Red Dead Redemption 2 was a heck of a lot of fun, but it also presented one of the greatest stories ever told in gaming. It really could have been a miniseries, as the story was incredibly complex, morally ambiguous, epic, and thematic.
One of the greatest elements of its story were the characters within the Van der Linde gang. The gang was populated with a host of interesting and morally dubious characters, and it was rife with unspoken history and traditions. Unfortunately, it is easy to miss all the fine details.
These are ten facts you possibly didn't know about the Van der Linde gang.
10 The Gang Started With Dutch And Hosea
If Dutch and Hosea seemed like the ringleaders of the gang, that's because it all started with them. Sometime around 1877, roughly twenty years before the events of the game, Dutch and Hosea met on a trail to Chicago. As both of them were criminals and con men, they each attempted to steal from the other. When each man had discovered that they had been robbed by the other, they decided to team up to face the world, and, you know, rob people. And thus, the Van der Linde gang was officially formed. Sure, it was only two people, but every gang has to start somewhere!
9 Dutch Wanted To Be Robin Hood
When we say "rob people," we mean "rob rich people." Does that make it better? Who knows, that's for the philosophers and whatnot. Regardless, that was Dutch's original intention. Envisioning a world without things like government or corporate interests, Dutch wanted to build his own utopia by robbing from the rich and giving to the poor.
He hoped that the Robin Hood-esque Van der Linde gang would be just the first of many and that the country would soon be a utopia of equal, and free, citizens. Or at least, a little MORE equal and free. Good intentions, probably bad execution.
8 They Were First Imprisoned For Conning Locals
Dutch and Hosea first found themselves in hot water while in the town of Kettering, Ohio. It was here that they conned twelve locals into purchasing fraudulent shares in a fictional shipping company. When all was said and done, Dutch and Hosea accumulated about $300. Free online inflation calculators go as far back as 1913, and in 1913 $300 was the equivalent of nearly $8,000 today. So, let's say $10,000 for arguments' sake. The ruse was discovered by a Sheriff Carmichael, who threw them in the local jail. However, they quickly made their escape, and the duo left Kettering behind them.
7 Dutch And Hosea Picked Up Arthur When He Was 14
Not much is known about Arthur Morgan's past. What we do know is that he was born in 1863 and that his father was an outlaw. When Arthur was 11, he witnessed his father's death and took his hat as a token of remembrance. Not much is known about the intervening years, but Arthur was eventually discovered by Dutch and Hosea when he was 14. They took him in and educated him, and Arthur was soon a member of the family. By this point, the gang consisted of Dutch, Hosea, Arthur, Hosea's wife Bessie, and Dutch's lady friend Susan Grimshaw. Now that's a nice little family!
6 Arthur Met John In 1885
By this point, the gang was out and about, doing its thing. It was in 1885 that Dutch met John in Illinois, as a family was about to hang him for thieving. After saving the young John, Dutch brought him into the gang, and both he and Arthur hit it off, becoming much like brothers. During this time, Dutch would read them books written by Evelyn Miller and Waldo Emerson, and he began to brainwash them with his violent and "utopic" worldview. By the late 1880s, the Van der Linde gang was really flowering, and both Arthur and John had officially become Dutch's proteges.
5 Dutch Is Wanted From A Bank Robbery
It wasn't until 1887 that the Van der Linde gang became notorious. It was in this year that they committed their first bank robbery, and it was a rousing success. After threatening the employees and articulating on civilization and whatnot, Dutch and his gang made off with $5,000 in gold, which would have been an incredible amount of money back then. It was likely this event that made Dutch a wanted man, as he stated in-game that he has been wanted for thirteen years. That's a big grudge, but then again, $5,000 is certainly no small amount of money!
4 The Gang Devolved With Increased Civility
It was in the late 19th century when the west was truly industrialized and integrated within the United States. Much to the disappointment and anger of Dutch, the west quickly integrated into civilization. This included laws, government, and industrialization, which is brilliantly symbolized by the smoke-bellowing from Saint Denis. Dutch felt as if this increased civility was encroaching on his ideals, and he grew increasingly violent and disillusioned with the world. It was around this time that the gang began murdering people and loansharking, much to the horror of Hosea. The Van der Linde gang was quickly devolving, and it was not pretty.
3 The Integration Of Gang Members
It was also around this time that the gang started taking in more members. Both Karen Jones and Mary-Beth Gaskill were conwomen and robbers. Tilly Jackson left her previous gang to join the Van der Linde. Orville Swanson was an alcoholic priest who saved Dutch's life, resulting in his integration into the gang.
Pearson was rescued from loan sharks by Dutch. Sean and Bill both attempted to rob Dutch, but seeing potential, Dutch decided to bring them into his gang and raise them in the art of robbery. In short, the gang quickly ballooned in the late 19th century, and what was once a close-knit unit was now a massive group of outlaws.
2 Dutch Met Javier Stealing Chickens
One of the greatest stories behind the gang is Dutch's meeting with Javier. The two met in 1895 while Dutch was attempting to steal some chickens. While in the midst of his crime, Dutch noticed Javier, who was ALSO stealing chickens. Turns out that chicken stealing was quite the lucrative business back then! The two got to talking, and Dutch discovered that Javier was both deeply lonely and incredibly hungry. Dutch decided to take him into his gang, and two quickly developed a rapport. Javier soon became one of Dutch's closest allies, as he shared Dutch's vision of the country and remained loyal.
1 Micah's Meeting With Dutch
After meeting Javier, the gang lived in relative peace. That is, until Dutch met Micah. It was 1898, and Dutch was selling some stolen gold in a Crenshaw Hill saloon. The deal went sour, and an observing Micah stepped in to save Dutch from the prospective buyers. Sensing his loyalty, Dutch invited Micah back to his gang, and nothing was ever the same again. No one liked him (especially Hosea), and he was reckless. Plus, it was his idea to rob the ferry in Blackwater, a move which destroyed the gang forever. So, thanks Micah! Way to ruin a good thing!