In Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the biggest mysteries has been the identity of the Strange Man. A mysterious and otherworldly character, the Strange Man first appears in RDR1, somehow knowing a great deal about John Marston and his past with the Van der Linde gang. Naturally, this catches John off guard, as he has no idea who the character is. In Red Dead Redemption 2, the Strange Man shows up again, and his cameo is even stranger [spoilers ahead].
During the epilogue, playing as John, players can visit an abandoned shack with an unfinished painting. As players revisit this place, the painting slowly fills out until it displays a portrait of the Strange Man, who then appears behind John in the mirror, however, when John turns around nobody is there. Beyond this, there’s some NPC dialogue that hints at the character, but that’s it.
Who the Strange Man is, Rockstar Games has yet to reveal, but one player thinks they’ve figured it out, and the theory is wild, but surprisingly convincing. Over on Reddit, one post has gone viral for making the case that the Strange Man is “Cain from the Bible,” “doomed to walk the earth for eternity, marked by god so that all will recognize him.”
The following evidence/speculation is then provided:
- After killing his brother Abel, Cain is marked by God, so that all will recognize him, and any who do him harm will have vengeance enacted upon them 7 times over. This is why John Marston recognizes him, but can’t tell where from, and it’s also the reason for something else, more on that later.
- He was the first murderer, which is why in RDR2, if you photograph his house, the picture will be entitled “Serial Killer”.
- The strange man appears to have incalculable amounts of life experience, which would make sense if he were Cain, as he would have been alive since before Noah’s flood. This is why he seems to know everything.
- The town of Tumbleweed is abandoned, which could partially be due to his presence. He is doomed to wander the earth for eternity, and God even tells him “When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth”. Cain is cursed, bringing death and misfortune to any he interacts with, and is doomed to wander the earth for eternity.
- When John Marston says “Tell me your name or I won’t be responsible for my actions”, he replies “Oh, but you will. You will be responsible.” This could be in reference to his curse, and how John Marston meets his fate.
- When John Marston says “Damn You!”, he replies “Yes, many have.” He is damned to walk the earth for eternity, so this response makes perfect sense. After this, he is shot by John Marston 3 times. In the bible, it is said that those who seek to destroy Cain will have vengeance enacted upon them seven fold. When John Marston meets his demise, he is shot about 21 times, 7 times the bullets that he fired at the Strange Man.
Building upon the theory, the Reddit user — Basketballjuice — goes on to note that Cain is also the name of Jack Marston’s dog, which, well is a very interesting name to give a dog.
For now, all of this is pure and utter speculation, but it’s by far the best Strange Man theory so far. That said, and as always, feel free to leave a comment or two letting us know what you think or, alternatively, hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ to talk all things gaming. What do you think of this Strange Man theory?