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We're thieves, in a world that don't want us no more.
~ Arthur Morgan.
Maybe when your mother is finished mourning your father... I'll keep her in black, on your behalf.
~ Arthur threatening Archie Downes.

Arthur Morgan is the protagonist villain (if the player takes the low honor way) of Red Dead Redemption II. Depending on the player's choices, Arthur can be a rough and aggressive, yet loyal and friendly outlaw who can earn his path to redemption if he has high honor. Or he can become more ruthless and violent as the game progresses.

He was voiced by Roger Clark in motion capture.

Biography

Arthur was born in 1863 to Lyle and Beatrice Morgan, and she died when he was very young. Lyle was a criminal and outlaw, and was arrested for larceny in 1874, and Arthur described as a "no good bastard". Arthur witnessed his death when he was young as well, and despite not liking his father, or knowing his mother, he kept photos for them for either comfort or fondness for them.

Around 1878, Arthur was picked up and adopted by Dutch van der Linde and Hosea Matthews, and viewed both of them as surrogate fathers. As time went by, Arthur started to share Dutch's vision of life lived free from civilization and law, and became one of the most trusted members of the gang. During his youth, Arthur met and fell in love with Mary Gillis, but his life of crime and disapproval of Mary's family caused their relationship to crumble.

Later on, Arthur had a sexual interaction with a young waitress named Eliza, and she had his son, Isaac. Despite working with the van der Linde gang, Arthur offered his support and spent quality time with them, often visiting them a few months and days. One day, Arthur arrived at their home to see them buried, and later learned that they were killed by robbers for ten dollars. The incident hardened Arthur deeply, and he never truly coped with the pain of losing a child, and became fond of John and Abigail Marston's son, Jack.

Some time after Jack was born, John left the Van der Linde gang for an entire year under the severe doubts that he couldn't be a father. After returning he was welcomed back in by the gang's members, Arthur however, felt betrayed by his actions and held a grudge against John for deserting the gang and his family.

Red Dead Redemption II

Personality

There's a good man within you... But he is wrestling with a giant.
~ Mary to Arthur.
Arthur is presented as a cold and brooding outlaw who is fully willing to resort to violence if somebody angers him. Although he seems like a despicable person at first, while showing no remorse whatsoever for the people he has killed. It is proven throughout the story that Arthur is actually a good person deep down, who holds many regrets about the life he chose. This included not being able to marry his former lover, Mary Linton, due to her family rejecting him due to his life as an outlaw.

While having low honor, Arthur can be portrayed as an aggressive, cold, callous, selfish and even sadistic person who has absolutely no qualm about doing some of the worst things that he is capable of: killing innocent townspeople, abusing animals and verbally abusing his fellow gang-members to name a few. During the loansharking missions set by Leopold Strauss, Arthur can ruthlessly extort and harm the debtors who owe the gang money (as he did with Thomas Downes). The player can ultimately determine Arthur's morality via their choices which directly affect Arthur's honor rating.

One notable trait about Arthur's character was that he was never interested in, nor motivated by the concept of revenge. As throughout the course of the game, he states it to be an idiot's game, and had no interest in getting payback on Angelo Bronte or Leviticus Cornwall. However, Arthur can also go back on this by going back for the money, with the intention of facing Micah and Dutch. Arthur can still be portrayed as selfish and hurtful, interested in retrieving the gang's money rather than helping John escape to his family.

Despite his low-honor character being significantly more villainous, Arthur still does retain some of his standards and redeeming qualities, such as wanting to help John Marston and his family escape the Van der Linde gang's downfall. He also still despised loansharking, despite being very intimidating and harmful to the debtors. Regardless of high or low honor, Arthur will still exile Leopold Strauss from the gang after suffering a conscience crisis.

Reception

After the first few trailers of Red Dead Redemption II, many fans were disappointed that they wouldn't be playing as John Marston. However, after playing through the game many players grew extremely fond of Arthur, and his complexity as a character. Along with the game's beautiful graphics and immersive open-world, many believed that Arthur brought the game's world and some of the other characters to life. His development and potential path to redemption are often subjects of very high praise from fans and critics alike. Roger Clark stated that he wanted to portray Arthur as complex enough for the player to choose his path but still make sense. For his work on the game, Clark received numerous nominations including Best Performance at The Game Awards.

With many players establishing a very strong player/protagonist connection with him, many of them were saddened by Arthur's death and him contracting tuberculosis beforehand. Arthur's tuberculosis also raised awareness for the deadly disease.

Many fans would easily state that Arthur Morgan is one of Rockstar's best protagonists.

Quotes

We got lawmen in three different states after us. They chased us from the west, they chased us over the mountains.
~ Arthur on the gang's situation.
Where's our money!?
~ Arthur assaulting Thomas Downes.
You got some money for me, boy? I've seen your name in our ledger.
~ Arthur to Winton Holmes.
As long as we get paid or you get shot I'm happy.
~ Arthur to Uncle.
I wish things were different. But it weren't us who changed.
~ Arthur to John Marston.
This whole thing is pretty much done. We're more ghosts than people.
~ Arthur to Sadie Adler.
Dutch... Micah... COME AND GET ME, YOU BASTARDS!!!
~ Arthur if he goes for the loot.
DAMN US BOTH!
~ Arthur's last words to Micah Bell if he has low honor.
You let him damn us all, Dutch.
~ Arthur if he goes back for the money and has low honor.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Arthur is possibly of British and Welsh descent.
  • If Arthur has low honor, he will be symbolized with a twisted black furred coyote, which are often seen as sinister tricksters.
  • If Arthur talks with Mary-Beth, Karen or Tilly while having low-honour, Arthur can admit he feels like he's lost his mind and isn't in control of himself (a possible fourth wall break). He can even state that he's no better than Micah, or believe that Micah put a spell on him.

See also

Navigation

           Official Red Dead logo Villains

Red Dead Revolver
Bad Bessie | Bloody Tom | Captain Bufias | Colonel Daren | General Diego | Governor Griffon | Grizzly | Holstein Hal | Longhorn Luke | Mr. Black | Pig Josh | Professor Perry | Sam | Smitty | Ugly Chris Bailey

Red Dead Redemption
Abraham Reyes | Agustin Allende | Archer Fordham | Bill Williamson | Dutch van der Linde | Edgar Ross | Espinoza | Javier Escuella | John Marston | Norman Deek |Randall Forrester | Seth Briars | Vincente De Santa

Read Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Undead

Red Dead Redemption II
Alberto Fusar | Andrew Milton | Angelo Bronte | Arthur Morgan | Bray and Tammy Aberdeen | Catherine Braithwaite | Cleet and Joe | Colm O'Driscoll | Colonel Henry Favours | Edmund Lowry Jr. | Elias Green | Ku Klux Klan | Laramie Gang Leader | Leigh Gray | Leopold Strauss | Leviticus Cornwall | Levi Simon | Micah Bell | Mr. Abel | Murfree Brood | Otis Skinner | Saint Denis Vampire | Skinner Brothers | Van der Linde gang

Red Dead Online
Amos Lancing | Grace Lancing | Jeremiah Shaw | Teddy Brown | Teddy Brown's Boys | Red Dead Online Protagonists

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