GTA 5 Theory: The Protagonists Are All One Person


Grand Theft Auto 5 has three protagonists with different storylines, but some fans theorize that these characters are actually the same person.

There’s a theory roaming the web about Grand Theft Auto 5 that the three protagonists are actually the same person. At first glance, this theory seems a bit far-fetched since Michael, Trevor, and Franklin all have very different lifestyles and look nothing alike. By delving into their core character, however, it’s easy to see that they share a lot of similar traits.

All three GTA 5 main characters are solitary, irritable, impulsive, and pathological liars, so much so that players may find it difficult to trust the characters’ next moves during gameplay. What makes this GTA theory somewhat believable is that Michael was pronounced dead after a failed operation, Trevor is Michael’s old best friend, and Franklin is a repo man/gang member who happens to cross paths with Michael. Although they all interact in one way or another, their interactions could simply be one man’s subconscious or his hallucinations.

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Michael De Santa lives in the nicest neighborhood in Los Santos and is a retired bank robber with a mansion, swimming pool, and tennis court. From the outside, his life appears perfect, but his marriage is crumbling and his two children are completely out of control. This chaos is apparent in Michael’s emotional state since he copes by drinking liquor, watching TV, and occasionally smoking cannabis. He is a recluse in his own home. Similarly, Trevor Philips resides alone in his trailer, wallowing in his own misery, enjoying his methamphetamine. Like Michael, he is mentally unstable but his emotions are less controlled, resulting in violent outbursts. Finally, there is Franklin, who happens to cross paths with Michael during a repossession of a vehicle owned by Michael’s son. Unlike the other two characters, he appears level-headed and calm in high-stress situations, but his personality evolves into a depressive state due to his lack of success. Ultimately, his true colors are hidden and he actually feels alone and abandoned just like Trevor and Michael. According to this GTA theory, which first originated on Reddit, these similarities are proof of their connection.

How Michael, Franklin, & Trevor Could All Be One Person

It’s possible Michael, Trevor, and Franklin are the same character in GTA 5, portrayed differently depending on the scenario they are in. When Franklin first meets Michael, Michael is in the backseat of a car holding a gun to Franklin’s head, threatening him if his orders are not obeyed. Michael is the fiery personality of Franklin, the devil on his shoulder that tries to persuade him to leave his rational thoughts behind. Michael, after all, is “buried” at the beginning of Grand Theft Auto 5 after a robbery, though it is later revealed another body was buried and Michael escaped from authorities. Perhaps what players see of Michael in the game is the idealized version of himself if he had remained alive. After all, it would not be unlike him to lie about his fate.

If Michael is Franklin’s demon, does this mean Trevor is his angel? Not exactly. While Trevor acts as a mentor figure, he is a psychopath with egotistical tendencies and no capacity for love. He is Franklin’s super demon, the most dangerous and self-destructive side. Based on this analysis, Franklin is the main character but Trevor and Michael are two parts of his personality.

Perhaps Grand Theft Auto 5 uses the three protagonists as a metaphor to explore personality disorders. There is this push and pull between right and wrong, and Franklin’s fate depends on each of his choices. For those who have completed the game, they probably remember that Franklin decides who will live and who will die. Even though Franklin appears to be the weaker of the three characters, the youngest and most inexperienced, emotionally, he is the foundation, the one in charge of each person’s destiny. While many players might not consider the deeper theories about the protagonists, it’s evident that the story-rich narrative in Grand Theft Auto 5 gives audiences a glimpse into a darker side of a person’s soul, a reminder to not take things at face value.

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Updated: November 24, 2020 — 3:17 pm

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