The RDR2 timeline is expansive, spanning 15 years and filled with significant events in both RDR 1 and RDR 2.
The Red Dead Redemption 2 story takes place in 1899 with Arthur Morgan and ends in 1907 with John Marston. This game comes before Red Dead Redemption and displays the last day of, the Van der Linde gang through Arthur’s perspective.
When you play as John in 1907, it lays a foundation for the RDR plot.
In RDR 2, you play the role of outlaw Arthur Morgan, an important part of the Van der Linde gang, managing the end of the Old West. As the authorities get closer, the gang experiences internal conflicts, putting Arthur in a place where he has to choose between sticking to his principles or remaining loyal to Dutch. After that, there’s a considerable decision. The game has different endings that bring Arthur’s story to an end, followed by a long epilogue where the player can switch roles to John Marston.
Most of RDR 2 unfolds from Arthur’s viewpoint in 1899. Players experience the game world and major story events through him. However, in the 1907 story, John takes on major missions, explores new places, and sets up his ranch in West Elizabeth with his wife Abigail and his son Jack.
Messy Blackwater Mission
The Messy Blackwater Mission in RDR 2 began in 1899. The major problem in Red Dead Redemption takes place when the Blackwater Mission goes wrong. We don’t know all the details, but the game gives a bit of information. The gang leader, Dutch, and Micah made a plan to steal money from a ferry, but the law enforcement authorities, the “Pinkertons,” showed up. Because of this event, Dutch ended up accidentally hitting an innocent woman who wasn’t part of the plan. Three gang members died, and the rest of the gang fled into the freezing Ambarino mountains.
In a mission called “Outlaws from the West,” Dutch indicates that the Pinkertons were already aware of this plan. As the story progresses, we find out that Micah was the one who was giving information to the law enforcement authorities, “The Pinkertons.” This might have been occurring even before the game began, but the game doesn’t confirm anything. This failed mission marks the beginning of the downfall for the Van der Linde gang.
Some may say it was also Dutch’s mistake, where he started making bad choices and started losing himself. This mission was the reason that played an important role behind the grudge the Pinkertons hold against the gang and spent the whole game chasing them.
Cold Days & Nights in Colter
Red Dead Redemption 2 begins with the Blackwater operation in the abandoned town of Colter. This chapter not only introduces the gang’s main person, Arthur Morgan, but also sets the scene for the different problems they will face ahead. By placing the gang in tough situations and with other opponent gangs, and demonstrates how desperate they are to survive.
In the Colter chapter, Sadie Adler’s husband was killed by the O’Driscoll gang when Arthur and the group first meet them at her house. Bringing Sadie into the gang was Dutch’s last wise choice. As Red Dead Redemption 2 story progresses further, Sadie holds equal importance to Arthur. Later in the chapter when the O’Driscoll plans to steal from the train, Dutch leads the gangs against them as well. The game continues to show the conflicts between the O’Driscoll and the Van der Linde gang.
The owner of the train they planned to rob is owned by Leviticus Cornwall. This turns out as another bad choice by Dutch because the authorities and Cornwall are pursuing them throughout the story. Because of the threats from both Cornwall and the Pinkertons, the Van der Linde gang is always on the run throughout the RDR 2 storyline.
Traitorous Decisions in Beaver Hollow
The Beaver Hollow Chapter marks the ending of Arthur Morgan’s journey and the Van der Linde gang story in RDR 2. Dutch’s unstable personality was fully exposed, revealing the lack of concern for the gang members and Arthur, opposite to what he promised. However, Micah was given credit for starting this mentality change, but many people think Dutch would have betrayed Arthur, even without Micah’s influence.
At this point in the story, most of the gang members are either dead or gone, and the remaining ones are divided and unsure who to trust. Dutch leaves John behind in a failed heist that took place in Saint-Denis, and he also declines to rescue Abigail when she was captured by the Law Authorities, “Pinkertons.” When Arthur tells Dutch about Micha helping the Pinkertons, Dutch doesn’t seem to care much about it. Now at this point in the game, the gang is divided, and they end up in a big standoff with each other while the Pinkertons are chasing them.
Players have the choice to decide if Arthur will escape with John or will he go after the money that was left behind from the Blackwater heist. Once the player’s choice is made, Arthur’s honor level will decide how he will die. No matter what choice you make or how honorable Arthur is, this is the place where Arthur’s story comes to an end in Red Dead Redemption 2.
RDR2 Epilogue Closure
Red Dead Redemption 2 Epilogue is extensive and allows players to control the role of John Marston in the year 1907. This time is eight years after the Beaver Hollow and Arthur’s death took place. However, the beginning of Red Dead Redemption will take place in just four years.
In the last part of the story, players can see John trying to live his life peacefully without fighting or robbing. He tries his best to be a good husband and a good father. John purchases Beecher’s Hope for his wife, Abigail, and his son, Jack.
John Marston seeks revenge against the traitor, Micah Bell. Some time has passed, but Marston with his fellow companions Sadie and Charles, goes to hunt Bell in the mountains. After a fight, Sadie and Charles manage to get Micah at gunpoint, but at the same point, Dutch appears with guns pointed at both
Micha takes advantage of this and holds Sadie as hostage. John tries to convince Dutch that teaming up with Micha is a bad decision. In response, Dutch shoots Micha which allows John to shoot Micha several times more. Dutch the departs without saying anything.
After that, John and Sadie leave with the Blackwater money, returning to John’s ranch, where Abigal, Jack, and Uncle are waiting for them.
And with this, the Red Dead Redemption 2 story comes to an end.