Red Dead Redemption Explained: What Does The Ending Really Mean?

Revisiting an old classic in anticipation of the sequel.


Red Dead Redemption is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best Rockstar game, ever. By combining the best characteristics of all the classic Western movies with the grit and humor of Grand Theft Auto, the studio inspired a new generation to rewatch all the canonical films of Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah, and appreciate them like the masterpieces they truly are.

The force of that game was as much its story as interesting characters, none more fascinating than the tough guy protagonist John Marston.

Far from a boring hero, Marston had an interesting backstory and a complex personality, which allowed him to turn a blind eye to certain types of injustice, but still remain noble and true to himself. He was the classical hero of a Western movie, reminiscent of Bill Munny (Unforgiven) or Silence (The Great Silence). This made the ending all the more heartbreaking.

Apart from that, here are seven talking points from John Marston's tragic end, and everything that led up to it. Since we're discussing the grand finale of the game, be aware that heavy spoilers are involved.


I write sitting with my dogs on the sofa, which often leads to whole paragraphs being deleted by a single touch of a paw or a nose.