Why Strange Man Cursed Armadillo

How and why Herbert Moon’s deal with the Strange Man resulted in a curse and caused the Armadillo cholera outbreak in Red Dead Redemption 2.

those who played Red Dead Redemption 2The epilogue will recognize the strange man and his ambiguous connection to the dusty, cursed town of Armadillo. When players arrive as John, they are greeted by a town that is completely infected with cholera, except for the local shopkeeper, Herbert Moon, a character who has already appeared in Red Dead Redemption. By rummaging through cubicles and old letters, it is possible to deduce that the strange man – a supernatural figure who foreshadowed the death of John Marston in RDR – and his deal with Herbert Moon cursed Armadillo and caused generations of pain.


Players first encountered the strange man in Red Dead Redemption as an infrequent quest giver and an ominous presence in John’s life, predicting the exact location where he, Abigail, and Uncle would eventually be buried. He calls himself an accountant, a term often coined for the Grim Reaper, and appears in a dark coat and top hat, with a well-groomed mustache. In Red Dead Redemption 2, John can catch a wanderer outside Armadillo who mentions a specter in a black cloak and hat lurking on the outskirts of town. Conversations like this are warning signs for players that the Strange Man is transcending the mortal plane.

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In Red Dead Redemption 2‘s ghostly Armadillo, there is an eerie feel to the streets which are empty except for the town crier who salutes the city being devoured by cholera. Players discover that this is not the first epidemic to hit Armadillo, and in fact the city was decimated a few years earlier by scarlet fever. The only healthy inhabitant of the town is a Herbert Moon, a seemingly average trader. A look at the portrait of the strange man hanging on the wall of the shop quickly resolves this. A letter found on Moon implies that he worships the odd god-like man, hence why he may have been offered a deal in the first place.

Herbert Moon’s Deal With RDR2’s Strange Cursed Man

Red Dead Redemption 2 Strange Man Herbert Moon

After completing RDR2ends and begins its epilogue, players can find an Armadillo map in the strange man’s cabin with the note, “I gave you happiness or two generations. Have you made your choice”. It can be inferred based on Moon’s letters that he chose two generations, as he has a daughter and soon a granddaughter as well. Once this end of the bargain was fulfilled, the strange man got his due and took away Moon’s happiness. The letters of the moon in Red Dead Redemption 2 hinted that he liked running his grocery store, and during a dialogue with him, John finds out that the cholera outbreak has been tough on business and no one has bought from him.

Clues point to the the people of RDR2Armadillo first fell ill when Herbert Moon’s daughter was born, the start of his generational misfortune. It is possible that the outbreaks raged for so long due to Moon’s anti-Semitic behavior towards his daughter’s Jewish husband and the way he forbade them from marrying, forcing them to run away together despite his disapproval. Four years later during the events of the first Red Dead Redemption, the cholera epidemic had ended around the time Moon’s granddaughter, and second generation, was born.

While there’s no solid confirmation from developer Rockstar Games as to whether this theory is true, there are enough clues and in-game references to make it a solid argument. The dates between the births of Herbert Moon’s daughter and granddaughter correlate with the start and end of the Armadillo plagues are too coincidental to be mere accidents given Moon’s connection to Red Dead Redemption 2supernatural being of ominous, strange man. This, combined with Strange Man’s reported supernatural powers, provides a strong argument that his deal with Moon is the cause of the Armadillo outbreaks.

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