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We can't always fight nature, John. We can't fight change, we can't fight gravity, we can't fight nothin'. My whole life, all I ever did was fight...
Dutch van der Linde

Dutch van der Linde is a recurring character in the Red Dead series, appearing as a central character and one of the primary antagonists of Red Dead Redemption, as well as a central character in Red Dead Redemption 2.

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



Biography in RDR 2 (click to enlarge)

A young Dutch with Hosea and Arthur

Dutch was born in 1855[1] to a woman of English descent named Greta and a father of Dutch ancestry somewhere near Philadelphia. His father fought for the Union in the American Civil War and died in battle (heavily implied to be the Battle of Gettysburg); because of his father's death, Van der Linde developed a sworn grudge against Southerners. At the age of 15, he left his home as he was a disobedient child and rarely got along with his mother, who died in 1881 and was buried in Blackwater, although Dutch only found out several years later from an uncle of his.

Van der Linde valued freedom and liberties above all else and dreamed of living an independent existence. To attain these desires, Dutch began to resort to a life of crime. In the mid-1870s,[2] Dutch met a con artist named Hosea Matthews at a campfire on the road to Chicago. Hosea attempted to con and rob him only to realize that Dutch likewise had done the same and stolen from him. Impressed by the other's skills, the pair laughed and decided to partner up and face the future together, founding the famous Van der Linde gang.

Dutch and Hosea later found themselves in the town of Kettering, Ohio, where the two posed as international merchants, conning twelve locals into buying $300 worth of shares into a fictional Portuguese shipping company. Unfortunately they were eventually discovered and arrested by Sheriff Carmichael. On March 9th, 1877 the pair managed to escape from their cell by unknown means, tying up and robbing the sheriff in the process.

Later that year, Dutch and Hosea encountered a 14 year-old street orphan named Arthur Morgan. The pair decided to take the boy under their wing. Teaching him how to read, write, hunt, fight, shoot and ride, Arthur became their first protégé and alongside Hosea and Dutch, the trio would go on to comprise the old guard of the Van der Linde gang. Around this time, Dutch became romantically involved with a woman named Susan Grimshaw, who also became a member of the gang. He later ended his relationship with Susan as he met and deeply fell in love with a woman named Annabelle.

Some time later Van der Linde met the infamous outlaw named Colm O'Driscoll and the leader of his own gang The O'Driscoll Boys. The two maintained a loose and uneasy partnership as Dutch disliked how Colm treated his own men as disposable, Colm likewise mocked Van der Linde for his philosophy in making a 'better world'. Although the exact reason is unknown, Dutch broke the truce and killed Colm's brother. In retaliation Colm murdered Annabelle which left Dutch greatly angered and heartbroken over her death. This event caused Dutch and Colm to become arch-enemies and sparked a years-long blood feud between the two rival gangs.

In 1885, Dutch stumbled across a group of Illinois homesteaders who attempted to lynch a 12 year-old boy named John Marston, who had been caught stealing from them. Dutch intervened in saving the boy's life and inducted him into the gang. Dutch taught John how to read, write, fight, shoot and ride just like he had previously done with Arthur. Over time Dutch and Hosea came to regard Arthur and John as their favorite 'sons'.

In 1887, Dutch led the gang's first major bank robbery alongside Hosea and young Arthur. At 2 o'clock, the trio burst into the banking house of Lee and Hoyt and held up the staff and customers. As a result of the robbery the gang made off with $5000 in gold. After the robbery they lingered in town; going to hovels, shanties, and orphanages handing out money; envisioning themselves as 'Robin Hood' figures in the process. It was around this period where Dutch became a wanted man and earned a price on his head.

In 1893, Dutch encountered a drunk veteran named Bill Williamson who attempted to rob him. However Dutch simply laughed at him and his disorderly conduct which infuriated Bill at first but Dutch encouraged him and inducted him into the gang. Although Bill lacked conventional intelligence Dutch came to value his loyalty. In 1895, Dutch was stealing some chickens where he came across a young Mexican exile named Javier Escuella who attempted to do the same. Alone and starving, Dutch fed him, wrapped him in warm clothing and soon inducted him into the gang. Javier came to value and idolize Dutch's philosophy and became one of his most loyal members.

At this time, Dutch was an altruistic and idealistic rogue, believing the gang could make a difference in the world. He fashioned himself into something of a Robin Hood-like figure, taking money from the rich and wealthy who had plenty of it, and giving it to the poor and destitute who needed it. He saw himself as a symbol of the Wild West in its romanticized form, and a humanitarian champion of the people, opposing government control and corporate exploitation while supporting individual liberty and punishing general human cruelty and selfishness. His romantic image and charisma inspired his gang to believe in his anarchistic vision of a "savage utopia", and it was in the name of Dutch and his cause that they committed many violent crimes such as murder and robbery. By 1899, Dutch was reluctantly starting to realize that the way of life he held so dear was quickly becoming an increaslingly unrealistic proposition and that the days of the Wild West were coming to an end, no matter how much he might try to prevent it.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2

The leader of a sizable gang of outlaws and misfits. Idealistic, anarchic, charismatic, well‐read, well‐lived, but possibly starting to unravel under the pressures of the encroaching modern world.
Rockstar Games' description of Dutch for Redemption 2.

The Van der Linde gang attempted an ambitious ferry robbery in Blackwater and managed to make it off with an immense take of $150 000, but it ended in disaster and the gang was forced to flee into the mountains of Ambarino during a heavy blizzard to escape the heat. The specifics of the heist are never fully revealed, but it's known that Dutch killed a defenseless young woman named Heidi McCourt during it. The events of Blackwater shook Hosea's faith in Dutch, though he admits that his faith in their mission had been dead for a long time before this.

Colter Chapter

Dutch and his gang reluctantly travel into the heart of the blizzard in a wagon convoy, where they rest up in a small abandoned mining town called Colter. Dutch gives an inspirational speech to the gang and heads out with Arthur to meet up with either John or Micah, who went scouting. They come across Micah, who tells Dutch that he found a homestead which appears to have a party going on, and the three head out to investigate. After showing up at the homestead, the gang members soon discover that the residents are all O'Driscolls when Dutch approaches the door and Micah finds a dead body hidden inside a nearby wagon. A shootout erupts, with Dutch, Arthur and Micah eliminating them. After searching the house, they find a hysterical victim of the O'Driscolls named Sadie. Dutch comforts Sadie and puts a blanket around her, before taking her back to camp.

A few days later, Dutch and the gang attack some O'Driscolls camped nearby. The mission is a success, and the gang learns about a Cornwall train traveling nearby and finds dynamite that the O'Driscolls were going to use to take it out. The gang then moves to attack the train themselves, and although the dynamite fails to go off, the train is eventually stopped and its loot is taken by the gang. Now with some money in their pockets, and the spring thaw coming, Dutch decides to finally depart from the mountains and head down south to warmer pastures.

Horseshoe Overlook Chapter

Not long after arriving at the new camp location, Micah is arrested in the town of Strawberry. Knowing he can't go to Strawberry himself due to being wanted in the area, Dutch sends Arthur to break Micah out.

Later, Arthur reports to Dutch that he was approached by the Pinkertons, who know roughly where the gang were set up. Arthur then urges Dutch to relocate, but Van der Linde says that it's merely an attempt to scare the gang into doing something unwise and has the gang stay put for the time being.

Dutch and Strauss go to Valentine to see John and Arthur after their rustling of sheep. During the visit, Leviticus Cornwall and his hired guns capture Strauss and John outside the saloon, and demand that Dutch come outside. Dutch and Arthur rescue them, before fighting their way out of the town back to camp. Realizing that they can't stay in the area, he decides to move further east, and sends Charles and Arthur to investigate an area in Lemoyne for a new camp location.

Clemens Point Chapter

After moving to the new camp location, Hosea, Arthur, and Dutch go riding. They encounter Sheriff Gray who has captured Trelawny, due to him running an illegal gold prospecting operation. After Arthur re-captures a group of outlaws who escaped, Trelawny is released. If the player wishes, Dutch, Arthur and Hosea can then go fishing. Later, Sheriff Gray decides to make Arthur, Dutch, and Bill deputies in order to crack down on an illegal moonshine operation funded by the Braithwaites. With the help of Archibald, the three gang members succeed in destroying the moonshine operation, earning favor with the Sheriff. Sometime later, after considerable persuasion from Micah, Dutch decides to attend a “truce” meeting with Colm O'Driscoll. The supposed truce meeting ultimately turns out to be a trap to catch Arthur, however, with the intention of luring in Dutch to capture him and give him to the Pinkertons. Arthur is captured and badly injured while in captivity, but manages to escape.

After Jack is kidnapped by the Braithwaites, Dutch orders an assault on Braithwaite Manor. The gang members storm the manor and slaughter the vast majority of the Braithwaite family. After Jack is nowhere to be seen, the gang torches the manor and drags out Catherine Braithwaite and interrogates her, forcing her to reveal to them that Jack is being held hostage by Angelo Bronte. Dutch then orders the gang to ride away and leaves Catherine sobbing on the ground at the foot of her burning mansion. The next morning, two Pinkerton agents named Milton and Ross appear at camp, to offer the gang members a deal. In return for turning over Dutch, they pledge to allow the rest of the gang to flee and grant them amnesty. Dutch originally pretends to comply, but he then refuses and the rest of the gang ready their weapons and warn the agents to leave. Flustered, Agent Milton says that the gang are making a mistake and that he’ll be back with fifty men, before being escorted out. Afterward, Dutch asks Arthur and John to investigate Shady Belle, a location originally discovered by Lenny, as a new place for camp.

Saint Denis Chapter

After moving to Shady Belle and the Saint Denis area, Dutch, Arthur and John ride to the city and confront Bronte. Bronte agrees to give back Jack in exchange for them doing a job for him. After Arthur and John deal with some grave robbers per Bronte’s request, Bronte releases Jack and gives them an invitation to the Mayor's party. At the Mayor's party, Dutch is welcomed by Angelo Bronte, who later tells Dutch that there is lots of money in a trolley station for him to rob. Soon afterwards, Dutch hears someone talking about Cornwall and tells Arthur to go and find out more about him, while he, Hosea and Bill work on finding some more leads.

Back at camp, Dutch begins making plans to rob the trolley station in Saint Denis. Arthur agrees to ride with Dutch, although Dutch suggests taking Micah as a third gun. Arthur disagrees, and instead asks for Lenny, which Dutch accepts. Immediately afterwards, the camp is assaulted by the O'Driscoll gang, who send Kieran's decapitated corpse into Shady Belle on horseback, before the two gangs face off in a brutal shootout. Dutch and his gang take shelter inside the Shady Belle manor to fight off the O'Driscolls. During the shootout, Dutch tells Arthur to find Sadie and get her inside the building and helps fight off the O'Driscolls from inside the manor. Ultimately, the Van der Linde gang emerges victorious and is able to repulse the O'Driscolls. After the battle, the gang sees to disposing of the enemy corpses, and Dutch orders Reverend Swanson to bury Kieran's remains nearby.

Soon afterwards, Dutch decides to start working on the tip given to him by Bronte. He, Arthur and Lenny go in and rob the trolley station, only to discover that it contains almost no money at all, and they are forced to fight their way out, hijacking a trolley to escape out of the city. During the escape, the trolley that the three are in derails and crashes, with Dutch suffering a concussion in the crash as well as a head injury that he insists is nothing to worry about. After escaping, he vows revenge on Bronte for betraying him.

After the battle at Shady Belle, Dutch and Arthur go to the town of Lagras, where they make a deal with a fisherman to have him row the gang in behind Bronte's mansion in exchange for Dutch and Arthur helping him find one of his assistants who has gone missing in the swamp. Arthur and Dutch succeed in saving his assistant’s life when it is threatened by a huge alligator which is infamous in the swamps they're wading in, and the fisherman keeps his promise. Shortly afterwards, the gang arrive at Bronte's home, and after fighting through his guards and the Manor, they capture him. With police closing in around them, the gang manage to fight their way out and get back to the boat. Along the way back, Dutch kills Bronte for his betrayal, drowning him and then throwing his corpse overboard to be consumed by alligators, shocking both John and Arthur.

In order to fund the gang’s escape from the country, Dutch decides that the gang should rob Lemoyne National Bank in Saint Denis. Although the robbery starts off smoothly, Hosea is captured by Pinkertons while orchestrating a distraction, and is then killed by Agent Milton in front of the gang, infuriating Dutch. A violent shootout breaks out, before further misfortune unfolds for the gang when John is captured and Lenny is killed during the gang's escape on the rooftop. The remaining six continue their escape and manage to hide in an abandoned apartment until nightfall, where they sneak down to the docks. In order for them to proceed, Charles distracts some Pinkertons guarding the area, allowing Dutch, Arthur, Micah, Bill and Javier to stow away on a boat destined for the south Pacific, with the intention of coming back for the others later.

Guarma Chapter

Along the way, the ship is caught in a storm and perishes, and all the gang members besides Arthur jump overboard and swim over to a nearby shore and regroup there. Not long after Arthur finds his way back to them, the local military find and arrest them and chain them together in shackles to transport them to jail. Along the way to the jail, the soldiers are attacked by rebels and a shootout ensues. In the scuffle, Arthur manages to unlock their shackles and the gang attacks and kills their guards in the area, but Javier is shot and injured and unable to escape. Hercule Fontaine, the revolutionary leader tells the gang to follow him. Hercule leads the remaining gang to a small rebel outpost, stocked with Bolt Action Rifles. Army reinforcements soon arrive, but they get defeated. The gang then retreats to the rebel outpost of La Capilla.

Dutch and Arthur rest for a short time at La Capilla, before they both go to rescue Javier, who was captured in the battle with the Guarma military. Arthur and he go to a cave where an old lady named Gloria is. Dutch pays her gold to lead them through the cave, to Aguasdulces. It is then that she demands more money, and when Dutch doesn't pay her, she pulls a knife on him. Dutch grabs her by the throat and kills her, much to Arthur’s dismay, although Dutch responds by saying that she would have betrayed them later anyway, which Arthur highly doubts. The pair then enter Aguasdulces, where they see Colonel Fussar and a group of soldiers leading a donkey that is dragging Javier along. Dutch quickly sees a way to cause a distraction in the sugar refinery. Dutch and Arthur cut up the bags of sugar, spilling the sugar on the floor, which blows up the furnace. In the ensuing chaos, they rescue Javier, before fighting their way out of the settlement.

The gang then goes to the rebel stronghold of Cinco Torres. Not long after arriving, a Cuban warship approaching, and swarms of enemies attack. The gang and Hercule shoot at them from above, before moving down to the beach and fighting them off head-on. Realizing the warship has to be stopped, the gang make their way to the top of the tower and use a cannon to fire upon the warship until it ultimately sinks.

They then set out making their way to the ship. While fighting in Aguasdulces, Dutch breaks into the workers’ cabin and finds Arthur being held at gunpoint by Levi Simon. Dutch points his gun at Simon, before Fussar comes in, where he and Dutch hold each other at gunpoint. The standoff ends when Arthur kicks the ship captain his rifle, who kills Simon by shooting him in the chest. Fussar flees the cabin and runs. With Fussar shooting at them from a tower with a machine gun, Dutch and Hercule draw his fire and allow Arthur to eliminate Fussar by bringing down the tower with a cannon. With Fussar and his troops gone, they finally reach the port. They then set sail for the mainland at last.

After coming back to the gang at Lakay, the gang is attacked by Pinkertons. They narrowly fend off the attack, killing several Pinkerton agents, and Dutch tells Arthur and Charles to go north to investigate Beaver Hollow for a possible new camp location.

Beaver Hollow Chapter

Van der Linde begins to grow increasingly paranoid, and begins to tighten his hold over the gang and demand loyalty; he orders Arthur and Sadie not to rescue John from Sisika Penitentiary, believing that he is a traitor and after they rescue him anyway, Dutch is infuriated by their insubordination and precieved disloyalty. Later, Dutch goes to Annesburg with Micah and Arthur for a "social call" with Leviticus Cornwall. Van der Linde confronts Cornwall after he arrives in his yacht, and eventually offers Cornwall his life in exchange for ten thousand dollars, his boat and safe passage away from the place. Cornwall laughs at this and refuses, so Dutch decides to pull the trigger on Cornwall in a seemingly spontaneous manner and shoots him in the chest. With Cornwall killed, Dutch, Arthur, and Micah are forced to fight their way out of the town.

At some point, Colm O'Driscoll is caught and sentenced to death by hanging in Saint Denis. Aware that Colm had escaped the past two times, Dutch and Arthur attend his execution disguised as police officers with Sadie to sabotage any rescue attempt. The sabotage succeeds and Colm is successfully hanged, although Sadie is unable to contain her rage and opens fire on the O'Driscolls, initiating a firefight with first the O'Driscolls and then the police. Afterwards, Dutch and Sadie return to Beaver Hollow.

During this time, suspicions begin to arise that the Pinkertons may have an informant inside the gang; a mole who feeds them information, thus allowing them to chase after the gang much more effectively than before. This only further worsens Dutch's paranoia and he becomes increasingly suspicious of everyone and everything.

Eagle Flies later rides into Beaver Hollow and tells the gang that the United States Army stationed at Fort Wallace have taken their horses, and requests help in getting them back. Dutch, seeing an opportunity to distract the government’s attention away from the gang, agrees. He calls for Charles and Arthur to follow him, and the four men ride east where they plan on stealing horses from a government ferry. The four of them swim to the boat, sneak on board, and knock out the guards. They then grab the horses and flee back to shore. After reaching the shore, Dutch accompanies Eagle Flies in taking the horses back to the reservation, while they plan their next move.

Dutch orders Arthur to meet up with him and a group of Wapiti Indians led by Paytah and Eagle Flies. Van der Linde explains that they plan on trapping the soldiers in the canyon and tar-and-feathering them, and the two get to work. After placing dynamite next to the trees, they wait for the soldiers to arrive and blow the dynamite. The trees collapse, blocking the road, and they order the soldiers to drop their weapons. However, reinforcements arrive and swarm the would-be-ambushers. As they fight their way down the pass, the Indians are either killed or captured, forcing Arthur and Dutch to retreat. They flee to the top of a cliff, but find their escape route cut off and are thus surrounded by the soldiers and held at gunpoint. In this seming moment of hopelessness, Arthur and Dutch stand side by side and Dutch begins to talk, holding a speech of sorts for their pursures about "how you cannot fight gravity" and "how you cannot fight change", as Dutch keeps talking, he and Arthur begin to slowly walk backwards until they are close enough to the cliff edge to jump without getting shot. Once there, they jump over the edge and into the rapids below, allowing them to escape.

Eagle Flies later arrives at Beaver Hollow with a large force of warriors from the reservation and angrily tells the gang that the army raided the reservation for oil. He then asks for the gang's help in destroying the distillery at the oil fields in retaliation. Rains Fall then steps in and begs his tribe not to go to war again, still remembering the death and destruction they suffered in their previous campaign against the military. Eagle Flies ignores his father's warnings and rides off with his men, leaving the gang behind. After a quick discussion in which Dutch learns of Arthur assisting Rains Fall behind his back, the majority of the gang follows Eagle Flies. The group arrive to find the battle all but over, with many Wapiti warriors having been slain and Eagle Flies fighting for his life amidst the chaos, as well as a small group of warriors who have been surrounded near the warehouse. The gang assaults the distillery and is able to save the remnants of the Wapiti force; they then split into two groups, with Dutch leading a force to take the warehouse to find a stash of state bonds stored there. Under heavy fire, they make little progress until Arthur's force arrives to assist them, at which point they begin to drive back the enemy. After fighting to the warehouse doors, Dutch and Arthur search the building to find the state bonds, which Dutch eventually finds. As they leave, however, a pipe bursts, incapacitating Arthur and leaving him to the mercy of the approaching soldiers. Dutch exits the warehouse upon witnessing this and leaves Arthur to his fate, making no attempt to save him. After Arthur is saved by Eagle Flies - who is mortally wounded in the process - Dutch denies leaving Arthur to die when confronted and rides with back to camp.

After plenty of planning, Dutch and Micah decide to carry out a robbery on a train carrying army payroll. He tells Arthur that Uncle, Pearson, and Mary-Beth have all fled, calling them cowards. After Arthur suggests letting John and his family go too, Dutch becomes furious, but quickly calms down and seemingly agrees, although it is apparent that he does not take the agreement seriously. Van der Linde then leads the gang to Saint Denis, where they intend to board the train and subsequently carry out the robbery. During the robbery, John gets shot and falls off of the train; Dutch claims that he'll try to save John and leaves for a while, but when he comes back without John, he claims that he had died.

Following the robbery, the gang learns that Abigail has been arrested for murder. Despite the gang's code, Micah quickly points out the risks of making a rescue attempt and presses Dutch to abandon her. Dutch agrees with him and the gang head back to camp, infuriating Arthur and Sadie, who go after her themselves.

When Arthur returns to camp, he reveals that Micah was Agent Milton's informant. This initiates a standoff between Arthur and Micah, who draw on each other. Arthur tries to convince Dutch that Micah is the rat, while Micah denies it and says to Dutch that they can achieve a lot together, although Dutch remains silent, seemingly undecided. Soon afterwards, John appears and reveals that not only did he survive the train robbery, but that Dutch made no attempt to rescue him. He sides with Arthur, followed by Susan Grimshaw, who points a shotgun at Micah and tells him to put down his guns. Javier then announces that the Pinkertons are coming, distracting Miss Grimshaw and giving Micah the opportunity to shoot her, resulting in Susan's death. Dutch finally draws his guns and joins Micah, with the majority of the gang united behind him. Dutch and the others point their guns at John and Arthur, and prepare to shoot them, but the showdown is cut short when said Pinkertons assault the camp; in the chaos, Dutch and his men slip away, leaving John and Arthur to fend for themselves. Shortly afterwards, Dutch is seen in a posse with Micah, Cleet and Joe, pursuing Arthur and John on horseback through the woods. Due in part to the abundance of hostile Pinkertons in the vicinity, the posse fails to kill Arthur and John.

Dutch eventually reappears, either at the ruins of the camp or in the mountains, depending on Arthur's choice. Either way, he intervenes in the fight between Micah and Arthur. Arthur, with his final breaths, pleads to Dutch and swears that Micah is the traitor. Micah asks Dutch to come with him and take the money, but Dutch, shocked over the fact that he brought his gang to ruin and no longer wishing to associate himself with either man, simply walks away without a word, signifying the end of the Van der Linde gang. Arthur dies soon after.

Beecher's Hope Chapter

Dutch shoots Micah

At some point during or prior to 1907, Dutch reunites with Micah, who is now in charge of his own gang, and together they finally retrieve the money from the failed ferry robbery. Sometime later, in 1907, John, Sadie, and Charles storm Mount Hagen in order to get revenge on Micah for his betrayal of the gang. After Sadie appears while wounded and breaks the deadlock between John and Micah, Dutch emerges from the cabin with his guns drawn; Micah simultaneously takes Sadie hostage, initiating a three-way standoff between Dutch, John and Micah. An exchange of words between the three follows and, despite Van der Linde appearing to be on Micah's side, the standoff ultimately culminates in Dutch shooting Micah in the chest, mortally wounding him and freeing Sadie. Micah then attempts to shoot both Dutch and John, but the latter shoots him repeatedly and thereby finishes him off for good. Dutch subsequently departs without a word, ignoring John's attempts to thank him. He also consciously leaves the Blackwater money behind, financially securing Sadie, Charles, and the Marston family for life.

Post-Redemption 2

Following the Van der Linde gang's demise in 1899, Dutch had not been seen nor heard from for several years. Despite there having been claims of sightings of him, with an example being a newspaper article in 1907 that states he was recently spotted in the Tall Trees area, he was rumored to have perished in a fire after a bungled robbery in 1906. In 1911, Javier Escuella claimed that Van der Linde was in Colombia during a conversation with John Marston, though this later turned out to be false as Dutch came out of hiding and formed a new gang comprised of disaffected young natives, which operated in West Elizabeth. Dutch uses the natives hatred for the government and modernization to persuade them into attacking and harassing settlers outside of Blackwater. Notably, the Blackwater Ledger makes mention of an incident where Dutch and his gang killed two men on a homestead north of Blackwater.

Events of Red Dead Redemption

In 1911, Bureau of Investigation agent Edgar Ross kidnaps John's family to coerce him into hunting down several surviving members of the Van der Linde gang, including Dutch van der Linde. After Bill Williamson and Javier Escuella are dealt with in Mexico, John arrives in Blackwater, where Ross informs him that Dutch has been spotted in the region and that he is his final target. Together with a Native American named Nastas and Professor Harold MacDougal, John begins to search for Dutch. Nastas tells Marston and MacDougal of Dutch's fortress in the mountains called Cochinay.

John and Nastas investigate and scout Cochinay with the goal of locating Dutch himself. Nastas is injured while climbing the mountains, so John continues the climb alone. After killing a scout, John picks up his binoculars. When looked through, John observes Dutch executing a captured police officer. After looking away, John returns his glance on Dutch again only to see Dutch now aiming at him. A shot is fired, but it hits the binoculars, causing John to fall back and get knocked unconscious. Satisfied, Dutch holsters his pistol. Not long after, the Bureau of Investigation receives word that Dutch's Gang has robbed the Blackwater Bank and has taken hostages inside.

After taking a sniping position and gaining entrance to the bank, John confronts Dutch with a posse of lawmen and has him corned in an upstairs office. However, Dutch is holding a young woman hostage at gunpoint. Dutch takes the moment to speak with John, all the while slowly making his way towards the exit. Dutch asks about John's family, remarking how fast time flies before berating his marriage to Abigail telling the sheriffs that John "married a whore". When John brings up that Dutch had left him to die years prior, Dutch admits that he made a mistake, but then dismisses it and mocks John for being an "errand boy" for the government. Dutch suddenly inches closer to the door and shoots the young woman in the head while throwing her corpse into John's arms. John and the lawmen pursue Dutch on horseback after realizing he escaped in an automobile parked outside the bank. They come across the automobile, now wrecked, and with Dutch nowhere in sight.

Later, Dutch and his gang surround the Blackwater Hotel while John and Professor MacDougal are inside. Shouting up at John, he announces that he plans on killing John and the Professor for "sport". However, John and MacDougal escape out of a window and across the rooftops before reaching a pair of waiting horses. John is then able to safely escort MacDougal to the train station at Manzanita Post.

Later, the U.S. Army launches a full scale assault on Cochinay. After weakening Dutch's forces by luring them out of Tall Trees and into the Great Plains where the army ambushes them, John Marston, Edgar Ross, and Archer Fordham ride to Cochinay with a garrison of U.S. Army soldiers with the intention of killing Dutch and ending his gang. The army assaults Cochinay, gunning down most of Dutch's Gang. John tells the American Army Captain to tend to his wounded while he faces Dutch alone. Seeing John coming, Dutch mounts an armor-plated Browning Gun and attempts to use it to gun down John. However, John shoots an oil lantern fixed behind Dutch, causing a fire that forces him off the gun. Dutch then flees into the caves with John chasing after him. The caves lead to atop a mountain cliff where John holds Dutch at gunpoint.

Dutch tosses his gun off to the side and the two exchange words. Dutch discusses the inevitability of his situation and the changing times. He laments that his whole life he tried to fight societal change but that in the end, like gravity, change was always constant and inevitable. John asks Dutch why he could never give up if he knew his fight for change was in vain. However, Dutch explains that he couldn't give up as it was too much in his nature to fight despite being fully aware of the futility of his cause, saying "That's the paradox, John. You see?". John coldly claims that if Dutch won't surrender, he'll have to shoot him. Dutch smirks at this and comments on the hypocrisy of law enforcement, saying that after his death, the law will find "another monster" to target and use that to justify their wages. Dutch takes a step back towards the mountain cliff and says "Our time has passed... John" before allowing himself to fall back off the cliff to his death, choosing to die by his own hand rather than be captured. Edgar Ross later shoots Dutch's corpse with a pistol in order to make it look like John shot him, claiming that it "looks better in the report that way".

Dutch's prediction that the Bureau would not stop with his death came true, as very soon after, John himself became the next target of the agency and this subsequently led to his death.



The promise of this great nation. Men created equal, liberty and justice for all. That might be nonsense too. But it's worth trying for. It's worth believing in. Can't you see that, friend?
Dutch reassuring Arthur Morgan to have faith in his ideal America

Dutch seems to carry a philosophy similar to other characters in the Red Dead Redemption saga. Dutch has an anarchistic worldview and seems to want a world that goes somewhere along the lines of a Hunter-Gatherer Society, a world that opposes technology and governmental control where one must fight to survive but may also live the lifestyle they choose, free from any rules and regulations; a world where men live very much like they did in the old (idealised) Wild West. Dutch shows a common disgust and contempt for "cultured" towns like Blackwater or industrialized urban centers like Saint Denis as these locations serve as monuments to technological and industrial progression and government-enforced order, conformity and peace, all of which Dutch violently opposes. Van der Linde considers technological and industrial progress as methods by which the federal government can exert authority and control over the general population, especially disenfranchised groups of people such as the Native Americans and those who live in poverty.

Dutch's philosophy is reactionary, desiring a return to the older ways. While the New West of the 20th century promotes clothing, technology, culture and civilization, Dutch seems to want to move back to the Old West of the 19th century which promotes survival, discipline, resourcefulness and fitness by using skill and courage to overcome hardship. As the culture in the west progresses towards a modernist view that praises and rewards forced conformity, incorporation, order and employment on a large societal scale, Van der Linde would prefer people to remain civilized where they are and allow the Old West to survive in the way to which it has grown accustomed, and if the Federal Government will not allow him or his people to live their lives the way they wish, he will fight for his perceived right to live as he wishes.

It should be noted that Dutch's heavy emphasis on personal values such as liberty, equality, cultural tolerance and natural law aligns with Enlightenment ideas that encompassed the Age of Enlightenment movement during the 18th century. Many of the models and theories proposed during this time are currents of thought that Dutch frequently uses to share his beliefs. Van der Linde is particularly a frequent user of the Social Contract, which is an enlightenment examination model used to highlight how individuals in a society surrender their freedoms to a higher power or authority. Dutch's worldview states that law and political order are neither natural nor dependent on government and that human rights are universal and inalienable. Dutch often laments that in the increasingly-modernized America, individual rights and freedoms must be sacrificed to an authority he views as greedy, dishonest, exploitative and prejudiced. The Old West is the perfect environment for a society based on natural rights, which is why Dutch violently opposes anything that threatens to end this way of life.


Dutch himself is shown to be a merciless killer who justifies killing innocent people or lawmen as a way of combating the corruption of the federal government. Despite his brutal ways, Dutch is educated and, unlike many outlaws, genuinely believes he is committing these crimes for idealistic reasons rather than greed. His anti-government and pro-individualist idealism, combined with his natural charisma, attracted a following of people who had been downtrodden by the society they lived in. Several members of the gang were orphans, minorities, town drunks, former prostitutes and other lowlives; people who had felt they had no purpose until they joined the gang and Dutch gave them one. This created a strong sense of unity within the gang and a great sense loyalty to Dutch.

Despite at times being rather brutal in his methods, Dutch would often joke around with his fellow gang members and had a kind, playful disposition. He would often make motivational speeches to encourage the gang to come together in times of hardship while preaching that "loyalty" and "faith" were among the highest and most honorable tenets. Before Hosea's demise, he often consulted him and Arthur on important decisions, putting it to a discussion and vote between the three of them when deciding on the direction of the gang, demonstrating how much their opinions meant to him.

At the peak of his power, Dutch displayed genuine compassion for his fellow gang members and treated them as family members in a way that made them feel appreciated. He complimented them on their resilience and ability and thanked them for their loyalty and their work. He saw to it that they were supplied, fed, and sheltered. His generosity endeared him to new members, many of whom had known little but harshness, pain, and struggle. His capacity to believe in others and help them believe in themselves was in turn reciprocated. Dutch employed a highly flexible command system within the gang. Although he demanded that members give loyalty and do their share for the gang as a whole, he also encouraged them to be themselves as well as to make use of their free time to optimize their own talents and skill sets. At his best, Dutch commanded a balanced brand of leadership that not only required followers to have structure and discipline but also allowed them to express freedom and individuality. He had utmost faith in his gang to overcome almost any situation regardless of the odds and regarded his most capable lieutenants, such as Arthur Morgan and John Marston, as his collective ace in the hole.

Throughout his life, Van der Linde demonstrated incredible courage, although by 1899, his fearlessness often overlapped into recklessness. Whether facing rival gang leaders, powerful men, or law enforcement, Dutch had no qualms with confronting any such opponent head-on, and in the face of imminent danger and gunfire, he often stood at the front of his gang. He displayed this courage most brazenly during the confrontation at Braithwaite Manor, where he approached the Manor full of gunmen directly despite being in the line of fire and sought little cover during the ensuing firefight; and when confronting Leviticus Cornwall and his gunmen, whom he stood a mere gangplank's distance away from, having a simple conversation with before shooting and killing him on the spot.

Although not confirmed, some have theorized that the concussion and head injury to the head Dutch sustained on the Trolley after the failed bank robbery in Saint Denis might've affected his personality. This is also insinuated by the constant questioning of if Dutch is truly okay after the injury by Arthur.

The Pinkertons' relentless pursuit along with the constantly increasing pressure from civilization that the Van der Linde gang faced during its final months began to take a toll on Dutch and affect him. He became more driven by ego, money, and vengeance, beginning to outright despise anyone who questioned him. The trolley crash and possible head injury further excacerbated this issue, causing Dutch to gradually become even more ruthless and reckless. As his behavior grew more aggressive, violent and erratic, so did his plans. Dutch callously killed powerful figures like Angelo Bronte and Leviticus Cornwall solely out of vengeance with little regard for the outcome, which went against his previous ideology that "revenge was a fool's game" as well as launch a full-on assault against Cornwall's oil refinery and attempt to rob a train carrying army payroll. These revenge murders and highly aggressive and destructive attacks ultimately increased the attention of law enforcement and led to more dangerous consequences for the gang as a whole.

After the disastrous bank heist in Saint Denis, Dutch begun to tighten his grip on the gang and took his valuing of loyalty to an utmost extreme, labeling anyone who questioned him as a 'doubter' and lessened the freedoms the other members of his gang once had. This made it easier for him to make flat and absolute decisions that decide the course of the gang without taking any input or criticism from those he led, making his leadership increasingly despotic. Unlike before, Dutch began to value Arthur's and John's opinions less and less; as the two often criticized his decision making. Instead Dutch consulted solely with Micah, someone who never questioned his decision making and instead actively encouraged him and loyally stood by him, no matter what. Whenever a member of the gang questioned Dutch's actions, he would immediately see such an action as traitorous and the person doing so as a threat.

Dutch commonly referred to John Marston and Arthur Morgan as his brothers or sons, with Dutch himself and Hosea becoming fatherly figures to both of them, implementing a family-like relationship with the gang members that had stuck by him over several years. However as Dutch became more erratic and paranoid, Arthur and John started to question his leadership and decisions, resulting in Dutch becoming increasingly resentful as well as suspicious of their motives. His paranoia and disdain for the "doubters" is shown when Dutch leaves both John and Arthur to die in two respective situations, as well as leaving John to be arrested by Pinkertons during the bank robbery in Saint Denis.

With Arthur, it is clearly shown that Dutch deliberately left him to die while robbing Cornwall Kerosene & Tar. When Arthur was pinned down and about to be killed by a soldier, Dutch merely glanced at the situation and walked away. Minutes later Arthur confronts him on the subject, Dutch quickly denies this and brushes off Arthur's comment, whilst telling him not to be a "fool". In John's case, Van der Linde was secretly enraged that Marston wished to leave the gang with his family. This was proof of disloyalty in Dutch's eyes and his action of abandoning John, lying to Arthur about the circumstances of this and then denying it when confronted by John, add to the examples of his tendency to lose interest in anyone who did not follow him blindly. Years later upon realizing that Marston never betrayed him after all, Dutch admitted to John that he made a mistake, but immediately and callously brushed off the betrayal by saying "I never claimed to be a saint".

Dutch's moral and philosophical hypocrisies can be observed as early as 1899. Despite being vehemently opposed to cultural, technological, and industrial progress, Dutch benefits the most from modern inventions out of any other gang member. His clothing is often far more elegant than anything else the rest of the gang wears (apart from Molly). He plays tracks on a phonograph within his tent and is frequently found reading at camp (the only gang member that reads more than he does is Mary-Beth). Actually, the fact that Dutch has such a well-developed philosophy to believe in and preach to his gang demonstrates a surprising level of intellect, philosophy and culture on his part; all of them prime examples of the very civilisation he opposes.

By 1911 Dutch's underlying hypocrisy has become even more apparent; both his horse along with his revolvers have disappeared. Instead they have been replaced by an automobile and a Semi-Automatic Pistol and a well-stocked bookshelf and typewriter can be found in his lair. This hypocrisy is noticed and pointed out by Uncle. Who once remarked that Dutch is not fighting for the right to pursue "a better life" as separate individuals with their own personal freedoms, but rather for what Dutch monolithically believes "a better life" is.

A testament towards how much Dutch values loyalty can be seen in his relationship with Micah Bell. During the final days of the Van der Linde gang, Micah became Dutch's most trusted consultant; unlike Arthur, Micah never openly questioned any of Dutch's actions, no matter what they were. This resulted in Dutch trusting in Micah so much, that when it was revealed that the latter was the Pinkerton spy, Dutch couldn't bring himself to believe it, even after Micah had shot and killed Susan Grimshaw in front of him. Not even Arthur repeating the truth with his dying breath would dislodge Dutch's disbelief. It was only years later that Dutch would finally come to terms with Micah's betrayal and exact vengeance by shooting him.

By 1911, the once-idealistic rogue had fully deteriorated into a delusional maniac and violent killer who was secretly aware that all of the horrible crimes he committed had changed nothing about the government or society. In his final moments Dutch expressed remorse for his actions, likening himself to a monster and telling John that he couldn't stop fighting for his ideas despite the futility of it, lamenting that he was unable to fight the nature of a changing world and simultaneously, he couldn't fight the nature of himself to stop. Before committing suicide, Dutch told John "Our time is passed". This signified, at long last, his final acceptance that the the Old Wild West and the way of life it once stood for had come to an end and his will to live along with it.



As seen in an old photograph on Arthur Morgan's wagon, Dutch is shown to be clean shaven and with longer hair at the back.


In 1899, Dutch is shown as an average built man of approximately 6 feet in height[3][4][5] with a thick, black mustache and soul patch under his lips, brown eyes and black, slick backed hair that curls at the end. He is always seen in elegant suits or fancy clothing, often wearing a black and red vest with a white pinstripe shirt, with gold chains on his vest, sometimes with a smart black jacket and, more commonly, a black hat. During the Saint Denis bank robbery, he wears a white shirt and red vest with a long, black tailcoat complete with red lining. While in exile on Guarma, his appearance becomes unkempt; he has an elongated moustache and he develops stubble around his face, while his white shirt and red waistcoat that he wore for the robbery become loose and tattered. After returning back to the United States, Dutch's appearance returns back to what it was before.

During the first chapter, he wears a black, knee-length winter coat and rifleman gloves, and when he attends the mayor's party, he wears a black three-piece suit and a top hat, but with his bow tie and waistcoat being an off-white silver.


During the Epilogue of Red Dead Redemption 2, Dutch briefly appears with an unkempt beard and even longer hair, wearing a very long, thick, black winter coat and gloves. He appears slightly paler, due to his living situation, and his forehead wrinkles have become more prominent.


By 1911, Dutch has aged considerably and has large white streaks through the sides and top of his hair. His hair is cut much shorter than it was in 1907, and his hairline appears to have receded slightly, giving him a widow's peak. He has also gained some weight and wears an orange shirt and brown pants with a black and silver necklace. He also shaved his beard off, sporting a mustache without the soul patch, with stubble covering the rest of his lower face.


Main article: Dutch van der Linde/Relationships

Mission appearances

Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption 2


Red Dead Redemption


It's nice to see you again, John.
Dutch to John in Great Men are Not Always Wise
I think that's what they call 'two for the price of one' out here in this wonderful place!
Dutch taunting John and Harold MacDougal
Now, would you kindly send that academic out here, so we can show him what we really think about the art of anthropology.
Dutch threatening John and Harold MacDougal
But I can't give up neither. I can't fight my own nature. That's the paradox, John. You see?
When I'm gone, they'll just find another monster. They have to. Because they have to justify their wages.
Our time is passed, John.
Dutch's last words before committing suicide


  • "I saw your friends runnin' off with their tails between their legs."
  • "C'mon my fine, patriotic friends."
  • "Come closer, I've got a surprise for you."
  • "Who do you think you are?"
  • "Meet one of the few benefits of your civilization."
  • "Go to hell!"
  • "You should've stayed at home."
  • "You're all cowards!"
  • "You're weak; you always were. You never had the stomach for this."
  • "Well, come and get it then."
  • "I am settin' these people free."
  • "We'll kill every last one of you!"
  • "You're even weaker than I thought."
  • "Why don't you look me in the eye?"
  • "Get the hell away from me!"
  • "You're a dead man."
  • "I'll make you so sorry."
  • "You made a big mistake comin' here."
  • "This time, I'll make sure you're dead!"
  • "Crazy?! Oh, I'll show you crazy, you just keep comin'."
  • "We're takin' what's ours!"
  • "I'll cut your throat."
  • "Go back to your whore wife!"
  • "We're taking what's ours!"

Red Dead Redemption 2

This place... ain't no such thing as civilized.
Dutch van der Linde
Arthur... do you have my back?
Dutch questioning Arthur's loyalty
Listen to me! We don't want to kill any of you, but trust me, we will!
Dutch threatening the train passengers.
Wake 'em up a little!
Dutch ordering his men to fire on the train.
You have got to keep faith. They will not crush us!
Dutch reassuring Arthur.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a robbery!
Dutch during the trolley station robbery.
You coming, buddy?
Dutch to Arthur after rescuing him from Rhodes jail.
We need to get those people warm and fed.
Dutch to Arthur during the midst of a blizzard.
We are gonna borrow a little money from old Uncle Sam, and be out of his hair, once and for all.
Dutch to the gang.
You have turned into my son.
Dutch to Arthur during preparations for departure from Horseshoe Overlook; a line the latter remembers from Dutch during his last ride, if his Honor is low
You kill, I kill. You rob, I rob. Only difference I can see is I choose whom I kill, and rob, while you destroy everything in your path.
Dutch to Leviticus Cornwall
It ain't nice, I know it, but it's either us or him! I figure it might as well be him.
Dutch to John, after the former has killed Angelo Bronte
You can't fight nature, captain. You can't fight change. You can't fight... gravity.
Dutch to a captain of the U.S. Army seconds before jumping off with Arthur to the river below
We rob Uncle Sam and we leave. The poetry of it all.
Van der Linde explaining his intentions to Arthur
There ain't no freedom for no one in this country no more.
Dutch van der Linde
We are not criminals. We are outlaws.
Dutch in one random camp event; a line Arthur remembers from Dutch during his last ride, if his Honor is low
The game ain't over... I ain't played my final move.
Dutch van der Linde to Arthur
Hello, son. Mrs. Adler, been quite a while.
Dutch reintroducing himself to John in 1907
I ain't got too much to say no more...
Dutch, moments before shooting Micah


Red Dead Redemption

  • Dutch's appearance and voice appear to be partially inspired by Powers Boothe's portrayal of "Curly Bill" Brocius in the 1993 film Tombstone.
  • After Dutch's death, his lair can be explored. There is a well-stocked bookshelf and a desk with a typewriter, further emphasizing his intelligence and his paradoxical relationship with modernity. There is also a bathtub hidden behind a makeshift curtain.
  • Dutch himself uses a Semi-automatic Pistol, a prime symbol of future technology compared to the typical revolver still used by many, when he is against civilization and modernization himself. He also uses an automobile to flee from Blackwater after robbing the bank, which is also a prime symbol of modern technology, compared to the horse he previously had circa 1899.
    • All these contradictions may also intentionally be emblematic of an underlying hypocrisy in Dutch and his gang. As John points out to Javier Escuella, their philosophies were an excuse, which is something "[they] all knew."
  • In the mission "And The Truth Will Set You Free", when Dutch is forced off the machine gun, he has a High Power Pistol in his holster. When he is fleeing through the caves, the first time he fires at Marston is with a High Power Pistol, the second time he fires is with a Semi-automatic Pistol, and when he is cornered, the game will usually glitch and show him holding a Cattleman Revolver. Similarly enough, sometimes in "The Prodigal Son Returns (To Yale)", he will have a Cattleman in his holster and the Semi-Automatic Pistol in his hand.
  • John implies that he still has respect for Dutch, when he says to Agent Ross, "I'd kill you a hundred times before I killed Dutch if it were an option." The fact that John says this even right after watching Dutch shoot an innocent woman in the head could raise concerns about John's character as a person but is likely meant to show John's opinion towards Ross, more arguably, who he sees as even worse than Dutch, probably because Ross has the power that he is corrupt with, which is the key thing that Dutch has always been against as well as how John also condemned Dutch for being "the same crazy bastard he turned into" for murdering the innocent woman.
  • At the edge of the cliff on the mission "And The Truth Will Set You Free", Dutch appears to be wounded in the torso despite appearing unharmed moments earlier.
  • Although it is never expressly revealed as to whether they were his precise target, Dutch appears to be a frighteningly skilled shooter, as he is able to shoot John's binoculars from well over 100 feet away. Dutch manages to do so from about a 70-degree upwards angle, with the wind, cold and gravity effects of being on a mountaintop working against him, and above all with a single shot from what is meant to be a mid-range pistol, taking little over a second to correct his aim.
    • This could also be interpreted as an in-game representation of Dead Eye Targeting, albeit from the target's perspective.
  • When Dutch is using the Maxim Gun in And The Truth Will Set You Free, the player can use the invincibility cheat to get behind him. If the player hogties Dutch he can be killed with no effect on the story or mission.

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • In the mission "The New South", Dutch tells Arthur that his father was killed in a field in Pennsylvania fighting Southerners during the Civil War. This heavily suggests his father was killed during the Battle of Gettysburg, the most famous battle of the Civil War.
  • His alias "Aiden O'Malley" is a reference to a character with the same name in Grand Theft Auto IV.
  • Dutch's mother, Greta van der Linde, is buried in Blackwater and her grave can be found in the game beside the Blackwater chapel.
  • Dutch's speech on the cliff at the end of the mission "Favored Sons" mirrors his last words said to John Marston in "And The Truth Will Set You Free".
  • If the player antagonizes him enough, Dutch will shove Arthur. He shares this outcome with Micah.
  • During a random encounter at Horseshoe Overlook, Dutch will state to members of the gang that his mother's ancestry hails from the county of Lincolnshire in England, while his father's family is from Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
  • In a random encounter in the camp, Dutch claims that the theory of man being evolved from the monkey is for "small-minded scientists", suggesting he doesn't believe in it.
  • Dutch uses a pair of custom Schofield Revolvers which have black, silver frames, pearl grips and golden engravings. While he is in Guarma, however, he uses a pair of Double-action Revolvers.
  • Arthur says that Dutch has a very strong bond with his horse, The Count. He also says that The Count won’t let anyone other than Dutch ride him, and that he was bucked "faster than a bull" when he once tried to mount it.
  • Dutch is seen with his own unique hunting knife, which he only uses once in the mission Just a Social Call.
  • Dutch has a unique looking bandana - it has a checked red and white pattern, which differs from the plain black colour that the rest of the gang use. Aside from Dutch, only Lenny and Uncle use non-black bandanas.
  • Dutch never uses any long arms in either game, but is depicted with a Bolt Action Rifle over his shoulder in promotional art for Redemption 2.
  • Dutch has his initials on his knife holster (D.V.L).
  • "The Redcliff" outfit in Red Dead Online is based on Dutch's main attire.
  • Dutch had a plan thought out to go to Tahiti after gathering enough funds for the gang to travel there with hopes of being a mango farmer.
    • Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch actually achieved this pipe dream. In 1899 they planned to run away to a subtropical island, and unlike the Van der Linde gang they made their getaway in 1901 to South America.


Red Dead Redemption


In-game screenshots


Red Dead Redemption 2