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Bessie Matthews is a minor, unseen character mentioned in Red Dead Redemption 2.

History

Background

Bessie was the wife of Hosea Matthews. After their marriage, the two briefly attempted to leave the life of crime behind, but Hosea eventually drifted back into it. Despite this, Bessie still loved Hosea, and the two remained together.

Hosea and others describe Bessie as a kind and caring person. Hosea characterizes her as person that was much too good for someone like him. In a campfire monologue he contemplates: "[It] Confuses me no end, how a wretched sinner like me could be given someone so perfect, so beautiful to take care of…[as Bessie]”. He continues to express doubt in the existence of a God considering that a good person like his wife died early, while a flawed person like himself was given additional years ("What kind of a judge would save me and take her ... a foolish one I can't respect any more than I can respect myself!").[1]

Bessie Matthews died in an unspecified year after 1883 and before 1899.[2] In a campfire conversation Hosea states that his wife has been gone for "many years" suggesting that she died several years before 1899, i.e. at latest in 1897 and probably well before that.[1] He also repeatedly states that her death was a devastating blow to him: In one conversation he tells Reverend Swanson that he was constantly drunk for an entire year after her death and in a different one he confides that his wife, even many years after her death, is the first thing he thinks of when he wakes up every day and the last thing he thinks of as he falls asleep.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2

Bessie is mentioned a few times in conversations with Hosea as well as other characters. On a hunting trip for an alleged 1000 pound bear, Hosea mentions Bessie while speaking with Arthur Morgan, stating that they were in Grizzlies East and the surrounding area while they were together, away from a life of crime. Hosea adds that she was acutely aware of who he was and accepted it, which allowed them to stay together after he returned to his criminal activities.

Jamie Gillis also mentions Bessie alongside Annabelle (should Arthur agree to retrieve him for Mary Linton), inquiring about the two women's whereabouts. Upon hearing that both Bessie and Annabelle had died, Jamie notes that it may have been a good thing for Arthur and Mary's relationship to have failed, lest a similar fate befall the latter. Arthur solemnly agrees with him.

Mission appearances

Red Dead Redemption 2

Trivia

  • Arthur Morgan claims that Bessie was the one who taught him how to play dominoes.
  • The name Bessie comes from Hebrew and means "God's promise" or "God is my oath".
  • It appears as though Jamie Gillis knew Bessie as well as Annabelle, probably around when he was a young boy.
  • In a group portrait of the Van der Linde gang taken while Jack Marston was an infant (1895/1896), that can be found in Simon Pearson's grocery store in Rhodes in the game's epilogue, Bessie Matthews (unlike other women of the gang) is nowhere to be seen, a circumstance that makes it seem likely that she had already passed away by the time that picture was taken.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hosea's Campfire Stories (Part 2) / Hidden Dialogue / Red Dead Redemption 2
  2. The photograph of Hosea and Bessie together that can be found in camp is dated 1883.

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