Red Dead Redemption 2’s Ending Explained
Spoiler Warning: Obvious spoilers are obvious right? In case the title wasn’t a big enough red flag for you, this is one last warning that this article unsurprisingly will be explaining the ending of Red Dead Redemption 2. You should not proceed if you want to experience the ending for yourself, and haven’t yet. We highly recommend that you do that, and return here if you’re still confused about what is going on.
Ending Explained: The Final Chapter and Betrayal
Let’s fast forward all the way to ending and the epilogue that follows.
The Dutch van der Linde gang by the time Chapter 6 rolls around is a total mess. The disaster at Saint Denis is effectively the killing blow for the gang, even if Dutch doesn’t fully realize it quite yet.
Arthur to his credit, is finally starting to accept that the end is near. For him, it’s literal because of his illness. He’s dying of Tuberculosis which was extremely deadly at this time in U.S. history. But even aside from that, Arthur can plainly see that his sins have finally caught up to him and everyone else. At this point, he’s just trying to focus on being a good man for once in his life.
He rescues John from imprisonment alongside Sadie, and they reunite him with Abigail (for now). He also spends a lot of time trying to help Wapiti tribe leader, Rains Fall, keep his son from starting a war with the U.S. army stationed in the area. Dutch is fully spiraling out of control now though, and his reckless plans effectively undoes Arthur’s work.
Dutch’s plan to spur on Eagle Flies and the Wapiti tribe against the U.S. Army succeeds, and results in Eagle Flies’ death. This turmoil between the two sides creates an opportunity for Dutch to go for one last score with the gang. The score that is supposedly going to finally allow them all to retire to Tahiti.
They are after U.S. payroll that is onboard a train. The robbery is successful… for Micah and Dutch anyway. John is shot and presumed dead, and in the meantime, Abigail was abducted by the Pinkertons from the camp. Dutch finally reveals his true colors at this time. He leaves Abigail to her fate with the Pinkertons, and escapes with the money alongside the few that are still loyal to him now.
Arthur and Sadie cannot accept that, and they storm Van Horn to rescue Abigail where she is being held by Agent Miller. The pair succeed in rescuing Abigail, but before killing Agent Miller finally, he reveals that Micah, not Molly O’Shea, was the Pinkerton informant and the true rat.
Arthur returns to camp to confront Micah and Dutch. Dutch either doesn’t believe Arthur, or doesn’t want to, knowing that regardless of the truth, Micah is all Dutch has left now. John turns up and also confronts Dutch about leaving him for dead during the train robbery.
The gang at this point is finally split. Right when things are about to go really south, Pinkertons show up, which forces everyone to scatter. John and Arthur escape together through the caves behind the camp.
At this point in the game, the player has two choices to change the outcome slightly. You can either help John or choose to go back for the money.
With either option, eventually it ends up with Micah and Arthur getting into a fight.
Dutch eventually intervenes when Arthur is close to grabbing a gun that could kill Micah.
Dutch appears torn on what to do. Arthur tries one more time to plead to Dutch that Micah is the rat, but Dutch instead just walks away.
At this point, if the player chose to help John, Arthur speaks on how he has essentially no regrets because he tried his best to change. His tuberculosis gets the best of him and he passes away, looking off into the beautiful view.
If the player instead chose to go for the money, Arthur, who is sick and beaten half to death, has nothing left to give. Micah then seizes the opportunity and kills Arthur himself.
Note that ultimately what truly matters for your ending is whether you were honorable or dishonorable by the end. If you were honorable, Arthur dies peacefully knowing he truly turned over a new leaf. If you were dishonorable, Micah shoots you in the face.
Yes, in case it wasn’t clear. Arthur is really gone, and his story ends here. Micah and Dutch, for now, get away with it.
The next section will cover the game’s epilogue. If you don’t want this section spoiled please stop reading here.
Ending Explained: The Epilogue
Following Arthur’s death, the game fast forwards a few years. Micah and Dutch’s whereabouts are unknown and the game picks up with a new main character, John Marston. He and Abigail are still struggling to shed their past, but John eventually finds decent work as a ranch hand under a new alias, Jim Milton.
Events at the ranch force John to take up his guns once again much to the dismay of Abigail who desperately pleads for him to stop. Although John was only trying to protect innocent people at the ranch, Abigail has enough and finally leaves John with Jack in tow.
Instead of wallowing, John tries to prove to Abigail that he can change, and attempts to fulfill her dream of owning their own ranch together. John goes straight, and continues to work as a ranch hand until he can save enough money to buy Beecher’s Hope, a plot of land that Abigail had her eye on, with some help from the local bank.
Throughout this process, he runs into Uncle and Charles, who both help him build up his new property at Beecher’s Hope from a dump, into a beautiful livestock ranch.
John reaches out to Abigail and eventually he convinces her and Jack to return to live with him, Uncle, and Charles at Beecher’s Hope. After dealing with a few disturbances from local gangs, and bounty hunters; more or less, the four of them live in peace for a while and John slowly becomes a more responsible partner and father. John eventually makes his union with Abigail official and proposes to her. Abigail of course, accepts.
However, John over the course of the epilogue also runs into Sadie, who has information about Micah. He has resurfaced, and she wants to go after him. John agrees despite Abigail’s plea to stay back. John is determined to end that part of his life once and for all, and joins Sadie and Charles in pursuing Micah up in the mountains.
The three of them cut through heavy resistance, and along the way Sadie and Charles receive serious, but not life threatening injuries. John alone locates Micah and confronts him.
The two enter a standoff. Sadie tries to interrupt, but Micah gets the better of her and holds her hostage. It is then that Dutch emerges.
Dutch appears to be a broken man. He’s kind of just watching while Micah and John argue, but isn’t really saying much. Micah, in his typical weasel fashion, tries to convince John to join himself and Dutch. In the years since they all split up, Micah and Dutch were finally able to secure the money from Blackwater. It’s a lucrative offer.
John refuses of course. The situation seems sticky for John who appears to be outnumbered. However, surprisingly, Dutch shoots Micah. Micah, in shock, tries to retaliate but John seizes the opportunity and finishes Micah off for good.
It’s not 100% clear why Dutch did what he did. It’s left for interpretation. He doesn’t really say much. John thanks Dutch, and Dutch just kind of disappears into the night afterwards, leaving behind the money which Sadie and John collect.
It’s possible that Dutch’s guilt over what happened to Arthur, the gang, and what was about to happen to John if he didn’t do something, finally overwhelmed him. Or maybe, it took him that long to realize that Micah was a lying piece of you know what.
Either way, John returns to Abigail, who is elated to see him, and it seems that it’s finally over.
In the post-credit scenes, you learn that Charles and Sadie eventually go their own ways. And, you see the beginnings of how Edgar Ross and the government learn of John Marston’s whereabouts, which of course kicks off the events of Red Dead Redemption 1.
By the time the credits finally stop rolling, the connection from Red Dead 1, to Read Dead Redemption 2, is completed.
That’s it for the ending explained for Red Dead Redemption 2. We hope that clears everything up for you and that you enjoyed the story as much as we did.