Unforgiven is a revisionist western because of how it depicts Morgan Freeman’s character, Ned. Ned is Munny’s partner, showing that they are equals. Even when they are traveling, usually an African American character would be at the back but Ned is not; instead their order is constantly switching, showing that no one has more power than the other. They agree with Kid to split the reward money equally three ways, which is unusual since in other westerns, African Americans are not considered equals and so would not receive equal pay. Most African Americans in westerns are uneducated, but it becomes apparent that Ned is intelligent. He figures out why Kid cannot, tricking him into believing that there is a hawk in the sky to prove his theory that Kid is nearsighted. Ned’s importance and significance is shown in Munny’s acts of revenge, which adds to the plot. Ned is important enough to Munny for him to kill several men for revenge of Ned’s murder; typically the revenge is solely for something that has been done to a woman. In other westerns, the murder of a black would not matter, but Munny even calls Ned his friend and partner, proving Ned’s significance.
Munny is the alpha male cowboy who has a dark past filled with killing and drinking. He fulfills his duty, helping Kid kill the men who hurt the prostitute; he also got revenge for Ned by killing Skinny and Little Bill. He threatens to return and kill other if Ned is not properly buried or if any of the prostitutes are hurt. He is unique since he changed his ways, married, and had children, whom he returns to. He also remains loyal to his dead wife, rejecting the prostitutes’ offers. He also has Ned, his partner and friend, with whom he is equals, when many alpha males work alone. Munny’s unique characteristics make him easier for men of the time to relate to since during the 1990s the majority of the population settled down and had families.