Red Dead Redemption 2: 10 Biggest Tragedies That Killed The Van Der Linde Gang
By Joel Peraz
Published Apr 20, 2020
Red Dead Redemption 2 is full of complex characters and an emotional narrative. Here are its 10 biggest tragedies that killed the Van Der Linde gang.
Ever since the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 in late 2018, storytelling in video games has never been and will never be the same. Its slow-burn style is perfect for a compelling narrative that is deeply emotional and filled with complex characters. The world-building, long journey and deep dive into the psyche of flawed humans made the entire experience relatable in many ways and altogether memorable.
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Once a force to be reckoned with, the Van der Linde Gang, led by Dutch Van der Linde suffered a tragic fate, both by the changing of times in the wild wild west and their own dangerous ambitions. In all the chaos and misfortunes, these are the 10 biggest tragedies that shook the gang to extinction.
Perhaps the most scandalous shootout in the world of Red Dead Redemption, the Blackwater Heist is a complete misfire and became one of the gang’s?biggest tragedies. This robbery-turned-massacre saw a big number of casualties from all parties involved. Occurring in a dense city, this incident is also widely known for the killing of an innocent woman named Heidi McCourt who was shot dead by Dutch.
The event is still clothed with mystery, as it was never formally shown in any cutscene nor included in any playable mission. This dangerous job was perpetrated by Dutch himself with the full support of an unhinged newcomer Micah Bell.?This job pushed through without?senior members?Arthur Morgan and Hosea Matthews. The?massive botch didn’t only do badly?for Dutch’s crew but for all outlaws, as it marked the start of a more civilized America.
For Micah Bell to be a part of the same crew as Arthur Morgan and John Marston is a very important piece of the fact that the gang has jumped into a suicide mission. It was a brilliant idea by Rockstar to add a mission that forces the player to break Micah out of prison. This, in turn, illustrates an infuriating truth — that the main hero committed one of the biggest mistakes.
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Micah escalated a feud with several gang members, ignited Dutch’s insanity and delusions and ultimately betrayed the gang for his own gain. Letting Micah into the gang is one of Dutch’s lowest points. Disregarding Arthur and Hosea just to have Micah ascend through the ranks is just the nail in the coffin.
Van der Linde’s rivalry with the O’Driscoll boys heightened when Dutch himself shot Colm O’Driscoll’s brother dead and Colm killed Dutch’s lover Annabelle in return. As they hit back and forth, Van der Linde stole O’Driscoll’s plan to rob a wealthy Tycoon Leviticus Cornwall in a time where they need the least amount of attention from the law. Ultimately, it put Arthur Morgan’s life in complete danger after being captured later on.
The feud is deemed almost unnecessary due to the heat they accumulate after the Blackwater heist. Ignoring the O’Driscolls and focusing on how they’ll get out of the sight of the law could have made the gang’s life better.
When you have a big price on your head, targeting a powerful businessman isn’t a good idea. With many opportunities to score money on discreet and small jobs, Dutch opted for the big score. His ego got the best of him trying to prove that he is still the big-shot outlaw that he used to be.
Van der Linde and Cornwall will cross paths numerous times through the story — enraging the tycoon even further. His death at the hands of Dutch didn’t end the issue, but rather escalated it, putting the Pinkertons closer to their tracks than ever before. This was a careless move by the gang that buried them further into the ground.
The events leading up to the massacre at the Braithwaite Manor are as messy as they could have been. Van der Linde playing both the Braithwaites and the Grays is a clever idea until it backfired. Meddling with Rhodes’ law enforcement and sabotaging Catherine’s businesses went back to haunt the gang.
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The ambush that killed Sean McGuire, the abduction of Jack Marston and the killing of Braithwaites and Grays are all exact opposites of what should have?happened to achieve their desired freedom. A plan that is genius if properly executed is a deadly plan if things go sideways.
Sticking up their noses at the Grays and Braithwaites turns out to be much worse for Arthur and the gang, as it led them to Italian crimelord, Angelo Bronte. Desperate for a score, Dutch accepts Bronte’s lead for a job, despite all suspicions. It turned out to be a trap that led to another unnecessary encounter with the police that pushed the gang further away from liberation.
Dutch’s ruthless decimation of Bronte is just another step up to his growing insanity. Just like the deaths of their former foes, the foreigner’s death was more of a burden than a clear solution.
Taking a chance at one last big score, the robbery at Lemoyne National Bank went horribly wrong for the gang. The heist plan was deemed ‘well-thought-out’, which was the case at the start of the break-in until the Pinkertons came. Holding Hosea as a hostage, Agent Milton knew that a deal wouldn’t be reached, so he shot Matthews dead right in front of the gang.
RELATED: Red Dead Redemption 2: 10 Facts About Dutch’s Right-Hand Man, Hosea
Hosea’s death is pivotal to Dutch’s ascent into madness. It marks the biggest failure in the gang’s history?since the Blackwater heist. Along with Matthews, young Lenny was also killed in the incident, while John Marston got arrested. With several key members ending up in Guarma in the succeeding events, the gang was in complete disarray and the future?was uncertain as one can imagine.
A classic Dutch ‘so full of himself’, Van der Linde unnecessarily dipped his feet in the growing dispute between the US Army and the Wapiti Indians. This whole chapter just showed the darkest side of Dutch, as he took advantage of Eagle Flies’ naivete and his willingness to give up his morals to achieve what he wants.
In what should have been a plan to divert attention away from the gang, the rebellion proved to be the final wake up call for Arthur that Dutch is irredeemable. Leaving Arthur to die and only thinking for himself, Dutch selfishly put an end to a life-long brotherhood that Arthur invested in.
At its very core, Red Dead Redemption 2 is all about Arthur Morgan’s redemption arc from a ruthless criminal to a fully realized human being. The end of his story?was great for him, as he was able to do good, help those in need and save others who can still be saved.
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In his turning point, Arthur’s rejection of cruelty battled Dutch and Micah’s growing wickedness. He did what is right at the expense of Van der Linde’s foundation. Our hero’s vindication is the gang’s complete downfall. This tragedy is imminent and Arthur is not to be blamed, at all.
”Revenge is a fool’s game” is one of the game’s most famous quotes. Rockstar pulled off a double-edged sword in the game’s final mission. While it is one of the most fun missions in the entire story, it’s also one of the biggest reasons why our protagonists can’t get away from catastrophe.
Hunting down Micah in the mountains is as sick as it can get. But in the end, it’s just another misstep for Marston, as Micah’s death led him back to the Pinkertons’ sight which was a whole new tragedy that witnessed the end of each gang member, Marston himself included.
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About The Author
(1 Articles Published)
A simplistic writer. Movies, sports, and video games are my top interests. Nothing is better than a well-written story-driven video game.
From Joel Peraz