Brotherhood Of Steel In ‘Fallout’ Series Explained: Is The Cold Fusion Reactor Safe With Them?

Dystopian narratives often showcase the most unlikely mash-ups of differing sects, as the fall of civilization calls for unusual measures to be implemented. In the Fallout universe, the Brotherhood of Steel is such an intriguing faction that exists as a technocratic military organization that is founded on a theological belief system. The more interesting aspect of the Brotherhood is that its religious roots are based not on veneration of divinity but rather on worshipping the technology of the pre-war era. Guided by a strict hierarchy maintaining order and regulations, the Brotherhood has self-serving motives, which posits them beyond the binary of good and evil. 


In the first season of Amazon Prime’s Fallout TV series, the Brotherhood of Steel makes their presence felt by playing a key role in the central plotline, and by the end, through a chain of events, the organization ultimately gains the key to the future of humanity in the dystopian nightmare. We will briefly discuss the origins of the Brotherhood, their motives, and possible courses of action in the future of the series, and needless to say, a number of spoilers from both the TV series and game lore will follow.

Spoilers Ahead 


The Formation And Motive Of The Brotherhood

Although it has not been revealed in the TV series just yet, the creation of the Brotherhood of Steel took place during the post-war era, shortly after the nuclear holocaust in 2077, which turned the surface world into a wasteland. With the authorization of the United States government, days before the Great War, West Tek Defense Corporation conducted genetic experiments on prisoners of war in secrecy under the protection of the army without their knowledge. After this heinous act got exposed, a military uproar followed, which nearly resulted in a mutiny. Under the leadership of Captain Roger Maxson, a significant number of military personnel defected from the United States Army. Inspired by the ideals of medieval history, where knights and scribes held the foundation of western civilization after the fall of Rome, Maxson formed the Brotherhood of Steel to protect the last vestiges of human civilization. Lofty ideals of honor, morality, bravery, and brotherhood became core tenets of the organization, and definitive roles were ascribed according to the ranks of the members, thereby creating an enduring mythology that, according to Maxson’s belief, enforced a heightened sense of responsibility and purpose among the members of the Brotherhood. Dismantling the military iconography, the Brotherhood found hope in faith. The organization bears many similarities with similar religious military sects from different popular franchises like “Gamma World” and “Warhammer 40K” and draws major inspiration from Walter Miller’s science fiction novel “A Canticle for Leibowitz.”

Having first-hand experience of the diabolical capabilities of science when it falls into the wrong hands, Maxson had a clear idea about what should be the prime directive of the Brotherhood. The organization concerned itself with gathering and preserving relics of pre-war technology and human knowledge, aiming to use them to restore human civilization in the near future. Most importantly, the Brotherhood seeks to guard technology and knowledge from the rest of what remains of humankind so history doesn’t repeat itself through someone’s vile machinations. With the help of advanced power armor suits, which are wielded by the top-ranking combatants of the organization, known as Knights, the Brotherhood scour through the wasteland in search of the technology of the old world and actively hoard it. While the members defend their actions as a necessary precaution, for many others, the Brotherhood is an embodiment of territorial conservatism, which only stagnates human progress. 


There is a noticeable feeling of disdain the Brotherhood harbors for the scientists involved in vault projects, which is hinted at when Maximus gets surprised to learn that Lucy is a vault dweller, as he was led to believe that only Mutants dwell in the vaults. This assumption is partially true, as we later get to know that vault dwellers are practically test subjects of the conglomerates whose handiwork brought human civilization to the verge of total annihilation. The Brotherhood is also extremely hostile towards ghouls and similar abominations, considering them an insult to science and nature itself, and through the final interaction between Maximus and Thaddeus, this aspect is hinted at during the penultimate episode of the series as well. 

What Is Brotherhood Of Steel’s Future?

The first season of Fallout pits every major party against each other to track down Enclave scientist Siggi Wilzig, who is smuggling a revolutionary technology—a cold fusion reactor—that can provide limitless energy and forever change the resource struggle by taking the power away from the conglomerates. The Brotherhood knows the importance of such an invention and sends all of their knights on a mission to find it out. Eventually, Maximus leads the organization to Moldaver’s hideout in the observatory, and after a vicious battle with her followers, the surviving members of the Brotherhood take control of the hideout. In her last moments, Moldaver activates the cold fusion to show Maximus a glimpse of the immense power the reactor holds and questions whether his brotherhood can be trusted with such a piece of technology.


The obvious problem that arises from the Brotherhood possessing the cold fusion reactor is that, according to their policy, they will not share it with the rest of humanity, keeping it to themselves until they consider the world ready to be entrusted with the source of limitless energy. While their decision might be pragmatic and calculative, it prohibits the intended purpose of Moldaver: to make it accessible to the common people, thereby allowing conglomerates like West Tek and Vault-Tec to continue exercising their control over the survivors. Moreover, despite the military might of the Brotherhood, in the game, they were pushed back by the forces of the New California Republic (NCR). Similarly, the conglomerates might try to seize the cold fusion reactor from them, not to mention that they still have absolute control over the resources and probably some old-world weaponry as well. With Maximus ascending to a higher position in the Brotherhood, thanks to a misunderstanding by his friend, Dane, there is a possibility of him trying to make the organization reconsider their stance and use the cold fusion for the betterment of mankind—not by gatekeeping but by entrusting them with such a power. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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