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Fallout Overseers, Ranked By How Much We’d Trust Them Not To Kill Us

From "Absolutely" to "Zero Chance".

The Fallout universe is filled with Vaults, and each of these Vaults has an Overseer: a leader responsible for the safety and happiness of the Vault dwellers. More often than not, they’re involved in whichever experiment Vault-Tec has decided to run. We meet six different Overseers over the first season of Amazon Prime’s Fallout. Here’s all of them, ranked by how much we’d trust them not to kill us.

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(Beware spoilers for the whole series.)

Fallout TV Series Overseers Ranked

#6. Bud Askins (Vault 33)

Fallout series Brotherhood of Steel
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Would we trust him: No. Assuming we’re random Vault dwellers or people from the wastelands, then we’d never get to meet Bud, so we have no reason to trust him. The dwellers of Vault 31 are all Vault-Tec employees who share his goals and ideals. They trust him, but that really isn’t a point in his favor.

It’s also worth noting that by the time of the series, Bud has uploaded his brain into a robot, and that’s historically not a good sign. He’s spent centuries manipulating the Vault dwellers to further his goals, and he isn’t afraid to take decisive actions to further his agenda, even if people get hurt. He’s cunning, manipulative, and has his own agenda. Trusting him would be a bad idea.

Would he still kill us: Yes. If Bud was on the Titanic, he’d probably toss an old woman overboard, steal her clothes, raid her cabin for valuables, and then strut past crowds of terrified passengers to take her spot in a lifeboat.

Bud is purely interested in power. He even describes his plan to purge the surface world to eliminate competition as casually as someone giving a lunch order. If he thinks killing you will further his goals, he will.

Moreover, he’s shown to have seen the Great War as profitable, which makes him an all-around jerk.  Even before joining Vault-Tec, he oversaw the design and sale of the T-45 power armor, despite knowing that it had serious design flaws. Presumably, fixing those flaws would cut into the profit margins.

However, there’s a caveat. Bud doesn’t have the best control of his robotic body. At one point, he can’t even move a broom out of the way. While he has enough control of the Vault-Tec systems to put people at risk in familiar territory, he’d be effectively neutralized outside of it. That doesn’t mean he’s trustworthy, but it does mean he likely wouldn’t be able to kill you – or hold his own in a fair fight.

#5. George Yaffe (Vault 33)

Fallout series Vertibird
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Would we trust him: Probably not. We don’t get much information about how effective Yaffe was in his role. His status in anything above last place is mostly an indictment of how untrustworthy Bud is. We’d probably put Bud in sixth place even if George didn’t exist.

We know he isn’t opposed to lying, claiming that the iconic Vault-Tec jumpsuit is radiation-proof. Like it or not, lying is a handy tool in a politician’s arsenal. He’s the superficially handsome and charming fifties stereotype that Fallout uses so well, but anything is enough to make him more trustworthy than Bud.

Would he still kill us: Probably. Again, there isn’t much information to go on. As with all the other Overseers in the trifecta of Vault 31, 32, and 33, he was selected to further Vault-Tec’s goals, and we have to assume that he was loyal to the program.

#4. Hank (Vault 33)

Fallout Series Hank
Image Source: Amazon

Would we trust him: Yes. Hank is the overseer of Vault 33 at the start of the series, and it’s immediately apparent why he got the role. He presents himself as a kind and reasonable man, devoted to the safety and happiness of the Vault dwellers under his command. He held the role of Overseer for twenty-five years, first assuming the role in 2271, and seems to be a popular leader.

Perhaps most importantly, Hank genuinely loves his daughter, Lucy, and the other Vault dwellers. This is best epitomized in the first episode, where he willingly gives himself up to secure their safety. The reason his true allegiance and goals come as such a surprise is because he’s so good at putting on a façade, and does seem to care about the Vault dwellers.

Would he still kill us: Does he have something to gain or cover up? If so, yes. Hank has a dark side that isn’t immediately evident. He’s willing to perform selfish and cruel actions if necessary to further Vault-Tec’s goals. To this end, he organized the destruction of Shady Sands to prevent the inhabitants of Vaults 32 and 33 from learning about it. Crucially,  his wife Rose and his children had escaped to Shady Sands. He left Rose to be turned into a ghoul by the radiation. As such, It’s clear that he isn’t afraid to make tough decisions. If those decisions mean sacrifice, there’s no reason to think he won’t go through with it. The fact that he’s willing to take extreme actions for relatively petty reasons only makes him less trustworthy.

It’s also worth noting Hank’s devotion to Vault-Tec and its mission. He’s willing to destroy a perfectly functional community rather than jeopardize his goals. As such, whether or not he’ll kill us is dependent on whether he sees us as a complication he could do without. That said, he might be quicker on the trigger than those above him.

#3. Steph (Vault 32)

Fallout Series Steph
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Would we trust her: Yes. Steph is great at putting on a façade. Early on, before we learn the truth about Vault 31, we have no reason to see her as anything but a sweet, if a little naïve Vault dweller who seemingly has no aspirations except for raising her kids. She also genuinely mourns the loss of her husband. It shows that despite her origins she does have a kind heart.

However, it emerges over the series that Steph is made from tougher stuff. She actively takes the fight to the raiders, losing an eye in the process. Later, she becomes the only person to agree with Norm when he wants to execute the raiders they’ve captured. This ruthlessness against those who hurt her could make her an effective leader in a crisis. As such, it’s only natural she’s later elected as Overseer of Vault 32. The thing about Steph is that we don’t really see her in that role, so we can’t justify a higher placement.

Would she still kill us: Well, that depends. As with all the Vault 31 dwellers, Steph was selected to help monopolize the surface. This suggests a certain amount of ruthlessness and loyalty to Vault-Tec’s mission. While Steph cares about her fellow Vault dwellers, she isn’t afraid to make ruthless decisions. If that means she has to kill us, there’s a good chance she would.

#2. Betty (Vault 33)

Fallout series Betty
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Would we trust her: Absolutely. Betty is another Overseer who originated in Vault 31, but she stands out as arguably the nicest. She’s kind, understanding, and popular enough to earn 98% of the vote when she runs to replace Hank as Overseer, having previously held the role before taking a role on the council.

We don’t know much about Betty, but considering the alternatives that’s not necessarily a negative. However, we do know that she’s at least good enough in the position to be democratically elected at it. If nothing else, she’s got a kind persona and presents herself as a nice and trustworthy person.

Would she still kill us: That depends. Betty, like the others in Vault 31, has something of a ruthless edge. She’s also complicit in Vault-Tec’s actions. She was handpicked to help control Vaults 32 and 33 and help Vault-Tec monopolize the surface, which means she has a ruthless edge. Notably, Betty is shown later in the series to be relatively paranoid, treating Norm with suspicion following the election.

#1. Benjamin (Vault 4)

Fallout series Lucy
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Would we trust him: Absolutely.

Ben isn’t a traditional Overseer. Vault 4 served as a scientific facility governed by scientists who opened the vault to refugees and promptly began experimenting on them. The subjects eventually rebelled, turning Vault 4 into a functioning society that acts as a true sanctuary, accepting anyone looking for safety. Ben isn’t a traditional Overseer working toward Vault-Tec’s goals. Instead, he’s the latest in a line of Vault 4 Overseers who have devoted their lives to maintaining it as a refuge from the wilderness.

Ben isn’t perfect, and holds a certain amount of prejudice against so-called “surfies”. However, he still rules Vault 4 with mercy and kindness, never using his power as Overseer to mistreat any refugees despite his personal distaste for them. He’s even willing to put his trust in the occasional surface dweller who earns it. He also goes out of his way to keep those in palliative care on Level 12 comfortable and safe, while most Overseers would likely see them with, at best, scientific curiosity.

Benjamin is far from perfect, but he’s also willing to act in the interest of others, even if he harbors prejudice against them. He successfully runs the only Vault in the series that’s exactly as benevolent as it appears on the surface. If you have to choose an Overseer to keep us safe, you could do worse, and probably not much better.

Would he still kill us: Absolutely not. While Benjamin might be naïve and somewhat bigoted, he has a good heart, and his idea of punishment is… letting someone leave, unharmed, with provisions. He’s someone whose family has been the victim and rather than follow the example of Vault-Tec he treats others with kindness and empathy.

However, it’s worth noting that Vault 4 remains safe, even though the Wasteland is filled with potentially hostile forces. It’s likely that the people of Vault 4 would defend themselves, but they probably wouldn’t fire the first shot.

Check out our review of the first series of Fallout right here. Want to learn more about the other Vaults in the franchise? Check out our list of the top ten worst Vaults right here.


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