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Arthur Morgan Would Make A Terrible Friend

Red Dead Redemption 2 puts you in the saddle of one of the most celebrated video game characters in recent memory: Arthur Morgan. The game's open world allows players to fully realize their Wild West fantasies and live out Arthur Morgan's adventures however they choose.


Red Dead Redemption 2 gives you ample opportunity to pick between honorable and dishonorable actions, which will alter a lot of the imagery and story beats that unfold. Even when you play Arthur as nobly as possible, though, he's still not a very good person. Despite his wry sense of humor and loyalty to the people he trusts, he'd probably make an even worse friend.

Don't believe it? Hitch up your horse, kick off your cowboy boots, and take a seat next to the campfire. Here are a dozen reasons why Arthur Morgan would be a terrible friend. If you haven't finished Red Dead Redemption 2's main story, beware: there are plenty of spoilers ahead!

He's an ugly drunk

Like many of Rockstar's games, Red Dead Redemption 2 lets you go out carousing with various people. Most of the time, it's completely optional – you can get through most of the game barely setting foot in many of the saloons. However, a few missions force you inside these establishments, and one in particular shows off what a nasty, problematic drunk Arthur Morgan can be.


"A Quiet Time" is one of the game's most memorable missions. Arthur needs to take Lenny out to a saloon for a relaxed night to help ease his nerves. The name of the mission is totally misleading as things go haywire pretty quickly when Arthur and Lenny get completely smashed. 

Arthur gets so hammered that everyone looks like his friend, and he starts accosting random patrons of the bar. He barges into a couple's room as they are getting down to business, tries to drown someone in a horse trough and even gets into fist fights and pees on the side of the bar. The mission culminates with Arthur running from the police, screaming at the top of his lungs. Not how your evenings out with friends should go.


He thinks he's better than everyone

Arthur is charming and likable throughout much of Red Dead Redemption 2. As you venture through whatever camp the Van der Linde gang currently calls home, he banters with seemingly everyone he walks past. One thing quickly stands out, however: Arthur has a superiority complex.


Part of this stems from the fact Arthur is controlled by you, the player, and a lot of the people staying at the camp are screw-ups. Still, the behavior stands out when you pay attention to it. Whether it's Uncle, Pearson, or Hosea, Arthur seems to target everyone at some point.

Take Sean Macguire. When you rescue him near the beginning of the game, Sean thanks Arthur and jokingly asks for a hug. Arthur responds with: "Nothing means more to me than this gang ... I would kill for it, I would happily die for it, but in spite of all that, I would have easily left you here to rot." Later, when Sean ribs him a bit and tells him to sleep with his eyes open, Arthur replies, "You're gonna sleep with your chest open if you ain't careful."


Arthur confronts no one more than Micah. This is with good reason (especially if you've seen the end of the story), but you could make the argument that Micah turns out the way he does in part because of the way he's treated by Arthur.

He puts his faith in Dutch until it's far too late to fix things

On the surface, one of Arthur's most redeeming qualities is his loyalty. His proclaimed love for the Van der Linde gang and his willingness to go to extreme measures to help out pretty much anyone in it (even Micah) are what push the story and character development of Red Dead Redemption 2. When you look at Arthur's true loyalty to the leader of the gang, Dutch, you realize that Arthur's blind allegiance is what brings about the character's downfall.


From the beginning of the game, it is clear that Dutch is slipping. Something has gone wrong, nearly getting the gang killed and forcing them to abandon a massive amount of money. As the story progresses, more and more members of the gang question Dutch and his choices. But not Arthur.

Dutch continually puts the group in danger: antagonizing Leviticus Cornwall, playing off the feud between the Grays and Braithwaites, or trying to take over the city of Saint Denis. Arthur stands by Dutch until nearly the end of the story when it becomes apparent Dutch has lost his mind. By then, it is too late to change the events already in motion.

He muscles the destitute

Arthur does plenty of nasty things in the name of the the Van der Linde gang, but few come off quite as despicable as the work he does for Leopold Strauss. The Austrian money lender sends you on several relatively easy missions where Arthur needs to collect from debtors. In general, you're dealing with weak, desperate characters in these missions, as they are the types who would take out high interest loans from a shady lender like Strauss.


Even when the missions in Red Dead Redemption 2 task you with doing something unpleasant, the game often masks what you're doing with heart-pumping shootouts and cinematic twists. This is not the case with the debt collecting missions. They usually just involve Arthur beating up some poor soul while his family begs for mercy.

Arthur rarely questions getting his hands dirty, but even he has a rough time with Strauss. He eventually kicks Strauss out of the gang but the gesture rings a bit hollow as it takes place after Arthur discovers he got tuberculosis during one of Strauss's debt collection missions.

He litters constantly

It was a different time, 1899. The human race did not fully understand the impact it had on our natural environment. Still, it's got to drive you a bit crazy to watch Arthur Morgan litter every time he eats something.


You can practically hear his inner monologue: "Mmm, that can of peaches sure was delicious. Time to wipe my mouth and throw the can on the side of the road!" He even does it in camp! Grab yourself a bowl of stew and, when it's finished, Arthur just tosses it on the ground. "I've got legendary wolves to hunt! Why would I pick up after myself?"

Arthur Morgan, in general, is a pretty filthy man. He's routinely covered in mud and allows his beard to grow to the point that it has to absolutely stink. However, no element of his character is more filthy than his penchant for leaving trash all over the wilderness. For shame, sir.

All the murder

Many video games give you a chance to take "nonviolent" paths through the story. It may make the game way more difficult, but there are often stealth or charisma based ways to bypass many, if not all, of the fights. Red Dead Redemption 2 is not one of those games.


Arthur Morgan is a stone cold killer. Several gang members are impressed with his marksmanship, and the game is happy to celebrate those skills with cinematic kill cameras and the godlike Dead Eye ability. It would certainly be tough to be friends with a guy who is as good at (and seemingly fine with) killing people as much as Arthur is.

The mission "Blessed are the Meek" sees Arthur and Micah basically murder an entire town. "An Honest Mistake" features a shootout in a barn that leaves dozens of people dead. "American Distillation" seems like it could end relatively bloodless but, sure enough, the swamp is full of corpses by the end.

Look, we've all got a friend who has killed one or two people (wait, we do?), but Arthur has committed far too many murders for us to be comfortable with.


He's way too hung up on his ex

Arthur's relationship with Mary Linton is one of the more fascinating aspects of his character. The two were, at one point, madly in love; however, Arthur's inability to walk away from his outlaw lifestyle pushed Mary away, and she could never bring herself to take the next step with him. The two obviously still have feelings for one another, and Arthur completes multiple missions in Red Dead Redemption 2 at the behest of his former flame. 


If you were friends with Arthur Morgan, this should ring some serious alarm bells. Arthur is a man of many, many talents. He could easily find work if he really wanted to be with Mary. At the same time, his inability to move on from her would be a massive red flag to anyone familiar with their relationship. You've gotta pick, Arthur! She's not coming around to your way of living, no matter how many times you beat up a pawn shop owner for her!

It would be tough to watch these two in the real world and not pull out your hair in frustration.

The law is constantly after him

Picture this scenario: You've just been out and about with some friends for the evening and you're walking home. Suddenly, you see flashing lights behind you – the police! You wonder what you could have possibly done wrong, and you glance at your friend to ask. You notice he has ducked into an alley and has pulled out a pistol. That's what being friends with Arthur Morgan is like.


Arthur has killed so many people, robbed so many businesses and generally caused so much trouble that each time he goes out in public the situation could devolve into a case of "Hey, don't I know you?" Soon, an army of Pinkertons is crawling around and a shootout is inevitable.

Sometimes, you just want to enjoy the mayor's party or a nice round of blackjack in peace. With Arthur Morgan tagging along, you'd always be looking over your shoulder, wondering when the boys in blue would call for your unconditional surrender.

He cheats at cards

It's too bad that an extremely well designed mission like "The Grand Korrigan" makes you feel like such a skeeze at the beginning. You can just blame it on "Herr Strauss," since he's a part of it too.

The Grand Korrigan is a classic Old West setup. Arthur and his mates disguise themselves as men of high society so they can rob a casino riverboat. To get things started, Arthur has to win a massive prize in a poker game. Unfortunately, he does it in the most scummy way possible: cheating at cards.


Look, we're not saying Arthur Morgan would cheat when playing cards with his friends (probably). But it's frustrating that you have watch Strauss feed you signs from across the room in order to make this quest work. C'mon, Rockstar, couldn't you have given players the option to let Arthur win the pot legitimately?

He kidnaps a guy to publicly test an electric chair. It goes poorly.

Some of Red Dead Redemption 2's most memorable moments come from strangers, the random question mark missions you encounter out in the wilderness. Arthur is almost always game to help the various oddballs you meet, often just because it seems like he wants to see what happens. One mission, "The Mercies of Knowledge," might make you second guess Arthur's entire "go with the flow" mentality.


In this mission, an absent-minded professor needs Arthur's help to get his new invention running. He's working on a way to humanely execute criminals, and he's trying to build an electric chair as an alternative to hanging. Arthur collects the materials the professor needs and eventually captures a runaway criminal for the professor to test the chair with.

With the town of Saint Denis gathered to watch the execution, the prisoner sits there and slowly fries when the machine does not work as intended. He screams in agony as the professor tinkers with his creation. Soon, the electric chair backfires, killing the professor as the town watches. The prisoner begs for someone to shoot him as the citizens walk away in disgust.


Nice work, Arthur.

He is partially responsible for unleashing a lion on a town

Strangers are extremely memorable in Red Dead Redemption 2, and perhaps none are more memorable than Margaret, the stranger who enlists your help in the mission "He's British, of Course." Margaret is a traveling circus performer who dresses as a woman and performs death defying stunts with exotic animals, like fighting a lion. He's lost all his animals, though, and asks Arthur to bring them back.


By the time you go to find the lion that's cornered in a barn in Emerald Ranch, you've learned that Margaret's animals are decoys – he painted a mule to look like a zebra, etc. Arthur calmly assures the townsfolk not to be afraid and steps in to confront whatever animal Margaret has disguised as the king of the jungle.

A few dead farmhands later (and a dead Arthur, if you aren't quick with your Dead Eye shots), it becomes apparent that Margaret somehow got his hands on a real lion. And Arthur just strolled through town, letting everyone know they didn't need to worry about it. No wonder so many people dislike him.

He's moderately responsible for bringing a robot to life and getting its creator killed

Of course Red Dead Redemption 2 needed a stand in for Nikola Tesla, and that's what we got with Marko Dragic in the quest "A Bright Bouncing Boy." It starts out simple enough, with Arthur piloting a remote control boat in a lake and shooting a few targets with it to impress some investors. Soon, he's climbing to the top of a tower in the middle of the night to rig metal rods to capture electricity. Things tend to get dangerous in a hurry with Arthur Morgan around.


You soon discover Dragic has created his own version of Frankenstein's monster, a giant robot that walks, speaks and seems to have a mind of its own. The robot takes a few steps and Dragic seems satisfied with his work.

When you return a few days later, it appears Dragic has been robbed. His creation is gone, and the inventor's corpse remains, lying in a pool of blood. You can track the killer into the mountains, and you'll discover the robot sitting in the snow, mourning the death of its "papa."

Arthur helped bring a being to life, then walked away so it could kill its creator. Now it will forever mourn its very existence (at least until its battery runs out), thanks to Arthur Morgan.