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Characters / Red Dead Redemption - Van der Linde Gang

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This is a partial character sheet for Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption II. Visit here for the main character index.

A list of characters from the Van der Linde Gang who debuted in Red Dead Redemption.

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    In General
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In I, the Blackwater massacre was just a bit of worldbuilding; neither John or his former gang were even implied to have been part of it. The sequel/prequel establishes Dutch's gang caused it.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: They are not good guys, but other gangs such as the O'Driscolls, Murfree Brood and Skinner Brothers are much, much worse.
  • Anyone Can Die: Out of all the members found in the photograph, only two of them (Sadie and Charles) aren't confirmed to have died by the end of I.
  • Arch-Enemy: The O'Driscolls — All the way.
  • Badass Crew: Individually, most of them are veteran outlaws and experienced gunslingers. Riding together, they're truly a force to be reckoned with, even when heavily outnumbered. Prime examples are the assaults on the Braithwaite and Bronte estates, not to mention the entire Guarma arc.
    • Badass Family of Choice: Dutch and Hosea either saved its members from poverty and the rope or actually raised them for most of their lives. The gang has a very familial structure, the gunslingers tend to act like bickering children and Dutch has a clearly paternal influence over them.
  • Bandit Clan: They're clearly more than a gang in II, acting more like an isolationist community set apart from the rest of the United States. At their peak they're around twenty-strong, including women and children. They also display a familial loyalty to each other, more than just the professional respect or appreciation.
    • They also turn their hand to whatever criminal enterprise makes money, not just limiting themselves to armed robbery. Livestock rustling, burglary, prostitution, guns-for-hire, fraud, even loansharking are all familiar to them.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: II reveals that after several botch heists, and Dutch becoming insane, several members begin to leave the gang for their own safety, leaving only Micah, Javier and Bill on Dutch's side. Eventually, the once almighty Van der Linde Gang is no more, each member moving on with their lives.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: They may be an odd bunch, but almost all of them are capable of putting up a fight. When the Pinkertons come to arrest Dutch, the whole camp picks up guns and tell them to piss off.
  • Chronic Villainy: Even without Dutch losing his edge the gang can't help themselves into causing problems to the point the nearby town will try to get rid of them. They won't join civilization either as they are pretty much all marginalized so they are set to rob and murder until they can't.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Many members of the gang are orphans, including Dutch, Hosea, Arthur, John, Tilly, Lenny, Abigail, Charles, and Strauss. Arthur and John being orphans led to Dutch and Hosea being parental substitutes for them, leading to Arthur and John in II starting out as Dutch's most loyal followers.
  • Cult of Personality: And that personality is Dutch. Arthur privately describes him as "something else", in comparison to the relatable Hosea. Various characters, especially Bill and Javier, express almost religious devotion to him. Dutch repeatedly invites this by stressing the importance of faith and calling out Arthur, Hosea and John for doubting him, constantly complaining about "doubters". This almost cult-like belief in Dutch is what keeps the gang together. In the end, they fall apart because he proves himself to be an undeniably human, selfish and fallible man.
  • Doomed by Canon: Much of the cast in II are fated to meet their end by lieu of being characters in a prequel. However, several of them manage to move on to peaceful and successful lives, presumably getting out of Ross' reach or simply not worth his time and effort to deal with.
  • Dwindling Party: II starts with several gang members having been killed or lost due to the botched Blackwater Ferry job. It only gets worse as the game progresses.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: This gang of outlaws includes several people of color and women, which for 1899 is impressive. Taking on the latter does serve a useful purpose, as these women are often used to infiltrate local towns and sniff out any promising targets for robbery.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The Van der Linde Gang will perform bank robberies, train jobs, and even steal cattle and lend money at usurious rates, but they have an official policy of not robbing people who get by like the local grocer. It's implied that the main reason Strauss is ejected from the gang by Morgan is because he's breaking this rule, specifically targeting people with little to nothing with which to pay back the loans.
    • They also have a disgust for the actions of the O'Driscolls, who gleefully commit Rape, Pillage, and Burn.
  • Family of Choice: Most everyone, especially the members who have been in the gang for a while, consider each other family. Tragically, this doesn't last throughout entire game of II with everyone souring immensely, abandoning it, or dying.
  • Five-Token Band: Boy howdy, this gang sure does consist of people of all ages, races, nationalities, genders, and creeds to go by... that is, until one bigot and rat among them decides to have the authorities either capture them or wipe them out. They include:
    • Dutch van der Linde, the leader and founder of the gang, who is Ambiguously Bi and seems to have been mentally disabled and becoming paranoid, and easily being manipulated by Micah himself.
    • Hosea Matthews, who is also Ambiguously Bi.
    • Arthur Morgan, who is of Welsh descent and irreligious, and yet is able to read and write and has a lot of respect for all races, genders, sexual orientations, and creeds. He can also be customizable into being very thin or obese. Oh, and he suffers from tuberculosis too.
    • John Marston, who is of Scottish descent and blinded in his left eye, yet is very semi-literate and has barely legible writing skills.
    • Abigail Roberts, who is John's future wife and the only one who is completely illiterate.
    • Bill Williamson, who is obese and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and from growing signs of dementia he inherited from his father; he is also implied to be either gay or bi.
    • Javier Escuella is Mexican by birth, and is said to be a practicing Catholic.
    • Uncle, Karen Jones and Molly O'Shea are habitual drinkers.
    • Josiah Trelawny is a native New Englander.
    • Lenny Summers and Tilly Jackson are Black Americans, while Charles Smith is a half-Black Native American.
    • Leopold Strauss is Austrian by birth.
    • Sadie Adler suffers from PTSD like Bill.
    • Sean MacGuire and Molly are Irish by birth, and Kieran Duffy is implied to be Irish by the way he was formerly an O'Driscoll.
    • Orville Swanson is a former clergyman who is a drug addict and a habitual drinker.
    • Simon Pearson is a jolly chef, but obese.
    • Susan Grimshaw is an elderly but wise lady.
    • Out of the entire gang, only nine of them (six alive, three dead) are women.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Much of them end up being this in I due to being made for a prequel, so they were never mentioned despite their close bonds.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Take a look at the gang in 1899. Then play Red Dead Redemption.
  • Karma Houdini: Averted. Almost all the active members of the gang get their comeuppance in I and II. Their inability to escape the consequences of their actions as the West becomes more civilized is actually the central theme of both games. Even several members not actively involved in violent crimes suffer the consequences of being associated with the gang.
  • Legacy Character: Dutch tried to form another gang in 1911. Emphasis on tried.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: The gang members usually split up after a job to keep a low profile afterward and ensure no one follows them to their camp.
  • Papa Wolf: When Jack was kidnapped at the end of the third chapter in II, almost every man (including Bill) rides to the kidnapper's mansion and burns it to the ground until they know where Jack is.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The original group was this. The group is made of a variety of people: idealists, professional robbers, orphans raised into criminals, normal former farmsteaders turned crooks, soldiers, trappers....
  • Remember the New Guy?: Much of the gang members introduced in II were never mentioned by any of the characters in I and it was assumed that the gang consisted primarily of Dutch, John, Bill and Javier. Even Uncle was never hinted to be associated with the gang. Though John does make a comment in l that suggests that there were more members that are currently still alive.
    John: First it was Bill, now it's Dutch. After Dutch, it will be somebody else.
  • Token Good Teammate: While some members of the gang is this, Jack stands out among them as he's the only one to never commit crimes, as well as being genuinely nice to his fellow members.
  • True Companions: The gang was one big family back in 1899.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Even though the gang bicker and insult each other, they're still a family who would save their own from rival gangs or lawmen. Sadly subverted in Beaver Hollow.


    Dutch van der Linde
"We have got something. Something to live and die for."
Click here to see him in Red Dead Redemption 
Voiced by: Benjamin Byron Davis

"This place, ain't no such thing as civilized. It's man so in love with greed he has forgotten himself and only found appetites."

The leader and founder of the gang. An anarchist Warrior Poet with a love of the nature and the frontier, Dutch saw himself not as a criminal, but a man fighting back against a corrupt system to liberate the Old West. His charisma and charm made him a father figure to much of the gang, especially John Marston and Arthur Morgan. Unfortunately, the pressures of leadership and the law's increasing scrutiny eventually broke him, and by 1911 his campaign of violence in West Elizabeth made him a target of the fledgling FBI.

  • The Ace: Is an intelligent, charismatic leader who's also a remarkably skilled shot. He's likely the one who taught John and Arthur how to shoot as well as they do (including possibly the dead eye skill), and in 1, he's able to shoot the binoculars out of John's hands despite John being on top of a mountain several hundred feet away.
  • Ace Custom: In II has a badass pair of customized Schofield revolvers with roses engraved on them.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Uncle of all people manages to make him laugh by insulting him a couple times and scoffing at him.
  • Affably Evil/Faux Affably Evil: In the beginning of II, he's genuinely kind to the majority of his gang, having accepted many lost, desperate people into his group and even acted as a surrogate father to several of them (such as Arthur, John, and Tilly). He also allows Reverend Swanson to remain in the gang despite the trouble he causes them with his alcoholism and opium addiction due to him saving Dutch's life at one point. However, with his eventual Sanity Slippage and his increasing paranoia of several members of the gang, he begins to resort to regularly yelling at several people and abandons Arthur and John several times when they were about to be murdered. By the events of I, he's notably Faux Affably Evil to John, being fairly polite and friendly to him as he attempts to murder him several times. However, by the their last confrontation, he's arguably back to Affably Evil. He throws his gun off to the side rather than continue fighting him, and speaks amicably and casually with John before he commits suicide.
  • Agonizing Stomach Wound: By the time John catches up to him in their final confrontation in I, Dutch as sustained a possibly fatal gunshot wound to the stomach area of his abdomen that seems to have occurred from a bullet ricocheting and hitting him.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: His death is one of the saddest moments in the first game. Since he knows he is living in a false hope and a Tragic Dream, he simply accepts that his era is over and commits suicide. It's arguably made even sadder with the context of II, as we truly see just how far he's fallen since the days of the gang.
  • The Alcoholic: Implied to have become one by I. If the player searches his living quarters after he dies, there's a large amount of liquor present in crates and jugs.
  • All for Nothing: By the end of his life, he realizes everything he ever fought for was meaningless, and that civilization and government taming the American West was inevitable.
    Dutch: We can't always fight nature, John. We can't fight change. We can't fight gravity. We can't fight nothing. My whole life, all I ever did was fight.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: He starts taking an interest in Mary-Beth by chapter three, and can be seen very openly flirting with her. She doesn't return his advances, and is taken aback by them somewhat.
  • Ambiguously Bi: While Dutch has a lover in Molly, and is sometimes seen openly flirting with Mary-Beth, the nature of his relationship with Hosea is ambiguous. Hosea at one point (perhaps jokingly) refers to himself, Dutch, and Arthur collectively as “the curious couple and their unruly son.” Many of their interactions with one another are intimate in a way not seen with any other male characters in the gang. During a party the gang holds after Sean returns, Arthur can find Dutch and Hosea having a conversation out of view from the others, where Dutch occasionally rests his hand on Hosea’s or holds it. If Dutch notices Arthur near them during this, he will tell Arthur to go away. In addition, if the player chooses to have Arthur antagonize Dutch, he will occasionally say to him “Everyone sees you and Hosea ‘reading’.”
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Even before being worsened by his gradual Sanity Slippage (the nature of which is debatable itself), Dutch was prone to delusional ideas about how to evade law enforcement, was demonstrated to be paranoid of several members of his gang (such as, out of the blue, telling Arthur that he suspects he’ll betray him fairly early into the story), seemed to display a sort of narcissism, and regularly made extremely impulsive decisions that almost always ended poorly. Then, he received an injury to the head after a trolley he was in derails, and all of these tendencies became worse, implying that the injury was at least partially responsible for his behavior after that point. There are at least two encounters in Chapter Four after the trolley accident that suggest the gang is concerned by his odd behavior he's developed since then.
    • It's implied his Sanity Slippage was already beginning to happen right before the events of II with the failed Blackwater robbery, and that this behavior wasn't present in him until recently by the events of the game.
    • Notably, Dutch killing Heidi McCourt during the Heist, seemingly without reason. Whenever the topic comes up, it's implied or outright stated it was far outside Dutch's normal behavior before quickly changing the subject. Dutch himself deflects immediately when outright asked by Arthur at the beginning of the game.
  • Ambiguously Evil: While it’s clear that Dutch becomes more unhinged as II progresses, it’s debatable what the motivations behind many of his actions are, and what his true character is. It’s possible that he was initially a good person who cracked under the pressure of situations his poor decision making caused, but it’s also possible he was already an unhinged narcissist whose true nature started to show as the game progressed and who fashioned himself and his gang as Robin Hood-types as an excuse to rob and kill. There’s also the question of how he viewed the members of his gang, either as people he genuinely cared for (who he rescued from various terrible situations and then protected) or as expendable pawns he could use and cast aside based on his plans, such as abandoning John and Arthur when their lives were in peril several times towards the end, and then proceeding to lie about doing so.
    • These two contrasting interpretations of his actions appear in-universe. Agent Milton simply calls him a "silver-tongued maniac", and John by the end believes that his true nature was slowly surfacing after being Beneath the Mask for so long, while Charles and Sadie believe he genuinely changed throughout the course of II. Arthur with High Honor however, states he doesn't know what to believe regarding this. A Low Honor Arthur states he was taken as a fool his entire life by Dutch. What's interesting is that John has the opposite opinion of him by the events of I, coming to the conclusion that he in fact was, in a way, a good person before his Sanity Slippage. This is probably due to Dutch shooting Micah, in addition to a possible Nostalgia Filter on John's part.
    • It's not clear if he actually is capable of loving anyone. He talks about Annabelle (his partner that O'Driscoll killed) with fondness but it very could well be that it's an excuse to keep his feud with O'Driscoll ongoing. Abigail straight up tells Molly to her face that Dutch doesn't love her. If one views him as Evil All Along, he simply took all the people in to manipulate them into being his pawns and by extension doesn't love them. Hosea seems to be the closest thing to it, he respects him way more than anyone else. This is compared to John and Arthur who do truly love people. Even at low honor, John loves Abigail and Jack and Arthur loves Mary. The Blind Seer can tell John this, “Embrace those who love you, not the memory of those who pretended to."
    • For all of his talk about how the gang are all one big family, he is not happy with John from Chapter 4 of the second game onwards, after John's Character Development starts to kick in. Dutch reminds him that the gang must always come first, hinting he thinks John might have Conflicting Loyalties now that he's taking his role as a father and husband more seriously. Arthur and Hosea don't share these concerns so its likely Dutch sees John embracing his role as a family man as a threat to his power over him. Worth noting that Dutch and John's relationship grows more bitter and hostile as John becomes a better husband and father.
    • One important thing to consider is why Dutch abandons both John and Arthur for dead in chapter six. It's completely possible he was only using them and either never loved them or loved them very conditionally, casting them aside when they bruise his ego enough. However, there's also indication that Micah was manipulating his poor mental state so well that he may have actually convinced him that Arthur and John were rats and, thus, the biggest dangers to the survival of the gang.
  • Ambiguous Situation: More like several ambiguous situations involving Dutch.
    • Dutch being in Micah's cabin in the final mission of II. Micah's dialog reveals that Dutch only recently teamed up with Micah again, but when John asks Dutch why he's there he simply responds "Same as you, I suppose." This suggests that he too was there to kill Micah, but it's possible he could be referring to the fact that the recovered money from the Blackwater robbery is in the cabin, and that he assumed that John was there to take it. He ends up shooting Micah, and it's unknown whether it was his intention beforehand or whether John successfully convinced him to. He will actually shoot John if John shoots Micah before he has a chance to beg Dutch to "say something", so he's at least convinced to spare his life by the end. He ends up silently walking away from the cabin, leaving the questions for his actions in the scene unanswered.
    • His situation with regards to Micah. How much of a corrupting influence does Micah have on Dutch, and is he taking advantage of Dutch's mental state as early as Blackwater, or does Micah's influence simply contribute to his Sanity Slippage? Also, how much of Dutch's plans by chapter six are influenced by Micah? Is Dutch's decisions in manipulating the Wapiti tribe to engage in a disastrous war the mark of Dutch finally revealing himself to be a sociopathic monster after all these years, or is it the mark of Micah exploiting his worsening paranoia and delusions?
    • His reaction to Arthur's final words to him and Arthur's death moments later in chapter 6. He leaves Arthur as he is dying and ignores Micah's insistence that they escape together, after Dutch apparently accepts Arthur's assertion that Micah's the rat. It's possible that Dutch left because he feared capture by the Pinkertons, that he was angered after realizing he was being manipulated, that he was ashamed of how he ruined everything for himself and the gang, or that he simply couldn't bare to watch his surrogate son die. His reasons for doing so are never addressed.
    • It's never clarified if his head injury during II is what triggered his rapidly decaying sanity or if he was going to end up like that regardless during the last half of the game.
    • What exactly happened to Dutch during the Blackwater job is never revealed. Arthur and Hosea were wary of it, but others say that it was going fine until Dutch suddenly shot Heidi McCourt. Only Javier saw anything and he says that it was chaos - it's implied that he doesn't want to implicate Dutch. Near the camp in Horseshoe Overlook, you can find Dutch's notes from the Rousing Speech he makes at the beginning of the game. They imply he had it prepared a lot earlier, likely with anticipation that the ferry robbery is going to end in a bloodbath.
    • His lack of intervention in John's arrest during the Saint Denis bank robbery. It's fully possible that this is an early Betrayal by Inaction on Dutch's part, but we're never shown the actual scene. John himself isn't quite sure of what to make of Dutch's behavior, saying that he feels he could have done more in the situation than he had.
    • The bones one can find in his cave in Cochinay after his death. There are several human skulls on a desk and some bookshelves, in addition to a various femur bones around the fire pit that appear long enough to be human. This content has some potentially disturbing implications concerning Dutch's mental state by 1911, although the reason for these bones and skulls being present is never explained.
  • Amicable Exes: With Susan Grimshaw. They were in a romantic relationship in the early days of the gang, and remained friends and partners in crime afterwards.
  • Anti-Hero: Before going Ax-Crazy, he was known to be A Father to His Men. Sure, he was an outlaw, but still decent enough to worry about poor people. At one point, he even goes in search of provisions for people with Arthur.
  • Arc Villain: Of the West Elizabeth arc in Red Dead Redemption.
  • Arch-Enemy: Colm O'Driscoll. Dutch murdered Colm's brother and Colm murdered Dutch's mistress (Annabelle), so their feud is personal.
  • Archnemesis Dad: Sort of. He adopted John and Arthur when they were teens, 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: By 1911, he's become little more than a murderous bandit whose crime spree is little more than just a desire to be a menace to the society he hates.
  • Badass Baritone: He has a very deep voice.
  • Bad Boss: Dutch started out as a Benevolent Boss in II but after several setbacks, the loss of several members, and a concussion, he started to become a dictator with trust issues, accusing everyone but Micah to be loyal to him. This ranges from abandoning both Arthur and John, his two most trusted members, to their deaths, berating everyone for doubting him, and even abandoning Abigail, essentially orphaning Jack. As a result, many members begin to leave the gang for their own safety.
  • Badass Bookworm: Dutch has a collection of books in his tent, and you more often than not see him reading something when you encounter him at camp.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Back in 1899, he was a Sharp-Dressed Man, a badass, and the leader of a famous gang.
  • Badass Longcoat: The first we see of Dutch in II is him in a very nice thick, black coat that reaches about his knees and one of his main outfits onwards is a sharp, black, mid-thigh length coat with a red pocket square. During the Saint Denis heist he wears a much longer coat with red lining. When he reappears in the epilogue he’s wearing a different coat with fur lining that goes down to mid-calf.
  • Badass Mustache: Sports one in the two games.
  • Beard of Sorrow: When he reappears when John, Sadie and Charles go after Micah, Dutch is now sporting a thick beard. He's also much quieter and less forceful in personality then he was before, and he doesn't even seem to care when Micah dies.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: It is painfully obvious to Arthur that Dutch never really has a plan to save John from prison after the botch bank heist in St. Denis despite him saying otherwise.
  • Beneath the Mask: Played with. As the events of II transpire, and the gang get into deeper and deeper trouble, the darker side of Dutch's personality becomes apparent. However, it's ambiguous if he was just showing more of who he was as he lost control of the situation, or if these aspects of himself just became exacerbated by the dire situations he and the gang got in. There's also the question of when his Sanity Slippage began. Did his sanity start to decline with the events of II, or did it start to decline long beforehand, only becoming apparent when he could no longer keep it in check? Several characters in-universe interpret this issue differently, with some like Sadie believing he was changed over of the course of II, versus John who (up until the 1) believes he was revealing his true nature.
    John: You see a man whose character changed. I see a man who got found out... for who he truly was.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Do not even think about calling Dutch worthless or anything along those lines to his face. Catherine Braithwaite and Angelo Bronte learned this the hard way.
    • Don't question him. Even months before his Sanity Slippage kicks in, he acts like a petulant child when Arthur criticizes him lightly (e.g. when he suggests that him and Hosea relaxing when everyone else works is demoralizing) and storms off in a huff. He's furious when Morgan stands up to him and insists twice that he lets John go with his family before the final robbery. It's implied this spiteful anger motivates him to not intervene when Marston gets shot.
    • Don't invade his personal space. He gets irritated if Arthur follows him around camp closely, and will push Arthur out of his tent if he stays there for too long.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: Does this at least three times in the prequel. He willingly leaves John to rot in prison, believing he is okay while in actuality he's about to be hanged, leaves Arthur to die during the assault on the oil refinery, and leaves John to die after he is shot during their final heist. There's also the ambiguous situation of John's arrest in the Saint Denis bank heist that gets him imprisoned, and whether or not he actively chose to not intervene in his arrest.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: He kills himself to evade capture by John Marston and the federal government, in addition to his refusal to continue living in a world increasingly being civilized.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Edgar Ross in the first game. While Ross is the active threat to the Marstons, Dutch is the main target and the one who raised John as a part of his gang. Although unknown to him, he is the lesser of the two.
  • Big Bad Slippage: His entire character arc in II is this in spades.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: In the first game. While the man is a major threat for the civilization, his plans for the future will never work because of how society works, and he is just a depressed, angry old man murderously venting his hatred towards a world that would never accept him. Deep down even he cannot resist the wonders of the modern world, as seen by his choice of weapon and his decision to escape a robbery with an automobile.
  • Big Good: Serves as this role in II, back when he was still a charismatic leader that still had his sanity. By the endgame, both those traits have gone out the window and neither Arthur nor John want anything to do with him.
  • Blank Stare: Dutch is prone to doing this when standing around camp, and this behavior can be mentioned by Arthur while antagonizing him. It apparently gets worse following the concussion he receives from a trolley crash in chapter four, as in one camp encounter following it Abigail asks Dutch if he's alright when she catches him staring into deep space.
  • Blatant Lies: When Arthur and John confronted him for abandoning them, he claimed that he either "did no such thing" or had no choice but to do so.
  • Blood Knight: By his own admission in 1911. He barely believes in the causes he fights for anymore, but keeps killing only because it's all he knows how to do and he has a deep-seeded hatred for civilization and the modernization of the American West.
  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: He is completely opposed to industrialization and the modernization of the frontier, though his sanity only drops to the "bomb-throwing" level in the final chapter of II, and onwards. By the time of the first game, he's abandoned the facade of any ideology and is just raising hell for the sake of it.
    • His philosophy is highly reminiscent of Illegalism, where crime itself is seen as an integral of anarchist practice and not simply a means to an end like it was for certain anarchist revolutionaries.
  • Breakout Villain: Despite having less than ten minutes of screen time, Dutch was far and away the most popular villain from Red Dead Redemption I, owing to his surprising depth and tragic death scene. The prequel is all about Dutch and his descent into madness.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He's a charismatic individual who's successfully led a gang of outlaws for two decades after originally being a successful con-man, yet he never contributes to the camp funds and is frequently seen hanging around camp reading, apparently only being engaged with heists that have particularly large takes. This is lampshaded more than once by Arthur if he antagonizes Dutch.
    Arthur: Ya know, you could get out there too, Dutch.
  • Broken Ace: While he has shown himself to be a charismatic leader, a skilled gunsman and a Warrior Poet to boot, it's offset by his own fragile mental stability once his Sanity Slippage becomes apparent.
  • Broken Pedestal: As his Sanity Slippage becomes worse and worse, and the flaws in his leadership become more apparent, he becomes this to his whole gang to the point that they leave him.
  • Byronic Hero: Dutch is intelligent relative to the setting, highly charismatic, is extremely passionate about the gang, and has an intense drive and determination to live out his philosophy. He is, however, extremely self-centered and, while he claims the contrary and even acts on it when it benefits him, won't hesitate to sacrifice anyone or anything (gang members included) to get what he wants. His Sanity Slippage over the course of the main story puts these more negative traits into the spotlight.
  • Can't Take Criticism: And how. This did nothing but largely contribute to his descent to insanity. Many people, from Arthur to John to even Uncle, manage to raise many good points of Dutch's flaws in his character and plans but Dutch never listens. The end result? It allows people like Micah to easily encourage these flaws and pervert Dutch's morality and personality.
  • Catchphrase: "I have a plan." and "Have faith." Most of the time he says this he's full of shit, but it takes Arthur until near the end of II to realize it.
    • He also tends to say "We need (more) money" in his long term plans.
    • Later in the game, when everything starts falling apart due to his terrible ideas, he repeats "I had no choice" or, more damningly, "We had no choice" to justify his actions to the people who questioned his decisions right from the start.
  • The Chains of Commanding: This is what ultimately causes his Sanity Slippage in the prequel. The poor decisions he had made, a possible brain injury, the increasing pressures of resisting the encroaching influence of civilization and the many losses of his gang, all took a toll on his sanity.
  • Character Development: An interesting case in that it's debatable just how Dutch's character develops. He starts off in II as a Badass in a Nice Suit with a booming, emotional voice and as a Wide-Eyed Idealist who is (seemingly) sane. He progressively becomes more unhinged, erratic, and paranoid throughout the course of II, becoming more reckless and violent in the process. He then demonstrates himself to be quite manipulative and egotistical. This culminates into him betraying John and Arthur while siding with Micah, something he never would have done beforehand. However, the explanation for this development is intentionally ambiguous; characters are split into either believing Dutch was Evil All Along and that he became less careful about hiding it, or believing him to have become this way after the traumatic events of II. Regardless, by I he’s significantly more soft-spoken and composed, while being more obviously insane. His idealism is also long gone at this point, and he now understands and accepts that everything he’s done in his life is ultimately futile.
  • The Charmer: Very much so. If he already hasn't won the Undying Loyalty of the majority of his gang for rescuing them from desperate life circumstances, he's won their loyalty through his charisma and warm demeanor as he espouses his anarchistic philosophy that so many of them feel drawn to. Having also been a con-man with Hosea for several years, he also uses his charisma to great effect when dealing with people he intends to rob.
  • Chewing the Scenery: He moves his arms around when he's making hammy rants and speeches and cracks his voice a lot while doing so.
  • Childhood Brain Damage: A much older case. After the botched trolley station heist in Saint Denis, Dutch suffered a possible concussion when the trolley the gang hijacked derailed. After the incident, he notably becomes more violent and erratic, implying that the knock to his head contributed to the Sanity Slippage he suffered in the first game.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: As his Sanity Slippage becomes more severe in II, though slightly downplayed in that he doesn't regularly have these traits over time. As Arthur notes after Guarma, Dutch "seems half-crazed" after everything that's befallen them since Chapter 4. Shortly after they return to the United States, Arthur in one scene finds Dutch playing chess with himself and rambling incoherently, much to Arthur's annoyance. This behavior is unlike anything seen of Dutch in II, and highlights his frightening state of mind as various sources of pressure and trauma take their toll.
  • Collector of the Strange: In I, he apparently collects human skulls, having at least four in his living quarters in Cochinay.
  • Con Man: Started his criminal career as one. In his early twenties, he and Hosea primarily grifted for several years before others joined them to create a gang.
  • Control Freak: Especially by chapter six. His controlling tendencies are a large part of what strains his relationship with Arthur late into the story, with him growing more suspicious of Arthur as the latter goes behind his back several times to mitigate the worst effects of his and Micah's increasingly insane plans.
  • Convenient Enemy Base: Although it has no effect on the plot and is likely the result of Space Compression, his Cochinay hideout happens to be just a few miles north of Beecher's Hope, John's ranch.
  • The Corruptible: Micah worms his way into Dutch's confidence, slowly turning him against Arthur and John in particular, but also causing him to make increasingly poor decisions while making Dutch think Micah is the only one really still loyal to him. It's implied Micah is doing this to make the gang easier pickings for the Pinkertons who he is secretly working with. It doesn't help that Dutch's mental state is on a downward spiral, especially starting around chapter 4.
  • Crazy-Prepared: A somewhat disturbing example. One letter found in Horseshoe Overlook includes a draft of a speech Dutch performed in Colter, which gives an eulogy to those who didn't survive the robbery. However, since the gang has been on the run since the robbery, it's unlikely he wrote it between Blackwater & Coulter... suggesting he wrote it before the robbery. Make of that what you will.
  • Cultured Badass: He is extremely well-read and educated for an outlaw.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Subverted. He starts off in II as an Anti-Hero and a trusted ally who always wears black clothing. Things change as the story progresses, however.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Able to compete with Arthur or John in snarkiness.
    Colm O'Driscoll: How's that score you stole off us?
    Dutch: Which one?
  • Death Seeker: Many of his actions in I certainly suggest he's become this after the Despair Event Horizon he experiences from the events of II.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the Just Like Robin Hood character archetype. While Dutch has the charm and charisma needed to lead and inspire loyalty his gang, he suffers from a lot of poor decision-making that forces the gang to move from one blunder to the next. His idealism of being a Robin Hood archetype also means that he's unable to accept the reality that his gang cannot resist the encroaching influence of civilization, clinging on to the delusion that they could evade the law for as long as they can. Eventually, his Sanity Slippage and erratic decisions is what cost him his gang, whether they be killed or choose to abandon him.
    • He's also portrayed with realistic psychology, as someone who decides that his life of banditry is more righteous than a compliant and peaceful society would ultimately be a person with an overinflated ego, massively overestimates their own intelligence, and has a dangerous sense of entitlement.
    • As such, the people that he leads are often either less intelligent than him, have low self-esteem, or were rescued by him and have nowhere else to turn to. His intentions and their loyalty to him are sincere, but he has no tolerance for dissension, no matter how magnanimous he might proclaim, and he frequently gaslights people to prevent them from questioning his decisions.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Went past this a long time ago in the original game. Red Dead Redemption II shows how he got to that point.
  • 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.
  • Did Not Think This Through: All. The. Time. Dutch always has a plan and is quick on his feet, but his impulsiveness means that almost none of them are worth a damn, and he always, always underestimates the powerful enemies that he makes, which end up putting the gang in even more danger. Best illustrated by an ambush he leads against the US Army - he captures a patrol in an elaborate, clever trap using dynamite, but he fails to account that there might be another patrol on the route, or the fact that the men he trapped, army men, might choose to fight than surrender.
  • Dirty Old Man: He has shades of this in some his interactions with Mary-Beth. He's in his mid-forties and openly flirts with the 21 or 22 year old Mary-Beth, who is taken aback by these gestures. However, there aren't many of these interactions, and most of the time he admires her from a distance.
  • Disappeared Dad: Dutch's father died when he was a small child in what's implied to be the Battle of Gettysburg as a Union soldier.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: After you finally deal with him, the game does not end.
  • Driven to Suicide: He jumps to his death after giving John a final Despair Speech.
  • Due to the Dead: An unmarked grave can be found near where he died in Cochinay, implying that it's his grave and that a surviving member of his gang buried him.
  • The Dying Walk: If John elects to shoot him during the Mexican standoff at the end of the game, Dutch will slowly attempt to walk towards him before falling on his back and dying. This is a full animation that can be seen on the PC if the player uses a cheat to render John invincible.
  • Exact Words: Arthur tells Dutch just before the final army train heist to let John go from the gang and escape with his family should the heist go south. Dutch does let John go, by abandoning him to the US Army when he gets shot off the train.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Demonstrated time and time again by his reaction to several members of his gang dying.
    • While he started his outlaw life because he never got along with his mother and decided to leave at a young age, he still loved his father despite knowing him at a lesser time than his mother due to him dying in battle when Dutch was just a little boy. He even outright tells Arthur that one of the reasons why he wants to rob the Grays and Braithwaites is because he wants to avenge his father's death.
    • He seems to have never gotten over his lover Annabelle's death at the hands of the O'Driscoll gang.
    • He grieves for Hosea's death, albeit only openly mourns him in one conversation he has with Arthur after the events of Guarma.
    • As he sees Arthur moments before the latter's death, it's implied he comes to a devastating realization that his actions and blind trust in Micah ultimately destroyed his family and caused several deaths in the gang.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Despite being a hardened outlaw, he absolutely disapproves of Colm's actions to the point of calling Colm and his gang "animals".
    • Even though he tolerates Leopold Strauss's money lending to support the gang, Dutch admits that he finds the business unseemly. That said, the fact that he supported it even back when the gang was fairly well off is a good indicator that his honorable thief act is likely a load of crap long before he shows clear signs of his sociopathy.
    • He also doesn't seem to share the prejudiced views towards other races or women that were common for that time period. He's shown several times throughout I and II to be sympathetic to the plight of Native Americans (to the point of getting offended when Bill calls them "savages"), and he's shown to not treat any member of his gang differently by race. He's also perfectly fine with Sadie Adler being involved with gunfighting like most of the men in the group.
    • In Chapter 2 of II he can be heard telling John that he's a deadbeat dad who needs to do right by Jack. Telling him that being a parent is one of life's great blessing and he needs to be appreciative of what he's got.
  • Evil All Along: Played with. It’s made clear by the end of II that those closest to Dutch really have no idea what happened to him, whether he was hiding his true character or whether he genuinely changed. Arthur explicitly states he doesn’t know the answer even after Dutch leaves him to die, and John appears to change his view after the epilogue of II to believing he indeed changed. Interestingly, Dutch by the end of I implies he thinks of himself as being this trope, though the question posed by II is never answered.
  • Evil Former Friend: To the majority of the gang (including the Marstons) by end of chapter 6 in II, and to Escuella and Williamson by the epilogue in II.
  • Evil Is Petty: It's strongly implied that he abandons John purely to spite Arthur for insisting that the Marstons be allowed to leave peacefully after the gang's last heist.
  • Evil Old Folks: Is 55 or 56 by the events of I.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Doesn't appear to hold any prejudice towards his black and native comrades, a remarkable stance at the time. This doesn't stop him from using them for his own gain, however, as he often uses their struggles to make them fight and kill in his favor.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Is implied to regularly be sleep deprived, and in first-person view one can see dark bags under his eyes.
  • The Fagin: Much of the gang was adopted by him at a young age, often while trying to rob him or because of criminal circumstances. This is portrayed sympathetically until Chapter 6, when he encourages Eagle Flies' destructive instincts, preying on his youthful anger. This leads Arthur and John to wonder how benevolent Dutch actually was when he took them in.
  • Fallen Hero: John by I believes that he was a good man - "was" being the key word.
  • Fame Through Infamy: Several details in I and II allude to just how notorious Dutch is. He's established as the most well-known member of the gang, which is a gang famous enough to have been the subject of several pulp novels according to a newspaper in II. John in I notes that Landon Ricketts has most likely heard of Dutch. He's also stated to have acquired one of the largest bounties in the entire United States after having already had one on his head since c. 1886. He's well-known enough even by 1907 for someone to have reported seeing him in rural Tall Trees after being presumed dead in living in relative obscurity.
  • Fan Boy: He is a fan of the works of Evelyn Miller, whose works inspired much of his anarchistic and primativist views. In the post-game of II, Miller is eventually driven mad by a combination of his obsession with nature and self-loathing to the point that he dies of starvation.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride is arguably Dutch's biggest flaw. A lot of the disasters that befell the gang, especially later on in the story, is due to Dutch's self-destructive ego. He refuses to acknowledge the mistakes he makes, doesn't listen to the advice of others and would rather follow the plan that he himself comes up with or supports, and mistrusts others who don't share his opinion. This is what allowed Micah to manipulate him into destroying his own gang by encouraging Dutch's Destructive Hero tendencies.
  • The Fatalist: Most likely due to his Despair Event Horizon. He expresses fatalistic views in the Despair Speech moments before he commits suicide.
  • Foil: To Edgar Ross. 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.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Dutch foreshadows John's death with his last words, subtly saying that Ross will double-cross John.
    • In Chapter 2, Dutch asks Arthur why he didn't give Agent Milton a chance to capture Dutch in exchange for his freedom. This is an early sign of Dutch's growing distrust of Arthur.
    • Hosea notes as early as chapter 1 that Dutch's behavior has changed somehow, implying the start of Dutch's Sanity Slippage.
    • When Arthur and Charles are scouting for a new hideout in Chapter 2, Arthur scoffs at the notion of Dutch hiding away in a cave, as it "goes everything he stands for". By the time Dutch's Sanity Slippage comes about in Chapter 6, the gang is forced to hide away in a cave at Beaver Hollow.
    • Him yelling at Bill Williamson for his racism against Native Americans foreshadows his actions concerning the the Wapiti in chapter 6 and his actions in I as the leader of a band of mostly Native American rebels.
  • Freudian Excuse: Possibly. His father died in the Civil War fighting for the Union when he was a kid, and this is implied to be behind his strong disdain for the South and Southerners. He also is implied to have had a troubled relationship with his mother, and left home at around fifteen, which may partly explain his selfishness and narcissism as being required to survive in such a situation.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From a random teenage runaway to one of — if not the — most wanted and dangerous man in the west. By 1911, he's responsible for so much death and misery that both the proto-FBI and the U.S army participate in the assault that finally does him in.
  • Gayngster / Gay Cowboy: Well, Ambiguously Bi, but still.
  • Gaslighting: He does this to Arthur after leaving him to die at the Military Base. When called out on it, Dutch, insists he did no such thing.
    • He actually does this very frequently to several gang members. Arthur is a notable example but he also does it with John and Javier in ambient conversations, enforcing a black-and-white mentality of 'weak or strong, doubt or faith', telling Javier that they're not criminals, they're outlaws, and becoming sharp and aggressive when they don't immediately agree or agree with sufficient enthusiasm.
  • General Failure: As he's quick to tell everyone, he always has a plan. Unfortunately, his plans usually tend to work out poorly since they all just tend to be heists after heists when it becomes increasingly unfeasible and his inept leadership is a major factor to the downfall of the gang. Basically, Dutch's plans can all be summed up as "Find a town to settle by, screw over everyone we can, and hope nobody finds out."
  • Gentleman Thief: Subverted. He prides himself on being one, and by all indications he adhered to this trope before gradually becoming self-centered and Ax-Crazy during II. By chapter six, he tries to justify his manipulation of the Wapiti tribe to Arthur with this train of thought. Arthur, of course, suspects his true motives for it immediately.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Even before his Sanity Slippage, he’s very irritable. The slightest doubt from any of his underlings will easily boil his blood and he’ll very quickly scold them and tell them to keep faith.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Hosea, if you read their relationship as platonic.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Eventually, he becomes as bad as the enemies he’s fighting. He proves to be as unstable and apathetic as Colm O'Driscoll, as war-hungry and chaotic as Colonel Favours, as unscrupulous as Cornwall, and is as money-hungry and possessive of his own gang as the government are to their people.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Notably played with and averted. He favors practices and conventions in his gang that are reminiscent of an organized religion (constantly deriding "doubters" and encouraging the gang to "show faith"), and in at least one speech explicitly uses Christian rhetoric (stating that he wishes to be "an angel of God" and not a "monkey"). However, in one camp encounter he tells Arthur that he doesn't believe in souls or an afterlife. In another encounter he tells Reverend Swanson that he doesn't share the latter's religious convictions.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Believes that Micah is the most loyal out of the whole gang because he never questions him. He's the one who sold the gang out.In addition only cared about himself.
    • Averted with Angelo Bronte. The scene where he gets under their skin while negotiating Jack's release is directed as if Dutch is failing to follow his own advice... But it works perfectly.
    • Also averted with Josiah Trelawny. Trelawny is the only member of the gang Dutch allows back in after often being gone for months on end, as Dutch considers him a useful person to associate with. Arthur is suspicious of Trelawny due to these long absences. It turns out that Trelawny is in fact loyal to the gang, only leaving when things get far too dangerous by the end of chapter six.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Out of all the members of the Van der Linde Gang, he's hit with this the hardest. He goes from a well-dressed, intelligent composed gentleman with a borderline-Bandit Clan large enough to draw U.S Army attention reduced to a unkempt and aging outlaw with barely a fraction of his former power, who's slowly suffering from Sanity Slippage.
  • Hypocrite: Oh boy, take a seat for this one:
    • 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. Not only that, he exploits the Native Americans for his own ends, making him no different from those he claims to fight against. 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.
    • In the prequel, how he runs his gang is Not So Different from the societal hierarchy and runnings of the government. Dutch seems to have a slightly authoritarian stance when it comes to the runnings of his gang, emphasizing "loyalty" and "faith" as the gang's main tenets, while refusing to take input or criticism from his subordinates. For a man who preaches freedom and anarchy, he doesn't really tolerate individualism if it clashes with his opinions, and sees the act of doing so as traitorous. His camp also has a rule where every member has to contribute half of their earnings from a completed job for the camp, which mirrors to how the government taxes its people.
    • At one point in II, he chastises Arthur for helping break John out of prison for very likely giving the gang unwanted attention from the Pinkertons, only to assassinate Leviticus Cornwall on a whim in broad daylight and surrounded by Pinkertons.
    • In I, he's disgusted by John working with the U.S. government, and further states that "there's always a choice" when John tells him he was forced to help them. Compare this to when Dutch constantly tells Arthur and John that he didn't have any choice but to abandon them at points where their lives were in danger.
    • For all his urging to the gang to donate to the box, there is not once where he donates money or anything in the box and is never listed on the ledger because of it.
    • While Dutch recruits a fairly diverse gang and seems to treat them equally in a manner unheard of for the period, he has an open disdain of Catholics, Southerners and Italians. Though it's unclear exactly how much of this is bigotry and how much is dislike of the Italian(who are Catholic) Mafia leader in St. Denis, Angelo Bronte. His dislike of Southerners has no qualifiers though, because his father died fighting them in the US Civil War(Presumably at the Battle of Gettysburg).
  • Hypocritical Humor: In II, after Jack is kidnapped, a furious John is seething in anger and Dutch tells him to calm down. Not even 10 seconds later...
  • I Am a Monster: He calls himself one during his final confrontation with John Marston, though at the same time he says this mocking the federal government and its hunt for boogymen to justify their salary.
  • Idiot Ball: All of Dutch's plans in II involve committing crimes in plain sight and assuming nobody will notice. After the second failure you'd think he's rethink his plans... but nope.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Even by the franchise's standards. While John is scouting him from a mountain pretty high up, Dutch manages to shoot the binoculars he was using off of his hands with a pistol held with only one hand.
  • Indy Ploy: Whenever one of his plan turns sour, he immediately comes up with another one on the spot, even if the new one has full of holes in it.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: A dead ringer for VA Benjamin Byron Davis, especially in the second game after graying and growing a Beard of Sorrow.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: When he's making incredibly hammy speeches and Chewing the Scenery, also occasionally in regular conversation.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: His best friend is Hosea, who is at least 11 years his senior.
  • It Gets Easier: At first, he's hesitant in more shady criminal acts and never thinks of leaving anyone behind, then as the story progresses, he kills and abandons people and causes chaos like it’s a hobby. This reaches its peak by the time he first appears in I, where he by this point displays traits that make him reminiscent of Colm O'Driscoll or Micah Bell.
  • It's All About Me: II traces Dutch's descent into malignant narcissism. While he's willing to take advice and criticism from Only Sane Men Hosea and Arthur in the earlier chapters of the game, following the former's death, the botched bank heist and subsequent detour to Guarma he begins demanding complete, unwavering loyalty and faith from all of his followers. In the end, the only gang member he's willing to take advice from is Professional Butt-Kisser and, ironically, The Mole Micah.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Arthur and Sadie rescue John from Sisika Penitentiary, Dutch chews out Arthur twice for doing so. He has a valid point, as this gave the gang even more unwanted scrutiny from the law and the Pinkerton Agency and very well could have given their camp location away. However, given that he then murders an oil baron in broad daylight and in the middle of a town, maybe he specifically didn't want to rescue John. Regardless, this further strains Dutch and Arthur's relationship and causes the former to be more suspicious of the latter.
  • Jerkass Realization: Implied and subsequently downplayed. Dutch's reaction to a dying Arthur reiterating that Micah is the rat, and that John and his family successfully escaped the Pinkertons suggests that he finally realizes how his actions led to the fall of his gang and the deaths of several of his friends. However, he inexplicably walks away from Micah and Arthur shortly afterwards, and this event likely only contributed to his Despair Event Horizon and Sanity Slippage.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: A long time ago. The prequel shows that he's actually a deconstruction of the archetype. While he is genuine in helping the oppressed, his obsession with being like Robin Hood only ends up causing more harm than good. How well he fit this trope before the events of II is anyone's guess. John in II openly questions whether the gang ever really did any good like they remember, while by I he believes that they did in fact steal from the rich to give to the poor.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • In the first game, 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.
    • The second game has him abandoning both Arthur and John on different occasions to save himself. This was what broke their faith in him.
    • In order to spite John, Dutch tells him straight to his face that Jack might not be John's son at all since Abigail used to sleep with every member of the gang, reminding John how he used to think the same thing as well.
  • Large and in Charge: Dutch is noticeably tall, towering over almost everyone. According to his actor, Dutch is approximately 6'0" (though this also makes him substantially shorter than Ben Davis).
  • Large Ham: In II, Dutch has a booming (if prone to breaking) voice and is prone to melodramatic, fiery speeches, which he weaponizes when negotiating with Angelo Bronte. By the time 1911 rolls in, he is noticeably soft spoken and eerily composed, even when he's hunting MacDougal outside of his window.
  • Light Is Not Good: He wears lighter colored clothes in I in contrast to his appearance in II, and is without question a villain by this point in time.
  • Longing Look: Gives one of these towards Mary-Beth in at least one encounter by Chapter Three. The fact that Arthur can antagonize Molly by mentioning how often he does so indicates he does this regularly.
  • The Lost Lenore: Annabelle, an old member of the gang that was murdered by Colm O'Driscoll, which started the bitter feud between the two gangs.
  • Ludd Was Right: A firm believer of this. He believes that society should revert back to its old ways and that the modernization of civilization is poisonous.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates Eagle Flies and other members of the Wapiti to engage in a hopeless conflict against the US Army in an attempt just to ward off attention from the gang. This tropes goes further if one believes Dutch was Evil All Along and that he was manipulating John and Arthur the entire time they were in the gang.
  • Mighty Whitey: Averted. In 'II', he exploits the Wapiti's justified anger towards the U.S. government to encourage them to engage in conflict to lure attention off the gang, and in doing so effectively puts the tribe in enormous danger and effectively dooms them. By I, he leads the local Native Americans in a guerrilla war against civilization he fully knows is pointless.
  • Moral Myopia: By 1911, he is completely opposed to civilization and sincerely believes that anarchy is the best thing for society.
  • The Most Wanted: Up to Eleven. In 1899, Dutch was essentially in the subject of a tug of war between Cornwall, the Pinkertons, the O'Driscrolls, the Grays, the Braithwraites, The Mafia, the Lemoyne Raiders, and the local law enforcement, especially Saint Denis's and Blackwater's. They don't even want the rest of the gang, they just want Dutch. Then later on he has the whole Bureau of Investigation on his ass once it's formed in 1907. It's almost like the BOI was formed just for Dutch. He's also stated to have one of the biggest dead or alive bounties in the entire country.
  • Mountain Man: By the epilogue of 'II', he's reported as having been seen in the Tall Trees area of West Elizabeth, and wears plainer clothing and has a thick beard when he appears in the final mission of the game. He resides in the mountains of Tall Trees still by 'I', and wears clothing appropriate for living in such an environment despite no longer looking unkempt.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Pretty much the only moment that disqualifies Dutch from being a sociopath is at the very end of II where he has a Villainous Breakdown upon seeing Arthur, his own son, broken, bloody, and minutes from death, rasping to him "I gave you all I had... I did." It's at this moment he realizes he's selfishly and stupidly ruined his own family after being corrupted by petty vengeance and Micah. Unfortunately, the moment of clarity only enforces his insanity and nihilism, rather than leading to his redemption. He does at the very least kill Micah 8 years later.
  • Nature Vs Nurture: An adult version, but as Dutch becomes more and more unhinged, those around him can only wonder if his experiences have changed him into his current state, or if this was who he truly was and what they thought they knew as Dutch was just a mask.
  • Never My Fault: It is very much his fault that that most of his gang ends up dead or having to leave in order to avoid being killed, but he blames everyone else for not standing by him blindly, while not taking into consideration that he has made it difficult for them to do so.
  • The Nicknamer: At one point in II he often calls Agent Milton "Agent Moron".
  • Noble Demon: He starts out as one, instilling in his gang an anarchistic philosophy that involves robbing the rich and the government to give to the poor and disenfranchised while trying to not kill anyone unless necessary. This changes by beginning of II, when Dutch inexplicably kills a young woman in the ferry heist. Over the course of II, he abandons this philosophy more and more as he willingly causes wanton chaos and death, to the point where Arthur, John and others start to question whether he really ever adhered to these principles at all.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Bears more than a passing resemblance to the late Lee Van Cleef. Their names are even quite similar.
    • Also bears some resemblance in looks and voice to Powers Boothe, especially his appearance in Tombstone.
  • Not Himself: Due to his Sanity Slippage in II. Several members of the gang are taken aback by Dutch’s murder of a girl in the failed Blackwater job, considering it very much out of character for him. His personality then gradually shifts as the story progresses, to the point where several characters in the gang are noticeably alarmed and concerned, such as Arthur, John, Miss Grimshaw, Swanson, Charles, and Sadie.
  • Not So Different: Ironically, he and his most hated enemy Colm O'Driscoll ultimately have more in common than Dutch would admit by the end of II. In a random campfire conversation between Kieran and Sean, Kieran describes how Colm indoctrinates his own men and "makes them love only him". This is eerily similar to how some of the Van der Linde gang members, particularly Bill and Javier, are blindly obedient to Dutch to the point of worshiping him.
    • He gives a speech to Leviticus Cornwall about how much they have in common. He tells him that, while they both kill and steal, Cornwall does so indiscriminately while Dutch chooses who he wants to rob and kill.
    • How he views John by I. He makes it very clear that he sees John as a Holier Than Thou hypocrite. He mockingly calls him "a better man" for marrying Abigail, an ex-prostitute, while he and other members of the gang simply slept with her. In their confrontations in I, he repeatedly states that John's foolish to reject his violent nature while he himself has long embraced it, and states plainly that John can't change the fact that he's just a bloodthirsty outlaw like him. If John is low honor, he kind of has a point.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In II, Dutch is usually known for his hamminess. So whenever he starts speaking quietly, you'll know something is wrong.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Van der Linde is a very Dutch name, so it's likely Dutch is a nickname based on his ethnicity. Then again, it may be a case of his name actually being Dutch since his name is mentioned on his mother's gravestone located just outside of Blackwater in II.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Interferes with the conflict between Wapiti Lakota tribe and the U.S. Army in an attempt to cause enough conflict in the hopes that they'll be able to evade the law and get enough money to do so. How much of this is his plan, and not Micah's, is up for debate.
  • Overarching Villain: He's the most important villain to both games even if whether or not he's actually evil is left open to interpretation. He manages to be the Deuteragonist and the Arc Villain of Chapter 6 in the second game, and part of the Big Bad Ensemble in the first game. In II the more direct villains are the Pinkertons and Micah Bell but it's ultimately Dutch's descent into madness that dooms pretty much everyone in his gang. Right before the start of the game, the gang steals $100,000 (worth a little over $4,000,000 today when adjusted for inflation) off a banking ferry as their One Last Job. All two dozen or so in his gang were going to use the money to go straight but Dutch gets goaded into killing a girl in cold blood on the ferry, which got the attention of the law. In their haste to escape the scene, he has to stash the money while the rest of the gang flees into the mountains. Dutch spends the rest of the game getting them into worse and worse straights in his attempt to replace the take even though the more logical decision would have been to do odd jobs for a year or so to live off of and then go back for the money once the trail's gone cold. They eventually find themselves in conflict with the Army as a means to escape. Needless to say by the end of the story, everyone realizes the money is , for all intents and purposes, gone for good and he doesn't actually want the money, he just wants to cause chaos. Arthur, the protagonist of II would have died eventually because he had TB but him losing favor to Micah makes Dutch see less and less reason. His actions lead to the deaths of himself, John, Uncle, Bill, and Javier in I as well as those of Jenny, the Callender brothers, Sean, Hosea, Lenny, Susan, Molly, and Micah in II. By the end of I , Charles and Sadie are the only active members of the gang at the beginning of II who aren't confirmed to have died by the end of I. In many ways, Dutch is an essential part of the major conflicts in the series.
  • Parental Favoritism: Is noted to show favoritism towards John over Arthur and several other members until he grows more suspicious of John by chapter four. Arthur outright states that this is the reason Dutch allowed John back into the gang after a year's absence, stating that no one else would be let back in as easily. Downplayed in that he's a parental substitute to several members of the gang.
  • Parental Substitute: Was this to the rest of the original gang.
  • The Pessimist: He's an aversion of this in II, to such a degree that it could be considered a Fatal Flaw. No matter how clearly dire the situation, Dutch remains largely optimistic that he and the gang can get out of the situation, even if his ideas for doing so are bordering on absurd. This works in Micah's benefit after the more pessimistic and realistic Hosea dies, as he largely validates Dutch's poor decision making and outlook.
  • Pet the Dog: He yells at Bill at least twice for making racist remarks in II.
    • In the beginning when he, Micah and Arthur find Sadie Adler, he stops Micah from attempting to harm her. He then has her husband's body found and buried, and lets Sadie live with the gang.
    • Early in II, he confronts John for not being a proper father to Jack and disowning him.
    • In the finale of II, he not only decides to shoot Micah but walks away, leaving his stash of money to John.
    • Most of the gang members have fond memories of how Dutch saved them and inducted them in the gang. He gave Bill's life the purpose it was lacking, took Tilly in after she fled from her kidnappers, saved John from a hanging. Not to mention raising both Arthur and John like they were his sons
  • Politically Correct Villain: He has very progressive views for his time and is accepting of all races and genders within his gang, with Charles stating that the fact that he's willing to treat a man of Mixed Heritage like himself fairly being the reason he respects him. Of course, this doesn't stop him from seemingly ignoring Micah's racism or manipulating Native tribes to fight a pointless war against the government on at least two occasions.
  • Psychological Projection: He calls the gang members who left traitors, ignoring how he willingly abandoned John and Arthur in the story in their times of need.
    • At the finale of II, He accuses John of shooting at him, betraying him, and only looking out for himself, ignoring how John didn’t do any of those and looked out for his family whilst Dutch did exactly what he accused John.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Has shades of this, particularly by chapter six when he's literally yelling at anyone who simply questions him and has become very trigger-happy.
  • Properly Paranoid: Downplayed.
    • Dutch is right about a low honor!Arthur plotting against him, since a dishonorable Morgan aims to steal the gang's money.
    • Dutch is absolutely right about there being an informant in the gang, he just suspects someone like John or Abigail and not Micah due to being a Horrible Judge of Character.
    • That being said, his growing mistrust of John and Abigail is rational, to a degree. John did abandon the gang for a full year before he returned, and he also is the first to point out in Guarma that Abigail inexplicably managed to escape the Pinkertons while John was arrested and not killed, unlike Hosea or Lenny.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: According to a newspaper in the epilogue, he was presumed dead after a failed robbery in 1906, only to be sighted in Tall Trees a year later and was confirmed in 1911 to still be alive.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Exclusively wears red and black clothing in II, though this trope is downplayed in that it's debatable how evil, or if he in fact even is evil at that point in time.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Hosea's blue.
  • Revenge Before Reason: A lot of Dutch's screw-ups was because he would rather go after his enemies out of revenge, as perfectly lampshaded by Arthur. It's worth noting that this happens gradually - he's willing to bury the hatchet with Colm O'Driscoll and the score the gang steals from him at the beginning of the game is dangerous, but somewhat pragmatic.
    Arthur: This better not be no stupid revenge mission, Dutch. It ain't worth it.
  • Rousing Speech: Is prone to making these toward his gang in II, and uses his charisma to full effect when delivering them.
  • The Runaway: Implied to have had a poor relationship with his mother and ran away from home at fifteen for this reason.
  • Sanity Slippage: As the prequel has established, he was not always an erratic maniac prone to random violence though there's implications that it's simply being tempered. He also hits his head in a mission about halfway through the story of II and is noticeably more erratic and unstable afterwards.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: His (mostly) unfounded doubts about Arthur's and John's loyalty early in the game make him take actions that ultimately end their loyalty and support of him by Chapter Six, confirming his preconceived biases against them while allowing Ax-Crazy corrupter Micah to become his right-hand man.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: A charismatic Cultured Badass, Dutch's elegant manner of speaking is one of his more notable traits.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: His shift from caring about his appearance and wearing fairly elegant clothing in II to wearing much more plain and practical clothing for living in a mountainous area by I coincides with his Despair Event Horizon and Sanity Slippage.
  • 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: While his voice is generally booming in II, his voice is actually pretty innocuous by the epilogue of II and I, but he certainly isn't.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: He's half-Southern Gentleman half-Ax-Crazy outlaw, and he talks just like one too.
  • Start of Darkness: We see how Dutch became how he was in I in II, though it becomes clear he was already starting to slip before the story even begins, with what happened in Blackwater. Even in chapter 2 (the first real chapter since ch.1 is mainly a prologue), Arthur is already beginning to doubt Dutch's choices.
  • Still Fighting the Civil War: By the events of the first game where the Wild West era has long since past its twilight years, Dutch is still trying to fight a hopeless battle, even resorting to rallying support from the local Native Americans to his lost cause. More literally, during the events of II that center around the Braithewaite / Gray feud, Dutch mocks the families and other inhabitants of Rhodes for still holding a grudge against the Northern states over the events of the American Civil War — however, he casually mentions to Arthur that part of his motivation for operating in the American South is a desire to get revenge for his father's death in that same war.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: A living example of this. At the beginning of the game, the gang steals 150k from a Blackwater bank ferry - calculated with inflation, this total is a whopping 4.5 million dollars in 2018 money. This is more than enough for him and his group of 20 to retire on and live the rest of their lives in peace, but unfortunately the group had to ditch the money in West Elizabeth to cover their tracks upon escaping. The group could have laid low for a few years, did odd jobs and such to keep up funds, and then gone back for the money when the trail went cold to finally obtain their one-way ticket out of their criminal life, but Dutch simply cannot let go of his fixation on being a Robin Hood-type. As Dutch pours more and more money into keeping the group afloat, the gang struggles more and more, getting into far more dangerous situations and bloody gunfights than they previously have. As a result, Dutch has to pour more and more money into finding newer jobs for the crew, which leads to more and more fighting, and the cycle continues. By the end of the game, just about the whole crew has abandoned him upon realizing that Dutch really doesn't want to stop being a criminal despite his pretensions about a higher purpose. He really was an outlaw to the end.
  • Talking to Themself: Dutch can be heard doing this starting in late Chapter 4 following his head injury during the trolley crash. Unlike the usual "muttering to yourself" version that Arthur (and most people in real life) does at times, Dutch talks in pieces of full conversations, at one point even playing a verbal game of chess despite being alone.
  • Thrill Seeker: His pattern of behavior heavily suggests he's one. Many of the actions he takes can be explained by a genuine love for risk taking, as noted by both Hosea and Arthur early in the game. His plans are almost always way more dangerous than they need to be, and he appears to wildly enjoy gunfights, occasionally taunting enemies and daring them to kill him. This explains why he clearly doesn't want to leave his life as an outlaw, and most likely contributes to the fatalistic attitude he comes to hold about his nature when he accepts that his way of life is dead due to the increasing presence of law and order in the American West.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: By the end of II, he leaves Arthur and John, who are essentially his adopted sons, for dead several times after he considers them to have betrayed him.
    • He at one point in the Chapter 6 mission "A Rage Unleashed" mocks Arthur for his tuberculosis-induced coughing fits. He also only expresses minimal concern for Arthur's health occasionally if the player has Arthur greet him in Chapter 6.
  • Tragic Dream: He has one in his mind - to be an outlaw to the very end, and to force civilization back from the "purity" of the West. By 1911, he is a man clinging to false hope and belief as the West has been settled. When John finally confronts him, he simply accepts that the Wild West era is over and he commits suicide.
  • Tragic Villain: Undoubtedly the most tragic villain of the entire series. His Fatal Flaws, bad decisions, tragic dreams, Moral Myopia and having a corrupter monster as a comrade (Micah Bell) made him the man he was, practically incapable of fighting against his own nature and finally committing suicide.
  • Trigger Happy: Progressively so. For most of the game, he advocates talking his way out of trouble and even holds parley with the O'Driscolls. By chapter 6, he's picking fights with the US Army, shooting oil barons in plain sight and all his plans rely on violence. This recklessness is noted to be Out of Character - everyone expresses shock at his shooting of Heidi McCourt at the Blackwater ferry. No one really saw what happened there, but it's suggested the robbery was going off without a hitch until then. By I, his propensity to kill and cause conflict out of nowhere has become one of his most prominent traits.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Dutch has elements of this toward Arthur, especially as the main story progresses. Despite being his most reliable and competent gang member dating back two decades, Arthur is the target of Dutch's infamous "have faith" speeches and begins siding with dangerous newcomer Micah simply because Micah sucks up to Dutch and tells him what he wants to hear. The deaths of prominent senior gang members like Hosea only make Dutch worse in this regard.
    • Averted with Reverend Swanson. The only reason he's still tolerated in the gang despite his alcoholism and drug addiction is because Dutch allows him to remain due to saving his life. When Swanson says the incident occurred years prior, and asks Dutch why he doesn't kick him out, the latter states he hasn't forgotten about it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When working both the Braithwaites and the Grays, Dutch sends John to the Grays to see about stealing the Braithwaites horses. John was about to go with Hosea to try and get in the Braithwaite's good graces but they ask Arthur, who is already acting as a deputy to Sheriff Gray, to go in his stead. Because of this, Arthur ends up personally dealing with the heads of both families while attacking both families. Both families figure out they are being played and retaliate with the Grays killing Sean and the Braithwaites kidnapping Jack. Jack's kidnapping sets off a chain of events that eventually destroys the gang.
  • Villainous Breakdown: At the very end of Arthur's story II, he has a huge My God, What Have I Done?-centric moment of clarity when he realizes how wrong he's been. For the first time ever, Dutch Van der Linde, a man who always knows what to say and when to say it, all he can do is pitifully stutter "I...I..." as he gradually perceives all the lives he's permanently ruined, including his own.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Interestingly, not until 1911 and by the time he's well past his Moral Event Horizon. His face appears sunken in compared to in 1899, presumably having lived a rougher life since that time, and this emphasizes the arches of his cheekbones.
  • Villainous Friendship: His best friend is Hosea, his partner in crime and second-in-command for over 20 years.
  • Villain Has a Point: He's an Ax-Crazy outlaw and Manipulative Bastard, but he has many valid reasons for why he opposes modern civilization and the industrialization of the American Frontier; it's implied that these ideals are partially responsible for why his gang is extremely loyal to him until he becomes too dangerous and insane to be around.
    • He's absolutely correct in telling John that he won't be absolved of his crimes by the government for killing him during their final confrontation in 1, despite what Ross keeps telling John.
    • He tells John that the Bureau will just find another criminal to justify their existence after his death. Guess who that "other criminal" is.
    • By the time of I, John is a cynic who often spouts polemics about the hypocrisies inherent in modern life and society, as well as the self-destructive nature of man. That game portrays him as correct in these criticisms, but it's implied in I — and confirmed in II — that Dutch was the person who informed John's views in this regard. In essence, John comes to believe the things Dutch taught him. However, while John is ultimately a good man who consistently acts in defiance to his cynical statements, to the point that he's called a romantic pretending to be a cynic in I, Dutch has truly become an amoral monster who is a vicious outlaw for the sake of it by the time of the first game. Whatever former idealism he had, it's all been stamped out, and he's an empty shell of a man.
  • Visionary Villain: Of sorts. By 1911, his war against civilization and dream of a world where a man is 100% free to do what they want is fueled entirely by his hatred of the modern world, and fights against the law to return the world to the times of old. Too bad his way of executing this plan consists of hiding in caves, convincing young natives to die for him and an occasional robbery and murder. Judging by his hideout and last words, it's entirely possible — if not likely — that deep down he doesn't believe in this goal either.
  • Vocal Evolution: His manner of speaking goes from being boisterous and emotive (with frequent voice cracks) in II to being more soft-spoken and cool-headed by I, coinciding with his Despair Event Horizon.
  • Waistcoat of Style: In II he either switches between wearing an all-black or all-red waistcoat, both equally dapper and contributing to his status as a Badass in a Nice Suit.
  • Warrior Poet: A badass outlaw infamous for numerous bank and train robberies, but also a well-spoken Cultured Badass who justifies his actions with his anarchistic philosophy.
  • Weapon of Choice: Wields a pair of customized Schofield revolvers in II.
  • We Help the Helpless: His philosophy in II is a tendency to "shoot fellas as need shooting, save fellas as need saving, and feed 'em as need feeding."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He certainly thinks of himself as this. Whether he is indeed one, or just a manipulative psychopath is largely up to the player's interpretation, though there's enough reason to believe either is valid.
  • White Stallion: Rides a white Arabian stallion named The Count in II.
  • 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: At first, Dutch was a charismatic leader and a mentor willing to fight for the good of the people he has in his gang, but he is also quite prone to being delusional and making bad decisions. In fact, all his fatal flaws are the main reason why his Sanity Slippage will come into play years later. In the end, it's revealed that he's just a sad man and a pitiful shell of a man clinging to false hope, only posing a threat due to his ties with Native American rebels — a cause one can hardly call unjust.
  • Would Harm a Senior: In Guarma, he strangles an elderly guide to death because she demanded more money after he had paid her his only remaining gold stolen from Saint Denis. Granted, she was brandishing a large knife close to his face. Arthur's reaction makes it clear that he was more than capable of simply subduing her rather than killing her, however.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He would brutally murder one if he needed, or wanted to.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He thinks himself and his gang as Robin Hood and his Merry Men who will always stay one step ahead of the law and be seen as chivalrous bandits in the eyes of the oppressed. Unfortunately, his Destructive Hero tendencies tends to make it easy for the law to track his gang down and cause them to be feared rather than adored by the people. He also tries tar and feathering a military patrol like they were a rival gang only to almost die when the rear guard shows up.
  • You Are What You Hate: For all his preaching of his ideals to challenge the rise of modernity, he has a paradoxical relationship with it as he subtly follows similar practices and lifestyles. The realization of this contributed to his Sanity Slippage. Word of God says that this is partially the reason for his brutal murder of Angelo Bronte, being disgusted with himself for admiring his wealth and power.
  • You Make Me Sick: He is not happy about John collaborating with the federal government to hunt him down. In his own twisted point of view, it basically confirmed that John was really the rat of the gang and not Micah.
    Dutch: We all make mistakes, John. I never claimed to be a saint. Equally, I never took you for an errand boy.


    Abigail Roberts
"The life we led, that doesn't go away. It's never over."
Click here to see her in Red Dead Redemption 
Voiced by: Sophia Marzocchi (RDR I, motion capture in RDR II), Cali Elizabeth Moore (RDR II)

An ex-prostitute that rode with the gang in its heyday, Abigail's life changed with the birth of her and John Marston's son, Jack. While John was initially unwilling to admit the child was his and struggled with his feelings for her, the collapse of the gang saw the two reconcile and decide to settle down together. Now Abigail Marston, she lived a quiet life on the ranch... until some agents of the law showed up on their doorstep with a message.

  • Ambiguous Situation: Her cough. As is mentioned on this folder, she can be heard coughing regularly during the Beecher's Hope section of I. However, she already has a noticeable cough in II's epilogue. It's unlikely it's tuberculosis, as this would mean she lived with it for 4 to 7 years without ever spreading it to anyone else all the while she worked around the ranch daily, but Morgan died to it in mere months. It is possible her lungs just aren't functioning properly, especially since we don't even see her smoke.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: A lot of this, particularly during the early days of their relationship. They snipe back and forth constantly, at some points barely seem to put up with each other, and there are a handful of scenes in the camp where they even vent about one another to any sympathetic ear nearby. Makes it all the more heartwarming as their bumpy journey makes them grow closer, with John reaching out more and Abigail being more open about how much she cares.
    • Just compare her reaction at the very beginning of the game when she barely confesses being worried about John's disappearance in the blizzard to her reaction in the climax, when Arthur says John is either dead or captured without hope of rescue.
    • A particularly cute example of this in the game's epilogue. After a long, hard day trying to start over new all over again at Geddes' Ranch, John and Abigail share a quiet, tender Headbutt of Love.
  • Amicable Exes: Downplayed with Arthur. Arthur mentions in his journal that he should be in John's place and would actually enjoy being a father to Jack, implying at least a fling. He's also always the first person she asks for help. Though it's left interpretation if Arthur actually had feelings for her or if he wanted to marry her because he wanted to take care of them in John's absence. Considering what happened to his own young son and baby mama, it could very well be that.
  • Anger Born of Worry: A constant source of friction between her and John during the epilogue of the second game.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: She hopes John would stop using violence as an answer to everything and that he'd actually think of the consequences of his actions. John took this to heart. Instead of dooming his family by fighting back, he lets the US Army ventilate himself so they'd leave his family alone.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She may be a non-combatant most of the time, but when Milton is about to kill Arthur, Abigail breaks free of her binds and promptly shoots the agent in the head.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Abigail looks a lot like Lauren Cohan in II.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Shows hints of this whenever Bonnie is mentioned, though it's mostly sarcastic on her part since she often teases John about her. Later a Subverted Trope, when she and Bonnie get on swimmingly and even take a few turns roasting Marston.
  • Damsel in Distress: Towards the end of Chapter 6, she has been kidnapped by Milton who plans to kill her. But when a sickened Arthur arrives to undo one of the braces that held her wrists, she becomes a Damsel out of Distress when Milton confronts him and attempts to kill him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She could give her husband and Bonnie MacFarlane a run for their money.
  • Death by Despair: It's implied that the death of John was what caused her death, or at least worsened her already poor condition.
  • Death Wail: Very much justified, after seeing John’s bullet riddled bloody body.
  • Determined Homesteader's Wife: Literally. Implied to have become a Determined Widow after John died, as she kept their ranch running and raised Jack, even with her illness.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Subverted. She is shown and mentioned to get physical towards John in the beginning of II, and it is not Played for Laughs.
  • Establishing Character Moment: From both games, her tendency to be a Tsundere who looks after her family is established from her first appearance. Her first appearance has her physically assaulting John for being gone for months and then hugging him afterwards. In the prequel, she's seen caring for a mortally wounded Daley Callander and feeling remorse when he succumbs to his wounds. Later on, she tells Arthur to look for John when he goes missing and later insults John for being so stupid when Arthur and Javier return with him.
  • Foil: She's one to Mary Linton. Both are the Love Interests to the protagonists, John and Arthur respectively. But while Abigail is a former prostitute, Mary comes from a well-off family with a wealthy father. Their relationships with their lovers are the polar opposite as well. It’s clear that while Arthur and Mary couldn’t let go of their feelings for each other, they both gave up hopes of mending the fence and never reconciled. Abigail’s relationship with John was initially quite troubled to the point that it’s hard to tell that they’re even a couple, but they were eventually able to settle down and became a Happily Married couple. Like Mary did with Arthur, Abigail left John once she realizes that he will always bring their family into danger as long as he’s unable to let go of his outlaw life. But nonetheless, she comes back to him in the end.
  • Good Parents: Might be the most consistently good parent in the entire series, not that there's a lot of competition. John becomes this towards the end of II but he did ignore Jack for the first several years of his life and even ran off on him for a year. Abigail, even in the beginning of II, is absolutely determined to do right by Jack and give him a better life than she had. She wants him to learn to read so he can make something of himself. She also lets Arthur be the man in his life when John won't. She's largely successful too (at least in the material sense), especially if you believe the aformentioned GTA easter egg is canon.
  • Happily Married: With John. They bicker back-and-forth constantly, but they love each other immensely.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: What she was before marrying John.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: She can be heard coughing heavily in gameplay. She also dies not long after John.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She could downright trade barbs with John in II, but only because both 1) he can be quite reckless and 2) she loves him so much. She mellows out once they marry.
    • This includes a case of Jerkass Has a Point, as John was out of control a lot of the time, which she tolerated for years, and any decent mother would freak out upon hearing that their husband had a shootout in front of their son.
    • When John decides to go after Micah, she is obviously pleading with John not to go after Micah. While John does argue that they owe everything to Arthur, she clearly knows that Micah is a sadist and that if John dies, Micah will come for them next. It also winds up leading Edgar Ross to their location.
  • Lethal Chef: John and Jack absolutely abhor her cooking.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Well, they are one.
  • Mama Bear: Protective of her son Jack. When he's kidnapped by the Braithwaites, she's thrown into despair. Marston wants to rescue Jack as quickly as possible, partly out of concern for his son's well-being, partly out of fear of Abigail's wrath.
    • She also put up with John's recklessness for years, but what makes her draw the line and decide that she needs space from him was when he ends up being ambushed and shoots a group of men in front of Jack.
  • Morality Chain: Is implied to be one to Marston in II, being the reason why John is never fully subservient to Dutch like Arthur was. Dutch thinks that Abigail is "poisoning" John against him.
  • Never Learned to Read: The only illiterate member of the Marston family, usually having John or Jack read aloud for her.
  • Sticky Fingers: Abigail had swift thieving skills during her time in Dutch's gang. So swift that she even stole the key to Dutch's chest of money before the gang broke apart!
    Abigail: "I always was a good thief."
  • Struggling Single Mother: She spends the first half of II as this. Due to John hardly being involved in Jack's life, she has to raise Jack but has to get all the support she can get from some of the other people in camp. It then gets easier when John finally starts being a father to Jack. Tragically becomes one again permeantly after 1911...
  • Tsundere: Shades of this, mostly around John. Earliest example is when John is brought back to camp bloodied up after being attacked by wolves and stranded in a blizzard for days. She's beside herself with joy upon his return...only to go right to spitting insults the second he's on the bed.
    Abigail: "This is low, even by your standards."
    • We see this in the first game, when John returns home after months of being away.
      John: "Oh, darling! I never thought I'd see this day again."
      Abgail: "You no-good, hillbilly piece of shit!"
  • Wet Blanket Wife: Hates it whenever John does his cowboy thing. As a matter of fact, she leaves him for 3 months over it, taking Jack with her. Explored due to her fearing falling back into the old life and putting Jack in danger all over again. It ends up being just the kick in the ass Marston needs to change things for good.

    John "Jack" Marston, Jr.
Click here to see 12-year-old Jack  
Click here to see 16-year-old Jack  
Click here to see 19-year-old Jack 
"My name is Jack Marston - you knew my father."

Voiced by: Josh Blaylock (RDR I), Marissa Buccianti (child, RDR II) and Ted Sutherland (teen, RDR II)

"I guess there's only room for one hero in this family."

The son of John Marston and Abigail Roberts, Jack was born into an outlaw's world, staying at camp with his mother while his father went out robbing with the Van der Linde Gang. Not wanting their son to grow up the way they did and face the prospect of an early grave, John and Abigail tried their hardest to make sure he grew up educated and respectable. Unfortunately, by 1914, circumstances left him in just such a position, drifting across New Austin, the last living relic of the age of gunslingers...

  • Adorkable: As a teenager, Jack is a painfully awkward kid, and pretty endearing for it.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: It's never called that in-game, but his dialogue and self-esteem issues make it clear he has severe depression in 1914. Signs of it can already be seen in 1911 and 1907.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You play as him after the "final" mission of I.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Has this against Edgar Ross's threat of killing him in 1914.
    Edgar Ross: "And I'll shoot you like one too you little piece of trash! Now get out of here, before I kill you as well!"
    Jack Marston: "I ain't going nowhere , old man!"
  • Arch-Enemy: It's Edgar Ross .
  • Badass Bandolier: Inherited from his father.
  • Badass Beard: He's got a goatee and mustache, and is just as badass as his Pa.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a literary scholar who wanted to be a writer. He's also an outlaw because he wanted vengeance for John's death.

  • Berserk Button: Do NOT insult his dead family. Whether it be direct or indirectly. Edgar Ross and determinately, Mario Alcadle, learn the hard way.

  • Best Served Cold: It takes three years, but he does avenge John's death by filling Ross with lead.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Is a man of few words, but that doesn't stop him from being able to put a bullet in someone whether he's insulted or is being paid to.
  • Book-Ends: Retroactively invoked in the prequel. He kills the murderer of his father in the location when he first met him as a child: A river.
  • Bounty Hunter: Becomes one after killing Ross. As it’s one of the few ways to make Jack more money, should the player choose so.
  • Break the Cutie: At the beginning of II, he's a Keet, but by the end, he's devolved into a jaded and quiet recluse.
  • Broken Bird: A lot of Jack's dialogue in combat remarks on how little he has left to live for. The three years since John's death have done much to erode his idealism.
  • Character Development: Of the negative kind. In 2, he starts as an optimistic and cheerful 3 or 4 year old kid. But by 1907, he is a quiet, distant, and likely depressed. His issues have only gotten worse by 1911 and by 1914, he became a gunslinger, the very thing John and Arthur didn't want him to be. Becomes more positive after the events of the story if he truly does become a writer, if a certain Easter Egg is any indication.
  • Cheerful Child: In II.
  • Childish Tooth Gap: If you use first person while conversing with Jack at II, you’ll see that he’s missing a tooth.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: If Jack is played having High Honor, it seems like he has shades of this. Helping out strangers wherever he can sounds an awful lot like his pa in 1907.
  • Composite Character: Retroactively becomes one In-Universe after II. As an adult, he has his father's looks and personalitynote  but Arthur's intelligence. Even his default outfit is a combination of the clothes John and Arthur wear; the hat, shirt and belt are John's, while the brown/beige jacket, black pants and boots - while not an exact match - seem to be based on Arthur.
  • Cruel Mercy: One way to interpret Jack's decisions should he let Edgar Ross's family live. After they guide him straight to the man himself, he kills Edgar and leaves the wife and brother to live with the loss of their loved one, just like he's had to for three years, and with the knowledge that they led Edgar's killer straight to him.
  • The Cutie: Naturally, as the only child in the Van der Linde gang.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Seems to have inherited this from both his parents, to the point where some of his dialog would easily rival theirs in snarkiness. The biggest notable example is his response to Edgar Ross's wife after she tells him to be careful about the dangerous river.
    Jack: I sure will ma'am, and don't worry about a thing. I'm sure your husband will be just fine...

  • Death Seeker: Heavily implied by his dialogue in gunfights. As he will usually shout something along the lines of “Go ahead! I got nothin’ to live for!”
    • May also be a motive as to why Jack takes revenge on Edgar Ross for killing John. If he (Jack) avenges John it will feel good, if he dies trying, at least he’ll be with his family.
  • Dramatic Irony: For all of John's effort to escape Dutch's gang and gives Jack a normal life, Jack grows up to be almost exactly like Dutch; a well-read outlaw with a very low view of the government
  • The Drifter: After the events of the game and Abigail dead, he abandoned the ranch (outside of his bedroom being a game save spot). Jack seems to do odd jobs, bounty hunting, and helping odd folks out to make money in his Drifter like lifestyle.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: It's implied in one side quest that he's become a very heavy drinker.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Debatebly. If one takes it as canon an Easter Egg in Grand Theft Auto V suggests that he finally got his dream of becoming a writer.
  • The Eeyore: Granted, losing your father to an unscrupulous government agent and having his mother die three years later when you're a teenager will do that to you.
  • Emo Teen: Downplayed. He comes off as an angsty teenager, but it's clearly a side-effect of his depression. Possibly best exemplified in the epilogue of II where conversations with him tend to be short and he has a tendency of staying quiet during them. He'll react more strongly if antagonised, however.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In the epilogue, his hair has grown long and he now has a beard and goatee.
  • Expy: He looks a lot like Inigo Montoya. Now, what are both characters' motivations?
    • Characterization wise he bears similarities to Red Harlow, being a young outlaw hellbent on avenging his parent who was killed by a man of influence.
  • Fastest Gun in the West: Just like pa. It's implied he did nothing but train his gunslinging skills for three years.
  • Foreshadowing: Woo boy, there’s a lot.
    • Wishes to be a gunslinger at four years old. Fifteen years later and his entire family dead? Jack is a cold hearted gunslinger.
    • Although not said by him, Sadie says that bounty hunting is legal work and even a twelve year old Jack can do it. Seven years later, it’s Ross who is being bounty hunted by Jack, although in revenge illegally.
    • In the mission “Wolves, Dogs, and Sons” Jack playfully suggests that both he and his father would be “The most wanted men in the West!” After John’s brutal death, depending on the player, Jack can turn out to be absolutely right. Since him getting into bloodthirsty shootouts with the law are more in character to Jack than John. Commit enough mayhem, and Jack can have a bounty worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in 1914. Worst of all, wearing a bandanna negates honor loss so Jack can gleefully commit as many crimes as he wants and still have perfect honor. Most wanted man in the West indeed...
    • In that same mission, he mentions that he can teach himself how to shoot and doesn’t need his father. Guess what Jack did for three long years after John’s death...
    • In "The Last Enemy that Shall be Destroyed" he says that he'd like to see "the day where John Marston stops shooting", Jack was definitely haunted by what he said to John that day for the next three years...
    • Similarly, the exchange after has Jack telling John that airplanes can turn men into angels. Three years later, Jack helps a man construct a makeshift plane in Mexico, where it unfortunately crashes. Jack really did see that machine turn a man into “an angel” that day.
    • Jack's parents say that while they want him to lead a different life than the outlaw path they lived, they call his stories and books silly. Given that Jack was given mixed signals about his dream for all of twelve years straight, after his family died he largely gave up writing to be a gunslinger, Bounty Hunter, and a wanderer who does odd jobs for money.
    • As a four year old, Jack meets his arch-enemy Edgar Ross by a river. The Pinkerton Detective tells Jack to "enjoy his fishing, while he still can." Fifteen years later, they meet again at a river when Ross is duck hunting, only this time Jack wants revenge for Ross killing John. Ross is brutally gunned down by the man he crossed badly all those years ago. Enjoy your hunting Ross, while you still can...
  • Freudian Excuse: Murder a lawman? “You killed my Pa!”
    • Although he was too young to remember it, John disowned him and refused to believe the kid was his for Jack's few first years. While he truly loves his son, John constantly dismisses Jack's favourite hobby of reading as stupid and has a tendency of just disappearing from Jack's life for long periods of time. As a result, the two have nothing in common, and Jack seems to think that his father actively dislikes him and makes some extremely reckless, dangerous, and even outright stupid decisions in an attempt to please him... and when John angrily points out said stupidity, the rift between them just widens more.
    • While Arthur and John are calm, respectful and friendly to their horses, Jack is almost abusive, and yells at them when he thinks they aren't doing their best. However, looking at his past with them, it's actually quite understandable. In the epilogue at age 12, it's possible for him to be bucked off while John is teaching him how to ride, an experience which probably would leave a sour taste in his mouth. At age 16, a horse he was using while hunting got mauled by a bear leaving him alone and defenseless against said bear, and when John later sacrifices himself, Jack seems to believe that had his horse been faster, he and Abigail could've saved John.
  • Generation Xerox: He not only has his father's sharpshooting skills, but has his equipment as well. He even looks exactly like his father. He also shares a lot of personality traits and skills with Arthur, who helped raise him as if he was his biological nephew.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He got these from a bear he tried to hunt on his own.
  • The Gunslinger: The last one left by 1914, and a damned good one.
  • Hereditary Hairstyle: In the epilogue, Jack's hair has grown rather long, much like his father.
  • Heroic Bastard: Technically. John and Abigail didn't officially get married until Jack was 12, so he's a bastard during the event of the second game.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • If you decide to turn Jack into a full-on desperado, there's a chance that an NPC challenges him to a duel for killing his father. If accepted, Jack'll make fun of the stranger's dead father, presumably before killing him as well.
    • If the player kills Ross's wife and brother, Jack is actually performing a worse act than Ross did. While a backstabbing prick, Ross didn't kill anyone "innocent" at Beecher's Hope, as both John and Uncle were former criminals and Abigail & Rufus died of unrelated reasons years later. By contrast, Ross's wife and brother are completely innocent.
  • Iconic Outfit: Not as iconic as those worn by John and Arthur, but Jack wears his father's hat, a white shirt, a light brown jacket, black pants, a red bandanna, black boots and his father's gun belt.
  • Jock Dad, Nerd Son: Jack is fairly passive as a young man, preferring to read his books, unlike his barely literate outdoorsman father, which creates a fair bit of friction between them, since neither can really relate to the other.
  • Knight Errant: Played straight if you save all of the Stranger missions for Jack after he kills Ross. Jack at this point is aimlessly wandering around the country without a purpose or much reason to live. However, once you take on the stranger missions it reveals that Jack is actually the same good man his father was. Sure, Jack is a hardened and lonely gunslinger at heart but he is always willing to help people with almost no complaints.
    • This becomes a Justified Trope because John wouldn’t have time to do any of the Stranger missions on his quest except for the side mission “I Know You” which is exclusive to him and "Jenny's faith" as she would not be able to survive for three years straight in the desert by herself.
  • 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.
  • Informed Flaw: In II, Abigail temporarily snaps and says she can't put up with the disgust and hatred 4 year old Jack shows her anymore. For all the player knows, however, he's the sweetest child on the face of the earth. May be a nod to how players disliked him in the first game.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Holy shit. Jack is just as accurate and deadly as a marksman as his father and uncle Arthur were.
  • Irony: One of the random conversation between him, his mother, and Hosea in II is him wanting to be a gunslinger, which Abigail highly objects to, and John doesn't want him to Turn Out Like His Father, and Arthur explicitly, in no uncertain terms, tells him "Don't be like me". He becomes one out of his own choice later in his adult life.
  • Keet: As a Cheerful Child in II.
  • Last of His Kind: Last living Marston, last of the Van Der Linde gang unless you count the likes of Mary-Beth, Pearson, Charles, Sadie, Tilly, Rev. Swanson, and possibly Trelawny, who got out by Red Dead Redemption II's climax 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. That said, he actually turns out more like his Honorary Uncle Arthur than his dad, due to his high intelligence and love for books, awful self-esteem, cynical worldview, even worse temper than his father, incredible talent at every single activity he attempts, and his perpetual inability to find a purpose for living.
  • 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.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Is most likely John's child even though he doesn't like it at first. Out-of universe, people have noted that in I he bears some resemblance to the other members of the gang, such as Dutch or Javier.note  Regardless, John is considered his real dad and the games never delve into this.
  • Misplaced Retribution:
    • Can kill both Ross's wife and brother, despite both being completely innocent and only related to Edgar by family - in fact, if they are killed Ross never even finds out about it, so their deaths will be for nothing.
    • John was ventilated by a whole firing squad, and while Ross did order the attack, he didn't personally fire at John. Jack still picks him as his target, possibly because he took all credit for killing the remains of Dutch's gang and whilst Ross didn’t open fire at John, the soldiers who killed him were just doing their job and Ross is the one who ordered the attack and betrayed John personally. Also see Self-Serving Memory below.
  • Morality Pet: He's one to almost everyone in the entire Van der Linde gang, even Bill.
When he gets abducted by the Braithwaites, the entire gang come storming the Braithwaite mansion out for blood.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: "My name is Jack Marston. You knew my father."
  • Nature Vs Nurture: Heavily implied. As a little boy, he outright stated that he wanted to be a gunslinger when he grows up. This is possibly because because his father and his uncle figures like Hosea and Arthur were gunslingers themselves and he himself has read books about gunslingers like Otis Miller and Black Belle. However, even the gunslingers he grew up being raised by wanted him to not become one himself. As such, his parents did their best to raise him properly and instilled in him the dream of becoming an author instead. When they died, he lives out this childhood dream of his against their wishes.
  • Nice Guy/Affably Evil: Jack has an honor meter like John, and any stranger mission you might complete as Jack has him acting in a mostly affable manner towards the non-playable characters, as John tends to act even with low honor.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Apparently four year old Jack's actress couldn't do a southern accent.
  • One Steve Limit: To a horse named Brown Jack. With regards to the Red Dead series as a whole, to Red Dead Revolver's Jack Swift.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His name is John Marston, Jr, but everyone calls him Jack.
  • The Quiet One: In 1907, he doesn't talk much even if John tries to strike a conversation with him. His responses are usually short and quick, and he tends to stay quiet if you try to continue the conversation by pressing "Greet" again.
  • One-Man Army: Just like his father, he is able to absolutely decimate enemies in huge numbers with frightening efficiency.
  • Renaissance Man: Deconstructed. At age 19, Jack has mastered the arts of hunting, gunslinging, horseback riding, outdoors survival, and just about every other thing his father mastered over the course of his decade-long career as an outlaw. However, it's implied that Jack feels like he has nothing to live for, so he likely spent the entire three years doing nothing but training these things.
  • Revenge by Proxy: If the player chooses, Jack can kill Ross' wife and brother before finally finding the man himself.
  • 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, if one takes it as canon, one 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.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Claims he saw Edgar Ross shoot his father. This cannot be true, as Jack was not present during John's execution and Ross only fired at John BEHIND the lawmen, instead calmly smoking a cigar while primarily his army ended John and not him personally. The newspapers that mention how Ross took credit for killing Dutch's gang may be behind this.
  • Son of a Whore: Just like his father.
  • Spoiled Brat: Abigail gets seriously fed up with 4 year old Jack's seeming ungratefulness in II. It's not played for laughs, she really is sick to her stomach of being a mother. They both grew out of it though.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: During his time as a hostage of Angelo Bronte in II he was treated very well by his captor, who fed him spaghetti as well as teaching him some Italian words. He naturally had a very pleasant experience and even came to refer to him as Papa Bronte, which naturally made John very uncomfortable.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Just like John, Jack drowns instantly if his nose goes below water. To be fair, who'd teach him?
  • Supporting Protagonist: Once Marston dies, he's the playable character.
  • Tagalong Kid: He grew up among the gang and is present in the prequel as a four (or three, depending on the month when he was born) year-old.
  • Teens Are Short: Downplayed. When he finally appears in I, he's taller than Abigail and the same height as Uncle, but a few inches shorter than John. However, by the time he's 19, he grew to be as tall as his father was.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: John's death and the three hard years that followed turned him from an aspiring writer into a remorseless killer. However, he can remain a good man at heart if the player so desires.
  • Tragic Dream: He had two different dreams that fit the critera:
    • He wishes to be an author, being raised with education by Hosea and Abigail to steer him away from being a gunslinger. But this dream was never meant to be after what happened to John, although if one takes it as canon, an Easter Egg in Grand Theft Auto V does imply he was able to move on, as Franklin owns a book named Red Dead by J. Marston.
    • One of the random conversations with Hosea and Abigail in above example is him wanting to be a gunslinger, but Abigail, Hosea, and even Arthur himself wants him to grow up normal. Due to trauma, he eventually became the thing he wished to be at four years old.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Has had a very tough life, from being born into and raised by a violent gang, at high risk of being killed as said gang is being tracked by law enforcement and several other factions, being abducted at one point, having a largely absent father in his early childhood, having several 'aunts' and 'uncles' either drop like flies or become Ax-Crazy, risking losing both his parents several times while as a young child, losing his younger sister to cholera, growing up mainly as he and his parents are on the run and is forced to use a pseudonym, being held hostage by the government along with his mother, experiencing the army coming down and brutally killing his father and the closest thing he's ever had to an uncle, and losing his mother three years later, thus being the only surviving Marston. It's no wonder he Took a Level in Cynic and is heavily implied to be suffering from depression.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Jack becomes a gunslinger like his father, who didn't wish for him to become one. Whether or not he is becomes an outlaw after killing Ross depends on the player though, as his shooting skills can be used solely for hunting and heroic deeds if the player chooses.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The prequel showed that he's absolutely adorable. Played with in that he's still a Nice Guy, just that he Took a Level in Cynic after the crap his family had gone through.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: In contrast to John, there isn't much that motivates Jack, outside of exacting vengeance on Ross. When he accomplishes exactly that, he goes back to his aimless career as an outlaw and wanderer. Grand Theft Auto V however implies that he was able to move on and start a normal life as a writer, although it's canon status is debatable.
  • Vigilante Man: Seems to be a primary character trait of Jack by 1914. A skilled warrior who travels and wanders the land helping out either strangers or defending himself using any means necessary.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Because of the age dissonance mentioned under Younger Than They Look, his high-pitched voice feels a bit off - the voice suitable for 16/19-year boy sounds odd when he looks like he's in his thirties.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He constantly tries to emulate and impress John as a way of getting his attention or so he could stay home. Even when he was four, his bio even outright states that one of his biggest wishes in life is to spend more time with his father.
  • You Killed My Father: So he kills Ross back. And if the player wants, his wife and brother as well.
  • Young Gun: When he fights with his father against the US Army, and later, when he's the playable character.
  • Younger Than They Look: After the Time Skip, no one can tell he's nineteen – in fact, he doesn't look a day under thirty. Gameplay-wise, this is due to the devs reusing John's character model and modifying his face to look somewhat different. In-story, it's to show how much his father being killed and his mother dying from sickness have taken their toll on him.


    Marion "Bill" Williamson
"Don't try anything stupid and we won't do anything unkind."
Click here to see him in Red Dead Redemption 
Voiced by: Steve J. Palmer

"Things are different now, John. Now I'm in charge! No more Dutch, and no more you!"

Dishonorably discharged from the army, Bill turned to a life of violence and drinking. At his lowest point, he was taken in by Dutch who saved him from himself. Rude, slovenly, and drunk more often than not, his attempts to prove himself to the gang often went ignored. While he remained loyal for longer than one might expect, by 1911 he'd struck out on his own, carving a path of bloodshed through New Austin.

  • Ambiguously Gay: There are some hints in II that Bill is gay, which would explain a fair amount of his insecurities.
    • Arthur says in one of his journal entries from before the game starts that he knows Bill is living with some sort of big secret but doesn't push it because it's not his secret to tell.
    • Hosea and Arthur talk about how Lenny had a crush on Jenny (a girl in the gang who died in Blackwater). Hosea says that couples with similar names don't work out, his examples are: "Lenny and Jenny", "Arthur and Martha", and "Bill and Phil".
    • In the bar fight early on in Chapter 2, Arthur asks if Bill is trying to punch a guy or kiss him.
    • He got kicked out of the Army for "deviancy".
    • After Arthur encounters Sonny, the rapist out in the swamps, Bill will tell Arthur that he met Sonny as well and that he knows about their "special night".
    • During a side mission, Tilly calls Bill a "half-man".
    • He's also implied to be attracted to Kieran. Charles notes it. You can also find him bullying Kieran by trying to make him drink out of his bottle. If you interrupt, Bill asks "Can't two men share a drink in peace?" Kieran then walks off and Bill begs him to come back.
    • One of the antagonize dialogues to Jack is Arthur saying he doesn't look like a Marston but more like a Williamson or an Escuella. John's reply if he's standing nearby is to say something to the effect of "Bill doesn't swing that way".
    • While capturing him, John insults Javier by suggesting that he and Bill are "sharing a bed".
    • A dialogue in camp has Lenny answering Bill's praising with "I'm not going to sit on your lap".
    • On the flip side, Bill claims that he "fucked with Abigail" suggesting that he's either bisexual or slept with Abigail to hide that he's homosexual.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The prequel takes his death in a new light where he's portrayed more sympathetically than in the first game.
  • The Alcoholic: He can be seen frequently terrorizing the gang with his drunken fits, and ends up being threatened by Javier at one point.
  • Arc Villain: Of the New Austin arc in Red Dead Redemption.
  • Ascended Extra: In the first game, Bill personally showed up twice in-game (with the second time being the moment he's killed) and is a fairly generic villain who was little more than a murderous thug. II considerably fleshes out his character, both humanizing him and showing how he was before things took a turn for the worse.
  • Ax-Crazy: In Red Dead Redemption, he is a psychopathic bandit who gleefully commits Rape, Pillage, and Burn.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Of a sorts. He gets relentlessly hunted down by a criminal that, from his point of view is no better than himself, has several members of his gang shot, captured, and killed, is pursued to fucking Mexico and then thrown under the bus (and to the ground) in an utterly humiliating attempt by Col. Allende to save himself. It doesn't work, and he is graphically shot dead without any meaningful last words whatsoever. Might be a bad way to die, but nobody seems to care.
    • This is more than likely due to his numerous acts of crime and intimidation, such as arson, murder and kidnapping. Also, when being chased down by John right before his final moments, he taunts him by stating he "fucked with Abigail" (his wife), along with the rest of the gang. It also doesn't help that he admits that he gladly left John behind in the past.
    • Comes full circle in the second game, where it's revealed that Bill has always been a deeply troubled man. He possibly suffers from PTSD from atrocities he witnessed (and maybe participated in) as a cavalryman in the Indian wars. His father also succumbed to dementia and he has constantly lived in fear that he's inherited his father's illness. Considering how he turns out in 1911, that fear wasn't totally unfounded.
  • Badass Longcoat: Spends a majority of the time in II wearing a brown leather duster.
  • Bald of Evil: In Redemption he's almost completely bald, and in II his hairline is seriously receding.
  • Beard of Evil: He has a shaggy unkempt mane.
  • Brains and Brawn: The brawn to Javier Escuella's brains.
  • The Brute: From what is gathered from John, Bill was always a violent brute. This is somewhat confirmed in II, as it takes him a while to slip fully into his savage nature come the first game.
  • The Bully: Not to the extent of Micah, but he tends to act like a complete asshole towards the less imposing members of the gang, especially Kieran and Lenny. He's also a bully when he's drunk.
  • Butt-Monkey: II shows that within Dutch's gang, Bill was often made fun of by the others for his screw-ups and his general unpleasantness.
  • Cringe Comedy: His social ineptitude and drunken fits leads to this type of humor.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: His death in the first game only marks the end of the second act.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Whenever he encounters John, a man he truly loathes, he never faces him except at a distance, armed with a long-range rifle, and backed up by lots of minions. Bill prefers to send his men after him, and in the mission in which he is killed, he doesn't bother to stay behind and gun down his friend, opting to flee with Col. Allende instead.
    • This appears to be a recent development. During the events of the prequel, Bill and Javier have done far more dangerous things than fighting Marston. They both have no issue going up against both Arthur and John at the same time in the ending.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Bill tries his best pulling his weight around the gang, but his fellow gang members are often quick to call him out for his screw-ups. He's quick to point this out to Arthur, saying that Arthur never gets called out for his mistakes as Dutch's Number Two.
  • Dumb Muscle: John states that Bill was never the smartest one of the gang. II shows that his robberies with Arthur are often short-sighted when it comes to planning, though the robbery of Valentine he plans with Karen does become one of the more high-profit low-risk heists of the gang provided that Arthur cracks the vault silently and they only get caught after they're already escaping.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Idle chatter between him and Micah, as well as finding his military discharge papers in the camp, reveals that his first name is actually... "Marion". He chose "Bill" as a nickname for understandable reasons.
  • Evil Former Friend: He was a former member of the Van der Linde gang alongside John who ended up becoming just another bandit. In the first game there's little indication of their closeness, but it's taken to a new level in the prequel where it’s revealed that John and him were once pretty good friends.
    John: Bill? You’re pretty drunk. And you’re a funny feller. But... You’re okay.
  • Expy: Although he was already before GTA V was released, his main characterization in II makes him an Expy of Trevor Philips. Like Trevor, Bill is an ex-soldier with military training, a violent maniac with serious anger problems, an anti-social, an alcoholic, has shades of Cringe Comedy, not the best in mental health, has an ambiguous sexual preference, bullies the less imponent members of his gang (Bill to Lenny and Kieran; Trevor to Wade, Ron and Floyd), has a serious problem of emotional dependence related to his unstable parental relationship, suffers from a legitimate mental illness, and eventually became a violent criminal who is deeply loyal to his main comrade (Bill to Dutch; Trevor to Michael and Franklin). Even his previous characterization in the first game parallels Trevor, since like Trevor, Bill became the most prolific criminal in his local area and went his own way to build his own criminal empire through violence and domination. But while Trevor could have a happy ending with option C despite all his monstrous actions, Bill couldn't.
  • Fat Bastard: Downplayed. He's strongfat in II, but that was him at his best (albeit he was still a racist, antisocial outlaw). In 1, his weight dissipates along with his sanity.
  • Freudian Excuse: Irredeemable piece of trash, yes, but he had an awful life, from growing up with a demented, drunken father to witnessing the horrors of war in his time with the Army. Dutch gave his life the meaning he'd always been looking for, and being robbed of that when Dutch went insane was the final nail in the coffin.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Prior to joining Dutch's gang, Bill was a soldier. He got a dishonorable discharge for his troubles, which he attributes to his captain becoming corrupt with power. On account of distrusting the government, he wholeheartedly joins the gang.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Bill Williamson, the Butt-Monkey of the Van der linde gang, winds up becoming the most dangerous and feared man in all of New Austin, as well as one of the most prolific criminals in the county.
  • Gender-Blender Name: His real first name is actually Marion, which is commonly a feminine name, although famously it was the real name of popular Western actor John Wayne. Given the setting, it's possible that this was an intentional shout-out.
  • Hate Sink:
    • In Red Dead Redemption, he has no likable or sympathetic qualities whatsoever. He's just a complete and utter murdering bastard.
    • Subverted in II. While he is definitely one of the less popular members of the 1899 gang, he's not malicious towards his comrades and is quite loyal. In fact, his characterization in this game is a stark contrast to the original.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Asks Arthur to buy him some hair pomade, presumably to start styling his own hair! Or for other reasons. He then awkwardly but sincerely thanks Arthur for getting him some.
    • When Jack gets kidnapped, Bill does not hesitate to offer his help and can later be heard screaming at the Braithwaites at how going after a child is utterly reprehensible.
    • Bill is stupid, but he has moments of clarity. While he gets very angry at Arthur for questioning Dutch, he still hates Micah and is reluctant to believe the rumors he spreads about Morgan. While it doesn't last, he's genuinely rattled when Arthur suggests that the gang is having problems more because of their recklessness, unlike Javier.
    • When John confronts him at Fort Mercer in 1911, Bill claims that he doesn't want to kill him and even gives him a couple chances to leave. This shows that despite the violent psychopath he's become, deep down he still considers John his friend.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At one point, he calls Pearson a drunk. While drunk. This is coming from the guy who can take on Karen and Uncle in a drinking contest.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: According to Steve Palmer, Bill wants to be accepted but instead he is merely tolerated, and it's eating him up inside.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Bears some strong resemblance to his voice actor Steve J. Palmer.
  • Jerkass: And that's one of the nicest terms to describe him. II reveals he Took a Level in Jerkass and was once a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Insult Backfire: His potential last words to John before his death are insulting the man. He calls John "weak minded", says "Dutch wanted you [John] dead, we all did!" And his last insult (and potential last words) are "You always was a traitor, you bastard orphan!" All these insults backfire however, when John just gets angrier at Bill and finally calls Bill a "dumb inbred hick" before putting a bullet in Bill's head.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: II shows that while he’s still an unpleasant guy back then, he nonetheless sticks with the gang to the very end and is pretty chummy with some of his fellow gang members even if they don’t always get along.
  • Morality Pet: His horse, which Arthur comments he genuinely cares for.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Several times. When the gang gets away from danger or has a plan going successfully, Bill makes a stupid mistake that jeopardizes them many times.
    • During their first train robbery, it never crosses his mind to check if the detonator's broken or not so they can blow up the tracks. Inevitably, the detonator fails to blow up the TNT, forcing the gang to chase after the train.
    • During a stagecoach robbery led by Uncle, they were forced to hide in a barn after finding out that the coach has doubled the security to stop robbers. Once the agent inspecting the barn leaves, Bill accidentally kicks over a bucket, attracting the attention of the gunmen looking for them. Inevitably, this forces the heist crew to participate in a bloody shootout.
    • In his own stagecoach robbery, he gets into an argument with Tilly at the last second, forcing him and Arthur to chase after the coach instead.
    • Quite possibly his biggest fuck-up is leading the Pinkertons into their hideout. After their escape from Guarma, he just had to ask everyone where the next gang hideout is. Unbeknownst to him, he was making a trail for the Pinkertons to follow. Micah calls him out on this. Even after it’s revealed that he’s The Mole for the Pinkertons, his points still stands, as while he’s responsible for most everything else that happens to the gang, it wasn't him that led the Pinkertons to Lakay.
  • No Social Skills: In II, many of his interactions with the members of the gang show that he's socially awkward.
  • Not Good with People: While few people get along with him in the gang, Bill's evidently an animal lover. Arthur states that for all his faults he loves his horse and he can be seen playing with Cain.
  • Odd Friendship: Bill is surprisingly good friends with Javier, despite having a racist streak; He's a war veteran who is seriously lacking in the brain department and who is considered to be an unbearable bore by most of the gang, and Javier is a handsome Mexican runaway who is good friends with practically everyone. This would explain why in 1911 Javier would be willing to have Allende shelter him.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • In II, Bill is very happy to torture Kieran Duffy, a reluctant member of the O'Driscoll Boys. When Kieran brought the gang to ambush a camp where Colm O'Driscoll is possibly hiding, Arthur accuses him for setting them up to an ambush but Bill defends Kieran and agrees that it is not an ambush since Kieran had just saved Arthur from an assailant. As time passes, Bill warms up to Kieran, trying to get the young man to join him for a drink and even mourns his death.
    • When Micah mocks Arthur for his deteriorating condition thanks to his tuberculosis, Bill quickly tells Micah to shut it.
    • Quite surprisingly, he's fond of the camp dog Cain, and is seen caressing him lovingly and calling him a good boy.
    • In I, although he’s degenerated into a psychopathic savage by this point, he still retains enough of his old self to warn John away when they reunite so that he doesn’t feel the need to kill him.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: When he gets drunk, he calls Javier "Greaser", and when he's not drunk, he bullies Lenny and calls him "boy". He uses "boy" towards the latter even while praising him as a genius after a robbery they organized together. He takes it down a notch once Hosea calls him out in camp.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: In the first game, he runs a group of bandits that happily commit various atrocities across New Austin.
  • Repetitive Name: Subverted. His full name could be mistaken for being William Williamson, seeing his nickname "Bill". However idle chatter in II reveals that the "Bill" part comes from his family name.
  • Sanity Slippage: During a campfire chat, Bill mentions his father slowly lost his mind to what sounds very much like dementia. Given Bill's insanity in Red Dead Redemption, it may be a trait passed down through the generations.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Implied to have seen some awful things as a soldier.
  • The Sociopath: What he's become by 1911. His capacity for empathy has drained away completely, he feels no remorse for any of his murders and his favorite hobbies are killing, slaughting and robbing.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Only in II. Much like Trevor Philips, he has the typical features of a boorish psychopath despite his redeeming features. However, he participates in some of the gang's most heroic acts, such as rescuing Jack Marston from Angelo Bronte.
  • Stout Strength: The fattest in the gang besides Pearson, yet also among the strongest.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the prequel, he was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but starts losing his redeemable traits overtime. By the first game, he's just as nasty as Micah. In I, Abigail is outright baffled by this, as the Bill she knew was a pathetic nobody, and was surprised he was even capable of the atrocities John describes to her.
  • Tragic Villain: At the end of it all, Bill is just a broken man with PTSD who, having had an insane and alcoholic father and having witnessed the atrocities of the war, he had no purpose until Dutch arrived in his life. The real tragedy comes when, after Dutch's Sanity Slippage and the dissolution of the gang, Bill had no one and nobody cared him, and it is very implied that the lack of people who cared about him, Sanity Slippage and the trauma of the war made him as monstrous as Micah.
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: The war gave him a few prejudices toward Native Americans. Dutch tries to tell him he can't base his views on that alone.
  • Undignified Death: In the end, his attempt to outrun Marston end with him being betrayed and executed with a single shot on a lonely desert road.
  • Undying Loyalty: He and Javier are the only members still 100% loyal to Dutch when the gang falls apart in 1899.
  • We Used to Be Friends: While it might be easier to dismiss his relationship with John, in II it’s possible to witness a drunken conversation between the two where Bill tries to tells John a funny joke but then realized that he forgot it, John laughs anyway. In the same conversation, Bill also admits that some people in camp hate John for leaving; when John asks who, Bill sheepishly says that he does, before doubling back and admitting that’s not really true. Tragically, he's the first one to suggest that Marston is the rat, an idea Javier entertains mostly out of spite towards Arthur.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: His PTSD, lack of purpose in a violent society, Sanity Slippage, and lack of people who cared about him worsened him, and by the end of all the trauma he endures, he becomes a soulless shell of his former self, a homicidal lunatic without moral code who only finds joy in killing, slaughering and robbing.
  • Younger Than They Look: Believe it or not, Bill is only seven years older than John, and is three years younger than Arthur.

    Javier Escuella
"If we have to fight, we fight. If we have to run, we run. If we must die, we'll die, but... we'll stay free."
Click here to see him in Red Dead Redemption 
Voiced by: Antonio Jaramillo (RDR I), Gabriel Sloyer (RDR II)

"You got it all wrong, brother. I've always loved you, even now."

Born a peasant in Mexico, Javier spent much of his early life as a revolutionary before being forced to flee to America after killing a high-ranking officer over a woman. There, he joined the gang and became one of Dutch's most devoted followers. This unyielding devotion to a man on the brink of collapse proved to be his downfall, however, and by 1911 he had returned to Mexico a jaded and amoral mercenary, working for the very government he once fought to overthrow.

  • Affably Evil:
    • Javier is a cold-blooded killer, make no mistake about it - but he also happens to be one of the most likable members of the Van der Linde gang. Apart from being friendly and an accomplished musician, he was also rather suave, well-spoken, and very handsome. It's implied that the years of drinking and heartache following the collapse of the gang have ruined his good looks.
    • Even when John comes after him, he acts pretty polite towards him and doesn't seem willing to fight him at all.
    • There's a heartwarming interaction between him and Karen at camp where he asks about her drinking problem. Even when she deflects and brushes him off he takes it in stride.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Even John cries when he has to put him down (assuming the player opts against capturing him instead).
  • Ambiguously Evil: Taking both games into account, there is a small amount of ambiguity on whether his villainy in the first game is genuine or just him trying to survive.
    • It's never explained how he managed to return to Mexico despite allegedly being on the goverment's hit-list, opening up the possibilty of him making a deal with them. Being a goverment-backed hitman is preferable to being actively hunted by law in 2 countries or dead.
    • His villainous acts happen off-screen and John hears of them through the rebels or their allies. While they have many reasons to oppose their goverment, they may not be completely truthful when it comes to the enemy. The rebel leader Reyes has a habit of lying to get and keep his supporters - not to mention he eventually turns out to be corrupt as well.
    • When confronted by John, Javier chooses to run away despite having a perfect opportunity to just kill him though he does shoot at John if you choose to chase after him instead of just killing him.
  • Ascended Extra: Javier in I appeared for only a single mission and gets a scant few lines, with what little characterization being mostly second-hand comments from John. Like Bill, he gets considerably fleshed out and humanized in II.
  • Badass in Distress: When the gang gets stranded in Guarma, he gets captured by Fussar's men, forcing Arthur and Dutch to rescue him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He may come across as one of the more amicable and pleasant members of the gang, but he has no patience for drunken instigation and knows how to use that knife.
  • Blind Obedience: Javier is the only member of the gang to never go against Dutch in any way, never providing much of an explanation for this. Even Bill has doubts about some things.
  • Break the Cutie: Changes significantly after the detour to Guarma. While the rest of the group spends their time on the island fighting, hiding and planning, Javier is put through the wringer: he's captured and temporarily freed, then shot in the leg and forced to be left behind. He's found a little while later being beaten and dragged through the mud by his captors, then tossed in a cage and further humiliated with racist and homophobic threats. Not long after he's rescued he passes out and spends the rest of the chapter on the sidelines. Afterwards he clings even harder to Dutch's ideals, becoming aggressively overprotective of the man despite obvious evidence there's nowhere left to go but down.
  • Chupacabra: In one campfire event, he tells the gang that when he was little, his mother told him a story about this mythical monster (though not mentioned by name) who would hunt down cattle and suck their blood; he adds that though the gang may believe this is a fairy tale, her version is different: that this monster would also eat up little boys who were not behaving in an appropriate manner.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: While still blindly obedient to Dutch, he's noticeably hesitant in drawing his gun on Arthur and John, whereas the rest of Dutch's loyalists aimed at them without question.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: In his early life, he was an idealistic revolutionary fighting for the people. After his hero Dutch van der Linde went insane, he was left jaded and dejected, becoming a shiftless bandito.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Talks around the campfire reveal his early life to be filled with violence, betrayal, and loss. His uncle and several men from his village were brutally killed for calling for a fair wage, he's implied to have been betrayed by the woman he killed a man for, and he nearly died crossing the desert to America before consequently nearly dying due to the indifference of those around him until he met Dutch.
  • Dashing Hispanic: The prequel shows that he was quite a looker, with his biography describing him as someone who always takes a lot of care for his appearance. Sadly, by 1911, most of his looks have faded, and he ends up looking rather rat-like, and sleazy.
  • Dead Hat Shot: In I, if the player shoots him off of his horse (using one of the rifles, like a Rolling Block Rifle, and Dead Eye Targeting at the head), his sombrero will get knocked off of his head and flutter down as his body falls off onto the ground. (Though normally his body and sombrero vanish after that shot, the next cutscene shows John carrying Javier's corpse over the shoulder into the jail cell, confirming his death.)
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Once John starts gunning for him, he's running the entire time. It makes him calling John a puto (bitch) rather hypocritical.
    • This appears to be a recent development. During the event of the prequel, Bill and Javier have done far more dangerous things than fighting Marston. They both have no issue going up against both Arthur and John at the same time in the ending.
  • Evil Former Friend: Downplayed. While he is an antagonist in the first game, since his alleged villainy happens off-screen, it's hard to tell if he's actually evil or just doing whatever it takes to survive.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Implied to have happened before the events of the first game. He expresses doubts about Dutch's ability to lead several times throughout the prequel, but stubbornly holds fast, even when other close friends are caught in the crossfire of one bad decision after another. When John Marston is sent after him years later he's revealed to have abandoned Dutch in favor of working for the very government he once devoted his life to fighting against.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a prominent scar across his throat.
  • Hero of Another Story: Javier was almost as busy as John during the 12-year Time Skip - he stays with Dutch for an unknown amount of time before leaving for equally unknown reasons, after which he ends up back in Mexico despite being wanted dead there, somehow ends up working for the same goverment that wanted him dead, builds up a reputation among the rebels, rescues Bill from Fort Mercer and somehow ends up in El Presidio where he's either killed or captured. If Rockstar ever wants to revisit the GTA IV DLC model, they'd definetly have one strong premise on their hands.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Went from a revolutionary fighting against corrupt, oppressive systems of power in Mexico and the United States to a mercenary who will do anything for a paycheck.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Javier is a very good fisherman and can offer Arthur some tips about choosing the bait but also when and where it is best to fish.
    • He is also an incredible guitar player, Dutch's gang often gathers around him to sing when he starts playing.
    • He's shown to be a little superstitious, too. You can find him early in the game staring at a rainbow and, if you talk to him, he'll state it's a sign of good luck.
    Javier: "It's a sign."
    Arthur: "It's a goddamn rainbow."
    Javier: "A rainbow without any rain? Our luck has changed. We're blessed."
    • When Javier knocks John down by throwing a box on him, instead of taking the chance to kill John, he runs away instead, only shooting at John when it's clear that he isn't gonna stop going after him. This shows that Javier still cares about John.
  • I Miss Mom: Combined with "Even Evil Has Loved Ones": In one campfire interaction, he says that he heard that his mother died, and there's a bit of sadness in him when he says, "I mourn her... but I did not bury her." Combined with the fact that his sister got married, he says that he's afraid to go back to Mexico because he might get killed.
  • Informed Flaw:
    • In I, John taunts him by claiming Abigail always thought he was a creep. This never comes up in the prequel, where Javier is presented as one of the nicest members of the gang.
    • Also in I, John tells Reyes that Javier was a man with "passion but no love" who cared little for anyone else, a stark contrast to his portrayal in II.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: In II, he bears a slight resemblance to his voice actor Gabriel Sloyer.
  • I Owe You My Life:
    • Implied to be a major reason for his Undying Loyalty to Dutch. Javier says during a campfire talk that he was starving to death in America and would have died had Dutch not found him and taken him under his wing. Javier credits Dutch for giving him a new life, a new home, and a new family in America, even pinching the bridge of his nose and visibly holding back tears.
    • Is on the receiving end of this early in the game with John Marston. You can find the two talking at camp, with John sincerely telling Javier he owes the man for life.
    John: "Thank you for saving me."
    Javier: "I know you'd save me."
    John: "Of course. I owe you for life."
    • The events of Guarma just add to this. Dutch & co. could have easily just abandoned him and escaped without him, but they went out of their way to rescue Javier. No wonder he's so loyal, Dutch has saved his life at least twice.
  • Irony: He fled Mexico due to being a revolutionary fighting a dictatorial government. He returns back home by working as a bandito for the very government he once tried to overthrow.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: In 1899, Javier was suave, clean cut and extremely stylish. He can be found around camp polishing his shoes and many of his outfits include sharp vests, ascots and matching hats. By 1911 he has grown filthy, thin and distinctly rat-like in appearance.
  • Killed Offscreen: Should Marston capture him alive, he's mentioned in a conversation with Abigail to have died after being captured, implied to have been hanged for his crimes. This is confirmed in the epilogue, as the newspapers mention him alongside Bill, Dutch and John in the list of dead members of Dutch's former gang.
  • Knife Nut: He’s pretty skilled with a knife, whether it be for combat, threatening a drunken Bill, or playing Five Finger Fillet. Then there's this priceless interaction between him and Sean:
    Sean: You know, vanity is a sin, Mr. Escuella.
    Javier: So is judging others, my little friend.
    Sean: Me da used to say, "The bigger the box, the smaller the gift." If you know what I mean? [chuckles]
    Javier: Your da?
    Sean: Yeah, me da.
    Javier: From the sound of things, he was quite something.
    Sean: Yeah, quite something.
    Javier: [approaches Sean with a knife] My father, he always say to me, "If someone disrespects you... fillet them with a knife." If you know what I mean.
    Sean: [startled] I wasn't disrespecting. I was just looking after your mortal soul, honest.
    Javier: [threatens Sean] Get out of here.
    Sean: Hey Arthur. Well. We know you ain't a vain man.
    Arthur: We know you ain't a wise one, now get out of here! Do something useful. [Sean walks off in a huff]
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Described as one of the ways he's handsome in II, even when his hair is tied in a ponytail.
  • Nice Hat: He has a fondness for sombreros and trilbies.
  • Odd Friendship: Out of all the characters, Bill seems to be his closest ally and friend. One is a Mexican rebel on the run, and the other is an unlikable war veteran with a racist streak. In most other circumstances, they would be fighting each other.
  • Only Sane Man: Subverted. While he's certainly one of the most level-headed and resourceful members of the gang at the start, this is slowly and tragically flipped on its head. Javier fashions himself as this near the end of the game, touting himself as one of the few loyal followers to Dutch... a man whose sanity was debatable at the beginning and is clearly gone by the end.
  • Please Wake Up: In II, when the gang sees Hosea get killed by Milton in front of them, Javier desperately attempts to wake up their leader by calling out, "Hosea! He isn't moving!" to which Micah responds, "Of course he ain't! He's dead!"
  • Raised Catholic: It's implied that he's a practicing Roman Catholic, since his home country, Mexico, is a predominantly Roman Catholic country. In one camp interaction you can see him genuflecting on one knee behind a barrel when Reverend Swanson asks him to confess at camp, and Javier replies that "I'm sure there's priests who will happily take your confession," before making the Sign of the Cross. As he is praying, Swanson makes an ominous foreshadowing that Javier is "doomed", which may indicate what will happen to him in one of his two fates in RDR1.
  • Same Character, but Different: In I, Javier was constantly described as a False Friend creep around women who had "passion but no love" for the outlaw life. In II his creepiness is not mentioned (it was given to Micah instead), he's extremely loyal to Dutch, and a genuine friend to John. Even as friendships start breaking, Javier is nowhere as bad as described in I.
  • Sanity Slippage: Perhaps not as severe as Dutch's or Bill's, but it's pretty clear that he has spiraled downwards pretty badly after II.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: When John says Javier took Dutch's downfall the hardest, he wasn't kidding. In 1899, he dressed well, his mustache was groomed and generally looked rich. In contrast, by 1911 he is an unkempt mercenary who works for anyone who pays.
  • Ship Tease: A very subtle one with Tilly Jackson. You can find him sitting and playing the guitar for her a few times in camp. While he'll also play the guitar for others, pair this alongside a rather specific line Arthur can taunt her with if you choose the Antagonize option.
    Arthur: "I hope you're charging Javier all that attention he's been getting."
  • Spiteful Spit: Gives one to John as he's being taken away by Ross. John gives one to Javier's corpse if he kills him... after shedding a tear.
  • Stepford Smiler: In I, John states that he saw Javier as "a cynic who wanted to be a romantic".
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Almost as tall as Dutch himself in II; according to John, Javier is approximately 5'8".
  • Tempting Fate: In I, he regards John as a brother and says "You Wouldn't Shoot Me" before running away. You can play this trope straight either by hogtying him, or (reluctantly) take a more lethal approach and shoot him dead off of his horse.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After the gang relocates to Beaver Hollow, Javier noticeably becomes more hostile towards Arthur, calling him out for wavering loyalty to Dutch. He also harasses other camp members for what he views as sowing discord, including trying to pick a fight with Charles and snapping at Abigail.
  • Torture Is Ineffective: Gets shot, captured, dragged by a mule from his injured leg and publicly beaten. He still doesn't tell his captors a thing.
    Javier: <I come from Mexico. I've never met those men!>
  • Undignified Death: If the player decides to kill him, he's unceremoniously shot dead while running away from John - presumably In the Back too given his back is always turned to John.
  • Undying Loyalty: Arthur believes that out of all the members of the gang, Javier is the most loyal.
    • He and Bill are the only members of the gang who remain 100% loyal to Dutch when the gang falls apart in 1899.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Toward the end of II, while Arthur and Micah are at a standoff against each other, with John and Susan Grimshaw at the side of the former, Javier arrives and warns everyone that the Pinkertons are approaching; unfortunately, his warning inadvertently distracts Susan in the process, giving Micah time to fatally shoot her in the stomach.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When John takes him into a cell, Javier starts cursing John before breaking down crying.
  • We Used to Be Friends: In I Javier repeatedly claims he was fond of John and didn't want to fight him, claiming to still think of him as a brother, something seemingly returned when John sheds a tear over his death. In II Javier is the only person in Dutch's gang to hesitate in drawing a weapon on John and Arthur, as well as the two openly admitting they'd save each other if the occasion called for it near the beginning of the game. Also, a random encounter with Bill and Javier would have the former suggest to the latter that John's a traitor, something Javier is skeptical of.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Was one in his youth. He was a freedom fighter in Mexico before fleeing to the United States, with Abraham Reyes speaking highly of his time fighting the government. He apparently kept this up after joining the gang, having been swayed by Dutch's Warrior Poet ways. This made Dutch's descent into madness all the harder on Javier.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: In II, Javier is a self-exiled Mexican supposedly unable to return because of his high bounty as a freedom fighter. It seems that events between the two games made him able to broker some deal.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Aside from his facial hair, Javier looks quite different in the two games he showed up in.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: When John corners him at gunpoint in I, Javier tells him, "Come on, you're not going to shoot your own brother, are you? We was family." Based on your actions, he can be either right... or dead wrong.

"People call me lazy, I'm not lazy. Just don't like working. There's a difference."
Voiced by: Spider Madison (RDR I), James McBride (RDR II), John O'Creagh (singing voice, RDR II)

"Why don't I gets a warm and tender embrace?"

An elderly alcoholic and former thief, the only thing more mysterious than Uncle's real name is his past. The way John Marston tells it, he wandered into the gang's camp one day drunk as a skunk, his antics proving amusing enough to earn him a place among their numbers. Years later, he would find new purpose as a farmhand on John's ranch, though his work ethic is about what you'd expect.

  • The Alcoholic: He's a habitual drinker in both games.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: As much as John hated having a lazy freeloader on the ranch, he treated Uncle as part of the family, considering Uncle was the one who helped him to reconcile with Abigail in 1907.
  • Ascended Extra: Uncle showed up near the very end of the first game as just some old crank living with the Marstons (and no mention of any prior affiliations with Dutch). II shows that not only was he a fellow member of the Van der Linde Gang but also the circumstances that led to him being with the Marstons.
  • Big Fun: In II. While many members of the gang are annoyed by his laziness and sleazy attitude, he's nonetheless a jovial old drunk that tries to cheer everyone up. By the time of the original RDR, he's turned into a major grouch by comparison.
  • Butt-Monkey: Uncle is the target of a lot of John's abuse (which can be justified, since Uncle can be pretty lazy at keeping up with his responsibilities within the Marston family ranch.)
  • Blatant Lies: Repeatedly states that he has lumbago, and makes it out to be this horrific terminal disease, just to get out of actually doing any work.
    • Most of the stories he tells around the campfire about himself are obviously exaggerated, or simply could not happen at all, and only really serve to build him up.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Despite his laziness, Uncle actually quite intelligent, able to come up with plans for the future and keep up with recent news. When he met John in 1907, years after the fall of their gang, Uncle was the one who helped John to turn Beecher's Hope from the rundown shack on an empty plot of land that John bought to a ranch fertile with life, despite Uncle himself didn't hammer a single nail.
  • Crying Wolf: Given how grumpy he is in I, he may be genuinely feeling his age... but since he's always lying to get out of work, no one believes him.
  • Dented Iron: According to his tall tales, he was a massive badass in his youth, presumably until his lumbago caught up with him.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: He’s not lazy, he just doesn’t like working.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Comes off as this in most of his appearances in 1. Justified since John isn't very nice to him either. The prequel shows he actually used to be pretty friendly and likable.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Despite his supposed laziness and being a very frequent target of John for it, he ultimately gives his life to help protect the Marstons.
    • Uncle is smart in his own way, even more so than John. Marston's ranch wouldn't be what it is today without Uncle's advice.
    • Despite being a freeloader, he loves the family dearly and gets along swimmingly with Sean and the girls especially. When the gang starts to fall apart, he's very shaken. Arthur suggests early on to him that he might want to look for a new crew, but Uncle says he's not willing to let them go.
    • Although his lazy attitude and meekness may make him looks like an archetypical coward, Uncle is pretty damn gutsy. Not only does the old man has the balls to insult Dutch right in the face, but he also has the balls to insult Dutch again within hearing distance behind his back. When the big guy retaliates by threatening to kill him, Uncle is not only unafraid, he scoffs at the threat. This meek-looking old man has bigger balls than half the gang combined.
    • He can also defend himself quite well, as seen in the stagecoach robbery he orchestrated and is later one of the camp guards in Lakay.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He dies defending the Marston family from the US Army (led by Edgar Ross) who storm in the ranch to kill John.
  • Honest Advisor: Underneath the drunken old layabout is someone who's not afraid to speak the truth when it's needed; notably, he's one of the few willing to call out Dutch to his face about his messianic tendencies.
  • Honorary Uncle: Hence the name. Arthur jokingly refers to him as "everyone's favorite uncle" and he ends up serving as this at Beecher's Hope. He's also the one who introduced Abigail to the gang, so he's an indirect matchmaker of the Marstons.
  • The Heart: Uncle is a lazy drunk, but he cares about his fellow gang members and tries to raise morale, especially when things are dire. He's usually the one to initiate singing and drinking at the campfire, both by grabbing the banjo or asking Javier to play a song. By the time the gang is in Beaver Hollow, even Uncle can't bring himself to cheer anyone up.
  • Insistent Terminology: "Terminal Lumbago". Lumbago is lower back pain, and is categorically not a life-threatening illness.
  • The Load: Uncle seems to always have been a lazy freeloader that John and even Arthur in the prequel disdained for being quite useless. Heck, one of his tips even ends on a near disaster as Arthur and several gang members must fight for their lives inside a burning barn, surrounded by angry guards.
  • Manchild: He's very old, but has the personality of an immature delinquent.
  • Mooning: In one camp interaction, Reverend Swanson calls him lazy and a lone wolf who howls at the moon. Uncle responds by giving him some... moon... to howl at. While still in his union suit/pajamas!
  • Older Sidekick: To John during the latter half of the West Elizabeth Arc.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Not one person in the gang knows or ever knew his name. Hell, he isn’t even anybody’s uncle - people just call him that, and nobody's sure why, though John speculates it's because he's the oldest member of the gang. After he’s gunned down along with John while defending the Ranch, Jack and Abigail engrave his tombstone with it for lack of an actual name.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Pretty much an embodiment of this trope.
  • Retired Outlaw: He was an outlaw and member of the Van der Linde gang. Downplayed, because he's mostly a freeloader who seldom does anything.
  • Running Gag: In II, he often says he can't do something he is asked to do because he has "terminal lumbago".
    • There are a fair amount of shots of Arthur, or others kicking him to get him to wake up and go work.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Leaves the gang before Dutch's actions lead to his death.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: While not at the same level as the jerkasses of the gang, not many people like Uncle for his laziness.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: How he ended up living with the Marstons. Years after the gang broke up, he and John bumped to each other just after John bought Beecher's Hope. Despite John's opinion of him, he ended up staying with them.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Retroactively - he's much more of a grouch in the original game than in the prequel.
  • Vague Age: Played for Laughs. Arthur at one point asks Uncle how old he actually is, to which he responds that he was "born some time between the fall of '49 and the fall of Rome."
    Uncle: My second wife always used to describe me as "ageless," though... she did leave me for a younger man.
    Arthur: Maybe we should cut you open and count the rings of whiskey.
    • This exchange from the first game really puts into perspective how old Uncle truly is.
    Jack: Why do you call him "Uncle"?
    John: Folks always just did. Probably 'cause he was older than everyone else.
    Jack: He was old when I was a kid.
    John: He was old when I was a kid, son.

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