10 We Can’t Change What’s Done
A sign of maturity in individuals is when they learn to stop focusing on the past and use the knowledge of their mistakes to be a better person in the present and into the future. John Marston is younger and more immature than Arthur and that’s evident throughout their entire relationship as non-blood brothers raised in the same gang. Arthur understands John focuses on his past and tries to clear his mind by telling him, “We can’t change what’s done. We can only move on.” As simple as that sounds, it happens to be some of the truest words Arthur Morgan ever spoke.
9 Must Be Hard
Arthur initially comes across as a very quiet and reserved man who keeps to himself. Players come to learn that he’s quite jovial and extremely empathetic to those around him. Javier Escuella is a Mexican rebel who is far from home but remains that way due to his loyalty to Dutch and the gang. When Arthur tells him, “Must be hard, being so far away,” it not only makes Arthur feel way more caring and understanding, but it shows that Arthur doesn’t care about race or nationality, but rather about how those he’s loyal to feel at any given moment.
8 The World Doesn’t Want Us
It’s not easy when someone has to look in the mirror and face a harsh realization about their life. Arthur’s a pretty intelligent fellow and is much more realistic and self-aware than Dutch Van Der Linde, his leader and father figure.
Dutch knows Arthur is smart and honest, so when Arthur tells him, “We’re thieves, in a world that don’t want us no more,” it likely causes Dutch to veer even more into the hopeless optimism he had flirted with. The outlaw way of life is all he has, all he’s ever known. If you take that away from him, he’s just a man in a hat and suit.
7 Yes, Dutch
In the early hours of Red Dead Redemption 2 players are introduced to a Van Der Linde gang that’s in a much more secure, loyal, and brotherly situation than where they find themselves by the time the credits roll. The writers want players to build a connection with Arthur early on and one of those ways was by showing his loyalty. Dutch talks about loyalty and whether or not Arthur has his back and Arthur replies, “Always, Dutch.” This is fantastic foreshadowing that lays out Arthur’s undying loyalty and how it was ultimately his downfall.
6 John Made It
Arthur Morgan is many things, but a petty man isn’t one. That’s what makes his last words to Dutch sting so much at the end of the game if players decide to help John escape while also having a high honor score. In his dying breath, Arthur exclaims to Dutch, “John made it. He’s the only one. Rest of us…no.”
He knew that Dutch would hate the idea of John moving on and living a life separate from the gang. It was arguably the most biting thing Arthur could have revealed to Dutch at that moment and he did it without a second of hesitation.
5 Don’t Look Back
As the story of the game unfolds during the latter half, those who played the last entry in the series start to wonder how John ended up where he did and what happened to Arthur. Players start to realize that Arthur understands the bed they made for themselves and urges John into finding life beyond what theirs had become. He says to John, “Listen to me. When the time comes, you gotta run and don’t look back. This is over.” John was known to respect Arthur and showed that to its fullest extent during the culmination of the game.
4 More Ghosts Than People
Arthur and Sadie Adler are one of the fan-favorite duos in the game as their interactions and conversations provide some of the most compelling quotes. When the gang begins to seriously collapse Arthur gives Sadie his honest opinion when he says, “This whole thing is pretty much done. We’re more ghosts than people.” He understands that by chasing a way of life that is no longer viable, they lost their humanity in a way. One of the toughest things someone can do is take a step back and approach their situation with serious self-awareness. Arthur managed to do that.
3 I Gave You All I Had
Toward the end of the game, players can experience different endings and dialogue from the characters depending on the choices they make. If players decide to help John escape, then they’re greeted with the following words from Arthur when he comes face to face with Dutch for the last time. Arthur tells Dutch, “I gave you all I had…I did.” This is an emotionally heartbreaking moment for players as the reality of what Arthur sacrificed for the good of those around him starts to sink in. At the end of the day, Dutch was more loyal to the dying lifestyle he loved than he was to Arthur and the gang.
2 Be Loyal To What Matters
Loyalty is a large focus of the story that centers around the Van Der Linde gang. It seems like the defining factor of the group and largely the reason they’ve been able to stick together for so long. As the strings that hold the wild west together start to come apart, so does the group’s loyalty. Arthur pleads to John, “Be loyal to what matters.”
This is Arthur’s way of saying that John should worry about what’s close to him and forget about being loyal to Dutch and the gang. Arthur felt it had reached a point where blind loyalty would result in John’s downfall.
1 Do One Thing Or Another
As previous entries have mentioned, the relationship between Arthur and John is one of the shining aspects of Red Dead Redemption 2‘s entire narrative. Throughout their journey together Arthur makes it a point to start advising John on how to live a better life. One of his most memorable quotes in regards to this is when Arthur says, “Look just do one thing or the other, don’t try to be two people at once, that’s all I’m saying.” It’s here where Arthur lets John know that he must choose a path and stick with it. He believes no one gets ahead by trying to live two different lives.