Did the Fallout TV show just make a Fallout 4 ending canon?

Fallout TV series Brotherhood airship
(Image credit: Amazon)

What you need to know

  • Fans of the Fallout TV show have spotted markings on the side of the Brotherhood of Steel's airship that seemingly identify it as the Prydwen, the same vessel the Brotherhood in Fallout 4 used. It was previously named the Caswennan in a Vanity Fair exclusive.
  • If this is the Prydwen, it would make one of two Fallout 4 endings canon since the show takes place nine years after Fallout 4. The other two endings involve destroying the Prydwen.
  • One possible canon ending is that the Brotherhood took control of the Commonwealth. Another is that the Minutemen defeated the Institute and remained on good terms with the Brotherhood.
  • It's possible the inclusion of these markings on the ship was an error or that the Brotherhood refers to its airships as Prydwen-class craft, though there's no way to know for sure until Bethesda comments on the matter.

While the story that unfolds in Amazon's popular new Fallout TV show has been confirmed as canon in the Fallout universe, it doesn't have any obvious direct connections to games that took place before it like Fallout: New Vegas or Fallout 4. Upon scrutinizing the show closely, though, some eagle-eyed fans have spotted a detail that may confirm that one of two Fallout 4 endings is canon.

That detail is a series of markings on the side of the Brotherhood of Steel's airship that seemingly identify it as the Prydwen, the flagship used by the Brotherhood troops on the east coast of the US that travel to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Fallout 4. Though a caption about the sister ship in a Vanity Fair exclusive stated that the vessel is called the Caswennan — notably, in Arthurian legend, both names are used for King Arthur's ship interchangeably — this lettering suggests it's actually the same craft.

Since the Fallout TV show takes place nine years after Fallout 4 in 2296, this means two of the game's four major endings could be canon if this is indeed the Prydwen. The other two — endings where you side with either the Railroad or the Institute and eventually help these groups destroy the Brotherhood and the Prydwen in the Commonwealth — would be impossible.

The Prydwen as it appears in Fallout 4. (Image credit: Fallout Wiki)

The first possible ending is the Brotherhood one, in which you join the Brotherhood of Steel, eradicate both the Railroad and the Institute, and help the faction take control of the Commonwealth for the foreseeable future. Though this outcome is certainly plausible, it's not the one I would expect Bethesda to canonize, as it forces you to wipe out the Railroad faction the studio may wish to explore further in future titles.

The second conclusion that could be canon, and the one that I suspect is, is the Minutemen ending. It involves becoming the General of the Minutemen civilian defense militia and leading the group to victory against the Institute, and as long as you don't attack the Railroad or the Brotherhood, they'll remain neutral.

The possibility of both endings is supported by an Elder of the faction noting that the west coast Brotherhood has received reinforcements from the Commonwealth in the first episode of the show. This could have referred to survivors from a conflict the Brotherhood lost there, but if this airship is the Prydwen, it would mean the east coast Brotherhood either sent troops to aid their comrades or chose to travel to California after the Minutemen achieved victory.

Brotherhood members Maximus and Titus in the Fallout TV show. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Of course, it's entirely possible that the markings on the vessel are erroneous, or that the Brotherhood now calls all of these craft Prydwen-class airships. Ultimately, though, there's no way to know for sure if this is the Prydwen from Fallout 4 until Bethesda comments on the matter.

If you're interested in playing through Fallout 4 and seeing how the Commonwealth branch of the Brotherhood of Steel compares to the one in the TV show, there's never been a better time to do so thanks to the ongoing Fallout Franchise Sale and the fact every Fallout game is available with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. You should also check out Fallout 3 to get an idea of what the east coast Brotherhood used to be like before Fallout 4's Arthur Maxson took control of it.

In other news, it's been confirmed that the Fallout TV show doesn't make Fallout: New Vegas non-canon by both a director at Bethesda and Todd Howard himself. Fans were confused by a timeline found by main character Lucy in Episode 6 that stated "The Fall of Shady Sands" — a city from the original Fallout that went on to become the capital of the New California Republic (NCR) — began in 2277, four years before the events of Fallout: New Vegas. An arrow pointing to an explosion made people think Shady Sands was nuked in that year, but the truth is this is simply when issues like economic decline began to erode the NCR's strength, which is something that's actually mentioned in-game as the faction tries to fight Caesar's Legion. Whatever led to the destruction of Shady Sands happened after New Vegas' story.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • fdruid
    This is silly. In interactive media like videogames, if the game has several endings, they're all canon. Everything happening in the games is canon.

    It's as if you said that only things and characters appearing in the series are canon.
  • one80oneday
  • fjtorres5591
    In New Vegas DLC the courier gains control of a nuke and has the option to nuke somebody. In the main game he gains control of an orbital solar weapon. He also has control.of the Boomers and their bomber. Regardless of his choices, all the endings leave the door open for the courier, House, the Legion, the boomers, or an NCR faction to take out Shady Sands with any of those. For all we know the Courier was a vaultec operative. 😎
    Or was triple crossed.

    And yes, in 2281, there were signs of internal problems within the NCR so an internal faction could have already be undercutting the republic. In fact, the conflict might have been started by the Shady Sands authorities.

    The thing to remember is the canonical game endings are not guaranteed to actually stick. Or be the whole story. In the wasteland nobody trusts anybody and everybody lies. (That only adds to the fun.)

    And that includes the mother of fire (who need not be dead--how'd she survive 220 years?) or the "kindler gentler" vault 4 survivors.

    As to the airship, even if the Prydwen was destroyed, we could be looking at a replacement, the Prydwen A, and the east coast brotherhood could have returned to take Boston afterwards.

    Bottom.line: everything can be canon and not-canon through events off-camera.

    All we know for sure is:

    - There is a brotherhood outpost in the commonwealth, and thus in the Capitol Wasteland
    - The Enclave is still active somewhere in the west
    - The Brotherhood has cold fusion and thus the means to recharge fusion cores
    - New Vegas is dark at night. Whether it is dead or power-limited is TBD as is who, if anybody, is in charge.
    - Vaultec is quietly active as a previously unknown faction. Not all Vaults are accounted for. Somewhere they have one or more establishments with nukes and advanced tech. (Maybe Zetan toys.) Note that Hank knows how to use power armor.
    - Vaults 31,32, and 33 look to be a eugenic program to breed a better breed of managers. Note Lucy's intro in episode one, listing her skills: repair, speech, science, unarmed, small guns, etc. She might be naive but she is well trained, and cool under pressure; clearly intended for a managerial role.

    Unknown: power structure in the Commonwealth and New Vegas
    Fate of The Institute, Railroad, Synths, The Pitt, Scorched, Super mutants, and Zetans.

    For all we know, Vaultec is tied to the Zetans. 🤔

    Season 2 can't come fast enough.