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People call me lazy. I’m not lazy, just don’t like working. There’s a difference.
Uncle

"Uncle" is a major character featured in Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2.

With the addition of the Myths and Mavericks DLC pack, Uncle is also a multiplayer character model that may be selected in the "Revolution" section of the Outfitter.

History

Background

UncleBio

Biography in RDR 2 (click to enlarge)

Uncle was born sometime before 1849 in Ohio and is one of the oldest members of the Van der Linde gang. He had an "uncle" named Jeb (who was actually the cousin of his maternal uncle), who Uncle implies to be a pedophile, saying that he was a man that "you didn't want to be left alone with". Uncle was nine years old when both of his parents died, forcing him to move to a new city and "live on his wits" from there on out. He was also married at least twice before 1899. Hardly the most productive gang member, Uncle is a drunkard who is always around when the whiskey was open, but rarely when there is work to be done.

Uncle is an elderly alcoholic and reformed petty thief who, despite being borderline dysfunctional, resides with the Marston family in and after 1907, being provided with food and shelter at the family ranch in exchange for work he rarely performs. He sometimes manages to contribute, but to his chagrin, he is often viewed by John as lazy and inept. "Uncle" is a nickname, and he is of no biological relation to any of the Marston family.

Uncle tells stories about times he went to Africa, including supposedly being worshipped as a god by the locals in the Congo. He also frequently repeats a story about a time he was in Timbuktu. While seemingly unlikely, it is possible that these stories might be true.

Uncle, in his own way, can be viewed as seeking redemption from his life of petty crime by working on the Marston ranch. This parallels the decisions of John and Abigail to leave the Van der Linde gang and live a normal life.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2

A hanger‐on and good‐time guy, Uncle is always around when the whiskey is open and never around when there’s any work to be done. If he wasn’t so entertaining, Dutch would have cut him loose years ago.
Rockstar Games' description of Uncle for Redemption 2.

Colter Chapter 

After Charles and Arthur have been out hunting, Uncle is seen drinking with Mr. Pearson.

Horseshoe Overlook Chapter

After finding Uncle taking a nap at camp, Arthur decides that the pair should go to Valentine. Some of the girls ask Arthur to take them, too, and the group head out. Once they get there, Arthur and Uncle go to the shop to buy some supplies, and share a bottle of whiskey outside the shop afterwards, before having a rest. Meanwhile, the girls go looking for leads; Mary-Beth gets a lead on a possible train robbery while Karen starts planning to rob the Valentine Bank.

Clemens Point Chapter

Uncle gets a tip about a supposedly unguarded Cornwall company stagecoach heading through Rhodes, and tells Arthur about it. While unsure at first, Arthur decides to rob it, and Uncle brings over Charles and Bill to help. Despite starting off well, the robbery quickly goes downhill, as uncountable numbers of Cornwall's men descend upon them. The four hide in an old barn, but they are found by the law. The barn is lit on fire, and they are forced to fight their way out of the barn and engage more lawman in the forest before finally escaping. After dividing up the money, Uncle says that he is "officially retired".

Saint Denis Chapter

Uncle can inform Arthur of a cattle rustling opportunity he managed to catch wind of while drinking in Rhodes. The two ride up to Hill Haven Ranch to steal the cattle and encounter their drunken owner who attempts to stop them but ends up knocking himself out. Afterwards, they sell the herd of cows to Clay and Clive Davies.

Beaver Hollow Chapter

Uncle arrives at the camp with Molly O'Shea, who is drunk, claiming that he found her in Saint Denis. Later, along with several others, Uncle eventually left the gang while hiding out in Beaver Hollow, when it became clear that the gang was falling apart.

Beecher's Hope Chapter

Uncle, having reunited with John in Blackwater, informs him that Charles is alive and in Saint Denis, and the two go to find him. After they find Charles, Uncle oversees John and Charles building the ranch. While annoying John and Charles to no end, John does credit Uncle with being very helpful in getting the ranch moving in the right direction. After the house is built, Uncle is kidnapped by the barbaric Skinner Brothers while the three are hungover, so John and Charles hunt them down and rescue Uncle, who was badly burnt while his back was roasted over a fire by the Skinners. He soon recovers, however, and continues working on the ranch.

Events of Red Dead Redemption

Four years later, after Abigail and Jack are abducted by Edgar Ross and held for ransom, John reluctantly puts Uncle in charge of looking after the ranch at Beecher's Hope. John is then forcibly sent to New Austin to hunt down Bill Williamson and Javier Escuella. For the duration of the pursuit of Williamson and Escuella, Marston is not in any kind of contact with Uncle. When John Marston finally returns from his quest to bring his former gang members to justice, he finds the ranch in disrepair and the livestock rustled. John continually berates Uncle for his inability to maintain the ranch whilst he was away.

Uncle continues to live with the Marston Family after John's return. Working at the ranch, Uncle can be seen assisting with blacksmithing and animal tending duties. He and John herd cattle on one occasion and break horses on another. At most other times, he can be seen napping around the ranch.

When U.S. Army soldiers and Bureau agents approach the ranch, Uncle spots them and immediately alerts John, enabling them to mount a defense and plan for the escape of Jack and Abigail. Uncle assists John in fighting the soldiers, but is ultimately shot in the chest by one of the encroaching U.S. Army soldiers. Jack ceases firing and comes to Uncle's side, while John continues fending off the soldiers. John returns to Uncle and thanks him for his sacrifice, where Uncle demands that they escape, and then bleeds to death. Jack expresses horror at Uncle's death.

At some point in time after the assault on the ranch, Uncle is buried atop the ridge at Beecher's Hope, in the family plot. His grave marker provides no birth year and his epitaph reads "Impossible to forget."

Events of Undead Nightmare

Note: The events of Undead Nightmare are not considered part of the same canon as Red Dead Redemption. The following description is therefore not contiguous with the preceding section on Red Dead Redemption.

Uncle-RedDeadRedemption-UDN

Uncle makes his first and last appearance in the mission "Love in the Time of Plague".

John, after riding through the intense downpour from the storm, comes home at night to find Uncle has not returned from town, with the family assuming he has taken shelter from the storm. Later that night, while John and Abigail are in bed, Uncle bursts in, zombified, snarling and growling. As John tells Uncle "he don't look so good", Abigail sees Uncle's bloodied, torn-up appearance and yelps in horror, putting as much distance between her and Uncle as she can. Uncle slowly approaches John. John then grabs him by the throat and asks what's wrong with him, ending the situation by beating the now undead Uncle over the head with the base of a nearby lamp.

John leaves the bedroom to retrieve his gun, leaving the disgusted Abigail to look at the beaten Uncle lying on the floor. As John is getting a shotgun from his workshop, Uncle chases Abigail out to the front porch. She trips in the yard near the porch, and Uncle takes the opportunity to jump Abigail and bite her on the neck, infecting her. John, arriving to see Uncle had already jumped Abigail, yells at Uncle, causing him to turn and face John. John then proceeds to shoot him in the head, putting Uncle out of his misery.

During this encounter, he has a deep gash crossing down diagonally from the top of his forehead to his left eye. He's missing his hat, revealing the bald spot atop his head. The part of his beard below his mouth is matted with blood, suggesting that he had already infected another victim or had been vomiting blood. His eyes appear to be heavily bloodshot with dried streaks of blood under his eyes, possibly from blood running out of his eyes. His clothes appear bloody and tattered, suggesting he either put up a fight trying to kill whatever infected him, or he received heavy resistance when he attacked one of his previous victims.

Character

Personality

On the surface, Uncle appears to be a very lazy, vain and callous old man who rarely cares about anyone but himself and also does relatively little for the gang. Because of this, he's often viewed as a sort of fool, and Dutch even goes so far as to call him a jester, which is why almost no one will listen to his advice.

However, underneath this hard and lethargic exterior lies a somewhat wise, affectionate and arguably intelligent man. Having lived the life of a criminal and seen the world at its worst, he is a realist and understands the struggles and ideologies that many people have. A very important instance of his ability to read other people is in a hidden dialogue with Dutch; during this conversation, Uncle calls out Dutch by saying he wants to be an American King with his knights that leads the people of the world to a new way of living. Dutch insists this isn't so, claiming he only wants the gang to have a better life, but Uncle retorts by saying Dutch only wants "his" definition of better. In this instance, Uncle shows a clear understanding of Dutch's real intentions and his desire to make everyone live the way of life he thinks he is best for everyone. After Dutch leaves, he also tells the others listening that they are all lost, including Dutch, which is especially true for Arthur as the story continues.

Mission appearances

Red Dead Redemption
Undead Nightmare
Red Dead Redemption 2

Quotes

You always were a hard and nasty man, John Marston.
Uncle responding to John's idle death threat ("By Sweat and Toil")
It's easy to pick on the elderly. It's easy, but it ain't dignified.
Uncle to John Marston ("By Sweat and Toil")
Ain't time, John. I ain't gonna make it off this porch anyhow. You take Jack and Abiga... (coughs). Take them and... (coughs). Don't worry about me, just get them out of here.
Uncle's last words ("The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed")
You are a sad man, Arthur Morgan. But I know you love me.
Uncle to Arthur Morgan ("Polite Society, Valentine Style")
My second wife always used to describe me as "ageless," though... she did leave me for a younger man.
Uncle to Arthur, about his short-lived relationship with his second wife
I'm real sick, John. Lumbago. It's a slow and painful death, my brother.
Uncle to John Marston ("Home of the Gentry?")
Oh darling Abigail, I’ve changed! Come live with me in this outhouse I wouldn't ask my worst enemy to take a shit in!
Uncle to John about the condition of the newly-bought shack ("Home Improvement for Beginners")

Multiplayer

  • "I'll bed y'all down!"
  • "Back the hell off!"
  • "You're dead, ya son of a bitch!"
  • "You're mine, ya bastard!"
  • "Leave us alone!"
  • "Come on, then!"
  • "You ain't gettin' away with this!"

Trivia

Red Dead Redemption
  • It is implied by Uncle while riding back to the ranch with the horses in "A Continual Feast", that he once was a rancher who owned his own spread. Uncle's knowledge of farming and ranching is further shown in Red Dead Redemption 2.
  • Uncle can be seen with a yellow-brown residue in his beard, implying his drinking/smoking habits. In Red Dead Redemption 2, this residue is absent.
  • In the mission "Wolves, Dogs and Sons" John implies to his son Jack that Uncle has some illegitimate children, remarking he is "probably lots of people's father."
  • After hearing stories at a campfire, John will sometimes comment that he "knows an old drunk who would love that one," most likely referring to Uncle.
  • Marston can shoot Uncle's hat off; following mission cutscenes that feature him will depict Uncle without a hat.
  • Uncle can sometimes be seen smoking at the dinner table in Beecher's Hope at around 8:40 PM.
  • Despite John's accusations of laziness, Uncle can often be seen performing various tasks at Beecher's Hope, such as mending the corn silo's ladder with a hammer and crafting horseshoes outside the barn. These accusations possibly come from past events, where Uncle more or less refused to help John and Charles build the home and instead overseen the construction.
  • Uncle's corpse cannot be looted after his death scene.
  • The player can throw dynamite, fire bottles, and throwing knives at Uncle to kill him.
  • Edgar Ross wears an outfit similar to Uncle's in the Stranger side mission "Remember My Family".
  • When the player walks by prostitutes as Jack, he may say "Uncle told me about girls like you," or "Uncle warned me about women like you."
Undead Nightmare
  • In Undead Nightmare, the unidentified yellow stain on his beard has been replaced with blood.
  • In the final mission "On a Pale Horse" Uncle appears to have not been buried next to John, in contrast to the base game where he was buried a couple yards next to John.
Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Uncle has a clear dislike of English people, complaining about how they have "silly voices" and that they're "stuffed-shirted windbags" including telling Jack about a time that he beat up several English men in a bar.
  • Uncle says that he is ill with ”terminal lumbago”, although lumbago cannot be a terminal illness. He frequently uses this as an excuse not to work.
  • In Chapter 2, Uncle temporarily has a gun belt and what appears to be a brass-plated Schofield Revolver, with a black cylinder. After chapter 2, however, it is never seen again.
  • After building the ranch, Uncle can sometimes be seen lazing about in the exact spot he will later die in.
  • Uncle can sometimes be found geting threatened outside of a Saloon in either Valentine or Blackwater. Intervening will increase the player's Honor.
Redemption multiplayer
  • In multiplayer mode, Uncle's mouth doesn't move when the player taunts.
  • While in the game's story mode Uncle is depicted with only one glove, on his right hand, his multiplayer model features him wearing two gloves.

Gallery

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption

Undead Nightmare

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