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Maybe when your mother is finished mourning your father... I'll keep her in black, on your behalf.
Morgan to Archie Downes

Arthur Morgan is a central character and the main protagonist of Red Dead Redemption 2.

Biography

ArthurMorganBio

Biography in RDR 2 (click to enlarge)

As of 1899, Arthur is 36, with a stocky build perfect for his position, and a head of thick, fair hair. Regardless of player choices, Arthur has green eyes.

Arthur’s physical appearance can be influenced by the player. The player can choose his hair style, clothing and even cleanliness.

Players must also take basic care of Arthur, which in turn influences his appearance. A healthy Arthur will retain his stocky appearance. Over feeding him will lead to weight gain, giving him more health but limiting his stamina. While neglecting nutrition will thin Arthur out, negatively affecting his health but gaining him more stamina.

History

Background

Arthur Morgan was born in 1863 to parents Beatrice and Lyle Morgan, of Welsh descent. A petty criminal and outlaw, his father was arrested for larceny in 1874, when Arthur was 11 years old.

Around 1878, Arthur was picked up by Dutch van der Linde and Hosea Matthews[1]. Viewing him as an adoptive father figure, Arthur came to share Dutch's vision of a life lived free from civilization and the rule of law, becoming one of the first members of the Van der Linde gang.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2

Colter chapter

After a botched ferry heist, Dutch Van der Linde and his gang are forced to flee their hideout in Blackwater and attempt to cross the mountains west to evade law enforcement. In order to fund their escape, Dutch has the gang rob a train belonging to the wealthy oil magnate Leviticus Cornwall.

Horseshoe Overlook chapter

A furious and vengeful Cornwall then hires the Pinkerton Detective Agency, who send Agents Milton and Ross to apprehend the gang. As a result, the gang is forced to be constantly on the move to stay one step ahead of them. All the while, Morgan and the rest of the gang continually have to perform numerous jobs and heists to keep the gang funded as Dutch continually promises one last, big heist that will secure their freedom. 

Clemens Point chapter

TBA

Saint Denis chapter

Dutch proposes to let the Braithwaites and the Grays to engage in a blood feud in order to rob them blind. However this plan backfired, resulting in the kidnapping of young Jack Marston by the Braithwaites and Sean MacGuire unexpectedly killed by the Grays. Further conflict with the O'Driscoll's resulted to Kieran Duffy's death.

Arthur participates in the bank robbery in Saint Denis where the gang are confronted by Agent Milton and his agents. The failed bank robbery leads to Hosea Matthews' and Lenny Summers' deaths, devastating Dutch and Arthur.

They escape through a boat heading to Cuba. A storm shipwrecks the boat and Arthur is washed ashore on the beaches of Guarma.

Guarma chapter

Arthur reunites with Dutch after being separated by the storm. Arthur witnesses Dutch's slow descent to insanity after Dutch kills their guide Gloria. Arthur manages to save the boat captain and Javier from Alberto Fussar, who they met at Angelo Bronte's mansion. The gang also participates in defending a fort run by Hercule Fontaine. After securing safe passage, they proceed to head back to Saint Denis.

While in Saint Denis, Arthur is seized by a violent coughing fit and collapses. A stranger escorts him to a doctor, where he is diagnosed with tuberculosis, having contracted it from Thomas Downes several months earlier. Arthur is overcome with emotion at this news, as the illness is a death sentence in a time when there is no effective treatment.

Beaver Hollow chapter

As the gang arrive back, Dutch orders them to split up and rendezvous back to their camp one by one so that they are not followed. Arthur heads back to their place at Shady Belle where the camp relocates to Lakay after the failed bank robbery. Pinkertons proceed to investigate the empty manor which Arthur manages to escape quietly. Arthur arrives at Lakay where the gang reunites once more. However, their reunion was cut short after Pinkerton agents show up shortly after Bill's arrival.

The ensuing gunfight leads the gang to flee the place and relocate to Beaver Hollow, after Arthur and Charles wipe the Murfree broods in the area.

Morgan begins growing increasingly disillusioned with Dutch's leadership as he becomes more violent and paranoid. Dutch's decline is also helped along by Micah Bell, one of the new recruits. In addition, Morgan contracts tuberculosis.

Morgan's loyalty to Dutch finally breaks when Dutch murders Cornwall. The rift grows larger after Dutch instigates a war between a local Native American tribe and the US Army, leaves Arthur and Marston to die, and refuses to rescue Marston's girlfriend Abigail when she is captured by Agent Milton. Morgan disobeys Dutch's orders and rescues Abigail, killing Agent Milton and learning that Bell has been working as a mole for the Pinkertons.

Morgan convinces Marston to leave the gang and start a new life, Morgan stays behind and confronts Bell one last time. Dutch, realizing Bell is a rat, parts ways with him, and Morgan is either killed by Bell or succumbs to his tuberculosis. 

Epilogue

Morgan's attempt in giving Marston a second chance in life proved fruitful as years later, John and his family managed to buy a land in Beecher's Hope to live a life as ranchers, after working at Pronghorn Ranch for a short while. Charles revealed to John that he buried Arthur and Susan Grimshaw after receiving news about their deaths. Mary visited his grave, as did an elk or a wolf, depending on his honor in his life.  While John, Charles, and Uncle built the Marston Ranch, a blue jay consistently perched by them throughout the entire construction. John and Uncle had just previously been discussing reincarnation, so it's very possible that Arthur was reincarnated as a blue jay that watched over the Marstons.  A few years later, if Arthur was killed by Micah, Morgan's death is avenged after John, Sadie and Charles manage to track down Micah Bell at Mount Hagen. Micah is jointly killed by John and Dutch for ratting out to the Pinkertons and betraying the gang.

Character

Personality

Arthur Morgan is a cold, brooding outlaw who often resorts to violence and has very few moral qualms about killing. At his worst, Arthur could be extremely ruthless and completely unemphatic to the people he hurts. Despite being capable of committing such violence, Arthur does have a playful side to his personality that comes out around those he is friendly with. He isn’t above joking or employing sarcasm amongst his friends. Notably, Arthur was kind and polite to John Marston’s then four year old son, Jack. Having a gentle demeanor around the young boy in contrast to his threatening persona.

Despite his ability to commit great acts of violence, Arthur has his own moral code and doesn’t believe in what he deems as unnecessary killing. Especially if it endangers himself or those he cares about. Dutch also raised Arthur to believe that revenge is a fruitless endeavor. It seems Arthur strictly believes that violence should be cold, necessary and without feeling, never out of  personal enjoyment or without reason.

In his own terms, Arthur is aware that he is a “bad man” and clearly understands that his behavior is morally wrong. However he justifies his own actions as being different from most criminals. As the Van der Linde gang carries a philosophy that Arthur genuinely believed could help people. But soon he realized this philosophy was a ruse or an “excuse” as John Marston would later put it.

Arthur’s deteriorating loyalty to Dutch caused him to go through an existential crisis. Being that Dutch had raised Arthur as a child, Dutch’s philosophy was primarily the only thing Arthur ever believed in up until the gang’s downfall. As the gang fell apart, Arthur realized that social issues were more complex then he had ever thought before and that these issues were beyond the gang’s ability to control. Perhaps most disturbing to Arthur, was seeing how easily Dutch could influence younger disenfranchised men, such as Eagle Flies to commit acts of violence for him. Undoubtedly, this gave Arthur a new perspective on his own childhood and how Dutch had been taking advantage of him.

With his faith in Dutch and the Van der Linde gang crushed. Arthur became more wise and sensitive to his own feelings. Opening up to Rains Fall about traumatic experiences, including the death of his own son Isaac. Also, he began caring about other people more than himself. In the end, Arthur’s last objectives were to protect John Marston’s family and to secure Dutch’s hidden money in order to hopefully build a better life for themselves, making all the suffering the gang had gone through worth something in the end.

Relationships

Main article: Arthur Morgan/Relationships

As Arthur is a central character of the game, he has relationships with important characters related to him in the game. Arthur can partake various relationships throughout his life as an outlaw especially within the Van der Linde gang or outside of it.

Skills

As a veteran of Dutch’s gang, Arthur is proficient in combat and wilderness survival. From antiquities such as the Volcanic Pistol, to modern automatic Mauser pistols, his competency with a variety of weapons and fighting styles makes Arthur an invaluable asset for the gang and a dangerous opponent for its enemies. Though he claims that he never got the hang of shooting a bow during a conversation with Charles Smith, he nonetheless picks up the skill quite quickly.

His time riding with the gang has taught him how to live on the fringes of society. Arthur is able to track, hunt and skin animals with the skill of a seasoned outdoorsman.

Dead Eye Targeting

Like other protagonists in the Red Dead series, Arthur can use the trademark Dead Eye ability to slow time to a crawl and carefully pick out shots to cripple or kill his enemies. Unlike previous entries, Arthur's use of the ability is also capable of pinpointing critical areas of the target.

Eagle Eye

Introduced in RDR II as a representation of Arthur's well-developed survivalist skills, this new gameplay mechanic highlights animal tracks, objectives, and other points of interest, allowing the player to track targets effectively over long distances.

Trivia

  • Despite seeming to be the good guy of the story Arthur wears a black hat, which is normally associated with the villain in old western stories, while Micah, whom is depicted as the bad guy, wears a white hat which is usually associated with the hero of those stories.

Quotes

  • "Maybe when your mother is finished mourning your father... I'll keep her in black, on your behalf." – Morgan to a young man
  • "This whole thing is pretty much done. We're more ghosts than people." – Morgan to Sadie Adler.
  • "As long as we get paid or you get shot I'm happy." – Morgan to Uncle.
  • "Be loyal to what matters." – Morgan to John.
  • "Pretty boy? You're kidding me? Pretty boy?" – Morgan's response to Tommy's insult.
  • "John made it. He's the only one. Rest of us... no. But... I tried. In the end. I did." – Arthur Morgan's last words.

Gallery

Main article: Arthur Morgan/Gallery

References

  1. Arthur states that he has been in the gang for twenty years when asked by Charles, which would put the date he was found by Dutch and Hosea at 1879 at the latest. Hosea later states that Arthur was "around" 13 when they found him, and an official bio states he was 14 when he met them. In 1878, he would have been 14 or 15, depending on the time of year.

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