John spoke of his father positively. Recalling his love for his homeland of Scotland. However his father passed away when John was only eight years old, because of this John likely didn't have a very strong relationship with him. Though John does seem to somewhat mourn his death and recalls his passing to Bonnie Macfarlane with a somber tone.
John and Abigail shared a sexual relationship which resulted in the birth of their son, Jack. It seems that in the beginning the two did not get along at all. A year after Jack was born, John disappeared on both Abigail and his newborn son for an entire year. While Abigail eventually abandoned her lifestyle of being a prostitute and attempted to live a better life after Jack was born, John struggled to deal with this newfound sense of responsibility, Which often sparked many arguments between the two. Even thought the two always came into conflict they still cared about one another deep down. In 1899, as Dutch slowly became insane and the gang fell apart. With Arthur Morgan's encouragement, John chose Abigail and his son over the deteriorating gang and fled with them.
For years, John struggled to live a straight life. It wasn't until Abigail left him with his son in 1907 that John realized how much he had loved them and began to value the family life they could have. John finally turned his life around and built a ranch for his family, winning Abigail's affection once more and married her after many years.
By 1911, John and Abigail's relationship had improved significantly, often sharing lighthearted banter with a restored enthusiasm that they would be able to lead better lives for both themselves and their son. Tragically, John would sacrifice himself during the Government's assault on Beecher's Hope, giving time for Abigail and Jack to escape safely, and achieving his final redemption for the love of his family.
A year after Jack was born, John disappeared on both Abigail and his newborn son for an entire year. This was largely due to his doubts of Jack truly being his and not wanting a family life at first. In his later teenage years, Jack would recall how often John was absent in his childhood, something that John would later come to regret. While John struggled to be a decent father during his life in the gang, he would later leave the gang lifestyle in 1899 in order to provide for his family. With the gang lifestyle now behind him, John would attempt to spend more time with his son. While Jack was more into literature and reading as opposed to the gunslinger outdoors-men his father was. The two were still able to bond and John did everything he could to give Jack a normal life. John is seen teaching jack how to make an arrowhead early on, and later on, he is seen playing knights with Jack but is rudely interrupted by Micah.
In Jack's teenage years, he would try to not only emulate but also impress his father. Even putting his life in danger when he tried to hunt a bear on his own, Even though he didn't know how to hunt. John would comfort his son after this incident and reminded him that he wasn't going to be absent in his life anymore. Tragically, John was killed in 1911 and Jack would not only mourn his loss but also go on to avenge his death years later. Showing how much Jack had loved his father.
John looked up to Dutch as his mentor and father having been brought up believing in the philosophy of making a difference in the world by robbing from those who had too much and giving it to those who needed it,
During John’s time in the gang in 1899 he was often referred to as being one of Dutch’s favourite and as well as Arthur Morgan one of Dutch’s proudest disciples, however much like Arthur Morgan, John too would also question some methods and moves of Dutch’s eventually beginning to doubt Dutch’s plans, one of which was getting involved with the two families as it bought a lot of trouble on them, John would also be more doubtful of Dutch’s plan and their future especially as Dutch starts becoming mentally unstable and starts to enjoy killing, even seeing it along with Arthur, Dutch killing Angelo Bronte and questioning what philosophy covered killing and feeding him to gators, while Dutch said it was either the gang or him and decided it to be him, both Arthur and John would look at each other in a moment of shock both seeing Dutch’s growing mental stability. During the Saint Denis botched bank robbery John would eventually get captured while witnessing Dutch doing nothing but watch, eventually leading to John to start doubting Dutch even more especially after Dutch scolding Arthur and Sadie for going after him. Near the end of the Van Der Linde Gangs time Micah Bell would continue to manipulate Dutch and even manipulate him to the point where Dutch would believe John was a rat and ratted them out about the Saint Denis Bank Robbery along with his friend Arthur, calling them snakes, showing that Dutch’s faith and trust in his proudest boys were gone, during the ride to the oil fields during Eagle Flies attack he openly asks Dutch about his plan when he stated he had one. John’s little shred of trust and faith in Dutch would then be broken when he was shot off the Army Payroll Train Robbery with Dutch, Javier, Bill and Micah leaving him for dead. This would be the soul purpose of John leaving the gang not before confronting Dutch one last time, arriving in time for Arthur’s confrontation of Micah and finally understanding that Dutch’s philosophy was all a lie and an excuse for the gang to rob people.
John would ultimately side with Arthur whom was the only one who has had Johns back while Dutch would see both him and Arthur his most proudest ”sons” as traitors, but a sudden arrival of Pinkerton’s led by Edgar Ross would eventually allow both Arthur and Dutch to escape separately. John would leave for good when Arthur giving his life to hold back Pinkertons from intercepting John much to his protest while Dutch would leave without Micah
In 1907 when John confronted Micah he was shocked to see Dutch there and asks why he is here with Micah saying they’re starting a gang, John tries convincing Dutch to stop Micah but with Dutch saying John betrayed him with the latter retorting that Dutch started it all the while Dutch would retort with Marston thinking only of himself to which John said he thinks differently, John would tell Dutch that it wasn’t his fault for the way things turned out and tells him that killing him would not solve anything eventually asking Dutch to say something. To which Dutch replies he hasn’t got nothing to say much anymore and eventually shoots Micah allowing John to finish him. Dutch then walks away ignoring John’s thanks to him.
By 1911 and 4 years after his last encounter and soon after returning from Mexico after chasing both Escuella and Williamson under orders of goverment agents holding his family hostage, Dutch and John would encounter each other once again during Dutch’s visit at the Blackwater bank with some renegade natives. John’s opinion on Dutch is conflicted and in someways can be considered hypocritical, while he still held a lot of respect for Dutch because of the fact he raised John as an orphan teaching him how to read and grew up with his philosophy, he would also have some negative thoughts of Dutch as he left John to die numerous times, during John’s last confrontation with his former mentor and father figure, Dutch would eventually open up and admit that he cannot fight change and that all his life he ever believed in was fighting and that he cannot change, eventually telling John that when he dies the government would find someone else to pin things on and his last words would be “Our Time Has Passed John” Signifying Dutch finally coming to terms with the life of outlaws and the old west is done, John would not shoot Dutch and would more or less let him take his own life possibly seeing that Dutch Would’ve had no way out.
Dutch’s allusion of the government finding another monster to pin things on would turn out true as Edgar Ross, who had forced John to capture his former mentor and friends Bill Williamson and Javier Escuella, would double cross John and attack him.
When John joined Dutch's gang, he grew to befriend and respect its early members entirely, including Arthur. John took a yearlong break from the gang after he and Abigail had a son which hurt Arthur deeply. John eventually returned only to be belittled by Morgan for his absence and had always teased him for his weak points from that point, sometimes outright insulting him. John never really took offense to this and would just ignore him. As time went on both John and Arthur become slightly better to one another espically after Arthur and Dutch and John get back Jack and John thanking him, and Arthur telling him to listen to Dutch and to go spend time with his family. Near the end of the gangs time and having been caught under a lot of life-threatening situations and constantly being saved by Arthur had John give more respect to him like he used to with Arthur doing the same, Arthur will even state in his journal he does care about him and sees he’s become less of a fool than he used to and admitted he did break out John for not only Abigail and Jack but for John as well, eventually calling each other brothers signifying their strained friendship has been mended properly. Both caught wind of Dutch's unhinged mental behavior and started to believe all the years they were together were for nothing and Arthur would convince John to take Jack and Abigail and to leave the gang, during Arthur‘s final confrontation with Dutch and Micah he would return after being left for dead by Dutch and side with Arthur and escape with him from Beaver Hollow, the gangs last hideout that they would be in. Arthur would eventually help get Marston away from his life as an outlaw and gave his own life to stall the Pinkertons from reaching him much knowing Arthur was going to die from his sickness much to John’s protest, Arthur would give John his Hat and Satchel with all his belongings, his last words to Arthur would be him calling his brother to which Arthur acknowledges and knows. Eight years later, John jeopardizes his quiet lifestyle in order to kill Micah Bell in an act of vengeance for Arthur, showing his devotion to sacrifice everything he values by avenging his best friend.
John for the rest of his life would forever be indebted to Arthur and was deeply saddened to leave him behind and when he died, had it not been for Arthur‘s actions John would never have started a new life, buy the land that would later become his home and formally propose to Abigail using Mary’s ring which Arthur kept, while he would not talk about him John would think of Arthur a lot and would remember him as the one who saved his life, John would later take Arthur’s words on running and not looking back to heart as years later after Edgar Ross betrays his deal, John would tell both Abigail and Jack to keep riding and don’t look back and would mimic a heroic act of sacrifice, an action that Arthur had performed to John years ago.
Bill and John did not seem to get along much during their time in 1899 although two have an odd moment then and there and work well along with the others and still considered each other brothers, however by the end of the Van Der Linde Gang’s time, Bill would lose trust in John and assume he’s the rat as he claims to Arthur, who he also loses respect and trust in too, during Morgan’s last confrontation of Micah, Bill along with Javier sides with Dutch and Micah against both John and Arthur, Bill would later escape from the Pinkerton ambush along with Javier and the two are not seen again.
Years later by 1911 and after starting his own gang and becoming feared in New Austin, Bill would eventually reunite with his former friend who he criticised for his fancy words and refused John’s pleas to go with him proclaiming that he is in charge now and implying both him and Dutch aren’t the boss of him no more, he then tells John to go back and tell his employers to send someone “a little more impressive next time” to which John responds by attempting to draw his revolver only to be met with a shot from a repeater from one of Williamson’s fellow members and leave John to die while saying “Poor John”.
John and Bill would encounter each other a second time after their attack on Ridgewood Farm threatening John to walk away and that he didn’t kill him before and that he will, John would insult Bill saying he isn’t a man to which BI’ll retorts by saying John always had a high opinion of himself and that Dutch thought of John as an ”Arrogant Son Of A Bitch” and saying he was half right before sending his men to kill John, Leigh Johnson and his deputy’s
John and Bill will eventually encounter each other one last time in Escalera after Bill escaped to Mexico with help from Javier Escuella and put into the governments protection and after John’s long chase around Mexico searching for him, after a chase around Escalera and stopping the wagon he and Allende were on Bill and John exchange banter with John proclaiming he’ll kill him and Dutch and live longer than them,
John and Javier had a mostly positive relationship, in Enter, Pursued by a Memory Javier goes out to look for John as he believes that if the roles were reversed then john would search for him, John and Javier would also work well together too. Howver once the gang enters its decline and Dutch starts to go insane Javier would start to lose trust in John and his fellow gang member Arthur Morgan and still blindly follows Dutch and his ways showing how loyal he will be to him. When Dutch betrays John and Arthur numerous times and after Arthur confronta Micah after discovering he is the rat and Dutch asks who is with him or betraying him Javier sides with Dutch even after Arthur begs them to go with them and hesitantly aims his gun at both his former friends, he escapes along with Dutch and the rest with both him and Bill seperating from Dutch and Micah never to be seen again, however by 1911 in The Gates of El Presidio John and Javier reuinite and would seem they do still seem to care on for each other some level as rather than killing him when he saw the opportunity he instead distracted john and ran away, if John chose to kill him then he will shed a tear, the only time in the story John does this.
John and Micah do not get along, much like Arthur and the rest of the gang, John and Arthur often joked that Micah thought he was the boss of the gang. In American Venom, John, Sadie and Charles get word of Micah's whereabouts and John and Micah start a shootout, where John avenges Arthur by killing Micah.
Much like Arthur, Hosea (alongside Dutch) took John in and taught him how to read, write, hunt, and use a gun while also instilling him a philosophical outlook and a love for nature. Unlike Arthur, Hosea quickly forgave John for leaving the gang for a year and understands that he knows he did wrong. Despite this, however, he's also expressed disappointment in that John is avoiding his responsibilities as a father to Jack and a husband (though not yet legally until 8 years later) to Abigail and is constantly trying to convince him to take responsibility for his family and that Jack was truly his son despite John's insistences that he wasn't. Despite his lack of success to convince John the first few times, he eventually manages to get through to John.
Unfortunately, it was also at this time that Sean was killed by the Grays and Jack was kidnapped by the Braithwaites, which forced both of them and the entire gang to look for Jack and flee once more. When Hosea and the rest of the gang's gunmen stormed the Braithwaite mansion, Hosea constantly kept John in check so that he won’t do anything reckless in their search for the boy and later assured him that things are going to work out when they decided to move to another camp.
When Hosea was murdered in the Saint Denis heist, John was angered and told Dutch that they shouldn't have killed Bronte and robbed the bank afterwards. Hosea's death had deeply saddened John and he admits to Arthur that his death still does not seem real to him even after spending so long in jail and that the years he spent with him made him look up to Hosea as family. In his later years, John seldom talks about Hosea but would fondly remember and talk about him each time he (or someone else) brings him up, as for instance, he confirms to Jack that his memory of Hosea being a great fisherman was true. John would also use Hosea's advices in living his own life and on how to be a father to Jack.
Lenny and John don't physically interact much in or outside of camp.
Similar to Arthur, John thinks of Sean as more of a playful annoyance than a real gunman and member, most evidently during the train robbery in Chapter 2, where tells Sean not to come and is annoyed when Arthur allows him to. Other than this they do not interact much around camp, yet he is still mournful of his death.
John and Charles worked well together during the Train robbery with Sean and Arthur and seemed to get along well as John likes him cause he’s quiet and a no nonsense sort of person, John and Charles both would see the gangs deteriorating state and both doubt Dutch, in 1907 Charles is shocked and seemed relieved that John was alive along with Uncle having the fall of the Van Der Linde Gang’s fall hitting him hard, and during his fist fight John would bet on him cheer him on and offer him to stay at Beecher’s Hope for as long as he wants believing that the open country would be good for Charles, John would be thankful for Charles help with building his ranch and both held great respect for Arthur and remember him as a good man.
Charles would also join Sadie and John on their chase for Micah and participated in John and Abigail’s wedding and parted on good terms with John and left for Canada to start his own life similar to John’s.
John and Sadie didn’t interract much during their time in the Van Der Linde gang, though John was grateful for both her and Arthur’s rescue from Sisika but also for taking care of both Jack and Abigai and ensuring their safety with Sadie keeping an eye on them during Arthur’s confrontation.
Years later in 1907, John and Sadie end up having a close friendship and both vowing to stop Micah one day in honor of Arthur should they find him and even congratulating John on wanting to formally marry Abigail feeling very happy for him. Sadie would also be present along with Charles Smith and Uncle for his wedding. It would seem John would be also indebted to Sadie Adler since if not for her he wouldn’t have seen both Abigail and Jack safe and okay or be able to find work in form of bounties to help pay off his bank debt. After John and Abigail‘s wedding and a long recovery from her stab wound on Mount Hagen, she leaves the ranch and parts ways with John and his family on good terms.
Nothing much is seen here, in Horseshoe Overlook he is seen mocking Kieran, although after his violent murder, John expresses shock saying he started to like him.
Swanson and John are never seen interacting but it can be assumed that he feels pity for him like the rest of the gang.
Strauss and John don't physically interact much in or outside of camp.
Molly and John don't physically interact in camp.
While unconfirmed, it could be assumed that John thinks of Susan as a harsh, motherly figure, like most of the gang does.
John is seen drunkenly flirting with Karen at one point in the story, but not much else is seen between the two characters.
John can meet Tilly in the epilogue and talk to her, they are not seen interacting much in camp however.
John can meet Mary-Beth in the epilogue and talk to her, they are not seen interacting much in camp however.
Josiah and John don't physically interact much in or outside of camp.
While not interacting much in camp, 8 years later during the epilogue their relationship seems positive and somewhat brotherly.
John and Uncle get along somewhat well, and are seen interacting during their time in the gang, though John is hard on Uncle, they are loyal to each other, and Uncle is a supporting character in the epilogue. Uncle helps John build his home, and looks after his family when he goes out for Micah.
Later in 1911, with his family captured and him being forced down to New Austin, John entrusts Uncle with his ranch. Unsurprisingly, Uncle fails to keep proper maintenance of it which results in the cattle being stolen, the chicken being eaten by wolves among other problems. While they work hard to rebuild the ranch, it all proves useless as BOI agents and the U.S Army are sent to attack the ranch under agent Ross. Uncle is killed in the shootout and John is saddened by his death, but holds back his emotions in order to fulfill Uncle's dying wish to make sure Abigail and Jack are safe.
John can visit Hamish Sinclair's home near O'Creagh's Run, where he'll inform Hamish of his connection to Arthur Morgan. Hamish then recalls his friendship with Arthur, and is saddened to hear about his death shortly after they met. John and Hamish have a long and friendly conversation, essentially continuing the relationship Hamish started with Arthur. John accompanies Hamish on some hunting and fishing trips, where they have good times together. During one hunting trip, the two pursue a legendary boar that Hamish heard was attacking and killing several animals in the region. While tracking it down, the boar appears and attacks Hamish, severely injuring him. He tells John to take good care of his horse before dying moments later. John manages to kill the boar when it comes back, after which he mourns the loss of his friend. In his journal, John writes about Hamish and the genuine friendship they had.
When talking with Joe he, similar to Arthur, can listen to him and to talk with him and inform him of Arthur's death.
When talking with Mickey he, similar to Arthur, can listen to him and while not allowing a hug between the two, is still willing to talk with him and informs him of Arthur's death.
The first person he meets and technically his first friend during his time in New Austin. John and Bonnie had a good friendship and was forever grateful for Bonnie as if it wasn’t for her John would’ve died after his confrontation with Bill Williamson and Bonnie in turn would return the favour in any way after saving the horses in the Macfarlane’s Ranch Barn and offered him Cattle as promised after he finished his work for the government and even helped Bonnie once again delivering corn sacks.
It would seem Bonnie had some affection for John as she would look down and disappointed as he rode away with his wife back to his Ranch. John seemed to be aware and amused by it, as he even stated to his wife that Bonnie blushing was his usual affect on most women. It is uknown if Bonnie ever knew about John’s death at the hands of government agents or not.
John met Drew while visiting Bonnie. She invited John to have tea with her and her father, and the three of them discussed about the changes brought by the progressing technologies, and the resulting civilization of the West. Drew expressed his disgust for the "civilized government", and the men working for it, calling them spies and saying that what they do is "nonsensical", with John agreeing completely. Following this discussion John and Drew will share a mutual respect for each other, in particular John will like Drew for his honesty and good will.
Later Drew would accuse John of kidnapping his daughter, in a moment of rage caused by his fear of losing her. Once he realized John's innocence he apologized and plead him to rescue Bonnie, with John reassuring Drew and swearing that he would save her. Overall, John continues to remember Drew fondly throughout the story and he will even call him a "very good man" in various occasions.
Amos and John do not interact much within the story, however like Bonnie, it can be assumed that John feels internally grateful for as Amos was with Bonnie when she saved his life. Amos seems to respect John greatly, stating he would like to call John his friend.
John is shown to have a positive relationship with the marshal, while John originally asks what's wrong with him after remembering what Dutch and the rest of the gang having problems with authority they eventually talk and John begins to respect him and help him clean up New Austin. When his search leads him to Mexico, John bids the marshal a sad yet firm goodbye, signifying their friendship.
John describes Jonah as "not too bright, but he seems loyal."
Similar to Jonah, John has a good working relationship with Eli as the two participate in several missions together under the marshal.
While annoyed and temperamental around him, John is shown to have a soft spot for Dickens, going to great lengths to save him and even having him released from custody in Blackwater.
John is completely disgusted with Seth's "hobby" and often gets angry at him and his pursuit of treasure, even yelling at him when the treasure turned out to almost nothing. Despite these short comings John still works well with Seth, helping him in turn for his help against Bill.
Similar to Seth, John gets very upset and frustrated with Irish's drinking problem and is undependability when it comes to fighting. Unlike Seth, who stays and fights with John, Irish usually makes up an excuse to not be there or doesn't show up at all, much to John's frustration.
John holds Landon in high respect, as he was John's boyhood hero. During their interactions, the two men get along well, often sharing stories, drinking, and participating in gun battles with the Army and bandito's. When John and Landon finally part ways, the depart on good terms and give a whole hearted goodbye to one another.
Not long after meeting Reyes, John immediately realizes he is a man of hypocrisy and is demeaning of women and other minorities, like the Chinese. John often times laughs at him and his blatant racism, sexism and his goals for Mexico. Upon leaving Mexico after Reyes assumes control, John tells him "remember why you wanted it."
John pities Luisa and her relationship with Abraham, he knows that he is not loyal to her and likely will leave her, while she is completely in love with him and believes they will be married. After her death, John is angry and kills the men that claimed her life, although, these killings are somewhat fruitless as Reyes completely forgets her and her name.
John regards Harold as a naive man who doesn't know anything, though he seems to think he knows everything. Despite this, John saves Harold's life multiple times, and helps him escape the West Elizabeth.