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Characters are the driving force behind the narrative of Red Dead Redemption, and include the various personalities and figures the player may and will encounter throughout their time in the game.

This page lists characters encountered during Redemption's single-player gameplay only, please see Multiplayer Characters for details on characters available in multiplayer-mode gameplay.

Protagonists

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John Marston First appearance: "Exodus in America"

John Marston is the protagonist of Red Dead Redemption. Previously a member of the dangerous Van der Linde gang, John left the outlaw lifestyle to raise his family after a botched train robbery. He is forced by agents representing the Bureau of Investigation to hunt down his former brothers-in-arms across the dying Wild West.

John is a hardened and serious man trying to live out his bloody past as a dangerous outlaw, despite being labeled as such by his former associates and government sources.
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Jack Marston First appearance: "The Outlaw's Return"

Jack Marston is the only surviving child of John, and the secondary protagonist of Red Dead Redemption. He was born while his parents were still members of the Van der Linde gang and as a result was also raised by the gang's senior members. He is kidnapped alongside his mother Abigail by government agents to serve as leverage against John.

Jack is a bright and curious young man, preferring to read books about adventures and heroes over shooting, although he is eager to impress his father with his growing skills.

Central characters

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Edgar Ross First appearance: "Exodus in America"

Edgar Ross is a senior member of an American federal outfit called the Bureau of Investigation, tasked with civilizing the dying Old West, and in the process take down infamous members of the now-defunct Van der Linde gang. He kidnaps John's family and forces him into hunting down his former associates, one by one.

Ross is a man of modernism with preferences for semi-automatic weapons and automobiles. He is a sarcastic and calm man, but ruthless enough to bring his own view of justice by any means.
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Bill Williamson First appearance: "Exodus in America"

Bill Williamson is the dangerous leader of the New Austin-based Williamson Gang and a former member of the Van der Linde gang. He is the first of the three former associates John is forced to hunt down, with the two originally being close friends who grew apart due to Bill's jealousy towards John. Now basing himself at Fort Mercer, Bill terrorizes the entire region.

He is a cruel and confident outlaw with no whelms about committing the most heinous of crimes, but is also a coward at heart.
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Javier Escuella First appearance: "The Gates of El Presidio"

Javier Escuella is the second of three men John is tasked with bringing down. An outlaw of Mexican heritage, Escuella left for Nuevo Paraíso after the disbandment of the Van der Linde gang; there he became a mercenary and hitman, often working for the Mexican Army.

Similar to Bill, Escuella is a cowardly man who prefers to avoid John, but at the same time he can also be a cunning individual.
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Dutch van der Linde First appearance: "At Home with Dutch"

Dutch van der Linde is the final man John is tasked with hunting down, and the leader of both the original Van der Linde gang, and the Native American-formed Dutch's Gang, as well as John, Bill and Javier's former mentor figure. He is the most notorious criminal in West Elizabeth and the biggest enemy of the Bureau and its attempt to civilize the region.

Dutch is a charismatic yet dangerous and violent man who is ready to wage his war against technology and governmental spreading by any means necessary.

Major characters

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Bonnie MacFarlane First appearance: "Exodus in America"

Bonnie MacFarlane is a rancher based in New Austin and the first major ally John gains in Red Dead Redemption. She is the co-owner of MacFarlane's Ranch, a sizable settlement that keeps striving as the old ways die out. Despite not knowing him at all, she helps John when the latter is injured in an encounter with Williamson, and she proceeds to introduce the former outlaw to the ways and manners of the region.

Bonnie is a hard-working and independent woman in a men-dominated land, and tries her best to help her father in managing her family farm.
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Leigh Johnson First Appearance: "Political Realities in Armadillo"

Leigh Johnson is the long-serving Marshal of the town of Armadillo and a member of the Marshals Service. He is one of the few remaining honest and stern lawmen remaining in the New Austin region, fighting against outlaw outfits such as the Walton's Gang and Bollard Twins Gang. Upon John's arrival to the region, Johnson is contacted by the Bureau of Investigation to aid him in the hunt for Bill Williamson.

The Marshal is rather sarcastic and is never afraid to draw blood in order to protect his area of law enforcement.
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Nigel West Dickens First appearance: "Old Swindler Blues"

Nigel West Dickens, also known as the Snake Oil Guy, is an elderly con-man posing as a revolutionary salesman, travelling across the American countryside. He sells what he calls Nigel West Dickens' Elixir, which he claims can cure people of the most horrible diseases while in reality the elixir is nothing but a scheme.

An unlikely ally to John, West Dickens is a jovial and mild-mannered elder in nice dress. He will always do his best to assist John, sometimes due to the former outlaw's threats.
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Seth Briars First appearance: "Exhuming and Other Fine Hobbies"

Seth Briars is a deranged treasure hunter who also happens to be both an associate of West Dickens, and a one-time ally to the Williamson Gang. Despite this, all Seth is concerned with is finding his fabled treasure, for which he left his old business and family years ago.

He is a misanthrope and a crazy man, and works with John solely because both gain something from the cooperation.
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Irish First appearance: "A Frenchman, a Welshman and an Irishman"

Irish is an arms dealer and local drinker around the area of Thieves' Landing, an another un-likely associate of West Dickens. He is acquainted with many outlaws, although most of them either dislike or turn on him due to his constant lies and back-stabbing.
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Vincente de Santa First appearance: "Civilization, at Any Price"

Vincente de Santa is a Captain in the Mexican Army and the right-hand man of Colonel Agustin Allende, the governor of Nuevo Paraíso. De Santa helps his superior in leading a war against Abraham Reyes' rebels. He strikes a partnership with John in which he will deliver Escuela to him in return for John fighting alongside the Mexican forces.

De Santa is often joked by his peers and enemies and is a rumored homosexual, with tales about his affair with a local bartender in Escalera.
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Agustin Allende First appearance: "The Demon Drink"

Colonel Agustin Allende is the governor of Nuevo Paraíso and the right-hand man of Mexico's current leader, General Ignacio Sanchez. Under the General's commands, he leads an oppression against the rebels led by Abraham Reyes, and oversees Marston's work with De Santa.

Allende is noted as a highly cruel and lustful man, often kidnapping and raping young women. He is also dismissive of his own men, and tends to lash out at De Santa.
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Landon Ricketts First appearance: "The Gunslinger's Tragedy"

Landon Ricketts is a famous gunslinger from America who after years of gunfights decided to retire to Mexico, where he lives in Chuparosa and serves as a part-time defender of the town against both bandits and the Mexican Army. He is also a friend of the Mexican rebels and cares deeply for the rebels' right-hand woman, Luisa Fortuna.

Ricketts briefly serves as a shooting teacher to John, and the two team up to fight off bandits and soldiers.
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Luisa Fortuna First appearance: "Landon Ricketts Rides Again"

Luisa Fortuna is a young teacher living in Campo Mirada, but also one of the rebellion's leaders and is said to be the fiance of the rebel leader Reyes. She becomes a major ally for John after he saves her from Mexican soldiers.

Despite her youth, Luisa is a fearless rebel without any problem to risk her life, and is fully dedicated for the liberation of Mexico.
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Abraham Reyes First appearance: "Must a Savior Die?"

Abraham Reyes is the leader of the Mexican rebels and the most wanted man by the current Mexican government. Originally from a rich family, he joined the Mexican rebellion for less than noble reasons, and seems to care more about fame and power than about the state of his country.

Reyes is a charismatic and out-spoken man with a friendly demeanor, but has questionable habits and opinions.
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Harold MacDougal First appearance: "Bear One Another's Burdens"

Professor Harold MacDougal is an academy man from Yale tasked with learning and studying about Native-Americans and the final days of the Old West. In spite of his profession, MacDougal is a very naive, ignorant and small-minded individual with little factual knowledge on the Natives. He is also an associate of the Bureau.

He can be somewhat impatient, loud and hyperactive, and is known to be addicted to cocaine, which he abuses frequently.
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Abigail Marston First appearance: "The Outlaw's Return"

Abigail Marston is John's wife and Jack's mother; similar to her husband she is a former member of the Van der Linde gang and used to be one of the gang's prostitutes. Her choosing of John as her significant other is one of the things that deteriorated relations between Marston and his then-brothers in arms. Alongside her son she was kidnapped by the Bureau to force John into hunting their former comrades.

Although illiterate and perhaps not as intelligent as her husband and son, Abigail is a stubborn and strong-headed woman who deeply loves and care about her family. 
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Uncle First appearance: "The Outlaw's Return"

Uncle is a former drinking partner of John's. He used to be a member of the Van der Linde gang back in the day, but left alongside the Marstons. Nowadays he works as a hired muscle for the Marston Ranch at Beecher's Hope, and lives in their house.

Despite his occupation, Uncle is normally a lazy and drunk man who rarely does his job properly. In spite of this, he is a good and loyal friend to John and his family.

Supporting characters

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Archer Fordham First appearance: "Exodus in America"

Archer Fordham is a junior agent of the Bureau of Investigation, as well as Edgar Ross' partner and apprentice. He often occupies Ross in their constant overseeing of John's quest, and Fordham tends to come into blows with the former outlaw.

Unlike Ross, Fordham takes his job seriously and rarely jokes around. However, he is far more hot-headed than his cold and calculating mentor.
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Amos First appearance: "Exodus in America"

Amos is the head rancher at the MacFarlane's Ranch and a close friend with the family. His work there consists of taking care of newly broken horses and tending to the barn. He is also an avid Poker player whom Marston can play with.
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Drew MacFarlane First appearance: "Wild Horses, Tamed Passions"

Drew MacFarlane is the owner of the MacFarlane Ranch and the father of Bonnie. He is an experienced rancher who powered through plagues, wars, outlaw attacks and drought. He is very suspicious towards strangers, including John, but warms up to him due to his deeds for the MacFarlanes.

Bonnie refers to him as a bull of a man, but also expresses worry due to his advanced age.
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Jonah First appearance: "Political Realities in Armadillo"

Jonah is one of the two deputies serving under Marshal Johnson, alongside Eli. He accompanies Johnson and Marston in several missions.

Unlike Eli, Jonah is rude, unkempt, dim-witted and belligerent, sometimes getting into fights with either John or his partner Eli, but is unquestionably obedient to his superior.
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Eli First appearance: "Justice in Pike's Basin"

Eli is one of the two deputies serving under Marshal Johnson, alongside Jonah. He accompanies Johnson and Marston in several missions.

Unlike Jonah, Eli is more mild-mannered and respectful towards John. He is physically strong and appears to be more competent than Jonah when it comes to their duties.
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Norman Deek First appearance: "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit"

Norman Deek is a member of the Williamson gang and Bill's right-hand man. He tends to be by his leader's side and follow his instructions. According to Marshal Johnson, Deek is cruel enough to be a second-in command, but due to his cowardice can never be a leader.
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Espinoza First appearance: "The Demon Drink"

Captain Espinoza is the left-hand man of Colonel Allende, and is considered more competent than his counterpart and rival, De Santa. Unlike either his superior or fellow Captain, Espinoza is a brave and courageous leader, always fighting with his men against the rebels.

While being just as violent and ruthless as Allende and De Santa, Espinoza truly believes his ways of oppression will bring peace to the region. He forms mutual respect towards Marston.
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Victor Melendez First appearance: "Must a Savior Die?"

Victor Melendez is one of the Mexican rebels' most prominent members, often working directly underneath Luisa and Reyes himself. He appears in many of their missions.
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Nastas First appearance: "Bear One Another's Burdens"

Nastas is a former member of Dutch's Gang, a gang formed by Dutch from Native-American residents of the West Elizabeth region. Displeased with Dutch's violence and usage of his own people, Nastas became an informant of the Bureau. He is deemed a traitor by his people, but is rescued by John and Ross.

Minor characters

Persons of interests/Strangers

Random citizens

Lawmen

Criminals

Bounty targets

Gang Hideout helpers

Animals

Shopkeepers

Unseen/Deceased

Newspaper characters

Undead Nightmare

Trivia

  • John or Jack Marston can make remarks at/interact with other NPC's such as the random citizens, by the player pressing B/circle. The remarks vary from insults to compliments, depending on the player's Honor and Fame.

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