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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     John Marston 

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.

    New Austin Arc 

Bonnie MacFarlane

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.
  • Buttmonkey
  • 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.
  • Oireland
  • 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.

Seth Briars

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.

Bill Williamson

The first of John's former gang members that he has to bring to justice.

     Nuevo Paraiso Arc 

Agustin Allende

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

Landon Ricketts

A retired American gunslinger, now residing in Mexico protecting the local townsfolk.

Luisa Fortuna

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.

Abraham Reyes

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.

Javier Escuella

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...

  • Asshole Victim
  • Big Bad: Of the whole game.
  • Blue Oni: Cold, calculating Blue to Fordham's hot-headed, aggressive Red.
  • BOI Agent
  • Create Your Own Outlaw: Him killing John makes Jack a revenge-driven outlaw.
  • Dirty Cop: He's not above kidnapping someone's family to make them hunt down outlaws that he should be hunting down.
  • Dirty Coward: He does participate in a few firefights, including the assault on Beecher's Hope, but that doesn't quite make up for the fact that he spends the whole game forcing John, by kidnapping his innocent family, to risk life and limb hunting down Dutch's gang instead of doing it himself.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The very first thing we see Ross do is rudely shove a paper boy out of his way as he's escorting John to the train. And if that wasn't enough to let us know that he's hardly a pleasant guy, the next time we see him, he tells John that Abigail "sends her regards" and gives a snide little chuckle.
  • Expy: A corrupt law enforcement official with an irritatingly smug personality who forces the protagonist to do his dirty work by holding family hostage, claims to be doing what he does for the greater good, and decides to kill the protagonist after they've done everything he asked? Are we talking about Agent Edgar Ross or Officer Frank Tenpenny?
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: At the game's end, the "official" story is that Ross was a great hero who brought down Dutch's gang, bringing these murderers and thieves to justice. Almost no one knows that the true story had Ross force one of the gang's former members - who was desperately trying to go straight and live a normal life - to do his dirty work for him, only to stab him in the back after promising to leave him and his family alone.
  • Final Boss: The main storyline concludes with a duel between him and Jack Marston, at the bank of the San Luis river.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Lights up a cigar as he watches John take his last breaths, satisfied that Dutch's Gang has been completely wiped out.
  • Glory Hound: As much as Ross harps on about morality and how everyone must pay for their misdeeds, when it comes to wiping out Dutch's gang, it's heavily implied at one point that he's also in it for the medals. And according to his brother, he was awarded a "chestful" of them after taking care of John, fully eliminating the gang. He'd be a mere Glory Seeker if his methods weren't so underhanded.
  • Hero Antagonist: At his core, he wants to bring about law, order and civilization, and eliminate all those who seek to destroy it. He's an asshole for sure, and his means of accomplishing this end are often underhanded to say the least, but it's hard to fault his basic goals. One can argue he stopped being this when he backstabs John, who's trying to go straight, after he did exactly what he wanted him to do.
  • Holier Than Thou: Though centered on morality rather than religion.
  • Inspector Javert: To John Marston's Valjean; he continues to rage against Marston's supposed monstrousness and in the process becomes quite monstrous himself.
  • I Have Your Wife and Son: This is how he gets John under his thumb.
  • Jerkass: While Fordham at least shows gratitude and even respect occasionally towards John and others, Ross is disdainful towards everyone he runs into - not just John - and considers himself nobler and morally above pretty much the entire West by default. He constantly refers to the people he protects as savages, fools and scum that should be lucky to have his assistance, and is just in general very unlikeable. He is even disrespectful to those working for him, like Fordham (who he is constantly putting down) and Nastas (who he refers to as a savage).
  • Hypocrite: He claims that what he does is morally right by bringing peace and order to the frontier, but nothing changes the fact that kidnapping a man's (innocent) family is pretty barbaric way to go about doing so. The best part is that he's also absolutely aware of this, and seems to believe the ends justify the means.
    Marston: My side ain't chosen! My side was given. I'd kill you a hundred times before I killed Dutch, if it was an option.
    Ross: Hallelujah! I think we're finally reaching an understanding Mr. Marston!
  • Kick the Dog: He seems to love making snide, insensitive remarks about John's family. And one of the first things we see him do is rudely shove a little boy selling newspapers out of his way.
  • Knight Templar: He's aiming to bring law and order to the West and wipe out the gangs, by any means necessary.
  • Karma Houdini: He commands a platoon to kill Jack, the last member of Dutch's gang, and comes out of it unscathed and smoking a cigar. He's seen far and wide as a hero, and the man who took out Javier Escuella, Bill Williamson and Dutch as well, stealing all of John's merits. Jack makes sure to subvert the trope by finding Edgar and killing him in a duel three years later. The jury's still out on whether John gets Vindicated by History by the "Red Dead" book, which was likely written by Jack.
  • Metaphorgotten: Goes on a long, increasingly bizarre monologue about Dutch's anarchy at the beginning of the mission "And You Shall Know The Truth...".
  • Not So Different: Between John, and himself, they really aren't. Neither of them can escape their past. John can't escape his past life of crime, while Ross can't his life as a government employee, constantly being pulled back in to work.
    • Furthermore, it's arguable that he really might not be that different from Dutch. Both are fighting for what they believe to be best for society, Ross for civilization and Dutch for anarchy, and both display a complete willingness to Shoot the Dog if that's what it takes to get there. But the game shows that both of them are hypocrites and neither of their plans are without flaws anyway. The only real difference is that in the end, Ross is remembered as the hero and Dutch as the vicious outlaw, but then the game points out that had more to do with civilization ultimately triumphing and history being Written by the Winners then any real moral superiority of one over the other.
  • Pet the Dog: When you're hunting him down as Jack, you talk to his wife and brother... and what they say hints that he has sympathetic traits despite being a menace to the Marston family.
    • Also, he has Nigel West Dickens pardoned after John tells him that West Dickens helped him capture Bill Williamson.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: He gives John the high-powered pistol by shoving it barrel-first into John's stomach. But then again, he's not too concerned about John's well-being.
    • After taking John's gun to put a bullet in Dutch's corpse so it'll "look better on the report", he gives it back by tossing it to him.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: His wife tells Jack that while he tried to retire, the government keeps pulling him back in.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Fond of giving long, flowing speeches about how he and the law are right and just, and how everything Dutch stood for and every fiber of John's being is morally bankrupt - usually in response to John calling him out on using extortion and kidnapping to further his own ends. Ross - who cannot accept that John could possibly be a changed man - never lets an opportunity pass to pontificate, often hypocritically, on how lacking in character John is.
  • Smug Snake: Both he and Fordham are irritatingly condescending to Marston whenever they meet.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver: Considering he both controls the main plot and kills John at the end anyway.
  • Troll: After John has fulfilled his end of the deal and asks about his family, Ross falsely tells him that Abigail was killed in a prison riot the previous week, just to mess around with him. He's lucky that John didn't shoot him right then and there, which he was ready to do before Ross revealed that he was "just joking".

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.

  • Anti-Villain
  • 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.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • 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

Abigail Marston

John's wife. A former prostitute who used to "work" with John's old gang before they got married.

     Minor characters and strangers 

D.S. MacKenna

An eccentric early filmmaker.

Herbert Moon

The anti-Semitic and racist Armadillo shopkeeper.

Eli and Jonah

The two deputies of Armadillo.

Mother Superior

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! 

Jack Marston

The son of John and Abigail Marston. He becomes the player character after "The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed".