John Marston, Sr.
John Marston, fully loaded.
Nickname(s) Johnny, Marston, Mr. Marston, Gringo
Gender Male
Location Transitory
Affiliations Bill Williamson (Formerly)
Dutch Van Der Linde (Formerly)
Javier Escuella (Formerly)
Status Deceased
Birth 1873
Death 1911 (Aged 38)
Family Abigail Marston - Wife
Jack Marston - Son
Rufus - Dog
Daughter Marston - (Deceased)
Weapon various Weapons
Voice Actor Rob Wiethoff
"People don't forget. Nothing gets forgiven."
— John Marston

John Marston is the main character and main protagonist of Red Dead Redemption.


Early Life

John Marston was born in 1873. His father was an illiterate Scottish immigrant, his mother was a prostitute who died during childbirth. John's father was blinded in both eyes during a bar fight in Chicago.

In 1881, John's father died of unknown causes, thought to be by drink. John was only 8 years old at the time and was sent to an orphanage where he lived most of his life up to the age of 17 in 1890 and met his future wife, Abigail, with whom he promptly ran away; both later joined Dutch's gang, where Dutch took care of John, teaching him how to read, shoot, and the ways of the West.

Early Career

John Marston is a former outlaw and bandit. He ran with Dutch Van Der Linde, Bill Williamson, and Javier Escuella, committing bank robberies, train raids, murders and other various crimes across the country. According to Marston, the gang stole and fought for a reason. In stealing from the rich and those who were given too much to give to the poor, they wanted to elicit change in the people of the West, although this might just be his own justification for their actions.

After being seriously wounded in a bank robbery in 1908, and was left to die by Bill Williamson and his other former brothers in arms, Marston sought to retire from the outlaw lifestyle. Putting his past deeds behind him, he disappeared along with his wife Abigail Marston and young son Jack and purchased himself a ranch. Between his abandonment of the gang and the beginning of the game, Marston had a daughter, but she died of cholera.

Despite Marston's apparent reformation, he remains a masterful gunman, rider, and hunter. Marston is a rugged survivalist and knows life as a fight to survive; he adheres to the old-fashioned West, in a world rapidly experiencing the advancement of technology. Cars, and gattling guns.

Red Dead Redemption


Eventually, Jack finds Ross, who has retired from the Bureau a glorified hero, and announces he has come to avenge his father. The two duel on the Mexican side of the San Luis River, with Jack killing Ross and causing his body to fall back into the river. However, this same act turns Jack into a murderer, ruining his hopes for a better life and forcing him down the same way of life that his father had so desperately tried to steer him away from, leaving the future of the Marston family in doubt.

Murders Committed


Optional encounters


Optional encounters


Main article: John Marston Quotations. Quotes can be found in the link.


  • Marston resembles Red Harlow with his similar scars.
  • Jack Marston's face has the same scars as his father, caused by a bear.
    • If you look closely at John's hat, it appears very similar to Red Harlow's, with certain aesthetic differences.
  • John cannot swim, and will drown in deep waters, similar to many of the protagonists of Rockstar's earlier Grand Theft Auto games. He admits this to Irish during the mission "We Shall Be Together In Paradise".
  • John is often associated with the city, even though he is a rancher.
  • John's parents' relationship with each other is left ambiguous; John himself struggled with what to label them.
  • John's grave marker reads "Blessed are the peacemakers," signifying his long road to redemption and peace for his family in a lawless land.
  • John can only speak very basic Spanish. While in Mexico, he usually remarks "hola" to NPCs and occasionally shouts in broken Spanish during combat.
  • John is seen smoking cigarettes during cutscenes, after missions, and while watching a film in the cinema.
  • John is extremely polite to women. For example, John calls Bonnie MacFarlane "Miss MacFarlane," even after she has asked him to call her "Bonnie." He also does anything possible to keep women safe, even punching Irish to defend two nuns.
  • In contrast to his politeness to women, John is unafraid to take the moral high-ground when dealing with less than reputable characters, like Irish with his alcoholism and Nigel West Dickens with his swindling of gullible people.
  • It is left unexplained why John arrives in Blackwater aboard a steamboat if he resides in Beecher's Hope.
  • John makes mention of his deceased daughter a few times when discussing his family. Her name and the cause of her death is unknown.
  • John dislikes the use of the word "fuck" as does his son, Jack.
  • John has repeatedly made wise comments toward various characters. If his Honor is low enough, John can insult people by pressing B (Xbox 360) or O (PS3). These insults are a clear example of John's sharp tongue.
  • Not promising to resolve the problem, John usually answers with "I'll see what I can do." to Strangers after hearing their situation.
  • Before the game came out, in the trailers, John looked much younger and thin. So did Abigail. But, this was changed due to Jack being nearly a mature man.
  • John is an incredibly skillful gunman and marksman, with the ability to enter a slow motion like state named Dead_Eye. He shares this ability with his son Jack who was trained by John while out hunting, and possesses the same level of hunting and shooting skill.
  • John actually doesn't have to kill his former gang members as Dutch kills himself, Javier can be captured,and Bill can be shot by Abraham Reyes.