Ranking The Van Der Linde Gang From Worst To Best

Yee (and I cannot stress this enough) Haw.

March 11, 2020

Red Dead Redemption 2 is my favourite game of all time. It may not be perfect, it may be too easy, and it may have more horse balls than any piece of media should ever have, but I still love it. And a big part of that is the incredibly deep and well-written characters, especially the main group of gunslingers and outlaws that Arthur Morgan calls family, The Dutch Van der Linde gang.

From the sly and cowardly to the lazy and flatulent, this crew contains all kinds of folk from different walks of life.

And I’m gonna rank em all, ’cause why not. 

Now I wanna make something very clear before I start this list, and this shit is so important I’m even gonna write the whole sentence in bold so you know I ain’t fricking around.

All the Van Der Linde gang members are incredibly well written, important to the game, and the group as a whole would be weaker if we didn’t have even one of these characters.

Even though I’m about to rank all these people, you should know that I appreciate them all in their own ways, and just because I personally don’t like a character, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate their role in the story. 

Also, when it comes to characters who show up in both the first and second game, I’ll only be judging them based off of their appearance in the second game.

Oh, and obviously, HUGE SPOILERS FOR RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2! If you haven’t beat the game, I’d recommend doing so before you look at this list.

Anyway, let’s shine our boots, put on our hats, and get this freight train moving! (Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s always a goddamn train…)

24. Micah Bell

 Van Der Linde Gang Micah BellOkay, let’s get the easy one out of the way first.

If you were to look up a list of all of the worst and most brutal words that can be used to describe a human being, at least half of them would apply to Micah Bell.

He’s a slimy, cruel, cowardly, manipulative, sexist, racist, snake of a man, who literally nobody likes.

To put it simply, this man is a chode.

But you know what? I actually think he’s brilliant.

It’s no secret that he’s meant to be an antagonist and to be fair he is very good at being hateable. Almost too good.

The player’s hate and distrust of Micah grows side by side with Arthur’s and, just like him, the player feels stuck with this little turd, and powerless to do anything against him. We see clearly what Micah is doing to Dutch throughout the game and the fact that we can’t do anything about it just makes him that much more of a pain.

He’s Rockstars most hated villain ever, but honestly, I see that as a good thing. Bad guys are supposed to be hateable, and I don’t think I’ve ever hated one more than Micah “Definitely didn’t get enough love as a child” Bell. He’s bottom of this list for sure, but if this was a list of best villains, it would be a different story.

By the way, I’m not including his two goon friends on this list, because they were in the gang for like half a nap time, and they both smell.

23. Susan Grimshaw

Van Der Linde Gang Susan GrimshawNow, I might get some hate for putting Grimshaw so low on the list, but as I once said to my brother when he caught me with my entire left arm up my bum: just let me explain.

I totally understand that she’s a necessary character, and I think she fits the role of “Gang Mum” incredibly well. But in my humble opinion, she’s a pretty bad mum, like that lady who abandoned Kevin in Home Alone. 

…Still not over that…

Yes, she has good qualities, and in the end, she’s one of the very few characters who sides with Arthur, so mad props there.

Still, she spends most of the actual game bullying the other women, yelling at whoever she wants, and reprimanding Arthur for not doing enough, even though he put 500 dollars in the box two days ago, whilst Javier put in a goddam silver spoon!

Seriously, I hate that she acts as the productivity police for the player.

Stay in the camp too long? She gets mad.

Stay away from the camp too long? She gets mad.

Spend all your time helping around the camp, giving gifts to everyone, and pouring all your life savings into the camp funds?

Well, you were slightly dirty when you did all that.. so SHE GETS MAD!

Look, she’s not a bad character, and she definitely has some badass moments here and there, I’m just not a fan of her personality or the fact that she’s constantly on the player’s case about something. 

Get off my back, mum. I’m busy cowboy-ing.

22. Leopold Strauss

Van Der Linde Gang Leopold StraussThis is kind of a weird one because, on the one hand, Strauss is an important member of the Van Der Linde gang who provides a much needed fiscal and logical look at the gang’s actions. 

On the other hand, he’s weasel.

I mean the gang’s ideology is supposed to be that they rob from those who rob others (even though they REALLY don’t stick to it).

Yet they have a guy in the group who deliberately preys on people in their time of need, and only loans to those who he knows won’t be able to pay him back. 

Then, of course, he sends out Arthur to collect the debts and beat the shit of the poor workers, polish people, and farmers with deadly contagious diseases.


I mean to be fair, he’s not that hateable of a character, considering he can sometimes be pleasant to talk to, and he does redeem himself somewhat at the end by never ratting out the gang. But still, you gotta’ judge people by what they do, not what they say, and Strauss’s actions all point to him being a scumbag.

Cool spectacles, though.

21. Molly O’Shea

Molly O'SheaHonestly, this one just makes me sad.

Molly isn’t a bad character or a bad person. She’s just a victim of her circumstances.

She’s madly in love with Dutch and only wants him to show affection in return, but is constantly ignored, rejected, and just generally overlooked by the gang. Even when she tries to confide in Arthur she gets shut down by Uncle. 

So naturally, because of all this, she gets progressively more and more anti-social and bitter. Not just towards Dutch, but everybody. Which unfortunately means that she’s never really an interesting or fun character to talk to. I mean, whenever you try to talk to her as Arthur she’ll usually just be gloomy or blow him off.

No, not like that. Get your mind out of the gutter.

So yeah, she’s a sad and unsociable character with not much to say, but again, I don’t believe it’s her fault. I’ve always felt sorry for Molly, both in how she’s treated and how she’s killed. She lied about being the traitor literally just so she could get some attention from the man she loved and was then cruelly gunned down by Grimshaw.

(Yet another reason I don’t like her, btw)

Sorry, Molly. You didn’t deserve what you got. You just loved the wrong man.

20. Reverend Orville Swanson

Reverend Orville SwansonI don’t dislike Swanson at all. I think he’s a fine character with some good and memorable moments here and there. Nevertheless, he’s kind of inconsequential. I mean, be serious, how many of you knew that his first name was Orville before you saw it written there?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

You don’t really interact with him too much in the story unless you go out of your way to do so, and if you do you mostly just get sanctimonious lectures, depressing moans, or drunken ramblings that smell of whiskey and regret.

You do get a really nice talk with him later in the game if you don’t do the Mother Superior Calderon missions, and he does become a much better character when he sobers up. I also like his backstory, and that he’s one of the few that goes on to live a happy life. But overall, I think he’s just fine.

I don’t have much else to say about him. He’s not the best character in the Van Der Linde gang, not the worst. He’s just Swanson…

19. Simon Pearson

Simon Pearson RDR2 charactersSo, what do we know about Pearson? He’s the camp cook, he used to be a sailor, and he’s got a sick walrus moustache that’s made out of actual walruses. 

That’s true, by the way. Look it up.

He’s actually a pretty simple character, all things considered. That’s not to say he’s boring, he just doesn’t have too much going on. He’s usually used as the punchline to some joke about his intelligence or weight.

I mean, this is a Rockstar game, so I think it’s legally required to have a funny fat man in it. 

He’s not the deepest or most multi-layered character in the game, but there’s nothing wrong with a character existing to be some comic relief, and I think Pearson fits that role very well. I mean, Sadie reading his letter out loud? 

Comedy gold.

All that being said, he does become quite a bit more interesting towards the end of the game where he becomes severely depressed about everything and turns from comic relief to vessel for how the player is probably feeling at that point. And once again, he’s one of the few who get to survive and go on to live a happy life running the shop in Rhodes.

Plus, the fact that you can rob him as John is, once again, comedy gold

18. Bill Williamson

Bill Williamson - Van Der Linde GangAh, Bill Williamson. Or as I like to call him, Bill “The Cause Of 90% Of All The Fights In Camp” Williamson.

He’s not the most complex character in the world. I wouldn’t go so far as to call him one-note, but personally I’ve always just remembered him as the angry stupid guy.

That’s at least two notes right there.

Many of the best gang members change drastically over the course of Red Dead 2, like Arthur, Sadie, Dutch, John. But Bill is one of the rare examples of a character that barely changes at all over the course of the entire game.

Even by the time we see him in Red Dead Redemption 1, his only notable differences are his grey hair and the fact that he lost some weight. Good for him. He must have gone gluten-free.

And yet, there is a certain charm to his simplicity. His stupidity, temper, and alcoholism make him a pretty aggressive and loud character, but I think that just makes his few memorable moments that much more cool. Like when he talks about how he’s scared he’ll lose his mind like his father, or that he’s genuinely jealous of John.

Those moments make even more of an impact considering who they’re coming from. It almost makes you sympathise for the guy because you know what’s going to happen to him.

He may be a dumb, punchy, drunken asshole, but he’s our dumb, punchy, drunken asshole, you know?

17. Tilly Jackson

Tilly JacksonIt’s always been made clear that there’s a lot more to Tilly Jackson than we understand. On the surface she just seems like a sweet and caring young girl with a sharp mind, a dependable attitude, and more street smarts than five Bills put together.

But the more we learn about her past and her time with the Foreman brothers, we see that there’s a darker side to Tilly that she rarely shows. I mean, they kidnapped her at twelve years old right in front of her mother, forced her to serve them for years, and she even admits to slitting Malcolm Foreman’s throat and feeling nothing.

The woman’s got the backstory of an edgy DnD character, for god’s sake!

And yet all of Tilly’s most memorable moments are the ones where she’s being compassionate or vulnerable. Like when you rescue her from Anthony Foreman, or have that meaningful talk with her if Arthur kills too much.

Actually, I usually get that talk even if I barely kill at all, so I don’t know…

I feel like we never truly get to see Tilly realise her full potential, if that makes sense. She’s definitely got a lot going on under the hood, and I think she almost tries to hide it to avoid confronting her past. But regardless, she’s a great member of the Van der Linde gang, and one I wish could have contributed more.

Also, am I the only one weirded out that the dude she married in the end looked super old?

16. Kieran Duffy

 Van Der Linde Gang Kieran DuffyWhenever I talk to anybody about good ol’ Kieran Duffy, I’m met with the same reaction. It’s always something along the lines of “Aww, I felt so bad for him” or “He deserved better” or “Why did he have a full beard, but without the moustache part? That looks so weird.

Yeah, it does look weird.

But they’re right about the other stuff too. Kieran is a character that you can’t help but feel sorry for. The man was tied up, starved, threatened daily, and when they finally let him go the Van Der Linde gang proceeded to treat him like he constantly had a sign that said “Please bully this man” around his neck.

I mean, EVERYONE hated him! Sadie tormented him, Sean beat him up, Bill threatened to turn him into a eunuch. Even Arthur treated him like he was a teenager taking out his daughter for the first time, and Arthur was the pissed off dad with a bible in one hand and a loaded gun in the other.

It sucks, because all things considered Kieran genuinely seems like a good dude who’s just trying to make the best of a bad situation. He’s always trying to be nice in hopes that he’ll one day be accepted, but just as he starts to make headway with the gang, BAM!

Head on a horse.

15. Karen Jones

Van Der Linde Gang Karen JonesNow here’s a gal who knows how to have a good time! Quite a few of the people in The Van Der Linde Gang like to get nice and drunk. Like, Bill, Uncle, Swanson, Arthur himself, Pearson, Sean, Molly…

Ok, basically half of these guys are freaking alcoholics to be honest.

But nobody likes the drink quite as much as resident party animal Karen Jones. She’s got the whole “Bad Girl” thing going on where she stands up to authority, likes to cause trouble, and has a generally rebellious attitude.

Even though she can sometimes be too mean to some of the other girls, I still love her for her defiant personality and standing up to old Susan “Cruella Deville” Grimshaw.

It’s a shame that her drinking problem gets more serious as the game goes on, and she turns from a fun drunk into a “Okay, seriously, put down potato peeler” drunk. Plus, she’s one of the very few characters in the entire game that we don’t know what happened to.

There’s no cutscene in the epilogue, and nobody seems to know what happened to her, but because it’s this game I’m going to wager that it was something not happy.

Regardless, Karen is fucking awesome, and without wishing to sound to thirsty, that Sean was a lucky man!

…well, he wasn’t, but we’ll get to that.

14. Javier Escuella

 Javier Escuella RDR2Now here’s a dude who always interested me. Not just because he was a villian in RDR1, or because of his his “Wise Old Chinese Master” facial hair.

No, Javier always interested me because of how he handled Dutch losing his mind.

Just like Micah and Bill, Javier stayed loyal to Dutch right until the bitter end. But whilst Micah stayed loyal because he helped corrupt him in the first place, and Bill stayed loyal because he was too ignorant to fully understand what was happening, I think Javier was different.

Javier was smart and rational enough to see what was happening, but he was so fiercely loyal to Dutch that when things went south, he went into full denial and blamed the turncoats.

And this was always hard to see because before everything fell apart, Javier always seemed like a pretty chill guy to me. He was happy and charismatic, he was friendly to Arthur, and you could tell he genuinely really cared about the Van Der Linde gang. Naturally what happened brought out the worst of him, but we should all remember that he was once a very cool dude.

I mean, the man once nearly slit Bill’s throat for being a racist. 

That’s some baller s#!t.

13. Jack Marston

 Red Dead Redemption 2 Characters Jack MarstonAs I said before, I’ll be judging the characters who appear in both games only based on how they are in Red Dead Redemption 2.

We only see Jack Marston as a kid in RDR2, and his ark doesn’t fully come together until he’s all grown up in the first game, where he’s sexy as hell. 

He basically becomes the last proper survivor of the Van Der Linde gang, and him putting a bullet in Edgar Ross is pretty much the Red Dead Redemption story finishing, with only Jack left to tell the tale.

If I was taking into consideration Red Dead 1 Jack as well, he’d probably be much higher on this list. 

Nevertheless, even as the little tyke we see here, I still think he’s an awesome character. He’s your typical adorable kid in the first half. You know, he finds a dog, he eats spaghetti, he makes a necklace for his mum. 

By the way, that’s probably the most wholesome thing that’s ever been in a Rockstar game, so ten points there.

Then, in the epilogue, we actually see him go through quite a bit of character development, and start to turn into the Jack we see in the first game. So overall, he’s a really sweet character who despite growing up around illiterate criminals, still manages to thrive and grow.

For real though, I want that necklace.

12. Josiah Trelawny

Josiah TrelawnyOkay, can I just get something off my chest that’s been bugging me about the RDR2 community? 


Just because they dress similar, and have moustaches, doesn’t automatically make them the same! It makes literally no sense, and yet it’s one of the most accepted theories out there! Why do people think this is a thing!?

…sorry, I’ll move on.

Trelawny is the fancy conman of The Van Der Linde gang, and even though he doesn’t play a huge role in the story, he’s still a very fun character when he’s around.

He kind of comes and goes as he pleases so we don’t see too much of him in the game, but he’s still a very likeable guy. He’s charming, he’s competent, he never acts too high or mighty, and he’s just generally a cool character. 

I personally think his departure was kind of anticlimactic. I mean, he didn’t die tragically, or sacrifice himself nobly, he just kinda’… peaced out.

But then again, peacing out was basically his specialty, so y’know what, I’m cool with it.

Josiah Trelawny is a friendly, charismatic, delightful character, who’s only crime was not being around enough.

And he’s NOT God, ok?

11. Mary-Beth Gaskill

Mary Beth RDR2 charactersMan, I feel stupid. Up until now, I never realised Gaskill was Mary-Beth’s last name. I mean, she’s always referred to as Mary-Beth in the game, so I always thought her first name was Mary, and her last name was Beth.

But apparently it’s “Gaskill.”

…sounds like a wrestler from the attitude era.

Anyway, Mary-Beth is an absolute sweetheart. She’s easily the most kind and delightful person in the camp, who’s always nice to talk to.

And lets be real here, you have a crush on her. You absolutely have a crush on Mary-Beth.

It’s ok, we all do.

At first glance she may seem completely out of place in a gang of criminals, but just like with Tilly there’s more than meets the eye with this one. It’s more subtle with her, but under the surface she’s actually very smart, resourceful, and knows how to thrive as a woman in a man’s world. 

She’s still a total darling though, don’t get me wrong, and watching her comfort Arthur in his time of need, slow dance with him at the party, and awkwardly flirt with Keiran, are some of the sweetest moments of the whole game.

To put it simply, Mary-Beth is an absolute delight in every sense of the word, and also, she has freckles.

I love freckles. 

10. Sean MacGuire

Sean MacGuireOoooh! If it ain’t the young Sean-y boy, so it is! The cock-sure Irishman with the heart-o-gold, who came out the womb chugging Guinness and belting out Oh Danny Boy, so he did!

I hope you read that out loud in a thick Irish accent, or it won’t have been as good.

Anyway, Sean is fricking awesome! He’s a high spirited, happy go lucky hooligan that’s always a great source of energy and fun.

It’s rare to find a character that’s basically the most entertaining in any scene he’s in, and Sean most definitely fits that bill.

Even if he can be a bit annoying at times, it’s still always the endearing charismatic kind of annoying that somehow just makes you like him more… as opposed to the Miss Grimshaw kind of annoying, that’s like a drunken aunt yelling at you for no reason.

Honestly, the only thing I don’t like about Sean is how little we see of him! You don’t rescue him until a few hours into the game, and lets not forget, he’s the first gang member to die, going out in a brutally, unexpected, and sad way, I might add. 

It was genuinely the most surprising moment in the game for me, that I always dread when I play the game again. I’m still mad at the gang for not mourning him properly! I mean, little Jack goes missing, and everyone just forgets that poor Sean got his Irish face blown off?

They did him dirty, man.

Still, I guess the flame that burns twice as bright, lasts half as long. I love ya, Sean-y boy. 

Sorry for being English. 

9. Uncle 

UncleYou know what’s absolutely crazy to me? 

As I was writing this list, and I got to Uncle, it occured to me that I never actually realised that I don’t know what Uncle’s real name is.

And I never questioned it!

I’ve loved this character for years, ever since the first game, and I never once questioned what his real name was!

The fact that Uncle wasn’t his real name just never clicked to me, and I never made the connection that Uncle actually has a name that we don’t know!

That’s insane to me!

Anway, sorry I spent way too long talking about that, but really I don’t have to say too much about Uncle, do I? You all know and love him as much as I do. He’s silly. He’s funny. He’s lazy. And he’s got a very serious medical condition.

VERY serious.

He’s another fantastic comedic relief character of the Van Der Linde gang, but also one with some real depth behind the curtains. He coasts off of the achievements of everyone else, whilst trying his absolute hardest to do nothing at all, and we love him for it. He has funny moments, tender moments, sad moments, and throughout all of them he keeps that smile planted firmly on your face.

He’s an icon for lazy procrastinators everywhere, and I love him more than…

Eh, I’ll think of an example later.

8. Abigail Roberts

Abigail Roberts Van Der Linde GangNow, this lady right here is a fricking champion, lets be real.

In the beginning of the game she constantly has to deal with her petty and selfish husband.

She’s constantly surrounded by thick headed criminals who put their ego over the safety of the group.

AND throughout all of this crap, she still manages to be an incredibly caring and loving mother, a supportive friend to Sadie, a great ally to Arthur, and to top it all off, she doesn’t take any shit from Dutch!

This woman is an absolute UNIT!

I personally feel like Abigail is a great reminder to us all that a “Strong Female Character” doesn’t necessarily have to mean a masculine one.

Obviously I’m no authority on the subject, but I personally feel that one some writers are writing there badass, hardcore, tough-as-nails chicks, instead of writing them as actual badass chicks, they just write them how they would write a dude, and call it a day.

Maybe I’m talking out of my ass here, but I personally find that stuff to be so lazy, and Abigail is like, the opposite of that. She’s a carer, a mother, a lover, and still one of the most badass and capable people in the entire gang, and one of the best characters in the whole game.

Now that’s a goddamn woman, y’all.

7. Charles Smith

Charles Smith RDR2 Charles Smith is the epitome of the strong but silent type. He’s a man defined by what he does, not what he says. 

And what he does… is a whole lot. He’s probably the most useful member of the Van Der Linde gang, apart from Arthur himself. He finds new camps, he teaches Arthur to hunt, he helps out the Native Americans, and most importantly, he’s a goddamn truck of a man!

I mean, have you seen him without his shirt on?

He’s probably the toughest person in the whole camp, and yet he’s also one of the best people, morality wise.

He loves animals, he’s generally kind and peaceful to innocent people, but he still doesn’t take any shit. He doesn’t take Poachers’ shit, racists’ shit, Dutch’s shit, Micah’s shit.

Remember when he chucked Micah to the ground like he was nothing, just because he told Charles to get him something to eat?

I remember that.

Plus, I think he really comes into his own in the epilogue, where we learn more about him, see his friendlier side, and watch him ride off into the sunset to live a hopefully happier life with a potential new family. 

Seriously, how messed up is Red Dead 2 that a character just surviving is noteworthy?

6. Sadie Adler

Sadie AdlerBasically everybody changes over the course of Red Dead Redemption 2. Dutch goes from sane to crazy. Swanson goes from drunk to sober. Uncle…

Ok, maybe not everybody.

But nobody changes quite like Sadie Adler. The game starts off with her husband being murdered, and her house burning down right before her eyes.

From there we watch her turn from a depressed mourning widow, to an aspiring gunslinger, and a full on ball busting badass who would stab a kitten in the face if it looked at her funny.

Yet throughout all of these changes she’s never an unlikeable character. Even though she’s rough, she’s always brave, loyal to Arthur, and generally a very good friend. What happens to her is absolutely tragic, but it’s still really cool to see her go through her arc.

And again, she’s one of the few members of the Van der Linde gang who get to survive the game, even though it’s clear that she hates the person she’s become and has to live with. 

Are we all feeling nice and depressed, yet?


Anyway, Sadie Adler is a badass, brutal, and incredibly well written character who had Arthur and John’s back until the very end, and for that, I love her.

Ride on, cowgirl. Ride on.

5. Lenny Summers

Lenny Summers Van Der Linde GangNow, some of you might think that I’m putting young Lenny too high up on this list.

Or to refer to him by his proper name, LENAAAAH!

I can’t help it, man. He’s a personal favourite of mine, and I mean, c’mon… how can you not love Lenny?

He’s the babyface of the gang, and yet he seems like he has more wisdom and common sense than half of these chumps.

Looking at you, Bill.

He’s one of the friendliest, and most genuine people in the entire camp, and he’s basically just a joy to talk to every single time. And I also love how Arthur also realises how cool he is, acknowledges his potential, and becomes good friends with him.

It just makes you feel good to see the character you’re playing as treat your favourite character well. Sticking up for him, vouching for him, and just generally treating him like a pal.

And of course, getting absolutely shitfaced with him, and hallucinating seeing him in a dress.

That’s true friendship right there.

Really, there’s nothing that I don’t like about young Lenny. I wasn’t crazy about how his death was handled. Unfortunately he died at the exact same time as Hosea, which to be fair was also absolutely tragic, but because of it I feel like Lenny’s death kind of got swept under the rug a bit.

He wasn’t really mourned properly, and he didn’t get the send off he deserved, but he’s still a fantastic character. He’s kind. He’s smart. He’s amazing.


4. Hosea Mathews

Hosea Matthews Van Der Linde GangFor every Yin there must be a Yang. For every good there must be an evil. For every EA there must be an actually competent company.

And for every Dutch Van Der Linde, there must be a Hosea Mathews, Dutch’s second in command, and the figurative grandad of the gang.

I honestly think Hosea is one of the best written characters in the entire game. He offers some much needed pragmatism to counter Dutch’s idealism.

He’s kind to the cool characters, tough on the assholes, and he has more wisdom than like, 27 Pearson’s put together.

There were a few things that contributed to Dutch losing his mind: the gang falling apart, his own mental instability, and, of course, Micah whispering in his ear like a snake with a beer gut and mutton chops. But I personally think it was the death of Hosea that properly pushed him over the edge.

Hosea was always around to keep Dutch in check, and without him around there was really nothing to stop him from flying off the handle. Plus, even though their relationship was complicated, it seemed like Dutch really did respect and admired Hosea, and depended on him to be the reasonable one.

Basically, Hosea was the glue that held the Van Der Linde gang together. He’s a spectacular character, a great leader, and an all around wonderful guy. 

I mean lets be real, if Hosea was calling the shots, everything in the game would have gone way smoother, and the whole thing probably would have been over in like five hours.

…actually, that sounds really boring, nevermind.

3. John Marston

John Marston RDR2Remember when the trailers came out for Red Dead Redemption 2 and there were those people who were like “Pfffft, I don’t care how good this new protagonist is, he’ll never be as cool as John Marston!” And then the game actually came out and they were all like,

“jk, nvm.”

Well, the reason they were like that in the first place is because this dude is absolutely incredible.

Again, I won’t be taking into consideration how he is in the first game, but really, Red Dead 2 is where John Marston becomes John Marston.

He actually starts out the game as kind of an asshole who’s always arguing with Abigail, pissing off Arthur, and neglecting his son. But as the game goes on we watch him slowly but surely turn from a distant jerk, into one of the best written video game characters of all time.

Seriously, watching him and Arthur slowly turn from bitter rivals into full on brothers is so rewarding, and it’s great to see how much Arthur inspired John to be better.

I mean, Arthur giving John his hat right before the final fight? 

Tears. Actual tears.

Over the course of the game we watch him start to appreciate his family, grow as a human being, and of course in the epilogue we see him become the John Marston we all know and love.

John Marston is a legendary character, one of the best members of the Van Der Linde gang, with a brilliant arc, and the saddest death in videogame history.

Well, second saddest, but again, we’ll get to that.

2. Dutch Van Der Linde

Dutch Van Der LindeJesus Christ, how am I supposed to talk about a character as complex and deep as Dutch Van Der Linde.

This is his goddamn gang we’re talking about here.

All of these people collectively came together to join this man’s cause, all because they believe in his “Plan.” 

And don’t worry, he definitely has one.

He told me.

His gradual descent into madness is genuinely one of the greatest character arcs that i’ve ever seen.

Dutch starts out as a charismatic and competent leader who had the total loyalty of all his crew, and ends up as a full on manipulative ruthless dictator with a scrambled mind and a terrifying ego.

What’s crazy is even through all his changes, he never becomes an unlikeable character. Even when I witnessed him lose his mind for the first time, I could feel myself going into denial about the whole thing.

I was like “Nah, he’ll probably be totally fine. I bet he’ll change his ways, and Arthur will forgive him, and they’ll both go out for ice cream!

Spoilers: That doesn’t happen.

Maybe that’s just a testament to how good of a manipulator he is. Even when you can see that he’s clearly turned bad, you still can’t help but like the guy. And you can’t blame the man entirely for what he did.

I mean, he lost the love of his life, his best friend, the respect of his prodigal son, and of course he had Micah making him think everyone was against him.

Dutch is amazing in every single way. He’s amazing as a mentor, amazing as a villain, and absolutely INCREDIBLE as a meme.

1. Arthur Morgan

Arthur Morgan RDR2 Yup. You all saw it coming. You all knew he’d get the number one spot, just like you all know how much he deserves it. 

Look, I’ll keep this simple. In my opinion Arthur Morgan is not just the best character in The Van Der Linde Gang.

He’s not just the best character in Red Dead Redemption 2.

In my opinion, Arthur Morgan is the greatest video game character ever made.

I could talk about this man all day, but basically, he’s the best. He’s constantly doing everything he can to look after the gang, protect those he cares about, and he constantly has to deal with O’Driscolls, Pinkertons, Lemoyne Raiders, and drunk idiots who nearly get him killed by a speeding train.

Goddamn Swanson…

Yet throughout all the nonsense he has to go through, he still remains charming, humble, witty, tough as nails, and very relatable. I mean the man has a self deprecate into the mirror function, it doesn’t get more relatable than that!

His illness was handled absolutely perfectly. I love how it was slowly and carefully introduced, how he’s finally able to see his life clearly for the first time, and it all ends with the single most heart wrenching ending to a video game I’ve ever seen.

Also, If your Arthur didn’t die peacefully on the mountain looking at the sunset, don’t even talk to me.

He is a geniusly written character, his story is equally wonderful and tragic, he’s the perfect protagonist for a game like this. 

To put it simply, he’s alright, boah.    


There you have it, our rundown of the best Van Der Linde gang members. What do you think? 


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