RDR2: One Van Der Linde Gang Member Is Responsible For Arthur’s Death

RDR2: One Van Der Linde Gang Member Is Responsible For Arthur’s Death

Arthur Morgan’s true killer was hiding within the Van der Linde gang all along, though players will not realize it until it’s far too late.

The story of Red Dead Redemption 2 is ultimately one of tragedy and betrayal, with players filling the role of Arthur Morgan during his last months with the Van der Linde gang. Pursued relentlessly by the law, and struggling to hold onto a fleeting way of life, Arthur Morgan’s slow death in RDR2 is mirrored by the death of the Wild West’s freedom. The game’s conclusion sees Arthur Morgan’s ultimate demise at the hands of Micah Bell, or finally succumbing to tuberculosis at the top of a mountain. No matter which ending players achieve, Arthur Morgan’s death is certain during the final mission.

While tuberculosis may seem like an unexciting way for an outlaw like Arthur Morgan to die, his initial infection (and ultimate demise) is actually the result of a Van der Linde gang member’s actions during the early chapters of the Red Dead Redemption 2 campaign. Leopold Strauss was one of the slimier members of RDR2’s gang, preying on impoverished families and drawing them into loans they won’t have a hope of repaying. These actions force players into the essential “Money Lending And Other Sins” questline, which leads to Arthur Morgan’s contraction of tuberculosis in RDR2.

Related: RDR2: Arthur Morgan’s Life Before Dutch & The Gang

In 1899, becoming infected with tuberculosis was a death sentence. Modern medicine had not yet developed enough to treat all the disease’s symptoms, nor were many patients able to rest enough to alleviate its suffering and extend their lifetime. During “Money Lending And Other Sins,” players bear witness to this disease’s deadly effects while collecting the debt from one of Strauss’ clients. A man by the name of Thomas Downes and his family live in a small cottage with a garden patch. When Arthur Morgan begins to beat on Thomas in an attempt to collect the money, infected blood is spit into his mouth. Shortly after this RDR2 mission, Arthur’s tuberculosis symptoms develop in the form of coughing fits and difficulty breathing.

RDR2’s Leopold Strauss Actually Caused Arthur Morgan’s Illness & Death

Unlike many members of the Van der Linde gang in RDR2, Leopold Strauss’ method of acquiring funds for the camp did not involve blatantly criminal activities. Instead of robbing banks and caravans, Strauss would travel throughout the civilized settlements of the West and offer loans to struggling families and individuals. Unfortunately, many of these men and women were not in a position to pay back their borrowed funds, resulting in other members of the Van der Linde gang being forced to venture out and forcefully collect them. As Dutch Van der Linde’s primary enforcer, Arthur soon found himself roped into collecting debts that he wasn’t responsible for in the first place. No matter how honorable players tried to make Arthur Morgan, they are unable to escape the consequences of RDR2’s loan shark, Leopold Strauss.

While Arthur Morgan has two possible deaths in RDR2, Leopold Strauss was ultimately responsible for starting the timer on Arthur’s lifespan. Had Strauss chosen the recipients for his loans more carefully, the Downes family would never have received the loan from the Van der Linde gang. Thomas Downes’ tuberculosis transition to Arthur Morgan was a necessary occurrence for Red Dead Redemption 2’s story, forcing the brutal outlaw to fix some of his wrongdoings before he inevitably succumbed to his illness. The slow death at the hands of his tuberculosis forced Arthur to make serious changes in his lifestyle, redeeming him from many sins and mistakes he’d made in the past.

There are several members of Red Dead Redemption 2’s Van der Linde gang that were responsible for horrible crimes with unforeseen circumstances, but Leopold Strauss was most directly responsible for Arthur Morgan’s death. While Leopold’s actions do not absolve Dutch Van der Linde and Micah Bell from contributing toward the deaths of many Van der Linde gang members, Strauss’ so-called business is most responsible for Morgan’s demise.

Next: Can Arthur Morgan Be Cured In Red Dead Redemption 2?

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