List of Red Dead Redemption 2 characters
- 1 Creation and conception
- 2 Van der Linde gang
- 2.1 Dutch van der Linde
- 2.2 Arthur Morgan
- 2.3 John Marston
- 2.4 Abigail Roberts
- 2.5 Bill Williamson
- 2.6 Charles Smith
- 2.7 Hosea Matthews
- 2.8 Jack Marston
- 2.9 Javier Escuella
- 2.10 Josiah Trelawny
- 2.11 Karen Jones
- 2.12 Kieran Duffy
- 2.13 Lenny Summers
- 2.14 Leopold Strauss
- 2.15 Mary-Beth Gaskill
- 2.16 Micah Bell
- 2.17 Molly O'Shea
- 2.18 Mr. Pearson
- 2.19 Reverend Swanson
- 2.20 Sadie Adler
- 2.21 Sean MacGuire
- 2.22 Susan Grimshaw
- 2.23 Tilly Jackson
- 2.24 Uncle
- 3 Supporting characters
- 4 Antagonists
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
Red Dead Redemption 2, a Western-themed action-adventure game developed and published by Rockstar Games, follows the story of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw and member of the Van der Linde gang. Led by Dutch van der Linde, the gang attempts to survive against government forces and rival gangs while dealing with the decline of the Wild West. Several characters reprise their roles from the 2010 game Red Dead Redemption, to which Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel.
The game focuses on Arthur's relationship with several of the gang members, including Dutch's best friend Hosea Matthews, Native American hunter Charles Smith, gunslinger Sadie Adler, experienced outlaw Micah Bell, and Red Dead Redemption protagonist John Marston. Outside of the gang, Arthur also encounters his former partner Mary Linton, as well as Native American tribe members Rains Fall and Eagle Flies. Throughout their adventures, the gang come into direct conflict with several opposing forces, including wealthy oil magnate Leviticus Cornwall, crime lord Angelo Bronte, Dutch's nemesis Colm O'Driscoll, and Pinkerton agents Andrew Milton and Edgar Ross. The game's epilogue focuses on John's relationship with his family—wife Abigail and son Jack—as well as the elderly Uncle, leading into the events of the first game.
Rockstar used motion capture to record the performances of the cast, as well as cameras to capture their facial reactions for later animation. The secretive nature of Rockstar's development processes meant that the actors and the director were unsure of the future of the characters during production; the writers continued to work on the script while the actors shot their scenes in segments. Rockstar wanted a diverse cast of characters within the Van der Linde gang and put particular focus on the individual stories behind each character. The relationships between the characters received praise from several gaming publications, and the acting has resulted in multiple awards and nominations, including a win at The Game Awards.
Creation and conception
Red Dead Redemption 2's recording sessions began in 2013 and lasted a total of 2,200 days, led primarily by motion capture director Rod Edge. The game features 1,200 actors, 700 of whom share the game's 500,000 lines of dialogue. In addition to using motion capture to record the performances, Rockstar Games also used cameras to record their facial reactions for later animation; a total of around 60 or 70 cameras were used. The motion capture sets were typically accurate to the dimensions of the in-game setting, which could be demonstrated in a previsualization format. The secretive nature of Rockstar's development meant that Edge and the actors were unsure about the future of the characters during production; the writers continued to work on the script while the actors shot their scenes in segments.
Rockstar wanted a diverse cast of characters within the Van der Linde gang. Senior creative writer Michael Unsworth noted that the ensemble was advantageous when writing the narrative, as it helped to craft the story and added complexity to the game. The writers put particular focus on the individual stories behind each character, exploring their life before the gang and their reasons for remaining with the group. Unsworth felt that the gang is a "family" that offers "a sense of belonging and purpose", and analyzing each story—and each character's relationship with the protagonist—was important for the narrative. Several characters were cut from the game during development as their personalities failed to add to the narrative. Some lines of dialogue from the first game, Red Dead Redemption, in which gang leader Dutch van der Linde is described as an equitable leader, allowed the team to create a diverse group of characters in the gang. The developers often allowed the actors to take scenes in their own direction to develop the characters in new ways. The actors improvised some additional lines but mostly remained faithful to the script.
The team decided that the player would control one character at a time in Red Dead Redemption 2, as opposed to the three protagonists simultaneously in Rockstar's previous title Grand Theft Auto V (2013), in order to follow the character more personally and understand how the events impact him. They felt that a single character felt more appropriate for the narrative structure of a Western. Nelson felt that the decision to limit to one protagonist shaped the other creative decisions of development. The conversations and sense of life within the gang environment were inspired by Grand Theft Auto V's exploration of the lives of two of the game's playable characters while the player was controlling the other one. Rockstar wanted to grant agency to the player when experiencing the story of Arthur Morgan; Unsworth noted that Arthur is neither controlled by the storytellers or by the player, but by "a delicate push and pull between the two". The team attempted to give the player more freedom with Arthur's relationship with other characters; when the narrative begins, Arthur has already formed relationships with the other gang members, so the team aimed to develop them in a way for the player to respond appropriately.
Van der Linde gang
Dutch van der Linde
Dutch van der Linde (Benjamin Byron Davis) is the leader of the Van der Linde gang. Dutch's goal is to fight back against a corrupt system of power, and he believes that enough violence will eventually change society's outlook. Early in the gang's history, Dutch took in street kids and orphans, teaching them how to read and establishing the importance of independent thinking and self-worth as they completed tasks for him. Shortly before the events of the game, Dutch kills an innocent woman during a botched ferry robbery in Blackwater organized by Micah Bell, forcing the gang into the heart of a blizzard. With the gang, Dutch orchestrates a robbery of a train owned by oil tycoon Leviticus Cornwall. Once the blizzard clears and the gang moves camp to Horseshoe Overlook, Dutch is confronted by Cornwall, whose hired guns attack the gang and force them to move to Clemens Point. Dutch befriends Leigh Gray, the sheriff of Rhodes, and is named one of his deputies. Meanwhile, the gang befriends the Braithwaite family, who are rivals to the Gray family. The two families soon discover the betrayal, and the Braithwaites kidnap Jack Marston. Dutch orders an assault on Braithwaite Manor, torching the building and slaughtering the family. The gang moves to Shady Belle and retrieves Jack from businessman Angelo Bronte, who gives Dutch a tip that leads to an ambush. Dutch kills Bronte for his betrayal.
After a failed bank heist forces them out of town, Dutch and several gang members become shipwrecked on Guarma, an island near Cuba. Dutch befriends revolutionary leader Hercule Fontaine, helping fight with his revolution in exchange for a ship back to the mainland. Reunited with the gang, Dutch begins to grow paranoid, refusing to rescue John from prison; when Arthur Morgan and Sadie Adler rescue him, Dutch becomes furious. He later confronts and kills Cornwall, attends the hanging of his rival Colm O'Driscoll, and helps a group of Native Americans fight against the Army to distract the government from the gang. After most of the gang leaves, Dutch orchestrates the robbery of a train carrying army payroll but leaves John for dead and Abigail captured at Micah's recommendation. Dutch is later confronted by Arthur, who accuses Micah of betrayal. Dutch turns on Arthur and the newly returned John. Dutch intervenes in a fight between Arthur and Micah, and Arthur convinces him to abandon Micah and leave. In 1907, Dutch meets with Micah before John and Sadie attack Micah's new gang. In a Mexican standoff, Dutch shoots Micah, letting John finish him off, before leaving. During the events of Red Dead Redemption in 1911, John tracks down Dutch, who commits suicide by backing off a cliff.
When Davis was asked to reprise his role as Dutch, he was unsure of the nature and importance of the role until production began; he first heard about his reprisal in mid-2013, and received about the first 100 pages of the script at the end of the year. As Davis is much taller than Dutch, the animators had to adjust the height from the motion capture performances to fit the character, including eye lines of other characters. Brent Werzner stepped in as a body double for some takes. Davis portrayed Dutch "in his prime"—as a charming, confident man—for about a year before playing the decline of the character. Unsworth felt that Dutch views himself not as a criminal, but somebody fighting against a "corrupt system of power that's been set up to divide and suppress". He noted that Dutch's "anarchic, anti-establishment rhetoric" was compelling for the gang to remain with him.
Davis felt that Dutch was motivated by a "noble drive", believing in the greater good; he described the character as a "principled man", but felt that he began to evolve into a villain particularly when faced against characters who were powerful figures in their areas, such as Catherine Braithwaite and Angelo Bronte. Davis felt that Dutch's downfall takes place when he witnesses the corruption of other people achieving the "utopia" that he wants for his gang and realizes that he does not want the same to happen to him. When Dutch does not have his best friend Hosea Matthews by his side, he is unable to hear criticism, according to Davis; when Arthur tries to help Dutch "see the light", Dutch begins to distrust him, instead turning to the "unwavering [...] support" of Micah". Davis felt that Dutch's dream paradise would be at Horseshoe Overlook, in the game's second chapter, where he was constantly looking to the future. Davis says that Dutch "was a dreamer. The journey was more important than any arrival". Davis felt that, by the end of the game, Dutch was also seeking redemption for his mistakes, which is why he does not harm John or his family.
Arthur Morgan (Roger Clark) is the protagonist and main playable character of Red Dead Redemption 2. He joined the Van der Linde gang when he was 14-years-old, having lost his parents at a young age, and soon became Dutch's first protégé. Arthur had a son, Isaac, with a waitress named Eliza; he demonstrated regular support for them until they were killed by robbers for a trivial sum of money. Over time, Arthur transformed from a lost cause into Dutch's most dedicated enforcer. When the gang is forced into a blizzard, Arthur helps to find supplies and later tracks down John. He helps to rob the train owned by Leviticus Cornwall and, after moving to Horseshoe Overlook, fights against Cornwall's hired guns. After moving to Clemens Point, Arthur becomes involved in a conflict between two warring families, the Braithwaites and the Grays. The conflict leads to the death of a gang member and the capture of Jack Marston.
Arthur retrieves Jack from the supervision of crime lord Angelo Bronte and helps retaliate against the backstabbing Bronte, who leads them into a trap. Arthur notices Dutch's violent outburst as uncharacteristic of him. Further exploits lead them to Saint Denis where a failed bank heist forces some members of the gang out of town; they soon shipwreck on Guarma, but fight alongside a revolutionary in exchange for a ship back to the mainland. Reuniting with the rest of the gang, Arthur and Sadie resolve to save the captured John, much to the disdain of Dutch. Upon saving John, Arthur reveals his growing doubts about Dutch, unable to accept his leader's growing obsession. Arthur is soon diagnosed with tuberculosis. Shocked by the grim reality of his imminent death, Arthur contemplates his decisions and reflects on his morals, led further by his friendship with Native American leader Rains Fall. This drives his desire to protect the remnants of the gang, particularly John and his family.
When Dutch ignores Arthur's plea to rescue Abigail from Agent Milton, Arthur disavows the gang. Upon confronting Milton, Arthur discovers that Micah Bell has been betraying the gang. He returns to Dutch to inform him of Micah's betrayal; Dutch turns on Arthur and the newly returned John. When Pinkertons invade the camp, Arthur and John flee. Arthur begs John to return to his family. Arthur is soon ambushed by the vengeful Micah, and Dutch intervenes in their fight. Arthur convinces Dutch to abandon Micah and leave. If the player has high honor, Arthur succumbs to his injuries and disease and dies peacefully while watching the sunrise; if the player has low honor, Micah executes him.
For his portrayal as Arthur, Clark took main inspiration from Toshiro Mifune. He found that Mifune's characters were very stoic while also having a "crazy" sense of humor, a complexity he wanted to portray within Arthur. Clark also took inspiration from The Proposition (2005) as it involved a similar situation to Arthur's, wherein he is forced to betray some of his loyalties. Clark wanted to portray a character that was complex enough for the player to choose his path and still make sense. He aimed to portray vulnerability with Arthur's ego. Clark looked to Rob Wiethoff's portrayal as John in the first game for inspiration with his performance. A second love interest for Arthur was cut from the game during development. Vice President of Creativity Dan Houser was interested in subverting the trope of the protagonist starting as weak and becoming stronger as the story progresses; instead, Arthur is already tough at the beginning of the game, and is "taken on a more intellectual roller coaster when his world view gets taken apart". Houser felt that the decline of the American frontier has a deep impact on Arthur, noting that the character is "caught between the nastiness of nature and the brutality of encroaching industrialization in civilization". Houser avoided meeting Clark on set to avoid hearing his real voice.
John Marston (Rob Wiethoff) is the secondary protagonist and playable character of Red Dead Redemption 2. John's mother, a prostitute, died during childbirth and his father, who had been blinded in a bar fight, died when John was eight years old. John spent a few years in an orphanage before running away. When John was threatened to be lynched after being caught stealing at the age of 12, he was saved by Dutch van der Linde, who took him into his gang and raised him. When Abigail Roberts joined the gang, she and John fell in love and had a son, Jack. Before the events of the game, John is involved in the gang's botched ferry robbery in Blackwater; when the gang seeks shelter in the mountains, John scouts ahead but gets lost in the blizzard and attacked by wolves. He is later saved by Arthur Morgan and Javier Escuella. Once John has recovered, he joins the gang on some tasks before planning and executing a successful train robbery. During a failed bank robbery, John is captured and incarcerated. Arthur and Sadie rescue him, much to the disdain of Dutch; growing weary of Dutch's attitude and protective of John's family, Arthur warns John to leave the gang when the time is right. John is later left for dead by Dutch during a train robbery but returns to the camp as Arthur is confronting Dutch and Micah. When Pinkertons invade the camp, Arthur and John flee. John returns to his family at Arthur's wishes, while the latter dies after protecting him.
Eight years later, in 1907, John finds honest work with Abigail, but when John fights back against outlaws threatening his employer, Abigail leaves with Jack. John works to get her back by earning enough money to buy a property at Beecher's Hope. He builds a ranch with the help of Uncle and Charles Smith, while Sadie provides him with jobs to pay off his loans. After Abigail returns, John proposes. With Sadie and Charles, John attacks Micah's new gang, where they find Dutch. In a Mexican standoff, Dutch shoots Micah, letting John finish him off, before leaving. John and Abigail later get married at their ranch. During the events of Red Dead Redemption in 1911, John tracks down Bill, Javier, and Dutch, before being killed.
When developing John, who is also the protagonist of the original game, the writers felt that his previous appearance could be limiting to them, since players have already resonated with the character. Wiethoff, who reprises his role as John, looked to his own life when returning to the character; he always looked up to his older sister's male friends for approval in the same way that John looks up to the rest of the gang for validation. He also took inspiration from the "pretty tough dudes" in his home town for John's personality.
Abigail Roberts (Cali Elizabeth Moore) is the wife of John Marston and the mother of Jack. Abigail was an orphan as a child and later earned her money as a prostitute. She was introduced to the gang around 1894 by Uncle and fell pregnant with John's son, Jack, soon afterward. Abigail cares deeply for John and Jack: when John is missing early in the game, she asks Arthur to search for him; and when Jack is abducted by the Braithwaites, she is visibly distraught until his return. She often commits crimes alongside the gang, including distracting the guards during the gang's robbery of the bank in Lemoyne and stealing Hosea's body from police after his death. She also attempts to join Arthur and Sadie as they rescue John from prison, but they refuse. Abigail is later kidnapped from the camp by Agent Milton. Arthur and Sadie attempt to rescue her, but the latter is captured and the former is held at gunpoint by Milton; Abigail breaks free and kills Milton. After they escape, Abigail gives Arthur the key to the gang's money, which she had found at camp, before departing to meet up with Jack.
Eight years later, in 1907, Abigail finds honest work with John, but when John fights back against outlaws threatening his employer, Abigail believes he is unwilling to give up his old ways and leaves with Jack. She returns after John takes out a bank loan and purchases a ranch, but berates him for continuing to work as a bounty hunter with Sadie. John proposes to Abigail and, after John kills Micah and finds the gang's money, the two marry and start their new life on the ranch with Jack and Uncle. Four years later, during the events of Red Dead Redemption in 1911, Abigail and Jack are abducted so John will search for his former comrades; they are returned when he completes his task, and Abigail dies in 1914.
Moore found ease in recording the couple's proposal scene, as both she and Wiethoff remembered their own proposals; she recalled only recording the scene twice, due to the emotion. She noted that both she and Wiethoff started crying during rehearsals for the scene. Moore also became emotional during the scenes in which Jack is returned to the camp, considering if the scenario was applied to her own children.
Bill Williamson (Steve J. Palmer) is an enforcer of the Van der Linde gang. Born as Marion Williamson, Bill changed his name due to embarrassment. He was dishonorably discharged from military service in 1892 for attempted murder and deviancy, leading to a life of violence and alcoholism. He joined the gang after being saved by Dutch about six years before the events of the game, having been at a low point in his life. Bill is frequently bullied by the rest of the gang due to his short temper, but remains loyal to the group. He assists the gang on several outings, later coordinating a successful bank heist with Karen Jones in Valentine. Bill accompanies high-ranking members of the gang on several occasions, including a party at the mayor's mansion, the attack on Angelo Bronte's mansion, and the failed Saint Denis bank robbery, after which he becomes shipwrecked on Guarma with some other members of the gang. Upon their return, Bill continues to assist with robberies and, when Arthur confronts Dutch, Bill sides with the latter, eventually escaping. Twelve years later, during the events of Red Dead Redemption in 1911, Bill is hunted down by John Marston and later killed.
Palmer was inspired by a comment made by Abigail in the original game, where she claims that Bill was harmless when she knew him; he found her viewpoint to be interesting and decided to approach his performance in the second game with this in mind. Palmer often referenced his portrayal of Bill in the original game during the production of Red Dead Redemption 2. He considered Bill to be internally insecure, having a lot to say but unable to express himself properly; he found that the most emotionally draining moment of his portrayal was during a campfire scene where Bill manages to express his emotion when explaining how Dutch saved him. Palmer also expanded on a line of John's from the original game stating that Bill knows how to survive at all costs. He felt that Bill was always seeking approval from his fellow gang members and thought that Bill may have chosen a different side in the story if he was told that he was accepted and appreciated within the gang.
Charles Smith (Noshir Dalal) is a recent addition to the Van der Linde gang. Born to an African American father and Native American mother, Charles often struggled to find a place to belong. A quiet and reserved man, Charles is highly skilled at hunting and tracking. He joined the gang about six months before the events of the game as he agreed with their overall ideologies. Charles accompanies the gang on several outings, including the robbery of Cornwall's train, the rescue of Sean MacGuire, and the train robbery orchestrated by John. Charles partakes in the failed bank robbery in Saint Denis, later distracting Pinkerton guards to allow some of the gang members to escape the country. During their absence, Charles and Sadie unite and relocate the gang. Upon their return, Charles and Arthur help the Native Americans in their fight against the army; Charles eventually chooses to stay at the reservation to help protect the Native Americans. Eight years later, in 1907, Charles is participating in fighting tournaments to earn money in Saint Denis. He leaves the city to help John build his house at his new ranch and later accompanies him and Sadie as they track down and kill Micah. Charles attends John and Abigail's wedding before departing the ranch.
Dalal resonated with Charles as he is half-Japanese and half-Parsi. He drew experiences from his personal life when portraying the character. The original actor for Charles was recast as the team felt he did not fit.
Hosea Matthews (Curzon Dobell) is the co-founder and second-in-command of the Van der Linde gang. Hosea first met Dutch about 20 years before the events of the game when they tried to rob each other on the road to Chicago. They quickly became friends, committing crimes and building a gang together. When the gang's focus changed from helping others to being focused on its survival in violent ways, Hosea began to feel disillusioned with the group but remained a loyal member. By the events of the game in 1899, Hosea is Dutch's most senior lieutenant, often voicing his disapproval of Dutch's methods and preferring to rob peacefully. Hosea barters with Catherine Braithwaite in an attempt to double-cross her and is later present when the gang attacks her manor to save Jack. At a party at the mayor's residence, Hosea discovers two lucrative leads; one is a bank robbery in Saint Denis, which he convinces Dutch to do. Hosea successfully distracts law enforcement but is captured and killed by Agent Milton in front of the bank.
Jack Marston (Marissa Buccianti and Ted Sutherland) is the son of John Marston and Abigail Roberts. Buccianti portrayed the character as a young child, while Sutherland portrayed Jack as a pre-teen. Jack was born into the gang, who go to great lengths to protect him. He wishes to spend more time with his father, and wants more children to spend time with at camp. During the events of the game, Jack is kidnapped by the Braithwaite family and given to Angelo Bronte, who treats him well and returns him to the gang when confronted. In the years that follow after the gang's dissolution, Jack and his family regularly move around the country. In 1907, they return to West Elizabeth, being briefly based at Pronghorn Ranch before Jack and his mother leave John. They return to John after he has bought a ranch at Beecher's Hope, bringing a dog named Rufus with them. Four years later, during the events of Red Dead Redemption in 1911, Abigail and Jack are abducted so John will search for his former comrades; they are returned when he completes his task. After John is killed by the Bureau of Investigation in 1911 and Abigail dies in 1914, Jack tracks down and kills bureau director Edgar Ross.
Javier Escuella (Gabriel Sloyer) is a gunman in the Van der Linde gang. Born in Nuevo Paraíso, Mexico, Javier was forced to flee after killing a high-ranking army official. He joined Dutch's gang about four years before the events of the game, discovering a strong connection to Dutch's ideologies; as a result, he is incredibly loyal to Dutch. During the events of the game in 1899, Javier joins Arthur on several occasions, including searching for John, robbing Leviticus Cornwall's train, and rescuing Sean. Javier partakes in the Saint Denis bank robbery, after which he becomes shipwrecked on Guarma with some other members of the gang. There, he is shot in the leg and captured by soldiers, but later rescued by Dutch and Arthur. Upon the group's return to America, Javier continues to assist with robberies and, when Arthur confronts Dutch, Javier sides with the latter, eventually escaping. Twelve years later, during the events of Red Dead Redemption in 1911, Javier is hunted down by John Marston and captured or killed.
Sloyer wanted players to fight against any preconceived notions about Javier from the first game, so his eventual fight against John was "even more painful". Sloyer felt that Javier is "looking for home, somewhere to belong", feeling torn between grasping at the American Dream and longing for his home in Mexico. Sloyer considered Javier to be a romantic, calling him the "Brad Pitt of the gang". When portraying the character, Sloyer considered the life of his own father, also named Javier, and his experience with immigrating to the United States. Sloyer attempted to emulate bandit Joaquin Murrieta through the character of Javier, particularly in his quiet, brooding moments wherein he attempts to escape his dark past.
Josiah Trelawny (Stephen Gevedon) is a conman and an associate of the Van der Linde gang. A flamboyant conman, Trelawny is allowed to move in and out of Dutch's gang as he likes. He helps Arthur, Javier, and Charles track down Sean, acting as a distraction to some of the guards. Sometime later, he is arrested for involvement in an illegal operation; while being transported to jail, he is freed when Arthur assists the sheriff in capturing runaway fugitives. Trelawny orchestrates and participates in several heists with the gang, including a stagecoach robbery with Arthur and a heist on a lavish riverboat with Javier, Arthur, and Strauss. As the gang begins to fall apart, Trelawny quietly leaves the gang permanently with Arthur's blessing.
Karen Jones (Jo Armeniox) is a thief and gunwoman in the Van der Linde gang. She is a keen scam artist who is not afraid to speak her mind. Karen orchestrates and participates in the robbery of the Valentine bank with Arthur, Bill, and Lenny, either pretending to be a harlot or a lost girl. She has a brief love affair with Sean MacGuire; after his death, Karen's alcoholism worsens and she is usually found drunk at camp. Karen eventually leaves the gang during its downfall, and her fate is unknown; Tilly surmises that she drank herself to death.
Armeniox particularly appreciated scenes where Karen and Arthur drink and share stories.
Kieran Duffy (Pico Alexander) is a stable boy. Originally a lowly member of the O'Driscoll gang, Kieran is captured by Arthur and later coerced by Dutch to turn on his former gang members and give up the location of one of their safehouses. He soon becomes a full member of Dutch's gang, but several of its members never truly support him. After some time with Dutch's gang, Kieran is captured by the O'Driscolls and tortured until they discovered the gang's location. Kieran is decapitated and his eyes gouged out, and his corpse is sent back to Dutch's gang on horseback.
Lenny Summers (Harron Atkins) is a young gunman in the Van der Linde gang. He is well educated, having received good schooling as a child. At the age of 15, Lenny's father was killed while walking home at night; in retaliation, Lenny stole a gun and shot his father's killers. After spending three years on the run, Lenny joined the Van der Linde gang. He is dedicated to working hard and doing his part for the gang, as proven early during the events of the game when he participates in the robbery of Leviticus Cornwall's train. He forms a strong bond with Arthur, particularly when the two get drunk together in Valentine. In Rhodes, Lenny tracks down a group of ex-confederates known as the Lemoyne Raiders; he and Arthur ambush their camp and kill them. Lenny later participates in the robberies of the Valentine bank and the Saint Denis trolley station, and the ambush on Angelo Bronte's mansion. During the Saint Denis bank robbery, Lenny is gunned down and killed by Pinkertons while leading the gang's escape.
Leopold Strauss (Howard Pinhasik) is the bookkeeper and accountant of the Van der Linde gang. He grew up poor in Vienna during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, suffering from health problems during childhood. At the age of 17, Strauss was sent on a boat to America, where he spent several years as a scam artist. He soon joined the Van der Linde gang for protection and is responsible for the gang's money-lending operation. He is typically emotionless and known for being shifty. As the gang moves locations, Strauss continues to operate his loansharking business, tasking Arthur with collecting the money from several debtors each time. He partakes in the robbery of a lavish riverboat in Saint Denis. After being tasked with more loansharking tasks, Arthur decides to banish Strauss from camp for ruining lives with his business. He is later captured by the Pinkertons and interrogated, but is said to have died in custody without revealing any information about the gang.
Mary-Beth Gaskill (Samantha Strelitz) is a young thief in the Van der Linde gang. After her mother died of typhoid, Mary-Beth lived in an orphanage at a young age but ran away to take care of herself. She soon became known as a highly-skilled pickpocket, despite her kind heart and good nature. She enjoys reading and writing, and had dreams of becoming a novelist when she was young. During the events of the game, she assists Arthur on some occasions, including finding a lead on a train robbery and distracting a driver during a stagecoach heist. She often talks with Arthur about his life and gives him encouraging words when he tells her about his tuberculosis. As the gang begins to fall apart, Mary-Beth eventually leaves. Eight years later, in 1907, she encounters John Marston in Valentine, revealing that she has become a novelist. She keeps in close contact with Tilly Jackson.
Strelitz worked on the game for around 3–4 years. Strelitz felt that Mary-Beth is a sweet girl who "gets lost in the world of her books". She referred to the character as "the Danielle Steel of 1899" because of her obsession with romance novels. Strelitz felt that the scene in which Arthur discusses his sickness with Mary-Beth has a "gravitas" for those who play the game, but also "such an innocence ... because if someone tells you that how do you even take that all in?".
Micah Bell (Peter Blomquist) is a gunman and hitman in the Van der Linde gang, and the game's primary antagonist. Both Micah's father and grandfather, also named Micah Bell, were criminals; his father was once wanted for murder in five counties. Micah joined the Van der Linde gang about five months before the game's events after he saved Dutch's life during a botched deal. Micah convinced Dutch to rob a ferry in Blackwater, which ultimately failed and forced the gang to flee to a mining town in the mountains. Micah partakes in the Saint Denis bank robbery, after which he becomes shipwrecked on Guarma with some other members of the gang. Upon their return, Micah begins to have a stronger influence on Dutch, convincing him to confront Cornwall and later to blow up Bacchus Bridge to distract the government. Micah convinces Dutch to ignore Arthur's plea to rescue Abigail after she is kidnapped. Arthur rescues her and returns to the camp to inform Dutch that Micah has been betraying the gang; Dutch joins Micah and turns on Arthur. When Pinkertons invade the camp, the group disbands. Micah ambushes Arthur, and Dutch intervenes in their fight. Arthur convinces Dutch to abandon Micah and leave. If the player has low honor, Micah executes Arthur. Eight years later, in 1907, Micah has formed a gang of his own. John, Sadie, and Charles later track him down at his camp. In a Mexican standoff, Dutch shoots Micah, letting John finish him off.
Blomquist described the character of Micah Bell as a "slimy opportunist". He opted to develop the character from scratch, instead of taking specific inspiration from others. Blomquist found the character's villainous nature to be "liberating". He did not anticipate the hatred that the character would receive from players on social media.
Molly O'Shea (Penny O'Brien) is Dutch's lover and a member of the gang. Born in Dublin, Ireland to a wealthy family, Molly moved to America in search of excitement. She eventually joined the Van der Linde gang and fell in love with Dutch, but wants more in their relationship than he is prepared to give. She considers herself to be better than other members of the gang, which often leads to her exclusion. She eventually becomes fed up with Dutch ignoring her, and, while drunk, returns to camp and tells the gang that she informed the Pinkertons about their botched bank heist. She is killed by Susan Grimshaw for disobeying the gang's rules. Arthur later discovers that Molly did not reveal any information to the Pinkertons while interrogated.
O'Brien's audition took place on Saint Patrick's Day in 2015. She was told to audition with a "really Irish" accent and personality. She had not played the original game, but watched videos after receiving the part. O'Brien began to understand the character of Molly around a year into production; she worked on the game for about three years. She described Molly as "a very desperate character set in very extreme circumstances". She found that Molly's relationship with Dutch is echoed in her relationship with the latter's actor, Benjamin Byron Davis. "Some jokes that were made while we were in our tent ... we'll still make together when we're sitting at dinner", she said. When recording one of the arguments between Molly and Dutch, the director spoke with the actors separately about their motivations but did not reveal them to the other; O'Brien found that Davis' in-character ignorance to Molly frustrated her more, adding to the scene. O'Brien felt that Molly did not achieve redemption by the game's end; she stated that Molly left Ireland to move away from its working conditions and barren nature, but by affiliating herself with Dutch, denied herself the opportunity to reach redemption. O'Brien's inspiration for Molly's final moments was a cry for help and a need for Dutch's attention.
Simon Pearson (Jim Santangeli) is the cook and butcher of the Van der Linde gang. His father and grandfather were both sperm whale hunters; Pearson wished to follow in their footsteps, but the occupation was obsolete by the time he finished school. For a brief period, he was part of the United States Navy. When he moved out west, he encountered financial trouble; Dutch discovered him and invited him into the gang. He sends Arthur to retrieve food and supplies several times and is responsible for setting up the camp with Susan Grimshaw upon each relocation. When the gang begins to collapse, Pearson becomes unhappy and decides to leave. Eight years later, in 1907, he owns and runs the general store in Rhodes, and is married.
Reverend Orville Swanson (Sean Haberle) is a priest and a member of the Van der Linde gang. Once a clergyman, Swanson began to use morphine to ease his pain a few years before the events of the game, eventually leading to his addiction to alcohol. Over time, he has lost his sense of direction, religion, and self-esteem. He once saved Dutch's life, and thus is allowed to remain in the gang. Early during the events of the game, Arthur finds the drunk Swanson and saves him from a fight and an oncoming train. By the time some of the gang return from Guarma, Swanson has become sober and is functioning better. As the gang begins to fall apart, Swanson decides to leave; depending on the player's honor, Swanson may encounter Arthur a final time, bestowing wise words about the latter's path to redemption. Sometime over the next eight years, by 1907, Swanson had moved to New York and become a preacher.
Sadie Adler (Alex McKenna) is a gunwoman and bounty hunter. She grew up in the mountains, where she learned to ride, shoot, and hunt. On their farm, she and her husband Jake shared the workload until he was killed by O'Driscolls in their home, where Sadie hid. During the events of the game, Arthur, Dutch, and Micah kill the O'Driscolls, rescuing Sadie and inadvertently setting her house ablaze. She decides to stay with the gang, vowing revenge on the O'Driscolls. Sometime later, when the gang is based at Clemens Point, Sadie becomes dissatisfied with her job of preparing food; Arthur takes her to town to run some errands, but they are attacked on their return, prompting the two to fight them off. Afterward, she seeks to be involved in the gang's heists. When the O'Driscolls assault the camp, Sadie refuses Arthur's orders to get to safety and helps the gang kill and drive away from the O'Driscolls.
When the senior members of the gang are in Guarma, Sadie and Charles unite and relocate the remainder of the group, protecting them in the meantime. After their return, Sadie and Arthur resolve to save the captured John, much to the disdain of Dutch. Sadie is present at Colm O'Driscoll's hanging, eventually leading to a firefight with the O'Driscolls. Sometime later, she and Arthur may end the O'Driscoll gang by attacking their ranch, where Sadie finally exacts revenge on the man who killed her husband. She is present during the battle against the Army at Cornwall's refinery and participates in the gang's final robbery of a train. When Abigail is captured by the Pinkertons, Sadie joins Arthur in rescuing her. As Arthur leaves to confront Dutch and Micah, Sadie takes Abigail to meet with Jack and Tilly. Seven years later, in 1907, Sadie has become a successful bounty hunter, employing John for some tasks. She tracks down Micah's new gang and attacks them with Charles and John, but is shot in the stomach. She helps John by distracting Micah, but the latter holds her at gunpoint. After Dutch reveals himself and shoots Micah, John finishes off the latter. Sadie attends John and Abigail's wedding before departing.
McKenna knew very little about the character and project early in development. McKenna felt that she began to truly understand the character of Sadie about three years into the five-year process, only receiving small portions of the script at a time. McKenna said that the scene in which Sadie gets her revenge "haunted [her] a little", as she experienced a lot of Sadie's backstory up to that point. Motion capture director Rod Edge described Sadie as "so feminine but so tough". McKenna appreciated the lack of stereotyping with the characters, and enjoyed her equality to Arthur instead of a love story. The actors formed a close bond during production, which helped with individual performances. McKenna felt that Sadie continued to travel without settling after the events of the game.
Sean MacGuire (Michael Mellamphy) is a gunman of the Van der Linde gang. A young Irish thief, he is a descendant of several criminals; his father, who was wanted by the government, fled to America with Sean but was caught and killed. After unsuccessfully attempting to rob Dutch's pocket watch in an alleyway, Sean joined the Van der Linde gang. After the gang's botched ferry robbery in Blackwater, Sean is separated and captured by bounty hunters. He is rescued by Arthur, Charles, and Javier, and the gang throws a party to celebrate his return; during the party, he and Karen have sex. Sean later joins the gang on some outings, including a train robbery and an assault on the Gray family home. He joins Arthur, Bill, and Micah on a potential job in Rhodes, but is shot by a sniper while walking the street.
Mellamphy was the second actor to be cast as Sean, replacing the previous actor later in the production. Mellamphy worked on the game for three years, over which the character of Sean developed significantly. He eventually discovered more about the character over time; he initially did not know that Sean was a member of the Van der Linde gang. During the original audition, Mellamphy thought that the developers wanted him to portray an Irish Republican Army member. Mellamphy discovered Sean's fate about halfway through production while recording audio work. He described the character as the player's "little brother".
Susan Grimshaw (Kaili Vernoff) is the arbiter of the Van der Linde gang. Formerly in a relationship with Dutch, she has been a member of the gang for as long as Arthur has. After her and Dutch's relationship ended, the two have remained loyal partners. She is a leader of the gang, ensuring that work is always completed. Alongside Pearson, she is responsible for setting up the camp following each relocation. When Tilly disappears from camp at Shady Belle, Grimshaw tasks Arthur to help investigate. They track her down to the hideout of the Foreman Brothers, storming the house, killing some of the gang members, and rescuing Tilly. After capturing Anthony Foreman, Grimshaw encourages Arthur to kill him. Sometime later, when Molly claims that she spoke to the Pinkertons about the gang's botched bank heist, Grimshaw shoots and kills Molly for breaking the rules. After the gang falls apart and Arthur reveals Micah to be the traitor, Grimshaw joins Arthur's side; when Grimshaw is distracted, Micah shoots and kills her. Her body is later buried by Charles Smith.
Vernoff worked on the game for about four-and-a-half years. As production continued and she discovered more about the character, she wanted to ensure that she portrayed some of Grimshaw's vulnerabilities; as production continued, she was required to re-record some dialogue as she settled into the role. Vernoff enjoyed the juxtaposition of Grimshaw's character, noting that, despite her viciousness with the girls at camp, she "will go to any lengths to protect [them] and keep them from harm". She felt that Grimshaw was not initially likable to players, which made her more interesting to play. Vernoff felt that Grimshaw believed that the camp would not survive without her. Regarding the character's fate, Vernoff felt that Grimshaw was "defending her family and she wouldn't have it any other way".
Tilly Jackson (Meeya Davis-Glover) is a handmaid of the Van der Linde gang. At the age of 12, she was kidnapped by her mother by the Foreman Brothers gang, with whom she ran for several years, enduring abuse. After she killed one of the gang members, she fled, getting into more trouble until she was found by Dutch, who brought her into the gang and taught her how to read. Resilient and capable, Tilly is unafraid to speak her mind. She joins Arthur, Uncle, Karen, and Mary-Beth on a trip to explore Valentine, where she is hassled by a member of the Foreman Brothers until Arthur steps in. Sometime later, Tilly is kidnapped by the Foreman Brothers and taken to their safe house; she is rescued by Arthur and Grimshaw. After the gang falls apart and Pinkertons raid their camp, Tilly takes Jack and hides, later reunited with Abigail and Sadie. Eight years later, in 1907, Tilly has married a lawyer from Haiti, with whom she is having a daughter. She keeps in close contact with Mary-Beth.
Davis-Glover appreciated that the game featured a black woman standing up for herself. She became emotional during the scene in which Tilly discusses killing Anthony Foreman's cousin, noting that "at a young age [Tilly] went through so much". Davis-Glover was also pregnant when recording scenes of Tilly's pregnancy, but admitted that the writers did not intentionally make that connection.
Uncle (John O'Creagh and James McBride) is one of the oldest members of the Van der Linde gang. He is a drunkard who claims to have had several wives and traveled significantly. He also claims to have been a talented gunslinger in his younger age, and contends that he suffers from terminal lumbago. During the events of the game, Uncle joins Arthur, Karen, Mary-Beth, and Tilly to Valentine, where he shows Arthur the local shop and shares with him a bottle of whiskey. Uncle later hears about a supposedly unguarded stagecoach of Leviticus Cornwall, which he robs alongside Arthur, Bill, and Charles; however, after dozens of Cornwall's men fight back, the four hide in a barn and are forced to fight to escape. He also later tells Arthur of a cattle rustling opportunity and discovers Molly O'Shea at a bar in Saint Denis. When the gang begins to fall apart, Uncle decides to leave.
Eight years later, in 1907, Uncle reunites with John Marston in Blackwater as the latter is buying a property. Uncle tracks down Charles Smith, and the two help John build his ranch. After the house is built, Uncle is kidnapped by the Skinner brothers and tortured, but soon rescued by John and Charles. He recovers and continues to work on the ranch. Four years later, during the events of Red Dead Redemption in 1911, Uncle poorly looks after John's farm in his absence; when soldiers and agents later attack the ranch, Uncle joins John in defending it but is shot and killed.
O'Creagh was cast in the role of Uncle, replacing Spider Madison from Red Dead Redemption. O'Creagh died during production and was replaced by McBride; O'Creah's singing lines still appear in the game.
|Eagle Flies||Jeremiah Bitsui|| Eagle Flies is the son of Rains Fall, the chieftain of the Wapiti Indians. Arthur helps Eagle Flies and his father on several occasions; after some time, Dutch also agrees to help, hoping that it will distract the Army away from the gang's activities. Dutch later works with Eagle Flies to trap soldiers in a valley to leave a message. When reinforcements attack the Indians, they are forced to fight back; while trying to rescue his friend Paytah, Eagle Flies is captured and taken to Fort Wallace. Arthur and Charles rescue him from the fort. During an attack against the Army, Eagle Flies is mortally wounded while saving Arthur from Colonel Favours. Arthur and Charles take him to his father at the reservation, where he dies.|
Bitsui worked on the game for about three years.
|Edith Downes||Jayme Lake||Edith Downes is the wife of Thomas Downes and the mother of Archie. Thomas obtained a loan from Leopold Strauss due to his financial problems; Arthur is sent to collect the loan and continually beats Thomas until Edith intervenes. After Thomas dies from tuberculosis, Arthur returns and collects the remainder of the loan from Edith. She and Archie move away from their home and eventually become financially unstable. Arthur encounters her prostituting in Saint Denis and Annesburg. After Arthur saves her son from being bullied, he goes to Edith and persuades her to return home. Arthur offers her and Archie money and tells them to start a new life; after some persuasion, she accepts the money and advice, forgiving Arthur before leaving. Eight years later, in 1907, Edith and Archie are seen boarding a boat and appear wealthier.|
|Hercule Fontaine||Guyviaud Joseph||Hercule Fontaine is a revolutionary leader on Guarma. Before the events of the game, he was exiled from Cuba to Guarma, where he started a rebellion against Colonel Fussar. He first encounters members of the Van der Linde gang when he rescues them from the troops holding them captive. Sometime later, the gang helps him to successfully fight against the Cuban military and kill Fussar. He celebrates the victory and says farewell to the gang, mentioning that he and the remaining rebels will also depart Guarma sometime soon.|
|Lyndon Monroe||Jake Silbermann||Captain Lyndon Monroe is a loyal military officer who was sent to make peace between the Army and the Wapiti Indians. He first encounters Arthur at the Indian reservation, where he tells him that the Army is intentionally redirecting vaccines required by the Indians and asks him to retrieve them, which he does. Monroe is later present at the truce meeting between Colonel Favours and Rains Fall, where he is arrested and charged with treason. Arthur and Charles escape with Monroe to a train station, sending him away with some money.|
|Mary Linton||Julie Jesneck||Mary Linton is Arthur's former lover. They fell apart due to his outlaw lifestyle and affiliation with the Van der Linde gang. She married a man named Barry Linton, who died sometime later. During the events of the game, Mary contacts Arthur and pleads for him to make her brother Jamie leave the Chelonians, a fanatical cult. If the player accepts, Arthur chases down Jamie and convinces him to leave the group before returning him to Mary, who thanks him. Sometime later, Mary asks Arthur for help with her father, much to Arthur's disapproval due to her father's poor treatment of him. If the player accepts, Arthur and Mary discover her father pawning her brooch gifted to her by her mother; Arthur retrieves the brooch and Mary confronts her father. Mary invites Arthur to go to the theater as friends; after the performance, Mary considers her relationship with Arthur, and he promises that they can run away together once he saves the gang. After some time, Mary sends a letter to Arthur declaring they must let each other go. The engagement ring enclosed with the letter is passed on to John, who uses it to propose to Abigail.|
|Sister Calderón||Irene DeBari||Sister Calderón is a nun based in the city of Saint Denis. She first encounters Arthur when he meets with Brother Dorkins, and he helps to retrieve her crucifix from a young thief. Arthur encounters Sister Calderón again when she asks him to donate money and food. Depending on the player's honor and progress, Arthur may encounter Calderón one final time at a train station, where she bestows wise words about his life and path to redemption before boarding the train to Mexico. Twelve years later, during the events of Red Dead Redemption in 1911, Calderón has become Mother Superior in Las Hermanas, where she may encounter John Marston.|
|Rains Fall||Graham Greene|| Rains Fall is the chieftain of the Wapiti Indians and the father of Eagle Flies. He first meets Arthur in Saint Denis, employing him to steal incriminating documents from Leviticus Cornwall's company, which is trying to move the Indians away from their reservation. Sometime later, Rains Fall rides to the gang's camp and pleads with his son and his men not to fight against the Army; they ignore his pleas, and Eagle Flies is mortally wounded. Arthur and Charles bring his body to Rains Fall, who weeps. Seven years later, in 1907, Rains Fall tells John Marston that his tribe was forced to flee to Canada.|
Houser felt that Greene's role signified all of the game's important points, including history and politics, adding that Greene brought a "great depth" to the game's story. He described the character as a "gentle soul in [a] violent world".
|Alberto Fussar||Alfredo Narciso||Alberto Fussar is the controversial ruler of the island of Guarma. He is a close ally of Leviticus Cornwall due to their business partnership. When some of the gang are shipwrecked on Guarma, Fussar discovers them and attempts to stop them from leaving. The gang is successful in fighting back against the Cuban Navy. When they go to rescue their ship's captain, Arthur and Dutch are held in a standoff against Fussar and his right-hand man, Levi Simon; the captain shoots Levi while Fussar escapes. Fussar soon attacks the gang again with a gatling gun but is killed when Arthur gets control of a nearby cannon.|
|Andrew Milton||John Hickok||Andrew Milton is an agent of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Alongside his subordinate, Edgar Ross, he is hired by Leviticus Cornwall to track down the Van der Linde gang after they rob his train. He first meets Arthur while the latter is fishing, offering him a chance to surrender, but he refuses. He and Ross later approach Dutch and the gang at their camp in Clemens Point, offering Dutch a chance to surrender in exchange for the other gang members' freedom, but the gang threatens them to leave. During the gang's bank robbery in Saint Denis, Milton captures Hosea and kills him when Dutch refuses to surrender. Later, when the gang is robbing a train, Milton kidnaps Abigail; Arthur and Sadie attempt to rescue her, but Sadie is captured and Arthur held up at gunpoint. When Arthur is unable to overpower Milton, Abigail shoots him in the head, killing him.|
|Angelo Bronte||Jim Pirri|| Angelo Bronte is a wealthy Italian businessman and criminal from Saint Denis. Bronte bought Jack Marston from the Braithwaite family after the latter abducted him; Arthur, Dutch, and John meet with Bronte and orchestrate his safe return. Bronte informs Dutch about a wealth of money at the trolley station, giving his blessing to rob it. However, the heist is a trap; the money is minimal and police are awaiting the gang. After they escape, Dutch vows revenge on Bronte. With some other gang members, he assaults Bronte's mansion, kidnapping him and drowning him before feeding him to an alligator.|
Benjamin Byron Davis claimed that the developer took some time to find an actor for Bronte before ultimately selecting Pirri. Davis felt that Bronte was the man that Dutch wanted to be, which led to the later events between the two.
|Catherine Braithwaite||Ellen Harvey||Catherine Braithwaite is the matriarch of the Braithwaite family, the rivals of the Grays. Catherine first meets Arthur and Hosea when they attempt to sell her back the liquor that they stole. She hires them to distribute the liquor for free and later employs them again to burn down the Grays' tobacco fields. She betrays the Van der Linde gang by kidnapping Jack Marston. The gang attacks her manor, killing her sons and burning down the estate. When she reveals Jack's location, the gang departs, and she returns to the burning mansion and dies.|
|Colm O'Driscoll||Andrew Berg||Colm O'Driscoll is Dutch's nemesis. Formerly in a loose partnership with Dutch, the two eventually formed separate groups. After Dutch killed Colm's brother, Colm retaliated by killing Dutch's lover, Annabelle, resulting in a blood feud between the two gangs. Early during the events of the game, Colm is planning to rob a train belonging to Cornwall until the Van der Linde gang assaults their camp and steals the plans. Sometime later, Colm sets up a meeting with Dutch to form a truce, but it is a ploy to capture Arthur. He reveals that he has made a deal with the Pinkertons, who plan to arrest the remainder of the Van der Linde gang when they come to rescue Arthur, but Arthur manages to escape. Colm is later arrested and sentenced to be hanged; some of his men attempt to rescue him, but they are stopped by Arthur, Dutch, and Sadie, and Colm is hanged.|
|Edgar Ross||Jim Bentley||Edgar Ross is a member of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Ross works with his superior Andrew Milton to track down the Van der Linde gang on several occasions. After Milton's death, Ross leads a group of Pinkertons to the gang's camp, forcing the remaining gang members to flee. Eight years later, in 1907, Ross is appointed as director of the Bureau of Investigation. Along with his partner, Archer Fordham, he discovers the corpse of Micah Bell and sets out to find the remaining members of the gang, interviewing several people before eventually tracking down John Marston at his ranch in Beecher's Hope. Four years later, during the events of Red Dead Redemption in 1911, Ross abducts John's family and forces him to track down former members of his gang before eventually killing him at his ranch; three years later, in 1914, Ross is killed by John's son, Jack.|
|Henry Favours||Malachy Cleary||Colonel Henry Favours is a member of the United States Army. Stationed at Fort Wallace in New Hanover to oversee the Wapiti Indian reservation, Favours was approached by Cornwall to drive the Indians away from the land as it is allegedly rich with oil. Favours agreed to do so and attempted to drive the Indians away by confiscating their horses and withholding vaccines. During the events of the game, Favours agrees to meet with Rains Fall to discuss peace terms but is unwilling to compromise. Favours arrests Captain Monroe and charges him with treason for helping the Indians, but Arthur and Charles release him and escape. Sometime later, Favours defends Cornwall Kerosene & Tar in a fight against the Indians; he shoots and mortally wounds Eagle Flies, only to be shot and killed by Arthur.|
|Leigh Gray||Tim McGeever||Leigh Gray is the Sheriff of Rhodes and a member of the wealthy Gray family, rivals of the Braithwaite family. He encounters Arthur, Dutch, and Hosea while transporting Trelawny as a criminal; when some of the other criminals escape, Arthur helps to capture them in exchange for Trelawny's release. Soon afterward, while drunk, Leigh deputizes Arthur, Bill, and Dutch, and sends them to do some work. When the Gray family discovers that the Van der Linde gang is double-crossing them and the Braithwaite family, they ambush Arthur, Bill, Sean, and Micah in Rhodes; after overpowering the ambush, Arthur shoots and kills him.|
|Leviticus Cornwall||John Rue||Leviticus Cornwall is a wealthy man responsible for several businesses. While the gang is hiding in the mountains, they rob a train belonging to Cornwall; in response, Cornwall funds and commissions the Pinkertons to bring down the gang. Cornwall tracks down Dutch in Valentine, holding John and Strauss as hostages and demanding Dutch to face him; he soon leaves, and Arthur and Dutch fight off his men. When some of the gang is on Guarma, they discover that Cornwall had close business ties with Fussar due to the island's sugar plantations. Cornwall is also responsible for driving the Wapiti Indians away from their reservations in search of oil. In Annesberg, Cornwall has a brief meeting with Pinkerton agents Milton and Ross, scolding them for their lack of progress in capturing the gang. Once the Pinkertons depart, Dutch approaches Cornwall; when Cornwall refuses his demands, Dutch shoots and kills him. His businesses continue to operate, but minimal oil was ultimately found on the Indian reservations, halting the operations.|
The characters received critical acclaim. GameSpot's Kallie Plagge wrote that the new characters in the game contribute significantly to the quality of the story. Mike Williams of USgamer felt that the secondary characters "feel like actual people" due to their varied personalities, and the player feels a closer connection when events occur in the game. IGN's Luke Reilly praised the cultural variety within the cast of characters and the game's avoidance of caricatures. Giant Bomb's Alex Navarro echoed this sentiment, noting that the characters possess humanity often lacking in other Rockstar games, particularly in the thoughtful portrayal of Arthur's internal conflicts. Keza MacDonald of The Guardian felt that the characters felt more believable due to the "excellent performances with unexpected range". Polygon's Chris Plante found the game's portrayal of Native American characters, inspired by a "mashing together of real-world people, locations, and groups into single entities", to be insensitive and confusing, but that the game's political commentary shined when focusing on the entitlement and power of the Braithwaite and Gray families.
The introduction of Arthur Morgan as the protagonist was generally well-received. Electronic Gaming Monthly's Nick Plessas found the journey of redemption for Arthur Morgan to be "far more redeeming" than John Marston's in Red Dead Redemption, noting that his sins heightened his sympathy for the character. Javy Gwaltney of Game Informer felt that Arthur was a better protagonist than Marston, particularly citing his overall development and character arc. Conversely, Eurogamer's Martin Robinson considered Arthur to be less compelling than Marston, leading to a confusing narrative as a result. Patrick Klepek noted a dissonance in Arthur's character inside and outside of the main story missions, making it difficult to connect with the game. Colin Campbell of Polygon wrote that Arthur "barely registers as a coherent personality", rendering the overall narrative confusing.
The character performances also received praise, with Game Informer's Matt Bertz noting that they kept the story "grounded". Bill Lavoy of Shacknews felt that the quality of the voice acting made every character "distinct and believable". Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat described the performances of Benjamin Byron Davis and Roger Clark as "first-rate", praising the immersion of the acting and facial animation. Colm Ahern of VideoGamer.com similarly praised the two actors, noting that their performances "would feel at home in a top HBO drama". For his role as Arthur, Roger Clark won Best Performance at The Game Awards 2018, and was awarded gold from PlayStation Blog. He also received nominations at the 15th British Academy Games Awards, National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards, and the New York Game Awards. Cali Elizabeth Moore was nominated for the Great White Way Award for Best Acting in a Game at the 2018 New York Game Awards for her portrayal of Abigail, while Alex McKenna was nominated for Performance in a Drama, Supporting at the 18th Annual National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards for her role as Sadie.
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