly isn't.
- Tragic Villain: In the end, it's revealed that he's just a sad man with not much else to live for.
- Trigger Happy
- Wicked Cultured: Considering that he taught John how to read, Dutch is probably rather well educated for his time. Also, when exploring his lair you can find a well-stocked bookshelf and a typewriter.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Formerly. John believed that when Dutch realized that no matter how hard he fought, he could never make a real difference in the world, he snapped.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
John's wife. A former prostitute who used to "work" with John's old gang before they got married.
Minor characters and strangers
An eccentric early filmmaker.
The anti-Semitic and racist Armadillo shopkeeper.
- Ascended Extra: In the main game, he's simply a shopkeeper with a penchant for blaming everything on Jews and screaming his name. In Undead Nightmare, he gets a cutscene where he expresses hatred for nearly everyone that isn't a white American male, even though he's never actually met most other ethnicities.
- Asshole Victim: Nothing stopping you from tying him up and leaving him on the rail tracks if you ever get tired of his racism. And you will.
- In Undead Nightmare, he is killed by zombies after going into a xenophobic rant.
- Conspiracy Theorist: He sometimes states that the Jews killed Abraham Lincoln, stating that it's why there's a triangle on the dollar bill.
- Dumbass Has a Point: His views on Abraham Reyes are perhaps the only insightful comments he makes.
- Hates Everyone Equally: In Undead Nightmare, he seems to hate pretty much everyone that isn't Herbert Moon, even though he's never met them.
- Large Ham: "HERBERT MOOOOOOOOOOON!"
- Say My Name: He really likes hearing his own name.
- Sarcasm-Blind: He seems to not pick up that John's just being sarcastic with him.
- Shop Keeper: Of Armadillo
Eli and Jonah
The two deputies of Armadillo.
The most senior nun at Las Hermanas.
- Ascended Extra: Has a VERY minor role in the main game. Is one of the main characters in Undead Nightmare.
- Badass Preacher: Very much so.
- Nun Too Holy: Defied. Mother Superior is concerned about even killing a zombie.
SPOILERS - Open at your own risk!
The son of John and Abigail Marston. He becomes the player character after "The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed".
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He got these from a bear he tried to hunt on his own.
- I Coulda Been a Contender: Had dreams of being a writer, but his family's death seems to have ended any hopes and dreams he had for the future. Apparently zig zagged, if the book titled "Red Dead" by J. Marston that you can find in Grand Theft Auto V counts as canon and not just an Easter Egg.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: His name is John Marston, Jr, but everyone calls him Jack.
- Last of His Kind: Last living Marston, and fitting in the game's theme of the end of the Western era, one of the few Western gunslingers left by the game's end, if not the very last one.
- Like Father, Like Son: He couldn't be any more similar to John if he tried.
- Meaningful Name: Because Jack is usually a nickname for John, he's likely named after his father, symbolizing his eventual fate of becoming an outlaw like John.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Massively deconstructed. Before John's death, Jack was a kindly, idealistic young man with dreams of being a writer. In the epilogue where you play as Jack, it's revealed that he's become a jaded outlaw who drifts from place to place, haunted by his past, and ultimately has very little reason to live. In short, Jack ended up becoming everything his father didn't want him to be. And just to drive it further, even if Jack does manage to get his revenge, Ross is remembered by the masses as a hero who brought some dangerous criminals to justice, John is remembered as a brutal outlaw who learned the hard way that justice is inescapable, and Jack spends the rest of his days as a depressed, wandering loner with his life completely ruined. There is no happy ending for Red Dead Redemption. However, considering that you can find a book titled Red Dead by J. Marston in Grand Theft Auto V, it's possible that Jack managed to find some peace and become a writer after the events of the game.
- Son of a Whore: Just like his father.
- Took a Level in Badass: Before John's death? A bookish, somewhat awkward teenager, always getting himself into trouble. After John's death? He's become a Badass, just like his father, who hunts down and slays Edgar Ross in a duel as an act of vengeance. Unfortunately, this is the polar opposite of what John wanted his son to be.
- Turn Out Like His Father: By killing Ross, Jack becomes an outlaw like his father, who didn't wish for him to become one.
- You Killed My Father: So he kills Ross back.
- Young Gun: When he fights with his father against the US Army, and later presumably trained by Landon Ricketts.
- Younger Than They Look: After the Time Skip, no one can tell he's nineteen.