Arthur Morgan is the central character and main protagonist of Red Dead Redemption 2. Set in 1899, the game revolves around the life of Arthur, a lifelong outlaw and member of the Van der Linde gang. Its set during the decline of the Wild West as Arthur and his fellow criminal must survive against rival gangs, the encroaching government authorities, and other nemeses. The game is considered a prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption, and it features appearances by fellow gang member John Marston.
Unlike many of the characters in the RDR world, Arthur is not referenced or mentioned aside from RDR2. His character was developed especially for the sequel in order to give players more insight into the Van der Linde gang as well as characters they came to love in the original game. As such, there’s still a lot that fans don’t know about this new outlaw, Arthur Morgan.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top ten things you didn’t know about this Western outlaw. Not only has he had a life full of crime and adventure, but it’s been filled with tons of drama and tragedy. Many of these secrets you’ll discover through playing the game and paying close attention to detail, so consider yourself warned that their might be spoilers ahead of you if you haven’t finished the story.
10 He’s Pretty Open Minded
For a 19thcentury criminal, fans of Red Dead Redemption 2 have been expressing their surprise over how open-minded Arthur is. The character has no problem associating with other characters from different backgrounds and walks of life and, unlike some other people you’ll run into in the game, gender and skin color don’t seem to influence Arthur’s opinions.
“The text of who Arthur Morgan is, the character outside of the choices you can make, is an amazingly open-minded individual,” US Gamer explains. “Part of that is likely informed by the Van der Linde Gang itself, a gang whose muscle is comprised of freed black man Lenny Summers, the half-Native, half-Black Charles Smith, Mexican bounty hunter Javier Escuella, Irish thief Sean MacGuire, and eventually angry widow Sadie Adler. The Van der Linde camp also has an extensive support staff of several women who handle scams at the various ports of call.”
“All the gang requires is that you follow Dutch's ideals; where you came from is immaterial. It's not hard to see some of that rubbing off on Arthur,” the site adds.
9 He Had A Son Named Isaac
It’s easy to imagine that Arthur has always lived life as an outlaw, free and without responsibility. And while he’s always been a part of his gang, the outlaw did have a family at one point.
In his youth, Arthur met a waitress named Eliza. After a brief fling, she became pregnant with their son Isaac. Eliza was aware of Arthur’s criminal past but still accepted his support. Arthur would actually come and stay with his family every few months for several days at a time.
However, one day when Arthur returned to his son’s home he found two crosses on the outside. He later learned that Eliza and their then-10-year old son had been killed by robbers over $10. The heartbreak of this tragedy may explain why Arthur can come across as hard and cold at first sight.
8 He Supports Women’s Suffrage
In the game, you’ll come across various female characters advocating for women’s right to votes. While many other characters seemed annoyed by their presence, Arthur is actually sympathetic towards their cause in one scene.
While in Rhodes, Arthur ends up helping two lovers from rival families - Beau Gray and Penelope Braithwaite - communicate in a sort of Romeo-and-Juliet love story but in the Wild West. Beau asks Arthur to protect Penelope while she participates in a women’s suffrage rally and is against her involvement. Arthur replies, “If she wants to rally, you got to let her rally.” He later drives the rally wagon, proving he wasn’t against the cause.
Sure, you can later choose to make Arthur beat up a suffragette. But when it comes to the written storyline, he’s made out to be at least tolerant towards their cause.
7 He Comes From A Family Of Criminals
According to Wiki Fandom, Arthur comes from a family of outlaws which explains why he’s been so successful in the family business. The cowboy was born to Beatrice and Lyle Morgan in 1863, and his father was eventually arrested for larceny in 1874 when his son was only eleven years old.
It appears that Arthur was on his own for a few years following his father’s arrest. In 1878, when he was 15-years old, he was eventually picked up by Dutch van der Linde, who he came to view as a father figure. Arthur became one of the first members of Dutch’s famous gang.
6 His Relationship With Mary
While it may seem that Arthur's one true love is the Wild Wild West, the character was written to have a lover in his backstory, who you’ll eventually come face-to-face within the game.
The outlaw was actually a teen when he met Mary Gillis, who he fell madly in love with. However, Mary came from an upper-class family who didn’t approve of Arthur’s life of crime and thus their relationship. As such, the two eventually were pressured to end their relationship.
It’s later revealed that Mary gets married to someone else. But she ends up reaching out to Arthur after she becomes widowed and once her brother gets in trouble.
5 He Almost Left The Gang For Mary
Given their passionate romance, it’s hard to believe that Arthur and Mary didn’t try running away to start a life together. And it turns out the two actually tried that, only for it to unfortunately fail.
After completing Mary’s second missing in Chapter Four, players learn that Arthur actually agreed to leave the gang to be with his lover after what he thought would be his final bank robbery. When the stint goes wrong, Arthur ends up getting stuck on Guarma.
While we don’t know how long he was there for, we can assume it was pretty long because the next thing we know Mary has moved on. When Arthur finally gets back, he receives a letter from his ex saying she couldn’t wait for him anymore...
4 He Lives By His Own Moral Code
Despite Arthur committing unspeakable acts in the game, that doesn’t always mean he thinks violence or murder is acceptable. Rather, it’s made clear that he sees it more of a business transaction. Hurting people shouldn’t be done for no reason or out of pleasure, but only if it is a means to an end.
“Despite his ability to commit great acts of violence, Arthur has his own moral code and doesn’t believe in what he deems as unnecessary killing, especially if it endangers himself or those he cares about,” Wiki Fandom explains. “Dutch also raised Arthur to believe that revenge is a fruitless endeavor. It seems Arthur strictly believes that violence should be cold, necessary and without feeling, never out of personal enjoyment or without reason.
3 The Player Controls How He Ages
It’s not only Arthur’s hairstyle and clothes that you get to control, but his entire appearance. Depending on how you treat him in the game, it will impact whether he ages gracefully or, well, not so gracefully.
The player is responsible for taking care of his basic needs. If you keep Arthur healthy, he’ll maintain the stocky build that he has when you first begin playing. However, if you overfeed him, this could cause him to gain weight, which will subsequently affect his stamina. Likewise, if you don’t feed him properly, he’ll begin to get thinner, though this will give him more stamina.
Even more, you will notice that Arthur’s facial hair grows if left unkempt and his sunburn will also develop the more he is out in the sun.
Warning: Spoilers For The End Of RDR2 Ahead
We always imagined that someone as epic as Arthur who comes to an end in a way that was equally as epic. With all of the shoot-outs, robberies, and heists he pulled, one who expect him to go that way. But one of the ways in which Arthur passes is actually pretty anti-climatic: he develops tuberculosis.
In the 19th century, tuberculosis was one of the main reasons for fatality as no cure had been developed yet. So while it’s realistic for Arthur’s fate to end this way, it’s definitely unexpected.
1 Arthur’s Honor Affects His Fate
We get it. It’s fun to be the worst version of yourself in Red Dead Redemption. After all, who cares about honor if it’s not real life?
But it turns out that the choices you make for Arthur affect his eventual fate – in other words, giving him a high or low honor score matters. This is different from the first RDR in which this feature didn’t seem to matter too much. Whether you played honorably or not, it didn’t affect the outcome of the game.
However, now in the sequel, you’ll get a different fate depending on the good or bad choices you make. If you have low honor, Micah will end up doing the deed. But high honor leads to tuberculosis, which doesn’t necessarily sound like the lesser of two evils.