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Things are different now, John. Now, I'm in charge! No more Dutch, and no more you!
Bill Williamson

Bill Williamson is a recurring character in the Red Dead series, appearing as a central character and one of the primary antagonists in Red Dead Redemption, and as a major character in Red Dead Redemption 2.

With the addition of the Liars and Cheats DLC pack for Red Dead Redemption, Bill Williamson is also a multiplayer character model that may be selected in the 'Damnation' section of the Outfitter.

History

Background

BillWilliamsonBio

Biography in RDR 2 (click to enlarge)

Bill Williamson was born in 1866 as Marion Williamson, which was supposedly a "family name". Embarrassed by his first name, he would later adopt the name "Bill" after his surname.[1] Bill's father was an alcoholic who slowly lost his mind due to his excessive drinking, notably mixing whiskey with moonshine. Bill was always afraid of suffering the same fate.
Bill's Dishonorable discharge papers rdr2

Bill's military Dishonorable discharge papers

At some point, Bill joined the Army and was assigned to the 15th infantry. He notably fought against Native Americans, before eventually being dishonorably discharged for deviancy and attempted murder on December 27th, 1892. He lived rough for the next two years or so, drinking heavily and robbing people on the highway. At one point, he was robbed by a "woman" (implied to be a cross-dresser). One day in 1894, he tried to rob Dutch van der Linde, but was taken aback when Dutch simply laughed at him. Though Bill was angry, Dutch cheered him up and gave him purpose, offering him a place in the Van der Linde gang. Despite this, Bill still vividly remembered the horrifying things he'd seen during his time in the Army.

For the next 5 years Bill Williamson would go on to be a gunman for the Van der Linde gang. During his time in the gang, he committed a number of crimes, which included robbery, raids, murder, kidnapping, and various other misdeeds across the frontier.

By 1899, the gang had moved east to West Elizabeth near Blackwater, when Dutch decided to undertake an ambitious heist to rob a boat that was carrying a significant amount of money. However, the robbery turned out to be a disaster, and the gang was forced to flee north into the mountains of Ambarino to escape the law, settling in an abandoned mining town named Colter.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2

An ex‐soldier discharged from the army, possibly dishonorably. Hot-headed, he tends to act first and think later but is tough, dedicated and always ready to fight.
Description by Rockstar Games.

Colter Chapter

Bill was first introduced when he gets into a argument with Micah Bell which results in Bill getting punched in the face. Before Bill can fight back, the others restrain the two and Dutch comes in, reprimanding them. Dutch then tells them that they are attacking an O'Driscoll camp. Bill is paired with Micah during the raid and takes part in the skirmish against the enemy gang. Afterwards, he searches a house for valuables left behind.

During the Cornwall train robbery, Bill is given the job of setting up the dynamite for the tracks. Arthur is sent by Dutch to help Bill, but, possibly because of Arthur’s interference, the detonator fails and the gang is forced to chase after the train. Along with the majority of the gang, Bill is unable to get onto the escaping train.

Horseshoe Overlook Chapter

Soon after settling at their new camp, Bill, Javier and Charles (later joined by Arthur) go out drinking in the town of Valentine. At some stage, a patron bumps into Bill, and a large scale bar fight ensues which ends with only minor injuries to the present gang members.

Later, Bill is brought over by Dutch to torture Kieran for the whereabouts of an O’Driscoll hideout. When Bill prepares to castrate Kieran with burning hot tongs, Kieran immediately reveals its location, resulting in Bill, Arthur and John taking him to the hideout. When they get there, the trio stealthily dispatch some of the O'Driscolls before a battle erupts, in which the remaining O'Driscolls are defeated. Afterwards, Bill and John convince Arthur to let Kieran stay with the gang after he saved Arthur's life and, after Arthur reluctantly agrees, Bill and John take Kieran back to camp.

Clemens Point chapter

Bill is deputized by Sheriff Leigh Gray, along with Arthur and Dutch. They, along with Deputy Archibald MacGregor go and destroy a Lemoyne Raiders moonshine operation, where Bill and Arthur incapacitate a few of them before fighting off the Lemoyne Raider reinforcements.

Bill takes part in Uncle's stagecoach robbery along with Arthur and Charles. The robbery quickly goes wrong, as an uncountable number of Leviticus Cornwall's hired guns descend upon them. The four hide in an old barn, but are found by Cornwall's men. The barn is lit on fire, so they are forced to fight their way out of it and engage more of them in the forest before escaping.

Along with Karen, Bill helps mastermind the robbery of the Valentine bank. The two of them, along with Arthur and Lenny, break into the bank, steal a large sum of cash, before fighting their way past the law attempting to prevent their escape.

Bill also organises his own stagecoach robbery, bringing Arthur and Tilly along with him. He and Tilly argue constantly during the excursion, only ending when Bill abandons all attempts at stealth and attacks the stagecoach directly with Arthur, which they do successfully. Bill also mentions that he recently robbed a homestead in Roanoke Ridge, as well as some drunken soldiers near the swamps.

One of his last acts in Clemens Point is when he, Arthur, Sean, and Micah enter Rhodes to investigate a job offer from the Gray family. Almost immediately after, they are ambushed by the Grays; Sean is instantly killed and Bill is captured by Sheriff Gray at some point during the battle. After Micah and Arthur clear the street of lawmen, they slay the sheriff and rescue Bill. Afterwards, Arthur reprimands Bill and Micah for their carelessness, and orders Bill to give Sean a proper burial. Williamson later takes part in the assault on Braithwaite Manor, in retaliation for the capture of Jack.

Saint Denis Chapter

Bill attends the party at the Mayor’s mansion along with Arthur, Dutch, and Hosea. Bill's interactions with the other guests are awkward and he quickly grows frustrated after failing to find any leads. He later says how he hated the event.

Micah gets a lead on a stagecoach, and brings Arthur and Bill along with the robbery. The three plant explosives on the stagecoach’s path to halt it, before attacking the stagecoach’s guards and accessing the loot, which they split between the three of them.

As well as this, Bill is also present in the attack on Angelo Bronte's mansion. During the boat journey to it, Bill is berated by Dutch for associating the Indians with “savagery”, and helps to fight off Bronte's men and the police during the assault.

Bill later takes part in the ill-fated Saint-Denis bank robbery, where Hosea and Lenny are killed. During the bank robbery, Bill interrogates the bank manager to get the combinations for the safes. When the Pinkertons arrive, Bill helps to fight them off and later escapes with the others across the rooftops. Along with Dutch, Arthur, Micah and Javier, he boards a boat in the harbor destined for the South Pacific.

Guarma Chapter

After the boat sinks, Bill washes up on the shores of Guarma with everyone except Arthur. Not long after Arthur finds them, the five are ambushed by the local military and captured. All of them except Javier manage to escape with the help of Hercule Fontaine, allowing Bill rest with the others at La Capilla. After participating in the battle at Cinco Torres, Bill is tasked to stay with the wounded Javier Escuella while the other three gang members see to sabotaging the gun batteries and rescuing the ship captain.

When the gang return to America, Bill eventually finds the gang, who are stationed at Lakay. When the Pinkertons attack the camp, Bill is one of the key players (along with Arthur and Sadie) in fending off the attack.

Beaver Hollow Chapter

Following the gang’s relocation to Beaver Hollow, it becomes apparent that Dutch’s sanity had deteriorated. Despite this, Bill remains unendingly loyal to Dutch, and his relationship with the main “doubters” Arthur and John declines as a result, with Bill suspecting the latter of being a traitor.

Bill is tasked with helping Arthur steal a stagecoach of dynamite at Van Horn Trading Post. During the robbery, Bill plays drunk near the roadside, before attacking the stagecoach. Arthur opens fire on it from above, and the two manage to successfully steal the stagecoach. As they flee the scene with the dynamite, they are pursued by lawmen, but Arthur is able to fight them off while Bill drives the wagon. Sometime afterwards, Bill reluctantly takes part in the assault on the Cornwall refinery against the US Army, where he joins the group which attacks the warehouse.

Bill later joins the robbery of the train heading through Saint Denis. After the train doesn't stop, contrary to what the gang expect, Bill accompanies the others in pursuing it. Due to a fire occurring on one of the train's carriages during the robbery, Bill takes John on horseback to a more frontal carriage, allowing him to continue fighting off the soldiers guarding the train. When Arthur later loots the money on-board the train, Bill reports to him that there is barely any track left, forcing Arthur to jump off with what he has. When Arthur returns to camp later on and a standoff between him and Micah develops over allegations of the latter's treachery, Bill sides with Micah and the others against Arthur and John. The Pinkertons attack before anything else can happen, and in the chaos, Bill presumably runs away with Javier as, unlike the rest, neither of the two are seen pursuing John and Arthur.

Bill’s immediate fate after the dissolution of the Van der Linde gang is unknown, although he is reported to still be at large by 1907. By 1910 (if not before) he has formed his own gang, eventually moving to New Austin and occupying Fort Mercer, which was previously the domain of the Del Lobos. He becomes particularly feared in the region, with his new group becoming the dominant outlaw gang in New Austin.

Events of Red Dead Redemption

In 1911, Marston has been extorted into hunting down his former brothers in arms, with Bill Williamson being the first target. The hunt for Bill Williamson serves as the impetus for the game's plot and is the central motivating factor throughout the first and partially second act.

New Austin

John and Bill meet once again at Fort Mercer. John has been extorted into pursuing and apprehending Williamson due to his gang's vicious crimes, with Edgar Ross and the Bureau of Investigation taking away John's son and wife to force John to complete the task. Marston confronts Williamson from outside the fortified walls, appealing to him to surrender before any harm befalls him. Williamson refuses, has several men put Marston at gunpoint, and berates John for his reformation. John responds by reaching for his revolver, causing one of Williamson's men to open fire and wound him in the lower-right torso. They presume John dead and leave his body to the elements.

Hours pass, until ranchers, Bonnie MacFarlane, and Amos discover him wounded. Bonnie and Amos altruistically take Marston to Nathaniel Johnston, the Armadillo doctor, to treat his wounds. John then recovers quite well after the bullet is removed. In return for a $15 doctor's bill, John agrees to work at the ranch for a short time. However, Bill later discovered that John was alive and living with Bonnie. In revenge, Bill and his followers burned the MacFarlanes’ barn to the ground.

At some point afterwards, the Williamson gang conducted a massacre at Ridgewood Farm. After slaying some of the gang members, Marshal Johnson, Marston, and two deputies, Jonah and Eli, come across Williamson himself. He taunts John, and sends his men after him and his allies. A shootout ensues, and Williamson's right hand man, Norman Deek, is captured.

As time went on, Marston recruited some people in New Austin with a cost of helping them. After helping Leigh Johnson, Nigel West Dickens, Seth Briars and Irish, John planned a strategy to raid Bill's hideout at Fort Mercer. The group breached the fort and gunned down Williamson's gang, only to find out that Bill fled to Mexico the previous morning with the help of another of John's former gangmates, Javier Escuella. The pair were put into the Protection of the local state government.

Nuevo Paraíso

John eventually ventured to Mexico himself and was forced to work with Colonel Allende, the brutal dictator of a region in Mexico called Nuevo Paraíso. Even though Allende promised to deliver Escuella and Williamson to Marston, Allende instead betrayed him and attempted to have him killed. Due to the betrayal, John joined with the anti-government rebels led by Abraham Reyes and eventually stormed Allende's villa in Escalera.

With the villa under attack, Bill and Allende escape to an armored stagecoach, where Marston and Reyes give chase. After the bodyguards are dispatched, the stagecoach comes to halt and Allende betrays Bill, pushing him out and pinning him to the ground, attempting to trade Bill’s life for his own. Williamson can then be killed by John from this point onwards, until he reaches for Allende’s revolver, where, if the player still doesn’t react, Bill will instead be shot and killed by Reyes. With Williamson dead, John is then required to return to Blackwater.

Character

Personality

That man is a stone-cold killer.”
“Williamson is a proud fool.
Leigh Johnson and John Marston regarding Bill.
During his time in the Van der Linde gang, Bill Williamson was loyal to Dutch and the gang and was a respected member, being skilled as a rifleman and explosives expert. Because Dutch gave him purpose, Bill is loyal to him to a fault, and staunchly supports Dutch's every decision, even after Dutch starts going insane. Bill's loyalty to Dutch is implied to be at least partially motivated by fear; not of Dutch himself, but of what the future holds for him should he end up alone again. He is also shown to be driven by the desire to prove himself, though he often falls short because of his recklessness and lack of intelligence. Bill was also considerably softer during his time with the gang; he empathized with low morale after the failure in Blackwater, voluntarily participated in the assault on Braithwaite Manor to rescue Jack Marston, allegedly had a strong attachment to his horse and disapproved of Micah taunting Arthur for his illness.

He is shown to have a good friendship with Javier Escuella, likely stemming from both of them having similar levels of experience in the gang and both looking up to Dutch greatly; this friendship is shown when Javier will be the one to rescue Bill from bounty hunters if he is captured, Bill sharing his thoughts with Javier on who the “rat” is when the gang began to collapse, and Bill being chosen to look after the wounded Javier on Guarma, as well as the fact that Bill presumably ran away with Javier after the standoff. Both sided against Arthur and John, but neither joined Dutch, Micah, Cleet, and Joe in pursuing them. By 1911, this friendship is still evident, as Javier helps Bill to escape to Mexico, despite the fact that it risked drawing John towards him too, putting his own life in danger.

By the time he left the gang, Bill's personality took a darker and bleaker turn. He became amoral, ruthless, ambitious, power-hungry, self-serving, and greedy. His heinousness is exemplified through countless acts of crime and intimidation, including arson, kidnapping, murder, and rape. Bill became something of a disloyal coward as well, likely stemming from paranoia. Bill never directly fights John, opting to send his men to fight and escape death at every opportunity.

Throughout his life as a criminal, Bill became both respected and feared by the people and criminals of New Austin, with Bonnie even calling him "the worst bandit in the county". Many criminals and bandits such as Norman Deek chose to follow Williamson, making him one of the most dangerous and powerful criminals in the area. Ironically, in the end, without Dutch's guidance and the rest of his comrades, Bill became transformed into the exact thing he was afraid of becoming.

Appearance

Bill is a large and heavyset man, though by 1899 he appears to be somewhat fat. He has brown hair and a bushy beard. Though not bald, his hair is clearly receding and he also seems to be missing some teeth. His usual attire consisted of grey trousers, boots and either a plain white or a checked shirt, sometimes accompanied by a long, brown leather jacket and/or his hat which he wears pinned on one side. For the Saint Denis bank robbery, Bill wears a square-patterned grey suit and, in Guarma, his suit jacket is absent and he wears a white shirt with braces, with the same grey-patterned trousers.

By 1911, Bill is shown to be mostly bald, with his remaining hair and beard flaky with patches of grey. He also appears to have lost a considerable amount of weight, probably as a result of his lifestyle.

Mission appearances

Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption 2

Quotes

Single-player

Do I look like I need saving?
Bill Williamson
You always did have a high opinion of yourself, John. Dutch always said you were an arrogant son of a bitch!
Bill Williamson to John Marston
Get 'em boys!
Bill Williamson orders his gang to attack John Marston and the Marshals
I didn't kill you before, John, but I sure as shit will now!
Bill Williamson threatening John Marston
Well, you never tried to save me before. You only seemed to save yourself.
Bill Williamson
Go away now, John. Don't make me kill you.
Bill Williamson
Implores. I, I implores you to go back and tell them to send someone just a little bit more impressive next time.
Bill Williamson to John Marston
You must think I was born yesterday. You always did think I was an idiot.
Bill Williamson to John Marston
Poor John...
Bill Williamson after one of his men men shot John
You always was weak minded.
Bill Williamson
Jack probably ain't even your son. Ha Ha!
Bill Williamson
It ain't over.... Till it's over!
Bill Williamson in the movie
Go then! I cover you.
Bill Williamson and Allende about to escape
Nobody wanted you around John!
Bill Williamson to John Marston
Dutch, Javier and I wanted you dead! We all did.
Bill Williamson giving the reason for leaving John
You always was a traitor ya bastard orphan!
Bill Williamson
I always knew you were a coward.
Bill Williamson
Would you hurry up?
Bill Williamson to Allende when about to escape
What the hell are ya doing?
Bill Williamson to Allende
You implore me? You implore me? You always were one for fancy words.
Bill Williamson
Alright, John, I-I-I'll-I'll come quietly.
Bill Williamson's last words

Multiplayer

  • "I sure miss that whore of yours!"
  • "I always was more clever than you, hahahahaha!"
  • "I've been waitn' for this!"
  • "Go home to your whore wife!"
  • "Son of a bitch!"
  • "Go on, hit me, you coward!"
  • "I'll blow your damn brains out!"
  • "This time, I'll make sure you're dead!"
  • "You always was frightened of me!"
  • "This was the way it was always going to be, old friend."
  • "Who the hell do you think you are?"
  • "I'll cut you open!"
  • "You're still a scared little boy!"
  • "I aint' goin' to jail for you ya' son of a bitch!"
  • "You always was a coward!"
  • "I'll kill you twice you bastard!"
  • "You always was weak-minded!"

Gallery

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption 2

Trivia

General
  • Bill states that the reason he joined Dutch's cause is that he saw what power can do to people while he was in the army. This foreshadows his own fate, as 12 years later Bill becomes a ruthless megalomaniac and a shadow of his former self while being in charge of his own gang.
  • Bill doesn't appear to know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  • The pin which holds the side of Bill's hat up in Red Dead Redemption bears the symbol of the Freemasons (The Square and Compasses).
    • In Red Dead Redemption 2, however, the pin is a U.S Army infantry insignia.
  • His birth name, Marion, could be a reference to the iconic Western actor Marion Mitchell Morrison, better known under his more masculine screen name "John Wayne". In addition, both considered their names to be a source of embarrassment.
Red Dead Redemption
  • Bill appears to have been less educated than John and Dutch, taking offense at John's larger vocabulary in their first encounter at Fort Mercer. Namely, the word "implore."
  • Bill is partly bald, revealed during his final appearance, when Allende shoves him out of the wagon, his hat falls off, revealing his baldness. It can also be seen by shooting off his hat, or by playing Poker or Liar's Dice with him in Multiplayer.
  • Most, if not all, of Bill's multiplayer quotes, seems to be directed at John.
  • In an interview with Retroplayer, Steve J. Palmer, the voice actor of Bill Williamson, compared the relationship between John Marston and Bill Williamson to that of siblings, with Dutch being more of a "parental figure". Palmer also stated that Bill was envious of John's relationship with Abigail and bitter that she chose Marston over him. He also added that John was once a positive moral influence on Bill, and that once John left the gang, Bill began to "tailspin out of control" without John's moral support.[2]
Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Bill seems to have a strong preference for rifles over pistols. In Red Dead Redemption 2, his main weapon is the Bolt Action Rifle and, although he does carry a custom Schofield Revolver with a brown steel frame, it is extremely seldom used. In the original Red Dead Redemption, Bill is seen with a Winchester Repeater and doesn‘t seem to carry a sidearm at all.
    • Williamson’s apparent preference for rifles most likely stems from his time in the Army, where a rifle would have been his primary weapon while he would have had little experience in using a revolver. 
  • If the player antagonizes the camp enough, Bill may punch Arthur and throw him out the camp, just like Lenny, John, Charles, and Javier.
  • Occasionally, Bill may be captured by bounty hunters and Javier will ask Arthur to help free him.
  • Bill is one of the members of the gang who can be sent by Dutch to track down Arthur if he has spent a long time away from camp. After he has found Arthur, the player then has the option to fast travel back to camp with him.
  • In a conversation With Micah, Bill reveals that Marion was originally his first name, but he changed it to “Bill” because he found it embarrassing.
Undead Nightmare
  • In Undead Nightmare among the writings on the walls of buildings in Blackwater one writing reads "Things are different now." These are some of the words that Williamson said to John before wounding him at Fort Mercer.
  • Bill does not appear in Undead Nightmare physically, but he is mentioned by John while talking to Mother Superior.

References

  1. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2E-RqGKlk7M
  2. https://www.webcitation.org/6T5QpBvJD?url=http://www.thegamingliberty.com/2010/09/bill-williamson-speaks-an-interview-with-steve-j-palmer/

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