Exhibit A – Arthur's journal. Right from the very beginning, you can see Arthur's capacity for introspection through his writing. Considering the man is an officially 'uneducated' outlaw, he expresses himself very eloquently in his journal, both in rich vocabulary and literary substance. This becomes more apparent as he becomes disillusioned with Dutch's ideas and begins to constantly analyze and doubt the situation the gang has found themselves in, and reflects on his life due to his impending death.
And lest we forget the incredible sketches found throughout Arthur's journal. More than likely he's completely self-taught in terms of art, which makes his artwork all the more impressive.
Exhibit B – Humility. Unlike Dutch, Arthur has no illusion of being a martyr fighting for a better world. He respects Dutch's aspiration of 'making a better world', but solely because he feels he owes Dutch his life and full loyalty, not because he thinks it's a realistic goal. Instead, Arthur always reiterates that he's nothing more than a common criminal. He acknowledges that all the crimes the gang commits is ultimately for entirely selfish reasons, yet he does these things to protect his adopted family.
Arthur commonly plays down his intelligence to others when it's brought up, often saying he doesn't do much thinking and that killing's more his thing. But funnily enough, a common trait amongst intelligent people is being willing to admit they lack knowledge without being ashamed.
Exhibit C – Arthur's physical/mental versatility. Arthur's adaptability to new skills/situations makes him excel in the intense life of an outlaw. He's potentially one of the greatest marksmen of his era (probably the most lethal outlaw in terms of skill in the Red Dead universe in my opinion). His physical prowess allows him to fight hand to hand and defeat multiple opponents/opponents who are twice the size of him, and take inhuman amounts of punishment without faltering. He's an accomplished liar/conman when he needs to be (shown during the Benedict Albright bounty mission when he concocts a lie about his sick mother to goad Albright into admitting who he was, for example).
On top of these traits, he can also hunt/fish efficiently enough to provide for a large group of people, in spite of it never really being his main role within the gang.
Arthur's also displayed excellent leadership qualities, able to inspire his fellow gang members before/during battle, and is able to decide on effective tactics even during the heat of battle.
In my opinion, Arthur was essentially the engine of the van der Linde gang due to being the most physically capable, but he was very much capable of more. I think if in the event that Dutch died shortly after the Saint Denis bank robbery, the gang could've potentially prospered under Arthur's leadership due to his vast skillset and intelligence.
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