Early Life & Career
John Marston had a fairly difficult childhood. His mother was a prostitute that died while giving birth to him. John's father was an immigrant from Scotland, who was born at sea while his parents were immigrating to the United States via New York City. It is implied that John's father was likely his mother's agent for prostitution-or pimp. John's father died when John was eight years old, leaving him a ward of the state and summarily sent to an orphanage (of which John quickly escaped). John later joined a gang that was led by a man named Dutch van der Linde, who looked after him and taught him literacy.
John Marston spent a lot of his early career as an outlaw with a strict moral code, vaguely explained in-game as being comparable to that of Robin Hood. As the gang unraveled following several bungled jobs, Marston escaped with his wife Abigail and son Jack. After unsuccessfully trying to start a new life in the northern United States, he returned to the south and built himself a ranch where him and his family lived until Pinkerton agents forcefully retained his services prior to the events of Red Dead Redemption.
John certainly knows his way around firearms. He is a survivalist, who believes life to be an ongoing battle. He is relatively old fashioned in a land that is quickly adopting the current advances in technology.
Red Dead Redemption
Under constant threats to his family's well being from agent Edgar Ross, Marston is sent to capture or kill his former gang partner, Bill Williamson. He quickly becomes allies with Marshall Leigh Johnson, showing that Marston still holds some deep respect for the lawmen.
Major Story Spoiler Warning
In the games final story mission, The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed, John Marston is shot down and killed by agent Edgar Ross and his henchmen. Jack and Abigail Marston (John's son and wife respectively) head out to recover John's body and promptly bury it. Following John's death, Jack becomes the lead protagonist and has direct access to his fathers clothing and money (as well as his honor and fame). Three years after John's death, Jack tracks down a retired Edgar Ross and challenges him to a duel. Jack wins the duel avenging his fathers death, becoming a outlaw himself.
- John Marston is voiced by Rob Wiethoff.
- Even though Marston has the exact same scar on his face as Red Harlow from the original Red Dead Revolver, they are not related in any way.
- He can't swim.
- The inscription on his grave says "Blessed are the peacemakers".
- John is an avid smoker, as he is seen with a cigarette in some cutscenes, after missions, and while being in the cinema.
- He can be quite a gentleman, as he acts considerably polite towards women.
"My side ain't chosen. My side was given."
"People don't forget. Nothing gets forgiven."
"Some trees flourish, others die. Some cattle grow strong, others are taken by wolves. Some men are born rich enough and dumb enough to enjoy their lives. Ain't nothing fair. You know that."
"I just know that there are two theories when arguing with women. And neither one works."
"It ain't no secret I didn't get these scars falling over in church."
"Men are born, and then they're formed. At least that's how I see it."