Red Dead Redemption 2 has a tragic and complicated story woven around different characters, each with a distinct role. The main character, Arthur Morgan, is a member of the Van der Linde gang, and they are constantly on the run escaping the law and rival gangs.
Red Dead Redemption 2 takes place at a pivotal time in American history when the age of outlaws is coming to an end. Still, gangs like Van der Linde wreak havoc across the country and evade law enforcement by any means possible. Eventually, criminal organizations find themselves in conflicts with their rivals, and the Van der Linde gang was no different. They regularly quarreled with other Red Dead Redemption 2 gangs like the Del Lobo boys, the Murfree Brood, and Lemoyne Raiders. The most bitter rivals of the Van der Linde gang, however, are the O'Driscolls.
Origins of The Van der Linde Gang and O'Driscolls Feud
The O'Driscolls are arguably the fiercest enemies of the Van der Linde gang, and the rivalry between the two groups begins before the game's events. They are the first adversaries the player encounters in Red Dead Redemption 2, soon after the gang finds a place to rest in the Grizzlies. Little is described in Red Dead Redemption 2 about why the two criminal groups hate each other, but some hints about their backstory were given.
Dialogues of older Van der Linde gang members like Dutch, Hosea, and Arthur suggest that the two gangs have an unpleasant history that goes back years. Some dialogues even suggest that Dutch and Colm O'Driscoll, the rival gang's leader, were allies at one point and worked together to achieve their criminal goals. Somewhere along the way, the two gang leaders had a falling out and have been at each other's throats since.
In the words of Arthur Morgan, the two individuals go way back and have a proper Blood Feud. More information about this strife between Dutch and Colm O'Driscoll is revealed during an early mission in Red Dead Redemption 2 called ‘Old Friends’. Arthur and Dutch are riding to an O'Driscoll camp in the mountains, where Arthur tells Dutch to put the conflict to rest. They continue talking about their issues when it is revealed that Dutch killed Colm's brother in the past, who had killed Dutch's love interest, Annabelle. Since then, the two Red Dead Redemption 2 gangs have been at each other's throats and wanted to destroy their opponent any chance they get.
Red Dead 2: Dutch vs. Colm
The O'Driscolls are first seen during the very first mission in Red Dead Redemption 2, called 'Outlaws from the West.' The Van der Linde people find shelter from heavy snow in an old abandoned mining town when Dutch, Arthur, and Micah find a homestead in search of supplies. This house belongs to Sadie Adler and her husband, who's been killed by the O'Driscolls that have taken over the place. A small shootout ensues, and the Van der Linde gang members emerge victorious.
The next mission where O'Driscolls appear is 'Old Friends,' where more information is revealed about the two gangs' history. Dutch, Arthur, Bill, Lenny, Javier, and Micah head to the O'Driscoll camp to sabotage their plans of robbing a train in Red Dead Redemption 2. After the mission, the gang members come across an escaping O'Driscoll Boy named Kieran Duffy. The Van der Linde gang ultimately threatens Kieran in the next mission to reveal Colm's location, which he claims is the Six Point Cabin.
Unfortunately, Colm is nowhere to be found, and Arthur is ambushed by an O'Driscoll, who Kieran kills and saves Arthur's life. After this, players move to the region of New Hanover, where O'Driscolls can be seen more frequently, mainly around Valentine. They often set up traps around bridges and try to ambush Arthur any chance they get. Furthermore, players will discover many O'Driscoll hideouts and camps as they progress through the game's events.
O'Driscolls will show hostile behavior toward Arthur and can be easily recognized by their distinct attire or long, grey coats. In addition, they have thick Irish accents and names like Seamus and Patrick. This suggests many of them could be Irish immigrants. Moreover, O'Driscolls always seem to have numerical superiority but are poorly trained with subpar equipment.
They appear in the 'Blessed Are The Meek' mission, where Arthur breaks Micah out of prison in Strawberry. On their way back to camp, they are ambushed by tens of O'Driscoll gang members who flee upon facing the resistance offered by Micah and Arthur. They both have another encounter with the rival gang in the mission, 'An American Pastoral Scene.'
However, the most important Red Dead Redemption 2 mission from the gang rivalry point of view is 'Blessed Are The Peacemakers.' Colm O'Dricsoll finally appears in this mission and offers a parley with the Van der Linde gang. The Van der Linde gang suspects it could be a trap, but they go anyway. The two gang leaders are seen face to face for the first time during the main story of Red Dead Redemption 2.
The interaction between Dutch and Colm is highly significant as it reveals many vital details. Firstly, Dutch apologizes to Colm for killing his brother, to which Colm replies that he didn't like him much. This indicates that the feud didn't start because of the death of Colm's brother and peace was not an option. Furthermore, Colm also says that the law offered him money to provide information about Dutch, suggesting he had better political connections.
How The Feud Between The Van der Linde Gang and The O'Driscolls Ends
The O'Driscolls appear in a couple more missions where they attack the Van der Linde gang at the Saint-Denis camp. Eventually, Colm is apprehended by the law and sentenced to death. His hanging takes place during the 'Goodbye, Dear Friend' mission, where he initially has plans to escape. Arthur, Dutch, and Sadie disguise themselves as policemen to witness the execution and also end up foiling Colm's plans to avoid death.
Colm is ultimately executed as planned, but Sadie loses her cool and kills a bunch of O'Driscoll boys and lawmen. Colm's death ended his feud with Dutch, but Sadie Adler was still eyeing revenge for her husband's murder. 'Mrs. Sadie Adler, Widow,' is the final mission where O'Driscolls are seen. Sadie avenges her husband's death by killing his murderer, Tom, who had become the leader of the O'Driscoll gang.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.