We can't always fight nature, John. We can't fight change, we can't fight gravity, we can't fight nothin'. My whole life, all I ever did was fight...
Dutch Van Der Linde first appeared as a primary antagonist in the 2010 video game Red Dead Redemption, and returns in as a primary character in Red Dead Redemption 2. As a legendary outlaw, Dutch is opposed by the authorities and rival gangs.
Dutch van der Linde is voiced by Benjamin Byron Davis, an American actor and director.
"Dutch" is not the character's legal name, however no official media references his actual given name.
Dutch van der Linde was born in 1858. His father was a Dutch national, and his mother was an English woman called Greta. His father fought in the Civil War on the Union's side and died in battle, presumably at Gettysburg, and his mother died at an unknown date after Dutch left the family behind when he was only 15 years old. He only learned about the death of his mother months after the fact from an uncle of his.
Dutch dreamed of living an independent and free life while being able to provide himself with anything he desires, and to achieve this he began his career as a criminal very early in his life. In his early years he had a tenuous partnership with Colm O'Driscoll, but that loose friendship devolved into bitter rivalry after Dutch killed Colm's brother and Colm killed Dutch's lover. The two would go on to found their respective gangs, which would be locked in a feud.
At some point, Hosea Matthews tried to rob Dutch whilst the other tried to do the same to him. The two laughed off the incident and became friends as a result, which led to them founding the Van Der Linde Gang with Dutch as its leader and Hosea as his right-hand man. Over the years, Dutch's philosophy of turning the romanticized version of the Wild West into a reality where brave pioneers lived on the frontier free of government oppression attracted many followers and the gang quickly grew.
Dutch brought the game's protagonist, Arthur Morgan, under his wing when Morgan was a young child. By 1899, Morgan became one of Dutch's most promising protégé, and the gang leader referred to him as his Enforcer.
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
During the events of Red Dead Redemption 2, the Van der Linde Gang is at the height of its notoriety, numbering 23 members. After a botched robbery in Blackwater, Dutch takes his gang into hiding as they are chased by law enforcement across three states in America's heartland. Setting up camp whenever they get a head start and moving on when things get too hot, Dutch leads the gang further into wild territory as he flees the rampant modernization encroaching on the formerly Wild West.
In the struggle against the lawmen that ambushed the gang in Blackwater, Dutch accidentally shot and killed an innocent bystander - Heidi McCourt. Hosea would later say that this made him begin to lose faith in Dutch, though he had lost hope in their greater goal of changing the world for the better a long while ago. The group make for the Grizzlies, deciding to temporarily hunker down in Colter, an abandoned mining town.
Once the convoy arrived, Dutch raises the spirits of his gang, then takes out Dutch to look for Micah Bell, a gang member sent forward as a scout. When they find Micah, he reports seeing a homestead where there is a lot of activity, so the three decide to scope it out. Upon arriving, they find a ruined wagon, the corpse of a man and a bunch of O'Driscoll thugs in the house.
After the trio clean out the O'Driscolls, they find a survivor - Sadie Adler, the wife of the dead man found outside. Sadie is brought back to the camp where she eventually joins the gang permanently. The group learns of an O'Driscoll camp nearby, and Dutch leads an assault against it a few days later. During the assault, he learns of Leviticus Cornwall's train passing by and the gang finds dynamite to use in the heist. He plans the train robbery, which ends up being a success. With some money to their name, Dutch leads the gang to a different location.
When the gang settles into their new camp at Horseshoe Overlook, their newest member Micah runs afoul of the law in Strawberry. Since Dutch was wanted in the area, he personally couldn't go to spring Micah, so he sent his enforcer in his stead.
Later, Leopold Strauss joins Dutch in Valentine where they meet up John Marston and Arthur as the latter two are celebrating a successful train heist. While there, John and Leopold go outside and are captured by Cornwall and his men, from whom Dutch and Arthur rescue them. The ensuing gunfights kicks up a lot of dust and drawing unwanted attention, forcing the gang to move on. Dutch sends Arthur and Charles to look for a new location.
Once the group settled in Clemens Point, Dutch goes out riding with Hosea and Arthur. On the way, they bump into Sheriff Gray and his deputy. The two lawmen are transporting captured outlaws including Josiah Trelawny, who is accused of operating an illegal gold prospecting stint. Dutch tries to convince the lawmen that Trelawny is innocent and to let him go, however in the meantime the other outlaws find a way to escape. Dutch sends Arthur to recapture them, and when he succeeds, Dutch asks for Trelawny's freedom in return, to which Gray agrees.
At this point Dutch may or may not go fishing with Arthur and Hosea. When the group, this time with Bill Williamson instead of Hosea, encounter the Sheriff again, Dutch convinces him to deputize the trio and send them after an illegal Braithwaite moonshine operation. Backed up by the Sheriff's primary deputy, the team succeeds and earns Gray's favor.
Some time later, Colm O'Driscoll offers Dutch a truce and asks to meet. Dutch is highly suspicious of this, but Micah eventually persuades him to attend alongside Arthur. Dutch's suspicions are confirmed when the whole thing turns out to be a trap with the O'Driscolls kidnapping Arthur with the plan to turn him, Dutch and the whole gang in. This is foiled by Arthur's escape.
Dutch immediately orders his gang to assault the Braithwaite manor after it becomes clear that they were behind the kidnapping of Jack Marston. Following the assault, Dutch burns down the house and interrogates Catherine Braithwaite. She reveals that she sold the boy to a crime boss called Angelo Bronte. As Dutch orders the gang to pack up and leave, Catherine runs into her flaming house and burns to death.
Bringing Arthur and John with him, Dutch then pays Bronte a visit. Dutch charms Bronte with his skills of deception, and the crime boss agrees to give back Jack if the gang deals with a bunch of grave robbers operating in the Saint Denis cemetery. After John and Arthur complete this task, Dutch is already waiting for them with Jack by his side. Bronte even invites members of the gang to the Mayor's party.
Dutch overhears some leads during the party. Some attendees gossip about Cornwall, and Dutch instructs Arthur to investigate, while he gives Lenny some details about a money-laden trolley station in the city ripe for the robbing. When Lenny and Arthur hit the station, it turns out that there is barely any cash there, but rather it was a set-up with lawmen waiting for them. They manage to fight their way out, but Dutch is injured.
Later, the O'Driscolls would attack the gang hideout at Shady Belle. During the fight, Dutch shoots at the attackers from inside the building and instructs Arthur to bring Sadie inside. After the assault, Dutch returns to his plan on taking revenge on Bronte.
He makes a deal with a fisherman in Lagras to find and bring back a lost friend. Once this is complete, the fisherman transports Dutch, John and Arthur to Bronte's house which they shoot their way through. The appearance of lawmen force them to quickly escape, but not before Dutch drowns Bronte and feeds him to hungry alligators.
Following the difficulties of the O'Driscoll attack and the failed trolley station robbery, Dutch decides on leading one last big heist before taking the entire gang with him to a peaceful island somewhere and living a life free of the law. They scope out the Saint Denis bank and hatch a plan to clear it out, with Dutch being part of the team that goes into the vault. He tasks his long-time friend Hosea, as well as Abigail, to provide a distraction.
The bank robbery goes south after Agent Milton captures Hosea and Abigail. Milton kills Hosea in front of Dutch to taunt him, and in the ensuing gunfight and escape Lenny also dies and the gang is separated with a few members, including Dutch, stowing away on a ship to hide. The ship sails out with half the gang still on board.
Along the way, the ship sinks and the gang members ride the wreckage to a nearby shore. It turns out they have wound up on Guarma, "second island east of Cuba". When the scattered survivors reunite, they are arrested by the local military, who are then in turn attacked by rebels. Arthur unlocks the shackles of the gang, and the rebel leader Hercule Fontaine invites them to his base.
The rebel outpost is attacked, but with the help of Dutch and his men, the rebels fight off the soldiers but Javier Escuella is captured. After recovering, Dutch takes Arthur and the others to rescue Javier. Dutch pays an old woman named Gloria to lead them through a cave that leads to Aguasdulces, a sugar plantation. When she demands more money and pulls a knife on Dutch, he kills her and they proceed alone.
When reaching the plantation, Dutch spots Javier and Colone Fussar, who leads the local military. After causing a distraction in the sugar refinery, the gang rescues Javier and fight their way to safety, eventually reaching a rebel-held fort. A warship is seen approaching while ground forces attack the fort, and once again with the help of Dutch and his gang, the rebels defeat the soldiers.
Dutch orders a cannon volley that sinks the ship, and then the gang beings to fight their way to the port in order to steal a ship and get back to the mainland. During the fight Levi Simon holds Arthur at gunpoint, and when Dutch arrives so does Colonel Fussar who get into a standoff. Arthur breaks the standoff by kicking a gun towards the ship's captain, who shoots Simon while Fussar flees. The gang finally set sail.
After the gang reunites at Lakay, they are almost instantly attacked by a Pinkerton force, and Dutch has the camp moved to Beaver Hollow. Dutch learns that John has been incarcerated in Sisika Penitentiary, but decides against freeing him for fear of him being a traitor. Arthur and Sadie go ahead and rescue him anyway, much to Dutch's anger.
Dutch then decides to confront Levicitus Cornwall in Annesburg. He, Arthur and Micah board his yacht where Dutch demands $10,000, the yacht and safe passage in exchange for Cornwall's life. Cornwall refuses and laughs into Dutch's face, who shoots him dead. The trio then need to fight their way back to safety.
After this incident, Dutch learns that Colm O'Driscoll has been caught and sentenced to death. Colm has escaped execution twice before, and Dutch wants to ensure that doesn't happen again. He attends the public hanging with Sadie and Arthur to prevent Colm's men from saving him, in which they succeed leading to Colm dying on the rope. Sadie, however, flies into a murderous rage and openly attacks the O'Driscoll thugs.
Later, Eagle Flies rides to the Van Der Linde camp to ask for aid. His tribe's horses were stolen by the military, and Dutch agrees to help steal them back due to his dislike of the government and injustice. He, Eagle Flies, Charles and Arthur ride off and manage to steal back the horses from the Ferry. They return to the reservation, and plan to tar-and-feather a group of soldiers. Dutch and Arthur meet up with some Indians, including Eagle Flies, near a pass where the regiment is set to pass through.
They use dynamite to block the path, and order the soldiers to drop their weapons. However, a surprise wave of reinforcements arrive, and in the ensuing gunfight all of the Indians are killed, leaving Dutch and Arthur alone to escape, which they do by jumping down some rapids.
Soon after Eagle Flies once again rides to the camp, this time with many Wapiti warriors in tow. He reveals that the government responded to the pass ambush by raiding the reservation, and he intends to destroy the Cornwall Distillery in revenge. Rains Fall arrives son after, begging his tribe not to go to war. Eagle Flies leads his warriors into battle nonetheless.
After discussing the situation, Dutch decides to help the Wapiti. When the gang arrives, the Wapiti are in dire straits with the soldiers overpowering them. Dutch leads an assault on the warehouse, killing many soldiers and securing military bonds. As they try to escape, a pipe-burst knocks down Arthur who is then swarmed by soldiers. Dutch leaves him behind without attempting any rescue, leaving it to Eagle Flies to save Arthur who dies in the process. Dutch later denies leaving Arthur behind.
When the gang reunites at the camp, they realize that Pearson, Uncle and Mary-Beth have all left. Dutch calls them cowards, and becomes angry when Arthur suggests that John Marston and his family should leave the gang as well. He then agrees to it, but only after they complete their final score that he planned with Micah. During the train heist, John is wounded, and Dutch claimes to have tried to save him. In fact he didn't, and later lies that John was already dead.
In the meantime, Abigail was arrested. Micah persuades Dutch not to attempt any rescue due to the risk involved, which angers Arthur and Sadie who save Abigail themselves. Returning, Arthur reveals to Dutch that Micah was the traitor all along, and is a Pinkerton informant. All those remaining in the camp then enter a standoff as nobody is sure who to side with. Dutch tries to remain neutral, but a surprise appearance from John complicates things as he reveals what happened on the train. Most of the group side with Micah, as does Dutch, even though Micah shoots Susan Grimshaw and John sides with Arthur.
The standoff is broken when a Pinkerton force attacks the group. Dutch and those who sided with him escape, leaving Arthur and John behind. Depending on Arthur's actions, Dutch intervenes between his and Micah's fight at the camp's ruins or mountains. He decides not to side with either of them, and simply walks away, which is the end of the Van Der Linde Gang.
Fast forward 8 years, and Dutch has reappeared. Coming out of hiding, he joins up with Micah again to retrieve the money stashed from the botched Blackwater robbery all those years ago. John Marston, Sadie and Charles learn of his location and vow to take revenge on Micah, not knowing of Dutch's involvement. During John and Micah's last standoff, he makes a surprise appearance and kills Micah, leaving the Blackwater money to John.