The World of Red Dead Redemption 2 is a wild place full of wild people, and none may be wilder than the Van Der Linde gang. While some would say there is no honor among thieves, a man like Dutch Van Der Linde would say that is all a thief has. Loyalty and sense of purpose are how Dutch attracted most of his gang members in the first place. This loyalty gives way to an outlaw sense of honor, and some members of the gang feel this sense more than others. In this list, the gang members are ranked in order based upon their honor.
First impressions can be very hard to shake. In the case of Micah Bell, he exposes himself as a violent, careless, sociopath almost immediately. Very early in the game, Arthur Morgan is tasked with breaking the aforementioned Bell out of jail. Arthur does this, and Bell repays the deed by immediately shooting up the entire town of Strawberry, and this is only the start. His influence over Dutch will lead to more drastic consequences down the line.
The Van Der Linde gang used to steal from the rich and give back to the poor. The gang's gradual decline is never more visible than their partnership with Leopold Strauss. Strauss gives terrible loans to folk with barely any money, and when they can’t pay, Arthur Morgan appears on collections duty. Without a doubt though the gang’s first step to becoming lost was doing business with Mr. Strauss.
Josiah simply has no loyalty to anyone. He repeatedly abandons the gang for long periods of time and returns when he sees fit. Arthur Morgan states while riding with Charles Smith that Trelawny “would sell his own sister to save a train fare.” Josiah Trelawny is many things, but an honorable man he is not.
A romantic relationship with gang leader Dutch Van Der Linde is about all Molly brings to the camp. This romantic relationship leads to Molly’s defining moment; the botched Saint Denis bank robbery that resulted in catastrophic consequences for the gang. In a drunken frenzy, she claims to be the one leaking information to the Pinkerton, making her responsible for the failed heist. All of this is done out of anger over her and Dutch’s failed relationship.
Bill Williamson is very proud of his military service, he is not so proud, however, of being dishonorably discharged for deviancy and attempted murder. Williamson is a man that is constantly trying to prove himself, which often leads to mistakes and bloodshed. For example, Bill’s meeting with Sheriff Gray of Rhodes leads to an ambush and the unfortunate death of Sean Macquire. The final straw is when Bill sides with Dutch and Micah over Arthur and John knowing full well that Micah is the rat. He was dishonorably discharged from the military and had a dishonorable exit from the Van Der Linde gang.
Dutch starts Red Dead Redemption 2 in an honorable light, even after the Blackwater Massacre. His long-time gang members try and defend his actions, but soon enough his true character comes to light. It is quickly revealed that Dutch killed a Blackwater woman in terrible fashion. This deed is followed up with his brutal drowning of Angelo Bronte, and merciless choking of a woman in Guarma. Dutch might have once been an honorable man, but by the end of Red Dead Redemption 2, the player will realize just the kind of man he is.
Mr. Macquire is a good man to have in camp. He uplifts camp spirits upon his return and is loyal to the bitter end. More than anything, Sean just wants to ride with Arthur and John Marston on whatever scheme they've concocted. He cares more for fun than anything else, and his idea of fun is potentially killing people. That lack of sensitivity and awareness in regard to his actions really speaks towards his sense of honor.
A bottle can consume a person, and that is exactly where Karen Jones's story leads. Karen starts off a productive member of the gang even taking the lead on a bank robbery but soon falls deep into depression. Following the death of a Sean Macquire, Karen spends the rest of her days drinking. She may have once been an honorable person, but has given up entirely. Tilly Jackson even suggests to John long after the gang breaks up that Karen possibly drank herself to death.
Javier is a very loyal man, and that is what got him to the better half of this list. That same loyalty, though, is his downfall. Dutch found Javier stealing chickens and saved him. Javier never forgot this, leading to absolute blind loyalty for Dutch. If any gang member second guesses Dutch’s orders, Javier takes offense. Upon news of Micah’s betrayal, Javier draws his gun on both Arthur and John. In the end, he chose to go down a dishonorable path with dishonorable men.
While no member of the Van Der Linde gang is completely innocent, Mary-Beth seems to be the closest. She is someone for Arthur Morgan to talk to and often suggests that it is never too late to change. Mary-Beth can be seen again during the epilogue at a train station in Valentine where she reveals to John she has become a writer. She is one of the only gang members to reform and change themselves.
Swanson appears to be nothing more than a drunk in need of saving on multiple occasions. As the game progresses, Swanson eventually cleans up his act, and, depending on the player's honor level, will present an optional dialogue encounter. In this encounter, he talks to Arthur about his sickness and the ability to change. Swanson leads by example when he leaves the gang to become the minister of a New York church.
Lenny consistently helps the gang, tagging along in multiple heists and creating his own schemes as well. This comes with a questionable sense of honor as he does not care who he is robbing or how it is done. Multiple heists with Lenny turn into bloodbaths, with one even being a setup by the Stagecoach company. Lenny Summers makes a great gang member, but his honor is very on the fence.
Uncle appears to be nothing more than an excuse-making drunk, but there is more to this man than meets the eye. Multiple camp dialogues catch Uncle sticking up to Dutch and Micah, saying things others did not have the courage to. Uncle said what he felt was right knowing very well either man could kill him, and that is honorable. Even in the epilogue Uncle is a constant positive presence at John’s ranch.
When a job needs doing, Arthur is the man to call. His “by any means necessary” approach is very effective, but not so honorable. Yet, through the course of Red Dead Redemption 2, the player has the chance to do something special—to redeem Arthur Morgan. As Arthur’s health fades due to tuberculosis, he realizes more and more that even though he has made mistakes in his past, there are still things he can do to help those he cares about now.
This man just wants to help feed the camp. A former member of the Navy, Pearson is genuinely one of the nicest people the player can encounter in the Van Der Linde camp. With the gang on the verge of imploding, Pearson leaves it all behind, goes legit, and opens his own general store in Rhodes. In his store hangs a picture of the Van Der Linde gang, and Pearson still looks back with fond memories. Yet he knew to live an honorable and honest living, he had to leave them behind.
Abigail is one of the few members of the gang that is striving to be a parent while maintaining this crazy outlaw life. That alone shows her level of character. Yet Abigail goes beyond that by trying to help the father of her son, John Marston, become a better person as well. She is the main reason John straightens his life out, and it all started because she straightened her own life out. Abigail’s vision of living an honest life is eventually brought to fruition at the end of Red Dead Redemption 2’s epilogue.
Tilly is one of the most well-liked members of the camp. She is a true team player that fills in where ever needed and even saves Abigail's son Jack at one point. When Abigail is taken prisoner during a Pinkerton sweep of the Van Der Linde campsite, Tilly Jackson made sure the youngest in camp was safe. She grabbed Jack and fled the camp for safer ground until she could reconvene with Arthur Morgan. A truly courageous woman with a strong sense of honor.
At the start of Red Dead Redemption 2, John Marston is not seen in the best of light. Formerly Dutch’s golden boy, he ran off on the gang for an extended period of time and more importantly left his family behind. Luckily, John’s story doesn’t end there. Throughout the game, and especially during the epilogue, John has the chance to right these wrongs, and John really does complete the story of redemption by changing himself. Yet he never forgets what Micah did to Arthur and how the gang ended. Even when John has it all, he risks everything to avenge Arthur.
Hosea is as realistic as he is honorable. As the gang goes down a darker and darker path Hosea calls the situation for what it really is. They no longer are a gang of Robin Hood-like figures and are now a bunch of killers and thieves. Hosea will also loudly announce this for all the gang to hear, much to Dutch’s disliking. Never shying away from his feelings Hosea suggests on multiple occasions things are going too far. If only the gang had listened to Hosea more.
Mrs. Grimshaw very well might be the most underrated member of the Van Der Linde gang. She is constantly working on the camp, whether it is setting it up or making sure everyone is doing their part. She is the rock of stability for younger gang members and sticks to what she believes is right till the very end.
Throughout Sadie’s time with the gang, she helps in heists, defends the camp, and helps relocate the gang after increased Pinkerton activity. Most of all, she is the driving force that hunts down Micah Bell. Through her investigative work, she draws a lead and teams up with fellow gang member Charles Smith and John Marston to finally take Bell down. Sadie risked her life time and time again for the ones she loved and honored Arthur in her final ride bringing Micah to justice
The unsung hero of Red Dead Redemption 2, Charles is the most selfless character one will find in this lawless world. When given the chance to ride after Micah Bell, Charles agrees. When the bank robbery in Saint Denis goes completely awry, Charles lures all the guards to him so the other members can escape. Most of all, though, it is Charles Smith who returns to bury the bodies of Arthur Morgan and Mrs. Grimshaw. He risked his life once again, just so his friends could rest in peace. Charles Smith was the most honorable of them all.